A time to share

Monday, August 10, 2009

Magic Castle

Tom & I visited the Magic Castle on Thursday night.

I was really looking forward to going to the castle and seeing the shows, visiting this nostalgic place, and seeing, and being in the rooms where so many great magicians have sat and shared our art.
The Magic Castle is a private club, you must be a member or have a guest card from a member to enter. No one under 21 years old is allowed except for Sunday brunch.
We posed for some photo's for the memory book before heading in.
The Castle has a strict dress code, suit and ties for men, and dresses for the ladies.
Many people arrive dressed to kill. A valet to park your car, a secret word to get thru the inner door and you are in!!!
Tom and I enjoyed a cigar before entering, we saved them for later as we had time between shows for a puff or two.
At the castle you can get an excellent dinner if you like, or you can get a burger at the bar. We ate before going, the prices are fairly steep.
A drink was 12 dollars. That's a wee bit steep. If you can afford to pay that price, that truly is magical!
We visited the library at the castle to thank the gentleman who got us in. He did a nice magic card effect for us. He is the library's curator and does an excellent job. Ask him about a trick and he most likely can point you in the right book for your study.
I have to admit that the castle was somewhat disappointing to me. I guess I expected more from it. The place is in need of some re furbishing.
While in line for one of the shows, the railing people lean on seemed to be ready fall over. The restrooms too, were a bit small and outdated.
A few of the acts were mediocre and were not well choreographed. A woman played the violin, and while she was an excellent violin player, she had to walk off stage to get her linking rings after one song, and then when she finished her linking ring routine, she again walked entirely off stage to put her rings away and to gather up her violin to finish her set. I found that whole sequence rather unprofessional.
There were several small things like this that were... rather strange.
I did not feel like they were very welcoming, in fact it seemed that everyone was tired. One man, who seemed to be in charge of directing people was telling guests how terrible his day was and that he couldn't wait to get off work.
I guess they don't realize how excited people from all over the world are to come to the castle for entertainment.
I found out the hard way that no pictures are allowed inside the castle, this seems a little bit "stuffy" to me. I took a picture of Tom, and was told in no uncertain terms that picture taking is off limits.
I find this rather strange for a place that should be trying to attract people to their venue rather than repel them.
Two of the acts stand out to me. A magician from England had a very nice, polished act, and of course, Paul Gertner.
Tom and I had front row seats to Pauls' close up show.
He did some marvelous magical work. His signature cups and balls using steel balls to finish. Paul did a wonderful routine using The Masuda "Wow" card effect. Finally someone to put it to practical use with a solid routine.
Nice job Paul!
Another solid act was the stand up act of Aye Jay. Aye Jay is a real carny, from the old school. He has a very nice act with wonderful audience participation.

Tom and I talked magic almost non stop for the entire five days of my visit. Tom spent many hours on the computer editing a dvd for Sylvester the Jester. They are great friends. It was eye opening to spend three nights at the City Walk watching, and observing Tom perform close up. His hand movements are beautiful to me. Subtle things, simple things, like simply turning a card over can be made to look "silky." I have a lot to learn and am excited for the future!
Watching a few things that Aaron Fisher did with cards was, well... astonishing. I know a lot, and I know nothing!


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