Magic Cafe, Magic & Meaning

From Tobias

We wanted you all to be aware that this week Jeff is the featured special guest on The Magic Cafe. This means you can log in and ask him any magic related question you want, and get an answer within a couple of hours. Things are already heating up, so get your questions in early! 

If you’re not already aware of The Magic Cafe, and you’re a magician, now may be your time to get involved. It’s probably the largest online community of magicians interacting and helping one another out 24 hours a day. There are special forums for almost any imaginable area of interest, whether its close-up, collecting, kids shows, business…whatever you can think of. It’s all free, but you must register to post questions or comments. Log in now at, and take a moment to say hello to Jeff! 

Before I turn this over to Larry Hass, who information for you regarding this year’s Magic & Meaning Festival, I suppose I should remind you we still have a slot available for the June 24 – 30 extended Master Class. This will be the last class before the big summer conventions, so if you have an act you’re polishing up for competition, you may want to take this opportunity to get the masters’ direction! Sign up now at

Best wishes,
Tobias Beckwith

From Larry Hass


2009 Magic and Meaning Conference

Greetings Friends! 

You may know of me from my magic book Transformations: Creating Magic Out of Tricks. Or you may have read my column in MAGIC magazine. Or you may know of my scholarly program, the Theory and Art of Magic. Indeed, my primary goal in all these activities has been to create excellent materials and magic events for thinking magicians. 

What you may not know is that in recent years I have partnered with Jeff to help create the programming for his annual Magic and Meaning Conference. And you also may not know that the Magic and Meaning Conference is really aconference. That is, it is a warm, professional gathering of people who are interested in learning from each other about the rich complexities, significance, and history of magic.

Indeed, along with Keynote Addresses from some leading voices in magic, the conference also features a large number of 20 minute presentations from people who are attending the conference and who have something to teach the community.

So let me invite you to consider attending this year’s Magic and Meaning Conference. It is being held in Las Vegas, October 21-24, 2009. I assure you, this is not a “private club,” and there is no “party line” to follow. All that is required is that you love magic and are open to learning about it from many different kinds of magicians. Not only will you think about magic in exciting, new ways, but you will see great magic and have a blast with new friends and world-leading magicians. 

I also want to invite you to consider making a presentation to the Conference. Yes, anyone is welcome to submit a proposal for a 20 minute presentation. To submit a proposal, all you have to do is send me a 100-200 word description of your talk, including a title, the theme, and the main claims you would want to make. The address to send your proposal is: The deadline for submitting a proposal is August 1, 2009; shortly thereafter, Jeff and I will announce the presentations that have been accepted. 

I hope you can be with us at the conference! To get a flavor for the presentations, you can view some of the presentations from 2008 which are available as “The PEP Talks of Magic” on Jeff’s website at:

With all good wishes,
Lawrence Hass

Ode to Spring

“Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul and delight the heart. The both take practice.”
Nora Roberts

(Take a few moments to think about this before reading on… I’ll wait.)

Here’s another question for you. When you experience a magic effect, do you walk away from the experience with more than just feeling fooled? If you perform magic, do you have an intention beyond “just tricking” your audience? Often, when a person immediately responds by saying “how did you do that?” I know I’ve partially failed in my mission as a mystery entertainer. I want my participants to walk away with more, with a genuine human happening, and perhaps, a life-enriching experience.

If you’re human, you have eight basic needs, and we continue to seek out ways to meet these needs, in order to make us: 

I’ve been examining our goals as teachers here at the Magic and Mystery School. I can honestly say that when our students attend our classes, many of these life-needs are met. It is our goal to create happy, healthy, smart performers. Tobias and Bryce teach us the tools we need to be wealthy and prosperous. Abbi creates a safe and secure environment here at the McBride House of Mystery, for all of us to deepen our understanding of life’s wonders. Our creative team is here to help you enhance your life with the highest quality magical training. We are more than just a school where people learn magic tricks. We share life lessons, and many of our students become lifelong friends as we travel together on the endless journey of mastery.

