Archive for March, 2009

The Idols of March

Monday, March 16th, 2009

“Sometimes our light goes out, but it is blown again into flame by an encounter with another human being. Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this inner light.”
–Albert Schweitzer

Jeff McBride Awarded Lecturer of the Year from the Academy of Magical Arts!

“Teaching is not filling a bucket; it is lighting a fire.”

The above is an inspirational thought that I worked into my acceptance speech at the AMA awards last week. I was presented with the Lecturer of the Year award, which is the highest honor a teacher of magic can receive. I want to thank all of my teachers for keeping the fire of magic burning brightly: Eugene, Abbi, Tobias, Bryce and Jordan and all of the other teachers and facilitators here at the School.

Academy Awards

The Academy of Magical Arts (The Magic Castle) held its 41st annual awards show at the Avalon Hollywood Theater. …And the winners are: 

Jeff McBride, Lecturer of the Year 
Guy Hollingworth, Magician of the Year 
Bob Fitch, Lifetime Achievement 
Celeste Evans, Performing Fellowship 
Howie Schwarzman, Performing Fellowship 
Louis Falanga, Literary Fellowship 
Doc Eason, Close-up Magician of the Year 
Kevin James, Stage Magician of the Year 
Shoot Ogawa, Parlour Magician of the Year 

It was really quite amazing that I have deep and lasting friendships with so many of the winners. Bob Fitch was my first director, and responsible for helping me choreograph one of my favorite routines, “THE MAGIC WATER BOWLS” that you may have seen recently on Masters of Illusion. Louis Falanga is the publisher of many of my teaching DVDs, and the new MAGIC AT THE EDGE 3 volume set. I often tour with Doc Eason, Kevin James and Shoot Ogawa, all fine magicians. All of these guys visit Las Vegas on a regular basis. Celeste Evans is one of the great ladies of magic; I hope that she can attend the upcoming Sisters of Mystery conference for women in magic later this fall.

“Without inspiration, the best powers of the mind remain dormant; there is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.”
– Johann Gottfried von Herder

MayFire, May 10-15 at the Valley of Fire State Park

Vegas. One of the places we find inspiration is at our Alchemifire events. We are hosting one here in May, and if you are called to join us, here is the link to explore: 

http://www.vegasvortex.com

We will be hosting another in June, in Ohio, 

http://www.wisteria.org/wisteria-summer-solstice.htm

Peacock Update from the McBride House of Mystery

Yes friends, the big blue bird of happiness will greet you if he stays around our neighborhood, though I must say, the lawn guys gave him quite a scare yesterday with their leaf blowers… He gave them a scare, too. His tail feathers span over eight feet when he’s got them extended, which he displayed for us the other day. So, just be cautious as you approach the door to our House of Mystery. His nest is just to the left of our gate…. 

As you read this, I will be on tour in Israel and Spain, getting home just in time for our April Master Class, and then to the MAGIC-WHIRL event in Washington, DC. 

Your friend in mystery,
Jeff

Globe-Trotting

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

 

“As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.”
– Carl Jung

I feel that that’s what magicians do. We light fires in people’s imaginations. These fires burn away impossibilities, limitations and restrictions. They clear the fields of the dead wood of predictability. The ashes of these fires nurture new seeds of hope. 

When I travel, I often meet magicians who I consider to be sages. In this Museletter, my friends, you will meet a few of them. I’ve just returned home from touring Peru and England. Magic is alive and well in Peru. Here is a photo of my magic friends after a six hour Master Class that was part of the convention.

Juan Tamariz
… is one of the most enthusiastic performers of our time. I have had the good fortune of sharing time with him over the years, but in this last visit to Peru I got to attend some of his seminars and lectures, and was thoroughly impressed, all over again. 

During the Flasoma Convention 2009 in Peru, Tamariz explained his reasons for thinking that the S. W. Erdnase material was actually written by L’Homme Masque. L’Homme Masque was a Peruvian magician who lived at the same time as Erdnase. Dai Vernon considered him to be one of his idols. Gaetan Bloom shares Juan’s assumption. Juan and Gaetan held a lecture and discussion speculating that there is enough evidence pointing in the direction of L’Homme Masque as the author. I am sure that Juan will share further research at upcoming events. 

I spoke at length with Juan Tamariz at his late-night philosophy lectures. He is truly a brilliant thinker. Juan is a big fan of Bob Neale, and I am presently conspiring to bring them together at one of our events in the near future. It was worth the many days it took to travel to Peru to sit in this sage’s company and drink from his fountain of wisdom.

Amazing Blackpool
Over 3,500 magicians converged on the northern seaside city of Blackpool, England, for the 57th annual convention. Some of the highlights for me included teaching a three day Master Class at the Blackpool magician’s club, seeing friends and Master Class alumni like Jon Randall, Romany, Rafael, George Parker and Kenny & Angie from Kernow Magic. Eugene gave a standing room only lecture, and twelve close-up shows… and people think I have stamina! 

I suggest that you make Blackpool one of your magic vacation destinations. This seaside city is filled with variety shows, circuses, and enchanting old-world attractions. Even during the cold winter months, the town is a hot spot. Hats off to Derek Lever and the Blackpool magicians’ club for hosting one of the greatest magic events the world has ever seen! 

I had the pleasure of meeting the legendary comic Ken Dodd. He’s in his mid-80s and still does four shows a week. He’s kind of like England’s Bob Hope. He said that the key to performing is enthusiasm, and when I asked him what the secret of a good life is, he said “plant something…. Plant a seed, and watch it grow. Not only real seeds, but ideas, dreams, and possibilities.” 

Eugene and I had a delightful conversation over breakfast with The Amazing Randi. We discussed all things skeptical and meta-magical. He’s a charming conversationalist, and his mentalism show and lectures were phenomenal. When we left the breakfast table, there were many bent spoons left behind. Here is a photo of us with Mr. Randi.

March will bring me down to Daytona & Orlando, Florida. After a private corporate date in Daytona on the 17th, I will be doing a show & lecture at the Sleuth’s Dinner Theater at 8267 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819, http://www.sleuths.com, on the 18th and a special Secret Session workshop on March 19th at Magical Arts and Design East Coast Studio: 1039 Pine Street, Orlando, 32824 ( www.MagicalArtsandDesign.com ). The contact number for all Orlando appearance information is: MAD Hotline 866-905-9858, 407-858-9858 local. 

Then Abbi and I will be going to visit Israel from the 22nd- 30th of March. Learn more about it here:http://www.magic.org.il (probably only useful if you read Hebrew). On the way back, I’ll be visiting with my friend Juan Mayoral for his magic festival in Almusafes, Spain, where I’ll both lecture and perform. 

Oh, by the way, our friends, “Lord Peacock” is roosting in the front yard, so if you drop over for a class or private session, I’ll be happy to introduce you! He seems to be especially fond of sunflower seeds, so be sure to bring some along if you want to feed him. 

The trees are beginning to bloom here, and the new seeds have been planted in Abbi’s garden. What “seeds” of magic are you planting? 

Your friend in magic, 

Jeff

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