Dateline Hollywood. Yes, it is the Hollywood — the one of the films, the filmstars, the sunshine, the 'gorgeous people'. How did I get here? Easy. I took an aeroplane. The flight was bad, the film I am not too sure about because although I paid my 2 or 3 dollars to see it the sound didn't work too well so I never did find out what ninety five percent of the dialogue was about.
cThecP3ge boy~ spc&k§
On arrival I was met by one Mike Caldwell some of you may know him, some not but I do recall mentioning his wife in the early days of this column. Nancy wasn't there to meet me, she was at home cooking but Mike Caldwell was, and also Albert Goshman and Mike's sister Patti. Being somewhat shattered after my trip the first evening was spent in the Caldwell apartment which is a very simple word to something much more lush than you could ever imagine in London. (When I say lush I mean the apartment, not Mike).
The next day the Caldwells had planned for me; it was to be a simple, relaxed day with no visits to the Magic Castle etc. It turned out to be delightful. We visited a place called Knottsberry Farm which is a sort of Disneyland complex, which it actually predates. Although I have already said that Mike said we were not going to get involved in any magic of course he knew, as I didn't, that there were some magicians appearing at Knottsberry Farm. There are all kinds of shows going on with theatres and indoor arenas, too much to describe here so we will concentrate on the magical angle.
There were actually two acts appearing at the Farm and the first one we saw was a name completely new to me and he was a very pleasant surprise, a young man by the name of Carl Beck. I think he made five performances throughout the day, starting at about 11.30 in the morning with the last show about five or six o'clock in the afternoon. He is young, moustached, with longish hair and he dresses in black and white modern style cat suit. His act consisted entirely of a presentation of the Spirit Cabinet. It was the type of presentation we have seen many years ago by Virgil and Julie, Les Levante and his daughter Esme. On this occasion Carl was assisted, I think by a young lady called Francine who is the daughter of the late Willard who used to do a pretty big show with his daughter assisting him in many things, with the Spirit Cabinet being one of the more important items. She is a really beautiful girl. After the committee was invited on stage she was all tied up and secured with straps which were then nailed to a chair. All kinds of things happened — bells rang, tamborines rattled, discs were thrown out of the cabinet etc. It was a classical presentation of this effect, beautifully done and well worth a visit from anyone interested in the presentation of magic today.
After his show we sat around chatting and were joined by Ricky Dunn the pickpocket magician. Then came a surprise as I found that Carl Beck was to do another act no more than fortyfive minutes later. So we stayed where we were and caught the next show which was entirely different. This was an illusion show in which he was assisted again by Francine and two other beautiful young ladies. Again, the presentation, clothes and props were excellent. This act featured large illusions; Trunk Substitution, production of two leopards, transposition of a girl from one cage to another, a black panther appeared somewhere, Carl changed places with one of his girl assistants, and one or two minor things. A really excellent act, beautifully presented. As I have said before this young man is new to me but I am sure I will hear a lot more of him in the future. He is a full time professional performer and a real credit to the profession.
A couple of hours later, after eating and visiting the local magic shop (yes, there is a magic shop in Knottsberry Farm), we then moved over to still another theatre, this time an indoor one. Only one performer in this show, the aforementioned Ricky Dunn. In California at the moment the sun always seems to be shining and no-one wears a jacket, which if you think about it can be quite a problem for a pickpocket, and on this occasion it was. Ricky had several assistants up on stage and proceeded to perform Three Cards Across, Borrowed bill in the Lemon, a comedy presentation of an effect with a drink which is too good to give away. In the course of this he lifted wallets from hip pockets (because there were no jackets), took pens out of shirt pockets, and had everyones' wrist watches. It was not the easiest situation for a pickpocket to perform in but Ricky succeeded magnificently as only a true professional can. Again, a credit to the profession.
And so ended my first day in the city of Los Angeles.
Oops, I nearly forgot, we actually did finish up at the Magic Castle that night, very late, to meet Ricky Jay, which we did, but more about this next time.
Goodbye, Patrick Page richard chiswell
Was this article helpful?
Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.