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Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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Posted as FREE magic lessons can attract parents to enroll their kids Smile

Then charge for the props Smile You still make profit by selling the props...maybe make your own magic set Smile A set of 7-8 tricks...with a magic wand and a hat that would for example cost $10 and sell it for $25.

Still the lessons are free...they just paid for the props Smile
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Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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Quote:
On 2008-09-21 21:23, Al Angello wrote:
You asked how much to charge one kid for magic lessons, and my answer to you is to charge him nothing. I do not believe any of us paid the people who taught us magic. It is our obligation to share our art.


You may not be totally right.

When living in London, I had, after considerable investigation, decided to learn magic from Fred Robinson. He was not keen at all to do teaching but I finally succeeded convincing him. I don't remember how much he charged me, but I remember that he, more than once, had to grant me some credit on the tuition (which he very graciously did) because it was more than what I could afford.

Then I moved to New York and I took lessons from Tony Slydini and again happily paid more than what I could afford (just jumped a lunch over two for completion)

I must admit however that at the same time I met with Herb Zarrow and his marvelously generous wife who in turn invited me to their home with Derek Dingle and there I received free advice and was freely and generously shown moves and tricks that were extremely valuable.

My point is that you may be right about showing some twist to a magician peer (even younger) should be free. On the contrary proper teaching, IMHO, should not (and I'm not giving any so I'm not defending myself).

It's like if you go to a shrink: if you pay for what you learn, you'll value it more and, as a young magician, it keeps you off from running like a mad dog after new moves and new tricks. The price is part of the cure for the shrink and part of the teaching for the very beginner.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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Teachers get paid to teach "en masse" in a classroom setting.

Tutors get paid to teach one on one (after school).

Perhaps it can be likened to that analogy.

The point is, that both types of professionals do get paid. It's a personal choice whether you do tutoring for free.

One thing about charging a fee, is that there is more commitment involved on the part of the student.

- Donald

P.S. I have helped out with the local SYM / MYI club at some time or another, so I don't object to the idea of volunteering. I see the magic club approach as a little different, though.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Al Angello
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Eternal Order
Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Donald
Did you pay your mentor when you got started?

Thank God I call myself a juggler/magician, and not a magician/juggler, because we jugglers are artists, and not salesmen.

If a young boy asks me to help him I will never say "how much money do you have in you pocket son".
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Stevethomas
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Call your local music store and ask how you can get free guitar lessons. When they're done laughing, remind them that they should provide this service for free.

Steve
Al Angello
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Collegeville, Pa. USA
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Steve
How much did you pay your mentor?


20 years ago when I got started in entertainment I was taught to share the art, and greed will never be a factor with me.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Amen Al,

I still feel that a perosn has to decide for him or herself whether they want to charge for lessons. That is really not up for me to decide. You have to decide that yourself based on what you feel is right for you.

For myself, I am of the exact same belief as Al is on this. I just will not ever charge anyone for wanting to learn magic. The fact that they want to learn magic and are willing to learn is enough for me. If they show the desire and determination, then I will be more then happy to teahc them everything I can and mentor them as I have for many years now.

The kids getting into magic are the future stars of magic. They are the ones that keep our art alive and growing. For me, if I can empower them and get them excited about our art, then I feel I am giving back to the art I love to perform so much.

Now this is just my own personal belief but one I feel strong about. I do indeed want to share the passion IO have for the art with others in hopes that some day they may share that passion with someone else.

Kyle
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Al Angello
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I would like to take this oportunity to thank Eric Paul, Sweet Pea the clown, and Ron Geoffries for helping me get started in magic 20 years ago, and none of these generous professional magicians wanted anything in return for sharing their art with me.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
magic4u02
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Same here. I could not even begin to thank all the magicians so many years ago who took this young kid under their wings, taught me what they know and never asked for anything other then the fact that I keep the secret and I honor the art. I owe them a lot and I feel giving back to magic by teaching asIi do is a way in which to do that. You have to determine what is right for you. But for me, this is the only way I know how to be.

Kyle
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Dan Bernier
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Mentoring and teaching classes on the performing arts of magic are two different things. I have seen many local magic shops charge for magic classes for beginners, intermediate, and advanced. They also hold seminars and lectures which they charge for. I too would never shy away from a child who seriously wanted to learn about the art of magic. I would probally start by giving the child a history lesson. If by then they still want to learn magic I would probally introduce them to the Ball & Vase while teaching simple slieghts such as the french drop and classic palm.

I would probally format it the same way if I was going to offer classes, which I see nothing wrong with charging for. Clowns pay for clown college, actors pay for acting classes, dancers pay professionals for lessons, singers hire professionals for singing lessons or as voice coaches. Art is not free. It's free to express whatever feeling and emotion the artist chooses to want to express, but art is not free. Nor is education.

(hey, just my two cents):)
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Wanlu
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Id like to do the same, thank my mentors who trained me for free Smile

My mentors in magic, ventriloquism and party hosting.

GM Nap Fernandez of Yaw-Yan
Danny Luchavez
Burik
Tamplin
Lou Hilario
Ony Carcamo
Ella Choy and Cherry Osmena

They did train me for FREE but I bought a lot of props from them...

...as for party hosting, my mentors trained me for free and when I was ready, they booked me almost every weekend for several years Smile
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Dynamike
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Thank you very much Al and to the others for having everyone show their hearts in this thread. That's what was needed. We need more people like you.

I want to thank two of my favorite mentors on The Magic Café, Al and Kyle.
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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It was implied that perhaps Steve Thomas, myself, and others might not be doing the right thing by suggesting it was OK to charge for tutoring or teaching. That perhaps we are just in this for the money.

