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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » "Would you teach me a trick / magic?" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dominik
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I have been asked several times by spectators to teach them a trick. Some even inquired if I would teach them magic lessons.

While I think the first type of question is just another way to compliment me, the second question often comes across as pretty serious. So far I have always been telling them to check out their local library or the net for books on magic, and come back to me if they need more specific help (nobody ever did).

While teaching lessons might supplement my income, I don't like the idea of giving away any of the tricks that I do on a regular basis. But then, I think, somebody who is willing to pay money for lessons deserves to be taught some of the good stuff.

What do you guys do?

(1) Do you offer magic lessons?
(2) Do you charge for them, and how much (PM me)?
(3) What do you teach?

With respect to (3), the first thing that stroke my mind is sponge balls and easy (i.e. almost self-working) card tricks.

Concerning (2), I would never charge a seriously interested kid (but maybe I would charge their parents Smile). In case of adults however, I think it would be most appropriate to charge a fee. How to calculate the fee? Should the hourly rate be close to the price of a book, close to the price of music teachers (well, maybe 2x that much), or close to the price of a single close-up show (who's paying that?). Or maybe the price for restaurant work would be a good guide, since the effort and preparation required is basically the same, and teaching would be on a regular basis.
Dannydoyle
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I am not a magic teacher for beginners. PERIOD.

Supplimental income or not I don't do it.

I don't like the idea that anyone can just do what I do. This is the problem with teaching tricks directly out of your working set. Besides not many a beginner could even begin to do most of the stuff anyhow.

I love the idea that it takes lots of years to do what it is I do. It adds to the mystique.

I personally never understood the guys who sell magic sets and things after the show. Yea it helps income, but it kind of takes you down a peg. ESPECIALLY the guys who offer to sell the exact trick they do in the show. I am not saying don't sell anything like this, just that you need to think about how you do it is all. It can be a wonderfull source of income and should not be overlooked. Just some thought taken to how it is done is all.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
dominik
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Quote:
I don't like the idea that anyone can just do what I do.
I love the idea that it takes lots of years to do what it is I do.
I personally never understood the guys who sell magic sets and things after the show. Yea it helps income, but it kind of takes you down a peg.


They can't do what you do without putting a similar amount of effort into it. Despite of that, if you teach them a simple trick they might think that all magic is easy, and conclude that becoming/being a magician is easy. The question "can you teach me the trick" implies that they think that all you need is to know the secret.

Nobody thinks they can be a grandmaster right after you teach them the rules of chess. Nobody thinks they can become a football superstar just because somebody taught them the rules. Maybe they know they can't because they *do* play football. Nobody thinks they can become a doctor just because they know that Aspirin treats headache. But a lot of people seem to think that all they need is know the secret, and that would do the trick. Why is magic different in this respect? Maybe its all those TV shows exposing magic. People get upset when they see how simple it is to vanish a tiger, because those guys make millions a year with appearently no effort. Vanishing a tiger may be simple. Getting booked for a Las Vegas show on a regular basis is not. But I am getting off topic here.

Back to the question weather or not to teach magic.

I always think that I might be a much better magician now if I had a teacher 10 years before teaching myself from books. But then I think that learning magic against all odds (not having a personal teacher, not having supportive parents with respect to magic, not knowing how to start) separates the men from the boys, the magicians from the "uncle Bobs" (or Sams, or Freddies, or whatever the nightmare is called).

Opinions?
Dannydoyle
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First off if you don't think that just knowing the secrets is enough to let people think they are a grand master, you need to read more here on the Café'.

MANY of the people here fall into that EXACT catagory so the arguement loses a little water.

To answer the question of a "quick trick". I am sorry I may have been off topic.

Pick an easy one from a magic for dummies book. Dosn't matter what it is just so everyone knows it and it is simple. Something that dosn't even qualify as magic anymore. Betchas come to mind. Teach one of them. They usually need little skill, are easy to remember, and are entertaining enough to get them off your back.

