The Chavez Studio of Magic was founded in 1941 by Benny Chavez, establishing for the first time a bonafide school of magic. In 1946 the course of study was approved by the California State Department of Education, the only school for magicians in America where Veterans of World War II could study under the G.I. Bill of Rights. Over the years the methods of instruction have been perfected and new material as been added to the curriculum. Literally a Whos-Who in the magical field have benefited in one way or another from the instruction.
When Benny Chavez passed away in 1962, Marian Chavez continued to operate the school both home-study and private from her studio in Panorama City. When she passed away in 1978, it was her wish that Neil Foster and Dale Salwak become the co-owners of the Chavez school. Together over the next nine years they made every effort to carry on the training in the tradition established by Benny and Marian. In 1988 Neil Foster passed away. Dale Salwak continues that tradition at the West Coast branch where he works hard to maintain the high standards that the founders of the studio set for all of their students.
The course focuses on everything (from basic to most advanced) with cards, coins, thimbles, billiard balls, and cigarettes (or similarly-shaped objects). Although we emphasize stage/parlor magic, much of the material can be adapted to close-up as well.
Along with all that, the lessons have much to teach about showmanship, stage deportment, routining, working to music, stagecraft, and the many other principles essential to any successful performance. We want to help the student to understand the psychology of magic, and the principles taught relate to practically any style of magic.
We are also able to offer a consultation service to help with routines, development of an act, promotion, and anything else the student may require.
For more background on the studio and its historical connection with Benny and Marian Chavez, Neil Foster, Channing Pollock, and Dale Salwak, please see the August 2004 issue of MAGIC, the October 2004 issue of THE LINKING RING, the February 2006 issue of MUM. and the June 2006 issue of THE LINKING RING.
For full information including application forms and schedule of classes, please contact:
Chavez Studio of Magic
P.O. Box 8054
La Verne, California 91750
FAX (909) 596-8596
Benny Chavez MUM Magazine Article
Neil Foster Article