Never Too Late to Live Your Dream

Greetings all,

I am back in Las Vegas after a long tour. Many of my days are spent working with students on Skype. One of my students who has a very interesting story is The Great Lorenzo! He often performs in the secret downstairs rooms at Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle.

Many magicians have a passion for magic early in their lives, but don’t commit fully to the path of mastery until later in life. The first Dean of the Magic & Mystery School, Eugene Burger, did not become a full time professional until his late 30’s.

Some students of magic have dreams of performing for their friends and families, and some even aspire to work at Hollywood’s famed Magic Castle. Our student, Lorenzo, is one of those magicians who came back to magic late in life and is achieving his dreams.   

Student of the Month
The Great Lorenzo…in his words…

My passion for magic started in 1982. I trained very hard, but had to let it go because of other life commitments. Nearly 40 years later, I came back!

In August of 2018, eight months after retiring, I attended my first Master Class. I had spent the prior three months selecting, conceptualizing, scripting, constructing, and rehearsing a 10-minute performance piece. I had no idea what to expect from the class. I had hopes, and I had fears. Who was I to take a Master Class? I was so short of mastery of anything magical anymore. However, the Master Class best fit my schedule, and was within my budget, so I enrolled.

That class was a truly inspiring experience. Jeff and Abigail have opened their home and hearts, and, with all the Mystery School staff, they have created an amazing place to learn magic. Most importantly they have created a safe space to try and fail. Negative anticipation of failure is destructive. It is destructive of self, and it is destructive of art. However, constructive failure is essential for growth and learning. The Mystery School’s greatest strength may be that it provides for safe failure.

Don’t get me wrong – the lessons themselves are intense, packed with magical knowledge, both hands-on and theoretical. The instructors are all amazing, knowledgeable professionals, and each lesson is layered with such depth of material that magicians at all levels can come away with valuable new insights into our art and new skills to practice and perfect.

At the end of that class, I was emotionally wrung out. It had caused me to reach inside myself for magic connections beyond expectation. I was exhausted and bulging with magic. It was like a Thanksgiving dinner spent with people you truly enjoyed being with, at which you had eaten all you could, but even so, barely sampled the feast laid out before you.

My strongest feeling coming away from the class was gratitude. You see, I came to the class doubting if I could be a magician again, and left it knowing that I could.

Two years after returning to magic, with Jeff’s guidance, and through the Mystery School experience, I now perform regularly at the Magic Castle. I’ve got a solid 20-minute set, and am working on another to showcase more of my close-up magic. That’s so much more than I could imagine two years ago.

 # # #  

You can read Lorenzo’s full article in the Secret Arts Journal

Wonderground News – Join Us for The Biggest Magic Party In Las Vegas!

February 20, 2020

7:30           Strolling and Close-up Magic

8:00pm      Comedy & Variety Show with your host, Tim Wise
     Jeff McBride – Always Something New!
     Will Bradshaw – Animated Illusions
     Charly D’Carlo – Star of The Magic Factor
     Dyno Staats – Magic or Science?
     David Groves – Direct from Hollywood
     TAPEFACE – star of America’s Got Talent

9:00pm       Parlor, Close-Up and Bar Magic!
     Jeff McBride – King of Cards
     Lyra Zoller – Conjuring with Coins
     Dyno Staats – Experimental Magic
     David Groves – Original Illusions
     Charly D’Carlo – The Magic Factor
     Tim Wise – At the WonderBar
     Plus special guests, TBA.

1000pm    Stage Extravaganza with your host, Jeff McBride
     Charly D’Carlo & Co. – Grand Illusions
     Lyra Zoller – Scintillating Sorcery
     Dyno Staats – Magic or Science?
     Will Bradshaw – Valentine’s Magic
     TAPEFACE – Star of the Las Vegas Strip

Photography by Sheryl Garrett, Bar Magic-Brian Apollo, Scott Steelfyre & Maggie, Corey Rubino,  New World Rythmatism Belly Dancers, Psychic Sideshow with tarot reading, and many more surprises and special celebrity guests!

Social Media Sorcery

Dear Friends:

I think you’re going to enjoy this, from one of our more recent additions to the McBride Magic family—Michael Tetro, better known just as Tetro. If you don’t know his work already, you will soon, as he is a real rising star in the magic world.

