The Most Inspirational Pillow Fight Ever!

“No man is an island.”
— John Donne

Hello friends,

Bryce KuhlmanBryce here, with what is possibly the most important story I’ve ever told (at least to date).

Most people strive for a life and career that is stable and consistent.   Honestly, it freaks me out.

Every five to ten years I start getting anxious about my life path, especially in terms of business.  I can sense it coming on and, without fail, some event will drastically alter my direction.  I never know when or what that event will be.  Sometimes I try to force it (that never works, by the way).

The first one I can remember was showing up to the first Mystery School.  Without question, it changed my life forever.  It brought me together with some of the closest, most supportive friends I’ve ever known (Thank You Eugene, Jeff, Tobias and Abbi!).

Then there was a marriage to the best life partner I could ever imagine.  A move to Phoenix and a job developing satellite systems for Motorola was next.

A really big one took place at Firedance, thanks to The Wizard, Gary Stadler, and Paul Harris.  They’re the ones that convinced me that the corporate world wasn’t for me (unless I’m President / CEO).

There have been other, less spectacular shifts since then, but nothing major… until last weekend.

Before I tell you about it, let me explain the three key ingredients to all major shifts in my life.

First, it only happens when I push way beyond my comfort zone.  Forget getting outside the box.  I want to get to a place where I can’t even see the box anymore.

Second, it’s always about connecting with a community.

Finally, it always ends with finding a mentor.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
— Jim Rohn

Back to the story…

My new friend, Robert Merlin Davis, invited me to a joint-venture conference.  Robert is a personal branding expert, creative director and expert copywriter.  He’s also a magician and old friend of Jeff’s, which is how we met.

Let me be clear:  I have never been to an event like this.  The idea of “networking” usually creeps me out.  To add insult to injury, my business is in a state of transition, so I didn’t even have a solid answer to the mandatory networking question: “what do you do?”  And did I mention that the event was one week away?

If you’ve ever been to one of our Magic & Mystery School in-person events like a Master Class or Magic & Meaning, you know what it’s like to form deep, long-lasting, supportive friendships with people in a very short period of time.  Until now, that’s been the only place I’ve witnessed this sort of behavior… until now.

Honestly, I was expecting a lot of ego and “what can you do for me?” attitude.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  Every one of the 100-or-so people at this conference were there to help each other grow, even if they were in the exact same field and might otherwise have seemed like competition.

I should also point out that about 1/3 of the people in attendance were presenters, speakers and panelists.  Oh, and did I mention that many of them are multi- (and multi-multi-) millionaires?

Observe any conversation and you would never have known who was a highly-successful “expert” and who was a first-timer just getting started (or re-started, in my case).

I went with no expectations.  I left with a new family and, most importantly, a new mentor who is ready, willing, able and committed to helping me take my business (and my life) to the next level.

I think only fools believe they can do it alone.  Look at the successful people around you.  Yes, I’m sure they worked hard.  But I’ll bet they also surrounded themselves by great mentors and community.

Who are your mentors?

Who is in your community?

Are you surrounding yourself with the people who can and, most importantly, really want to help you grow?

I know I am.

Oh, and if you’re wondering about the subject of this email, here’s a photo of Robert (the one on the right) taking a break from a pillow fight at the conference.  It was part of an intensive small-group breakout session hosted by Steven Memel, a business and personal coach with a background in voice and acting.  You might have heard of some of his clients:  Drew Barrymore, Adam Levine and Lauren Bacall, just to name a few.

Robert Merlin Davis
I’ll leave you with an exercise from another small-group session, this one taught by author and expert sales trainer, Mitch Axelrod.

I challenge you to do this tonight:

Figure out about the single most important thing you could do to enhance your life, work or relationships.

Write it down.

Now ask yourself the following four questions:

  1. Are you willing to take the next step?
  2. Are you able to make a change?
  3. Are you ready, or are you just getting ready?
  4. Are you committed, or are you just interested?

Most poeple will easily anwer “yes” to the first two.  The third one, if you’re really honest with yourself, might not be as resoundingly affirmative as you might think.  Of course, it’s the last one that makes all the difference.

Are you committed to a better future for yourself and those around you?

If you decide you can say yes to all four, I invite you to drop me an email and tell me about it.

Wishing us all a brighter future,

Bryce
bryce@brycekuhlman.com

People support what they help create!

“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”
– Jackie Robinson

One of the Burning Man Art Festival mottos is “No Spectators!” In a magic show I think this is a crucial concept to incorporate.

 “People support what they help create,” is one of the mottos I live by! 

