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Topic: Magic Castle Audition
Message: Posted by: MagicMikeCat (Dec 14, 2017 06:38PM)
Hello - does anyone have information on applying to perform at the Magic Castle? I have sent a few e-mails just to inquire to the main Magic Castle Address and I get a reply that they are "forwarding it to the appropriate department" but never hear anything back. From what I can find, Jack Goldfinger is in charge of the talent, but cannot find a website or direct contact from him either. If anyone has direct contact information, please send me a private message. Thanks!!!
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Dec 15, 2017 08:37PM)
Check your PMs. Good luck.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Dec 23, 2017 10:39AM)
Seems they have changed their rules, and are a lot more selective now. I was a member for a number of years, having done a complete routine for them and completed all of the necessary forms and questionnaires. Due to illness, I dropped out for several years and, when I wanted to return, they wouldn't allow me to renew my membership...
Message: Posted by: BAGWIZ (May 28, 2018 12:56AM)
[quote]On Dec 23, 2017, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Seems they have changed their rules, and are a lot more selective now. I was a member for a number of years, having done a complete routine for them and completed all of the necessary forms and questionnaires. Due to illness, I dropped out for several years and, when I wanted to return, they wouldn't allow me to renew my membership... [/quote]

Same here. I joined the Castle in 1976, just after I turned 21. Charlie Miller happened to sit in on my audition, where I performed Vernonís ďSymphony of the Rings.Ē I passed the audition and was a member of the Castle for about 25 years, until it really started declining (after Bill Larson passed) and then I let my membership go. We moved away and just recently I inquired about re-joining. They said Iíd have to re-audition! Thatís total bulls**t! Iíve been doing magic both as an amateur and professionally for almost 50 years and I have to re-audition to prove Iím worthy to re-join a club I belonged to for decades and received literally thousands of dollars from me and my guests over the years? Thatís just plain absurd and insulting.

To hell with the Castle and their smug attitude. Then again, I suppose I should be grateful as theyíve saved me a lot of money in future dues.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 28, 2018 08:34AM)
Is it that much trouble to audition again?
Message: Posted by: danaruns (May 28, 2018 10:54AM)
[quote]On May 27, 2018, BAGWIZ wrote:
[quote]On Dec 23, 2017, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Seems they have changed their rules, and are a lot more selective now. I was a member for a number of years, having done a complete routine for them and completed all of the necessary forms and questionnaires. Due to illness, I dropped out for several years and, when I wanted to return, they wouldn't allow me to renew my membership... [/quote]

Same here. I joined the Castle in 1976, just after I turned 21. Charlie Miller happened to sit in on my audition, where I performed Vernonís ďSymphony of the Rings.Ē I passed the audition and was a member of the Castle for about 25 years, until it really started declining (after Bill Larson passed) and then I let my membership go. We moved away and just recently I inquired about re-joining. They said Iíd have to re-audition! Thatís total bulls**t! Iíve been doing magic both as an amateur and professionally for almost 50 years and I have to re-audition to prove Iím worthy to re-join a club I belonged to for decades and received literally thousands of dollars from me and my guests over the years? Thatís just plain absurd and insulting.

To hell with the Castle and their smug attitude. Then again, I suppose I should be grateful as theyíve saved me a lot of money in future dues. [/quote]

Smug attitude? Seems that might go to the one who thinks the rules shouldn't apply to him, and thinks they should waive their rules because he's special.

It's not just you, everyone who lets their membership lapse has to re-audition. The reasons have nothing to do with smug attitudes and everything to do with ensuring quality. You may be the most amazing magician ever, but others who let their memberships lapse for years might no longer be magicians and are just trying to game the system to get in. It may not be perfect, but the AMA needed a gatekeeping function, and this is what they thought was the most fair to everyone. You only need 15 minutes of material and to hang out one Monday night and show it to some wonderful fellow magicians. If that's too much of an insult to you, then we will just have to miss out on having you as a member. But some great magicians have gone through a second audition for membership lapse, and I suggest you put your ego aside and do what they did. You might enjoy being a member again. The place is rockin' these days,
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (May 28, 2018 01:44PM)
You don't have to be a member to perform at the Magic Castle. Membership requires an audition, but to be hired to perform, you need to send a video of your complete act to Jack Goldfinger care of the Magic Castle.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 28, 2018 01:53PM)
[quote]On May 28, 2018, danaruns wrote:
[quote]On May 27, 2018, BAGWIZ wrote:
[quote]On Dec 23, 2017, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Seems they have changed their rules, and are a lot more selective now. I was a member for a number of years, having done a complete routine for them and completed all of the necessary forms and questionnaires. Due to illness, I dropped out for several years and, when I wanted to return, they wouldn't allow me to renew my membership... [/quote]

