House of Cards in Nashville, TN…
…this might be the perfect venue!
Early July of this year, I had the opportunity to perform at House of Cards in Nashville, TN. Up until the moment I walked in, it was amazing how little I knew about it. All I knew is what every performer told me…if I have the chance to perform there, DO IT!
First off, finding the place is it’s own small mystery. If you tell the Lyft or Uber to go to House of Cards, they drop you off at the Johnny Cash Museum. You have to walk in and tell them that you’re there for House of Cards. You’ll take the stairs to the basement and then walk into what looks like a speak easy combined with an upscale restaurant. There’s memorabilia in glass cases all over the venue, including a set of handcuffs made and used by Harry Houdini.
Also, sprinkled throughout the venue is the reason it’s called House of Cards. There are framed playing cards from all over the world, with the earliest dating back to 1490…which by the way was my favorite card. To think that they have a real playing card from 2 years prior to Columbus making his grand entrance is just too cool.
In order to get into the venue, you make dinner reservations. When you come to eat dinner, you receive tickets to the main stage show. In addition, you also have access to two different areas of the dining room where you can see close-up magic before or after the main show.
The show on the main stage runs anyway from two to six times per night. Once it’s time for your scheduled show, you get in line and are escorted into the theater. It’s a 65 seat theater and not a bad seat in the house. The curtain opens to reveal the theater’s title on the back wall in big letters, “CARTER THE GREAT.” The performer is introduced and performs a 30 minute show to the intimate audience.
As always, I’ve got my handful of experiences. One being my opportunity to perform for master magician and former Las Vegas headliner, Lance Burton, which you can read about here. Other memorable moments would be receiving standing ovations for more than half of the 21 shows I performed in 6 days. However, what made it so memorable was having the staff come up to me throughout the week and repeatedly saying, “We don’t ever see standing ovations in that room,” and “The people are raving about your show.” I’ll obviously never be upset to hear that…at least no time soon.
One of my favorite funny moments happened after the show. A lady came up to me in the dining room and raved about my show. She said she definitely wanted to follow me on social media and asked if I was on Instagram. I told her I was to which she replied, “That’s strange, I couldn’t find you at all…and your name is CARTER THE GREAT, right?” I had to disappoint her a little by letting her know that I was still Bryan Saint and that Carter was the name of the theater we were just in.
It was overall an amazing experience. The venue as very much the flavor of the Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. Quite possibly the reason for that is because the man who pretty much runs it all at House of Cards, originally came from the Magic Castle. That man is none other than Joey Martinez. Joey is the real deal and knows how to run a venue, period. If you get the amazing opportunity to visit House of Cards in Nashville, make sure you say hi to Joey.
Can’t wait to be back there to perform very soon…and also to order the Brussels sprouts (trust me, just get them).
Visit House of Cards’ website for more information!