Social media is changing the art of magic whether we like it or not.

I’ve loved magic since I was a teenager. However, before I became a full-time performing magician in recent years, I co-founded a tech company that provided social media services to large entertainment brands like Hulu and CBS. I lived and breathed social for years, which gave me a unique perspective on the role it’s played on various industries, particularly how it’s changed the landscape of performance art disciplines like magic – for better and for worse.

When I started learning magic, there was no social media. I learned from books and DVDs, hunting in the library and magic shops for the best information. Now, social media is used as an educational resource for magicians across varying skill levels. An abundance of content, teachers, tutorials, performances, and new ideas are available at the touch of a button, making it easy for magicians to learn and share. This has certainly helped speed up the evolution of the art, as it’s lowered the bar for entry, and broken down barriers for people to connect with magic.

Social media is playing an important role, not only in people’s personal lives, but also in how their businesses grow and succeed – artists non-exempt. It’s how many brands and companies express themselves, and where many consumers discover and interact with content.

As a magician, social media has allowed me to share my art with a lot of people who might otherwise not have access to it, and spread awareness of what I do with minimal cost. I use it to share my journey going full time, and pursuing my passion, sharing videos of me performing, as well as more personal content. It is an online portfolio of my accomplishments which allows me to highlight and celebrate the progress of my career, and build meaningful and lasting relationships with my fans. Further, it has allowed me to connect, work, and collaborate with other artists and potential clients. Once you post something, you never know where it might end up – one day the queen herself might be watching your videos while sipping her tea in Buckingham Palace.

It’s important to recognize the responsibility of this opportunity and be cautious of what you put out there. 

What gives, can also take away

Unfortunately, abuse of this power has already caused problems for the magic community. We know and have suffered from too many magic reveals and exposures. By this I mean content that is not created with the intention of education or art, but rather for the exploitation of people’s curiosity, to maximize views and likes. Want to see a magic performance on YouTube? Due to the way the platforms’ algorithms operate, you’re likely to be shown how the trick works in the thumbnail image of a suggested video right next to the one you’re watching – regardless of whether you wanted to know the method or not. What’s even worse, these “reveals” or “magic exposed” videos are often cashing in on someone else’s intellectual property, which isn’t fair to the brilliant minds that invent the effects, the magicians who spend countless hours and dollars to learn them, or the audience members who revel in the mystery of it all. Abuse of other people’s intellectual property isn’t tolerated in other industries, and it shouldn’t be tolerated here, yet the systems, for the most part, are not advanced enough yet to protect against this.

What can we do? Well, for those beginning in magic, be cautious about what content you consume and what you post. You guide the algorithms not only for yourself, but for others as well. Seek out quality teachers, regardless of the platform. Start with an established educational source, like well-reviewed books. Arriving now are also dedicated streaming services made by magicians for magicians, like MagicFlix. Even better, find a magic school like the Magic and Mystery School to get a thorough education from trusted experts, who will help you establish a great foundation and good habits. There is no substitute for in-person real-time feedback. From there, you can further and supplement your education with social media. 

While it may be tempting to jump on the social media trends right away, remember to stay focused on your ultimate goals. Ask yourself, do you want to be a great magician that plays to people, or a magic-themed content creator that plays to the camera? Mix of both? While the algorithms encourage frequency (posting frequently), focusing on quality will always be better in the long run. There is a big difference between playing to a screen, and playing to a living, breathing audience. The greatest illusions are built upon the deepest truths, which can only be learned through studying the highest quality material, and learning from the best. If you spend the majority of your time training to astonish real people, you’ll be closer to making real magic.  

Social media can hurt or help our magic depending on how it’s used. It needs to be used consciously if it’s going to develop our art form, instead of exploiting it. It may be guiding our art in a new direction, one where secrets are harder to keep, but truth is harder to find. It is up to us to keep our magic strong.


The Secret of Secrets

Dear Friends:

Our good friend and master teacher Ross Johnson shared this amazing quote at our recent class:

HOW DO I DO IT? I’ll share a few of my secrets about secrets!

We all want to perform more shows, better shows, and perhaps even make some good money doing it. However, we all need help along the way. Many of us need specialized information to get ahead.

