End of 2008

Here we are coming into a month named after the Roman god Janus, an appropriate personification of the start of the new year. This particular Roman god had two faces so that he could look ahead toward the future and back at the past at the same time. As we get rid of an old year and look forward to a new one, we all try to be a little like Janus. We know through experience what we did wrong and what we did right, and hope to do better this year. Some people make ambitious new year’s resolutions; others just take a deep breath and hope for the best.…

—From The Complete Speaker’s Almanac


Greetings from Las Vegas! 


The snow has all disappeared from the Las Vegas valley, but the mountains are shimmering.  The sun is out again, and I’m getting ready to go skiing atop Mount Charleston with my friend Dr. Joshua Levin! Yes, we have skiing in sunny Las Vegas, just 50 minutes from the Strip!  I’ve been an avid skier since I was 6 years old. I grew up skiing. In fact we had a ski area literally in our back yard… you could see the chairlift from the kitchen window! I would ski every day after school and on weekends too. I used to compete in the East Coast Freestyle Skiing Circuit…. I love “stunt-ballet” skiing, and in many of my competition routines, I actually mixed magic and special effects into my ”hot–dog” skiing; appearing ski poles, fire on my skis, and the occasional poof of a flash powder charge, as I swirled and whirled down the slopes doing my trick skiing act. The magic and effects I added to my routine gave me a “winning edge.”  I stood out from all the other competitors because I did something new and different! I guess I’ve always combined my passion for magic with my other interests. I think that’s one of the things that helped me with my performing career. Here is a vintage photo of me doing a flip, in a Freestlye skiing competition at Holiday Mountain in Rock Hill, New York, 1975!

 Young Jeff on Skis




Many of our students here at the school are not full time performers. Many of them are public speakers who combine business messages with magic.  I often help these speakers to come up with ideas to illustrate their points with magic, comedy and special effects. In short, we work together to “punch up” their presentations.


I encourage them to share real stories from their lives, and to add a bit of magic to these stories as they communicate with their audiences. In Tobias Beckwith’s book BEYOND DECEPTION, there is an exercise called “PASSION PIECES.”  This essay gives the secret formula on how to turn simple magic effects into pure theater.  Here is a short version of that magic formula: Take a real story form your life, something you are really passionate about and tell people about that passion when performing a simple magic effect. Why a “simple effect?”  The best reason is so that you can connect more with the emotion of the story rather than worrying about the technique of the effect. I have learned over the years to focus on the story as much as the trick. Give the audience “more truth than trick” is a formula that has been successful for me!



I will be appearing on My Network TV for Masters of IllusionMasters of Illusion series.  I had a great time shooting the show in Los Angeles, along with Abbi and Jordan Wright.  Oh…and if you missed The World Magic Awards last month, they are re-playing it on New Year’s Day at 8pm.

 Jeff - Mask Ending




Eduardo Galeano, from Spain, recently joined us at a Master Class.  He also made his Las Vegas debut on our “Midnight Magic Show” at THE WONDERGROUND.   This week, he shared the good news that he will be representing his birth country, Argentina, in the competition at the World Magic Seminar here in Las Vegas in March!  We were all impressed with his card routine, and thought you’d like to see it, too!





It is a great pleasure to introduce some of our students to our Museletter readers, so we can all share in their success!  I look forward to featuring many of our students in upcoming Museletters.


If you would like to see more of our award-winning students, you can enter the WINNERS CIRCLE, by going to http://www.magicalwisdom.com/winners.php


Stay warm, my friends, and if you get too chilly, why not join us for some fun and magic in sunny Las Vegas!


Yours in mystery,


Jeff and Abbi McBride

A Wisdom Story

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

(From Segovia Bader’s Travelogue)

Greetings Friends and Magi,

I love Wisdom Stories. I love sharing these stories with friends, sitting around the fireplace on the chilly winter nights. Yes, it even gets chilly in Las Vegas. 

Here is one of my new favorite stories and wisdom quotes for the holidays. 


There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did and she had a wonderful day. 

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “H-M-M,” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” So she did and she had a grand day. 

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did, and she had a fun, fun day. 

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head. “YAY!” she exclaimed. “I don’t have to fix my hair today!” 

Attitude is everything. Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle. Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly. 

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain. 

I love that quote about “dancing in the rain.” It encourages me to create, and share inspiration with my friends. Just a few days ago, I emailed this story to Bob Neale. Bob wrote back to me the next day with ideas for 3 magic routines utilizing this story as the inspiration. Isn’t it amazing how one simple story can trigger so much creativity? Bob has a talent for taking simple stories like these and developing them into full story-magic routines. His book Life Death and Other Card Tricks is filled with examples.

YULE BE AMAZED! Now you can watch our WONDERGROUND holiday party from your home anywhere in the world! 

Yule Be Amazed is the name of our WONDERGROUND holiday event here in Las Vegas. You can attend from your own home by logging onto your home computer DEC 27TH at 8PM pacific time. Just log on to www.streetofcards.tv

Many members of our Las Vegas magic community will be here with us and some special guest celebrities. You are invited to tune into our holiday event here in Vegas! 

We will broadcast the YULE BE AMAZED event and it is INTERACTIVE! Yes, that’s right, we have a chat room online so you can talk to us in live time. There is no fee for this event… it is our gift to our magical friends. You can also watch archived episodes of WONDERGROUND and lots of other great magic in the video archives at street of cards.

THE GIFT OF MAGIC: If you are looking for the perfect gift for YOU or your special magic-lover… you would do well to consider giving them the gift of a magical weekend here at the Magic and Mystery School. 

It is FUN and EASY to set it up… Just call Abbi at 702-450-0021. 

Abbi can help you arrange a Magic Class or private magic session with Jeff or the other faculty at our Magic and Mystery School. 

We wish you the gift of inspiration and creativity during this holiday season and all year long. 

Jeff, Abbi, Eugene, Tobias, Bryce,
and all your friends at the Magic and Mystery School