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palmtreemagic!
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Hey everyone. With all the recent buzz in phenomenon, Criss Angel, and a new David Blaine special soon, I'm sure the interest in magic will be rising in the next couple months or so. I would like to take advantage of this by possibly instructing neophyte magicians the basics in magic for a fee. My basic idea is to perform and teach 5 classic, easy card tricks with a regular deck of cards for 2 hours for say a $80-$120 dollar fee. I would give them a brand new pack of bicycles and basic written instructions for the tricks written by me. The tricks I would teach would essentially be very basic well known tricks that I would not need permission to teach. Some ideas include here then there, a very basic ACR, charlier cut, and maybe the original OOTW if that is permissible and ethical. I would also teach them basic showmanship, presentation, tips, and magicians code. I'm not famous around the community for my magic or anything, but I've done probably 20 or so gigs in my local community in the past year and a half and I have taught many of my friends basic card tricks. If you guys think this is a good idea, how would I go about doing this? Thanks for any help!
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Jerrine
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My opinion, bad idea. Perform more, teach/sell/market less if at all.
palmtreemagic!
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Quote:
On 2007-12-05 22:05, Jerrine wrote:
My opinion, bad idea. Perform more, teach/sell/market less if at all.


Can you elaborate why it's a bad idea? I feel like the market to teach magic to newbies is larger than the market to hire magicians for entertainment, particularly magicians of my age (20).
Unleashing the moment of astonishment, one impromptu situation at a time.
mrunge
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If you feel your skills are strong and your knowledgeable enough about the effects and material you're planning to teach, go for it. You'll know soon enough if it was a good idea or not.

The market, your students (ask them for feedback at the end) and the "buzz" will be loud and clear one way or the other.

Good luck. Mark. Smile
Father Photius
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I teach at a local brick and mortar, and to be honest your curriculum is a bit for beginners, and to only learn tricks for 120 bucks. Sell them a Carl Fulves self working card trick book and pocket the rest, they will learn more. You need to teach more than just tricks. You need to teach basic card handling, basic sleights, and tricks associated with them. Start with something like Royal Road and work through it or part of it. If you are going to teach card magic, teach card magic, not card tricks. $25 an hour isn't a bad fee, but be sure you give them a good hours instruction. Asking 80-120 bucks for a fast show of 5 card tricks, probably out of their range in two hours isn't exactly going to help you make friends and influence people. It will convince them you are a rip off. artist. Students need time to work on moves and practice under supervision of the teacher. They get overwhelmed quickly. Give them no more than a hour or hour and a half per session.
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TheDean
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How do you "Sell & Market LESS" and still “PERFORM MORE”? (and don’t say word of mouth for the newbie... hehehehehe!) You need to let prospective buyers know who you are and what you do in order to get to that point... or where do I get YOUR Course on Proven, Profit making Success? - - Hehehehehehe!

Hey, I say GO FOR IT assuming you CAN, in fact do what you say you can with integrity. I was teaching classes when I was in my early teens with outstanding results and repeat class bookings! Hey I even did corporate sales magic classes when I was 16 for MORE than 120.00 bucks a class!

If you are doing it well and are providing enough real VALUE the sky is the limit brother!

GO FOR IT!

