Have you recovered from your long holiday weekend yet?! I know I haven't. For reasons probably not quite aligned with what you're thinking but that's besides the point.
This last weekend left me Sun-drunk. That's right, I got drunk off the sunshine and high on life. 4th of July four day weekend life that is. These last few days left me feeling so refreshed and wishing for every weekend to be a four day weekend. While I don't think my wish will by coming true any time soon (darn it anyway), I was grateful for the days off work for some much needed rest and relaxation and SUNSHINE! Ah wasn't that sun g-l-o-r-i-o-u-s this weekend? Man I could not get enough of it.
Anyway, aside from laying by the pool or at the beach, I did manage to leave the confines of my sunny beach community and do a Los Angeles bucket list item. Adam and I visited the Magic Castle! For those of you who aren't familiar with the Magic Castle, brush up on your magical history here. Essentially it's a magic academy (the Academy of Magical arts to be exact), which is open only to members and guests and features live shows, as well as delicious food and drinks all set in a historical mansion built in 1909.
Adam made our reservations back in February - it's clearly quite THE place to be. Finally, the weekend we had all been waiting for was upon us. More than anything I was excited about their strict dress code. Yes, those words really just came out of my mouth. The Magic Castle enforces tight guidelines for what is to be worn within the confines of the mansion which essentially meant an excuse to dress up super fancy. Like Adam had to buy a coat kind of fancy.
We dressed in our Sunday best and made our way toward Hollywood for an evening of fine dining and even finer magic.
As we ate dinner I thought how wonderful it was to be in a place that required its guests to dress up. Men and women walking by looked like it was New Years Eve and they were ready for the ball to drop. This was my kind of shindig.
Upon finishing dinner we were given a ticket to our first show. This particular show was hosted by an MC/magician (Derek Hughes) who honestly made the entire evening. He was hilarious and even threw in magic tricks in between cracking jokes and engaging with the audience. He was responsible for introducing the two main attractions for the evening, one of whom was a young Asian woman who turned one small red ball into five and then back into one. It was...Interesting. Needless to say I still couldn't do whatever it was she did.
The next act was a clairvoyant duo from Austria who won the highest award given at the Magic Castle last year and were even on America's Got Talent. They were surprisingly pretty funny and their act was overall unbelievable which I found to be one of the key themes of the evening - unbelievable.
After this show, which lasted about an hour, we were free to roam about the Castle. There were various other shows taking place throughout the Castle at different times but it was best to arrive at least 15 minutes before the show to secure your spot. I guess holidays weekends are a hot time for magic. Who knew?
Adam and I were able to catch a few other shows including one by a sarcastic bartender turned magician as well as a seasoned vet who told stories of "the good ole days" performing for the Rat Pack in Vegas. Like many of its magicians and patrons alike, the Magic Castle is filled with such history and stories for days. Decades in fact!
Wandering around its halls definitely makes you feel like you've gone back in time to a different era. If those walls could talk they would reminisce on the decades of celebrities, influential people and magicians who had roamed their halls at one point. The photos lining the walls were enough to make a youngster like myself revel in the incredible history of the Magic Castle. It was, and still is, quite the scene.
I definitely woke up the next morning in awe that that had all actually happened. Was that real life!? But it was! The shows are absolutely incredible and each one left me more in awe than the one before.
I would definitely recommend date night at the Castle. It will be a truly magical evening. (See what I did there?)
P.S. No photos are allowed beyond the lobby so sorry for the lack of imagery on this one. All the more reason to go see for yourself!
(Originally Published July 5, 2017)