“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
— Pablo Picasso
One of the rather crass questions magicians are asked most often is:
“If you were a real magician, couldn’t you just pull money from the air?” or, “Can you make a million dollars appear for me?”
Actually money does not always “work like magic,” and solve all of life’s problems. In fact, money can actually cause the problems! Have you read the stories of lottery winners that have had their lives totally ruined by getting “all the money they ever dreamed of?”
Joshua Levin is one of the most talented artists I know. He is a PhD in Anthropology teaching here at The College of Southern Nevada. He is a master musician, painter, poet and a family man. Here is one of his recent paintings, exploring his relationship to the world of money. Here Joshua explores the difference between spiritual gold and that mundane matter that we kill and die for.
Take a few moments to look deeply into the symbolism of this painting.
Joshua’s art will astonish you! http://art.joshualevin.org
It is my pleasure to introduce many of you to Joshua’s work… for more of his art go here:
Joshua has an amazing ability to “spark” other people’s creativity. He empowers them to find the art inside of them and to coax it out into the world. I love that about him! He is a modern master of art and expression.
If you desire, you can take the course Art In-Cross Cultural Perspective with Joshua online!
“Right livelihood” is the concept of doing what you love to do, in a way that does not harm others. Sometimes it takes courage and persistence to get the “right livelihood” part of the the financial equation right. Read these amazing stories, they will inspire you to be patient and to follow your bliss.
When I see a Lamborghini I don’t think,”Wow! How much money does that person have?” I think, “Wow! how much money does he owe?”
Freedom from financial worry is what I’m after.
Instead of asking “How can I make more money from my art?” Try asking, “How can I make more art with my money?”
Here is a photo of Joshua’s sculptural-painting Arum. This is an inspirational art piece I commissioned from him to adorn our movement theater wing of the Magic & Mystery School.
You can visit our museum and art gallery when you attend our classes. For a detailed look of Joshua’s art go here https://sites.google.com/site/mythfitsart/home/sculpture/aurum
House calls? Yes! The Show Doctor is making house calls! Each week magicians from all over world tune into our online school. This month our shows are about Wisdom from Wizards.
Get your free trial here:
Or… Have you ever had the desire to just “get away” from the “real world?” Ever consider leaving your present life and starting new again? Some people get stuck in the same old patterns, while others break out of the pack, spread their wings and FLY! Now you can start a new life… just step out onto the street and begin again!
We even help our students by offering scholarships! What more can we do to help — drive to your home and pick you up?! http://www.magicalwisdom.com/scholarships
It has been 5 years since Chris Randall has appeared at the Wonderground. Chris is one of the original Wonderground Players… and now he comes home. Chris Randall returns with his full evening show Scandal — The Only Adult Magic Show in Las Vegas.
The 10:00 PM show features world class manipulation, edgy comedy, and sizzling hot illusions. Scandal features an amazing cast starring Melanie Kramer, Bizzarro and Award Winning Magician Mondre. Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime show at this month’s Wonderground.
Also appearing: Gypsy music by Jon D’Ark
8PM Early Stage:
Your Host, the elegant Tim Wise
Scott Steelfyre – A Fantasy in Flames
Smoothini- The Ghetto Houdini! – Direct from America’s Got Talent!
9PM Diamond Parlor Room:
Your host- the charming Kurt Freitag
Joe Atmore – Master of Mentalism & Mystery
Art by Areeya and Suzanne, Tarot readings and Psychic Sideshow with Alan Scott, Video by Scott Steelfyre, Photography by Sheryl Garrett ,DJ David Rosario, The New World Rythmatism Dancers and more!
Yes, I’m packing again, this time for a tour of Spain. I’m taking BEYOND DECEPTION Volume 2, as reading material. Tobias did a fantastic job on this book. “BD2″ is packed with a lifetime of wisdom and magical inspiration. I suggest you read a sample and then get your copy here:
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
So as they say on Star Trek, “Live long and prosper!”
I would like to begin by congratulating my friend, Michael Carbonaro, for his new show, “The Carbonaro Effect,” which airs on Thursday evenings at 10.00 pm (Pacific time) on TRU TV. Be sure to check it out!
I first met Michael when he attended a Mystery School in 1999. He was a bright and attentive student who was clearly present. This was the first time that Michael performed what has become one of his signature pieces, Shaving Dream. Even this early version, which didn’t have a name, was very impressive. Michael’s performance had great impact on the audience. Everyone was talking about it afterward. And Michael was still a teenager!
Michael and I stayed in contact over the years and our friendship grew. A few years ago, when Jeff decided to bring the Mystery School faculty and students to the Magic Castle in Hollywood to perform for a week, I opted to perform in the Peller Theater. To make things easy, I wanted someone to perform with me. Michael Carbonaro was my first choice. Together, we created a show, “Dark Stories,” which we have now performed several years at the Magic Castle and in other places as well (such as Erika Larsen’s quite fabulous “Beyond Brookledge” event last year).
