People support what they help create!

April 14th, 2014

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”
– Jackie Robinson

One of the Burning Man Art Festival mottos is “No Spectators!” In a magic show I think this is a crucial concept to incorporate.

 “People support what they help create,” is one of the mottos I live by! 

This concept holds true in just about any organization, political movement, internet group, club, and yes, even in the theatre or at a magic show.   I feel that the more audience participation there is in a show, the more successful that show becomes.  If you look at current Las Vegas shows, the ones that have lasted have a lot of audience participation:  Penn & Teller, Mac King, Amazing Jonathan & David Copperfield.

“It’s better to be in love than to watch it!”
–Matt Dugan

Spectators vs. Participants

There is a huge difference between a spectator and a participant.  A spectator spectates, merely watching, witnessing without being directly involved.  A participant is co-creating the experience, and has a role to play in the production of the magic.

Jeff McBride and Apprentice

Experience and learn from some of my favorite participation routines at SCIENCE VS MAGIC.

Science vs Magic

I’ll be performing in the Close-up Room with Kevin James for the special Rudy Coby week at the Magic Castle, April 21-27.

Also appearing with me will be Marco Tempest, Chris Korn, Rafael, Kevin James, and Timo Mark.

It makes me crazy!

When I hear a magician say, “I have the spectator select a card,” I cringe inside.  I am aware that they are not conscious of the words they are using.  The more conscious we are of our words, the more conscious we can become as performers.  Spectators do not pick cards; they watch cards being picked.  Participants pick cards. I want everyone involved in the experience…not spectating. An example is my poker routine called:

Kings of Poker

This is one of my favorite close-up card routines.  I get the entire audience into the story and playing parts in the show, and it’s very easy to do. Have a look and you might like to try it as well.

Kings of Poker

You can ask me to perform this routine if you attend one of my shows. I have a few coming up  while on tour.

Asheville, NC

I will be performing with my friends at the Weekend of Wonder — perhaps we will meet there?

New York City, Salute to Magic, Lecture & Workshop

I rarely get to New York City and I’ll be performing and doing the lecture and workshop at FANTASMA magic shop in New York City, after our evening show Salute to Magic at the Queens  Theatre.

Spain

I love to perform for Spanish audiences. And the Spanish magicians — especially the close-up artists — are some of the best in the world. If you are in Spain join me here:

http://magiacaceres2014.es

Jaun Tamariz is one of the top Spanish magicians. He get the audience to join him in creating the magic. I encourage you to study great performers like Juan, and how they generate excitement, mystery and fun by using audience participation techniques.  Explore ways you can welcome your audience into your magic world, and participate in the magic.

Remember: “People support what they help create.” So let them help you create magic!  If you have ideas to share with me on ways that you engage your participants, email me and let me know. (just reply to this email!)

The Lance Burton Teen Magic Seminar is where we help the next generation of magicians learn expert skills.

This June, Eugene Burger and I will be joined by Larry Hass and Bryce Kuhlman at the combined IBM-SAM Convention. We will be working with Lance Burton hosting the youth magic seminar. These are the magicians of the future.

http://ibmsam.com/youth/

WONDERGROUND- The biggest magic party in Las Vegas!

Xavier Mortimer will be our special guest this month. Take a look at his amazing talent here.

Wonderground, April 2014

Early stage - 8pm
Your Host is the versatile Tim Wise
Jeff McBride
Tim Shegitz
Joe Krathwohl, The Birdman of Las Vegas
Tom Frank
Alien Warrior Comic

Close-Up – 9 pm
Your Host is the most elegant Christian Diamond
Jeff McBride
Greg Gleason
Michael Whitson
Tom Frank
plus! The Psychic Sideshow with Allan Scott

Late Stage - 10 pm
Jeff McBride
Katie Kenner and the Maraschino Dolls
Xavier Mortimer
Greg Gleason

With: NWR Dancers, LiveDJ, Art by Areeya, video by SteelFyre

At WONDERGROUND and all of my shows I encourage “PARTY-cipation!

Take a look at one of our shows, and learn from our examples of how you can move your audience from being objective witnesses into subjective participants.  Objective witnesses have less responsibility, and do not participate in the action.  A subjective participant is actively engaged in the magic experience.  They support the show by not only applauding at appropriate moments, but also by selecting cards and helping the magician with various tasks. I use this technique all the time and I would love to teach you how to use it in your work.

We often talk about this kind of technique each week on our Mystery School Monday Show. I invite you to join us and participate with us at our online Mystery school classes!

http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/members/signup

So come join us online or at one of our shows and be PART of the fun!

See you onstage,
Jeff

April Magic

April 1st, 2014

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”
— Nora Roberts

From Dr. Larry Hass, Associate Dean:

Larry Hass

April Magic

After this long, difficult winter, the glorious month of April is here. There is no fooling around on this April 1: spring is on its way—a time of rebirth and renewal.

In my family and Jewish tradition, it is a time for cleaning and cleansing. Not a chore, but a delight: throw open the windows, wipe up the dust, turn a new page!

With this fresh start in mind, I would like to mention one of my deepest commitments: to perform magic for people rather than “tricks.”

Have you recently thought about this difference? Or has it all become “just tricks” to you? Which pieces in your repertoire are more like magic? Which ones feel like empty, clever tricks?

One way to answer these questions is to look carefully at the reactions you are receiving. After you perform a particular piece, does your audience feel energy, delight, and wonder? (You can tell by the smiles and the palpable excitement.) Or do they say things such as “You fooled me,” or “You really had me with those cards until all the spelling and counting.”

