May 4, 2024

Zach Waldman Appearing at The Magic Castle May 6th-12th 2024

I've been a member of the Magic Castle since 2001, and became a regular performer there in 2002.  I started out performing at the Hello, Dolly! bar, so named because it's the actual bar from the movie Hello, Dolly!

A lot of people don't remember this, but bar magic wasn't a regular part of The Magic Castle back in the day.  Legendary bar magician, and long-time friend of mine, Doc Eason, was scheduled to perform in the Close-Up Gallery.  This is the smallest of the three main theaters at The Castle.

Anyway, the Close-Up Gallery was being remodeled.  They had Doc perform in what was then called the museum.  That room is now the Hat & Hare, and is an off-the-cuff theater where magician members can perform for their guests.

After a few shows, Doc came up with the idea of performing behind the unused Hello, Dolly! bar.  After all, he's a bar magician.  What could be better than watching him perform in his element?  He approached management with the idea, they said yes, and it was a huge hit.

As a result, they started booking bar magicians to work there regularly.  At the time, I was a full-time bar and restaurant magician.  I performed behind the bar of a spot called 14 Below in Santa Monica.  I loved it there.  They had great live music, and many of the friends I have today are people I met while performing there.  After several years, 14 Below shut down, but the owner took over The Mint, which is an amazing venue.  If you love live music, definitely pay The Mint a visit.

When I first started performing at the Hello, Dolly! bar, I was rotated with great bar magicians such as Allan Hayden, Bob Sheets, JC Wagner, and others. Eventually, they stopped limiting the Hello Dolly! bar to bar magicians and it became more like an additional theater for many types of magicians. It's still unique in that you can order drinks throughout the show.  Also, the energy tends to be more on the fun/party side.  It's really great, and easy to miss.  You have to walk way to one side of the The Castle and then downstairs.  If you're visiting, just ask a host to show you the way.

This week, I'm returning to my favorite theater, the Close-Up Gallery.  I'll be performing May 6th-12th, 2024.  If you're reading this, I assume you know The Magic Castle is a private club.  If you're lucky enough to have a pass this week, come by and say hi!

About the Author

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Zach Waldman is an internationally renowned stand-up comedian and magician who specializes in providing customized entertainment for exclusive private parties and corporate events.

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