Usually this spot is for Magic News. That’s what we do here at InsideMagic.com. We bring the fives of readers the very latest from the world of Magic. What we like to call “the Magic world.” We like to call it that but that’s how we roll – that and counter-clockwise with our head facing north. That doesn’t make us bad, it’s our neglect of proper naming conventions for our pets. But, as we say in the world of Robots (“the Robot world”), don’t get us started.
As we said, we usually eschew magic commentary. That can be found on our sister site, MagicCommentary.com. The site is no longer up, because we have never mentioned it until now and we didn’t pay for the URL, ever. It is populated with 15 years of magic commentary that isn’t published to the web. It was read by some hackers in 2019, but apparently found to be so unimportant that they didn’t even have the courtesy of hacking it. That’s the thing about hackers. They aren’t dependable or consistent. InsideMagic.com is hacked just about daily and usually by folks who want to insert the URLs for gambling sites into our otherwise unexciting stories. Stories, we should point out, that are not magic commentary.
We were at The Magic Castle a while ago but recently enough to make this commentary relevant. We saw a performer who essentially performed Whit “Pop” Haydn’s full act. He did the tricks that Pop invented; used the patter that Pop wrote and developed over his years of performance; and the jokes that made both the patter and tricks work to entertain so well. Of course this performer was not Pop. He wasn’t close to Pop. He couldn’t hold a candle to Pop. If Pop and this performer were in a line-up, there is no chance a witness would misidentify him for Pop. If there was a Pop imitator contest – like the yearly festival for Elvis Impersonators – he would lose.
Worse still, he was bringing that lame, pseudo Pop act to Pop’s house. Pop is The Magic Castle for us. He sponsored our membership, he owns every room in the place. His tricks never get old for us because he brings so much to each performance. It is as if this is the only audience for whom he has every performed before. Audiences – be they close-up, stage, parlor, or bar – love him because he has truly mastered all that he performs and that makes him unique. To steal from someone who is unique is decidedly un-unique; or un-nice.
Why are we writing this? What do we hope to accomplish? To penalize the performer who infringed Pop’s work product? It is too late, he’s no longer at The Castle. To give an object lesson to other tempted to follow in his path? Likely not. All of our readers are good people and would not benefit from such a lesson. To get something off our chest that was bothering us? Likely. We normally accomplish that by our rolling on our thick, 1970’s avocado green colored rug. (See our first paragraphs for the call-back).
Even if it is just the chest-getting-off-of basis, we feel better now.
We have seen great magicians at The Magic Castle but there are few better than Matt Vizio. In our humble opinion — and our opinions are truly the most humble — Magic is not merely the demonstration of manipulative skill but the presentation of a fully entertaining experience.
Yes, Mr. Vizio has the chops. His Cups and Balls routine is flawless and not to be missed. But he compounds his mastery of sleights with that something special that makes him stand-out from most magicians who perform at The Magic Castle.
Last night, we watched as he performed three effects that that thoroughly amazed and delighted the audience the packed Parlor of Prestidigitation.
Let’s take a step here to admit that we have known Mr. Vizio since becoming a member of The Magic Castle and learned from him so much about audience management, routine formation, and what it takes to be a good magician.
We cannot be the first to notice that there are some performers who appear likable and kind on stage but turn 180 degrees in persona once the lights are off. Mr. Vizio does not suffer from this flaw of character. The performer you see on stage is who you will meet once the bright lights are extinguished. What you find in the normal incandescent light is a good and wholesome character.
But, even if we detested Mr. Vizio as a person — which again we do not, quite the opposite — we would need to concede that his act is one of the best we have seen at The Magic Castle.
One of the best indicators of impact by a magician are the number and content of murmurs and exclamations by those in the crowd.
