Meritocracy: BioVlog 89 of 384

The inner circle of magic experts – and particularly playing card specialists – is truly a meritocracy. To gain entry, you must be an established expert or at least demonstrate that you have the “right stuff” to become one. The next hurdle (which is much harder) is getting an invitation to be assessed and accepted by the experts. 

The timing is perfect. While living at Bobby Yerkes’ home near Hollywood in June of 1975, I hit the minimum drinking age of 21, and J. C. Wagner invites me to visit the Magic Castle in Hollywood to meet Dai Vernon. 

The phone rings and Yerkes says, “Rick, it’s for you.”

“Richard,” Wagner says relieved that he reached me, “I forgot to mention that to get into the Castle you must have your ID proving that you are 21, and they won’t let you in unless you’re wearing a coat with a tie. I can’t stress this enough, there’s no getting in without a suit with a tie!” 

“That’s just great,” I think in a panic. This is a big problem. It’s the night before I’m going to the Magic Castle, and now I find out I need a coat and tie to get in! However, I’m not about to miss a chance to meet The Professor himself.

I tell Wagner, alarmed and in a panic, “Don’t worry…I’ll be there wearing one.”

The man who Fooled Houdini