- Title: Make me a magician: Paris magic school offers official diploma
- Date: 23rd October 2019
- Summary: PARIS, FRANCE (OCTOBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS) 18-YEAR-OLD STUDENT MAGICIAN, THOMAS BIORET, WALKING IN STREET BIORET WALKING TOWARDS SCHOOL, TURNING AND SAYING (French): "This is 'Le Double Fond', it's the school where we have lessons", GOING INSIDE (SOUNDBITE) (French) PROFESSIONAL MAGICIAN AND TEACHER AT 'LE DOUBLE FOND' SCHOOL, ALEXANDRIA DUVIVIER, SHOWING BIORET A MAGIC TRICK (SOUNDBITE CONTINUES OVER SEVERAL SHOTS) AND SAYING: "Look, the effect is simple. The bill is on the first elastic, you can see it's on the first -- hold it tight -- first elastic, it's really on the first but if I go like this we can make it hop to the second. It's not an optical illusion, it really is on the second. But also on the third, that's what's crazy, it never stops, it can even go to the final one or even back to the first." BIORET'S CLASSMATE TRYING ELASTIC TRICK ON BIORET VARIOUS OF CLASSMATES TRYING TRICK (SOUNDBITE) (French) 18-YEAR-OLD STUDENT MAGICIAN, THOMAS BIORET, TRYING TRICK ON DUVIVIER, SAYING: "Can you please slot it onto the first elastic? With the opening facing you, that's great. And now you're going to have to hold it tight because in a second it's going to move. (DUVIVIER SAYING: "No!") Yes. Not very far but it might hop to the second elastic (DUVIVIER SAYING: "Yes!")" (SOUNDBITE) (French) PROFESSIONAL MAGICIAN AND TEACHER AT 'LE DOUBLE FOND' SCHOOL, ALEXANDRIA DUVIVIER, SAYING: "Most people have never seen any magic before you. So it's great. That's great but it means you need to work even harder because if you don't do it well you'll turn them off magic and then they'll never go and see it." STUDENT TRYING TRICK (SOUNDBITE) (French) 18-YEAR-OLD STUDENT MAGICIAN, THOMAS BIORET, SAYING: "Magic is a passion, it's a bit like music and someone who wants to make a living from music or an artist who want's to sketch all day. 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." DUVIVIER WALKING UP STAIRS FROM SCHOOL INTO BAR WHICH DOUBLES AS VENUE FOR MAGIC, WALKING TOWARDS BAR DUVIVIER LOOKING AT PAPERWORK PROFESSIONAL MAGICIAN'S DIPLOMA (SOUNDBITE) (French) PROFESSIONAL MAGICIAN AND TEACHER AT 'LE DOUBLE FOND' SCHOOL, ALEXANDRIA DUVIVIER, SAYING: "We have a diploma which is recognised by the state, by the labour ministry, as the equivalent of 2 years of study post-high school, which of course means it's entitled to public funding just like any other training for jobs in the arts -- theatre, dance, the circus and so on -- so it's huge."
- 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: LVA001B2BHYL5
- 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)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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