Archive for the ‘MuseLetters’ Category

Everything Communicates

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

“What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.”
— The Captain, a prison warden, in Cool Hand Luke

Dear Friends:

Our guest writer this week is Jordan Wright, a.k.a. “Mr. Right” – an amazing magical performance artist and film-maker.  Jordan has created most of the current pieces in our on-line video archive in the Virtual Magic School, as well as promotional videos for Jeff McBride and many other magicians.  Today he shares some insights about the choices every artist must make.  I give you Jordan Wright:

Everything Communicates

Mr. RightAs performers, one essential element to our success is how our audiences and clients perceive us. Are we someone they want to watch, and hopefully hire? Are we someone they find interesting enough to want to learn more about? The way that we present ourselves both on stage and off should be consistent with the image we want to convey. From the aesthetic elements in our show to the way we dress, speak, and interact with people, to our website, business cards, and our promotional videos and photos. The style we choose for each of these elements will communicate a certain image or feeling, giving people a sense of who we are.

Whether we are looking at props, music, costumes, or marketing materials, it is important to evaluate the positive or negative impact they have on our image. It is important that each piece be consistent with what we want to project. Consistency builds your brand. When your look and style is consistent, people will get a better understanding of you and, ultimately, remember you.

Epic Fail!

Monday, August 12th, 2013

“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  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!

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 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 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

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

“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

The Biggest Danger to Showbiz in Las Vegas

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

“The play was a great success, but the audience was a disaster.”
—Oscar Wilde, playwright

The Biggest Danger to Showbiz in Las Vegas?

Our friend (and magic fan) Robin Leach recently wrote a story on the new trends in Las Vegas entertainment. “The hotels looked at mega-clubs as a golden egg, but those crowds shelling out steep admission prices and highly expensive bottle service, sometimes running upwards of $5,000, don’t have any money left over for shows or gaming.”

“It used to be tourists would book two or three shows on a visit here. Now we’re lucky if they see one.” The concern that Las Vegas shows might disappear and harm the image of this city being The Entertainment Capital of the World, and change it into The Nightclub Capital of the World has prompted action.

“We’ve got to get back to the intimacy of original, classic Las Vegas entertainment. The close-up factor. The superstar names. Where are today’s Rat Pack performers instead of unknown DJs playing other people’s music,” said one of the entertainment council advocates. “If we don’t change it soon, Las Vegas may never be the same again.

“Our town was filled with almost 200,000 electronic dance music fans last weekend, and only a handful of them went to see a Las Vegas show. There were too many empty seats in our theaters.”

Read full story:

The Secret Ingredient for a Successful Magic Show

If  you’ve been to Burning Man as many times as I have, then you know  the  secret. If you’ve been onstage in a hypnotism show then you know it, too!

The secret is participation! If you think folks want to come to Las Vegas just to sit in seats and watch the show… they can do that at home! Now, folks want to be in the show. Some shows in Vegas “get it.” I spoke with both Lance Burton and Mac King this week. They both said that the secret ingredient that keeps a show fresh is audience participation… it keeps you on your edge!   Blue Man Group has moments in the show that are full on participatory; our very own WONDERGROUND is also driven by “be the magic” philosophy. At our events, people are encouraged to be part of the show and the evening’s events. WONDERGROUND is as much a party as it is “show.”

Jeff & Abbi McBride at Wonderground

This week’s new WONDERGROUND video is here

“People will support that which they help to create.”
—Mary Kay Ash, American Businesswoman

People support what they help create, regardless of whether it is a political movement, a sports team, or even a live performance. When you get people involved and committed to helping  create an experience, they feel invited and part of the experience.   Participation is the key. It creates connection, community, and art.

Look at the “old words.”

Audience:   The root of the word audience comes from “audio,” which has to do with  listening.   The spectator spectates… and can remain detached from the action, but participants party!    They are part of the action; they have a role to play; they are  in  the show, not observing the show.

Jeff McBride

“I embrace emerging experience. I participate in discovery. I am a butterfly. I am not a butterfly collector. I want the experience of the butterfly.”
—William Stafford, English author, courtier and conspirator

Student Spotlight

John WaltonJohn Walton & the World’s Most Original Magic!

