Ladies and Ladies, the Magic Castle

More pics from my life chunked out from my cellphone. Today's treat: The Magic Castle. One of my favorite things about living in Los Angeles.

Nicole invited a group of us to The Magic Castle for her birthday. It's what it sounds like- a castle filled with magic. Literally.

It's not open to the public- you need a membership to get in or you have to know one of the magicians. Long story short, it's the second most fun thing to do in LA, aside from seeing POINT BREAK LIVE.

And now, some magique...

hokey photos courtesy of the Internet

Let's go inside, shall we?

Whether you like magic or not (no one likes magic), it's worth a trip to the Castle for it's spectacularly absurd portraiture of magicians past. This is only a sliver of the hilarity that adorns the walls, as there is a 'no photos allowed' policy. Had to be sneaky w my shitty Blackberry, hence the lo-fi pics.

Did you guys know that Alec Baldwin (pictured right?) was a once-great magician? When he was young, performing one-act plays at the local theatre company, he began moonlighting at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Reno. He could cut a deck and flip it in 17 different ways without even glancing at the cards, regaling his tables with such deftness, he became a bit of a local legend.

After two years of attracting regulars and tourists alike, he packed up and took his skills to Vegas. He hooked up with some of the working magicians (many of whom were dealers themselves), and began a weekly showcase at the Stardust casino in Glitter Gulch doing sexy card tricks.

It was there at the Stardust where Baldwin began his career in slight-of-hand for three more years, until one night when an elderly man by the name of Mr. Samuel Goldwyn came to see his show. Goldwyn was so charmed by Baldwin's swift performance, debonair good looks, and witty banter with his audience, he started to spread the word about this young buck back in Hollywood.

One night after a sold-out show, Baldwin left his gig the usual way through the employee exit, only to be approached by a driver in a white stretch limousine. The driver told him he'd been sent to take Mr. Baldwin to Los Angeles for a once in a lifetime opportunity. He took the ride, of course-- a ride that began on Vegas' old strip and ended on the lot of Paramount Studios in Hollywood, California. That first visit to tinseltown ultimately landed Baldwin a role as the lead preppy in The Big Chill, a huge break in Baldwin's early acting career. And none of that happened.

Did you guys know that David Byrne was a magician prior to joining the Talking Heads?

Nellie Olsen was the original Mean Girl in Little House on the Prairie.

I wish this came out better, because this was BY FAR the coolest dude on display. Best magician portrait ever?

There's a room where supposedly the ghost of the original owner of the Magic Castle lives. That ghost plays the piano and if you beckon her to play a song, she will. In honor of White Lightning, I requested Pokerface by the Gagz and this is what happened:

Magic Castle from Aviva Yael on Vimeo.

Greg doing his magic face. Oh you know Greg, the guy who made THIS. (did you click? It's phenomenal riiiighhhh???) Not long after I took this we watched a genuinely awesome show. Sort of a Seigfried & Roy meets David Blaine's sexy satin underpanties.

funhouse mirrors in the bathroom (not that that excuses my prior weight pictured above. that's all taken care of now thank you YOGA!)

this is how I feel when I see a hot guy in bad shoes
 "I'm your real father"

 This thing weaves my nightmares

good cocktails, overpriced menu

its me again im freddy's uncle and you are definitely going to die in your sleep later 

So the Magic Castle is more scary and terrifying than it is "magic." Hate you guys!


Architect of Your 'Mares