Manifest Magnificence

“Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see.”
—Arthur Schopenhauer

Dear Friends:

No one saw it coming! I certainly didn’t… but a strange, magical phenomenon happens when you share time with brilliant minds. The “group mind” is smarter than any single person in the group. That is how magic works, I think. That is the very reason we created Mystery School over 21 years ago. We gathered talented people together to co-create the future of magical education.

We certainly did not see this in the future, but here it is! (read on my friends, read on!)

The Magic of Social Media

World’s First Online Magic School

Mystery School makes history! Read the whole social media story in Beyond the Square Magazine about us, and Penn &Teller too!

Manifest Magnificence!

Many years ago, I read lots of magic books. I was 8 years old, and my first stage name was “McBride the Magnificent.” My grandma thought it was “a bit too much,” but my mom and dad printed up little business cards for me. Hey, the name gave me something to shoot for! I would have to give that name up in a few years, though. It was a name that I had to let go of. (Keep reading!)

McBride the Magnificent


Today, I still read lots of magic books. I also read Michael Dolan’s blog each week, and he inspires me.  I read this next piece by Michael, just in time for a crucial meeting this week about “letting go of preconceptions!”

Michael writes:

“SHOWTIME! And the demon of doubt”

We box with the demon of doubt daily, while at the same time [we] wrestle with our art, fighting to get it just right before we launch, release, publish, ship or produce. The inner dialog is relentless and the process is exhausting.

No one else on earth could possibly understand what you go through to manifest just one inch of acceptable, original work.

However, this is it, this is what it’s like to be an artist, an entrepreneur, and every single day of your life is “Showtime!” And every single day of your life you have a choice; Stick to the same o’l script, or write a new screenplay. Rehash mediocrity, or manifest magnificence.

Bring to the show:  A finger, pointing in the direction you want to go.

Leave behind: A well thought out plan.

Bring to the show: Your best work—the work you’re afraid to present.

Leave behind: The work that makes you feel safe.

Bring to the show: Gratitude, transparency, genuine humility, and an eagerness to suck up that which you don’t already know.

Leave behind: Your righteous opinions on how things ought to be.

Bring To The show: Your truth.

Leave behind: Everyone else’s.

“Showtime” is different for all of us, and it doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO of a growing corporation, the keyboard player of a rock band, or a songwriter with one aging hit to your credit. Every day when the lights go on and the curtain goes up, it’s your choice to “bring it on”…or not.

For more of Michael Dolan visit

I like the phrase Michael uses “Manifest magnificence!”

“The difficulty lies not in grasping new ideas, but rather escaping old ones”
— John Maynard Keynes

Give it up!  Let it go!

Some ideas are hard to let go of for me.

When I was a kid magician, I lived near the Catskill Mountain resort hotels in upstate New York. I used to think that “If I could only do my little magic show in the big Catskill resort hotels, ah! then I would have made it to the big time”…Now, all the Catskill resorts are either torn down, or rotting away.  They no longer exist! I had to let that idea go, and my “McBride the Magnificent” title with it!

Years ago, I had to let go of the idea of being “The Mime Magician.” Hey, talking as much as I do now, I had to let that idea go! I had to let go of the idea having a typical “old fashioned Las Vegas magic show” for something that I feel is much, much better! (Wait for it, here it comes!)

Finding new ground…WONDERGROUND!

Big changes ahead in Las Vegas

The last few months we have been re-visioning our monthly magic party. Letting go of old ideas and getting together with our Wonderground-crew to dream up some BIG new ideas!

We plan to broadcast a new Wonderground TV project in the coming months. We will also be searching the planet to bring NEW and original acts and ideas to our stages!

See the new “magic mash-up” video created by Scott Steelfyre and Jordan Wright to see this month’s line up!

Jeff McBride at Wonderground

The Wonderground Players create a new show every month  — and let go of the old ideas!

Our crew at The Wonderground is conspiring to create new ways for the world to interact with us. Watch for us on YouTube or join us live at the show Thursday March 21st at 8pm.

“A man can learn only two ways, one by reading,
& the other by association with smarter people.”

— Will Rogers

This month I’ll still be reading magic books, and I will be in the company of some of the smartest people I know.

Eugene Burger, Tobias Beckwith, Dr. Larry Hass, Bryce Kuhlman, Abbi and the faculty of Mystery School are hosting 2 weeks of classes here at our Vegas school. Although Magic for Speakers and Presenters is sold out, there is still time to register for the March Master Class, and for our summer school events.

More Press Coverage

Another great article has appeared on the touring show The Illusionists. I made the cover again this month! Take a look at “the touring life” from our point of view:

If you missed the tour, you can see the incredible clip here:

Late March takes me to Thailand with Jordan Wright. We will be doing shows and reporting back on Monday Night Mystery School.