His Vanishing Bill to Inside a Stapled Card (we’re sure there is a name more catchy than that) garnered “No Way!” and “Oh My God!” comments in the crowd before the bill was even shown to be safely stapled between two playing cards. The audience was captured and he had no intention of releasing them immediately. He let the excitement build expertly: balancing that narrow line between “milking” and under-playing the effect.
That sense of balance comes from years of working before real audiences in diverse surroundings and varying conditions. It is so tempting to milk the reactions to an effect. We have all seen it and perhaps some performers enjoy the gratification of knowing that their audience is appreciative. It is more considerate, we think, to allow the audience the moment to perceive what is about to happen and ride the natural building of excitement.
Mr. Vizio is, as we have noted, a considerate performer and person. His ego does not seem to complicate his presentation. He is enjoying the magic with his audience. He is not setting himself apart from them or performing in a boastful or condescending fashion. We are all in this together.
Again, even if we did not consider Mr. Vizio a friend and mentor, we would have reviewed him with the same result. He is precisely what we all hope to be on stage: in control, masterful, and fully entertaining.
We have it on very good sources that he will be appearing this evening through Sunday at the Parlor of Prestidigitation at The Magic Castle.
If you want to see our idea of a great magician, be sure to check out Mr. Vizio. You can thank us later but there’s no rush. Enjoy the moment and the appreciation for great magic that lingers long after the curtain falls. As noted by a fellow diner at The Castle, “That guy is incredible!”
We’ve seen some great magicians in our time. Last week at the Magic Castle we saw two fantastic magicians that span our history of the art.
Kyle Littleton (@Littletonmagic) was in The Parlor of Prestidigitation and performed a wonderful act that truly fooled us but more importantly entertained us. His approach to Magic is unique and his skills are amazing. He has appeared on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us and although he did not fool them he did entertain thoroughly the pros and their audience. (Visit Mr. Littleton’s Twitter feed for the Fool Us clip here).
We were flattered to be brought up on stage as an assistant in his final routine. Although we stood but a few feet from him, we were not able to have any clue how his effect was done.
And we like that. A great magician, in our opinion, is one who truly fools and entertains. We doubt that he needs our endorsement to be considered one of the up-and-coming great magicians in our but we’re here to give it anyway. His style is relaxed, self-effacing and kind. Even his jokes fit nicely with what he is performing — this is a skill we would love to learn one day.
Just a few feet away from Mr. Littleton’s theater is the Palace of Mystery where we saw Dale Salwak perform the classics of magic in a classical style.
We can’t think of the last time we saw The Zombie Ball performed much less with the ability and beauty of Mr. Salwak. He was introduced as a man who performs tricks in seconds that have taken years to perfect and the description was accurate. Here was a true professional performing the effects we have all attempted to learn and failed. He produced cards, split fans, coins and other items with grace. Some of the lay members of the audience that night were awed by the performance. To them it was a first time seeing these classics. We were awed in seeing effects done so often, poorly, performed so incredibly well.
The Magic Castle is back and chocked full of great magic perfect for all ages of performers and audience members.
We love being fooled almost as much as we love sitting next to someone uttering “No Way!” as the effect comes to its amazing conclusion. Mr. Littleton and Mr. Salwak brought both experiences on a truly magical night.
By the way, we weren’t able to find an unprotected version of Mr. Littleton’s image and so we’ve included an image of a magician having the same effect on his audience a few years ago.
We were fortunate enough to be in The Magic Castle the night Mike Caveney presented a lecture on his new book One Hundred Years of Sawing: The Astonishing History of Magic’s Most Iconic Illusion.
Mr. Caveney is the magic world’s scribe and if society was somehow destroyed; thousands of years from now, archeologists would learn all they could know about this epoch from his books. He knows magic history and, more importantly, loves magic history more than any magician we know. Future societies will be forced to conclude that magic and its history was our world’s focus.
Sawing is a work of love and a gift to those who love magic.
