Yamashiro Hollywood - Is The Magic Gone?

Yamashiro translates into "Mountain Palace" in Japanese, and Yamashiro Restaurant has been a part of the Hollywood landscape for as long as most Angelenos can remember. Looming high above the Magic Castle in Hollywood, Yamashiro boasts one of the best views of Los Angeles.

Yamashiro has a long and illustrious history. In 1911 Adolf and Eugene Bernheimer brought in hundreds of skilled craftsman to build the home and finished construction in 1914. It was designed to replicate a Japanese palace and housed the brothers' extensive Asian art collection.  The home was surrounded with Japanese gardens, and the terraced hillside included 30,000 varieties of plants and trees. The grounds were dotted with waterfalls, ponds, goldfish, and a zoo that was home to exotic birds and monkeys.

A historic view of Yamashiro circa 1925 with the Holly Chateau below (now The Magic Castle).

After one of the brothers died in 1922, most of the artwork was auctioned off, but the property survived as a popular gathering spot for the Hollywood elite. 

After World War II, a builder bought the property and turned it into a 15 unit apartment complex. Following years of neglect, Thomas O. Glover, purchased the property in 1948. His intent was to tear down the property and build a hotel and apartments on the 7-acre property, but after discovering the ornate woodwork and silk wallpaper hidden under layers of plywood and decades old paint, he decided to restore the property to its former glory.

In the early 1960s Yamashiro Restaurant was born, and was owned and operated by Thomas O. Glover's son, Thomas Y. Glover. For over fifty years the restaurant has been the home to numerous weddings, engagements, wrap parties, and corporate buyouts. Its CalAsian cuisine is second only to the stunning view of the city below. 

My first visit to Yamashiro Restaurant was sometime in the mid 1990s, and since then it has become one of my favorite Hollywood dining spots. As a performing member of The Magic Castle, which is located directly below Yamashiro, it was an easy drive up the hill to enjoy a drink and the fabulous view. On several occasions I was actually hired to perform for special groups who were having a private event at the restaurant, and for many years my good friend, Steve Wastell, was the magic bartender at Yamashiro. I enjoyed many nights watching him perform his special brand of magic behind the bar.

In March of this year the Bejing company, JE Group, reportedly purchased the property for around 40 million dollars, and now the fate of Yamashiro is in jeopardy. Thomas Y. Glover has reportedly stated that the restaurant will most likely close its doors by mid-June. 

I'll have to pay one more visit before the magic is gone and the doors close forever. Maybe the new owners will keep the tradition alive, but only time will tell. I'll be there tonight to enjoy a meal and the amazing view.  

Yamashiro is located at 1999 N. Sycamore Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90068

Lou Serrano

(About The Author: Lou Serrano is a professional Los Angeles magician, and is available to entertain at social and corporate events world-wide. He's also a performing member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA.)

 

Magic at Padua Hills Theater

This past Friday night I was hired to perform at the 50th birthday party for Dr. James Lilly. With 100 guests in attendance, the event was held at the beautiful Padua Hills Theater in Claremont, CA. With its olive tree-lined patios, peaceful setting, and Spanish Colonial buildings, the Padua Hills Theater was the perfect setting for an elegant evening.

With everyone dressed to the nines and in a festive mood, the evening started with strolling close-up magic during the cocktail reception. Immediately following cocktails all the guests were escorted into the theater for dinner featuring the fine cuisine from Chanterelles Catering

Once the tables were cleared, the guests were ready for the show. I performed a combination of magic and mind reading to a very appreciative and responsive crowd. Sound and lighting was provided by Entertainment Express, and they did an excellent job with getting the lighting cues with very little direction.

The following photos were taken by Curtis at Enchanted Portraiture, the in-house photographer for the Padua Theater. Specializing in wedding and engagement photography, he did a stellar job of capturing some of the more magical moments of the show. You can get more information on his services at www.EnchantedPortraiture.com.

While I was there, I was able to get a fantastic video review from one of the staff members of the Padua Hills Theater which you can see below.

If you're having a social or corporate event and are looking for world-class entertainment to create a memorable experience, please feel free to contact me.

Lou Serrano

(About The Author: Lou Serrano is a professional magician based in Los Angeles, and provides world-class entertainment for social and corporate events world-wide.)