This concept holds true in just about any organization, political movement, internet group, club, and yes, even in the theatre or at a magic show.   I feel that the more audience participation there is in a show, the more successful that show becomes.  If you look at current Las Vegas shows, the ones that have lasted have a lot of audience participation:  Penn & Teller, Mac King, Amazing Jonathan & David Copperfield.

“It’s better to be in love than to watch it!”
–Matt Dugan

Spectators vs. Participants

There is a huge difference between a spectator and a participant.  A spectator spectates, merely watching, witnessing without being directly involved.  A participant is co-creating the experience, and has a role to play in the production of the magic.

Jeff McBride and Apprentice

Experience and learn from some of my favorite participation routines at SCIENCE VS MAGIC.

Science vs Magic

I’ll be performing in the Close-up Room with Kevin James for the special Rudy Coby week at the Magic Castle, April 21-27.

Also appearing with me will be Marco Tempest, Chris Korn, Rafael, Kevin James, and Timo Mark.

It makes me crazy!

When I hear a magician say, “I have the spectator select a card,” I cringe inside.  I am aware that they are not conscious of the words they are using.  The more conscious we are of our words, the more conscious we can become as performers.  Spectators do not pick cards; they watch cards being picked.  Participants pick cards. I want everyone involved in the experience…not spectating. An example is my poker routine called:

Kings of Poker

This is one of my favorite close-up card routines.  I get the entire audience into the story and playing parts in the show, and it’s very easy to do. Have a look and you might like to try it as well.

Kings of Poker

You can ask me to perform this routine if you attend one of my shows. I have a few coming up  while on tour.

Asheville, NC

I will be performing with my friends at the Weekend of Wonder — perhaps we will meet there?

New York City, Salute to Magic, Lecture & Workshop

I rarely get to New York City and I’ll be performing and doing the lecture and workshop at FANTASMA magic shop in New York City, after our evening show Salute to Magic at the Queens  Theatre.

Spain

I love to perform for Spanish audiences. And the Spanish magicians — especially the close-up artists — are some of the best in the world. If you are in Spain join me here:

http://magiacaceres2014.es

Jaun Tamariz is one of the top Spanish magicians. He get the audience to join him in creating the magic. I encourage you to study great performers like Juan, and how they generate excitement, mystery and fun by using audience participation techniques.  Explore ways you can welcome your audience into your magic world, and participate in the magic.

Remember: “People support what they help create.” So let them help you create magic!  If you have ideas to share with me on ways that you engage your participants, email me and let me know. (just reply to this email!)

The Lance Burton Teen Magic Seminar is where we help the next generation of magicians learn expert skills.

This June, Eugene Burger and I will be joined by Larry Hass and Bryce Kuhlman at the combined IBM-SAM Convention. We will be working with Lance Burton hosting the youth magic seminar. These are the magicians of the future.

http://ibmsam.com/youth/

WONDERGROUND- The biggest magic party in Las Vegas!

Xavier Mortimer will be our special guest this month. Take a look at his amazing talent here.

Wonderground, April 2014

Early stage - 8pm
Your Host is the versatile Tim Wise
Jeff McBride
Tim Shegitz
Joe Krathwohl, The Birdman of Las Vegas
Tom Frank
Alien Warrior Comic

Close-Up – 9 pm
Your Host is the most elegant Christian Diamond
Jeff McBride
Greg Gleason
Michael Whitson
Tom Frank
plus! The Psychic Sideshow with Allan Scott

Late Stage - 10 pm
Jeff McBride
Katie Kenner and the Maraschino Dolls
Xavier Mortimer
Greg Gleason

With: NWR Dancers, LiveDJ, Art by Areeya, video by SteelFyre

At WONDERGROUND and all of my shows I encourage “PARTY-cipation!

Take a look at one of our shows, and learn from our examples of how you can move your audience from being objective witnesses into subjective participants.  Objective witnesses have less responsibility, and do not participate in the action.  A subjective participant is actively engaged in the magic experience.  They support the show by not only applauding at appropriate moments, but also by selecting cards and helping the magician with various tasks. I use this technique all the time and I would love to teach you how to use it in your work.

We often talk about this kind of technique each week on our Mystery School Monday Show. I invite you to join us and participate with us at our online Mystery school classes!

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

So come join us online or at one of our shows and be PART of the fun!

See you onstage,
Jeff

April Magic

“Magic exists. Who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? Anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. It is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live.”
— Nora Roberts

From Dr. Larry Hass, Associate Dean:

Larry Hass

April Magic

After this long, difficult winter, the glorious month of April is here. There is no fooling around on this April 1: spring is on its way—a time of rebirth and renewal.

