The Magic Castle, and Why I Need Your Help

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Postby Max Maven » 09/07/01 09:48 PM

If you are not a member of the Magic Castle, you may not have any interest in this message (although you actually might). If you are a member, I hope you'll read on.

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Dear Magic Castle Member:

After a lot of serious thought, I have made the decision to run for the Board of Directors of the Academy of Magical Arts in the upcoming election.

I am running for a very simple reason: I love the Magic Castle.

My magic credentials are pretty well known (if you want to know more, you can read the bio on my website, www.maxmaven.com). As to my relationship with the Castle, in 1977 I made my first visit to Los Angeles in order to perform and lecture here, at the invitation of Bill Larsen. The following year, I moved from Boston to Hollywood, and became a member (#4333; my application was signed by Bill Larsen and Dai Vernon).

Over the years, I have been an active participant in the Castle community. I am the only person who has worked every formal performance location at the Castle (including being the "medium" for the Houdini Seance). I have been a consultant to several Board members, advised the bookers about talent, ghostwritten award plaques and other texts, and stepped in to help arbitrate disputes between performing members.

Frankly, I'd love to stick to this behind-the-scenes involvement. But I have concerns about the Castle's current direction, and there are things that need to be done.

Some years ago, the Magic Castle found itself in a financial situation so precarious that there was a real risk that it might have had to close down. Fortunately, several people with good business skills were able and willing to step in and help turn things around. As a result, the Castle is in great economic shape.

But what's not in good shape is the "soul" of the Magic Castle. Many members feel that they're being treated poorly -- that their experience is somehow less important than that of non-members who've bought dinner. Despite good intentions, the lines of communication between the members and the Board seem to have fallen apart. Many members feel that their interests and needs are being ignored. Things are out of balance, and I fear the Magic Castle is headed toward becoming a restaurant with magic as the decoration. The sense of the Castle as a community is being lost.

Please understand: I'm not opposed to televised football games, themed food specials, networking nights or golf tournaments. These are all valid attractions and worthwhile perks for interested members. But we've got to get our priorities in order, and it's as simple as this: Magic first.

We can make things better, but I need your help.

First, I ask for your support. If you agree that change is both necessary and possible, please give me your support. If you'd be willing to sign a form endorsing my candidacy, let me know how best to get it to you (via mail, e-mail, fax or in person).
I believe every vote does count, and I need yours.

Second, spread the word. Let other Castle members know that I'm running, and why.

Third, let me hear from you. My contact information is below. Please, tell me what you think about the future of the Magic Castle, and feel free to ask me any questions you may have regarding these goals.


Sincerely,

Max Maven

7095 Hollywood Blvd. #382
Hollywood, CA 90028-8903
tel: (323) 876-2896
fax: (323) 876-9547
MaxMaven@aol.com null
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Postby Jon Racherbaumer » 09/08/01 01:52 AM

Being a member of the Magic Castle with a vested interest in the preservation of the Magic Castle's soul and future, I'm delighted that Max Maven is running for office and is now willing to enter a political arena where his extensive knowledge, intellectual acumen, oratorical skills, and magic sensibility can be ACTIVELY applied to solving problems and preserving the original spirit and agenda of the Magic Castle. The resultant synergy would indeed be remarkable.

He has my vote.
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Postby Brian Marks » 09/08/01 02:10 AM

I am not a member of the castle and am not a big fan of the usual politics in such organizations. Max Maven mocked the magic world in a very funny speech and ask David Blaine the hard questions at Magic Live and still managed to be the hit of the show. This man deserves to be on the board and should get your vote.

!WOW! My first political endorsement. My mom is so proud.
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Postby Steve V » 09/08/01 03:00 AM

For what it is worth I would like to endorse Max in this effort. Max is a devoted student and teacher of magic as well as a premier performer and creator. He is intelligent and charming and I cannot see any reason why anyone would not want this fine gentleman on the board at the Castle.
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Postby Guest » 09/08/01 04:24 AM

I'll vote for you, even though I don't even have the skill to clean the toilets in the Magic Castle, much less be a member. And I know the weight that the support of a first year magician who has no connection in the professional communtity carries, so I think it's safe to break out the champange and start the celebration, as your victory is now assured. I would like to suggest that you add to your list of credentials that you can speak fluent Japanese (because anyone who is amercian that can speak that language fluently is badass), and the fact that Ron Jeremy may or may not be living in the same building as you. I think by making the Maven/Jeremy connection, you'll garner alot of sentimental support, because you know all these magic guys that never get out to meet girls because they are at home working on "Raise Rise" will be well acqainted with Ron's work, and feel that any friend of Ron's is a friend of theirs...)
Good luck....
(Also a good lecture topic might be "Mentalism Can Be Your Ticket To A Booty Call", which I also think would increase your popularity....just a thought....)
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Postby Rafael Benatar » 09/08/01 06:50 AM

As a regular performer at the Magic Castle, I'd like to unreservedly express my support for Max running for the Board for the right reasons.
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Postby Guest » 09/08/01 06:59 AM

You have my full support. Let me know how I can help.
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Postby Guest » 09/08/01 03:25 PM

Max, As a non-resident member, I am delighted to learn of your willingness to run for the Board. I have only been a member for the past 18 months, and can only expect to visit once or twice a year, but I joined mainly to support the sense of community and tradition that the Magic Castle has represented. While it is a wonderful place to visit, I have felt on my few visits that something has been lost - the soul, as you pointed out. I would be happy to sign your nominating form and to help in any other way, and will send you my contact information separately.

