Santa Barbara Magic Castle Cabaret Update 9-12-2018

Santa Barbara Magic Castle Cabaret Update 9-12-2018

Magic Castle Cabaret Update

September 2018

Gene Urban
Santa Barbara based magician and Magic Castle performer
In late August and early September, Milt and Arlene Larson hosted four nights of magic at the new Magic Castle Cabaret

Members were treated to lots of magic and fun. Gene Urban provided the early evening magic and magicians Adam Wylie & Shawn McMasters from LA’s Magic Castle performed from 7:00 to 10:00 pm.

The feedback from guests was great. They loved the magic and were intrigued by the stunning decor that captivated the senses and provided an amazing backdrop for conversations and fabulous magic.

“The decor is funky and fun… based on a fictional Palace of Gold in northern Spain where a Count and Countess entertained magicians”
Montecito Journal

NEWS & UPDATE – October 2018 — The Magic Castle Cabaret will be closed for a couple months. The City of Santa Barbara has some additional requirements the Larson’s need to take care of before they will receive that final occupancy documents. For those who’ve opened a business in Santa Barbara, you know how it goes.

Arlene, the ultimate optimist, says…

We welcome this chance to finish our decorations & gimmickry work and catch our breath.

The Larson’s are not just waiting for the City to do their thing. They are working daily to add lots of wonderful features to the Cabaret. I met with Arlene the other day and boy is she having fun. Those who were there for the soft openings will be even more wowed by all the new elements that will be in place with they reopen. Exciting!!

For membership and other information, call 805-845-0555

Tony Slydini – One of the Great Magician

Tony Slydini – One of the Great Magician

The Great Teachers of Magic

Tony Slydini

Master Magician & Teacher — Tony Slidini

Although I never met Tony Slydini, he had a significant influence on my work, as he has many other top magicians. I would say he is the reason my take on magic has strong psychological underpinnings.

There are a number of articles that discuss Slydini’s life. I’ll focus on what I learned from his lessons and watching his television performances.

What Made Slydini A Great Magician and Teacher?

Tony Slydini, so I am told, was obsessed with how his magic impacted the audience. Some say he felt many performances were illogical and often demeaning. He focused on psychology, misdirection techniques and audience interaction. The result was true wonder in the spectator’s eyes and mind.

Slydini became one of true masters of  our craft. This truth was cemented by his ability to both entertain and completely fool the best magicians in the World. Legendary magician, Dai Vernon, once remarked, “Slydini is the only magician who could ever fool me.”

I first learned of Slydini’s work when reading one of the great books of magic, Stars of Magic. It was like a great appetizer and I had to get to the main course. I found a series of books by Karl Fulves entitled, The Best of Slydini. Within these pages were so many gems I’ve lost count. It wasn’t so much the actual tricks that captivated me, it was his teachings on motivation, psychology and subtitles hidden on each page.

Obviously, in a public forum like my website, it would be inappropriate to go into the mechanics of his teachings. However, the videos included here are testament to his skill.

I believe that the teachings of Slydini should be part of every magicians course of study. It just makes sense to study the best if you want to be the best.

Gene Urban

Watch A Master at Work

Contact Magician Gene Urban For Your Next Party or Event

13 + 8 =

Christmas & Holiday Party Entertainment

Christmas & Holiday Party Entertainment

Gene Urban Makes Magic Happen

Christmas & Holiday Party Entertainment

Let's Talk About Your Party

Get A Free Quote

Gene Urban Makes Magic Happen

Magic Makes A Party Rock

People say magic is the most universally popular form of live entertainment for Christmas & Holiday party entertainment and Gene Urban is an extraordinary magician.

Gene connects with people; he makes them laugh; he leaves them amazed and talking. It’s no wonder so many holiday party hosts bring Gene back year after year.

Gene, once you were just a magician, now you are part of the family. Our guests always ask if you’ll be at our holiday party. Thanks for helping make our gatherings so successful.  Bill and Nancy S.

What set’s Gene Urban’s magic and mentalism apart is his approach and ability to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds.

Gene’s approach to magic is truly different. Instead of Gene doing all the magic, he has your guests seemingly perform much of the magic. They read minds, make coins vanish from their hands and do so many astonishing things. Gene doesn’t need all the attention, he wants your people to feel special and empowered.

It is his attention to the party goers through magic and a warm performance style that makes him the perfect choice for your Christmas or Holiday party.

When it comes to talent, professionalism and class, Gene simply has no peers in his field. Encore Entertainment


What Gene Can Do For You

At most Christmas or Holiday parties, Gene performs while strolling among the guests. Whether seated or standing, Gene will join the group and start making magic happen. His magic is contagious and will be the talk of the party for months to come.

Depending on the venue and layout of the room, Gene also offers an intimate stand up show that mixes magic, mind reading and laughter. It is an interactive show where guests are part of the performance.

You were Magic. A 10+. and we will have you back! TC Advertising

The magic was wonderful! Everybody was dazzled completely. Better Living Products

Get In Touch

Gene Urban…
Exceptional Magic & Mentalism

1117 N. State Street
Suite 32
Santa Barbara, CA 93101


What is Close Up Magic?

