Whether it’s a rabbit being pulled out of a hat, a comedic duo turning a woman into a white tiger or a man levitating above a building, magic has inspired wonderment and awe for generations.
To see a magic performance, typically the neon glow of Vegas or the Hey-Do-You-Know-Someone exclusive nature of the Magic Castle comes to mind. However, this weekend, the sun-drenched streets of Santa Monica gets their own magic show.
Next Gen Magic Show will make its debut at the Edgemar Center August 11, showcasing several up-and-coming magicians honing their illusionary craft. All proceeds of the show will benefit nonprofit Best Buddies, a nonprofit that provides friendship and job opportunities for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Magicians in the show are under 21 and study at the Academy of Magical Arts’ junior program at the Magic Castle.
“We felt the public wasn’t getting to see a lot of the magic,” Dylan Wilson, one of the young magicians slated to perform at the event, said. “Magic Castle is a special place, but it’s so exclusive. Some people can get passes easily, but I thought it’d be cool to bring this to Santa Monica, do something for charity, and see if people enjoy it.”
Wilson, 17, says he and his fellow magicians helped to organize the show primarily to bring wonder and awe back to audiences.
He and his magic mates say they’ve seen a spike in applications at the Magic Castle junior program, saying they believe the increase in young magicians comes from a youthful generation wanting to stray from a social media dominated generation.
“This ancient art form provides a way for people to interact without technology and helps them experience wonder,” he said, “which is powerful in a world where everything can be Googled and explained.”
For those who can’t wave a wand to make their anxiety disappear in regards to worrying about the quality of magic from a group of magicians who can’t walk into a bar, no need to fret– Wilson says the process to join the Magic Castle junior program is a rigorous one, ensuring their skills are up to snuff.
In the tryout phase of the youth program, young magicians are to perform a 5-minute routine in front a room full of Magic Castle hopefuls as well as established magicians, about 50 people in the room watching. Once admitted to the program, the wet-behind-the-ear warlocks must master a 20-minute routine to be performed at the Castle’s brunch program, providing them invaluable experience with crowds that come to expect mistake-free entertainment.
Wilson says he wants as many people that can fit in the Edgemar to attend, especially anyone “numb to bewilderment”. If all goes well, he says the event may become annual.
While the rising stars are planning to “leave you speechless by the time you exit the theater”, Wilson says the evening is about bringing their love of theatricality to the community.
“We’ve only been [performing magic] for so long, but we wanna share our passion for showmanship and magic. We wanna share that with Santa Monica and friends.”
Next Gen Magic Show will be at the Edgemar Center, 2437 Main Street #B, August 11, Saturday. The show will be performed at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10.