Membership Has Its’ Privileges.

Last night I was lucky enough to go to The Magic Castle.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s an invitation only experience where one goes to have dinner and see some magic.  It’s also a club, and only magicians can become members.  We went as “guests” – ate, saw some magic, drank some wine, and had an all-around awesome time.  

It got me thinking about subcultures.  Magicians are definitely a weird, exclusive group of people, and I mean that in the best way possible.  Photographers are weird, too.  Going to The Magic Castle got me thinking about just how many subcultures there are in the world, and how one means very little to someone who’s invested in another.  I couldn’t name five contemporary magicians right now if my life depended on it, and I’m gonna venture to say that most magicians would say the same about photographers.  However, what we have in common is the obsessive and complete way our passion takes over our lives.

I just finished reading Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, and found the same to be true of chefs, or at least that’s one of the points Bourdain really drives home – that chefs are a weird group of people that mostly relate only to each other.  They have a hard time dealing with life and people outside of the kitchen.  I don’t think his wife is a chef, so obviously there are some exceptions to the rule, but I think what he’s saying is that no one truly understands what chefs go through day to day unless you are one.

I could definitely say the same regarding making a living as a photographer.  No one really gets what it’s like unless they are doing it or have done it.  Now, the husband is not a photographer.  He’s not even in the photo industry, but he appreciates photography and is extremely creative.  We can talk about photo stuff, what happened on a shoot, pictures of mine he likes or dislikes, new equipment I can’t afford, etc.  Though there’s usually a limit to how much nerd talk he can deal with which is completely understandable.  I, however, could go on forever.

Thank you again Ruben for a magical evening…

5 comments to Membership Has Its’ Privileges.

  • max s. gerber

    like all photographers these days, i tend to get a lot of assignments to photograph middle aged white guys in suits in conference rooms. one of these guys a couple years ago (a lawyer) also happened to be a magician, and gave me passes to the magic castle. it was awesome (even if the steak wasn’t so hot and a bit overpriced). i hope you got to see the close-up magic show, because that really seems to be the most impressive. also, less sequined shirts and fake saws in those acts. it’s impressive. most things i’m able to do with cards only result in me losing money.

    i heard there was talk of the owner selling the magic castle, and then there was talk of it being torn down, and then not – what gives?

  • Emily Shur

    I totally agree with you about the food. I had a lackluster, Olive Garden caliber seafood linguine. Oh well…I guess people don’t go for the food…

  • nina

    i love nerd talk. i miss the 8th floor –those were good times: peers and nerd talk all day long :)
    I to prefer not to function or do not 01function so well outside ‘my kitchen’….

  • drew

    the whole magic castle things really reminds me of Gob in arrested development, with his whole magicians alliance and Poof magazine.

  • Terence Patrick

    My GF is a lawyer, so when she’s together with all her lawyer friends, I’m completely lost and bored to tears. I on the other hand, don’t seem to have that many photo friends except a couple of former fellow assistants I occasionally run into at Samy’s. Where do all the other photographers in LA hang out? ASMP meetings? :P