During the spring, I renew my commitment to the pieces in my repertoire that create magic—energy, delight, and wonder—and to set aside the rest. Every garden needs pruning so gorgeous new things can grow. But even more important, people in the world today hunger and hope for magic in their lives, not stupid, stinking tricks. They have quite enough of those—thank you—from advertisers, marketers and salesmen of all kinds.

No, no: the people around us need magic. The world needs your magic. As a magician you have a great gift and a calling. Please go forth this spring with a renewed commitment to magic . . . and fewer tricks.

Important Announcements

1. We have just released the 2014 Premier Member Video.

This 45-minute video was filmed in the Hollywood Hills in January for our Premier Members of the Magic & Mystery School. It features Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, Larry Hass, Bryce Kuhlman, and George Parker in a fun conversation about commercial close-up magic. Jeff, Bryce, and George each teach a great piece of commercial magic that has not appeared on video before.

The only way to receive access to this video is to become a Premier Member of the School (the $100 level). And please remember, $80 of your Premier Membership fee goes directly into the Scholarship Fund that provides need-based financial aid for magicians who need a “hand up” getting the magic education they need to be more successful in magic and in life.

If you are not already a member of the Magic & Mystery School, or if you haven’t yet renewed your membership for 2014, we ask that you please do so. Of course, there are excellent benefits at every membership level, but more importantly, your membership helps us provide the gift of magic education for people in need.

2. Magic and Medicine in the latest issue of MAGIC Magazine.

The April 2014 issue features a 6-page article about our dear friend Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz. Ricardo is not only a Guest Teacher of the School’s Magic and Medicine CME Seminar, he has also pioneered a Magic and Medicine curriculum for first and second year medical students at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

In this article you will learn all about Ricardo and his extraordinary program, and you will quickly understand why our recent Magic and Medicine CME Seminar earlier was completely sold out. You will also enjoy many photos of Ricardo, Eugene, and me taken at one of our Magic and Medicine teaching programs.

Please note: whether you purchase the iPad or print version of MAGIC Magazine, you will receive access to a video of Ricardo’s smash-hit P.E.P. talk on Magic and Medicine from last year’s Magic and Meaning Conference.

3. Important News about the 2014 Magic and Meaning Conference.

First, we are delighted to announce that Rob Zabrecky will be the Keynote Presenter for the Conference.  Rob Zabrecky is the two time winner of the Stage Magician of the Year award at the Magic Castle, and he is the primary medium at the Magic Castle’s famed Houdini Séance room. If you have seen Rob perform, then you know he is a great, distinctive talent. If you haven’t yet had the chance, this is a perfect opportunity for you to meet him, learn from him, and enjoy his work.

Rob Zabrecky
Photo credit: August Bradley

Second, the Conference is already over half sold out. If you plan to attend (October 15-18), I encourage you to register as soon as possible. To do so, please go here:  http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events#469.

Third, the “Call for Presentations and Performances” has now been posted online, and proposals have been coming in. If you are attending the Conference and would like to propose a 20-minute presentation and/or a performance, please do so at your earliest convenience. The deadline for proposals is July 15, 2014. To learn how to make a proposal, please go to the Call for Presentations and Proposals page.

4. The Magic & Mystery School hosts the Lance Burton Youth Seminar at the IBM/SAM Combined Convention.

Continuing a long tradition, Jeff, Eugene, Bryce, and I will be hosting and teaching the Teen portion of the Lance Burton Youth Seminar at the IBM/SAM Combined Convention in St Louis. The Youth Seminar runs from June 29-30, 2014, and the Convention itself runs July 1-5.

If you are the parent of a teenager or a child, please consider putting this event on your family vacation calendar. There is no extra charge for the Seminar. Last year, Lance Burton spent the whole day with us doing hands on teaching with the teens. For information about how to register for the Lance Burton Youth Seminar, please go here: http://ibmsam.com/youth/.

5. We have just posted new classes and events for 2015.

A 3 Day Master Class is being held on March 18-20, 2015; Magic for Speakers and Presenters is March 22-24, 2015; and The Magic and Medicine CME Seminar will be held March 26-29, 2015. (In 2015, the Seminar will include an additional day of programming and will also include a spouses program led by Dr. Marjorie Hass.)

Also, the 2015 Magic and Meaning Conference has been posted. Because of Jeff’s touring schedule, we had to move it forward a couple of weeks. It will be held November 4-7, 2015.

To register for any of these events, please go here: http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events.

Final Words

We truly appreciate all of you who stay connected to the Magic & Mystery School. Thank you for supporting our efforts to be the kind of magic school we want to be: full of heart, committed to excellence, and generous to others who need a hand!

Larry Hass
Associate Dean

Reinventing Yourself

March 17th, 2014

“Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity.
When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.”

– Jonah Lehrer

Greetings friends,

I have been talking to friends and students about the major changes, and life choices they made in their life. I’ m talking positive change.

Have you ever wanted to reinvent yourself? Perhaps you’ve thought about going away to an exotic land? Or just starting life all over as a new person? From the stories I’ve gathered from successful people, they had some commonalities.

Things you must experience for yourself.

  1. You will be taking a journey to a far off place. A place with potential for ” new beginnings.”
  2. You will feel odd and out of your comfort zone much of the time.
  3. You will encounter people and teachers that will change your way of experiencing life.
  4. You will return with a renewed sense of purpose. All your friends and family will be better off for it!

The art of re-inventing yourself

I have had the opportunity for radical reinvention a few times in my life — and I look forward to more!