This coming July, Michael and I will present an extended version of “Dark Stories” at the James Randi TAM (The Amazing Meeting) event in Las Vegas.
Photo credit: Roger Fojas
Need I say that Michael is a delight to work with? He is. He is creative and funny and still serious and open to ideas and also ready with many amazing ideas of his own. I love to work with him. And I was thrilled when he used my effect, Shotglass Surprise, on the pilot episode of “The Carbonaro Effect.” You can see Michael’s very clever and entertaining presentation at:
It is exciting when a friend gets a television show of their own. One feels so happy for them. Having a show of our own is a dream that is shared by so many magicians. Do you have a dream of your own TV show? If you do, I think you might ask yourself one very important question: Are you really ready for your own TV show? If the offer came unexpectedly to you, would you be up for the challenge? Yes, it’s a tough question!
And this brings us to the subject of my essay. It is time. It is the ability to perform for the specific time that has been allotted to us. Not to go over. Not to do more time than expected.
Over the years, I have been surprised on many, many occasions as I watched professional magicians fail to meet the time restrictions given to them. Although they sometimes go under their time, most often they go well over the time they were allotted. If scheduled to perform for ten minutes, they might perform for fifteen or twenty. If asked to perform for thirty minutes, they might instead perform for forty-five. I see this at magic conventions and at local magic shows. I see it in many, many countries. At home, I see it at Magic Chicago, the monthly magic show soon in its tenth year. It appears that a large number of magicians, both amateur and professional, have very little sense of performance time. Evidently, it doesn’t seem too important to them. It probably isn’t as important as the magic tricks that dance in their thoughts.
But it is important! It is important if you want to be — or be seen as — a professional magician. As I have explained many times, my own first international television appearance was on the Paul Daniels Show in England. I had two spots: the first was four-and-a-half minutes, the second was three-and-a-half minutes. This was a live television show. It was not a taped show. My job was to come in on time. If I went over, I would be taking time away from the star of the show. If I went under time, Paul would have to make up my time.
I think that I was successful for two reasons. First, there was a large clock with a second hand next to the camera so I could watch the movement of time. Second, I work with scripts for each of my magical pieces and so, when there were 30 seconds left, I could begin to speed up or slow down — and then finish precisely on the second. I approached it both as a challenge and a game. On the set, I received many compliments. And I was asked to return for Paul’s live show the next year. But the secret was having a real script — and also understanding how to deliver it.
And so when magicians perform for me — either in Chicago or in classes with Jeff in Las Vegas — I listen to what is being said. I want to help these magicians improve what they are saying.
Do you work with a real script?
Do you have the ability to bring your performances in on time?
Time is a great challenge. Yet, if you do get your own television show one day, these are the skills that you might need for your success. If you have them, I suspect that you will be very happy and thankful.
I’m inspired to share some of our plans for May.
“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams…”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
I love touring, meeting new friends and seeing new places… but now and then, I just want to get away! It is important to share time with my love, Abbi. We go deep into the desert and join some of our friends to play music and dance under the moonlight and around the campfire.
“The desert has its holiness of silence, the crowd its holiness of conversation.”
– Walter Elliot
Each year, Abbi and I take some time to retreat into the desert for our MayFire celebration. It is a music retreat , and we invite some of our friends to join us. We have been re-creating ourselves each year in the Valley of Fire State park. We love the beauty and vastness of the land, and each night we build a fire and make music with our friends. You can see a bit of what we do here:
When we end our vacation each year we come back refreshed and renewed, full of ideas to share with our friends and families. This is where we get inspiration that often finds its way into our performances.
A few years ago my time in the desert inspired a new magic routine… The BEKOS effect! See Abbi perform it 1 minute into this video:
If you watch the following clip, you will see that the future of magic is in good hands! You’ll see the young magician Deanna perform the BEKOS effect at 1 min into the clip:
“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”
Every Monday we host a magic class online. Our aim is to inspire your creativity… you are invited! It’s like a global magic lecture:
Mystery School Monday
This month, we talk about how to structure a proper show. The faculty of our school will take turns each month talking about the best show formats and what we can learn from the masters on how to construct the perfect magic show!
You can become a member of our online school here:
The Secret Arts Journal
…has a new essay by Brian Watson on Cups and Balls, you may also want to read about Simple Gifts, and John Tudor’s Experiments in Magic Theater. This online zine is free to all of our friends! Be inspired and read more: http://www.secretartjournal.com
…continues to gather the Las Vegas stars of magic. We are the hub of the Las Vegas Magic community and it seems everyone shows up! Last month saw Murray, Jan Rouven, Juliana Chen, and Kevin James in the audience and onstage was Xavier Mortimer from Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson show: One. I even debuted my Magic Castle close-up show in the Diamond Parlor room!
This month Dan Sperry will be onstage with a new creation! I have part 2 of my Magic Castle act to show you!
As I sign off now, I’m packing for the camping trip and will be seeking new inspiration to share with you soon!
See you on tour or around the fire!
“No man is an island.”
— John Donne
Bryce 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.
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:
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,