In my family and Jewish tradition, it is a time for cleaning and cleansing. Not a chore, but a delight: throw open the windows, wipe up the dust, turn a new page!

With this fresh start in mind, I would like to mention one of my deepest commitments: to perform magic for people rather than “tricks.”

Have you recently thought about this difference? Or has it all become “just tricks” to you? Which pieces in your repertoire are more like magic? Which ones feel like empty, clever tricks?

One way to answer these questions is to look carefully at the reactions you are receiving. After you perform a particular piece, does your audience feel energy, delight, and wonder? (You can tell by the smiles and the palpable excitement.) Or do they say things such as “You fooled me,” or “You really had me with those cards until all the spelling and counting.”

During the spring, I renew my commitment to the pieces in my repertoire that create magic—energy, delight, and wonder—and to set aside the rest. Every garden needs pruning so gorgeous new things can grow. But even more important, people in the world today hunger and hope for magic in their lives, not stupid, stinking tricks. They have quite enough of those—thank you—from advertisers, marketers and salesmen of all kinds.

No, no: the people around us need magic. The world needs your magic. As a magician you have a great gift and a calling. Please go forth this spring with a renewed commitment to magic . . . and fewer tricks.

Important Announcements

1. We have just released the 2014 Premier Member Video.

This 45-minute video was filmed in the Hollywood Hills in January for our Premier Members of the Magic & Mystery School. It features Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, Larry Hass, Bryce Kuhlman, and George Parker in a fun conversation about commercial close-up magic. Jeff, Bryce, and George each teach a great piece of commercial magic that has not appeared on video before.

The only way to receive access to this video is to become a Premier Member of the School (the $100 level). And please remember, $80 of your Premier Membership fee goes directly into the Scholarship Fund that provides need-based financial aid for magicians who need a “hand up” getting the magic education they need to be more successful in magic and in life.

If you are not already a member of the Magic & Mystery School, or if you haven’t yet renewed your membership for 2014, we ask that you please do so. Of course, there are excellent benefits at every membership level, but more importantly, your membership helps us provide the gift of magic education for people in need.

2. Magic and Medicine in the latest issue of MAGIC Magazine.

The April 2014 issue features a 6-page article about our dear friend Dr. Ricardo Rosenkranz. Ricardo is not only a Guest Teacher of the School’s Magic and Medicine CME Seminar, he has also pioneered a Magic and Medicine curriculum for first and second year medical students at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

In this article you will learn all about Ricardo and his extraordinary program, and you will quickly understand why our recent Magic and Medicine CME Seminar earlier was completely sold out. You will also enjoy many photos of Ricardo, Eugene, and me taken at one of our Magic and Medicine teaching programs.

Please note: whether you purchase the iPad or print version of MAGIC Magazine, you will receive access to a video of Ricardo’s smash-hit P.E.P. talk on Magic and Medicine from last year’s Magic and Meaning Conference.

3. Important News about the 2014 Magic and Meaning Conference.

First, we are delighted to announce that Rob Zabrecky will be the Keynote Presenter for the Conference.  Rob Zabrecky is the two time winner of the Stage Magician of the Year award at the Magic Castle, and he is the primary medium at the Magic Castle’s famed Houdini Séance room. If you have seen Rob perform, then you know he is a great, distinctive talent. If you haven’t yet had the chance, this is a perfect opportunity for you to meet him, learn from him, and enjoy his work.

Rob Zabrecky
Photo credit: August Bradley

Second, the Conference is already over half sold out. If you plan to attend (October 15-18), I encourage you to register as soon as possible. To do so, please go here:  http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events#469.

Third, the “Call for Presentations and Performances” has now been posted online, and proposals have been coming in. If you are attending the Conference and would like to propose a 20-minute presentation and/or a performance, please do so at your earliest convenience. The deadline for proposals is July 15, 2014. To learn how to make a proposal, please go to the Call for Presentations and Proposals page.

4. The Magic & Mystery School hosts the Lance Burton Youth Seminar at the IBM/SAM Combined Convention.

Continuing a long tradition, Jeff, Eugene, Bryce, and I will be hosting and teaching the Teen portion of the Lance Burton Youth Seminar at the IBM/SAM Combined Convention in St Louis. The Youth Seminar runs from June 29-30, 2014, and the Convention itself runs July 1-5.

If you are the parent of a teenager or a child, please consider putting this event on your family vacation calendar. There is no extra charge for the Seminar. Last year, Lance Burton spent the whole day with us doing hands on teaching with the teens. For information about how to register for the Lance Burton Youth Seminar, please go here: http://ibmsam.com/youth/.