The first time I had this experience, I was going to Japan to perform and study. I was 16 years old and was hired as an opening act for the Fania All Stars; a Latin Salsa super group. I had the extraordinary opportunity to perform magic and to explore the exotic mysteries of the East. I fell in love with Asian culture. I encountered mask theater, Kabuki, and Japanese classical magic. I was forever transformed by this encounter. Everything about me was changed, including my fashion sense, aesthetic, and my approach to magic theater.

Masks

“So fake it till you make it.
Make it till you master it.
Act if it is so and watch it all come true!”
– Billy Bardo

Dream bigger dreams – Fake it till you make it!

I dreamed of being a famous, world-touring magician. In my early 20′s, I left New York City, and went to Montreal for a few years. No one knew the “old me,” so I could just pretend to be a “young famous magician.” It worked! I even fooled myself into believing it! When I came back to NYC I was a new person.

  • I had taken risks and survived to tell the tales!
  • I had new experiences to draw from.
  • I had new wild and wonderful stories to tell and blend into my new shows.
  • People I met actually believed in the “new me!” I did it — and you can too!

Now I get to help others all over the world master the art of creating their own future. Many of my students cross over from the “normal world” into the magical world… and it is my pleasure to help them dream bigger dreams! Yes you can live your dream life. And please know that there are folks like us here to encourage you and help you along your way!

If you have plans to reinvent yourself… Please consider me your own personal “dream coach!” http://www.magicalwisdom.com/about/consulting

5 Steps to Reinvent Yourself

Melissa Kirk is an inspired writer. She says that change means reinvention. Each time a major shift happens in our lives — leaving a job or a relationship, moving, losing a loved one — we have to take control of who we will become or we risk never reaching our full potential. Melissa says that these are 5 steps she has identified to reinvent yourself:

1. Create a vision for your future.
Sit quietly, close your eyes, and imagine the people, places, or situations that you need to leave behind.  Now imagine the future that you want, whether it’s simply a feeling, a group of people, or a situation such as a wonderful new job. Imagine how it will feel to be in that new place. Picture the sun coming up behind your future, the warm glow of the light on your face. Stand for a moment and silently voice your appreciation of everything that came before. Once you’ve thanked the past, turn toward the sun, and with compassion and gratitude, imagine yourself walking away from the past and into the future.

2. Write about your reinvention.
Imagine a scene from it or write about how you’d like it to play out. Where are you living? What do you do in the mornings, afternoon, evenings? Who are your friends? What do you spend your days doing?

Continue writing for as long as this exercise feels invigorating and exciting. Write scenes, dialogues, lists, plans. Make the future come alive. Write about how it will feel to be there. Keep your writing somewhere where you will look at it occasionally. Feel free to add to it.

3. Surround yourself with visual reminders of the life you’d like to create.
If it’s a new job in a particular field, put objects or images from that field someplace where you’ll see them every day. If it’s a home, find a picture of a house that you love and put it near your front door. It can be anything that reminds you of what you’re moving toward.

4. Now that you have a vision of your future, break it up into workable tasks.
What do you need to do — every day — to create that vision? Look for work? Meet new people? Search for a place to live in your chosen town? Make it specific. Make a list of everything you need to do and a schedule for when you’ll do it. Then do it and commit to keep doing it, one day at a time.

5. Every day, go back to that vision of you walking towards your future.
Every morning or evening, close your eyes, and see yourself walking into the rising sun, toward your dreams, and reconnect with why you’re moving toward this new possibility.

Reinvention is neither easy nor always smooth. Often we encounter resistance. We don’t want to let go, even of things that cause us pain or that are obviously already out of our grasp. We often struggle with limiting beliefs or stories about ourselves that hold us back from trying new things.

Each time you find yourself slipping into old habits — isolating yourself, making excuses not to look for work, procrastinating on a task that might help you advance in your career — don’t bother wondering why you’re doing it or beating yourself up.

Just ask yourself this: “What can I do in this moment to keep moving forward?”

Then, no matter what you feel in the moment — lonely, self-critical, tired, lazy, or disappointed — do something to maintain momentum, even if it’s one small thing. There’s an old adage that says that true courage isn’t about not feeling fear; it’s about feeling fear and acting anyway.

Choose courage instead of letting your fear choose your future for you.

For more writing from Melissa Kirk http://www.joyattheheart.com/.

For More ways to reinvent yourself: http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/19/the-ultimate-cheat-sheet-for-reinventing-yourself/

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”
– Jessica Hirsche

News & Views

I still travel half the year. I love touring and I love coming home to Las Vegas. Abbi is the greatest wife, and she keeps the Mystery School and our home running in top form! April brings a few great adventures.

The McBride Magic Experience on Tour

Denver, Colorado April 4th & 5th
Mercury Theater: 7 pm show Friday April 4th. http://mercurycafe.com
All new magic lecture and Supersession workshop, Info: Chad Wonder: chad@idomagic.com

Luma

McBride’s pick of the month – Art of Darkness

Marlin from the volcano island of Hawaii will enlighten audiences with his stage production of LUMA: Art in Darkness during a ten-city tour at performing art centers across the country beginning March 28th. Ticket information and more can be found at www.lumatheater.com or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUJC18-Jyu4 to see a three minute video.

Rudy CobyFun fact:
Did you know that Rudy Coby and I were born in the same room?

Yes it is true! Both of us were born in Goshen, NY in the same tiny hospital room. We had different moms, but both of us daydreamed about magic enough to change our lives… This month we celebrate Rudy’s birthday in a BIG way! With a very special show.