What is Close Up Magic?

Let's Make Magic Happen

Close-Up Magic is delightful & intriging

Let's Make Magic Happen

Get A Quote For Your Event

What is Close-Up Magic?

Close-up magic is often called “Magic of the Hands.”  It is an intimate style of magic performed mere inches or feet from you and your guests.

Close-up magic is often performed with playing cards, coins and other common objects.

Close-up magic is considered the most versitile and popular style.  Guest’s love the intimacy and party hosts are thrilled to have entertainment that moves to and around the guests.

Where is Close Up Magic Performed?

Close-up magic happens anywhere guests are standing, sitting, milling, waiting, In your home, at a resort, even on the beach. Gene makes magic happen in front of your eyes.

  • At a recent Gala, Gene strolled among the guests.
  • During an April wedding in Santa Barbara, Gene entertained guest seated at their tables.
  • In Santa Ynez last month, the host had Gene perform from a stationary table where guests came to him.

Close-up magic is versatile, so it can fit what works best for your party or event.

Our Specialties

Gene makes magic happen

Private Party

corporate events

cocktail reception

adult birthday

wedding reception

anniversary party

company retreat

gala fundraisers

grad party

What Gene Will Do For You

Gene will add moments of wonder and awe to your event.

There is a reason so many party planners and hosts bring Gene in for their special events… Guests love him!

He has a warm performance style and a way with people that is wizardry in itself. Top that with Gene’s incredible magic and you have entertainment that is like a fabulous desert… tasty and delicious.

Wedding Magic

“You made a magical night even more so. Thanks you!”

Ali Magic

“You made my sweet man happy. What a gift you have.”

Close-UP party magic

“Our guests couldn’t stop talking about you”

Magic Castle Fun

“You were a hit with our Magic Castle guests and members”

Get In Touch

Gene Urban

1117 State St
Santa Barbara


The Magic Castle Cabaret Santa Barbara – News and Info

The Magic Castle Cabaret Santa Barbara – News and Info

This Is The Personal Website of Santa Barbara Magician Gene Urban and Not the Magic Castle Cabaret’s Official Website

When I am performing magic, people often ask about the new Magic Castle Cabaret that opened in February 2019 in Santa Barbara. It is always exciting to talk to people about this new magical venue that is part of the Santa Barbara landscape. 

The new Magic Castle in Santa Barbara is called the Magic Castle Cabaret and is not a replica of Hollywood’s Magic Castle. Although Milt Larson founded Hollywood’s Magic Castle, the Cabaret is the brainchild of he and his wife Arlene. They have combined their knowledge and passion to create a very unique venue for members and guests to enjoy.

What Happens At The Magic Castle Cabaret?

An evening at the new Magic Castle Cabaret is unlike anything else in Santa Barbara. Yes, there will be magic and surely guests will be captivated by the wonders within. However, there will be more. Let Milt and Arlene tell you a bit more about their brain child.

An evening at the Magic Castle Cabaret will feature a close-up magician of the Academy of Magical Arts from the Magic Castle in Hollywood or a variety arts entertainer such as a singer, ventriloquist, comedian, mime, tap dancer or stage magician. 

Will There Be Food and Beverage at The Magic Castle Cabaret?

Members and Guest of the Magic Castle Cabaret will enjoy a full bar including spirits, and a variety of wine, beer, and non-alcoholic beverages.

Although there is light food fair offered, it is not a dinner house with a full menu.

Arlene has planned a variety of finger foods, and other nourishment guaranteed to delight those gathered for an evening of fun, magic and variety arts.

Can Anyone Come To The Magic Castle Cabaret?

Santa Barbara’s Magic Castle Cabaret follows suit with the original Magic Castle in Hollywood and is a private club. Members are able to bring guests and  have the opportunity to offer guest passes to their friends.

So far, the Magic Castle Cabaret has attracted lots of local members as well as many notable magic types including: Steve Martin, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Alan Parsons and Penn & Teller. You will never know who you might see during a visit to the Cabaret.

Where Is The Magic Castle Cabaret?

The Magic Castle Cabaret is located at 30 Las Patos Way in Montecito, CA. 

For people who have lived in Santa Barbara for a while, the Cabaret occupies the same space as the former Café de Oro just east of Angela Park Bird Refuge.

 For More Details, visit the Magic Castle Cabaret Official Website

A Few Words From Gene Urban

gene urban magicianI am personally thrilled about the opening of a magic venue in my own backyard. Although I love going to and performing at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, not battling LA traffic to enjoy the art I love is divine.

If you have a question or would like to join me as my guest at the Cabaret, let me know by calling me at 805-729-8459 or emailing me at

If you want to become a member yourself, simply email or call Arlene Larson and tell her Gene Urban sent you her way. Arlene’s email is and phone number is 805-845-0555. Please view the official Magic Cabaret Website for more information.

I hope to see you soon at the Magic Castle Cabaret and if you need great magic at your own party, wedding or corporate event, I’d be delighted to make it happen.

Gene Urban