Same here. I joined the Castle in 1976, just after I turned 21. Charlie Miller happened to sit in on my audition, where I performed Vernonís ďSymphony of the Rings.Ē I passed the audition and was a member of the Castle for about 25 years, until it really started declining (after Bill Larson passed) and then I let my membership go. We moved away and just recently I inquired about re-joining. They said Iíd have to re-audition! Thatís total bulls**t! Iíve been doing magic both as an amateur and professionally for almost 50 years and I have to re-audition to prove Iím worthy to re-join a club I belonged to for decades and received literally thousands of dollars from me and my guests over the years? Thatís just plain absurd and insulting.

To hell with the Castle and their smug attitude. Then again, I suppose I should be grateful as theyíve saved me a lot of money in future dues. [/quote]

Smug attitude? Seems that might go to the one who thinks the rules shouldn't apply to him, and thinks they should waive their rules because he's special.

It's not just you, everyone who lets their membership lapse has to re-audition. The reasons have nothing to do with smug attitudes and everything to do with ensuring quality. You may be the most amazing magician ever, but others who let their memberships lapse for years might no longer be magicians and are just trying to game the system to get in. It may not be perfect, but the AMA needed a gatekeeping function, and this is what they thought was the most fair to everyone. You only need 15 minutes of material and to hang out one Monday night and show it to some wonderful fellow magicians. If that's too much of an insult to you, then we will just have to miss out on having you as a member. But some great magicians have gone through a second audition for membership lapse, and I suggest you put your ego aside and do what they did. You might enjoy being a member again. The place is rockin' these days, [/quote]

I personally LIKE the attitude at the Castle. It creates a nice environment. You are right it is NOT smug. It is rockin'!
Message: Posted by: Pop Haydn (May 29, 2018 12:49AM)
BTW, when Charlotte and Jonathan Pendragon broke up and Jonathan wanted to work in the Palace, he had to give a video of his new solo act to Jack Goldfinger. He didn't mind at all.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (May 29, 2018 08:48AM)
We seem to have two different conversations going on simultaneously: one about performing (based on MagicMikeCat's OP) and one about re-auditioning for membership (based on My Mystoffolees' post).
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (May 29, 2018 08:57PM)
I simply thought the "smug attitude" comment was unfair in any context.

But I think you are right about 2 conversations.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Jul 12, 2018 07:59PM)
[quote]On May 28, 2018, Dannydoyle wrote:
Is it that much trouble to audition again? [/quote]

Well, when you live in Columbus, Ohio and the audition takes place in Los Angeles, California I concluded it was too expensive and time consuming to do over. I only got out to the Castle every few years. I will miss the association...
Message: Posted by: Mr. Mystoffelees (Jul 12, 2018 08:50PM)
[quote]On May 28, 2018, danaruns wrote:
[quote]On May 27, 2018, BAGWIZ wrote:
[quote]On Dec 23, 2017, Mr. Mystoffelees wrote:
Seems they have changed their rules, and are a lot more selective now. I was a member for a number of years, having done a complete routine for them and completed all of the necessary forms and questionnaires. Due to illness, I dropped out for several years and, when I wanted to return, they wouldn't allow me to renew my membership... [/quote]

Same here. I joined the Castle in 1976, just after I turned 21. Charlie Miller happened to sit in on my audition, where I performed Vernonís ďSymphony of the Rings.Ē I passed the audition and was a member of the Castle for about 25 years, until it really started declining (after Bill Larson passed) and then I let my membership go. We moved away and just recently I inquired about re-joining. They said Iíd have to re-audition! Thatís total bulls**t! Iíve been doing magic both as an amateur and professionally for almost 50 years and I have to re-audition to prove Iím worthy to re-join a club I belonged to for decades and received literally thousands of dollars from me and my guests over the years? Thatís just plain absurd and insulting.