Rudy and I will be at Science & Magic Week at The Magic Castle. Rudy Coby and I will be at The Magic Castle along with Marco Tempest, Chris Korn, Rafael, Kevin James, and Timo Mark.

April 21-27 2014

Rudy Coby also comes to Las Vegas at Jeff McBride’s WONDERGROUND on Thursday March 20th.

You are invited to the biggest Magic Party in Las Vegas

This month’s Wonderground will feature the premiere Las Vegas appearance of Elliott Hitchcock’s Top Secrets Magic Experience. There is only one in the world and we are proud to present it live at Wonderground.

Top Secrets Magic Experience

Wonderground, March 2014

Early Stage 8pm
Hosts Jeff McBride Tim Wise
Halls of Magic – Seen on AGT! Madcap Magic & Mayhem
Alien Warrior Comic- Out of this world comedy
Jon D’Ark- Classic Gypsy music with an edge
Cecile & Mighty- Outrageous feats of skill and daring

Diamond Parlor Magic Room 9pm
M.C. Christian Diamond
Elliot Hitchcock’s “Smoke & Mirrors Theater”
Featuring the magic of “V”

Late Stage 10pm
M.C. Jeff McBride
RUDY COBY! A living Legend of Comedy Magic
Bizzaro – For him “normal” is just a setting on the dryer
Les Contortionettes – Unique in the world, elegant, &  mysterious
Arian Black -  Scintillatingly Sensuous Sorcery

The World’s First Online Magic School offers you Magical Wisdom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When I am home, I am working on our new & Mystery & Mystery School
www.mcbridemagic.tv Please stop by and say hello. Our classroom is open around the clock!

We have special new programming every week! Here is a frequently asked question…

Q: How can you travel lighter and get more impact on stage?
A: ”The Commando Show & travel tips”

http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/lessons/view/56

See you on the road, at a class or online!

Jeff

The Way Ahead

March 1st, 2014

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” 
— Abraham Lincoln

Dear Friends:

Is your March coming in like a lion, or a lamb?  For myself, I’m happy to have the lamb at the beginning of the month, as I like looking forward to the challenges that the lion may present at the end.  But that’s me. How do you feel about it?

In today’s Museletter, we’re fortunate to have a piece by our friend and fellow faculty member (now on sabbatical), George Parker. Most of you reading this will know George, but for the few who may not:  He is a magician and true wizard who works with organizations throughout Europe, using his extensive experience and training, not only as a magician but as a teacher, trainer, and corporate consultant, to create positive change in their organizations. George is always seeking out new ways of thinking, creating and being himself. We’re all fortunate to have him share his wisdom with us here.  Enjoy!

Way Ahead

by George Parker

George ParkerIn the late nineties I read The Greater Artful Dodges of Eddie Fields. The one thing that stood out to me was how he was able to create miracles by setting things up hours, sometimes days, ahead. He would attend a dinner party at a friend’s house. When people would ask him at the end of the evening: “Gee Eddy, could you do something?”, he would do a card trick and finish by asking: “What’s your favorite card?” “The Seven of Hearts!” He would then riffle the deck of cards and say: “Turn around. Open that jewelry box behind you. You will find the Seven of Hearts, your favorite card, in there, proving it is indeed a treasure!”

I can’t go into how he pulled this off. The Museletter is not the place for that. But I can assure you that a lot of work went into this one. When I read about his work I was floored by how much time and effort went into preparing something without being a hundred percent sure that it was even going to happen!

I think this works similarly in our day to day lives. I’ve often experienced how the truth of the famous saying ‘luck is when preparation meets opportunity’. In my case, my incurable curiosity drives my constant preparation.

I want to learn about every aspect of life. I want to explore every plane of existence. Even, and probably especially, when I resist that aspect or plane. We tend to avoid things we resist and fear. They make us feel nauseous and irritable. To me, those feelings are a sign that there’s something to discover that will help me prepare. I start moving towards my initial fears and resistance to see what’s really going on. Most of the time it’s not even ten percent of what I feared it to be. These explorations help me to prepare for the moment really nasty situations occur. When we’re unprepared, those types of situations will freak us out and we will make it worse. When we’re prepared we can turn them into memorable moments.

Even more so, exploring our fears and resistance will train us to see opportunities where others only see mundane, day-to-day, reality.

I’ll leave you with one anecdote that reminds me of this and never fails to make me smile. Most people don’t know Bob Driebeek, but he was a part-time magician and one of Fred Kaps’ best friends. In the late nineties he started to grow a beard. After a while everyone was used to it. Then, at the national convention, he appeared in the close up gala. At some point he took a handkerchief, lifted it up with his two hands before his face. When he dropped it, his beard was gone…Talk about preparation and being wayayayay ahead!

George Parker

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
— Confucius

What do you love?

February 17th, 2014

“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.”
— Yogi Berra

Greetings friends.

Read the following and you will never again have to wear this label!

Hello, my name is Awkward

Today, I will share a couple of the life lessons I’ve learned while traveling the world for the past 40 years.

This month I’m in Germany and the UK touring. As a traveling performer, I meet thousands of people a year. Often I am in rather awkward situations, where I am “in charge” of the conversation, and responsible for making small talk. If you have ever been in this situation, you know it can be hell!

“Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed.”
— Robert C. Gallagher

Q. What do you say to people that you have never met to ‘break the ice?’
A. What do you love? Simply ask people about what they love! It works!

Here are a few icebreakers that I use when I am traveling.