You may not have research materials. I can help you explore one of the largest magic archives in the world. The Mystery School Library & archives are an amazing resource awaiting you. In our coaching sessions I can find the information you need, or help you find it!

You may need a prop builder. I can help you find one to make your ideas into reality. I’ve worked with many of the best in the world, and I am aware of others who will just not deliver. I can help you avoid costly mistakes!

You may be a great scriptwriter! If you are, I can help you polish your scripts. If you are not a great scriptwriter, I can help you find the right words. I can also connect you to a writer to help guide you through this essential process.

You may not have a composer or music consultant. I can help you get the music you need to add the soundscape and new musical dimensions to your show.

You might not have an agent. I’ve worked with agents all over the world, and know what they are looking for, and how to get them interested in working with you.

You may not have an art director. I can connect you to excellent artists that can custom craft images for your marketing and publicity materials.

You may need more than what is mentioned above–a new promo video, exciting lighting design, choreography, adding transitions to your act–the list is endless!

We all need a good director. That’s where I can help you the most. Not just making theatrical choices, but I can help as a life coach to help you make informed choices on and off the stage.

We all need to train and study. We need the best books, DVDs training materials– and yes, we need to purchase new tricks. I can help guide you to the very best. I can save you thousands of dollars by helping you avoid buying junk. I have direct knowledge of many of the new releases on the market. I also have insider friends all over the magic industry who inform me of what is hot and what is not.

Mostly we need motivation and people to help cheer us on, to champion us, to encourage our dreams. We need more of this magical support in our lives. 

I’m here to help you, and here is how:

How do I do it?

I’ll share a few of my secrets about secrets!

When people see a magic show, they often say “How did you do that?” but what the real question should be is, “How can I do that?” Not just the trick–but how to live the magic life. Over the past 30 years I have been teaching people who did ask me the correct question. I help many people live the magic dream.

CRUISE SHIP BOOT CAMP: 10 students only!

For over 25 years I’ve been touring the world on luxury cruise liners performing my magic shows! Only now, at this exclusive class will some of the world’s top cruise ship entertainers and I share our knowledge and experience with our friends and students.

This year I have decided to share my experience with you. You must attend in person…but the 2 days will change your life forever! “We will teach YOU how to travel the world like a millionaire, all the while performing the magic you love–and getting paid to do it! 

The class will give you what you need to know to create a great career and see the world. You’ll learn who to contact, what to perform, and how to navigate your career, both on and off the stage!

10 serious students only

Message me for more information:

“I had the rare privilege of personal training with Jeff. This was truly a magical dream come true for me. What an opportunity for any serious student/performer. It’s worth every penny.”
– Jeff Christensen

European Tour: UK & Italy

Larry Hass, Dean of McBride’s Magic & Mystery School, and I invite you to participate in this one-time only magician adventure!

If you want be part of the tour and train with us or see the show just drop me an email, ok?

One thing on the agenda for the new year is that Jeff and Larry are launching their 20/20 Vision World Tour in England in March. They start out with the only Master Class on the tour in Deal, Kent, on the east coast. The Master Class is being held on Saturday and Sunday, March 21-22, 2020. Please sign up right away since only a couple of seats remain.

For more information, and to register, go to:

MAGICSEEN Magazine Presents:

A unique, possibly never-to-be-repeated very special two-day seminar titled Shaman and Showman in Blackpool. The first day is “The Healing Power of Magic,” exploring in detail the fascinating relationship between the shaman and the magician, and how “magic is good medicine.” The second day is titled “The Meaning of Magic,” which will focus on how to empower your magic by developing more meaningful routines and scripts. With over £300s worth of FREE merchandise and only 6 seats remaining, the ticket price is just £65 per day, or £115 for the weekend, which includes arrival drinks and a buffet lunch. What an incredible value to spend two days with Jeff and Larry. The dates are Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th March.

For information and to sign up, go to:


The team gave me a private promo code for my friends. Go to MAGICFLIX.COM, register and put in the code MCBRIDE to receive your first month free.

