Magic Castle Magician

I’ve just come back from an amazing week in Hollywood and completed a dream I’ve held since I first got interested in magic twenty five years ago. I was asked to perform for a week at the world famous Magic Castle in the centre of Hollywood, just yards from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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I've seen video footage of the Magic Castle , I’ve read about it in books and heard stories of what it’s like performing there. Well now I know! I spent a week in the Close up Gallery performing for about twenty five guests at a time four times a night for a week. Everybody in the close up room gets a perfect view and there are no distractions like music or waiters, the bane of my life! The closest I get to this style of performing usually is when I get to show my mystery room show at private parties

I had heard about the Magic Castle very soon after my first forays into close up magic. After visiting a magic shop in London for the first time I saw a poster for the Magic Castle. The owner explained to me that there was a castle in Hollywood where the best magicians from around the world performed each week. At the time, i would have exploded with excitement just to visit there but I never dreamed I would be asked to perform there one day.

Magic Castle Background

Magicians understand how important the Magic Castle is to the history of this art. The father of modern close up magic, the professor Dai Vernon was resident there in the 60’s and the sleight of hand experts at the time would flock to the Magic Castle to learn from the very best. The Magic Castle became the Mecca for magicians from around the world and if you wanted to better yourself you had to visit. I have hundreds of books about magic and tonnes of the photographs show the great magicians of the past performing there.

A brief bit of history, the Magic Castle started life as a private residence built in 1908 and in the 60’s the Larsen family renovated the building to become what we now know as the Magic Castle. These days’ celebs flock to be seen at the super trendy, uber exclusive home of magic.

Aside from magic, there is a lot to see. When you first arrive at The Magic Castle you have to utter the magic words to get in “Open Sesame” and the secret bookshelf door will slide open to let you in. You can also take a drink in one of the five bars and get the ghostly Irma to play a tune on the haunted vacated piano. Every details has been thought of and every corner of the Magic Castle brings a new delight. These things add to the ambience of this Victorian style mansion with magic at its heart. There is also an excellent restaurant where you can dine in style before taking in the magic shows for the night.

 

Noel in the Close up Gallery of the Magic Castle

 

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There are three different types of magic to see at the Magic Castle – close up (where I performed!), Parlour (slightly bigger) and Stage (illusions and the big star acts). Guests are free to roam the Magic Castle hopping from one style of show to another and of course, in between shows grab a drink from the well stocked bars. One other thing that sets the Magic Castle apart from many of the other nightspots in Hollywood is the dress code. Gents are required to wear suit and tie and ladies must wear cocktail dresses. The clothing requirement are strictly enforced and you will not gain entry if you look anything other than a million bucks.

If you do manage to get an invite then be sure to keep an eye out for celebrities. During the week I performed, Carey Mulligan the British actress was visiting and Kat Von D the woman off of LA Ink loved my show, she even tweeted me after! The week after we left Johnny Depp came by but I’ll be back, he will get a chance to see my show again :-)

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If you are a magic fan and I’m guessing you are, that’s why you are reading this then you must try and visit the Magic Castle. Every week of the year you can see world class magicians performing their act in the right environment for happy, appreciative audiences. I loved it and I’m sure you will too.

 

Noel