Judging Success

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
— Author Unknown

Dear Friends:

Today our guest writer is our former student and now team member, Jordan Wright. Jordan is a talented artist, both as magical performer and filmmaker, and today he shares he thoughts on how we measure success:

Judging Success

Jordan WrightHow do you judge yourself and your success? Do you look at your career and see completion or do you see room for growth? Many magicians might choose to measure their success by how many shows they have done. Others might choose to measure only by the amount of money they make. The tendency is to dwell on the work we have in the moment or have had in the past. But there are those times when we feel like we are working just as hard yet we are getting very little “work”. It is easy to get to feeling down and to feel like we are not a success. We might receive a bad review, and suddenly our self-doubt creeps in. In the end, it all comes down to our attitude in how we judge our success. If we judge how great our work is by what we have done, or the feedback we receive, then we are only looking at the end result rather than the passion we had doing it.

One of my favorite types of art is conceptual art. In its origins, conceptual art challenged the belief that the purpose of art was to create material objects. Conceptual art is never focused on the result, or the product that is produced. Instead, the focus is placed on the process, the creation of new concepts and ideas. Relating this to magic, think of magicians who are always striving to develop new techniques and skills to accomplish an effect. A lay audience might never see much of what they come up with, yet they are always generating new ideas. Perhaps we can learn from this “concept” to measure success by our passion to attempt something new. After all, we have to be willing to create something beyond what has been done in the past in order for our art to evolve. Our work is not just about the end result, it is about the creative process. The end result will look good if the process felt good.

Thanks, Jordan!

I have just returned from Las Vegas, where we had a very successful Extended Master Class. It’s always fun sharing the week with Jeff & Abbi, Larry Hass, Eugene Burger, and Bryce Kuhlman. Leo Diaz saved the day at this class for two of our students who flew in from Venezuela, bringing a lot of talent but not much English. Leo stepped in as full time translator and made it all work out for everyone. Thanks, Leo!

I have just a bit of news on upcoming events. We would love to have your help spreading the word about these, if they are going to be near you.

First is a “McBride Magic Experience,” presented by Dan Pollack and his “Best Ever Magic” company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We will be on a schedule that is a bit unusual for this kind of event – the first time trying it out: Jeff will perform Magic Behind the Mask at 1pm, followed by his lecture at 3pm on Saturday, September 10th. The next day, his workshop will go from 1-5pm, followed by a magical birthday party Dan and his crew are throwing for Jeff…since that is his birthday! Learn more by going to:


George ParkerThe second event I want to let all our European friends know about is Jeff’s fall tour, which starts out in Amsterdam. George Parker will be presenting and joining Jeff for several events there. You can learn more at:

This will be followed by a week of teaching in Macon, France with Juan Tamariz, and festival performances in France and Copenhagen, followed by workshops & lectures in Copenhagen and, finally, a stop in Budapest, Hungary, where our friend David Merlini is presenting Jeff’s “McBride Magic Experience,” with show, lecture and workshop. We don’t yet have links for all the tour events, but check in on Jeff’s calendar to make sure you catch him when he is near you!

Finally, I understand we still have two open slots left for this year’s Magic & Meaning Conference, and one or two left for our Master Class in Mentalism. Jeff will be off in Europe during the Mentalism Class this year, but we have Eugene Burger, Master Mentalist Ross Johnson, and a special visit by the amazing Paul Vigil…so it promises to be a most amazing event.

Until next time, then, this is:

Tobias Beckwith

Many Faces of McBride

All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players: They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts….
— William Shakespeare

Website updates from Bryce

Jeff has just published a new Virtual Lesson:
  • Show Me the Money! Money changes hands every day. Why not take every opportunity to perform some magic?
We also have two new Secret Art Journal articles:

Jeff and Abigail McBride

Greetings friends,

Jeff here, with Abbi, celebrating our ten-year anniversary overlooking the Pacific Ocean in a secluded beach house near Santa Barbara. Abbi and I have been reflecting on our lives together, and the different roles we play in life. Abbi is a wonderful musician, dancer, singer, songwriter, massage therapist, gardener, cook and more…. lucky me! Abbi has been part of our Magic and Mystery School since its inception and she does a great deal of off-stage as well as on-stage performance magic.

Abbi noticed that often, students of magic come to our School, looking for a new role to play in their lives. Many people are looking to expand their experiences in the world. They are students, business men, retirees, career women. Some are young, ambitious teens, others are retiring from a career and looking for new purpose and meaning in their lives. Our question to you, dear reader, is: How many roles do you play in your life? What roles do you enjoy, and what new roles would you like to play? At a recent class, Larry Hass provoked me into making a list of the roles that I play on-stage and in life. Perhaps the following list will be interesting to some of you:

  • International headlining stage performer
  • Magic teacher
  • Master of Ceremonies at the WONDERGROUND
  • Host of Mystery School Monday
  • Author, Storyteller
  • Student, Apprentice to Eugene Burger
  • Librarian and Archivist of the Magic and Mystery School
  • Fire Circle facilitator
  • an Alchemist who blends all of these roles together in my life
  • and, most importantly, Husband to my lovely wife, Abigail

Over the years, many people have expressed interest in our Magic School, but they specifically do not want to play the role of a performer. These students of the art are magic “enthusiasts.” They are collectors, writers, historians, supporters, and lovers of all things magical. If you are one of these, you are most welcome to attend one of our upcoming events; perhaps Magic and Meaning is exactly what you’ve been looking for.


Magic and Meaning 2010

I invite you to join me at some of our upcoming events.


Recently, Mac King, Amazing Jonathan, Criss Angel, Siegfried and many other magic stars have made the WONDERGROUND their club of choice here in Las Vegas. This month, the MAGIC LIVE convention will be in Las Vegas, and we will have many magical celebrities visiting and jumping up on the stage for surprise guest performances. Seating begins at 7pm; please arrive early. For complete details about this month’s line-up go to: http://www.vegaswonderground.com

You can also watch WONDERGROUND from the comfort of your own home, live on August 18th, at 9pm pacific time, or on demand, anytime, at streetofcards.tv… Enjoy!


McBride’s Mystery School Monday airs live every Monday night at 7pm Pacific time. Each week, the faculty and friends of the Magic and Mystery School bring you the very best celebrity interviews, product reviews, insider information and inspiring magic video clips. We are the world’s first global, interactive, live-time weekly magic broadcast. It’s free; it is fun and it will inspire your magic and your creativity. You can also watch back episodes on demand at www.mcbridemagic.tv.

As you can see, my friends, we love sharing our magic with you and are continually exploring new ways to do that. I would also love to hear from YOU, and what you would like to learn as you expand your horizons and explore the world of magic and art. You can drop me an email, Jeff@mcbridemagic.com. It would be my pleasure to help you find more magic and meaning in life.

Magically yours,


From Tobias:

Just a couple of brief things from me today:

We’ve just upgraded the site at www.yourmagic.com, with additional shows, videos and more. I hope you’ll visit and let me know what you like, as well as send any ideas for ways I can improve that site.

Our friend Tom Merseroll and his daughter Melina are appearing in a new film project, “Desperate Acts of Magic.” While they are well into shooting, the project needs additional financial support. You can view a trailer and learn more at: www.desperateactsofmagic.com.

I understand we have one slot still available at this month’s Extended Master Class, as well as one or two slots still available for Magic & Meaning. If you’ve been on the fence about attending – now’s your chance! http://www.magicalwisdom.com.