Take a look now at some of our friends who are following their dreams….

Persistence — More than anything else, persistence is the key. One must persist, on a daily basis in practice, rehearsal, study and self-examination to continually polish and upgrade their skill sets. But, there is a danger in trying to go it alone. Even if you’re persistent, you might be practicing or performing your magic with bad habits. How can you really know if you’re getting the right input from your friends or colleagues on your work? Sometimes, it’s good to get the advice from people who are experts in their fields. Experts can save you thousands of dollars and years of work by teaching you the correct techniques and giving you the right tools to use to build your magic and your life. I was very fortunate to develop my friendship with Eugene Burger years ago. He pointed me in the right direction, and I made many changes in my magical style. He helped me with presentation skills, and we can help you. Eugene is turning 70 this year. He truly is one of the great sages of magic, and is at the top of his game right now. This is an excellent time to take advantage of his presence and his many years of experience.

Imagine you went back to school and all of the classes were about magic! … and all of the teachers were your favorite magicians! … Well, guess what. It’s real. Can you hear the school bell ringing? It’s telling you that class is in session, and we would love for you to join us at our upcoming Master Classes. Take a moment to look through our class schedules and pick the perfect class for you! We are here to inspire you to make positive changes in your magic and your life. We guarantee that you will find this a transformative and life-enriching experience. Take action in your life and in your magic. Take the next step on your path to mastery. See you in Las Vegas! 

“Magic is believing in yourself. If you can do that, you can make anything happen.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


More Meaning


“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But, when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
— Attributed to Mark Twain, 1835-1910, American Humorist


My father, Jack, taught me a lot of things. One of them was how to ride a horse. My dad met my mom at a horse show. He rode Western. She rode “proper English” style. This was the beginning of a long relationship, where both of them learned to respect each other’s differing styles. Many of my weekends growing up were spent at horse shows, and as soon as I could handle a horse, I was competing. My competitions included barrel racing and “keyhole,” a short distance race against the clock, where you gallop down the field, turn on a dime, and race back to the finish line. 

I guess I didn’t practice as much as the other kids who consistently won the competitions. Oh yes, I did win the occasional first prize, but, more often, I walked away having learned a lesson in humility. It taught me how to lose gracefully, and not to give up, and to practice for the sheer pleasure of practicing. I really value the lessons I’ve learned from my father, and from my time riding horses. I often remind our students who are entering competitions that the real test of a competition is to be aware that it is not the goal or the gold, but the continuing process of mastery. The path of mastery takes hard work and commitment.

“Work banishes those three great evils: boredom, vice and poverty.”
— Voltaire, 1694-1778

Once a year, some of the brightest magicians and philosophers in the world gather together for our Magic and Meaning Conference. You can see inspirational videos of some of the highlights here at our PEP talks. PEP stands for Performance, Entertainment, Philosophy. You can watch some of the talks from last year on our website:

This year, we are also celebrating the release of the new edition of Eugene Burger and Robert Neale’s inspirational work MAGIC AND MEANING. This great book has been out of print for awhile, but is available again now, with 17% new material added. You can get it by going visiting our online catalog:

Bryce has done an amazing job on our new SECRET ART JOURNAL. This month, our featured writer is Jeff Civillico, who offers practical advice on being a Master of Ceremonies, or the host of a show. You can see his “Tips from a professional Master of Ceremonies” at

If you’ve ever wanted to experience the deeper magical mysteries, the time is now. It happens only once a year, and this year it’s happening May 10- 15.

For those of you on the East Coast, we’re just firming up plans for Jeff to be in New York City on June 12 & 13 at the Fantasma Magic Shop. Go to for details of how to sign up. 

Later in June we’ll be holding another Extended Master Class, and there are still a few slots open. Check that and our other upcoming classes out at Register now, while spaces are available! 

Also: Our friend Wayne Kawamoto publishes one of the better magic newsletters on the web, and he has just named Jeff among the top 10 magicians of our time. Read all about it at:

Best to all!