Art – What Is It Good For?

“Art is the objectification of feeling, and the subjectification of nature”.

Suzanne Langer

Dear Friends:

Tobias, here, while Jeff is away in Italy & Spain.

May Day! May Day!

Oh… it’s not THAT kind of May Day. No emergency here… just time to celebrate spring and new beginnings. The time when foliage returns, gardens burst into bloom, and love fills the air. Can you feel it? I can, and it leads me to think about the connections between magic and nature.

Spring Rose

One of our tasks as magicians, and artists of all kinds, actually, is to celebrate the magic that surrounds us. The “wheel of life.” What can any of us perform that is more magical than a flower developing from bud to blossom? Or a newly hatched robin, or baby deer? How magical is it when all the brown, dead foliage suddenly blasts into lush green?

“The Louvre is a good book to consult, but it must only be an intermediary. The real and immense study that must be taken up is the manifold picture of nature.

Paul Cezanne


As practitioners of the magical arts, I think it’s important that we allow ourselves, and our work, to be truly inspired by nature. But how many of us actually can do that? Jeff McBride is fond of the phrase, “You can’t give a gift you don’t have,” which I take to mean that it’s difficult to give someone else a magical experience if you’ve never had one yourself. But how many of us can claim to have really had a magical experience? Is it a magical experience when you find yourself fooled by a card trick? Maybe. Sometimes. But if all art is an imitation of nature (as Aristotle would indicate), then what part of nature is that card trick imitating? I wonder.

I think we all want to experience something we think of as real magic (whether we profess to believe that there is such a thing or not). Some of us, like the young Jeff McBride, actually go on quests to see if we can find it. Like most hero’s journeys, though, I think we actually get to find real magic only once we’ve returned home. Want a “real” magical experience? Watch a baby being born, or go out at nightfall and watch the moonflowers unfurl their blossoms. Go into the woods, or down to a lake and see the wild things with their young. A mother duck with a string of ducklings paddling in formation behind her, or a baby bird learning to fly for the first time.–what could be more magical than that?

My magical gift to you, then, is the suggestion that you put down your cards and coins, close the books and turn off the videos, and go to get yourself a dose of real magic. Right now, when the springtime has it bursting out of every nook and cranny. Let it inspire you. First just go and soak it all up. Then let it sink in. Sleep on it without even thinking about tricks. Let your deep subconscious do its work. Consider what it feels like to experience that kind of magic. Imagine what it would feel like to create that kind of experience for someone else. Imagine their faces when they do experience it; their exclamations of joy or wonder. Imagine what you will feel like when you get to experience them having that experience, right before your eyes!

And then, one day soon, as you return to your cards and silks, your ropes and rings… you may just find yourself with a revelation. You may just find a new way of performing something you’ve long known how to perform, but in a new way. A way that allows you to share that experience—the one you got to have out in the forest, or by the lake. That experience of real magic, but expressed through your own performance. That’s my idea of what it really means to be a magician. I hope you may experience it soon, if you haven’t already done so. Your life and art will be richer for the experience.


As I write this, Jeff McBride is wrapping up his trip to Italy and Spain, where he has done several shows and lectures, and getting ready to return  home just in time to re-pack his bags and head off to The Magic Castle. Audiences there can see Jeff in the close-up theater between May 4-10. I hear the lines have already begun to form.


This is Spain with Angel Vicente

As for upcoming classes: we only have one coming up this spring, and it’s our 3-day Master Class, from June 12-14. Last time I looked, we still had 3 slots left for that class. If you’re thinking of competing at any of this summer’s conventions, this may be your best possible investment in order to increase your chances to win. Jeff’s coaching, both in the context of master classes and in his one-on-one Show Doctor consultations, has helped many, many winners over the years. So… if you want one of those slots, go to right now and sign yourself up.

Our “Monday Night Mystery School” subject for May will be “Real World Card Magic,” something I expect many of you will find to be of special interest. The show on Monday, May 4 features the whole faculty, and is free to everyone. Tune in at that night at 7pm PST to catch it live.

Tobias Two Books

That’s all for this note. Jeff will be writing our next Museletter in just a couple of weeks. I hope this one has given you some interesting material to consider.

Best wishes.

Tobias Beckwith

The World Needs More Wizards!

Dear Friends:

Most people think Harry Potter and Hogwarts are just a fantasy… but for us, Wizards and Schools are VERY real! For over 25 years, we have been hosting exceptional educational events where you, our students, are the stars of the show. Now the rest of the world is catching on!