There were a total of 1,200 editions of the book published. 100 of which are Deluxe Editions. We have number 390 of the Regular Edition and will proudly keep it on our special magic bookcase; next to the Taschen book, Magic: 1400s – 1950s. He co-authored that mammoth book with Ricky Jay and Jim Steinmeyer. Both books are heavy. Not just in content or tone, but by actual weight (together they weigh 16.6 lbs). We have braced our bookcase and the supporting beams in the wall accordingly.
Sawing brings readers through a wonderful trip through history from the effect’s origins before 1921, its golden era in 1921, the patent litigation over the effect, and its history through our modern day. It is filled with incredible stories of the magicians who invented, innovated and stole the illusion. Mr. Caveney treats readers with incredible images at each juncture. In many cases, these are photos we have never seen.
Put all that together and you can imagine our joy in paging slowly through the book. It is a very slow read. Not because it is long but because it is full and detailed. As far as we can tell, there is not a significant event in the history of this illusion that is not addressed. Of course, we realize that our knowledge of the trick is now completely informed by Mr. Caveney’s recitation of its history.
In deciding to write a review of the book, we worried that it would either be too short – “we loved it!” – or too long – “on page 129, Mr. Caveney begins to address the development of ….” That worry persists and is perhaps proven to be valid by the length and depth of this review.
Words do not do justice to the words and images Mr. Caveney presents in this book nor the history he has neatly set before readers.
If you love magic, love history, love the stories of odd but enchanting individuals of magic history, this book is a must read. Or more correctly, this book is a must have so you can spend hours with it and enjoy all that it provides.
We are so thankful for authors and historians like Mr. Caveney.
We read that today, January 31st, is International Magic Day and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Magic has done so much to make our life so exciting, interesting and satisfying. There is a special feeling in bringing a special feeling to an audience member. When the volunteer shows surprise or shock at what they have witnessed from a close-up perspective and validates the magic effect for the rest of the audience. They trust the volunteer, the volunteer is amazed by the magician and thus the audience shares the amazement.
We have so many effects in bins, closets, suitcases and bookshelves.
Some will never see the light of day, some will be practiced and yet never included in our act but will be held in our suit pockets waiting to be pulled out and shown. Our prop for our close-up routine as performed in the amateurs’ room at the Magic Castle consists of a single Bee deck with the Billy McComb crimp but our pockets are filled with so much more.
Magic taught us to come out of our shy personality, to have confidence in presentation, experience the joy in making an audience laugh and gasp, and provide us with a history to pass along to younger magicians just as we had been taught by our mentors.
We are asked after virtually every performance, “how did you learn?” The question warms our heart because we remember all those professionals and amateurs who took the time to teach, watch, help to evaluate our performance and provide meaningful feedback. We think of their kind eyes watching our performances at IBM and SAM club meetings and their kind words, later at a diner, about how we can improve and what we did well.
So, International Magic Day is a day to remember our mentors, family (always patient and willing to take a card, any card), and the enormous giants of our craft both historical and present.
It has been awhile since we posted on this esteemed website and while we could discuss the reasons for our absence, we will leave the details to TMZ’s excellent, though somewhat biased, coverage. We can say that we find the Royal Family to be a delight and to be honest, we were not aware that the Queen could operate Zoom so well. We appreciated her kind admonition, “We believe you are still on mute.”
We have been spending much time at The Magic Castle and though it has reduced operating days, it is still the same clubhouse that we love and where our friends and magical family gather. We never leave without feeling ebullient and informed.
We have seen so many acts that were new to us. Acts that featured performers we have wanted to see for a long time and thus our wishes were granted. All of this is on top of the great food. Not literally on top of the food, that would be a violation of the LA County Health Guidelines and certainly not welcomed by us.
During this break from life as it once was, we have taken to purchasing books to help us learn moves and sleights that we thought we knew well but realized were really just a collection of lazy and bad habits formed over our decades of performances. We have re-learned Twisting the Aces to try to imitate Dai Vernon’s method. He worked so naturally and flawlessly. We have worked on our coins across and cut and restored rope as taught by Pop Haydn.
