Q: Where are the lessons held?
A: Lessons are usually held at your home or office, or in a local café or quiet pub (anywhere with a table to sit at) anywhere in travel zone 1 or up to about the middle of zone 2 (no charge for travel in these areas). If you live or work beyond zone 2 we would normally arrange to meet halfway. Justin is available weekdays and weekends, days and evenings.
Q: Do you run set courses?
A: Each lesson or course is tailored uniquely for each student based on their skills and personal aims. This involves finding the right balance between advising the student and letting them choose what they want to learn. For the complete beginner, the course will generally be outlined for them.
Q: Do I have to buy specific materials?
A: A notebook is essential. The student will also need to bring a decent deck of playing-cards to their lessons (Bicycle brand cards or similar – I can provide cards at cost price). The emphasis in the lessons is on magic with everyday objects. Click here for more information on materials.
Q: Will I have to practise?
A: Yes! This is the #1 most important aspect of the lessons. Even a few minutes a day is good. Practice is part of the fun of learning magic – if you don’t enjoy practising then maybe magic isn’t for you.
Q: The lessons are held in cafés in Central London – do you not receive unwanted attention?
A: Close-up magic done over the table is very low-key and no one ever notices. Lessons are usually held in large coffee chains where one can sit undisturbed for any length of time. This informality helps put students at ease and is a positive factor.
Q: Do you teach only card tricks?
A: I teach all forms of close-up magic with everyday objects: coins, banknotes, matches, lighters, and also traditional magicians’ materials such as sponge balls, ropes, linking rings; practically anything except doves and stage illusions!
Q: Do you specialise in gimmicks and special props, or sleight of hand and psychological principles?
A: Sleight of hand and psychological principles. This allows the student to perform anytime, anywhere with borrowed objects and regular playing-cards.
Q: Can you offer a free meeting prior to the first lesson to see if we can work together?
A: Certainly, just email me here and we can meet for a tea and a chat… and a card trick or two.
Q: How long will it take for me to get really good at magic?
A: It normally takes several weeks and lots of home practice before the student is ready to start showing magic to people; and several months to start to become really good at it.
Q: Who would you encourage and discourage as magic students?
A: Anyone who has made a start by themselves and wants to improve is encouraged. People who want to do an evening class in ‘something different’ or to ‘learn new skills’ are discouraged, as they probably won’t have sufficient interest in magic to practise or get beyond one or two lessons.
Q: What are the main mistakes people make when having magic lessons?
A: Being ‘too busy to practise’! Life revolves around habits, so just create some space in your life for a new hobby. Practising magic is a wonderful way to unwind after a busy day and is both constructive and therapeutic. Sleight of hand is like yoga for the fingers!