Every time I step into the Magic Castle library and see the painting of Bill Larsen with the Magic Castle looming behind him and an issue of Genii Magazine before him, I rue the breakdown of this once-vital connection. I know so many people who eagerly followed the Magic Castle doings from afar through the pages of Genii, and who longed to be a part of it, and who now are a part of it. But now I'm afraid that the only things that magicians-at-large hear about the Castle are the political problems and head-butting and us vs. them troubles that spill onto the Genii Forum due to the heavy censorship currently in place over at yonder Castle Forum.
While it's true that these things are going on and that they're irksome, it is just as (if not more) true that those of us who are actively engaged in Magic Castle right here and right now are totally having a blast. There's been a real burst of creativity, and we're seeing people grow and bloom before our eyes. There's a fresh young batch of new enthusiasts who simply can't stay away - a huge group of new Castle Juniors this year. The neighborhood is full of magicians, and we run into each other all the time. Out-of-town magicians stay in the neighborhood too, and we run into them as well, and hang around with them, and go to Disneyland with them. We have brilliant minds such as David Minkin coming up with ingenious new ways to get good-paying magic work for all of us - allelujah, David - and the Magic Castle is a great place to congregate after our good-paying magic work. We have both old-timers and newcomers, and it is interesting and familiar and new every single night of the week.
So whatever happens - if politics and head-butting have the power to send a Magic Castle crashing to the ground - I am deeply, deeply glad and grateful to be participating in it today, and will remain glad and grateful for it, for as long as it may last.