Master Class student John Walton won The Originality Award at the recent Society of American Magicians convention.   John presented his “Titanic Magic Square.” His routine fooled many of the most knowledgeable magicians in the world! This is the first time the award has been presented since 2001, 12 years ago. It has been awarded only a few times since 1902. Read more about the winners of magic here:

Jeff McBride on TV

This week I fly to Hollywood to film a few TV shows for MASTERS OF ILLUSION. I will be performing NEW magic on these shows and you will get to see a few of the magic effects that I am releasing to the magic fraternity! Your can also catch my shows 24 hours a day on  WWW.MCBRIDEMAGIC.TV.

See you on the air or on the road,

Staying Afloat in a Sea of Noise

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Dear friends:

We’re fortunate to have wisdom from our Associate Dean for you this month.  I know you’ll enjoy this, from Dr. Larry Hass:

Staying Afloat on the Sea of Noise

“What’s new is an interesting question, but one which, if pursued exclusively, results only in an endless parade of trivia and fashion.”
—Robert M. Pirsig

I invite you to remember one of your “get-away” vacations, perhaps spending three days at the beach or a long weekend in the mountains. Recall how you could dream and drift, resting your body and your brain. Remember the delicious food and the fresh clean air. Ahhh!

Next, remember how it felt to come back: emails to process, phone calls to make, “statuses” to update, blogs to check, fires to put out, content to produce. You have to get back up to speed, back on the wheel, back to the grind. Uggh.

I begin with this “memory experiment” to make three points. First, it really does feel better to be on vacation, to rest and reconnect, to taste your food, to be “unplugged.” Second, “life at speed” has become the new normal, which means that everyday life has a low-level, chronic “uggh” to it. Third, it is exceedingly easy for this to leak into our time with magic.

Here is the irony: most of us get involved in magic to have experiences like the get-away vacation, but much of the magic culture around us feels more like the daily grind. In magazines, online, posts, and tweets, we are drowning in magic news and trends, the relentless selling of endless products, and more “content” than we can possibly ingest. It is easy to become numb or superficial, lost in the sea of noise.

Dr. Larry HassIt is easy . . . but not necessary. In the spirit of helping you surf and sail over the waves, here are a few practices I use to keep the magic alive in my life and in my work as a magician.

1. Less is more. Look at the clutter. Look at all the unread books, the unused tricks, the un-viewed DVDs. Remember them the next time someone is getting their sales hooks in you. Give some of it away to young or developing magicians who need access to resources. (This is great for them, and it will feel good to you.) With what is left, honestly ask yourself, “Will I ever read or watch this (again)? If no, then sell what you can and throw away the rest.

2. Just say no . . . and yes. Turn off the TV, get up from the screen, unplug from the phone, turn off the “ping.” Screen life is mediated life. Further, addiction to checking devices for the latest email, tweet, or post, turns us into Homo Interruptus. Instead of that, just say “yes” to real face time rather than face-book time. Have lunch with a magic friend. Spend time with a wise, real teacher of magic. Pick up your props and practice rather than post. Having “big yeses” in our lives make it really easy to say “no.” Which reminds us that much screen time is a boredom default.

3. Cleave to quality. Part of what makes it “noise” is all the junk: low-quality tricks and books, poor writing, undeveloped content, superficial thinking. So here is one rule I follow: as soon as I get bored or put-off, I instantly stop reading or watching and move on to something good. Here is another one: I spend a large majority of my time and money on the work of proven, dependable, high-quality magic writers and creators. With both rules, the principle is simple: “Life is too short!”

4. Re-Read a Golden Book. All of us have “golden books,” ones that have a special place in our hearts. These are the books that inspired us in magic and have a strange power to instantly reconnect us with positive feelings and productive insights. (One of mine is Eugene’s The Experience of Magic.) Re-reading a golden book is always good for the soul.

I hope you enjoy these practices! I hope they help you make every day feel a bit more like that get-away vacation.

