Last night, Chuck and I took David to The Magic Castle, a strange curiousity landmark in Hollywood that has intrigued us since we moved here. It's an invitation-only club for...you guessed it...magicians. This giant Victorian manse is nestled in the hills behind the monstrosity that is Hollywood and Highland, and apparently has been a haven and training ground for magicians for a few generations now. It's home to The Academy of Magical Arts, which sounds and feels very Hogwartian in nature, but this is entirely a different form of magic than Harry's.
The evening began with speaking "open sesame" to a bookcase and entering a dark and musty drawing room. We proceeded upstairs to the dining room for a meal, followed by David having the wits scared out of him by a man in a gorilla mask bringing him birthday cake. The gorilla was silent, so we had to sing the happy birthday song ourselves. The gorilla just watched.
We then made our way to the Parlour of Prestidigitation for our first show of the evening, in which David was chosen as the accomplice for Romany, the Diva of Magic. As soon as she picked him, I knew she was in for trouble. David was a ham, and got his own laughs, mugging in all the right places. You all would have been proud.
Next stop was the Palace of Mystery, which was the bigger show of the evening. It started with a very funny Brit who did some great sleight of hand work in a dry and acerbic tone that had us rolling. After him came, oh god, the cheese storm. Murray was a very talented, very frighteningly weird and doofy dude. He does crazy things with compact discs. Compact discs? Okayyy. His schtick was great for a while...he was silent and messed around with his scarves and CDs and laserdiscs and whatnot...but then all of a sudden he took the mic to do a standup act in his cheesy electric blue tuxedo. I believe it started with "I'm not gay, not that there's anything wrong with that," and just went downhill from there. We were squirming with hilarity. I guess I'm not familiar with magic acts. I didn't realize they were filled with so much shlock comedy. In my head the twain never meet. In my head, magicians are these serious David Blaine types who are pushing their bodies and minds to the absolute limits and freaking you out in the process. I'm now thinking that he's an exception.
It was getting quite late but we went back to the parlour for a last show with this dude who was a self-declared mentalist and psychic. He did some weird shit with tape and coins on his eyes. At this point, we were positively trashed, and reality started to blur. I'm not sure how we got out of there. I only remember that we were the last ones skulking around and having the sneaking dread that we were locked in for the night in this palatial estate that probably had ears in the walls and secret trapdoors and the like. One could probably disappear for quite some time in a place like that and no one would ever notice.