How it all started... Part 2: Frightful Illusion

He turned around. Walked back to my window and knocked for me to open…

As the title “C’est magique!” suggests, having magic was a critical for the movie. We had initially cast a real magician, but ended up losing him when he booked a show. We now had two days to figure out how to perform a levitation trick! We visited another magician who told us that what we wanted to accomplish was impossible in this amount of time and the theater space we had booked. You'd think that would demoralize me, but there’s nothing in the world that creates more stir in me than someone telling me I can’t do it. Nayda and I visited studios, set designers and builders. They were thrilled with the idea and very helpful. But again, they all needed more time (and money). Besides the inevitable movie magic that happens on set when all stars align, we needed REAL MAGIC. And we needed it fast.

Magic was indeed everywhere... I had run out of magicians to call when Tony, Nayda and I saw an SUV with the license plate “MAGIC” on our prep day. I called "Mr. Magic” and he was also booked on a gig. But he referred me to another magician friend. 

This man sold me his solution to my problem: an old birthday party levitation table. The max weight allowed on it was 110 pounds. I could control that. :-) What I did not foresee were the conditions under which I’d have to pick up said table.

The night before our first shoot day, it was 8 pm when I finally left Los Angeles for my three hour drive up north to set. Tony was still picking up equipment, and Nayda was still finishing her shot list. I was meeting a stranger at an address two and a half hours away. And it was pouring rain. I could barely see through my windshield. When I arrived at the address, close to midnight, I was shocked to be in front of a gated and unlit outdoor storage yard… I called the magician, and through the storm and my headlights, he appeared out of nowhere to open the gate. He motioned for me to drive inside, and he locked the gate behind me. Now I felt uneasy. There were no other lights but my headlights, and I had no way out of this metal storage maze. I followed him through the maze when he stopped, and motioned for me to open my window. “Go ahead and shut your engine off but keep your headlights on. There’s no light. I'm going to open the storage unit. Meet me inside.”

I got out of the car, but waited outside under the pouring rain. He uncovered what looked like a dark table, and he repeated again: “Come inside and get on top! Let me show you how this works.” 

I answered: “That’s alright! I can see it from here.” ;-)

He mumbled something about a few things that were broken… But honestly I was so eager to get back in the car, and drive off with the levitation table, I didn’t care. He counted my twenties, helped me load the table, and I was off. He told me to follow him out of the yard. I thought I was home free, when he stopped. He turned around. Walked back to my window and knocked for me to open… I barely cracked it, letting the rain pour inside. 

“I forgot to tell you: don’t forget to play music when you perform!”