Magicflix is also looking for creative magicians to promote on our new platform. If you have great new magic ideas and want to make a name for yourself in the magic world, just drop Tim Wise an email:

New Directions at McBride’s Magic & Mystery School

Tobias Beckwith teams up with author and consultant David Morey for our upcoming Business & Magic seminar, and we are also working on a new Magic for Speakers project—we’ll have news for you soon!

The biggest magic party in Las Vegas!
January 16th, 2020

7pm     Strolling Magic

8pm     Comedy Magic & Variety Show: Your host – Tim Wise
     Elliott Hitchcock – International Man of Mystery
     Jay Gilligan – Juggling sensation
     Ed Ripley – From Penn & Teller’s FOOL US
     Jeff McBride – A Tribute to Eugene Burger
     Father Daniel Rolland – Magic with a Message

9pm     Close-Up Magic Show, WONDERBAR- Strolling Magic              & Bar Magic – Your Host – Will Bradshaw
     Jeff McBride – A New Mystery for you!
     Kent Axel & His Mystery Makers
     Ed Ripley – From Penn & Teller’s FOOL US!

10pm    Grand Gala Show: Your host – Jeff McBride
     Jeff McBride’s BOX OF SECRETS with the NWR Dancers
     Meir Yedid – Finger Fantasies
     Jay Gilligan – Extraordinary Juggling
     Bizzaro – The Optical Illusionist!
     Special Surprise Guest!
     Mon Dre – The Modern Master of Deception

All the Above Plus:
Photography by Sheryl Garrett. Bar Magic, Scott Steelfyre & Maggie, Corey Rubino, New World Rhythmatism Belly Dancers, Psychic Sideshow with Morganne and many more surprises and special celebrity guests.

Wishing you all a most magical 2020!


Happy New Year!

Dear Friends:

Our first Museletter of the new year is from Kat Rettke. If you’ve attended Magic & Meaning, you’ve certainly met Kat. If you’ve attended one of our other events, you’ve received our 30-day-out and 10-day-out letters from her, or communicated with her about your registrations. While not a regular performer of magic herself, Kat has been an avid fan and student of magic for many years. She has become an invaluable and much-loved member of our team at the McBride Magic & Mystery School. I know you’ll enjoy her thoughts below.

From Kat Rettke:

I challenge anyone who is a magic enthusiast, an amateur or a hobbyist, to ask yourself what is it about your study of magic that you apply to your own personal or professional life? What are the theories and skills you use in your profession which are common to the skills needed for magic? 

Magic clubs and other magician groups are wonderful social opportunities for those of us in the magic community. More importantly, I would guess that we have all found that learning the art of magic has been good for us in other areas of our lives, even among those of us who have no hope of ever making our living on stage.

“Great magicians are masters at analyzing their audience.  They climb into their point of view… (they) create empathy with their audience, and they adjust their approach by picking up the feedback continually sent to them via audience facial expressions, applause (or its absence), gasps, laughter, the collective intake and expulsion of breath, and (above all) silence.”

                       – David Morey, Eugene Burger and John E. McLaughlin, Creating Business Magic

More than twenty years of my life have been spent working as a social worker, mostly in healthcare settings. I was drawn to magic as a hobby, perhaps as a way to engage in an activity completely different from how I made a living, but mostly because I was very shy. I wanted a way to break the ice with other people.

Unfortunately, I never practiced enough to develop any magic skills beyond a very beginner level, and yet…there is so much more to the story for me about how valuable magic has been to me in other areas of my life.  

In my professional workplace, I would find myself thinking about parallels between some of the skills of master magicians, and skills common in different theories of counseling; for instance, the skills of empathy and listening. Although I cannot credit the study of the art of magic with teaching me the skills of listening and empathy, it has been valuable to my development of these skills. Learning about audience management, audience reactions, and body language has sharpened the listening skills and feedback techniques I have learned and used as a social worker. I enjoy learning magic performance theory as a way to explore skills important to working with people from a unique perspective.  I can think of so many examples of working in healthcare settings, where I have been made aware of the power of listening and observing the body language of others, as a way to diffuse a potentially hostile situation.

“Magic itself is a gift.  It can create the appreciation that things are not as they seem, and therefore, that something better is possible.”
– Robert Neale, Magic Matters Tricks & Essays

At its heart, social work as well as performance magic can inspire hope that we all have the power to change our lives for the better.  I am grateful for both.

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