Epic Fail!

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
― Thomas A. Edison

Dear Friends:

On the Internet, folks tag videos with the words “EPIC FAIL” like it is a bad thing. Take heart my friends.  If we fear failure… we will never be creative or innovative! Let’s explore this “Epic of Failure” together, and experience how the alchemy of persistence can turn the “lead of failure” to the “gold of success!”   )0+

Failure and Winning

Oh, how I love this “Failure to Success” illustration (above)!

It really is the “Epic Story of My Life,” and illustrates how I feel about my own creative process!  Life is not an “epic fail,” but a series of “smaller fails” that lead to success. Our first attempts are frequently dreadful. It often takes us many attempts to “get it right.”

My own process for creating a new performance piece often takes many years!

I used to beat myself up for not getting it right the first time, or thinking I was moving “too slowly.”  Now, I finally “get it!”  The fact is that good things take time to develop, and often, failing is a prerequisite to success.

Mr. Churchill said it years ago!

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
― Winston Churchill

Success in Life and Love

Love is magic! As of August 15th, Abbi and I will have been married for 12 years! But Abbi and I started co-facilitating life enriching events over 20 years ago. We love learning from experts, and sharing that knowledge with our students. Abbi and I invited our friend Marshall Sylver over to our Mystery School one day. Marshall shared his insights with our students on how he developed his impressive speaking and performing career, and balanced his amazing success with his family life. Marshall is well versed in magic, hypnotism, public speaking — and he is also a millionaire who teaches prosperity seminars. He offered one of his most potent formulas for success:

“Fail Forward Fast!”

Looks simple right? Just 3 words; “Fail forward fast.” But it took me a few years to really get this idea into practice. The essence of the idea is that we are going to make many mistakes…. let’s not fear them, let’s make them now, and make them more often than the “other guy” who fears failure!

Ms. Bankhead said it in her urbane way…

“If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.”
― Tallulah Bankhead

Moving Beyond the Fear of Failure

One of the big breaks I had in my life was having my teacher, Eugene Burger, to guide my progress as a performing artist. I feel very blessed to be able to share time with Eugene here at the school. If you can’t visit Las Vegas this season you can watch and listen to Eugene each week on our web-tv shows on www.mcbridemagic.tv.  We have programs running 24 hours a day, online for free! Our gift to you. So if you need a little magical inspiration from Eugene and our faculty… just tune in.


Jeff McBride & Eugene Burger
Jeff and his mentor Eugene Burger at a recent Master Class”- photo by Beckett Studios

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The “Fearless 13”

Soon, 13 magic enthusiasts from all over the world will arrive at the McBride House of Mystery for our summer Master Class. Their ages range from 18 to 65. A few are full time pros, but most are magic hobbyists. Many speak English as a second language. Though they have never met, these students have a few things in common.

  1. They have a BIG dream, and they dare to live their dream.
  2. They all have pushed past their fear of failure.
  3. By nurturing their passion, they will succeed in the world of magic, and in life!

Where Magic Happens

Where Magic Happens

For those of you that are sitting at home reading this, know that we will be here when you are ready to push past your limitations and take the next step on your magical path to success. Many years ago, I learned that helping students to realize their potential is my passion!  So “Fail Forward Fast,” and we will see you soon online or in Las Vegas.
Yours in the art of magic,
Jeff McBride

Wonderground News!

Here is the line up so far for August 15th, 2013. WONDERGROUND is the day after MAGIC Live!, and it will rock!

Wonderground - August 2013

Early Stage 8pm
Jeff McBride, Bill Cook, Jen Kramer, Michael Trixx, Mr. Right & Bizzaro

The Diamond Parlor room 9pm
Jeff McBride, Jordan Wright, Bizzaro, Special MAGIC Live! guests

Late Stage 10 pm
Rudy Coby, Xavier Mortimer, Michael Trixx, Mr. Right, Jeff McBride, Bizzaro

Plus DJ Leo Diaz, Christian Diamond, Kumuda Tribal Belly Dancers, Tim Wise, Body Painting by Suzanne, Video Wizard Scott Steelfyre, Live art by Areeya, Psychic sideshow with “Scott Brown and The Readers” and much, much more! www.vegaswonderground.com.

