She-zam! Women Demonstrate Why Magic Is Missing A Trick.
When asked about being branded a “female magician,” Kayla Drescher, who sits behind a card table in the hidden Magic Castle, widens her eyes and nods exasperatedly.
“Yes, I’m weary of being asked what it’s like to work as a woman in this field,” she admits.
“‘Female magician’ feels like a subset of magic… I’m being put in a metaphorical box, not simply an illusion,” she says.
While the label is “exhausting” and “annoying” for Drescher, she believes it is still necessary to discuss because “we still have such a small amount of women in this profession.”
The image of a top-hatted magician sawing his gorgeous, sequinned female helper in half lives on in the minds of the general public, who can rarely name performers other than Harry Houdini, David Copperfield, and David Blaine.
While the attire has evolved, just around 7% of today’s magicians are female, which is exactly the same proportion as the membership of the Magic Castle’s elite “Academy of Magical Arts.”
Drescher is one of two female headliners on the night of AFP’s visit to the enormous members-only institution devoted to the art of illusion on a hill above Hollywood.
Women may be a minority in magic, but they are no less of a draw, as the reaction of a mesmerized audience to Drescher’s perplexing card tricks and clever sleights of hand later in the evening will indicate.
Drescher, 31, has been acting since she was seven years old and has long observed that audiences, such as the connoisseurs and wild wine-drinking Halloween parties who pack the “Close Up Gallery,” are unconcerned by the gender of the artist.
Instead, it’s magicians’ “shocking old-fashioned” thinking that’s keeping the number of women in her field low, and she believes it’s necessary to keep “yelling” about it.
Male magicians have long excluded Drescher, believing she is someone’s girlfriend or even requested she “perform magic by a poolside in a bikini” in Las Vegas.
“Magic is very much created by men and for men,” Drescher, who hosts the “She-zam” podcast, explained. “Suits, giant trouser pockets, big hands, all these different aspects, very masculine-style stuff.”
“In order to be accepted in the community as a magician rather than merely a lady, you must overcome a number of obstacles. That’s always an annoyance.” If the, according to Drescher, The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.