As a Los Angeles Magician, What’s It Like To Perform for Celebrities?
The hostess said “And please give a round of applause as we welcome Rmax Goodwin,” and I appeared from behind the curtain of the Close Up Gallery of the Magic Castle in Los Angeles to see in the middle of the audience Urkel, from Family Matters. He was the nerdy guy. Now, Jaleel White, the actor, is of course all grown up and as I’m performing I’m trying to place his face and name. Though I was 16 or 17 at the time, I had performed the act so many times in that room that while performing I could have a full conversation in my head about what was going on. This time the conversation was “I know him, who is this guy, he’s not a friend who’s name I can’t remember, I know he’s famous, I don’t want to make it awkward, so maybe I shouldn’t call on him.” Finally, I did place him, not that it mattered, but the conversation in my head was over.
The Magic Castle is a big draw for celebrities, in part because photography is prohibited within and they appreciate the privacy. I didn’t actually have too many run-ins with celebrities there, but since starting to perform at private events, I’ve been hired to perform for many celebrities from Barbra Streisand and Lionel Richie to Anna Kendrick and Demi Lovato. They’ve all been incredibly gracious and as far as I could tell, they loved the magic and mentalism. Some have hired me to perform at multiple functions, so I’ve felt a bit more comfortable with them, but all in all I do still pinch myself every time I perform for a big celebrity. For some, I’ve been fortunate enough to perform one on one or one on four, in incredibly intimate environments and I’m guessing things about them that presumably they and only they know. I do this with all my spectators, but with celebrities, their stardom brings to the fore the privacy of the thoughts being read. It’s completely humbling to think that they’ve specifically asked that I be their entertainment when surely they could hire any magician in the world.
Non-Disclosure Agreements are common, so I’m not at liberty to say or name much more—not that there’s anything incriminating to say anyway—but they also limit me from asking for photos, which, at a private event, would be unbecoming anyway.
I’m looking forward to the next party…