I performed pre and post-show for guests in the back of the room, as is my specialty. Throughout the night, people would gather around as I performed a set of four, two-minute stage tricks. As the evening wore on, individuals would also stop by to see me perform, saying they had heard about the Suitcase of Wonders by word of mouth. In all, I think I performed close to two hours; It was exhausting but thrilling!
The response to the act was very positive, and Mr. Zabrecky had some kind words, saying it was a “big hit.” I felt the same way, although at the start I was nervous, especially when my very first trick was performed with the legendary Max Maven watching. Of course, I fumbled it a bit in the beginning, but I recovered and finished the trick. From then on there were only a few minor problems. Later in the evening, a magician told me that I was one of many who had fallen to the “Max Maven Curse,” whereby magicians who perform for him tend to screw up. Ha!
After Mr. Zabrecky told me I could wind it up for the evening, he graciously took me on a tour of the Castle. This was the first time I had been to the Magic Castle, a place Mr. Zabrecky called his second home. It was dream-like as he showed me all the various rooms throughout the building. In one ornately decorated and cozy room adjacent to a bar, was the famous player piano haunted by the ghost of “Irma.” As guests lounged, the piano took requests and played them instantly. One young fellow shouted, “play somethiing by R.Kelly!” and the piano did, without hesitation. Later, a slightly tipsy elderly gentleman requested the Armenian national anthem, of which Irma played obediently as the man solemnly held his hand over his heart.
Another highlight of the evening was meeting Thomas Kuntz, the famous automata artist, who had two of his creations on display in a room adjacent to the Inner Circle. His magnificent and eerie “Soothsayer” told my fortune as it whirred and clicked through it’s finely articulated motions. Another automaton had part of its interior visible, so you could see all the hand-crafted brass gears, pulleys, and cams in action.
Finally, some appreciative comments: I would like to thank Rob Zabrecky for inviting me to perform at this event. I would also like to thank Mr. Zabrecky’s wife, Tommi, for making me feel welcome at the Castle. Thank you to BJ Rubin and Martha, for putting me up in their home, and thank you to Arlene Deradoorian, who helped me with a nice breathing exercise. Lastly, thank you to Derek DelGaudio, who seven months ago enthusiastically mentioned that Rob Zabrecky would like my act, thereby setting in motion the events that would lead up this performance at the Magic Castle.