“For those who possess, the predisposition… I can teach you how to bewitch the mind and ensnare the senses. I can tell you how to bottle fame, brew glory, and even put a stopper in death” – Severus Snape. A wizard’s mere presence was mesmerizing. They were mysterious, with an allure to keep you quiet at their attention. They were unforgettable and would always be kept close to our hearts.
Before Hogwarts, I believed magic meant a show like EFX, a $45 million Las Vegas spectacular bringing the best illusions and special effects to a larger than life stage. Years later, I saw Penn & Teller and was left underwhelmed. I thought maybe magic was dying, or just the Vegas dazzle I was used to. Of course magic didn’t always have to be big and showy, but it definitely had to awaken something deep from within.
My friend decided to surprise me with a night of drinks and magic. I was beyond excited yet skeptical, not realizing the talent I was about to witness. Moments later, a bubble transformed into a crystal ball before my eyes – and just like that – I became a believer again. I didn’t need to understand the how or why but enjoyed being amazed, almost youthful. I sat at Magicopolis and watched large groups enter the lobby, and to my pleasant surprise realized I was very wrong. Magic still existed.
Chad, the bar keep at Magicopolis, demonstrated complicated magic, both clever and whimsical. I stared at the process, wide eyed, following every passing of hands only to find the card was in a completely different place, maybe in someone’s watch. Chad was a magician of 18 years, and it showed. Every few minutes he’d finish a trick and ever so nonchalantly ask, “Would you like another glass of wine?” For a second, I had forgotten he’s also a bartender. But how awesome is that?! A night of magic and wine? Could the world be more perfect?
A couple walked in who had come to Magicopolis on their first date and was now visiting on their one year anniversary. We all cheered for them and Chad again as he performed a series of magical treats for the guests of honor. Meanwhile, I started watching another magician doing what seemed like ordinary paperwork. Why? I didn’t know. I was just drawn without explanation. All of a sudden his pen cap disappeared, and then reappeared, only to take the pen with it. I guessed the pen didn’t really feel like doing paperwork. At 8:00 the Master Magician continued to the stage entrance to start his show, but we were enjoying the intimate casual experience with Chad, being up so close to mystic illusions.
At the end of the night, Chad asked our party to sign a card, any card. He threw the card at the ceiling, which stuck tight. “This building is a historical landmark,” he said. “Your mark could possibly stay here forever.” I liked that idea, being a small part of this place, even though I would have rather been a literal fly on the wall, any wall. This short experience had left an impression on me, and I was looking forward to checking in on our card from time to time.
I probably walked past this Santa Monica building a hundred times, but began to see it in a completely different rose-colored light. Not only was the talent found here amazing but the passion was contagious. I saw two people tonight who were truly born to do what they do. Without a doubt, I understood they lived and breathed magic every day with inspiring dedication. I would definitely be back, as they had ruined bars for me forever. I doubt I’d be able to walk into another bar and leave with the same satisfaction.
© Faith’s True Tales 2016. All original words and pictures by Faith Brady and friends.