  • What is exciting you these days?
  • Who do you look up to? Who inspires you?
  • What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? (This is one I ask on cruise ships to successful retired people)
  • What do your parents do for a living?
  • What is your biggest regret? (live and learn!)
  • What is your most embarrassing moment?  (OY! this is a GREAT one and next time you see me in person, ask me for my ‘most embarrassing moment!’)
  • What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? (get ready to be SHOCKED!)
  • What are some of your short-term goals?
  • What are some of your long-term goals?
  • Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

You can read a few more at of these “ice-breakers” here http://www.conversationstarters.com/

Just remember a few of the questions above, and you will be well prepared the next time you are seated at a boring dinner party next to strangers! You can thank me later!

“The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others.”
— Jean de la Bruyere

SHOW BIZ TYPES LOVE APPLAUSE… BE HONEST, DO YOU LOVE THE SOUND OF APPLAUSE?

As performers, we love it when audiences applaud… but what is it about the sound of applause that we love? Recently I watched this video and was surprised by the answers. You will be too!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD037VSAG2I

“My advice to you concerning applause is this: Enjoy it, but never quite believe it.” 
— Samuel Lover

Do you ever feel funny when you’re sitting in the audience and you were the first to clap?

Do you have a fear of clapping?
http://modernservantleader.com/servant-leadership/be-the-first-to-applaud/

TRAVEL TIP #17: THE THEFT PROOF BAG.

Here is a very good solution for magicians who are getting there act stolen these days.
http://www.wimp.com/technologyfrom/

WHAT IS NEW IN MAGIC?
JEFF SHOWS HOW TO CHANGE A SILK INTO A SERPENT

Serpent Silk

http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/lessons/view/59

Las Vegas WONDERGROUND NEWS!

Bravo to the WONDERGROUND players! We made the FRONT page of The Las Vegas Review Journal!
Great photos and story! Hats off to you, my friends, for 5 great years of magic and community!
http://www.reviewjournal.com/view/whitney/wonderground-variety-show-offers-gamut-performers

FEATURED WONDERGROUND PERFORMER: BUSTER BALLOON!

The Buster Balloon Show is an inflatable extravaganza of vaudevillian entertainment featuring the human cartoon character that is Buster Balloon. A wild and wacky mix of side-splitting comedy, mind boggling magic, and the most amazingly twisted balloon creations you have ever seen.  And did we mention The Giant 6 Foot Whoopee Cushion of Doom?

Buster Balloon

http://acmeballooncompany.com/

THIS MONTH’S LINE UP IS OFF THE HOOK! Feb 20th ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Buster Balloon, Luna Shimada, David Gabbay, Iam Creed, Jason Andrews, Tim Wise, Leo Diaz, Christian Diamond , Bizzaro, David Groves, Jungle Josh, Bijan the Magician, Polly Morfus, NWRDancers, Live art by Areeya Maria, Tarot by Morganne, body art by Suzanne Lugano, and more!

Looking for Inspiration?

Mystery School Monday:  We were the first in the world to offer online magic classes, Skype classes, and our famous “LOCKED ROOM” sessions. Learn more at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-gGVYytoxM

You can become a member of our online school by registering here:

http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/members/signup

Have a fantastic February and I will see you online or on tour!

Your friend in the art of magic,
Jeff

The Magic of Love

February 1st, 2014

Jeff & Abbi McBride

Greetings friends, fans and family!

Abbi here, writing from the House of Mystery in Las Vegas… It’s that time of year again, when pink hearts are everywhere and dark chocolate is the gift of choice.  What you may not know is that, according to some accounts, Saint Valentine was also a magician.  Well, in order to be a saint you have to do something spectacular, right?  What Valentinus (the Roman pronunciation) did, back around the year 270, was to make a blind girl see — a judge’s daughter, in fact.

“Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in one direction… It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Laying on of hands, miraculous healing and magical restorations of lost function have become commonplace in some of the tent-revival circuits.  Anyone who has seen the movie Leap of Faith (from the early 90s, with Steve Martin) will be familiar with some of the methods used to create these “miracles.” Whether Valentinus used a secret method or not is up for discussion….

But, there is something to be said for the power of love to heal, the magic of a mother’s kiss on a booboo to stop pain, the comfort one receives from a gentle hug. This intersection of healing, magic and medicine is one we are looking forward to exploring more of in our upcoming conference Magic and Medicine.  There are four spots still open, if you’d like to come explore with us.
http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events#457

“Love is a balm that contains the power of healing and of renewing and of everlasting life within its effulgent essence. Love is the great refiner and beautifier. Love is more! Love is the key to every door. It is the creative reality behind every righteous desire and every ardent hope. Love is the cohesive power of the universe as it binds together atoms and substance. It holds families together-the world and the entire universe. If love were withdrawn all things would fall apart and disintegrate. When a human being eliminates love from his life he too begins to fall apart. Love is not only eternal but it is the most desirable element to possess.”
— Annalee Scarin

Jeff & Abbi McBride

If you love something, you give it your attention, and that which we give our attention to, becomes that which we love.  The more energy we invest in something, the more we care about it… which is why we need to be mindful about where we spend the limited amounts of time that we have.  Jeff and I make a conscious choice each day to spend time together… even if he’s away on tour, we spend time together on Skype.  One of our practices is to hug each other for the time it takes to have three deep and gentle breaths together— long enough to feel our connection.  We’re also big into eye-gazing.  Check out a book called Rumi: Gazing at the Beloved: The Radical Practice of Beholding the Divine by Will Johnson if you’re ready to go deep with your beloved.

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
—Aristotle

Jeff & Abbi McBride
Wishing you all the love in the world,

Abbi

Rip-off or Original? The Magic Copy Cats

January 13th, 2014

“Imitation is the sincerest form of show business.” 
– Roseanne Barr

When will this madness end?

