What do you love?

“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.”
— Yogi Berra

Greetings friends.

Read the following and you will never again have to wear this label!

Hello, my name is Awkward

Today, I will share a couple of the life lessons I’ve learned while traveling the world for the past 40 years.

This month I’m in Germany and the UK touring. As a traveling performer, I meet thousands of people a year. Often I am in rather awkward situations, where I am “in charge” of the conversation, and responsible for making small talk. If you have ever been in this situation, you know it can be hell!

“Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed.”
— Robert C. Gallagher

Q. What do you say to people that you have never met to ‘break the ice?’
A. What do you love? Simply ask people about what they love! It works!

Here are a few icebreakers that I use when I am traveling.

  • What is exciting you these days?
  • Who do you look up to? Who inspires you?
  • What is the best piece of advice you’ve received? (This is one I ask on cruise ships to successful retired people)
  • What do your parents do for a living?
  • What is your biggest regret? (live and learn!)
  • What is your most embarrassing moment?  (OY! this is a GREAT one and next time you see me in person, ask me for my ‘most embarrassing moment!’)
  • What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done? (get ready to be SHOCKED!)
  • What are some of your short-term goals?
  • What are some of your long-term goals?
  • Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

You can read a few more at of these “ice-breakers” here http://www.conversationstarters.com/

Just remember a few of the questions above, and you will be well prepared the next time you are seated at a boring dinner party next to strangers! You can thank me later!

“The great gift of conversation lies less in displaying it ourselves than in drawing it out of others.”
— Jean de la Bruyere

SHOW BIZ TYPES LOVE APPLAUSE… BE HONEST, DO YOU LOVE THE SOUND OF APPLAUSE?

As performers, we love it when audiences applaud… but what is it about the sound of applause that we love? Recently I watched this video and was surprised by the answers. You will be too!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD037VSAG2I

“My advice to you concerning applause is this: Enjoy it, but never quite believe it.” 
— Samuel Lover

Do you ever feel funny when you’re sitting in the audience and you were the first to clap?

Do you have a fear of clapping?
http://modernservantleader.com/servant-leadership/be-the-first-to-applaud/

TRAVEL TIP #17: THE THEFT PROOF BAG.

Here is a very good solution for magicians who are getting there act stolen these days.
http://www.wimp.com/technologyfrom/

WHAT IS NEW IN MAGIC?
JEFF SHOWS HOW TO CHANGE A SILK INTO A SERPENT

Serpent Silk

http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/lessons/view/59

Las Vegas WONDERGROUND NEWS!

Bravo to the WONDERGROUND players! We made the FRONT page of The Las Vegas Review Journal!
Great photos and story! Hats off to you, my friends, for 5 great years of magic and community!
http://www.reviewjournal.com/view/whitney/wonderground-variety-show-offers-gamut-performers

FEATURED WONDERGROUND PERFORMER: BUSTER BALLOON!

The Buster Balloon Show is an inflatable extravaganza of vaudevillian entertainment featuring the human cartoon character that is Buster Balloon. A wild and wacky mix of side-splitting comedy, mind boggling magic, and the most amazingly twisted balloon creations you have ever seen.  And did we mention The Giant 6 Foot Whoopee Cushion of Doom?

Buster Balloon

http://acmeballooncompany.com/

THIS MONTH’S LINE UP IS OFF THE HOOK! Feb 20th ONE NIGHT ONLY!

Buster Balloon, Luna Shimada, David Gabbay, Iam Creed, Jason Andrews, Tim Wise, Leo Diaz, Christian Diamond , Bizzaro, David Groves, Jungle Josh, Bijan the Magician, Polly Morfus, NWRDancers, Live art by Areeya Maria, Tarot by Morganne, body art by Suzanne Lugano, and more!

Looking for Inspiration?

Mystery School Monday:  We were the first in the world to offer online magic classes, Skype classes, and our famous “LOCKED ROOM” sessions. Learn more at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-gGVYytoxM

You can become a member of our online school by registering here:

http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/members/signup

Have a fantastic February and I will see you online or on tour!

Your friend in the art of magic,
Jeff

The Magic of Love

Jeff & Abbi McBride

Greetings friends, fans and family!

Abbi here, writing from the House of Mystery in Las Vegas… It’s that time of year again, when pink hearts are everywhere and dark chocolate is the gift of choice.  What you may not know is that, according to some accounts, Saint Valentine was also a magician.  Well, in order to be a saint you have to do something spectacular, right?  What Valentinus (the Roman pronunciation) did, back around the year 270, was to make a blind girl see — a judge’s daughter, in fact.

“Love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking together in one direction… It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
—Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Laying on of hands, miraculous healing and magical restorations of lost function have become commonplace in some of the tent-revival circuits.  Anyone who has seen the movie Leap of Faith (from the early 90s, with Steve Martin) will be familiar with some of the methods used to create these “miracles.” Whether Valentinus used a secret method or not is up for discussion….

But, there is something to be said for the power of love to heal, the magic of a mother’s kiss on a booboo to stop pain, the comfort one receives from a gentle hug. This intersection of healing, magic and medicine is one we are looking forward to exploring more of in our upcoming conference Magic and Medicine.  There are four spots still open, if you’d like to come explore with us.
http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events#457

“Love is a balm that contains the power of healing and of renewing and of everlasting life within its effulgent essence. Love is the great refiner and beautifier. Love is more! Love is the key to every door. It is the creative reality behind every righteous desire and every ardent hope. Love is the cohesive power of the universe as it binds together atoms and substance. It holds families together-the world and the entire universe. If love were withdrawn all things would fall apart and disintegrate. When a human being eliminates love from his life he too begins to fall apart. Love is not only eternal but it is the most desirable element to possess.”
— Annalee Scarin

Jeff & Abbi McBride

If you love something, you give it your attention, and that which we give our attention to, becomes that which we love.  The more energy we invest in something, the more we care about it… which is why we need to be mindful about where we spend the limited amounts of time that we have.  Jeff and I make a conscious choice each day to spend time together… even if he’s away on tour, we spend time together on Skype.  One of our practices is to hug each other for the time it takes to have three deep and gentle breaths together— long enough to feel our connection.  We’re also big into eye-gazing.  Check out a book called Rumi: Gazing at the Beloved: The Radical Practice of Beholding the Divine by Will Johnson if you’re ready to go deep with your beloved.

“Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.”
—Aristotle

Jeff & Abbi McBride
Wishing you all the love in the world,

Abbi