Thursday, March 22, 2007

An Evening at the Magic Castle

Got a call from a new friend named Sam. He invited me to the Castle last night. He’s a nice guy who when his wife of 25 years passed away 4 years ago, took an apartment across the street from the Magic Castle. He says at his apartment he uses the bathroom and kitchen, but he thinks of the Castle as his living room. I like that.

I blew off my slot at the City Walk because it was chilly and overcast. I left for the Castle a bit after 8 PM. I love that I can drive from my house to the Castle in 10 minutes. I knew that Aaron Fisher was working the early parlor and was happy and surprised to find out that Gazzo was working late parlor and Billy Kidd was working late close-up.

I strolled upstairs and found Aaron, he was hanging at the bar with a few minutes before his show. A loud voice and a huge smile called my name. Sitting at the bar was Kozmo and his pal (from Cincinnati) a young man named Bob. These guys left their wives and kids at home and have embarked on a multi-city busking tour. They’ve been working the Promenade and from the sound of it doing all right.

Aaron’s show was about to start, so I excused myself and took a seat in the second row. Aaron was working on some new material and was eager for some feedback. I watched two of his shows back to back and gave him a few notes. It was halfway through the second show that it occurred to me, what we do is hard. It’s not enough to have flawless technique like Aaron does, as well, as a well defined direction that his character is going. You also have to be able to look out at the audience and make some decisions as how to best connect with THAT audience. Interesting watching Aaron perform first for a rather sparse audience followed by a full house, but an older crowd. All a part of what we do. All a part of what we want to share of ourselves with our audiences. Aaron’s magic was strong, in some instances too strong and needed him to silently mouth the words, What the fuck?” at pivotal place in a the reading of a prediction. We talked about that after his second show. Aaron was very receptive to this discussion about his act.

After leaving the Parlor I watched a fellow named Jon Armstrong do a trick for a bunch of people. He killed with a well built up card revelation.

Back to the bar to for a cocktail and then seating for Gazzo’s show. I sat with Kozmo, Bob & Jersey Jim, it was looking like Busker Night at the Castle as I also saw my pal from the Promenade, Omar.

What can I say about Gazzo? I’m a big fan of his work. He’s a study in comedy and timing. Does a great 30-40 minute show and only two tricks. He did his card routine followed by the egg bag.

The evening was turning into a total magic geek out and I was loving it. Jersey Jim and I went down to catch Billy’s act in the close-up room.

She did a nice set of card magic. What impressed me more than her technique, was her timing. She wasn’t rushing the tricks or the jokes. As a student of Gazzo’s she’s been paying her dues street performing in Mallory Square in Key West.

After her show we hung out at the first floor bar. Across from the bar is the couch were Dai Vernon could be found night after night holding court. I took the Professor’s seat, took out my deck and craved a cigar. It wasn’t long before a group of curious laymen crowded around the little table and wanted to see some magic. I did a little card and coin routine then passed the deck to Kozmo and then to Bob. I like magicians, I like street performers and I love my life here in California!

I got a text message from Polly around midnight. Poor girl was just getting off of work. She had been there since 9 AM!!! Oy! I left the Castle to spend a little time with her before she had to go to bed and do it all over again today.

As for me, I’m back into my routine of smoking cigars naked in the back yard while soaking in the beautiful sunshine. This is the life. It’s a beautiful day and I can’t wait to work this evening!

1 comment:

Timmy Jimmy said...

How does a new comer like Billy get to perform at the Castle when you have tried and busted yer butt for an opportunity, proven yourself, worked the streets, taught many magi and so on???
Must need a female huh?!