“Our time requires humans willing to embrace the wisdom only available through experience and reflection. We need those willing to take on radical levels of personal responsibility as the shepherds of change. Those who insist on true, first hand understanding through their own thought processes, who can see the systems within systems that make the world work, and have the courage to truly question everything. These are the true wizards. This book is designed to set readers on the path that can make each of them such a person.”

       — Tobias Beckwith, The Wizard’s Way

In his new book, The Wizard’s Way Tobias examines the stories of wizards not only from legend–Merlyn, Gandalf, The Wizard of Oz, etc.–but also many true wizards from history, including da Vinci, Einstein, Gandhi and more recent examples including Eve Ensler, Jeff McBride and Steve Jobs. He concludes that these unusually effective human change agents share certain common traits. Traits that are not taught in our schools, but can be learned by anyone willing to seek the necessary experiences and embrace the essential principles.


“Mystery School is The REAL Hogwarts”

 – CNN  news

CNN Video Clip

Can you learn to be a real wizard?

Yes! There are now magic schools around the world:


I have been touring in China for many years, and teaching magic to serious students of the art. Magic has taken me around the world and I am fortunate to be able to share my teachings with others, regardless of nationality!  My video Series Trilogy of Trilogies, is the best selling magic series of all time, thanks to its music-driven style and international approach to teaching magic.

Trilogies Video Clip

“Magic is an international language that transcends cultural, political & language barriers.” 

— Jeff McBride

A VERY funny take on magic schools here: USA-Chinese magic in the news:

The Daily Show Video Clip

The Gift of Magic – This month of Mystery School Monday

On our Mystery School Monday show, the faculty explores the topic of “GIFT MAGIC.” Gift magic is a style of magic where you leave the participant with a small gift that is a symbol for the magical moment you created together. There are many kinds of gift magic; see them live each Monday on, or in our archive 24/7 after they have aired.

Scholarship Program- Give or take?

The Magic & Mystery School is passionately committed to improving the art of magic by helping magicians become increasingly excellent performers. To expand our ability to do that, the Faculty has created the Magic & Mystery School Scholarship Program.

The Program has two parts to it. The first part is a Scholarship Fund, made possible through generous contributions and gifts from the members of our extended community.

The second part is the School’s commitment to use every one of these dollars to offer scholarships to deserving students to attend one of our Las Vegas-based magic educational experiences. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of need; they are designed to help talented students close the financial gap to help achieve their magic education goal.

Please note: these scholarships offer partial tuition relief. If a person is awarded a scholarship, they will need to cover the remainder of their tuition and travel expenses. We need your help to generate as many of these scholarships as possible. If you are able, please click on the Gift icon below. The other icon takes you to the scholarship application form.

We would like to thank all of you who have donated to our Mystery School Scholarship Program. This program gives the gift of magic to those who need a hand up to get the magic education they desire. If you would like help with your magical education OR you would like to donate to our school, you can get more info here:

Gift   PDF

Donate Here       Download Application

IMMERSIVE THEATER The ultimate audience participation!

One of my favorite forms of theater is immersive theater, the kind where you are “IN ” the story, or in the play. You have a part. At our early Mystery School events, we explored immersive theater in exotic magical environments like Castles, Ashrams and a Zendo. (Yes, really!)

One of our friends that attended the 2nd year of Mystery School was Erika Larsen. Now she is president of the Magic Castle and also hosts the Beyond Brooklege events. Read on to learn about the extraordinary event that is coming up.

Beyond Brookledge

Beyond Brookledge is a fully-immersive, weekend-long theatrical experience that takes place annually at the Historic Mission Inn Hotel in Riverside, California. This year, Beyond Brookledge takes place May 29-31. The event is extremely intimate (only a few dozen tickets are sold), and provides an opportunity for fans of magic and vaudeville to lose themselves in a wonderland where the lines between audience and performers, and between reality and fantasy disappear. The all-inclusive ticket price grants you all-access privileges to ‘round-the-clock entertainment, scheduled meals and treats, a hotel room for two nights, and some intriguing gifts. The hotel itself is a masterpiece of astonishing architecture, and event attendees will have access to some of its most mysterious and closed-to-the-public areas. Spend a mind-altering weekend with Amazing Jonathan, Billy the Mime, Bonnie Morgan, Kristian Hoffman, Mac King, Michael Davis, Scot Nery and some incredible surprise guests. There will also be an amazing display and demonstration of original automata by contemporary master Thomas Kuntz (including several pieces never before seen outside of Kuntz’s studio).

Friends of Jeff McBride can receive a 20% discount on tickets by entering the Promo Code MYSTERY in the Online Registration form at

Detailed information about the event can be found at—a.html.


