- Title: Make me a magician: Paris magic school offers official diploma
- Date: 23rd October 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (French) PROFESSIONAL MAGICIAN AND TEACHER AT 'LE DOUBLE FOND' SCHOOL, ALEXANDRIA DUVIVIER, DOING CARD TRICK, SAYING: "Elevators are not the only elevators, aces are elevators too. If you put them on the table like that and I put the deck on the ace of spades, just by doing that the ace of spades climbs up to the top of the deck even though it was at the bottom. And this is the same, you put the ace of hearts on the top but actually it's not on the top because if you go like this it goes to the bottom. It's nuts. Put the deck on the ace of clubs like that, and go like that, and it makes it climb to the top. And the last one, the ace of diamonds you put it on the top, you press the button and it drops to the bottom. I'm telling you it's crazy." PACKS OF CARDS AND ROPES ON TABLE IN MAGIC SCHOOL (SOUNDBITE) (French) PROFESSIONAL MAGICIAN AND TEACHER AT 'LE DOUBLE FOND' SCHOOL, ALEXANDRIA DUVIVIER, SAYING: "There's psychology involved, understanding your audience, of course talking, improvising too, there are lots of things which are involved. And of course you need to practise, it's 2,500 to 3,000 hours of work alone, on top of the training itself." LE TREMBLAY-SUR-MAULDRE, FRANCE (OCTOBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) BIORET APPROACHING HIS FRONT DOOR BIORET PRACTISING IN HIS BEDROOM, HIS FATHER THIERRY BIORET WATCHING OVER HIS SHOULDER THIERRY BIORET WATCHING BIORET DOING CARD TRICK (SOUNDBITE) (French) BIORET'S FATHER, THIERRY BIORET, SAYING: "Initially Thomas was meant to be doing private magic classes, and then train to be a croupier. When we found out there was training to be a magician, recognised by the state and worth two years of post high school study, we jumped on it. We said to ourselves it could be a way in to that profession which is artistic." DECKS OF CARDS BIORET PRACTISING EXTERIOR OF BIORET'S HOUSE
- Embargoed: 6th November 2019 13:46
- Keywords: France Paris diploma in magic magic school magic tricks magician
- Location: PARIS AND LE TREMBLAY-SUR-MAULDRE, FRANCE
- City: PARIS AND LE TREMBLAY-SUR-MAULDRE, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment
- Reuters ID: LVA003B2BHYL5
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: For some people magic is a serious business.
Eighteen year old Thomas Bioret had a childhood passion for card tricks and when he left school this year he decided he wanted to make a career of them, enrolling in France's first state-recognised magic academy.
The school in the medieval heart of Paris has existed for three decades but this year its training programmes have been given an official stamp by the country's labour ministry putting it on the same footing as other performing arts schools -- a world first according to the owners.
Bioret is one of the school's first crop of trainees and for 35 hours a week is currently to be found in the basement of Le Double Fond -- which means, appropriately, 'The False Bottom' -- by day a place of learning, by night a venue for famous magic shows.
Sitting in a semi-circle he and his fellow classmates -- a mixed bag of beginners and artists seeking a career change -- are taught "close up" tricks with cards and hoops but also management skills including how to prepare a show and the history of magic.
"It's really engrossing, you don't notice the day go by. Sure it's 35 hours a week with lots of travel, lots of homework but the time passes at a crazy speed," Bioret said.
Professional magician Alexandra Duvivier runs the school with her father Dominique Duvivier, a pillar of the magic circuit whose photo hangs proudly in the bar.
The training doesn't come cheap. The three-month course including 550 hours of lessons costs 14,850 euros -- excluding tax -- but Duvivier says the school's reputation acts as a badge of quality in a growing market with magicians increasingly in demand.
Recognition from the government also brings access to state funding.
When Bioret returns to his parents' house at night after a 1 hour 30 minute commute he practises late at night in his bedroom, lined with 150 decks of cards.
His entrepreneur father Thierry Bioret explains that his son had planned to be a professional croupier but when they discovered that the training offered by the school was recognised as being the equivalent of two years of study post high school they jumped at the chance.
For his son, who has been practising amateur magic and organised shows at high school, it is another step towards his dream job.
(Production: Yonathan Van der Voort, Johnny Cotton)
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