America’s Got Talent-style shows all over the world seem to be supporting the copying of original magic acts. Take look at this shocking video from Turkey’s Got Talent.  When you watch this “side-by side” video ask yourself, “Is this originality or theft?”

Are the Turkish magicians Kivanc and Burak copying the magic from Las Vegas headliners Jeff McBride, Mac King, David Copperfield and Penn & Teller? Did they copy? Watch the video and YOU be the judge!


http://www.isocdn.com/SMV.mp4

 

Can you tell the Rip-off from the Original?

What do you think: Is this kind of behavior killing our art?

Who is at fault? Is it the TV station? The performers? Some say these guys are just puppets of the TV producers who ‘have to’ copy other artists to stay on the TV show. Others say that they just don’t know it is wrong to copy! How can we help people like this learn that this is not OK? I feel that clear communication might help prevent this sort of behavior.

An open letter to magic “copy acts” worldwide:

Dear Copy Cat Acts,

As a magic teacher, I wish to educate artists on how to protect their original material. I also want other performers to know that it is not ethical to copy other artists’ work without permission or agreements.

Young artists can prevent these situations from happening if they are well educated in the history of magic and well connected to the magic community. Here are three nuggets of wisdom for our students of the magical arts:

“Trust yourself. Think for yourself. Act for yourself. Speak for yourself. Be yourself. Imitation is suicide.”
– Marva Collins

“No man was ever great by imitation.”
–Samuel Johnson

“It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation.”
– Herman Melville

Please look deep within yourself. Good things take time, energy and patience to grow. If you nurture your creativity, you will develop your own style and original work. If you cannot create your own original work, you can ask for permission before you decide to take other people’s material, art, or ideas and put them in your show. Often, other artists will help you with your projects. Personally, I really enjoy helping young magicians make good choices when it comes to performing on TV. A few simple emails or a phone call to the originators would have prevented a situation like this from happening. Let us all learn from this, and grow in our understanding of each other and our magical art.

Yours in magical community,
Jeff McBride, founder of The McBride Magic & Mystery School

Doc is in Shock! – Mystery School News

Raise the Bar – Real World Restaurant and Bar Magic
with Doc Eason and Jeff McBride
Doc Eason
This is a rare opportunity to learn from the best in the business about the secrets of how to create a career doing what you love. Learn the secrets of success from the world’s most famous “Bar Magician,” Doc Eason, and one of the world’s great magic teachers, Jeff McBride. 2 days of workshops and personal training with Jeff and Doc.

We will go to The Olive where Jeff hosts his Wonderground night club experience. Inside this venue, in real world conditions, you will see Doc in action and also get a chance to have your magic seen and receive feedback from the pros! To join us just go here: http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events#471

McBride World Tour: Germany & U.K.

I will be teaching with Gaston in Germany and then will perform and teach at the Blackpool Convention in the U.K. I will be having 4 hour workshops in both countries, so please join me for the fun and magic!
Send us an email:

Germany contact Gaston: info@gastongaston.de
Blackpool  UK go here: http://www.blackpoolmagic.com/convention-2014/
Or email me: jeff@mcbridemagic.com

The Virtual Mystery School – World’s First Online School of Magic

Did you know you can get free magic lessons every day at www.mcbridemagic.tv?

I’ve also been working with students via SKYPE.  Learn more about that here:

http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/infopages/view/skype

Wonderground!

Your invitation to the BIGGEST magic party in Las Vegas!

Thursday January 16th, 2014

3 totally new and different shows
Our headliners this month are  Kyle and Mistie Knight in a rare Las Vegas appearance. Here’s a sample: http://tinyurl.com/lw5s7g7

Circe

Circe Martinez – from Cuba – returns from her award winning shows in China with her amazing dove act, “Wings and Dreams.” You can see highlights here http://tinyurl.com/koo5pzw

For a full list of the line-up go to www.vegaswonderground.com

Please join us soon for one of our exciting events: online or in person!
See you in Vegas or on tour!

Jeff McBride

Happy New Year!

January 3rd, 2014

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
— Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

Happy New Year

Dear Friends:

As you read this, we are all entering a new year.  It will not be like any year you’ve encountered before. Things will change, and so will you. If this year is anything like the last few, you’ll find things changing at an accelerating rate. So you’ll have some choices to make:  Will you strive to remain the same, and attempt to slow down the change that’s happening around you? Or race forward in an effort to keep up, to go along, to stay with the crowd? I’m hoping many of you will take yet another path:  That you stop, consider, and make the choice to consciously create the changes in yourselves and your world that you feel need to be changed.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
— Leo Tolstoy

I’m about to publish my book, The Wizard’s Way, which is a guide to becoming one of those powerful, potent individuals we think of as wizards.  This seems a good time to take a few moments and introduce you to some of the ideas from the book that I think you may find to be of use.

Lest you think I’m speaking of your becoming some old man with a long white beard, wearing a robe and making mystic passes over a cauldron while chanting wild incantations — consider that, while Merlyn & Gandalf are amongst the models I use for what it is to be a wizard, far more interesting and useful are the examples of Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Eve Ensler and Steve Jobs.  In Jobs’ words, these are all individuals who “Made a dent in the universe.”  People who exerted more than their fair share of influence over the changes in our world.