Now to being a magic teacher, that is your choice entirely. A different issue.

Keep in mind that if they are asking to be taught it is because you "touched" them in some way they want to be able to take with them. This is a GREAT thing. You are doing a great job.

Good luck.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
dominik
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It seems I just found the answers to most of my questions. There's a DVD by our fellow Café-ist James Munton: “How To Teach a Birthday Magic Class”. Anybody got that?

As to the general question weather to teach a class or not, I am still struggeling with myself.
magicman226
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I was in the talent show at my school in late April (I did Anderson's Torn and Restored Newspaper and Richard Snader's One Rope Routine from Fiber Optics). I get asked ALL THE TIME if can teach people how to do it. I had a problem too where I didn't know what to say. I was just kinda like "uhh, no." I'd have maybe 5 people a day asking me to teach them some kind of magic. Any ideas on what to say to them if for some reason they continue once the next school year comes?

Michael
icentertainment
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5 people a day means a potential business to me

12775 people per year means you should say yes and charge say $20 per person

which means you'll be getting $255500 per year---not bad for someone still at school
Dannydoyle
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People lose interest remarkably fast once 2 things happen.

Magic is cool till you know how it is done. It takes some sort of disconnect in the brain, which WE have, to be entertained once you know the secret. So few will last past 1 lesson once they realize the practice involved anyhow.

Second of all once a "price" is mentioned you will lose 90% of the people right there.

People have little interest once money is involved.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
roi_tau
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Please don't do those calculations.
7 years ago I have lost 2000$ just because of those calculations.

The world(and that will tell you the older magicians here) is not that simple place to make EZ money.

I personally DO NOT belive in EZ money.
(the fact I charge 400$ for 40 minutes show,is because many many sleepless nights)


Have fun
ROi
dominik
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Quote:
On 2006-05-28 10:02, magicman226 wrote:
I get asked ALL THE TIME if can teach people how to do it. [...] Any ideas on what to say to them if for some reason they continue once the next school year comes?


Quote:
On 2006-05-28 10:42, Dannydoyle wrote:

once a "price" is mentioned you will lose 90% of the people right there.
People have little interest once money is involved.


So I guess I will try it once or twice and quote a price of, say, 500 bucks for one private, one-on-one session, just to see what happens. If they insist on being taught, well I guess I will have to do it.

Quote:
Magic is cool till you know how it is done.


True for laypeople. Not true for masochistic nerds who enjoy practicing useless abilities for hours a day.
Dannydoyle
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Let us know how many 500 dollar one on one sessions you end up with. I would be interested to know.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
dominik
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Zero I guess, but if for some silly strange reason somebody is still interested, I will let you know.
Dannydoyle
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I guess we are getting back to my point.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
nucinud
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$500.00? Sometimes I say, tongue in cheek $50.00 and no one takes me up on it.
As soon as you mention money or some barter (use your imagination) people change their mind.
"We are what we pretend to be" Kurt Vonnegut, jr.



Now U C It Now U Don't

Harry Mandel

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magic4u02
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I do not have a problem teaching people magic. However I do have a BIG problem teaching those who are really not serious in the first place. For me, it is a matter of figuring out those who are genuinely interested from those who just want an easy way to learn the inner secrets of magic.

If a person of any age is truly interested in learning magic and becoming a magician, then I think it is a part of my responsibility as a magician to help them along the journey. Afterall, we were all once beginners at some point in time were we not?

For me, I can usually tell if people are truely into it. After over 12 years of teaching kids ages 7-17 the art of magic at our SYM club in Philadelphia, I have a pretty good handling of knowing who really wants to be a magician.

What I will always do though is have them prove to me they want to learn. I have them go to a local library and take out a book on magic. I have them read that book and learn a trick in it. I give them a few ideas and selections of books of which I feel would be good for them. I then tell them to call me or e-mail me after they have done this if they would like further information and help.