Trade Show Magician at PRSM National Conference

The PRSM (Professional Retail Store Management Association) National Conference is the largest and most widely recognized retail facilities management event in North America. This year's conference was held in Long Beach, CA at the Long Beach Convention Center. The theme was Expect The Unexpected, which was very appropo for a magician.

I was hired to perform two days in the exhibit hall representing one of the leading companies in the facilities business. My job was to attract attendees to my client's booth, educate them on the benefits and features of the company, and qualify leads, so the sales staff could do their job of engaging and developing relationships with prospects and customers.

This was a small show with only about 1000 people in attendance, but I was able to draw a steady stream of people to the booth throughout the two days of the conference. Overall it was a great success! 

If you're looking to attract more customers and increase the ROI on your next trade show exhibit, please give me a call for a free consultation.

Lou Serrano | 818-620-9356

(About the author: Lou Serrano is a Los Angeles based corporate magician and trade show presenter who is available to entertain at private and corporate events world-wide.)

Christie Brinkley in Las Vegas!

Last week I had the opportunity to perform at the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) convention in Las Vegas representing Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada. With a record breaking 2,800 attendees, this year's convention was a huge success! One of the highlights was meeting and performing for model/actress/entrepreneur, Christie Brinkley

Brinkley was present to launch BELLISSIMA, her new line of organic Italian Prosecco. The debut line includes Bellissima Zero Sugar, Bellissima Sparkling Rose, and Bellissima Brut, and apparently she drinks three glasses a day of the bubbly beverage. 

Looking half her age, the timeless beauty commanded attention everywhere she went. She was escorted into the Southern Wine and Spirits suite where I was performing, and she was incredibly gracious. With a bubbly personality and infectious smile, she worked the room and made everyone feel special. That was the one characteristic that really made an impression; her ability to make everyone she met feel special.

After performing a short set of magic specifically for her, she graciously offered to have her picture taken with me, and even posed for some action shots. These pictures don't do her justice, as she looks even better in person than these photos indicate.

(Click on photos to enlarge.)

Overall, it was a fantastic experience performing at the WSWA convention, and performing for Christie was definitely a highlight!

Lou Serrano

(About the author: Lou Serrano is a Los Angeles based corporate magician who is available to entertain at private and corporate events world-wide.)

Corporate Magician & Mentalist Lou Serrano on Masters of Illusion

A few years ago Dee Dee and I had the opportunity to shoot a couple of segments for the TV show, Masters of Illusion. Although most of our shows are for corporate events, it's always a treat when we have the opportunity to perform on a television show. 

(Click on the images below to enlarge.)

We just received footage from one of our routines, and we're still waiting for the footage that features Dee Dee. We hope to receive that footage soon.

In the meantime, I wanted to share an excerpt of one of my routines entitled, Ubiquitous. It's a three phase mind-reading and mentalism routine that leads to a seemingly impossible conclusion. 

Enjoy, and if you know of anyone who can use some world-class entertainment for an upcoming corporate or social event, please pass along our contact info.

Lou Serrano - Corporate Magician and Mentalist 

Freelance Photographer Jeff Malet and The Magic Of Lou Serrano

A few weeks ago Dee Dee and I were hired to perform our special brand of magic at an appreciation dinner for the volunteers of the East Highlands Ranch Association in Highland, CA. The event was held at the beautifully decorated Spring Lake Clubhouse with an attentive and enthusiastic audience.

Freelance photographer, Jeff Malet, was present and did a great job of capturing the most magical moments of the show. Jeff is a wonderful photographer and is available for family portraits, weddings, and other special events. You can check out his website at jeffmaletphotography.smugmug.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jmalet and on Instagram at instagram.com/jmalet

(All photos are shared here with permission by Jeff Malet.)

If you'd like to add a touch of magic to your next association or corporate event event, please give us a call.

Lou Serrano - Corporate Magician

818-620-9356

(Update) Los Angeles Magician Lou Serrano Returns to Trojan Vision's CU@USC Talk Show

Back in November I was invited to return as a guest on Trojan Vision's CU@USC talk show. The episode is finally online and you can view it by clicking on the following link or the picture below: Lou Serrano On Trojan Vision's CU@USC

 Lou Serrano and Lauren Day on the set of Trojan Vision's CU@USC

Lou Serrano and Lauren Day on the set of Trojan Vision's CU@USC

The first half of the show consisted of an interview where I shared some stories regarding my work as a professional magician and motivational speaker. After the break I performed a couple of magic and mentalism routines for the host, Lauren Day.  