A special message from Dr. Larry Hass:

I am writing today to announce that we have just finished and posted the exclusive Premier Member Video for 2013.  Filmed in March 2013 in Las Vegas, this 50 minute video features the Faculty of the Magic & Mystery School discussing four routines performed and taught by Jeff McBride, Larry Hass, Eugene Burger, and George Parker.  Three of the four routines have never been published before, and this is the first video presentation for all of them.

If you are a Premier Member of the Magic & Mystery School (the $100 level), this is a benefit that we have created especially for you.  Simply go to virtual.magicalwisdom.com and sign in to your Member page. You should see the “Premier Member Exclusive Video” as a separate box among your other benefits.

If you are not a Premier Member of the School, it is not too late to become one and receive access to this special video.  Please go to http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/members/signup and sign up as a Premier Member.  Remember the lion’s share of your membership fee goes directly in our scholarship fund—every dollar of which goes out to students who need financial assistance getting the magic education they need to be more successful.

On behalf of Jeff and Eugene and the entire Faculty, we thank all of you for supporting our membership program at whatever level you are able.  You are making a real difference for talented magicians who need your help!

Larry Hass
Associate Dean, McBride’s Magic & Mystery School

The Future of Magic

“They told me my services were no longer desired because they wanted to put in a youth program as an advance way of keeping the club going. I’ll never make the mistake of being seventy again.”
— Casey Stengel

Dear Friends:

This month, our guest columnist is Bryce Kuhlman. We’ve known Bryce since he was about the age of those “kids” he writes about below. It seems to me, we weren’t much older ourselves back then. I guess we’ve been doing this for quite a while now! I’ve seen Bryce move from life as a student to earning his livelihood as a magician, on to being a rocket scientist working for Motorola, and then to building multiple businesses, mostly around his prodigious talents as a programmer. He’s one of our true “renaissance men,” who excels in multiple areas – all the time exhibiting a good nature and wisdom beyond his years. I think you’ll enjoy his insights below!

The Future of Magic

I’m at an age where I find myself frequently uttering the phrase “Kids these days…” To be honest, I’m looking forward to the day when I graduate to “You kids get off my lawn!” (though it might be “get off my website” for me). That’s probably not a good attitude to have when you get booked to help facilitate the Lance Burton Teen Seminar at the recent I.B.M. (International Brotherhood of Magicians) convention here in Phoenix.

Bryce KuhlmanMany of you reading this many not know much about the Teen Seminar. It all started many years ago at the Desert Magic Seminar. Joe Stevens, the convention coordinator, noticed that a lot of teens were attending the convention. So he asked Lance Burton if he’d like to host some sort of event for the teens. What started out as a simple pizza party eventually turned into a 3-day long mini-convention, just for teens. The program is now associated with the I.B.M. It is free to the teens as long as they are signed up for the convention and is hosted by Lance and members of the Magic & Mystery School faculty. This year we had 24 teens from across the US, Canada, England, Japan and Thailand.

I was concerned that I might not have anything to say to these teens. I was thinking to myself, “They just watch YouTube all day and have no interest in becoming performing magicians.”

I’m happy, and humbled, to report that I was the clueless one, not the teens.

These teens give me hope for the future of magic as a performing art (as opposed to just an intellectual exercise). Many of them are already performing on a regular basis, both in close-up venues and on stage. In fact, when I brought up YouTube, I consistently got negative comments about exposure and how it can be a huge waste of time.

Eli PortalaAs partial proof, the teens did quite well in the competitions. Eli Portala, a past Master Class student, won 1st place in the Youth Stage Competition and made it to the stage finals and got to perform for the entire convention on the Friday night Gold Medal show, along with five acts in the adult category. Eli comes from a family of magicians and has been performing since the age of three (read more about him in our Winner’s Circle). Satori Adler and Jason Knight won Sorcerer’s Safari Camp Scholarships funded by the I.B.M. Endowment and Development Foundation.

Most exciting to me, personally: Eugene and Larry presented Tamer Qafiti with a McBride Magic & Mystery School Faculty Award, which will cover his tuition to any of our events. Tamer spent the majority of the convention in our “sessioning” room asking questions and performing great magic for anyone and everyone who would watch. We’re looking forward to working with him at an upcoming 7-day Master Class.

The art of magic is in great hands!

“I would like to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth when all the world is new to it.”
— Henri Matisse

Magic & Mystery School Faculty