Norvil at The Magic Castle

In a neighbourhood where the main export is its colourful characters, it fits that my character Norvil hit Hollywood for a week to share his whimsical magic act at the world famous Magic Castle. For those not in the know, The Magic Castle is a legendary magic hotspot and members-only night club at the foot of the Hollywood hills. Every week of the year a new gaggle of magicians (someone please tell me in the comments below what’s the collective noun for magicians) descends on the place to perform in the Magic Castle’s assortment of quirky bars, lounges and theatres all dedicated to live magic performance.  In fact, in the theatre right next to mine in the Castle, my friend Romany was performing[…]

What do Lady Gaga, a string of Broadway musicals and Harry Potter all have in common? The answer is magic consultant Paul Kieve. He’s accumulated an impressive list of projects he’s consulted for, adding magic to shows that tell stories. I did a degree in theatre and I’ve always been interested in storytelling. So what Paul does using magic to help tell stories I’ve always thought is some of the most magical magic out there. I sat down with Paul a few months ago over coffee to chat about these things and have finally managed to get it in writing. Here I am with Paul talking about how magicians can better connect with their audiences, the ‘problem’ of the magician’s ego,[…]

My alarm went off and my eyes shot open looking toward the ceiling. It was the morning of Day Two of my most recent clown training workshop and I felt muscles used from the day before that I never knew I even had. My brain was fried as well – maybe just from being repeatedly catapulted out of my comfort zone for a continuous five hours the day before (sometimes to land with a splat!) Clowning can be many things but if you’ve never thought much about it, it’s probably not what you think it is. And I definitely had no idea what I was in for… BANANA PEEL IN POSITION: ENTER THE CLOWN STAGE RIGHT One sweltering summer’s day[…]

In great films there must be a reason why we get sucked in to caring for something even as implausible as, for example, a boy called Elliott who befriends an alien. It’s probably the same reason why we can’t stop watching a TV series about a charismatic and ruthless couple hell-bent on becoming the U.S. president and first lady, crushing anyone who stands in their way. I’d think it’s also the reason why one woman can convincingly swing between playing Margaret Thatcher in one film, a contemporary New Yorker lost in the musings of Victoria Woolf in another, and yet transform herself into Julia Child in the next. Why all this has been on my mind is another story though… You[…]