Thank you for being willing to do this.

Jay Burke
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Postby Guest » 09/10/01 01:01 AM

Max,

In your post you have put in a few simple words what I am sure that many, many members feel.
For whatever it is worth count me among your long list of supporters and endorsers.

Tim McDonald
R5127
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Postby Guest » 09/12/01 11:48 PM

When talking to older members it's always about the good ol' Dai Vernon days.
I've had a membership application collecting dust, you've given me a good reason to submit it.
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Postby Guest » 09/14/01 05:38 PM

You've hit the nail right on the head...As a member of the Castle you've got my vote.
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Postby Max Maven » 09/16/01 03:38 PM

I truly appreciate the positive comments.

Rick writes:
<< When talking to older members it's always about the good ol' Dai Vernon days.

Those were good days. And I believe that there can be good new days. But they're not going to happen unless we work to make positive changes.

I've been able to contact some of you via private e-mail, but in some cases the system has not allowed a message to go through. If you'd like to contact me about the Magic Castle, my e-mail address is maxmaven@aol.com
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Postby Guest » 09/18/01 12:04 AM

MAX-San
Your kindness and contribution made our magic seen in Japan a very pleasant and fruitful one.The magicians and non-resident members(including Ton Onosaka) in Japan will support you.
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Postby Max Maven » 09/18/01 07:47 AM

Tomo-chan:

Tetsudai-wa, kansha shimasu.

Saikin-de, Majikku Kyasseru-no tachiba-wa amari yoku dewanai, irona wagamama-no hitotachi desukara.

Honto-ni, boku-wa boodo ovu direkutaazu-no shigoto-ga hoshi dewanai. (Seiji-wo kirai desu, yo!) Shikashi, mondai desukara, ganbarimasu.

Nihon-no menbaa-wa, mina-san-no touyou-ga irimasu. Mina-san-ni setsumei [censored] kudasai.

Dewa mata,

Max
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Postby Steve Bryant » 09/18/01 09:20 PM

If that last message means you can "translate
the workings of Larry Jennings into Japanese," you have my vote.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/19/01 11:38 AM

Well, Max, shall we show off a little more?
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Postby Tom Stone » 09/19/01 02:24 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
Well, Max, shall we show off a little more?

So.. Max writing in japanese is more "showing off" than Tomo Maeda writing in english? :)
I think that both are just as impressing. However, it would be showing off if Max replies to this posting in swedish (and that's a challenge, Max!) ;)

I, and most magicians in Sweden, support Max in his effort to run for the Board of Directors of the Academy of Magical Arts.
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Postby Max Maven » 09/19/01 04:22 PM

Hej, Tom.

D och d, Richard be en ljlig och ohvlig man. Karakteristisk instllning: sprk + anstrngning = "showing off". Min kultur be envis och dum.

Vi ses,

Max
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Postby Tom Stone » 09/19/01 06:17 PM

Wow! Now I'm impressed!
You never fail to surprise me!

Vi ses,
Tom
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Postby Guest » 09/24/01 07:55 PM

Wow, this is so cool.

Mr Maven, how many language do you speak?
Do you speak Chinese or Indonesian as well?

After reading all the posts, I feel that the Magic Castle will be a great venue if Max Maven is going on board of direcor with his knowledge.
I am not a member but the all the posts and great possibility of Max Maven in the board of director make me want to be a member so eagerly.

I live in Australia and I don't have much experience, knowledge and skill in the art yet but I really love this art. Do you guys think it will be difficult for to be a member?

Good luck to Mr Maven on his campaign.

Best regards,

Adipoetra

[ September 24, 2001: Message edited by: Adipoetra Halim ]
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Postby Steve Bryant » 09/26/01 02:12 PM

The crack investigative reporters over at Little Egypt Magic have ferreted out the real reasons Max Maven is running for Magic Castle Board of Directors. Check Little Egypt Magic for details.
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Postby Geno Munari » 09/26/01 10:15 PM

You have got to read the ten top reasons that Max Maven is running for board member at the Magic Castle on Steve's Little Eygpt.

Even Max may agree.
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Postby Guest » 09/28/01 02:28 AM

Hi all,

Bravo Max! You have my vote, certainly. Anything I can do to help?

By the way, how do you feel about Hungarian? ;)
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Postby El Harvey Oswald » 06/06/12 11:19 AM

You have my vote. When is the election?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/06/12 01:03 PM

El-Harvey, the thread is from 2001. Max was elected to the Board of Trustees and still serves.

Or were you being facetious?
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Postby El Harvey Oswald » 06/06/12 02:06 PM

I was - though I had thought Max had been in an elected position at the Castle far longer, and I had no idea he had at least fleetingly run for the Board of Directors, which despite having more formal power is probably a less good fit for Max than the Board of Trustees In a relatively short time Max has progressed from this uncharacteristically deferential request for support back in 2001 to being, by far, the most authoritative presence on either board. I found this an interesting artifact. And because Max has been so prolific, there are thousands of similar points of information - ideal for the biography, probably two- or three-volume, that some publisher of books in the field should get behind. He's among the four or five most significant figures in magic or mentalism or whatever rubric he would put himself under.
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