It really is great when a laymen gets a change to peek inside the Magic Castle and see for himself what our art is really about. Unless you are Marty from 1000 words 1000 days. Marty wrote an article just a few days ago about his idea of going to Hollywood and visiting the Magic Castle. He does not know any magicians nor any members, but apparently plans to get a monthly membership for his single visit and then cancel it afterwards, just so he can see inside.
After I read his article I saw that Marty is not the type of laymen we want inside the castle, he calls the place a West-Coast Hogwarts and goes on to insult magicians within the article. He also just does not seem to understand any of the information he looked up on the Magic Castle before writing his article, as he gets several things wrong.
From what I can tell, the Magic Castle is really just a west-coast Hogwarts. They put on shows and sure, it’s a bit more tourist-y, but it’s also a place where magicians go to hone their craft. Like this guy:
Dai Vernon, also known as “The Professor” (probably only until Gilligan’s Island – I imagine after that, the nickname would have been rather awkward), was a Canadian expert at sleight-of-hand. Vernon moved from Ottawa to New York and became famous for his ability to mess with people’s heads. Harry Houdini once bragged that he could pick up any card trick after seeing it three times, so Vernon showed him a good one: he pulled the top card off the deck, flashed it to Harry, then slipped it under the next card so that it was second from the top. Then he’d flip over the top card again and it would be the same card. Houdini made Vernon repeat the trick seven times, and he still couldn’t get it.
Really Dai Vernon moved the top card to the second position, then made it jump back to the top again and fooled Houdini?! That’s amazing.
The Castle was a training ground for a lot of emerging magicians – and yes, at one time this was an active means of entertainment that people actually cared about.
What is he trying to say that people no longer care about magic? I think today Magic is stronger and more alive then it has been in a very long time. Why does Marty even want to go the Castle if no one cares about this form of entertainment anymore?
Yet the age of the magician seems to be done. When I was a kid, David Copperfield made something giant (a plane, the Statue of Liberty, etc) disappear after an hour of posing dramatically overtop synth music and an impressive wind-generator machine. Doug Henning used to appear on television specials with an enthusiastic, child-like fervor that always made my parents get up and deadbolt the front door. But where are the magicians now? Even Penn and Teller, the famous magic-deconstructionists, seem to have given up on TV magic.
Cyril Takayama, Criss Angel, David Blaine, Chris Korn, Penn and Teller all gave up on TV magic? Well I guess someone should let their TV shows know that because they are still airing all over the world. I guess this guy has never seen Fool Us. Even if TV magic was fading, that does not mean that the age of magician is done. Magic is not just a TV only form of entertainment. I guess Marty thinks he is going to go to the Magic Castle and just go from room to room watching different TVs.
I’ve already decided that the Magic Castle will be among the places I must see next time I head to LA. It’s a private club, open only to members and guests, but you can pick up a membership even if you aren’t magically inclined.
Good luck with that Marty.
On the weekends you can bring your kids, and even sign them up to train in the Magic Castle Junior Group. Many of the kids in this group go on to become professional magicians, so I guess if you don’t like your kids very much and want them to struggle financially when they grow up, this is a great idea.
I get that Marty is just trying to add some humor to his article, but why do you have to do it at the expense of a group of people?
You can read the rest of the article at http://1000words1000days.com/2012/03/day-84-wikipedia-pulls-the-magic-castle-out-of-her-hat/
Tell me what you think of his article, is he one you would want to have access to the private magic club? Maybe he will change his opinions? Was he just being funny or is he showing signs of a magic heckler?