We have worn and perhaps permanently damaged our relationship with family members with our constant request that they watch or select a card. They now do so without truly watching or memorizing the card selected. To the extent they do either – even if only to appease us – is a testament to their love for us.
We look forward to the end of this pandemic and pray for those fighting the virus regardless of their occupation but certainly including medical professionals and front-line workers.
One day we will be back to normal. Here’s to hoping we do not lose more of our fellow magicians, their family members, their community, our nation and the world.
We will work with our dedicated staff to update this site more frequently now that we have things to relate from The Magic Castle.
Here is to hoping you are all safe, staying safe, and will be with us on the other side of this horrible pandemic.
We thought our Bucket List was complete when we were admitted as a Magician Member of the Academy of Magical Arts and their wonderful clubhouse, The Magic Castle.
But we found more to add to the list we would like to do before we kick the bucket; or, more likely stumble over the bucket in our sleep.
How about a virtual tour of the Historic, L.A. Estate, Brookledge, featuring Penn & Teller, David Copperfield, Neil Patrick Harris, Dick Van Dyke, Paul Reubens & More?
The event is being presented by the the Jack Oakie and Victoria Horne Oakie Charitable Foundation on May 10th to benefit the Dai Vernon Foundation.
What is Brookledge? Why it is only the forerunner of the Magic Castle. The cost is $10 per ticket and that money will go to a very worthy cause in the Dai Vernon Foundation. The foundation is dedicated to providing financial aid to those pursuing an education; launching ambitious performances, researching or undertaking historical projects; and supporting those in difficult circumstances or suffering hardships. It also conducts community outreach via performances at hospitals and other charitable organizations. Over the years, the foundation has provided grants to hundreds of magicians, performers and employees in need, including 165 COVID relief grants over the past year.
As a former member of the Dai Vernon Foundation Board, we can testify that it is a worthy and incredibly dedicated organization that typifies the best in our Magical Arts.
The star-studded, virtual fundraiser, Brookledge Cares, will be held by the historic Brookledge estate, May 8 at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET.
This benefit will feature a who’s who of magic and Hollywood, including Neil Patrick Harris, Dick & Arlene Van Dyke, David Copperfield, Penn & Teller, Paul Reubens, Larry Wilmore, Jason Alexander, Michael Carbonaro & Peter Stickles, Puddles Pity Party and Moby. Special appearances by Rob Zabrecky, Marawa Wamp, Basil Twist & Ken Ard, Shoot Ogawa, Steven Banks, Aaron Grooves, Armen Ksajikian and more. Hosted by Two-Headed Dog (Jim Turner & Mark Fite) and Liberty Larsen.
The event will also offer a personal tour by Liberty Larsen, a rare glimpse into the location considered the “forerunner” to the AMA’s world-famous clubhouse, The Magic Castle, the historic Brookledge estate, owned by the Larsen family, founders of the Magic Castle.
Although on hiatus during the pandemic, The Brookledge Follies, an invitation-only, “contemporary Vaudeville,” variety-and-magic show, is performed once a month (April-November) in the estate’s small theater. The free show has become one of the hottest tickets in town and is frequently attended by such Hollywood elite as Sophia Vergara, Joe Manganiello, Ryan Gosling, Jason Alexander, Christina Hendricks, Jason Sudukis, Danny Elfman, Matthew Gubler, Randy Newman, Paul Reubens and director John Landis, to name a few.
That is precisely why it is on our Bucket List. We long to see it.
Launched with a bequest from the estate of renowned close-up magician Dai Vernon—the only magician to ever fool Harry Houdini—upon his death in 1992, the Dai Vernon Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, aides, elevates and recognizes practitioners and supporters of the art of magic at all levels and in all walks of life.
