Category Archives: Magic and the Magic Castle

Posts about magic, other magicians, the Magic Castle and magic on the web.

Brookledge Follies almost there…


Brookledge

Broookledge

 

We are SOOOOOO close to reaching our goal!

THANK YOU to EVERYONE who has supported the Brookledge Follies by backing or boosting this project. I am deep touched by the outpouring of love, enthusiasm and encouragement. We have set the date for the Brookledge Theater Grand Re-Opening next year: May 17, 2014.

My goal is to have all of the work completed by May 8, 2014. That is the anniversary of my dad’s birthday, and this will be our gift to him… and to everyone who loves Brookledge. Thank you to all. Truly and deeply. xoxoxo

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1678855215/brookledge-follies-2014-season-and-beyond

— Erika Larsen

Should the Live Audience Stay Connected Online?


At the Magic Castle, it is well-known you can’t have your cell phone, i-pad or other devices on during a show. You cannot take photos or videos. No texting. These rules are posted at the front door, and repeated in each showroom at the beginning of each show. It is increasingly hard to enforce.

Do people in your audience stay connected to the internet during live performances?

Do you try to stop it? Encourage it? What do you think?

What is changing in live performance?

The Pop Haydn show in the Palace of Mystery at the Magic Castle last Spring tried a different tack:

We may be moving into an era when people are always with divided attention. In vaudeville, the audience talked, ate food, walked around, sometimes threw stuff. Our audiences may be more like that in the future, and less like the passive movie and television watchers…

Sometimes, people are tweeting to their friends what a great show they are watching.

People will be secretly videoing shows with their cameras–this will be streaming online at the same time.

It is a new world.

Are we planning for it?

What was a Shakespearean audience like? Quiet and respectful, you think? Or rowdy hecklers?

I don’t think this is going to change. The distracted audience–half here/half connected to the online world–is here to stay.

It is the new reality. People will not go to events where they must disconnect from the hive. Live entertainment may need to incorporate and accept the presence of distracted audiences.

We need to learn to deal with it and to use it. I think we ought to develop strategies to take advantage of it.

“Say something nice about us on Twitter!” “You can buy that right now at…” “If you were to Google magnetized water…”

Perhaps live shows need to find a way to incorporate the digital world, rather than trying to fight its encroachment.

We may be applying the standards of the second half of the twentieth century to the situation we are in here in the 21st.

Do we learn to take advantage of the new “expanded” live, or do we try to force a new and different audience into an old bottle?

If we want to reach the younger audience, we will have to bend to do it–I think they will not go to live entertainment if they have to cut their umbilical cord to the online.

I noticed that only a couple of people in each audience actually utilized their devices, but when we told the audience to light up their I-phones if they wanted, the reaction was almost always clearly pleasant and relieved. They get tired of being lectured and told to do things–especially at the Castle where they get it in every showroom.

What is the alternative?

Here Disney is using the Second Screen concept to give everyone in the theater an app that allows them to interact online during the movie.

http://movies.disney.com/the-little-mermaid/second-screen-live

What ways might we be able to use the internet to enhance our live performances?

The show has to be designed to accommodate this. You can’t do the same kind of things as you did in a darkened house. This really has to be a “second screen”–one that enhances the experience of the live show and extends it into the after show.

I think the idea of a passive audience, quietly sitting in the dark with their full attention on the stage is going to be more and more rare. It will be a special thing like Jazz or Opera–for a more disciplined audience. The world of live performance is going to increasingly be an interactive happening shared online in real time. We need to think of ways to adjust and benefit from these changes.

Using the internet, it is possible to enhance and enlarge our characters and backstories, connect with the audience in new ways, and even sell them stuff. We can hook them into our content-oriented websites, as a way of getting them to spend time with us, to want to come back and see more, and to want to come back and join us in a live show.

Live show business will be immersed in the online world. We should be looking for ways to take advantage of it, not shut it down.

Pop Haydn in the Parlor Halloween Week


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Pop Haydn performing in the Parlor of Prestidigitation at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Halloween Week, 2013.

Photos by Billy Baque. blog.baquephoto.com

Color-Changing Handkerchief


Pop Haydn performs the Color-Changing Handkerchief in the Parlor of Prestidigitation at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Halloween Week, 2013.

Photo and Video by Billy Baque, blog.baquephoto.com

 

David Regal and Pop Haydn in Half Moon Bay


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Magic Castle magicians David Regal and Pop Haydn performed together this past weekend in Half Moon Bay for a benefit for the Coastal Repertory Theatre. Steve Shufton was the emcee, and Bob Hartman opened each half of the show with a wonderful, highly original puppet show.

http://www.coastalrep.com

Photos by Billy Baque

http://blog.baquephoto.com

Three-Card Monte in Spanish


The School for Scoundrels has just made a deal with Dani DaOrtiz to have my book on Three Card Monte published in Spanish. “The School for Scoundrels Notes on Three-Card Monte” is the most thorough book on this scam, including its history, psychology, moves and ruses and application to magic.
3CardMonteSmall_Page_001
I am very excited!

 

Reviews of the book here:

http://www.chefanton.com/scoundrelsstore/tcm_wells.htm

http://www.chefanton.com/scoundrelsstore/tcm_reviews.htm

Pop Haydn in the Parlor of Prestidigitation


I will be performing the early shows in the Parlor of Prestidigitation at the Magic Castle in Hollywood all this week, beginning tonight. I have twice won performer of the year in this room.

Here is some video of a previous performance:

Conlin Collection Claims Forgery as Sphere of Destiny!


Cleopatra's Eye

Courtesy, Conlin Collection, Conlin Galleries

http://www.studentsocculthistory.com/sphere-of-destiny.html

This is a tissue of lies!

Don’t be deceived, folks! This is not the real Sphere of Destiny, and I can prove it!

I am in possession of the true Eye of Cleopatra. It has been under my protection for a long time.

One day I will tell the whole story–a story you won’t find in any history book!

Here is the one, true Sphere of Destiny, and the Conlin Collection is making a huge mistake not to listen to my offer…

Pop_Crystal_by_Billy_Baque

Pop Haydn with the Sphere of Destiny

 

More Info Here

The Teleportation Device — Pop Haydn in the Palace


Pop Haydn performs his original routine, the Teleportation Device in the Palace of Mystery at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.

http://www.pophaydn.com

The Amazing Miracle Oil — Pop Haydn


Pop Haydn pitches the Amazing Miracle Oil in the Palace of Mystery at the Magic Castle.

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