None of these people just found themselves “in the right place at the right time,” which seems to be the conventional wisdom about such things. No, each one made specific choices that led them to become what they were.  Each one did more than just wish to change the world. They took action. And the actions they took all started with themselves.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
— John F. Kennedy

Each one encountered significant pushback from their communities. Each one chalked up as many failures as they did successes. But each one did some things most of us do not.  Each one developed his or her own vision.  Each one educated themselves (note, I do not say “was educated”) and learned to view the world from different perspectives than those around them.  Each worked from a creative, proactive frame of mind, choosing action, even when the path forward was not already clearly laid out.  Each one took personal responsibility for the course of his or her life, and for creating the change they believed they needed to make in their worlds.

So I would ask each one of you:  What are you doing to create the life you want to have – both in magic and in the context of your personal life? Have you taken the time to define your vision? Are you doing things each day that will move you along the path you want to follow in life? Are you seeking out and spending time with the people who can help you educate yourself with the knowledge and skills you really need? Do you waste time complaining, or “waiting for that big break,” — or are taking action to create that big break yourself?

Jeff McBride & George Parker

Two of the more interesting wizards in The Wizard’s Way are people most of you already know:  Jeff McBride and George Parker.  Both have served not only as examples of how true wizards operate in the world, but also as consultants who helped me develop the ideas and techniques taught in the book.  It’s not an accident that both George and Jeff were such large influences in developing my ideas for the book.  In fact, all of the staff:  Jeff, Abbi, Eugene, George, Bryce and Larry Hass have been large contributors.  And each one already walks the wizard’s path.  In fact, it is a large part of the philosophy that governs the directions of the McBride Magic & Mystery School.

You see, we have a common vision.  As we like to say, we’re dedicated to helping to raise the level of magic, one magician at a time.  Each of us encounters hundreds of other magicians in the course of our work, both in performance and in our teaching. We do our best to be the best examples we can of a kind of magic that goes beyond the art of deception, and that redefines the magician’s job as one of creating magical experiences.  Deception is certainly an important tool, but it by no means the only one in the tool kit of an effective magician. That’s why, although we do teach a lot of tricks and deception techniques, we also spend time teaching stage presence, showmanship, story telling, as well as business and marketing techniques for magicians.

For me, at least, this is an important distinction.  The magic that consists only of tricks and illusions is a magic that is light entertainment, at best.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  For me, though, and I think it’s safe to say, for the rest of us at the McBride Magic & Mystery School, magic is a deeper and more important form of art and expression than mere light entertainment.  It is a very special kind of theater, capable of eliciting strong emotion and inspiring real transformation in those who experience it.

Part of our growth as artists, then, comes from a constant questioning. A constant quest, not only for new techniques, but for new kinds of experiences we can create.  A quest to redefine why we do magic, what it means to each of us. Reading books about life outside magic — history, philosophy, novels and science. Because magic is our medium, but life is the subject.

As we enter this new year, we will continue to grow, to evolve, ourselves and the experiences we are able to create with the McBride Magic & Mystery School.  You can help. You can let us know about your ideas for what you would like to see more of.  More live classes in Las Vegas?  More “on the road” events, where we bring our shows and workshops to you?  More online learning? More advanced technique classes, or basic technique classes?  More on the history and philosophy of our art? What subjects are we not covering enough that are important to you? Have you got any brilliant ideas for ways we can expand our impact, how we can be more effective in reaching our stated goals?

Let us know!

And, in the meantime, please accept our best wishes to all of you for a most magical and wonderful new year! These interesting times are sure to continue — but we’re sure you have what it takes to see them as exciting challenges that will help enrich your lives and your art.  We’re excited and grateful to all of you who stay with us, reading the Museletter, attending classes and supporting our efforts.

Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Tobias Beckwith &
All the staff & faculty of the McBride Magic & Mystery School

PS:  If you’ll be in Southern California between January 13-19, don’t miss us in our annual “Magic & Mystery School Week” at the Magic Castle!  Jeff, Abbi, Larry, Bryce, George and Eugene will be joined by Jordan Wright, Michael Carbonaro, Tim Wise and Bill Cook in a special week where we bring our own special brand of magic to Hollywood.

After that, Jeff will be touring in Europe, with a special class in Germany from Feb. 13-19, then the Blackpool Convention in the U.K. Followed by a series of lectures around the UK. Check his calendar at the right for further information.

Gifts of the Magi… Gifts of Wisdom

December 17th, 2013

The gold was their tribute to a King,
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body’s burying.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Dear Friends:

If you know me well, you know I collect gold – and I love to give it away! Here are a few “golden nuggets” of magical wisdom to ponder as we move towards the new year.

Seven Brilliant Quotes

The secret to my success in life – I attribute to the wisdom of my teachers.

I love giving gifts to my friends and family. (Shhh… and I occasionally get a gift for myself.) One of the reasons I hosted the first Mystery School 24 years ago is that I wanted to share the gifts of magic with my close friends… (and it was also a gift for myself!)

I invited the world’s foremost philosopher on the art of magic, Eugene Burger, to join us for a week at a magical retreat center. It was a exploration in “what magic could be in our lives”.

What we created that one weekend has evolved and grown over the last two decades into what is now called “The World’s Most Prestigious Magic School.” Tobias, Bryce and Abbi were all there! What our team created that weekend was a place for magicians to experience the deep mysteries of magic, and to encounter the best teachers in the world. A place to fill up on the magic of life… to be reawakened to the art of magic.

“You cannot give a gift you do not possess!”

Quite simply put, you must have a magical experience before you can give a magical experience.

I want to learn form the best, so I ask the magic teacher that are tops in their fields to join us at Mystery School for a week. For the past 6 years, I have been hosting my friends and magic fans at Wonderground, and this year, I wanted to continue my studies in restaurant magic, so I called my friend Doc Eason.