5. We have just posted new classes and events for 2015.

A 3 Day Master Class is being held on March 18-20, 2015; Magic for Speakers and Presenters is March 22-24, 2015; and The Magic and Medicine CME Seminar will be held March 26-29, 2015. (In 2015, the Seminar will include an additional day of programming and will also include a spouses program led by Dr. Marjorie Hass.)

Also, the 2015 Magic and Meaning Conference has been posted. Because of Jeff’s touring schedule, we had to move it forward a couple of weeks. It will be held November 4-7, 2015.

To register for any of these events, please go here: http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events.

Final Words

We truly appreciate all of you who stay connected to the Magic & Mystery School. Thank you for supporting our efforts to be the kind of magic school we want to be: full of heart, committed to excellence, and generous to others who need a hand!

Larry Hass
Associate Dean

Reinventing Yourself

“Distance and difference are the secret tonic of creativity.
When we get home, home is still the same. But something in our mind has been changed, and that changes everything.”

– Jonah Lehrer

Greetings friends,

I have been talking to friends and students about the major changes, and life choices they made in their life. I’ m talking positive change.

Have you ever wanted to reinvent yourself? Perhaps you’ve thought about going away to an exotic land? Or just starting life all over as a new person? From the stories I’ve gathered from successful people, they had some commonalities.

Things you must experience for yourself.

  1. You will be taking a journey to a far off place. A place with potential for ” new beginnings.”
  2. You will feel odd and out of your comfort zone much of the time.
  3. You will encounter people and teachers that will change your way of experiencing life.
  4. You will return with a renewed sense of purpose. All your friends and family will be better off for it!

The art of re-inventing yourself

I have had the opportunity for radical reinvention a few times in my life — and I look forward to more!

The first time I had this experience, I was going to Japan to perform and study. I was 16 years old and was hired as an opening act for the Fania All Stars; a Latin Salsa super group. I had the extraordinary opportunity to perform magic and to explore the exotic mysteries of the East. I fell in love with Asian culture. I encountered mask theater, Kabuki, and Japanese classical magic. I was forever transformed by this encounter. Everything about me was changed, including my fashion sense, aesthetic, and my approach to magic theater.

Masks

“So fake it till you make it.
Make it till you master it.
Act if it is so and watch it all come true!”
– Billy Bardo

Dream bigger dreams – Fake it till you make it!

I dreamed of being a famous, world-touring magician. In my early 20′s, I left New York City, and went to Montreal for a few years. No one knew the “old me,” so I could just pretend to be a “young famous magician.” It worked! I even fooled myself into believing it! When I came back to NYC I was a new person.

  • I had taken risks and survived to tell the tales!
  • I had new experiences to draw from.
  • I had new wild and wonderful stories to tell and blend into my new shows.
  • People I met actually believed in the “new me!” I did it — and you can too!

Now I get to help others all over the world master the art of creating their own future. Many of my students cross over from the “normal world” into the magical world… and it is my pleasure to help them dream bigger dreams! Yes you can live your dream life. And please know that there are folks like us here to encourage you and help you along your way!

If you have plans to reinvent yourself… Please consider me your own personal “dream coach!” http://www.magicalwisdom.com/about/consulting

5 Steps to Reinvent Yourself

Melissa Kirk is an inspired writer. She says that change means reinvention. Each time a major shift happens in our lives — leaving a job or a relationship, moving, losing a loved one — we have to take control of who we will become or we risk never reaching our full potential. Melissa says that these are 5 steps she has identified to reinvent yourself:

1. Create a vision for your future.
Sit quietly, close your eyes, and imagine the people, places, or situations that you need to leave behind.  Now imagine the future that you want, whether it’s simply a feeling, a group of people, or a situation such as a wonderful new job. Imagine how it will feel to be in that new place. Picture the sun coming up behind your future, the warm glow of the light on your face. Stand for a moment and silently voice your appreciation of everything that came before. Once you’ve thanked the past, turn toward the sun, and with compassion and gratitude, imagine yourself walking away from the past and into the future.

2. Write about your reinvention.
Imagine a scene from it or write about how you’d like it to play out. Where are you living? What do you do in the mornings, afternoon, evenings? Who are your friends? What do you spend your days doing?

Continue writing for as long as this exercise feels invigorating and exciting. Write scenes, dialogues, lists, plans. Make the future come alive. Write about how it will feel to be there. Keep your writing somewhere where you will look at it occasionally. Feel free to add to it.

3. Surround yourself with visual reminders of the life you’d like to create.
If it’s a new job in a particular field, put objects or images from that field someplace where you’ll see them every day. If it’s a home, find a picture of a house that you love and put it near your front door. It can be anything that reminds you of what you’re moving toward.

