Let’s just say I was very skeptical that the elusive Magic Castle would shock and awe me the first time I heard about this lavish property. After being told that a cocktail/suit-and-tie-status dress code was enforced to enter this private club, I put on my fanciest ensemble and dolled myself up.
Feeling like a million bucks, I was sort of getting excited to see what all the fuss was about. After all, to get into the Magic Castle, is no easy task. A person needs to become a member of The Academy of Magical Arts, sign up for magic classes, be invited by a member, stay at the elegant hotel or make a reservation to dine in the Castle’s restaurant.
The Magic Castle in all its glory. (Courtesy of Magic Castle)
Driving up to the Magic Castle, which looks like a Victorian mansion, I felt the excitement building up, which I did not admit to my friend whom I brought along with me and is even more of a skeptic than I am. We pull up to the valet and are met by magician Shane Cobalt. I was thrilled to see he looked like a normal young guy, wearing a nice suit that didn’t have a cape attached.
In fact, I would later learn that Shane is one of the best sleight-of-hand magicians in Los Angeles. I figured with him as our host, I had the best possible chance of finding my love for the supernatural.
The interior of the lavish Victorian mansion. (Courtesy of the Magic Castle)
With our guide by our side, we walked into the lobby and over to an owl on a bookshelf. We are then asked to say a magic word. “Wah lah,” I say and the bookshelf instantly moves to the side allowing us in. The secret passageway opens into a dimly lit bar that is packed with attractive people dressed to the nines.
In a matter of seconds, it seems that we are transported to another era. We are officially in a world of wonder, where the eyes of portraits follow you, a ghost named “Irma” plays songs you request on a piano, a séance with Houdini could be had and magical acts are around every corner of the 26,000-square-foot labyrinth.
The Magic Castle will question your sanity. (Courtesy of Magic Castle)
Fueled by a stiff, old-fashioned drink from the handsome man working the bar, I realize this place may be right for me after all because there are two things I admire in this world: a good looking man and a well-made cocktail. Feeling good, we embark on what turned out to be three hours of non-stop inspiring magic. From having my mind read, to watching my drivers’ license fly around the room out of nowhere, I saw things that I literally couldn’t explain. These pros aren’t just pulling different colored handkerchiefs tied together from their pockets, they are creating illusions that make you question the bounds of nature and your sanity.
Attendees can even wine and dine inside the swanky spot. (Courtesy of Magic Castle)
Overall, I won’t be dropping my day job and running off to magician school any day soon, but I can say that magic—when done right—in a swag, private Victorian mansion in Hollywood, may make you a believer—at least for the duration of your stay.