More information about the famous Brookledge estate:
The Magic Castle was founded by writer, actor, magician and entrepreneur Milt Larsen (formerly a writer for the 1956-77 television show Truth or Consequences); his late brother, Bill Larsen, Jr. (a former producer of the Danny Kaye and Jonathan Winters variety shows); and Bill’s wife, Irene, who remained the Castle’s ever-gracious hostess until her death in February 2016.
Members of the Larsen family have been performing magic continuously since the mid ’20s, with the fourth generation now on stage. Milt and Bill’s parents, Geraldine (“Geri”) and William Larsen, Sr., both performed as professional magicians and are noted pioneers in the art. Beginning during the Depression in the late ’30s (the Vaudeville era), the family—now including Bill, Jr., and Milt—began touring as the “Larsen Family of Magicians,” playing upscale, resort hotels in southern California.
A stage constructed at their historic Brookledge estate—built in 1933 in L.A.’s Hancock Park and purchased by the Larsens in 1942 from the founder of the Thayer Magic Company, which they also acquired—became an informal gathering place for the magic community of the day. Virtually every famous name in illusion visited and performed at the estate, often referred to as the “forerunner to the Magic Castle.” Retired from life on the road and managing the magic apparatus company, Bill, Sr., dreamed of opening an elegant, private clubhouse for magicians, but died at just 48.
In 2009, Erika Larsen (Bill, Jr.’s daughter), who resides at the estate, created The Brookledge Follies, a “contemporary Vaudeville” variety-and-magic show performed once a month (April-November) in the small theater, which holds just 60 people. Although currently on hiatus due to the COVID pandemic, attendance is by invitation only, but the free show has become one of the hottest tickets in town and is frequently attended by a who’s who of Hollywood like Moby, Sophia Vergara, Joe Manganiello, Ryan Gosling, Jason Alexander, Christina Hendricks, Matthew Gubler, Randy Newman, Paul Reubens and director John Landis, to name a few.
About her childhood, Erika recalls magic’s most famed faces around the Larsen home and laughs, “We did see the best of the best in magic, but I grew up in a bubble. My siblings and I just thought that’s what people did—Make things disappear and carry a deck of cards everywhere.”
The elder Larsens launched Genii magazine in 1952 (its circulation considered a loose affiliation of magicians that later became the AMA’s initial membership), which is the longest, continually published magic magazine in the world.
The Magic Castle was originally constructed as the Rollin B. Lane residence (a wealthy banker and his socialite wife), built among Los Angeles’ orange groves in 1909-10. Externally, the Gothic Renaissance chateau is the mirror image of the Kimberly Crest house and gardens in Redlands, Calif. The Hollywood mansion had fallen into disrepair by the late ’40s (even serving for a time as a boarding house). In 1962, Milt Larsen approached his brother about reviving their father’s dream of a private club for magicians and, after securing a lease from the owner of Hollywood’s Yamashiro restaurant (next door) with a handshake, began restoring the landmark mansion to its former opulence.
The Magic Castle intertwines illusion and mystery with the history of the Los Angeles area. Much of the ornate décor was rescued from the wrecking ball on construction sites or from Hollywood studio sets before being dumped into the trash (long before the practice of salvaging became chic). John Shrum, former art director for NBC and The Tonight ShowWith Johnny Carson, was also an avid Castle enthusiast. (Look for the famous talk show’s original “cityscape” backdrop in the Owl Bar.) Many other AMA members, also well positioned within the entertainment industry, have left their personal imprints on the Magic Castle as well.
We don’t know the order of your bucket list and are pretty sure we don’t want to know some of the must-do activities you’ve scheduled — that’s your business — but this evening should already be on it. This is truly an once in a lifetime chance to see a seldom seen birthplace of our beloved Magic Castle and help the incredible Dai Vernon Foundation.
We just heard some tasty news and thought we should share. Something we would never do with our desserts. To be clear: we’ll share news about desserts and meals but will not share desserts ever and meals only sometimes. In many ways we are like a dog. Kind and loveable and loyal but don’t mess with our food.