Doc will be in Vegas for a special class and you are invited to join us for this special session called “Raise the Bar.”

Give yourself the gift of a Magical Experience

Join us for a class this year in Las Vegas. We have Master Classes and classes on manipulation, restaurant magic, street magic, mentalism… and many more! Which class would be your favorite to attend? Explore our full schedule of classes at www.magicalwisdom.com.

If you can’t make it to Las Vegas, then join us at the world’s 1st online magic school

We stream our magic classes 24 hours a day at mcbridemagic.tv.

GastonDid you hear?  Master Class is coming to Germany!

My friend Gaston is really one of the great theatrical magicians in the world today.  He is a great actor and a skilled conjurer. We are teaching a 3-day class in Germany together. This is a rare occasion opportunity to study the “theater of magic.”

For details, email Gaston: info@gastongaston.de

WONDERGROUND HEATS UP DECEMBER 19TH

The biggest magic party in Las Vegas, and you are invited!

Once again, we have an amazing line up of guests from across the USA, including our capital of magic right here in Las Vegas. You can see the entire line up at www.vegaswonderground.com.

Wonderground

Abbi is home preparing for the holidays at The McBride House of Mystery. I am on tour a bit and home in time for our week at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, January 13-19. We hope to see all our friends from the Greater Los Angeles area then!

Wishing you all a most magical holiday season!

Jeff McBride and all the gang
at the Magic & Mystery School

Magic & Medicine: A Credo

December 1st, 2013

Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
— Hippocrates

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the holiday season!  A time of year filled with much magic and special challenges for all of us.  I think of it as “the dark time” of the year – probably because I have an inordinate fondness for sunshine, and there’s just not enough of it to go around for the next couple of months. In magic we must, however, learn to embrace both light and darkness, and to find ways of keeping our lives and our art in balance between the two.

Our guest author for this Museletter is Ricardo Rosencranz, our friend, colleague, and the man responsible for gaining us the ability to offer CME credit for our Magic & Medicine event. As a lover of magic, I find what Dr. Rosencranz has offered below to be a great reaffirmation and inspiration. I hope you will find it the same.

Magic and Medicine: A Credo

Ricardo T. Rosenkranz, M.D.

Dr. Ricardo RosenkranzSure, I love the magical arts. And I have dedicated a significant portion of my life to medicine. But connecting them together has never been about my interests or me. Magic and Medicine intertwined in my life just as the two snakes encircle the rod of Hermes. But for what purpose?

For as long as I can remember, I have longed for a life of beneficial service. Painting a smile on someone’s face and pouring measures of hope into someone’s cup have been my fantasies, then dreams, then quests. I am no different than many of my colleagues in Medicine who enter the profession for the self-same reasons.

Today, however, the life of a physician seems to drift away from that fundamental, ventral, central goal of mine. Productivity, technology, competence, efficiency, evidence and proficiency are the terms that define our professional lexicon. And yet, we long for the true meaning of what we do. I know this because nearly every physician I meet reflects on the existence of this malaise and senses that our boat has indeed veered away. Is it unexpected? Not really. Today’s winds, forcibly swirling around the ship, are the product of the engine of progress. We hunger for more knowledge, want to have a bigger impact in the health of others, and strive for excellence and precision. It seems that since the 17th Century, when the Scientific Method gave rise to the modern view of Medicine, we have been sailing at vertiginous speeds, eradicating illnesses right and left. But where are we going?

Currents create winds and winds beget storms. Today, I would venture that we are adrift because we believe more in ship than sailor, more in GPS than captain, more in engine than ingenuity. The noise of the motor is so loud that it drowns out the voices of the most important ones, the oft forgotten reluctant passengers of this ship: the patients. Even the great William Osler, father of modern medicine said, “He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.”

That is where I have found the second snake of this caduceus I might call my life’s paradigm. I would like to think that she saw what was missing in my “Aesculapian Staff” and methodically embedded herself into my self-awareness. Her name is Magic, and she is teaching me to better understand the world of healing. Every night she reads to me from the books of Burger, McBride, Maven, Neale, and Hass, among others. She lifts a mirror towards my audience allowing me to see my patients’ hearts while my reflection sheds a painted smile. And it is through her that I have come to understand that which I already knew, yet needed to experience from the other side of the sail.

Today’s Medicine, while breathtaking, needs a course correction. Medicine needs to pay heed to the balance of science and humanities. But this is not the only realm caught up in the storm of reductionism and practicality. It seems today that all educational endeavors are challenged by this concept. Recently, the presidents of Stanford University and Michigan (a computer scientist and a biochemist) published the following in the Washington Post:

“The humanities — history, literature, languages, art, philosophy — and the social sciences focus on the lasting challenges relevant to all of us: creating lives of purpose and meaning, appreciating diversity and complexity, communicating effectively with others and overcoming adversity. Ultimately, our ability to work meaningfully with others will determine the success of our enterprises, and that ability is honed through the humanities and social sciences.”

In the world of the Caduceus, I firmly believe that technology, technique, synthesis, evidence, and method need to embrace with art, grace, empathy, reasoning, understanding, and love. To me, this is the challenge of my generation.

That is why I chose to merge these two realms of mine. That is why I love to teach young medical students who hold neither preconception nor predisposition. Because I believe in transformation and empowerment, I never tire of sharing what Medicine and Magic can say to each other.

And when the Caduceus is planted in terra firma, when complementary snakes dance upon its solid staff allowing the inner eye to really learn and see the truth, the wings shall overtake the sky, embracing all with care and compassion. Now that’s a journey of a lifetime.

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