When first informed of a place called “The Magic Castle” I was immediately wary. This was not Disney World, this was a “castle” for “magic” in hollywood? Weeeeird. But my curiosity peaked when a girlfriend of mine described her Friday night outing there as “easily the best date ever.” Really? At a magic show? Maybe she hadn’t been on many dates… But she continued to describe the place with positive adjectives and mentioned that there were numerous bars on different floors (well now that was something to be excited for). The icing on the cake was that the week hosted, “Sorcerers of Spain.” She said everyone had to dress very formal in cocktail attire and that it was difficult to get in without knowing a member (an elite magic gathering, impressive). I was invited to go with her and her magic practicing “friend” yesterday evening. I obviously said yes!
The castle: A house, castle inspired. Hollywood, semi residential area. The lobby has a comically small gift shop, a couple of shelves. We are accepted in (thank you friend’s magic practicing friend). I am told to say “open sesame” to the wall. I do, the wall with a painted on bookshelf moves open. We descend into a bar area with a ghost piano player on the other side. I’m still excited and we get a glass of wine. We immediately go into a side room to see an intimate magic show. Before it starts I am called up to be the show’s volunteer! I sit down and out comes the middle aged magician who then performs trick after trick (cards and coins) that baffle me and later infuriate me.
Magic, as a rule of thumb, pisses me off. All logic says that he did not just pull a bunny from his ass, however, I cannot figure out what he did to make it seem so real (purely an example, although the magic show would have been sooo much better if bunnies were being pulled out of someone’s ass). Because I can’t understand magic, I get angry. I try my best to look charmed but in fact I am hating him and his magic. I receive praises after the show (um thanks?). We then go to another show in which my friend is chosen as a volunteer. This time the magician is funny. He’s old, a fast talker and slightly witty. I like him. He makes her ring disappear and then reappear. I’m angry but the second glass of wine is helping. We applaud and leave to the main event.
A creepy man is walking around the audience eating cookies. We discover he is part of the act. His introduction is stupid (he electrocutes himself). A lady comes out and music starts to play. She is dancing. Oh, I like this act, a nice change from cards. She dances around the stage doing trickery with her scarf and then with two large metal hoops. I am more impressed with her flexibility (she is at least fifty). Her act is done. The creepy guy returns, ugh. He does some tricks with scissors and paper, all the while keeping that creepy grin on his face and occasionally running the scissor blades over his face. The audience is loving it. I hate him. Another guy enters the stage. He does robotic dancing, I like him, but this isn’t magic. The woman and man dance together with masks on, it’s weird, and not magic. The end. We meet up with my friend’s friend who has been in his magic class all this while. We watch some impromptu magic in the corner by the upstairs’ bar but by now I am unimpressed. He is doing knot tricks with a rope. Sailor tricks. I’m tired of magic, it’s exhausting. We decide it is time to go.
Am glad that I experienced the Magic Castle? Yes.
Could my life have been complete without a visit? Probably not.
Have I created a new found tolerance maybe even interest in magic? definitely not.
Magicians are still better than clowns, and that’s something.