This is my second appearance on the show, and working with the students of USC has proven to be a fun and fulfilling experience.

Los Angeles Magician, Lou Serrano

 

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Ambarella Brings A Touch Of Magic to The Silicon Valley

Last Saturday night, Dee Dee and I were hired to perform at the Ambarella company holiday party in San Jose, CA. Ambarella is the leading developer of low-power, high definition (HD) and Ultra HD video compression and image processing solutions. Their processing chips can be found in the very popular GoPro cameras. 

The event was held at the 6800 square foot Fourth St. Summit Center which is part of the Fairmont Hotel. It's a beautiful space with an amazing view of the Silicon Valley.

They were expecting about 250 people, and 280 people showed up. The room was filled to capacity, and after everyone was done with dinner, Dee Dee and I were introduced.

We performed a 45-minute set, and the audience was fantastic! We surprised the CEO, Fermie Wang, by having him assist with one of our signature routines. He was a great sport, and the guests loved seeing their boss being put on the spot. You can see some pictures below.

The event was a great success with many positive comments from the attendees. We were told that the employees were still talking about the show days later.

It was a great way to kick off the holiday season as December is turning out to to be our busiest ever.

Lou Serrano - Corporate Magician

 

 

 

 

 

There's Magic In The Air At Surf And Sand Resort In Laguna Beach

This Saturday night, the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach will be experiencing magic in more ways than one. Not only will I be performing my 30-minute stage show for some of the resort's finest clients, who will be arriving from all over the world, but I'll also be sharing the stage with Modern Flamenco Guitarist, Emilio.

Blending elements of Spanish Flamenco guitar, South American, African, and Middle Eastern rhythms along with modern and new age influences, Emilio has developed his own passionate style of music, which he calls "Modern Gypsy". His music will help set the ambiance for a truly magical evening, and I'm looking forward to performing alongside these world class artists.

The Surf and Sand Resort is located directly on 500 feet of California's pristine Laguna Beach, and in October of 2015 it was named one of the "Best Romantic Fireplace Destinations" by Luxury Travel Magazine.

Lou Serrano, Corporate Magician

Los Angeles Magician Lou Serrano Returns To Trojan Vision's CU@USC Talk Show

Los Angeles magician, Lou Serrano (that's me!) returns to CU@USC.

Trojan Vision's CU@USC is a nightly talk show that can be seen live at 6:30 p.m. on www.TrojanVision.com. It's been the premiere talk show at the University of Southern CA for the last 17 years, and has won some prestigious awards including  "Best Show on Trojan Vision" and named the "Best College Talk Show On Television" by SPIN Magazine.

My last episode on April 22, 2015 won Trojan Vision's "Best Special Episode" and I've been asked back to appear this Friday, November 20th. 

Lauren Day is the Friday night host, and the first half of the show will consist of an interview about my life and business as a professional magician and speaker with the second half showcasing some of my signature magic and mentalism routines. 

I really don't know what to expect, so it will be a surprise for everyone involved. You can see it live at 6:30 p.m. PST at: http://trojanvision.usc.edu/trojan-vision-live-stream/

Los Angeles magician, Lou Serrano

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Los Angeles Magician Performing At The World Famous Magic Castle

Once again I'll be performing at the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. For those of you who aren't familiar with the Magic Castle, here are the details. The Magic Castle is a private club nestled at the base of the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, CA. It's housed in an old Victorian mansion built in 1908, and since 1963 it's been a private club for magicians. 

The Magic Castle - Los Angeles, CA.jpg

From the outside the club looks like it's around 2400 square feet, but from the inside it's about 24,000 square feet. There are five showrooms, five bars, and a restaurant. 

I'll be performing the early shows in my favorite room, the Close-Up Gallery; four shows per night, Dec. 21 through Dec, 27, 2015. (We'll be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.)

This will be my 20th year performing at this amazing club, and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm even more excited, because the 27th is my birthday, so it's the perfect way to celebrate!

Lou Serrano

Los Angeles Magician and Corporate Entertainment Specialist

Corporate Holiday Party Entertainment Tips

'Tis the season for corporate holiday parties as corporations all across the nation are busy making plans to bring their employees together. The benefits of having a fun-filled event are numerous. Having a company holiday party shows employees that their efforts are appreciated, and can boost morale, encourage teamwork, and enrich the company culture.

