01/07/2013 AT 6:00 AM ET
Who knew Neil Patrick Harris and Barney Stinson had so much in common?
The actor got in touch with his magical side (just like his How I Met Your Mother alter ego) at the Academy of Magical Arts’s 50th anniversary celebration at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. Harris, who presides over the organization’s board of directors, rushed back from vacation in Montana just to be in town for the festivities.
While toasting the organization, the actor mingled with other guests and magicians, including Siegfried Fischbacher of Siegfried & Roy, and talked about how much he loved magic as a kid, a source tells PEOPLE.
“He wanted to know the secrets that no one would share with him, so he became a magician himself,” the source adds. Indeed; Harris joined AMA’s junior academy as a child (he even had to audition!) and often performs at the Magic Castle. – Melody Chiu
— People magazine (@peoplemag) August 7, 2012