To hell with the Castle and their smug attitude. Then again, I suppose I should be grateful as theyíve saved me a lot of money in future dues. [/quote]

Smug attitude? Seems that might go to the one who thinks the rules shouldn't apply to him, and thinks they should waive their rules because he's special.

It's not just you, everyone who lets their membership lapse has to re-audition. The reasons have nothing to do with smug attitudes and everything to do with ensuring quality. You may be the most amazing magician ever, but others who let their memberships lapse for years might no longer be magicians and are just trying to game the system to get in. It may not be perfect, but the AMA needed a gatekeeping function, and this is what they thought was the most fair to everyone. You only need 15 minutes of material and to hang out one Monday night and show it to some wonderful fellow magicians. If that's too much of an insult to you, then we will just have to miss out on having you as a member. But some great magicians have gone through a second audition for membership lapse, and I suggest you put your ego aside and do what they did. You might enjoy being a member again. The place is rockin' these days, [/quote]

First, I am glad to hear the "place is rockin'"- it has not always been so. Although I could get out to LA seldom, I made it a mission to go every few years, if only to support what looked at the time like a dying Magic Castle. Second, I do not understand your logic. Do you really believe that sending in dues every year keeps a magician in form? That MC membership is totally void of those who are "no longer magicians"? That hassling those few magicians who, perhaps for good reason, let membership lapse and now come hat in hand to re-connect is "gate-keeping"? Third, in my opinion "smug attitude" is spot on. "Smug" connotes an arbitrary lack of caring that hides under "rules" in situations where "noblesse oblige" would call for the consideration of accommodation. Last, I wish the Magic Castle, and every member, well! I am sad not to be with you...
Message: Posted by: diamondjack (Mar 24, 2019 09:51AM)
What are the rules as far as how much to show them during an audition? A few effects? A few sleights? An entire act?
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Mar 24, 2019 09:55PM)
[quote]On Mar 24, 2019, diamondjack wrote:
What are the rules as far as how much to show them during an audition? A few effects? A few sleights? An entire act? [/quote]

You should have 10-15 minutes of material. No self-working tricks, every trick needs to demonstrate sleights. But they are looking for more than technique, they want to see a magician, not a demonstration. You should not do all card magic, but should use a variety of props. They say they are not looking for an "act," just looking for proficiency. But I've seen people with very rudimentary skills pass when they had a well-developed character or an excellent presentation. And I've seen people with little performance ability pass if they have killer technique. Don't try to fool them. You won't. They've seen it all. They just want to see that you know what you're doing. Don't flash. Flashing will get you failed faster than anything. Don't do material that is at the edge of your skill set. Perform from the middle of your skill set, just make sure you are solid. They don't need to see your most difficult finger-flinging, they would rather see mastery of easier sleights.

You should also be able to talk to them about magic. You want to be knowledgable.

As a practical matter, I'd do your strongest trick first. If they like it well enough, they will stop you after the first trick, or as soon as they get a sense of your ability.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Mar 24, 2019 10:53PM)
I do remember my terrifying audition in front of many of my magical heroes and idols when I just turned 21. I was mainly a stage guy and didn't really do a close up act but brought some cards, coins and a silk and knew I could do as long as needed with these few items. Fortunately it was a packed night and I got about 40 seconds into my first routine and they stopped me and said, "You're fine", then asked me a few questions about what books I had read and passed me through. I'm sure it helped that Don Lawton had signed my application! Years later when I was actually on the audition committee, I realized that our job was to separate those who had a sincere and long term interest in magic from those who had just learned a few tricks to get out of paying for the Associate dues. The committee isn't looking for performing members, just those that have really been interested in magic over the years and care about the art.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Mar 25, 2019 03:09PM)
My audition was similar to yours. Terrifying, and done before many of my idols. Also, they blessedly stopped me after my first trick. And I, too, was asked about books I had in my library. Don Lawton wasn't around then, but Joan Lawton was nice enough to usher me through the process.

As it turned out, there was nothing at all to be nervous about, which everyone learns [i]after[/i] their auditions. :lol: