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Topic: Chavez, McBride, or other?
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (Jul 9, 2005 04:05AM)
A question to the wise ones. I have a 14 year old that has been studying magic for 2 years and is wanting to get some manipulation resources. We are looking at Dale Salwak's Chavez correspondence course for $300 - it's 17 lessons. In looking at Jeff McBride's material, I see that for $300, or a little less, I can get the Stage Magic, Card Manipulation and Art of Manipulation DVD sets - that is 9 DVD's - which APPEARS to have most of the same material as Chavez, and more.

My question is, if you were making the choice, what would you reccommend? I keep hearing that there is more content on the McBride series, but there is something to be said about that Chavez certificate. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Scott Compton
Message: Posted by: thegreatgeorgio (Jul 9, 2005 04:33AM)
I have got all of the McBride series and they are excellent for starting out in manipulation and stage magic. Any more questions?




thanks

George
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 9, 2005 06:57AM)
There are good things to be said about both courses. A lot will depend on the type of magic you want to develop.

I would seriously look into taking some courses in person as there is nothing that can subsitute for that one on one.

I would contact Dale Salwak at Chavez (you can tell him I sent you) and just tell him what you are considering. I would do the same with Jeff. Both are very truthful and honest people that will give as straight an answer as possible.

I hope that helps some.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (Jul 9, 2005 07:35AM)
Thanks Mr. Hughes,

I enjoyed seeing you last year at the Winter Carnival and this past SCAM convention. I have already contacted Dale and he sent me a packet of information. Living in TN, personal instruction is out it seems. We both attended Jeff's master class after the WCM at it was great. I guess I just am having problems going with correspondence over the more instructive DVD format. Everyone keeps going back that certificate......

Thanks again,

Scott Compton
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 9, 2005 04:56PM)
As a Chavez graduate, I can tell you that it was the only source available many years ago. There are some things in it that have never been published by anyone. It is a step by step course that will allow you to have a complete act in Billard Balls, Cards, Thimbles, and Cigarettes. It touches on dove magic but not an indepth study detail. Many other videos on cover this form of magic much better.

I have the McBride tapes and they do not form an act as the Chavez does. This can give you a basis to develope other routines.

The certificate is nice on the wall, but it will not do anything for you professionally or get you into show biz. The Chavez school use to be covered by the G.I. Bill, which ment that after the service, soldiers could get this as there education. That was dropped back in the early 1960's.

My advice would be to take the Chavez course and then get the tapes to develope your act further.
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (Jul 9, 2005 05:30PM)
Hi Scott:

I'm not a Chavez School graduate, but took a number of private lessons from Dale Salwak, and have most of the Chavez Lessons in the course. The lessons are very systematic, and like wmhegbli said, teach you how to do manipulation with a cards, coins, billiard balls, thimbles, etc.

I think that because of the information concerning building at act, the Chavez course if valuable, but...in the case of manipulation technique, video is far superior to the printed pages (even with lots of pictures).

Perhaps, you can purchase the Chavez course, and purchase some videos of McBride and others as a supplement.

Once you get 50 posts here at the Café, you get access to the "Buy and Sell" forum where you can get terrific deals from people unloading their video tapes. I've seen quite a few of the McBride tapes being sold for $10.00 to $15.00 each.

I hope this helps you.

Ron
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 9, 2005 08:50PM)
Good points guys.

Once you have an act, then you can have some critiques done and further develop it from there.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Jul 9, 2005 09:20PM)
I went through the Chavez Correspondence Course and Advance Course several years ago (before the onslaught of video) and really liked it. I used crayons instead of cigarettes, but used thimbles, cards, coins, and billiard balls for the rest.

The best thing about the Chavez course, in my opinion, is teaching the construction of routines, proper hand/finger exercises to help prevent injury, and some great magic.

Over the years I have purchased McBride videos and found them to be good for looking at individual moves, but in terms of helping a beginner construct routines, the videos are a collection of moves and choppy. Don't get me wrong I enjoyed the videos and got some a lot of use from them.

As I look at my library now however, I've sold all my McBride videos, but the Chavez course is still sitting where it's accessible. I agree with the hybrid approach. Get the Chavez course as a base and then get the videos to supplement the course.
Message: Posted by: kregg (Jul 10, 2005 12:18PM)
Personal instruction is the best way to learn... seek out manipulator's in your area. I went to Chavez under Neil Foster and wouldn't trade the experience for all the stuff in the world. DVD's tend to lay out too much information with set rules, which can squash creativity.
I have not seen Dr. Dales course, but, based on what I've seen of Jeff's material it's first rate and loaded with enough magic to perform a marathon.

Kregg
Message: Posted by: Scott Compton (Jul 12, 2005 05:39PM)
Thanks for all the great feedback guys. I have had several requests for information on the Chavez Course. It seems it is not to easy to find on the search engines. Here is the info:

Chavez Studio of Magic
Dale Salwak, Director
P.O. Box 8054
La Verne, CA 91750

salwak@adelphia.net

Tel. (909) 593-5374

Scott Compton
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Aug 2, 2005 06:59AM)
..."DVD's tend to lay out too much information with set rules, which can squash creativity."

Hmmm. Depends on the DVD. Some are (to paraphrase David Lettermen) "10 minutes of entertainment, all Crammed into an hour-and-a-half..." (OK I'm a little jaded, I just bought one of those tapes...)

Jeffs' series has been very helpful to me. I always find use to reference it with a variety of projects. What I've seen of Chavez is great, but it seems to advance the club worker type act. Some great material and theory mind you. But I'll probably be trying the rest of mylife to do material that doesn't look like an existing style.

Ultimately there is only one solution that is truly practical. If you really want to LEARN something, get your hands on EVERYTHING you can about it, (or anything that even LOOKS like it), then go through ALL of it and review everything that strikes a chord with you. then of course, see what you can master to the point of doing it in your sleep and add a healthy dose of what your stage persona can get away with. Add some of your own ideas, pacing and music and you should have something special.

I'm a big believer in immersing yourself in an effect, finding an author whose "Voice" jumps off the page at you and describes things you want to do.

My personal work method goes like this..

1. Get "Too Much" information on the effect from every known source...
2. Find moves and ideas you like, especially from performers whose thoughts and likes match your own.
3. Create a routine that includes at least 30% original ideas
4. "Map out" the routine on paper including nifty opening, skillful body and Gauranteed applause ending
5. Do continual mirror rehearsal daily while listening to Many pieces of music.
6. NAIL it to a great piece of music with a DEFINATE ending, and time it so you end with strong pose or movement SIMULTANEOUSLY with end of music.

7. ....ATTACK!!!
(Uh, that is, perform with confidence taking note of what works and what just lays there. Adjust the developing routine quickly with cues from audience response and knowledgeable performer feedback)

Just my 2cts.

Aloha;
-Mike
Message: Posted by: cardandcoin (Aug 2, 2005 09:12AM)
McBride is amazing.His videos are a must for everyone.I love his linking ring routine and his card productions are flawless.

Get the art of card manipulation 1-3
Message: Posted by: Skilless (Jan 8, 2019 05:58AM)
[quote]On Jul 9, 2005, Scott Compton wrote:
A question to the wise ones. I have a 14 year old that has been studying magic for 2 years and is wanting to get some manipulation resources. We are looking at Dale Salwak's Chavez correspondence course for $300 - it's 17 lessons. In looking at Jeff McBride's material, I see that for $300, or a little less, I can get the Stage Magic, Card Manipulation and Art of Manipulation DVD sets - that is 9 DVD's - which APPEARS to have most of the same material as Chavez, and more.

My question is, if you were making the choice, what would you reccommend? I keep hearing that there is more content on the McBride series, but there is something to be said about that Chavez certificate. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Scott Compton [/quote]

I've known Dale Salwak for years (decades?) and I'm about to sing the praises of both him and the Chavez School of Magic, California branch. Before I do so however, I want to point out that I've never met Jeff McBride (though I've been privileged to attend a private lecture at the Castle given by his teacher, the late great Eugene Burger, whose voice, IMO, was almost as impressive as his magic). Nor, as far as I know, have I met any of Jeff McBride's students. I should also make it clear that due to reasons of both health and economy, I've never attended the Chavez School or received any private lessons from Dale. Thus I'm in no position to tender an unbiased comparison between the two schools and their teachers. So despite all the lauding I'm about to proffer for Dale Salwak and his school, I by no means intend to demean Jeff McBride's Magic & Mystery School or to imply that one school is better than the other.

I'm lucky enough to live just a short drive from Dale and his school. I've met and befriended many of his graduates and I've attended their graduation ceremonies. During these ceremonies, each student performs a routine s/he'd been working on under Dale's tutelage. I can't truthfully say that every such performance was polished and of professional quality; but many were. The others seemed to be well on their way up the ladder.

Dale's students come from all over the world to study with him. I've personally met and in many cases befriended students from Columbia, Mexico, Japan, both China's and Hong Kong, England (or was it Scotland?), and Sweden. There were probably some who came from other countries that I can't think of off the top of my head. The Swedes and also the Englishman had already studied card magic with Lennart Green. Some of the other students were working magicians or magic teachers. Some of the students returned from ferne halwes, as Chaucer put it, for advanced training.

I can't believe that all these students chose Chavez because they stumbled upon the school's website. Word of mouth must be Chavez' best friend and Dale must have a superb reputation worldwide. This impression is reinforced by the fact that the gentleman of magic, as Dale is known, was personally invited by the government of NORTH Korea to visit that country as part of a cultural exchange event. The U.S. State Department approved Dale's trip which was so successful that he was allowed to return to North Korea repeatedly as a sort of ambassador of magic.

The Chavez course focuses mainly on manipulation techniques for stage magic. Dale's curriculum isn't a one size fits all cookie cutter approach though. He customizes his teaching to each student's interests. I once asked him if he would teach closeup magic and he answered in the affirmative. Even those students who stick to his "standard" course get individualized training. For example, he instructed one student I know to do pushups.

Dale's commitment to his students' success isn't limited to providing them with a stage-ready routine. For those students who are ready to go professional or who are already workers, he helps with other avenues of their career. For example, he sent one young student that I know (the same one, as it happenes, for whom he prescribed pushups) to a specific Los Angeles coiffeur for a celebrity caliber haircut. (I asked Dale why he didn't send the the tutee to Dean Dill, magic performer, magic designer, and barber, who was still alive and practising at the time. Dale didn't seem too impressed by my recommendation.)

I think one of the best ways to discover at least some, but by no means all, of what Dale has to offer is to watch his performances. The link below is to a video that displays a variety of his routines:

https://youtu.be/Yz--cF7kCuw

The next link shows some rope work that's missing from the previous video. (As a sort of obiter dictum, I'd like to ask, "How many of you are old enough to remember George Sands, considered the grandfather of all rope magic?")

https://youtu.be/wAPs7uSocDs

Dale's current routine, which I've seen on stage at least three times, includes many forms of manipulation not shown in the videos I just linked to. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to dig up a more current video. Hopefully Dale or someone else will jump in here and provide a link to one.

In conclusion, I'd like to reiterate that despite all the lionizing of the Chavez School of Magic I've been spouting, for all I know Jeff McBride's Magic & Mystery School is Chavez' equal or superior. Certainly, judging only by the quality of Jeff McBride's reputation and the quality of his teacher, it's a possibility.
Message: Posted by: Link774 (Jan 8, 2019 08:48AM)
Even though this post was last updated in 2005, I was just researching a bit about the Chavez Course last night. Funny coincidence!

I was watching this video ([url]https://youtu.be/SJMoFd3nTv0[/url]), and Farrell Dillon mentioned he learned the 1 to 4 trick at 0:59 in the Chavez Course. I'm new to billiard balls, and had to watch that move a number of times figure out what was going on there!
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Jan 8, 2019 09:32AM)
Wow, how did this old thread get dredged up?

I've attended both Jeff McBride's Magic & Mystery School, and Dale Salwak's Chavez Studio. I count both men as friends, and I have tremendous respect for Dale and Jeff, both as magicians and as men. I can't comment on DVD vs correspondence course, my comments are about the courses.

At some level of greatness, there is no "better," there is only "different," and that's what we have with these two manipulation courses. Equally good, but different. I suggest not one or the other, but that doing both gives one the best foundation and the greatest learning.

But there is no substitute for in-person instruction. What you get from any DVD or correspondence course pales beside even a single hour of instruction from either of these men. Jeff does Skype sessions, for those unable to attend in person. I will say that their personalities are diametrically opposed. Jeff can be pretty intense, and can overwhelm you with the huge amount of knowledge he imparts in a very short period of time, and Dale is an extremely kind, patient, humble man who will spend forever with you on a single move if you need it.

Do both, if you can.
Message: Posted by: Link774 (Jan 8, 2019 10:02AM)
Yeah, pretty funny coincidence that Skilless would add to this thread a day after I'd been looking at it from a search. In any event, thanks to you both for adding your experiences!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 8, 2019 11:18AM)
That one to for has been around for many years. Daniels did it on television years ago. Farrell Dillon does it vertical, while Daniels and others Do it horizontally, the change can make it look different. I am sure Dale Salwak has added some new material in the last 45 years, instead of just the standard beginning manipulation moves.
Message: Posted by: Stucky (Jan 14, 2019 10:55PM)
[quote]On Jan 8, 2019, danaruns wrote:
Wow, how did this old thread get dredged up?

I've attended both Jeff McBride's Magic & Mystery School, and Dale Salwak's Chavez Studio. I count both men as friends, and I have tremendous respect for Dale and Jeff, both as magicians and as men. I can't comment on DVD vs correspondence course, my comments are about the courses.

At some level of greatness, there is no "better," there is only "different," and that's what we have with these two manipulation courses. Equally good, but different. I suggest not one or the other, but that doing both gives one the best foundation and the greatest learning.

But there is no substitute for in-person instruction. What you get from any DVD or correspondence course pales beside even a single hour of instruction from either of these men. Jeff does Skype sessions, for those unable to attend in person. I will say that their personalities are diametrically opposed. Jeff can be pretty intense, and can overwhelm you with the huge amount of knowledge he imparts in a very short period of time, and Dale is an extremely kind, patient, humble man who will spend forever with you on a single move if you need it.

Do both, if you can. [/quote]

Both schools are great places to start but should never be your only education. Eventually you need to start forging your own path.