I am at your service and In HIS Service,
Deano (STILL Teaches Corporate Magic) in Reno
<><
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
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palmtreemagic!
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Well 80-120 may seem like a bit steep, but when you look at music or sports lessons, 80-120 for 2 hours isn't bad at all. I also need to give a value to my teaching. Parents are willing to pay a lot of money to foster their kid's interest. Yes there's RRTCM, Bobo's, Ammar tapes, and so on but there's also teach-yourself sports and music books and videos but private lessons can still run to be very expensive. I agree that there's a lot of basic magic that can't be taught in an hour and a half, but I think one of the best parts of learning magic is a lot of very easy and simple to do tricks can seem impossible to laymen and make the new magician look really good. Many of my friends ask me to teach them a trick and in 5 minutes I have been able to teach them something simple that really floors their audience after a little practice. Just my 2 cents, but thanks for all the advice given so far! I think I'm going to create an advertisement in the local paper around when the new David Blaine special is going to gain hype and see how strong of a market there really is.
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Jerrine
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Hey Dean: When I say teach/sell/market less [you left out teach, probably didn't read that part] I'm not talking about yourself I'm talking about selling the how to of tricks (secrets) and marketing that, which is the topic of this thread. Go ahead look at the top of the page. You will see it just to the right of Tricky Business. Reading, it's fundamental. heheheheheh! IMHO there is FAR too many people trying to sell magic/tricks as well as How To Make It as a Magician to others to make a fast buck instead of performing. So you are not going to see My Course on Proven, Profit making Success nor will you see my 6 DVD set on Sleight of Hand, PK Rings, and Chop Cup work because I am out entertaining people which is what a Magician does, again IMHO. I got into Magic to entertain, call me crazy! Just because there is a market for something doesn't mean that it should be tapped. Pretty good market for crystal meth around here, not a good idea. There is a market for Magic DVD rentals, again IMHO not a good idea. Then again perhaps these people are not so good at performing and need to make a buck somehow. [not a shot at you palmtree, you may have serious skills and awesome performance technique, how would I know? simply trying to explain why it happens]There is one born every minute, I'm just saying.

There is more to life and Magic than $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!!

palmtree don't let being 20 get in the way of performing.
TheDean
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I saw it there... thanks.

I agree there is ALOT more to life and magic than $$$$$$. It is practically my mantra. (and as it turns out, my lifestyle of NOT having to make a “living” any longer!) Fact of the matter is there is A LOT more to life than MAGIC as well. THAT was my point. Doesn’t mean that teaching magic classes is wrong does it?

No big deal… just sharing on topic. That thing at the top of the forum next to “Tricky Business” because READING “is” fundamental. (HA!)

Live Long & Prosper,
D
Dean Hankey, *M.D. - The Dean of Success Solutions!
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"Book More Shows... Make More Money... SERVE MORE PEOPLE! - Not Necessarily In That Order…"

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George Ledo
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FWIW, if I were teaching a class on magic, I wouldn't start with easy card tricks. I'd start with an overview of what magic is, and how to come across like an entertainer who does magic, and how to use tricks to create magic. Yes this will weed out the people who just want to know the mechanics and get the attention -- and that's exactly why I would do it that way.
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housermagic
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When the wife and I took clowning classes, we were taught routining, makeup, and stage presence. The same (maybe with the exception of makeup) should be part and parcel of a magic class. Most locals who teach magic ask $20-25 per hour.
Bill
criverstamu09
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I agree with most of what has been said here. I think that to actually instruct someone in magic you need to give them an overall view and start of with sleights and related tricks. If you teach them five tricks in two hours, they will likely forget it or think it is too hard. So from a business standpoint, reeling them in with sleights and related effects will keep them coming back.
"Who you are moment to moment is just a story."
mota
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James Munton has a DVD...."Teaching a Birthday Party Magic Class for Kids" or something like that. You would get birthday party rates to teach a magic class.
BrianMillerMagic
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I run an Introduction to Card Magic Camp during summers in Buffalo. It is only for a small handful of students, and it is a basic introduction to magic through the focus of card magic. I teach important aspects of misdirection, presentation, when to perform, the philosophy and psychology of magic, history lessons of magic's past, and a discussion of what magic really means. This is in addition to teaching a foundation of basic card mechanics and by the end of the week they can each perform five simple card effects. They spend time performing the effects for each other to learn the patter and get more comfortable performing for an audience. Each day we begin with a discussion of a quote that I give out at the end of the previous day, one that ties into the topics that will be covered that day.

In other words, I agree with George Ledo in that the lessons should be about magic, not about learning tricks. Best of luck!
mikedobias
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Eddy Wade also sells a "Magic Workshop in a Box" and a "Magic Camp in a Box", both of which are great starting points for putting together magic classes for kids. I think there is probably more of a market for teaching magic to kids than adults.

The previously-mentioned James Munton DVD is also very good. I used portions of both of these in designing my birthday magic workshop that I offer for older kids (10-12 years old) instead of doing a magic show--they love it!
James Munton
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Palmtreemagic,

You might want to approach the after-school programs at the elementary schools in your area. In the past, I have done 6 week courses. I charged $12 per student per one hour class with a minimum of 15 kids. (They had to sign up for the whole 6 weeks.) I've also done a similar course at summer camps.