One way to ensure your party is a hit is to have the right entertainment. Having a DJ and dancing might be a great fit if you have a lot of people who love to dance, but that isn't always the case. Sometimes it's better to have interactive entertainment that will transcend generational differences.  

Corporate magicians, Lou Serrano and Dee Dee, performing in front of 500 people at a Corporate event N BEVERLY HILLS, CA for Cedars-sinai Medical Center.

As a corporate magician with over 20 years of experience entertaining at events all across the country, I have a few tips on hiring the right entertainment to ensure your event is a huge success.

1. Decide on the type of entertainment your group would enjoy. Comedians, magicians, and jugglers are all good choices for interactive entertainment, but be sure to watch a video of their performances before making a decision. 

2. Determine a budget. Having quality entertainment doesn't have to break the bank, but realize that the best entertainers usually charge more than entertainers with less experience or with a show that isn't as polished. As with most things, you get what you pay for. Entertainers aren't interchangeable. Be sure that the personality and performance style fits the culture of your group.

3. Make sure your entertainers carry liability insurance. In the unlikely event of an accident, you don't want to be held financially responsible. Any professional entertainer will already carry liability insurance (I carry a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy). If your entertainer doesn't carry liability insurance, I'd stay clear. Many venues require a certificate of insurance from all entertainers and vendors, otherwise they won't be allowed on the premises.

4. Strolling entertainment or a formal show. Strolling entertainers are great during the cocktail reception, while a formal show is usually best after dinner. I usually recommend that my show is scheduled after dinner and before desert. Don't have waiters clear tables during a performance as it distracts from the performance. 

5. Staging and sound. Make sure you have adequate performance space where the audience can easily see the performance. Depending on the size of your group, you may want to rent a riser or stage. You also want to make sure you have adequate sound reinforcement. If you have a small group, many entertainers can provide their own P.A. system. I always carry a P.A. system for situations like these.

It's very rare that your employees will remember the food, but people will remember great entertainment years afterward. This holiday season, show your appreciation for your hard working employees by rewarding them with a party they will remember for years to come. 

If you have any other tips, please feel free to share them in the comments below.

Lou Serrano

Corporate Magician

Los Angeles Magician Performs At Kool And The Gang After Party

As a professional Los Angeles magician, I never really know for whom I'll be performing when I get hired to perform at an event. Last week I was hired to perform a couple of hours of world-class strolling close-up magic at a private event. It turned out that funk/jazz/R&B/pop band, Kool And The Gang, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. You can read the story here: Kool And The Gang Honored With A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame. 

I was hired to perform at the after-party where 250 guests were invited to celebrate such a great honor. Family, friends, and prestigious members of the entertainment industry were all in attendance, and were all very receptive to my special brand of close-up magic. 

The party continued long after the I left the premises, but I'm grateful for the opportunity to have entertained such a great group of people.

Lou Serrano 

Los Angeles Magician

Magic In The Key Of E Minor

As a professional Los Angeles magician who specializes in high-end private and corporate events, I have to be ready to perform in a wide variety of situations. Many times my performing conditions are less than ideal, but as the saying goes, "The show must go on."

The following video is a perfect example of performing in a less than ideal setting. I didn't have a stage, no backdrop, no special lighting, no backstage area, and the audience was spread out in a very large room. 

Regardless of the situation, I still have to make it work. In the end, the client and the guests were extremely happy with the way it all turned out.

If you're having an event and could use some world-class entertainment designed to amaze and delight your guests, please give me a cal. I'd love to hear from you. 

Lou Serrano

Mind Blowing Magic


Corporate Magician Barely Avoids Killing Spectator On Stage

How's that for an attention getting headline? If you watch the video below, it will all make sense.

Over the weekend, Dee Dee and I performed our 45-minute magic show for a corporate audience at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. ReShape Medical was celebrating their FDA approval of their non-surgical weight-loss solution. It's been an overnight success that took ten years to accomplish. The people at ReShape Medical certainly had a reason to celebrate as their weight-loss solution is a first-of-its-kind, and we were happy to add a touch of magic to the festivities. 

We had a great time performing for a very enthusiastic crowd, and the following clip was taken from that show.