Magic – Cinema – Politics

Monday, June 17th, 2013

“The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.” 
– Charlie Chaplin

The above quote is part of what I consider to be one of the greatest  political  speeches  of all time. It is from The Great Dictator, one of Charlie Chaplin’s greatest films.

His words can be heard in the performance piece I created that was inspired by this film. I put  the  piece up online last week in reaction to the  demonstrations  in Istanbul.

Jeff floats the world in his new piece: Anonymous
Jeff floats the world in his new piece: Anonymous

Troubles in Istanbul = Political magic & performance art

I got many emails and Facebook posts last week from my Turkish magic friends. What can we do about the situation in Turkey? Here is my recent performance that sums up the way I feel about the situation in Istanbul:

“I looked up the word “politics” in the dictionary and it’s actually a combination  of two words:  ‘poli,’ which means many, and ‘tics,’ which means bloodsuckers.”
– Jay Leno

Me and my girl!
Me and my girl!

Cinema & Magic

Chaplin was a master of “movie magic.” Today, magic is more popular than ever in the cinema.  Now You See Me is in theaters now.  Abbi and I saw it last week and thought  it made magic “cool again!”   Here is my fave scene that features Super Ninja Card Throwing!    (see 0:35)

I know a thing or two about throwing cards. I did create the Guinness Worlds Record for it! If you want to throw cards like a world champion you must see  Zoom, Bounce & Fly

Stop Thief!

My new essay about  magicians stealing ideas from other magicians is out in Vanish Magazine! Issue #8 is here and it is FREE!

 Magic and Mystery School faculty, ready for you!
Magic and Mystery School faculty, ready for you!

What Did You Do on your Summer Vacation?

Master Class is the world’s greatest live learning experience. We have only 2 more full master classes this year. July is the only time this year the entire faculty will gather for the class.

Change your magic and change your life….register today!

Mystery School Monday celebrates 130 episodes!

Over 200 hours of original streaming content is yours to research, explore and learn from.  Subjects range from “conquering stage fright” to “keeping secrets” and dozens more!  Enjoy the magical wisdom of the Magic and Mystery School faculty.  All 130 episodes are available to our Premier Members. Learn more here:

Or you can just see us live and in our most recent episodes on

Teen Magic Seminar Continues

It started at the World Magic Seminar… now the magic continues at the IBM National Convention in Phoenix.

The Lance Burton Teen Seminar is a special pre-convention event for our young magicians ages 13-19.   This event will begin at  7:00pm  on  Monday, July 15  and run through lunch on  Wednesday, July 17.  Eugene Burger and I will assist Lance Burton and Bill and Becki Wells. This unique event featuring Lance,  will also have guest lectures and sessions from Shawn Farquhar, Oscar Munoz, Larry Haas and Bryce Kuhlman.   The best news – there is  NO EXTRA CHARGE  for this event if you are a teen registered for the convention.   There will also be special activities just for the youth throughout the convention. Our challenge to you is to take this opportunity to work with the greatest teachers in magic and bring your magic to the next level.   This is an exclusive I.B.M. only event – it may be “free” but it is  priceless!!!

We have a link on our convention page at, where you can make your reservation.

“Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it. All it takes is courage, imagination … and a little dough.” 
―Charles Chaplin

Looking for New Magic?

B.E.K.O.S.= Best Ever Knots Off Silk

Every time I show it at an event, it sells out! I’ve solved this problem by creating a streaming video.

WONDERGROUND – Continues to be THE PLACE to see the freshest magic in Las Vegas. Every month a NEW show! Scott Steelfyre has posted a video of this months line up… join us for the fun!

“Laughter is the tonic, the relief, the surcease for pain.”
– Charlie Chaplin

We look forward to making magic and laughter with you soon!

Magically yours,
Jeff McBride

Putting a Dent in the World

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Tobias BeckwithAs I write this, I’ve just passed two milestones: I just finished the first “readable” draft of my new book “Wizards Ways,” and I gave my first public presentation “The Wizard’s Way,” a talk with magic, designed to inspire audiences to take on the challenge of becoming real wizards themselves. It’s been a journey of several years for me to get here, so it feels great to have come this far. And it’s got me thinking, because this whole wizard thing marks a bit of a turning point for me.