The advantage of approaching the after-school programs is that they already have the kids, and they do the marketing for you. You also get a room to hold the classes - you don't need to pay to rent a space.

Way more work than a simple one-hour birthday party, though!

Good luck with it!

Best,
James
Ed_Millis
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Some thoughts from a part-time magician with very limited, basic skills and knowledge, and a father who has paid out plenty for his kid's interests over the years:

-- What age are you looking at? Do you have the presence to command the attention span of a room of younger kids for an extended period of time? Do you have the patience to work through limitations of understanding and maturity? Do you have the force of personality to press through the blossoming egos of young teens who are constantly trying to one-up each other and you? (Two of my kids are now teacher's aides - the 17-year-old has difficulty with older kids, while the 24-year-old "subbed" for two years in a 5th grade class with great results.)

-- If I as a parent am going to plop down $80-$120 for two hours for my kid, he had better come back with something pretty spectacular! As a paying parent, I have serious doubts about what you can teach my kid in one 2-hour session that is worth that kind of money. Knowing just a bit about stage and theater and magic, I have doubts that one session is enough, especially if all he gets is five tricks and a packet of papers written by you. You have to sell ~me~, not the kid, and I want to know what I'm going to get from you that wouldn't be better spent on a book, a DVD, and a couple of packet tricks.

-- Where are you going to do this? In your home? Not with my kid!! In *my* home? Probably not! Can I come and watch, too? Can I help, even - maybe as my kid's "volunteer" to pick a card?

One thing that might help overcome some of this is if you belong to and have the "blessings" of a local magic club. If the leadership of the club can endorse you, and you can use their meeting place (better still would be the meeting or "casual performance" area of a local magic shop), you would have a big plus.

You might also check with the City Parks and Recreation, and see if they will let you do a class under their umbrella. They generally have spaces available, they have advertising available, and they give you a credibility factor that you might not have just on your own.

If you do birthday parties or other events with kids present, you might be able to mention that you are forming a class "to be held soon" in which you will teach kids how to perform some of the very magic they have just seen! If they are interested, they can get a form from you for their parents to fill out and send back to you. (If they want to know why paper and not just email, tell them you must have the signature of a responsible adult on file.) This gives you feedback on interest for a class, as well as a mailing list of potential clients.

Ed
James Munton
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Ed,

Those are EXCELLENT points.

I didn't realize the OP was talking about giving private lessons. If so, I think he would need to do some research into other tutoring services and see what they are charging. How much are piano lessons these days?


PalmTreeMagic (What is your real name, BTW?),

I also think you would do better actually doing some shows for a while. How can you possibly have any credibility if you are only 20 and haven't performed very much? Do you even have a restaurant gig?

Quote:
I feel like the market to teach magic to newbies is larger than the market to hire magicians for entertainment.

You are kidding, right?

Having read through the posts again, I really think you are not ready to teach magic, but I do encourage you to use all your wonderful skills to actually perform some magic for people.

Best,
James
LVMagicAL
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I applaud your thought process in anticipating an increased interest in magic. That shows insight. I think you should follow your initial business plan and offer your instruction for the prices you suggest. Setting your prices based on what others are paying for piano, sports, or other lessons is irrelevant. The market will quickly let you know if there is a value in what you are offering. If you offer it up and don't get any takers, then you'll have to determine if your pricing is out of line, if your skills are not well enough developed, or if there is simply not the kind of demand you thought there was going to be.

Magic is an art, but Show Business is made up of two words. The business end is often neglected by magical "artists". Don't let fellow Magi discourage you....chase your dreams and see what happens. If you shoot for the stars and only hit the moon, that's better than never taking a shot in the first place.

Take your shot and be prepared to follow this sure fire 5 step plan for success:
1) Plan your actions
2) Take Action
3) Evaluate the results of your actions
4) Learn from your success and your failures
5) Return to step #1 and repeat

You may or may not achieve the success you desire in this endeavor, but if you go into it with an open mind and learn from your actions, mistakes, and successes, you'll come out of the experience being better prepared to tackle your next opportunity.

Good Luck!
Dannydoyle
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I never understood why people want to do this in the first place.

BUT if it works for you, and you can do it with integrity, then go for it.

I have always felt you can make far more on the stage.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
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