Table Magician in the Close Up Gallery at The Magic Castle Hollywood
The Close Up Gallery was the first room I performed in back in 2003. It seats about 25 guests in raked seating, This is very helpful for a table magician as all those watching can see the table top.
After the fire, the seating was changed so there is now an aisle on each side which allows for standing room. This dramatically changes the atmosphere in the room. Most performances are full and when I played it again in 2014 the shows were livelier.
The close-up table can be removed if required but most performances are played from behind the table where the magician either seats or stands. There is also room for a volunteer or two to sit at the table with the magician.
The room has great character, with paintings covering the walls. If you look up while seated you can see caricatures of past performers on the ceiling above you.
Performances in this room last about fifteen minutes and are performed four times a night. As the room is situated at the entrance to the Castle these shows are often the first or last that guests see.
The turnaround is quick so it is important to be organised. Because the room is so intimate it is easy to be drawn into conversations at the end of a performance and forget about your reset.
When I first performed in the Close-up Gallery I was obviously nervous. Terry Seabrooke and Billy McCombe sat in the audience and watched as I went through my routines. With their help I learnt quickly and now feel I have a set which fits the environment very well.
Here is a video of my last visit to the Magic Castle
I was amazed at how much I enjoyed working in this intimate room. It really makes you concentrate on the magic. I found myself performing much stronger magic as a close-up magician than I had done in the Parlour of Prestidigitation or Bar.