While I’ve spent many years working with Jeff and with Marco Tempest to help them develop their businesses – developing one of my own that is based around my own writings and performances is a new thing for me. I find I’ve become comfortable as that shadowy presence in the background, always pushing my clients to the foreground, and supporting them, but seldom actually stepping into the limelight myself. So the change is giving me a whole new appreciation for what all of those of you who do regularly step out in front of the footlights, those who are always the public face of their businesses, go through. I’m a little surprised – and pleased – that it takes me out of my comfort zone!

Not a Wizard's Way

Fortunately, I do have the knowledge I need. I’ve been teaching it to others and putting it to work for others for many, many years now. But what I find myself having to really work at is the change of attitude. The need to walk the walk 24 hours a day. Suddenly, it’s no longer okay for me, professionally, to be 20 pounds overweight. Suddenly, I can’t afford to put off rehearsing that new piece of magic I wanted to learn another day. Suddenly I MUST spend at least 30 minutes a day rehearsing, and at least an hour writing. I find I’m having to re-create myself.

And, isn’t it interesting that the process of re-creating yourself..every day and again and again…is right at the heart of what it means to become a real wizard. So I find myself on the very path I recommend for others in the book. Every day, I have to make myself do things, to seek out experiences, that I unconsciously avoided before. And I have to say: If feels great!

This may be a Wizard's Way


Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. ~Les Brown

Enough about me. I find myself wondering how many of you may be out there going through something similar? How many have been thinking, for example, “I’d love to go out there to Las Vegas and study magic with Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger, BUT….”

What’s been stopping you? I know, if I’m honest with myself, that the thing that most often stops me from doing things I think I’d like to is FEAR. Fear that it will be too strange and I’ll be disappointed. Fear that it will put too big a dent in my finances. Fear that I’ll fall behind on my work while I’m doing whatever it is. Fear that I’ll fail.

I have some news for you: many of those very things you fear are the very things that will help you grow and change – and will ultimately help you succeed. What you’re really afraid of is having the experience of life. What good is your life if you continue to do only the five or six things you’ve done before that continue to make you comfortable? What if you were to actually go out and do some of those things that really scare you? Have you been too busy living your fears to go out and actually live your dreams?

I was never afraid of failure, for I would sooner fail than not be among the best. ~John Keats

So, in my new role as wizard, my first challenge is to challenge you – to join me on my quest to become a real wizard. One who embraces new experiences in search of true wisdom. One who takes responsibility for the direction of his or her own life, and for changing the world in ways it needs to be changed. One who dares to live an effective life, a life of excellence and adventure. A wizard who truly ‘puts a dent in the world.’ That kind of life is unlikely to come looking for you – but there is nothing stopping you from going out and creating it for yourself – except your own fear.

If you choose to do that as a magical performer, I have to tell you – one of the best ways to help yourself get inspired, to move your magic and your thinking about magic up to the next level — is by coming to Las Vegas and spending a week with Jeff, Larry, Eugene, and the rest of us. We will challenge you, encourage you, teach you things we’ve learned from our many years of experience. We will provide you with an environment where you can feel safe to push at your own boundaries. We will encourage you to fail, again and again, so you can ultimately find your true excellence. Other magicians who have committed their time and money, who have challenged themselves in the same ways you have, and who are quite likely to become your true friends and colleagues for life. And you’ll find yourself surrounded by a community of others who are just as passionate about their magic as you are. Who knows, you might even meet some of Las Vegas’ stars of magic!

I hope you will opt in for the adventure, the challenge, the life fully lived. I hope you’ll choose the Wizards way. And I hope to meet you soon at one of our classes or events! There are still a few spots left for both the July and August classes.

