TODAY

TODAY   |  July 29, 2013

A real-life Hogwarts teaches teens magic

Twice a year, teenagers are allowed to audition at the Magic Castle in Malibu, a private club for professional magicians. NBC’s Bob Dotson visits and profiles young magician Krystyn Lambert, the second woman to graduate with top honors.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we are back at 8:45. today's story comes from hollywood where bob found a real life harry potter and his friends in a magic school people pass by every day. it hides in plain sight.

>> reporter: beneath this dusty light lies a magic castle jammed with tricks. like harry potter , kids come here to find wonder and pure joy. [ music playing ]

>> reporter: to escape the tightrope of childhood. twice a year teenagers are allowed to audition at this private club for professional magicians. try outs are never advertised at the magic castle but dozens of teens show up. only about one in three are accepted to a school where coins and cards can become best friends . tuition is bargain, just $45 a year. but monthly classes could last six hours. miss more than three they show you the door. 3,000 kids perfected their acts here.

>> stumbling all over the place.

>> kristen lambert was the youngest magician ever admitted.

>> it was a dream come true walking into a castle where bookcases slide open and there's all kinds of trap doors and magic .

>> for centuries magic was mainly an all boy's club. tricks were designed for right handed men wearing baggy pants. the greats became wizards. the women were called something else.

>> a witch.

>> reporter: few women wanted to perform for a crowd carrying pitch forks. amazingly only about one in 200 students are girls.

>> i'll count to three and you say the first word that enters your mind all right.

>> 1, 2, 3.

>> health.

>> health.

>> reporter: even today kristen is one of the few female magicians working full time . she thinks it's time women broke out of that straight jacket.

>> where's the magic ?

>> reporter: this is a place for all of us who dream of being a little less awkward.

>> i'll keep doing it until you like it.

>> did you think it would be all about tricks.

>> i thought it would be all about teaching magic but it's all about improving the magic you teach yourself.

>> diane zimmerman started the program back when most women served as decorations.

>> we're not a school of magic . we're a school of life .

>> where kristen learned an important lesson.

>> it's not what goes wrong but how you fix it.

>> you don't have it.

>> magic makes the impossible, possible.

>> oh, look under your chair right there, please.

>> the difference between the world as it is.

>> right there s that the 5 of hearts?

>> and what she can make of it. for today, nbc news with an american story in hollywood .

>>> how many kids are asking their parents how can i get into that school?

>> that's my son josh after reading harry potter . magic school .

>> johnny carson was one of the great magicians. a lot of people used it to overcome being shy and boy i'll tell you, if you're good --

>> if you're a female and you're good it could be a booming new industry.

>> and if you can juggle.

>> then you are set. any teen can try out at hollywood 's magic castle . if you want more information get on our website.

>> sorry al.

>> teen.

>> teen.

>> a little late.