Every magician is asked the same question: Where did you learn your tricks? The answer in America, very often, is “magic camp.” Tucked away in the Hogwarts-like buildings of Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, some of the country's best young magicians gather every summer for a week that can only be described as eclectic–Tannen’s Magic Camp. Read on to find out where some of the greatest magicians in the world, like David Blaine, spent their childhood summers:
What Does a Day at Magic Camp Look Like?
While most summer camps try to be well-rounded, offering a variety of sports, food, and social options, Tannen’s, as it’s colloquially referred to, offers one thing: Magic. Sure, you can choose what kind of magic you study in your classes (yes, you take classes at this camp, and everyone is perfectly fine with this), but magic is the only thing you’ll do.
The good news is you can learn anything. Each day consists of your main class (close-up, stage, or parlour magic), a workshop (comedy, business, mentalism, and many more), a lecture, and a full-length evening show featuring some of the country’s best professional magicians.
The electricity at camp is totally consuming. Kids grow up watching titans of magic on TV and Youtube, and all of a sudden, those same magicians are making surprise appearances on the evening show and bringing the house down, and then jamming with campers afterwards.
What is Magic Jamming?
There are probably more decks of cards per capita at Magic Camp than anywhere in the world, and they get used thousands of times per day–literally. When campers aren’t in their classes or shows, they’re jamming–showing each other the latest tricks and trying to fool each other. Jam sessions seep into every ounce of free time, even while standing in line at the cafeteria.
What is the Tannen's Magic Competition?
The second day of camp features the competition. Campers are split into age categories (junior and senior) where they compete with a seven-minute act. They’re judged by a panel of prolific magicians, and four campers in each age category qualify for the finals. Finalists spend the rest of their week honing their act, and they compete again on the final day of camp.
While the competition is all in good fun, it’s a legitimate stamp on a young magician’s early career to take home the top prize.
Who are The Counselors at Tannen's Magic Camp?
The counselors at the magic camp are all magicians. It can’t be overstated how accessible most magicians are. A young, inexperienced singer could never dream of calling Beyoncé for advice. But a young magician could easily read a magic book, learn a trick, encounter the author of that book at camp, and then learn from the author.
It’s an honor to be asked to be a counselor at Magic Camp–it means you’re trusted with teaching the next generation of young magicians. As such, there is no application to be a counselor, you must be invited.
How do you get a ticket?
You can register for Tannen's Magic Camp right here.