Tobias Beckwith

Design Your Life

Monday, May 20th, 2013

“We all have two choices; we can make a living or we can design a life.”
— Jim Rohn

Designing a New Life

We really have two choices. We can settle for what we’ve always done before, or take creative risks. The risk-takers are the leaders, the artists and the visionaries. Here at the Magic & Mystery School, we’ve helped many people make huge changes in their lives. We also walk our talk and continue to change and evolve the School to meet the needs of our students. We are making big changes, and we want you to know about them.

Here is a great new video by our friend, film-maker Jordan Wright. It shows how our School is evolving. Take a few seconds to see what we’re doing!

Magic School Video

“Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done.”
— Louis D. Brandeis

Many people did not believe that we could actually create an online magic school, one that could offer expert teaching… Well, we’ve done just that!

Scholarships available!

We know that many students could use a bit of help paying for one of our classes here in Las Vegas, and we’ve developed our Scholarship Program to help! Learn more here:

McBride Magic Experience: East Coast Tour

The McBride Magic Experience will be in Philadelphia and Baltimore. This is a rare opportunity for my East Coast friends to see my new one man show, the brand new Ask the Show Doctor lecture, and a four hour Super Session workshop! All the information is on my calendar:

Jeff McBride

Are we on your Bucket List?

“The big secret in life is that there is no big secret. Whatever your goal, you can get there if you’re willing to work.”
— Oprah Winfrey

The Final Master Classes of 2013

If you’ve ever wanted to study with Eugene Burger and the full faculty of the Magic and Mystery School, the time is now. This is a life-changing event.

“The Master Class was the most transformative magic experience of my life.”
— Zac Barkowski, magician

Register now for the final classes of 2013:

My invitation to you: If you’re looking for a little magical inspiration, join us at for uplifting and inspirational programs, free, 24 hours a day!

Please feel free to email Abbi or me if you have any questions about classes or private sessions here in Las Vegas or online. It’s really an amazing world we’re living in, that we can now hold magic classes secretly and securely on the internet. I am sure that you will find many magical gifts hidden around our websites for you to enjoy….

Yours in mystery,


P.S. You can see a the full April WONDERGROUND show compressed down to just a few minutes, thanks to the great work of Scott Steelfyre! Just click here:

We create a new show every month!


The 7th Veil

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Dear Friends:

George ParkerI’m always delighted when we have a Museletter written by our friend George Parker. George is a real wizard in every sense, and I know I always learn something from every conversation I get to have with him and everything I read that he writes. George lives in Amsterdam, and bills himself as a corporate alchemist – which means he helps companies and corporations, as well as individuals, create positive change, often using his magic. I know you’ll enjoy his insights below!

From George Parker:

The 7th Veil

Shakespeare once wrote: “I like your silence. It the more shows of your wonder.” I think he was right. When we experience wonder we fall silent. We react quite differently when we’re surprised, astonished, amazed, flabbergasted, stunned, astounded or startled.

I love both the experience of wonder as well as creating that experience for my audience. Yet I know that my success is often judged by how loud people scream and laugh and how much they will talk about it after the show. If I want to be perceived as successful I need to include some ‘cheerleader’-magic generating big laughs and loud cheers. If I want to be successful in my own definition I need to create the state of wonder which will in turn generate silence.

I’ve tried to solve this in a couple of ways. First, I look at my shows from a musical perspective. I want my shows to be symphonies. The instruments (script, visual effects, music, interaction, etc.) need to work together to create the bigger picture. I also want to mix in slower pieces and silent moments to create more texture.

Abbi McBrideThe second solution was inspired by Sam Sharpe. In his ‘Neo Magic’ he wrote about the famous 7th veil that belly-dancers never remove while dancing: “The fine artist never attempts to withdraw the 7th veil. This means that in conjuring the greater effect is liable to be created or some sort of cover is used. To vanish a lamp from under a foulard is far more magical than to use the visible disappearance.”

Using this principle I’m able to ‘train’ my audience to hold their attention and open up to being silent. Once they get used to postponing their need to release tension by being loud, they will be much more inclined to switch to a state of wonder later.

It’s even true in real life, I’ve discovered!

George Parker

From Tobias:

Thanks, George!

And now on the the “news” part of the Museletter newsletter.

