Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.
Today we have a special message from Dr. Larry Hass, our Associate Dean. If you’re reading this, and don’t already know Dr. Hass, I can assure you he knows what he is writing about as he writes about having heart. Larry contributes so much to our magical community – not just as an excellent performer, or as part of our Magic & Mystery School, but through his work running his Theory and Art of Magic Press, and through the programs he has created to bring the serious study of magic to traditional college curriculums, first at Muhlenberg College and now at Austin College. If you get to see him perform or lecture, you’re in for a treat – and can be sure he will touch your hearts and inspire you with his own passion. We count ourselves extremely fortunate to have him as a part of our team.
February is the month of heart. With Valentine’s Day in the middle of it, it is a time when our thoughts turn and re-turn to love and friendship, to the relationships we make with partners, spouses, children, family, friends, and the communities in which we engage.
This February I especially am thinking about the fact that the Magic & Mystery School community has heart. Frankly, I wouldn’t be involved if it didn’t! We are not all about intellect, competition, or achievement. Of course there is room in our community for these things, but what keeps them in balance is what I think of as the School’s heart core.
This heart core is beating away in our educational mission and in many of our projects and initiatives. The truth is, we feel a bit shy about trumpeting them, but because we need your help right now (more on this below), I want to underscore a couple of them.
First, it is my pleasure to announce that over the past two years our Gift Magic book project has generated over $4,700 for Rich Bloch’s Encore Foundation, which assists magicians in times of tragic need. Indeed, our pledge was that every penny of profit from sales of Gift Magic would go to Encore, and we are delighted that the book continues to sell so well.
The second thing to formally announce is the extraordinary success of the School’s 2012 Scholarship Program. Once in a while some wise guy jokes, “Oh you’re a school; do you offer scholarships? Ha, ha.” The answer is: Yes, we most certainly do!
In fact, the School offers two scholarships for qualified students: 1) The Magic & Mystery School Scholarship, and 2) The SARMOTI Legacy Scholarship (founded through the generous support of the Siegfried and Roy North American Fan Club). Both of these scholarships provide need-based financial aid for students to have a magic education experience at one of our classes in Las Vegas. Please go to the Scholarship Program page of the new website to see if you qualify and to download an application.
The wonderful thing is that these scholarships are funded by you. They are funded by people in our extended community who have “heard the call” and made generous donations to our Scholarship Fund. In 2012 we received enough gifts from people in our “heart community” to fund scholarships for three people who needed a “hand up” at this point in their life to get the education they need for greater success. (The recipients are wonderful, talented, highly motivated people and you will read about them in the months ahead.)
This brings me to another part of our heart core: the launch of our new Membership Initiative. We are asking you to become an official member of the Magic & Mystery School.
We are launching this initiative for two reasons. First, we need your help in covering the basic operational costs of our online offerings (for example, the Museletter, the free Monday night show, and the Virtual School in all its shades and content). The fact is, none of it is free and none of it is cheap, and as our viewer hours per month at Livestream are going through the roof (last month well over 100,000 hours), we need your help to make it sustainable.
But more important for us is the fact that, after a portion of your membership fee goes to cover basic costs, all the rest of it goes directly into our Scholarship Fund. And every penny of the Scholarship Fund goes out to talented magic students who need help closing the gap for their magic education.
So please, right now, go to the new Magical Wisdom home page and “Become a Member” of the Magic & Mystery School. When you press the big red button on the home page, you will be taken to a page that shows you the three levels of membership ($25, $50, and $100), and the exclusive benefits that each level brings.
We are proud of these “goodies,” and we think you will enjoy them. But above all, remember that your membership fee is helping us in our educational mission to improve the art of magic one magician at a time.
We make this frank appeal to you because we know you have heart. And we know you are connected to us because we have heart. Thank you for helping us to be the kind of community we aspire to be!
We’re excited that next week (February 3-10) will be “Magic & Mystery School Week” at the Magic Castle. The whole faculty and staff will be there, and if you’ll be in Southern California, you won’t want to miss this special week when we get to bring our special “Mystery School” brand of magic to one of magic’s great institutions. Learn more at: http://www.magiccastle.com/
After that Jeff and Jordan Wright will be taking off for a week in Shanghai, performing Jeff’s “Magic Behind the Mask” show there on a whirlwind schedule, before returning to Vegas in time for next month’s “Mysterium,” and to our first classes of 2013: “Magic for Speakers and Presenters” and our first Master Class of the new year. There are one or two slots still open for each class, so if you hurry you can still secure one of them. Because of Jeff’s and Eugene’s extremely busy performing schedules, we don’t have additional classes scheduled till July…so I’d urge you to grab these spots while they last!
You’ll be hearing from Jeff directly in a couple of weeks with our mid-month Muse, including stories from the week at the Magic Castle, information about this month’s Wonderground, and more…till then, we wish you a magical February, filled with heart!