Especially now that the Magic Castle has a new Executive Chef, Alejandro (Alex) Arrieta,
who will begin Feb. 7.
Chef Arrieta comes to the Magic Castle from The Culver Hotel, Culver City, where he served as Executive Chef from July 2018 until accepting the position.
Joe Furlow, General Manager of the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA) and the Magic Castle said, “We are very excited to welcome Alex into the Academy family and look forward to sharing his spectacular culinary creations with our members and their guests.”
Chef Arrieta previously served as Executive Chef/Partner at The Hook and Plow, Hermosa Beach; Executive Chef of 208 Rodeo, Beverly Hills; Chef De Partie at The Bazaar by Jose Andres, Los Angeles; Chef De Partie at Bouchon Restaurant Thomas Keller, Los Angeles; Executive Sous Chef at Ocean Avenue Seafood, Santa Monica; and Sous Chef/Banquet Chef at Hotel Bel Air, Los Angeles. He has been working in Los Angeles since 2003.
Arrieta has been awarded a guest chef appearance at Lake Arrowhead Resort and Spa; developed new food concepts for the Radisson Hotel in Cancun, Mexico; and catered for such renowned companies as Louis Vuitton, Channel and Cartier. He had extensive knowledge of vegan and vegetarian menus, as well as items that are gluten free.
Originally from Bogota, Columbia, Arrieta spent much of his youth in Miami, Florida, where his father worked in the hotel industry. He began working at a hotel in the kitchen and immediately fell in love.
Over the years, he rose through the ranks, eventually relocating to Southern California, where he earned a Bachelor of Science/Culinary Management from the Art Institute of California.
Proof of his multi-talented skills is evidenced by his new show Robert Ramirez: The Musical Theater Magician live through Jan. 5, 2020, at Pittsburgh’s Downtown’s Liberty Magic.
By the way, Downtown’s Liberty Magic has a great website. We don’t normally comment on the quality of websites because we feel inadequate about the layout of InsideMagic.com — and we didn’t just mention InsideMagic.com to boost our position in Google ratings — and we didn’t just mention Google to associate Google and its Google Search Engine with InsideMagic.com. We were just making a point why we point out great websites when we see ’em and instantly compare them with our site dedicated to providing the latest magic news for the professional performer here on InsideMagic.com.
Mr. Ramirez’s musical abilities including the ability to play the piano and tap dance; plus perform magic tricks at a level that brings unsolicited praise from fellow magicians.
He became interested in our art when he was merely 8-years-old, after his parents divorced. He then branched into playing the flute, being involved in musical theater in high school and college and even took classes at the very prestigious L.A. based Upright Citizens Brigade. As if that wasn’t enough, he found time to promote creative writing for children in California’s elementary schools through a program called the Imagination Machine.
We would posit that this was sufficient; but no. He went on to star in the touring company of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights from 2011 to 2012.
Holy cow. We can only do magic and really only with cards and really only with cards that we have prepared before performing and really only with one type of a deck in one color and whilst seated and without any potential bad angles and with special sticky stuff on our fingers. Forget doing music or dancing.
Now here’s the strange part. Once he finished the tour, he found it tough to get auditions. He hit a dry spell — like our hands and that is why we need the sticky stuff on our fingers but he was using the term “dry spell” as a metaphor not a physical sign of aging and dry fingers.
“I had realized I’m going to have to create my own work if I want to get out of this little rut,” he says. “So I started doing more magic and I started doing weddings or I started doing strolling gigs when I could.”
He served as a magic consultant on “America’s Got Talent” and appeared at the world-famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles and the Chicago Magic Lounge. Soon his unique combination of skills brought him to the forefront.
“Now in the last two years, I got to a point where now I have to set time aside to do a theater show, do a musical, and then audition for that show,” he says.