At the end of this month, Jeff will be travelling east for just two East Coast events. The first, on May 29-30, is sponsored by our good friend Marc DeSouza, who is an amazing magician in his own right. Marc’s space for events is very small, so if you’re in the area, I would urge you to get in touch with him as soon as possible. This will sell out fast, and you’re amongst the first to hear about it. For more info, e-mail Marc directly:

The second event will be at Howard Katz’ Magic Warehouse, again with show, lecture and workshop. The dates are June 1-2, and I understand Jeff will be actually hosting our Monday Night Mystery School show from The Magic Warehouse on Monday, June 3. For those of you who may not be aware, The Magic Warehouse is one of our sponsors for the Monday night shows, so it will be especially fun that Jeff will be able to broadcast – and give you all a short tour “behind the scenes” with Howard while he is there. There is a link to all Jeff’s events while in Baltimore on the home page for the Magic Warehouse: Go…buy a ticket now. They’ll go fast!

And while you’re there – buy some magic, too!

Till next time, then.

Tobias Beckwith

Stop Thief!

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats. — Howard Aiken

Dear Friends:

The Big Story!

This may be the biggest story in the world of magic today!

The BBC picked up on my recent situation with the recent “copy act” and how I handled it gracefully as “a magic teacher.” They picked up on this problem, currently rampant in our magic world – acts, inventions and other intellectual property are being ripped off left and right.  Read all about it here:

There’s also a ‘webified’ text of the radio story that ran on PRI, but it’s much better if you click the ‘play’ button to listen to the audio of the radio show:

Look at or listen to both of these stories! They are ground-breaking stories on “magic theft,” and intellectual property rights, getting notice by major mainstream media.  Many thanks to our new friend, Arun Rath, the reporter who wrote both stories.

An original artist is unable to copy. So he has only to copy in order to be original? —Jean Cocteau

Q: What can you do to encourage originality and fight magic theft?

A: Support our magic school!

Become a Member. Our scholarship programs help many students find a magical education… you can help! Please go to and sign up or donate now.

But there are some things, child, that you should steal. That you must steal, if you have enough love and courage in your heart. You must snatch freedom from the hands of the tyrant. You must spirit away innocent lives before they are destroyed. You must hide secret and sacred places. — Lian Tanner

Mystery School News

Not only did I get the advice I was looking for, the inspiration from Jeff and Eugene will last a lifetime. — Dan Rodriguez, S.A.M Past National President

Surprise Guest: Siegfried comes to Master Class!

He is a living legend of magic. Siegfried is a Grand Master of Illusion. For 2 hours he held court and shared his marvelous teaching stories and wisdom with our class. You just never know who will drop in on our classes!  Who  would you like to see show up when YOU attend our class?

Larry Hass, Jeff McBride and Siegfried

Here is Siegfried, with Larry Hass and me, opening his personal copy of The Show Doctor! He looks as delighted as a kid on Christmas morning!

Jeff  has had such an impact on my show as well as my creativity in life.   I never would have been able to stand toe to toe with Hollywood’s biggest think tanks without the lessons   learned from my mentor and friend Jeff McBride. — Nick Norton

Meet Mo!

Here is a new character I’ve been developing. His name is “MO -NOPOLY” and  he is the “Wizard with Money-Magic”.


Every month we create  a NEW show for Wonderground.  We are a tribe of artists and rebels, dreamers and rowdy misfits who support each other’s divine madness!

Originality is the best form of rebellion. — Mike Sasso

Wonderground Rocks

You are invited to The Biggest Magic Party in Las Vegas! This, and every other third Thursday April 18th at 8PM, at The Olive on Sunset.

Here are highlights from last month’s event edited by Scott Steelfyre:

Abbi & Jeff McBride

My New Video Download!

The Kings of Poker are here:

See it now! The finale teaches you how to script a standing ovation into your act.

I will see you in Vegas or on our webTV show, live on Monday nights, but available 24/7 if you can’t make it on Monday:

Enjoy the magic of spring!

Yours in magical community,

Jeff McBride

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