Admission to the Magic Castle?

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Postby tommykay » 06/02/08 02:01 AM

I'm in California on business. I was doing some card magic in a bar, and another magician told me that I was good enough to get into the Magic Castle. He said if you could impress the people at the door, you could get a table. Is this true or bull? Getting to Hollywood would be a big hassle if this is not true. If it is true, I have some stuff that floors my magic friends.

Tom
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Postby Steve Bryant » 06/02/08 09:28 AM

It's easy to floor your friends. But Max Maven, Jeff McBride, and Jonathan Levit will be waiting at the door. Not so easy to fool.
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Postby tommykay » 06/02/08 10:50 AM

That doesn't answer my question, does it?

Naturally, I wouldn't spend the day getting to Hollywood on the possibility my Scotch and Soda would impress Jeff McBride.

Again, is it true that excellent magical skills could get you a table for dinner?
Last edited by tommykay on 06/02/08 10:58 AM, edited 0 times in total.
Reason: second thought
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Postby Brian Morton » 06/02/08 10:55 AM

To the best of my knowledge (I was a non-resident member from 1996 to 2005), "impressing people at the door" has never been a qualification for simple entry. You need either an invite card from a member, a membership from one of the major magical organizations or accompany a member entering the club.

Becoming a magician member requires an audition, which occurs once a month.

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Postby tommykay » 06/02/08 11:03 AM

My IBM membership will do it? Cool. Thanks, Brian.

As an aside, what would membership cost? I didn't see details on their web site.
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Postby Dave V » 06/02/08 11:14 AM

If you don't live there you can apply for "Non Resident Member." No audition required as long as you have two endorsements from your local IBM Ring officers. I think one endorsement must be from a current AMA member but I'm not sure. The cost is somewhere around half the resident price, and since all dues are paid through one calendar year, it varies depending on what time of year you join. It's really quite reasonable. You should get the price list when you request an application.

If you go to the Castle with just your IBM card, call ahead first. You'll still have to buy dinner and pay the door charge.
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"
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Postby Steve Bryant » 06/02/08 12:19 PM

Tom,
I sent you the following private message at the same time I posted the gag response, but you apparently didn't see it. (Frankly, I'm not sure where it was to have appeared. The forum has been updated lately.) The message:

Hi, Tom. I couldn't resist the obvious joke. I've never heard of "auditioning" for a table. The best way is to simply ask a member for a guest card. The card explains all the rules (dress code, etc.), and it's also always advisable to have a reservation. A table might not be available if you just show up.
Later, use your magical skills to become an actual magician member, much cheaper than being a nonmagician member.

Good luck.

Steve (stevebryant99@gmail.com)

Back to real time: whatever it takes to get to Hollywood and get in, do it. You will love it. (Just be sure to have a res, wear coat and tie, and clear the admission requirement in advance.)
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Postby Dave V » 06/02/08 12:52 PM

Also, ask for an application at the door. Most members will be happy to sign your application for you while you're there.
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"
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Postby Brian Morton » 06/02/08 01:50 PM

Dave V wrote:If you don't live there you can apply for "Non Resident Member." No audition required as long as you have two endorsements from your local IBM Ring officers.


I had to audition, but then again, I happened to be in town on the day they were holding the auditions. (Andrew Goldenhersh was the guy who became a member right before me.) :)

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Postby tommykay » 06/03/08 02:26 AM

Thanks Brian, Dave and Steve. I didn't bring formal attire on this trip, but I will be prepared for my next visit.

I don't know why I didn't think of visiting the Magic Castle sooner. My whole life, I just assumed getting in was impossible for all but Johhny Carson, Orson Wells and Marshal Brodein.
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Postby MagicBilly » 06/03/08 02:54 PM

Tommy

There is a sizable initiation fee then reasonable yearly Non-Resident dues, I believe +/- $130/yr.

May I offer a consideration that you look at joining after the new year to avoid any possible, but from what I hear not likely, relocation surprises.

Apologies in advance to anyone who may find this "Anti-Castle" speak and want to draw and quarter me as I'm merely offering a practical perspective as I suspect you may not frequent the Castle enought this year to justify joining at this moment.
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Postby Dave V » 06/03/08 11:48 PM

Good idea (not the relocation thing, AMA's going to be around a while, even if the unspeakable happened and they had to find a new clubhouse)

I timed my joining with a flurry of business trips in the area to maximize my Castle experience. Joining when I had no intention of going seemed to be a waste of money. The sizable fee wasn't that bad either. I think it was somewhere around $250 or so, plus prorated dues through the end of the year. A simple call to the Castle will give you the exact amount for this year's dues.
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"
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Postby mai-ling » 06/04/08 07:51 AM

I was at one point thinking of getting a membership for
my dad but we never go to California. So I didn't see
the point.

The year my parents were asked to come out to perform for
"Its Magic" they turned it down...
(that was many many years ago, I probably was 2 and
beginning in the act).

Anyway, I was reading the requirements and such and
I thought to myself:

1. He's never been a member of any magic association.
Not even the IBM or SAM (probably the only one in his league).

2. He can't audition because he can't do magic any longer
because of the massive stroke he had almost 10 years ago.

So does one do?

Joining would be out of the question.
you will remember my name
http://www.mai-ling.net
world's youngest illusionista

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Postby Dave V » 06/04/08 04:53 PM

I'm sure there are plenty of Castle members who would be more than happy to endorse your father for membership. Even if he could audition, as a non-resident he wouldn't have to.
"I still play with a full deck, I just shuffle slower"
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Postby MagicBilly » 06/04/08 08:26 PM

Mai-Ling,

Given your father's history in magic, I suspect there would be no audition necessary. You may want to contact Milt Larsen about a possible membership. You may be pleased with the outcome.
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