I’ve just returned back from performing at The Magic Castle, Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The Magic Castle is a members club in LA on Franklin Avenue (near Hollywood Boulevard). It is the most incredible venue and has the most amazing audiences. Full of the Hollywood elite and mixed in with magicians (they are easy to spot) it’s always a fun crowd to perform for.
I was in the Parlour of Prestidigitation – my favourite room at ‘The Castle’. As a performer you perform several times an evening. In the Parlour, 3 shows an evening each lasting around 20 minutes. Audiences queue up to get in often the shows are full, so the anticipation levels can be high.
This time, I tried a new trick I’m working on. I get wrapped up in cling film by a member of the audience and get a pack of cards thrown at me – I then (usually) still manage to find the signed card. Seemed like a good idea when I thought of it, but I did have to get wrapped up 20 times that week!
I first went to Hollywood when I was around 18. You had to be 21 to get in to the Castle (alcohol laws). I remember thinking that when I’m older, I might be able to get in to watch some shows. I never dreamed I would actually be able to be a featured performer.
The Magic Castle has several rooms to perform in. There’s a close up gallery for sleight of hand, close up magic. A larger theatre for stage performances and several other smaller interesting rooms of all shapes and sizes for different styles of magic. One of my favourite (non performing) rooms is the music room. A mysterious ghost, Irma, haunts The Magic Castle. She is invisible but plays the piano each night (for tips). Just name a song and she can play it. Absolutely amazing.
This is my 5th time performing at The Magic Castle and I always have a fantastic time. One thing I have observed, is the Americans can be a very different audience to the British. The Brits are typically reserved (as you’d imagine). The Americans are not only more enthusiastic but have a habit of talking to you and talking out loud during the performance. It always takes a me a few shows the get used to it, but it always makes me laugh. Whilst I’m performing you can hear people saying things loudly like “hey, you’ve got a bag on your head” or “thimbles?? Who’d think of doing a trick with thimbles??”. They don’t hold back their thoughts. I love it