4. Now that you have a vision of your future, break it up into workable tasks.
What do you need to do — every day — to create that vision? Look for work? Meet new people? Search for a place to live in your chosen town? Make it specific. Make a list of everything you need to do and a schedule for when you’ll do it. Then do it and commit to keep doing it, one day at a time.

5. Every day, go back to that vision of you walking towards your future.
Every morning or evening, close your eyes, and see yourself walking into the rising sun, toward your dreams, and reconnect with why you’re moving toward this new possibility.

Reinvention is neither easy nor always smooth. Often we encounter resistance. We don’t want to let go, even of things that cause us pain or that are obviously already out of our grasp. We often struggle with limiting beliefs or stories about ourselves that hold us back from trying new things.

Each time you find yourself slipping into old habits — isolating yourself, making excuses not to look for work, procrastinating on a task that might help you advance in your career — don’t bother wondering why you’re doing it or beating yourself up.

Just ask yourself this: “What can I do in this moment to keep moving forward?”

Then, no matter what you feel in the moment — lonely, self-critical, tired, lazy, or disappointed — do something to maintain momentum, even if it’s one small thing. There’s an old adage that says that true courage isn’t about not feeling fear; it’s about feeling fear and acting anyway.

Choose courage instead of letting your fear choose your future for you.

For more writing from Melissa Kirk http://www.joyattheheart.com/.

For More ways to reinvent yourself: http://techcrunch.com/2013/10/19/the-ultimate-cheat-sheet-for-reinventing-yourself/

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”
– Jessica Hirsche

News & Views

I still travel half the year. I love touring and I love coming home to Las Vegas. Abbi is the greatest wife, and she keeps the Mystery School and our home running in top form! April brings a few great adventures.

The McBride Magic Experience on Tour

Denver, Colorado April 4th & 5th
Mercury Theater: 7 pm show Friday April 4th. http://mercurycafe.com
All new magic lecture and Supersession workshop, Info: Chad Wonder: chad@idomagic.com

Luma

McBride’s pick of the month – Art of Darkness

Marlin from the volcano island of Hawaii will enlighten audiences with his stage production of LUMA: Art in Darkness during a ten-city tour at performing art centers across the country beginning March 28th. Ticket information and more can be found at www.lumatheater.com or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUJC18-Jyu4 to see a three minute video.

Rudy CobyFun fact:
Did you know that Rudy Coby and I were born in the same room?

Yes it is true! Both of us were born in Goshen, NY in the same tiny hospital room. We had different moms, but both of us daydreamed about magic enough to change our lives… This month we celebrate Rudy’s birthday in a BIG way! With a very special show.

Rudy and I will be at Science & Magic Week at The Magic Castle. Rudy Coby and I will be at The Magic Castle along with Marco Tempest, Chris Korn, Rafael, Kevin James, and Timo Mark.

April 21-27 2014

Rudy Coby also comes to Las Vegas at Jeff McBride’s WONDERGROUND on Thursday March 20th.

You are invited to the biggest Magic Party in Las Vegas

This month’s Wonderground will feature the premiere Las Vegas appearance of Elliott Hitchcock’s Top Secrets Magic Experience. There is only one in the world and we are proud to present it live at Wonderground.

Top Secrets Magic Experience

Wonderground, March 2014

Early Stage 8pm
Hosts Jeff McBride Tim Wise
Halls of Magic – Seen on AGT! Madcap Magic & Mayhem
Alien Warrior Comic- Out of this world comedy
Jon D’Ark- Classic Gypsy music with an edge
Cecile & Mighty- Outrageous feats of skill and daring

Diamond Parlor Magic Room 9pm
M.C. Christian Diamond
Elliot Hitchcock’s “Smoke & Mirrors Theater”
Featuring the magic of “V”

Late Stage 10pm
M.C. Jeff McBride
RUDY COBY! A living Legend of Comedy Magic
Bizzaro – For him “normal” is just a setting on the dryer
Les Contortionettes – Unique in the world, elegant, &  mysterious
Arian Black -  Scintillatingly Sensuous Sorcery

The World’s First Online Magic School offers you Magical Wisdom 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When I am home, I am working on our new & Mystery & Mystery School
www.mcbridemagic.tv Please stop by and say hello. Our classroom is open around the clock!

We have special new programming every week! Here is a frequently asked question…

Q: How can you travel lighter and get more impact on stage?
A: “The Commando Show & travel tips”

http://virtual.magicalwisdom.com/lessons/view/56

See you on the road, at a class or online!

Jeff

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