The Magic Castle is a national treasure, but let's just say you have to know the secret password to get in. Perched on a steep hill in the Hollywood Heights, this quirky château is a legendary entertainment venue, restaurant and private club for professional magicians and enthusiasts from around the world. But this isn't the kind of country club where you'll find a manicured golf course and afternoon tea service. It’s a topsy turvy labyrinth of unique performance spaces and perhaps most notably, home to The Academy of Magical Arts, which is a nonprofit devoted to the promotion and development of the art of magic.
This whole thing might sound a little strange to the uninitiated, but my friend Siegfried Tieber, who is a magician and performer, said it best. “Magic is an art form.” And until that very moment, I had never thought of magic as anything other than silly entertainment at a children’s party when in reality, it is a sophisticated and little-known branch of the performing arts.
Look at it this way. Every artist has their medium. Picasso had paint. Grace Kelly had film. Beyoncé has Beyoncé. Siegfried has a deck of cards. And ordinary objects like coins, cash and keys. Anyways, this conversation with Siegfried completely changed my understanding and appreciation of magic as an art form and now I've seen more than 150 magicians sharing their art at different venues around in Los Angeles. When he's not performing at The Magic Castle, Siegfried partners with my favorite travel experience company, Atlas Obscura on his new solo show, Red Thread.
Siegfried was kind enough to take Josh and I to The Magic Castle as his guests a few years ago and since then, I’ve had the opportunity to come back five or six other times. So while I’m not a magician mys