5 Real Life Magic Schools, You Won't Believe Existed
How do you learn to be a magician?
Well, as with anything you go to school. A magic school, of course!
But this isn’t a fantasy, like Hogwarts (Harry Potter), or the Unseen University (Discworld), or Roke Island (A Wizard of Earthsea). There’s no need to walk through a train platform wall in order to sign up for these very real magic schools.
These are real life places where anyone with the desire to learn magic could sign up as a student. Well, I say anyone, some of these are no longer around, and for the ones that do still exist, you may have to prove that you have learnt a little magic yourself first, or fulfil their entry requirements. But if you are dedicated you can get to one of these magic schools. I believe in you.
As we often say, the door to magic is closed, but not locked.
In fact, if one of these magic schools isn't near you, why not check out this article, for how you can get started with magic from scratch.
It’s certainly true that this is an interesting topic, and definitely has an air of mysteriousness to it. Magic is a small community, and doesn’t attract as many people as other art forms such as music and acting, and that’s why there are only five places on this list and that they are so widely spread across the globe.
I’ve also excluded online lessons and general magic workshops. Many magicians offers these sort of services on top of their performances, and if that is something you are interested in then please click here to find out more about my magic lessons.
For this article though, I’ll be exploring real world magic schools where you can actually study the craft and the art of performing magic.
Are you ready to discover magic? Let’s start...
MAGIC & MYSTERY SCHOOL, LAS VEGAS, USA
If you’ve already got some experience in magic then this is the place to check out. Several of my magician friends have taken classes / courses with Jeff McBride and the other tutors at the Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas.
I’ve only ever heard great things about the tutition there which includes not only what tricks to perform, but how to present them, how to find your own unique style and also how to make magic a sustainable career.
One of the great features is that the school brings in guests tutors to share their specialist knowledge and experience.
I, personally, have only attended their touring classes when they have been here in the UK, but one day hope to visit Las Vegas in order to study alongside some of the top magicians in the world.
If you are a magician and are interested in finding out more, then a good place to start would be with their Mystery School Monday Magic TV, which is a free online get together, with each week having a different focus. It happens most Mondays, and like I said it’s free, so what have you got to lose.
This is a true magic school, and a real gem, in the world of magic.
See below for more information:
and if you can find a copy, I’ve also heard great things about The Mystery School book, released several years ago via The Miracle Factory.
ESCUELA DE MAGIA DE MADRID, MADRID, SPAIN
Founded by Arturo de Ascanio and Juan Tamariz, this is less of a school and more of a community. As with the above London school, it was initially focused around a Madrid magic shop, where magicians would gather to discuss magic and help each other to improve.
And what magic! The Spanish Style of Magic is characterised by a very playful style where the performance exists in collaboration with the audience. It’s like dancing. And it’s why in my magic, I always describe it as conversational. It’s isn’t about me. It’s about us.
Another feature is the common use of close up magic props, such as playing cards and coins.
Today, like then, the real secrets are only shared amongst trusted professionals but I believe they now do have classes for beginners too.
Here’s a good place to start exploring:
COLLEGE OF MAGIC, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
The College of Magic opened on 23rd February 1980 with the aim of providing performance-arts education for aspirant entertainers from all sections of Cape Town's community.
Their courses are available only for children age 10 – 17 living in the local area, and they have grants available for those who may need financial assistance in order to attend.
What I love about the College of Magic is that they have a full curriculum to help young people first ‘fall in love’ with magic, and then learn not only how to do the trick, but also how to perform.
One of my good friends attended the College of Magic, later working there as a staff member, then becoming one of the top female magicians in South Africa, and even performing on South Africa’s Got Talent.
Check out more here:
PUSAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, REPUBLIC OF KOREA
OK, good luck with finding any information on this one, but I believe (through hearsay) that at one point the government funded an arts programme for 12 magicians to study magic at Pusan National University (Busan used to be called Pusan). I don't know if that's 100% accurate or if it's still going, but that's your "jumping off point" for this one.
I could be wrong, but I think Yu Ho Jin, came through this. Even if not, here's a video of a fantastic performance of his, which is 100% worth taking a few moments out of your day to watch.
NO LONGER EXISTS
DAVENPORTS MAGIC, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
Unfortunately now closed for the foreseeable future.
If you’re based in the UK, then one way to get started with magic is to attend a series of lessons at Davenports Magic. This is a magic shop located in the arcade at Charing Cross Tube Station.
It’s a magical shop, that I have always enjoyed visiting, and with helpful staff to assist you with purchasing equipment suitable to your level, or helping you to work out the kinks on the routine you are trying to perfect.
I’ve heard great things about their beginner’s courses, and this would be a great way to start in magic, if you live nearby.
As added above, this shop is now unfortunately closed, so I’m not sure where you would start in the UK, except to look for private lessons. That can be a good way to start but is not what this article is about.
As for purchasing props. If you are in London, you might try International Magic, (the only physical magic shop, left in the capital). Their details are below:
International Magic, 89 Clerkenwell Road, London EC1R 5BX
+44 (0) 20 7405 7324
CIRCOMEDIA, BRISTOL, UNITED KINGDOM
If circus is more your thing, then Circomedia in Bristol, might be the right place for you. They are a world-renowned centre for contemporary circus and physical theatre training in the UK. They offer classes for adult beginners, youth beginners (and holiday courses) all the way up to degree level courses in circus and physical theatre, that teach you not only about the skills of circus, but also the business side and practicalities of touring.
I honestly, think this is a fantastic place, and most likely the dream for those with an interest in this side of performing arts. I wish there was something as comprehensive like this for magic, but the truth is that most magicians are in fact self taught.
Find out more here:
I hope you've found this article interesting. If you're looking to learn magic, then take a look at my page for magicians, which tells you a little about the 1 to 1 lessons and mentoring that I provide, or start with this article below for a self-paced approach.
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