Page 9 - Celebrity Facts

Neil Patrick Harris is the president of an exclusive formal clubhouse: The Magic Castle. Learn more

Aspiring magicians and fans of Neil Patrick Harris, prepare to swoon, there's a hotspot in Hollywood, California that exists just for you. The Magic Castle is for magicians and magic enthusiasts who want to hang out at "the most unusual private club in the world."

Access is only granted to members and their guests, though the public can get a 30-day free trial by saying "Open Sesame" at the door. Formal attire is strictly enforced, with men wearing a coat and tie and women wearing a dress or skirt.

It's also the exclusive clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts that formed in 1962 as a non-profit organization devoted to promoting and developing the art of magic. They provide six week courses to teach basic skills needed in magic acts. Those that pass have the option of becoming an official member.

But what does the fantastic and universally loved NPH have to do with it? Turns out he's one of the biggest magic buffs around, and president of the group. Along with leading the Academy of Magical Arts, he also performs as a magic hobbyist. There have been many celebrity performers, including Johnny Carson, Steve Martin, and Jason Alexander.

The Magic Castle has been a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument since 1989.


Rod Serling, creator of The Twilight Zone, couldn't shut up as a child!

Rod Serling was an American screenwriter, playwright, television producer and narrator who was best known for his live television dramas of the 1950's and his science fiction TV series, The Twilight Zone.

He helped form current television industry standards. He was known as the 'angry young man' of Hollywood and often clashed with television executives and sponsors over various issues like censorship, racism, and war.

Gene Roddenberry has this to say about Rod Serling: "No one could know Serling, or view or read his work, without recognizing his deep affection for humanity... And his determination to enlarge our horizons by giving us a better understanding of ourselves."

When Rod was a youngster, his dad, Sam Serling, built a small stage in their basement where Rod often put on plays. He could entertain himself for hours by acting out dialogue from movies he'd seen. Once, on a two hour-long trip from Binghamton to Syracuse, Rod's family remained silent and did not say a word to see if Rod would notice. He didn't and talked non-stop through the entire trip!

His seventh grade English teacher, Helen Foley, realized he has potential and encouraged him to enter the school's public speaking extracurricular. Rod joined the debate team and was a speaker at his high school graduation.


Quentin Tarantino's movie 'Reservoir Dogs' got its title from a French mistranslation!

The film 'Reservoir Dogs' is seen as an important and highly-influential milestone of independent film making. Empire magazine named it the "Greatest Independent Film ever made". Quentin Tarantino originally planned to shoot the film with his friends on a shoestring budget of only $30,000, in a 16 mm format.

He was working in a video store in Manhattan Beach, California when he planned the making of 'Reservoir Dogs'. The title for the film came from a patron at the video store. Tarantino would often recommend little-known titles to customers, and when he suggested 'Au revoir les enfants', the patron replied, "I don't want to see no reservoir dogs!"

Lawrence Bender was going to double up as producer and an actor, playing a police officer chasing Mr Pink. Harvey Keitel became involved and agreed to act in the film and co-produce. With Keitel involved, Tarantino was able to raise $1.5 million to make the film.

'Reservoir Dogs' opened in 19 theaters and brought in $147,839 within the first week of showing in the United States. After a very successful run in Britain, the film was shown at the Sundance Film Festival. It was a ground breaking film that has inspired many other independent films. It has since played the key role in the development of independent cinema.


Some awesome lists!

Normally Bill Murray does movies, but he randomly did an archeology trip (and not for movie research)

Almost as famous for his random public appearances crashing parties and serving up drinks behind the bar as he is for his movies, Academy Award nominee and veteran actor Bill Murray can now add archeologist to his resume.

Working with a team of experts and alongside students from New York University, Murray channeled his inner Indiana Jones and spent a week in 2006 on the ancient island of Yeronisos off the western coast of Cyprus.

The island, believed to have been occupied during Cleopatra's reign and remaining untouched for centuries, has been the site of excavations since the early 1980s. Remains including coins, glass, and pots etched in Greek script correspond with Egypt's governing control of Cyprus during this time. The remains of a massive structure with an inscription mentioning the god Apollo suggests that this was a place of sanctuary, giving the island the ancient name of "Sacred Island."

Founded in 1992, the Yeronisos Island Expedition's Exec-U-Dig program invites anyone from doctors to soccer moms to actors to join in their digs – for a donation of $10,000.

Why did Murray choose to step into the past and get his hands dirty with the excavation team? For the same reason he does anything: because he felt like it.


'...Baby One More Time' Was Originally Written for TLC!

Britney Spears might owe her stardom to TLC, the girl group that rocked the airwaves with their blend of R&B and hip hop in the 90s and early 2000s. Spear's breakout hit, "…Baby One More Time," was originally written with TLC in mind, but when they passed, Spears picked it up as the first single off her debut album in 1998.

The song shot to number one, giving Spears' her star power and cementing her status as a pop culture icon. The song was number 25 in Rolling Stones' list of the greatest pop songs since 1963, and the single went onto sell more than 9 million copies worldwide.

But for every great hit that Spears picked up, there are others that she rejected.

Lady Gaga initially wrote "Telephone" with the intention of including it on Spear's sixth album, Circus, in 2008. When Spears' rejected the song, Gaga invited Beyonce to join her on the track that would appear on Gaga's third record, The Fame Monster. The song went onto earn a Grammy nomination and top the charts.

Lady Gaga wasn't the only one to have a smash hit after its initial rejection from Britney Spears. The critically acclaimed "Umbrella" was originally offered to both Spears and Mary J. Blige before landing Rihanna and Jay-Z a Grammy award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration and a nominee for song of the year in 2007.



users online