Did we mention he also has a comedy background and uses comedy in his performance? We realize we shouldn’t ask readers to go back through this post to determine whether we mentioned it when we clearly could do it if our Tandy X1000 running WordStar 1.25 had an easy way to scroll back up.
“I don’t want to set that expectation because you may not get my brand of humor. Everybody loves magic, and there’s kind of not a ‘brand’ of magic. Either it’s going to feel whimsical and feel like magic or it’s not,” he says.
He is in to magic history and history in general “Magic’s been popular for hundreds of years,” he says. “I think, when all of these historical events were happening in the world, what was happening in magic?”
Following the lead of Lin-Manuel Miranda, who wrote the show, In The Heights, to construct a show that he wanted to see, Mr. Ramirez put together an act that he would want to attend. “Now all I do is I create magic that I want to see, something that I wish I was in the audience to laugh at.”
If you are in the Pittsburgh area, check out “Robert Ramirez: The Musical Theater Magician.” Various times. Now through Jan. 5. 811 Liberty Ave., Downtown. 412-456-6666 or www.trustarts.org
You’ll see it all in one place. Visit Mr. Ramirez’ website here.
We received a great note from award winning magician and great (and funny) guy, Shawn Farquhar. He wrote to tell us about his new 75 minute show (which is about an hour an 15 minutes if our Casio watch / Calculator is correct). Check out the very well-produced website here and visit this once in a lifetime experience with demonstrably one of the best in our humble art.
During the whole month of October I’ve opened a speakeasy style magic experience in a fake business front in Chinatown in Vancouver, Canada. If anyone is coming through Vancouver let me know.
Hidden Wonders is a speakeasy-style performance venue hidden behind a fake business facade in Vancouver’s Chinatown and is the brainchild of two-time world champion of magic, Shawn Farquhar. The idea is part of a new trend in magic entertainment that focuses less on grand-scale illusions and more on intimate experiences that leave the audience awestruck and moved. Similar venues can be found in such cities as New York, Chicago and San Diego where they have become hugely popular.
The seventy-five-minute magic experience will feature effects exclusively designed for the venue as well as several of the effects Shawn created to impress Ellen, win the world championship and to fool Vegas’s Penn & Teller twice on their hit television show Fool Us.
Editor’s note: If you were to ask, “Hey, what’s one of your greatest weaknesses?” We would respond that we are easily star-struck. Even at the Magic Castle or at magic conventions, we lack the ability to walk up to stars of our art and start a conversation.
We stumble, smile uncontrollably and remain mum. (Ironically, “Remain Mum” was the name of our script for an un-produced project about a mom who doesn’t change in any way but raises her children without incident, accident or trauma. The script ran 3 hours but needed no special effects budget so we thought it was a sure sale.
Hollywood, according to all the major studios, the indie studios and guys and gals that have access to the latest iPhones and apps to make movies, needs some kind of character development or “incident” or “something” to happen that affects someone in the script.
Examples given by the studios were: Rocky (he develops his body and fights someone and hits meat and gets a dog); Spider Man (he develops his super powers, fights people, eats meat and gets a girlfriend); Snow White (she develops friendships with dwarfs who own a diamond mine, eats an apple and gets married). The guy we approached who owns the iPhone and special app that lets him make movies cited Citizen Kane (he develops the power to name snow globes, makes a newspaper, eats meat and gets married). But that’s Hollywood.
We’re hoping someone will pick up the script or we’ll have to add meat eating and super powers. Mom could have web strands that catch meat and feed her dog with it). Our point — and this time we have one — is that we are so honored that Mr. Farquhar contacted us. We’ve met him on several occasions and each time acted like a statue.
We’re sure he was impressed by our inability to speak — even after we just performed our act in the basement of the Magic Castle where we speak a lot — and that’s why he wrote us. Plus, despite his fame, he is truly a nice person with talents that would be great for a movie script — assuming he eats meat and/or has a dog.