You would be surprised at how many people you can weave out of the picture. The ones who really want to know will follow my instructions and do what I ask. In this way they are proving to me that they want to learn through the act of taking it upon themselves to work towards getting there. if they go and get the book/s and take the time to learn and the time to e-mail or call, then I can tell that the person put forth the effort.

When I teach I am very upfront with them from the start as to what magic is and what magic is not and that to learn magic I am not going to go easy on them. It is hard work, I demend practice and I demand that if you want toreally learn that you open yourself up to critque because I am not one to sugar coat anything. I am open and honest in my teaching. I show respect as I want them to respect me in return.

If the student is not willing to grasp what I just told him or her, then the teaching ends before it starts. I want them fully committed to learning and wanting to learn before I ever reveal anything to them.

It has worked great for me over the years and being a part of the Society of Young Magicians at a local and national level has been an amazingly rewarding experience for me. I have seen some young magicians grow to become simply amazing. I have seen others through the art of magic turn from shy kids into mature adults getting great grades in school and public speaking. It has it rewards to those who want to learn and it is great for me to give back to magic when I can.

Kyle
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Leland Stone
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Hello, Magi:

Being an Educated Donkey, my first tendency is to be glib when asked "Can you teach me how to do that?" However, one afternoon a bit of humanity slipped out, resulting in the line that follows and which is submitted for your approval:

"I am a Magician, bound by honour and tradition not to reveal the secret of my Art to the casual observer. But what you ask is a skill that may be learned by any who are willing to dedicate themselves to Magic. Here is my card -- call me when you can demonstrate your dedication and I will gladly teach you what I know."

I've used this one -- or smaller snippets thereof -- on several very satisfying occasions. It gave me the privilege of "connecting" with the audience instead of alienating them with smugness. Use as you wish.

Leland
magic4u02
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Leland,

I agree. Not every person that comes up to us has the intention of wanting to know the secrets just so they know. I think a lot of us assume that is the ONLY reason why anyone asks.

Plus my philosophy has always been to show respect to gain respect. I want to treat my audiences with respect and I feel I should do this also when replying to their questions. I think answering in a smug manner does not serve us well or empower anyone to want to learn magic.

You can really answer the question in a simple fashion much like Leland mentioned above. I simply answer their question by directing them to do some work on their own first. If they want to learn bad enough, then they will go out there and prove it to me and to themselves first. I can say this also without coming off as smug in the least.

I direct them to the source where I first learned and that is the books in the local library. I read them all and some of them twice. I tell people to visit their libraries and ask for assistance to where the magic books are. Go and take it upon themselves to read and learn.

If a person really wants to learn bad enough, they will take action and take my advice and run with it. I also give them my card or brch so they can contact me. I then can easily find out just how serious they were.

I always want to empower people to learn magic and I want to improve our artform by getting people intersted in it. This does not mean I reveal secrets to just anyone, but it does mean I take extra care when answering questions from people at my shows and I take care to try and give them the information from which they can do some work upfront.

Kyle
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jezza
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I teach magic (but I do not teach anything that I would normally use )
I teach an appearing egg from a hanky where multiple eggs appear and maybe even one self working effect where cards are split into reds and blacks and someone picks a card and inserts it into opposite colour half and find card,

When people say yes but I wanna learn the one where etc
I just say that comes with time and you have to master what ive shown you you can decide if you want to continue and take it further ,

I WOULD NEVER GIVE OUT A SPONGEBALL ROUTINE as that's a really good laymen effect
dominik
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Quote:

I WOULD NEVER GIVE OUT A SPONGEBALL ROUTINE as that's a really good laymen effect



Agreed. The reaction I got when I tried a sponge routine for the first time weeks ago was surprising to say the least. A quick survey showed that it outperformed most of my card material. My most popular trick is still a card trick, though.

But audiences differ. A lot of spectators who have seen me before want nothing but cards. Ah, but wait, they haven't seen the 3D bunnies yet...
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