If you're looking for world-class entertainment for your next corporate function, give us a call. We have a program to fit almost every need.

Lou Serrano

Corporate Magician

818-620-9356

 

 

John Lazarias Reviews Los Angeles Magician Lou Serrano

As a Los Angeles magician I get to perform at a wide variety of events from large corporate functions to small house parties. I recently performed at a private event in the Los Angeles area, where I performed a 45-minute close-up magic show for group of 12 people. I love these types of shows, because the audience is so close to the action, and it make for a very intimate performance. 

After my performance, John Lazarias gave me a fantastic video review which you can see below. 

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Special Event Photography and Videography by Video Syndicate

If you're having a special event, you want to make sure you capture the spirit of the festivities with photos and video, and Tom Pascucci and his team of professionals at Video Syndicate do a fantastic job of capturing every special moment.

As a professional magician in Los Angeles, I get the opportunity to work with many of the best event specialists in the industry. I recently performed at an event is Somis, CA where the theme of the event was pirates. Yes, PIRATES! As in, "Yo ho, Matey!" type of pirates. Guests and event workers were all dressed in pirate costumes and it was a blast performing magic in such a unique outfit.

Tom was the photographer at this event, and he did a great job of capturing all the fun had by the guests. He also took a couple of pictures of me in my costume, which you can see below.

In any case, if you're looking for a photographer or videographer that will do a great job, check out Video Syndicate's website at www.VideoSyndicate.com, and if you need some world-class magic entertainment (in or out of costume) give me a call. I'd love to discuss how I can make your next social or corporate event a magical success!

Lou Serrano

 

 

The Webb Schools Reviews Los Angeles Magician Lou Serrano

I recently had the opportunity to perform for the students of The Webb Schools in Claremont, CA. About one hundred 9th through 12th graders from all over the world were in attendance. These kids were part of a student exchange program and were enrolled in a six-week summer program.

I performed a 45-minute show and followed up the show with a Q&A segment. I was amazed by the questions asked. Instead of the usual, "How did you do that?" type of questions, I was asked some very astute business questions relating to how I market, advertise, and run my business.

They were a great group of kids, and the head counselor, Rick Duque, gave me a great review. It was a real pleasure performing for such a smart group of kids, and the stage, lighting, and sound system at the The Webb School was beyond my expectation!


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Cisco's Global Sales Experience "GSX" features Corporate Entertainer and Trade show Magician Lou Serrano

Cisco Systems is the worldwide leader in internet technology and according to their website they are transforming the way people connect, communicate, and collaborate. Luckily I was able to experience some of this for myself as 17,000+ employees attended Cisco's Global Sales Experience "GSX" last week in Las Vegas. 

The Spinifex Group was hired to create a custom presentation at Cisco's Innovation Academy, and they hired me to be a consultant and presenter for the Observation lab. My role was to create a magical experience incorporating the message of how observation leads to innovation, and the entire process started with creating custom magic routines to highlight the message including an interactive video illusion. 

 One of many presentations throughout the three days. There are so many people surrounding my booth that you can barely see my face, although you can see me in the video being watched by some of the attendees.

One of many presentations throughout the three days. There are so many people surrounding my booth that you can barely see my face, although you can see me in the video being watched by some of the attendees.

My portion of the event started on Monday August 31 and ended Wednesday, September 2. It consisted of non-stop, back-to-back presentations throughout the three days. Although it was exhausting work, it was also incredibly exhilarating work. The attendees were enthusiastically responsive and all the members of the Spinifex Group were a joy to work with. They were professional, courteous, and they made me feel as an integral part of the mission at hand.

Jack Wilson from Cisco Systems also gave me a great review at the end of the last day. Check it out below.


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Review of Trade Show Magician, Lou Serrano

unified grocers trade show.jpg

Last week I had the opportunity to represent Unified Grocers Insurance Services at Unified Grocers Expo 2015. Every company associated with the grocery industry was represented at the expo and we had a great turnout.

As a trade show magician, I'm hired to draw a crowd to my client's booth, educate them on the benefits and features of my client's products and services, and entice them to get more information from the sales people at the booth. 

I'm happy to say that the event was a great success, and I was told that I had drawn the biggest crowds that UGIS had seen in the 30 years that they had exhibited at this show. 

The director of UGIS, Alan Troop, gave me a great review, and I look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.