8pm PST every Monday night!  Watch it at

For my full tour schedule for 2013 go to:

See you on the road or here at a class at the Mystery School!
Yours in the art,

From Tobias:

We continue to add to the fare at the online “virtual” Magic & Mystery School, and now Jeff has just released his own version of a classic card table routine, “Kings of Poker.” It’s a fantastic presentation, and easy to do.  Now available as a download (or you can just see the great trailer that Jordan created for it) here:

Also, we’re considering an East Coast Tour for The McBride Magic Experience in May.  Let me know if you want to sponsor, or know someone you think would!  It’s great fun, and sponsors wind up getting their own private master class in producing and mounting a show.

Tobias Beckwith


Watery Wishes

When you pass beyond this human form,,
no doubt you will become an angel
and soar through the heavens!

But don’t stop there.
Even heavenly bodies grow old.

Pass again from the heavenly realm
and plunge into the ocean of Consciousness.
Let the drop of water that is you
become a hundred mighty seas.

But do not think that the drop alone
becomes the Ocean —
the Ocean, too, becomes the drop!

— Jelaluddin Rumi

Spinner & Magnus

Hello friends,

Abbi here, in the House of Mystery, sipping a cup of tea, and thinking about all of you….

Sometimes, the real magic is right in front of our eyes; all we have to do is slow down enough to notice it.  I think about the magic of water, which comprises a large percentage of our bodies and our planet… descending from the sky as a gift from above in the rain, moving through us, keeping us hydrated, enabling us to see, pulsing with the blood in our veins, cleansing and purifying, nourishing all life, flowing toward the ocean in mighty rivers and small streamlets, and rising again to the sky.

Abigail Spinner McBrideHow often we take this precious resource for granted.  When I moved to Las Vegas, nearly sixteen years ago to be with Jeff, my entire relationship to water changed.  I try to make my connection to water a conscious part of “the flow.”  I make it a point to stay hydrated, and each time I drink, I think about my part in this great tide, and I strive to be mindful in my use of water.

One of my favorite magic memories is of seeing Just Alan perform the “Sands of the Desert,” with a slideshow accompaniment of a journey to India. You probably already know Jeff’s “Rainmaker” water-bowl routine is my favorite piece of magic that he performs, and one of my regular pieces that I love to perform is a version of “In the News.”

Our friend, Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil, has started a foundation called One Drop, dedicated to ensuring that water is accessible to all, today and forever.  It is heartening to see someone working so hard for such a good cause.  Check out what they’re up to:

Abigail Spinner McBride at Wonderground

So, as the springtime rains bring out the daffodils in the front yard, and the blossoms appear on the apricot tree, I am offering an opportunity to each of you, to drink deeply of the beauty inherent in each moment, and to savor each sip of life.  May you never thirst!


From Tobias:

If you have visited Abbi and Jeff in their “house of mystery,” you will know they live surrounded by magic every day – and not just the kind that involves decks of playing cards and Kabuki masks.  Poetry, music, literature, graphic arts – their home is filled with things that evoke magic and wonder.  And of course, one can always sense the magic and artistry in Abbi’s writing.

I’m fortunate to be heading off to Vegas in just another week or so for our two classes in March.  First is Magic for Speakers and Presenters – which is completely sold out already, in just the first time we’re offering it.  Just after that we have our first full Master Class of the year, from March 18-24, and as I write this, there are still several slots open for that one.  We usually see several students at our March class gearing up for competitions at the summer conventions, and I’ve noticed we have at least one of those signed up this year.  If you’re looking for a way to assure you make the leaps forward in your performance you need to compete effectively, this is your best chance.  Sign up now at

Immediately following the March classes, Jeff and Jordan will be heading off to Asia again – this time to Bangkok – to share magic at a festival there hosted by our new friend Mamada.  If you’ll be in Thailand between March 26-29, be sure and see them!  That will give Jeff just a few days home before he takes off on two weeks of cruising the Pacific for Holland America…and that takes us nearly to the end of May.

For May, I’m looking for a few good “sponsors” for the McBride Magic Experience.  This is Jeff’s signature one-man-magic convention, as only Jeff can provide.  Combining show, lecture and workshop in an amazing two-day event not only provides a special treat for the local magicians and magic – but it winds up serving as a master-class in promotion and production for the sponsors. We’ve developed the methods for working with venues, handling press and overall production that, once you’ve learned them with us ‘holding your hand,’ can be applied to events you’ll want to promote for the rest of your lives.  A true win-win for all involved, and designed so it actually carries less financial risk for the sponsor that just having another magician come and lecture would.  I hope I will hear from several of you in the coming week or two, as now is the time to start promoting for May!

That’s all from me for this week.  By the time this Museletter comes out again, we’ll all be sharing time in Las Vegas for the Master Class.  Maybe one or two of you reading this will be sharing time with us there, too!

Best wishes.
Tobias Beckwith