I know that I have given tons of real world advice on this forum, as well as others, without expectation of compensation. My track record speaks loud and clear that I help without charging a fee.

The same for others like Steve.

However, I said it was a personal choice to charge or not. That is all.

I've been to plenty of lectures and workshops where the presenter charged for his services, and was not expected to give away their knowledge and expertise for free. I've had very little experience as a student being mentored, except within my magic club. Most of what I learned was because of reading books, going to lectures and conventions, and spending time with magic friends and asking questions (showing respect). I give away, as well as ask for help (I just had 2 phone conversations yesterday, sharing ideas... one with a magician in Montreal and one with a magician in Atlanta.)

I still say that whether to charge or not is a personal choice.

I have never charged to mentor or tutor a student (nor did I suggest I had done that). However, I don't think it's wrong to do so.

It's like marketing / business courses.

If someone wants to charge a fee for his advice / expertise, then let him do so. If he does a poor job in delivering, then he will have disappointed customers.

If someone wants to give away their advice / expertise, then let him do so.

It's not fair to expect people to give away their advice / expertise. Let them make up their own mind how they want to run their business / life.

- Donald

P.S. Something that hasn't really been discussed yet on this thread, is both the role of the student and of the teacher, in the mentor / mentee relationship. Both have to be gaining (doesn't necessarily have to be financially), in order for it to be a worthwhile experience.
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
tedski
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New Jersey
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Without expressing my views on the compensation issue, my question to the original poster - what are your qualifications to teach?

Do you know how to teach? It is a skill, and done properly, is more than just showing the method.
Al Angello
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In 1947 the number of working jugglers in this country were less that 20, so at our first convention the 8 jugglers who attended decided that in order to keep the art alive we had to give it away, and today there are over 3,000 IJA membere. We can not afford to be greedy, and as a direct result of this close fraternity I get offers every month from local IJA members offering me jobs to keep our art alive. This every man for himself attitude just makes me angry. Is a few bucks more important than the next generation of magicians?

I have gone to schools to teach large groups of kids how to juggle for my usual fee, but when a kid asks me to help him, or her get started I shake their hand give him a free lesson, and my business card, because I want to share my art.
Al Angello The Comic Juggler/Magician
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http://home.comcast.net/~juggleral/
"Footprints on your ceiling are almost gone"
Tony Chris
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O.k. Here is my two cents.
I agree completely with ku7uk3.

I have to look at it from a business point of view due to my position as a full time magical entertainer and I pay mortage, bills, groceries etc. completely for my family and I have a lot of bills just like most people out there.

I have taught both magic and guitar lessons to children and adults. If someone is contacting me for magic lessons which I will sometimes still teach if I have time, I will quote them two seperate prices. One for in my home sessions and one for when I have to travel to their home.

To start with, I will only teach in my local area and not travel beyond 15 minutes. The reason for this is that my time is very valuable these days as a full time magician, husband, father of two young children and have another hobby that involves recording music in my home studio which takes up what little free time I actually have. That being said, it is always handy to pick up a little extra cash between all the regular magic shows that I perform each month.

I charge one rate for lessons in my home and double the rate if I have to travel even if it is only a ten minute drive. I just don't like leaving my home to teach because I equate that with going off to perform an actual show which pays much, much more than magic lessons. I simply won't leave my home to teach as that adds extra stress in my life so it really has to be worth it money wise.

I can teach one lesson or have them take a full course with me that is broken into sub categories like beginner, intermediate or advanced. I also break it up into close up, stand up/parlour, mentalism, comedy stand up or stage. It is nice to give them options as most who contact me already are into a particualr form of magic and want to specialize in it.

You will have to decide what to charge by how important your time is, how much if at all, do you actually need axtra money and how much do you value your time and talents that you have already invested into learning your craft.

Only you know what to charge but I recommend somewhere between $50.00 - $100.00 per lesson. Teaching guitar lessons around where I live seems to be about $40.00 per lesson in one's home and there are literally hundreds of people doing that in my city of Vancouver. Magic should be more expensive I feel as it is so specialized and very few people who can do it and because I have tought both in the past, I can honestly say that teaching magic is much more disciplined for both you and your student.

Remember, this is just my two cents.

Tony
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Dan Bernier
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So far, I count .04 cents. (lol) Smile

I agree with Donald, it is a personal choice. A personal choice between both the teacher and student. I too have mentor's that I want to acknowledge who took time to teach me with out any cost. Magic Tom who was my first mentor, and Murphy who taught me that every day objects were magical. Rest in peace my good friends.
"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Andrew Zuber
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Los Angeles, CA
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I don't feel as though it's greed to charge for magic lessons. I feel as though there is a difference between helping someone out with one trick or answering a question, and committing to giving someone lessons. Answering a question here and there should be free because there is no commitment; you wouldn't charge a person when they ask you for directions. But if you are actually going to be giving lessons, there is nothing wrong with charging someone. I've worked with Tony Clark who gave me a very generous rate for lessons, and has given me breaks on quite a few other things as well - because this is his business. It's what he does for a living. It's not greed at all. When you purchase a magic trick, you aren't just paying for the prop - you are paying for the creator's time and effort. Magic lessons are no different, and as someone pointed out, life isn't cheap these days. We all have to make a living. It's not greed, it's survival, it's business.
If I were charging to give magic lessons (I don't give lessons) I would be a little offended by some of the comments in this thread - yes, it is most certainly a personal choice, but to assume that it is greedy on the part of the teacher is rude.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
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