ABOVE: THE MAGUS- BY THOMAS KUNTZ.  He is one of my favorite artists in the world. If I could, I would have a room devoted to his amazing inventions here at The Mystery School!

April Fools Prank of the Month:

Looks like a magic trick and then… wait for it!


You are invited to the biggest magic party in Las Vegas!

Wonderground Video Clip
APRIL- Strolling magic by Will Bradshaw

8PM  –   Bill Cook – MC-
Dave Johnson
David Gabbay as Bijan

9PM –   Christian Diamond
David Gabbay
Dave Johnson
Bill Cook

10PM – Tim Wise MC-
Bill Cook – manip act.
Mat Black

PLUS: Bar Magic with Zack Pattee and Scott Steelfyre, the New World Rhythmatism Dancers, Psychic Sideshow with Alan Scott, live art with Areeya and many more surprises and special celebrity guests!!

Springing Into Magic!

Abbi Pink Rose

“Is the spring coming?” he said. “What is it like?”…

“It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine…”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

I love Vegas in the Springtime… I know it’s Spring, because it’s been in the high 70’s this week, sunny and pleasant. The mockingbirds have returned, with their white-tipped wings and different songs to sing every time they open their beaks. The finches have built a nest in the pine tree above the waterfall, swooping across the yard with twigs held carefully aloft. The yard is full of music when the people are gone. The lemon tree is blossoming, and the scent coming off the flowers is absolutely intoxicating.

I am finding myself so grateful for my senses, for the simple fact that I have ears that can hear, and eyes that can see (in color, even!)… and, of course, for all of the students coming to the House of Mystery for all the classes this month at the Magic & Mystery School.

Students and Rope

“Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world,” he said wisely one day, “but people don’t know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment.”

    — Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

It’s been a bit of a whirlwind, with a couple of Masterpiece Residencies, a three-day Master Class, a seminar for Speakers and Presenters, and a conference for Medicine and Magic.  It’s been so inspiring to see how all these diverse students light up and get excited about magic.  It’s also been wonderful having the faculty staying here, for philosophical chats over breakfast, fireside conversation in the evenings, and lunches on the back patio.  Spending time with people who matter to me is such a gift; another reason I am grateful on a daily basis.

Oh yeah, and little baby girl lion cubs.  I’m grateful for them, too.

Abbi and Cub

The music continues to flow to me and through me.  Some of you had been asking me about the next album, and I am happy to tell you that I am working away on my new project, which is tentatively titled Fire Circle Alchemy.

If you’re interested in hearing some of my work, you can find it here:

I recommend you start with Enter the Center.

“I shall live forever and ever and ever ‘ he cried grandly. ‘I shall find out thousands and thousands of things. I shall find out about people and creatures and everything that grows – like Dickon – and I shall never stop making Magic. I’m well I’m well” 

      — Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

Yours in the magic of Springtime,


Are Your Dreams Dead or Alive?

“Some people die at 25 and aren’t buried until 75.”           

      – Benjamin Franklin


It often happens like this… 

A kid falls in love with magic at 8 years old.

He reads and learns all he can.

His friends love him at school;

His sisters and brothers kid him about it;

His parents like it…

But when he turns 18 he graduates from high school.

This thing called LIFE comes along.

He goes to college… no time for magic.

He gets a job… less time for magic.

He starts dating… does a few tricks, but when he gets more work, he stops.

He gets a promotion… goes to graduate school,

gets married (magic long gone)….

Then, one day in midlife, after the 2nd divorce and all the kids are out of rehab, he wakes up and say 

F*CK! I LOVE MAGIC!  IT’S TIME for me to return to MY PASSION!

…Then he gets back into magic..

and where does he go to learn?  Mystery School.

Did you ever abandon your dream? I almost did!

In school, many friends put me down for “showing off” or said things like “Hey Jeff, you better keep your day job.”  Teachers encouraged me to have “plan B” to fall back on if the magic thing did not work out.”

“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education”– Mark Twain

Sometimes we let other people measure our potential! Deep inside you know what you want in life! Others can guide you on your path, but YOU have to take the steps towards your destiny…

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. 

                  – Albert Einstein

When you were growing up…Did your family, teachers and friends really understand your passion for magic?

Doubt Kills Dreams

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” 

       – John Lennon

We all have “voices of doubt “ in our heads. These are other people’s voices that say things like “Is it too late to live my dream? Do I have the energy and drive to do it in this lifetime?”


“Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

Do you focus on what you enjoy and love?

Bruce Lee knew the power of focus when he said:

“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks, but I do fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”

Bruce Lee

When will you take the steps to focus on your passion? 

Will you let another year go by without taking a step towards your destiny? If you want us to help, we are here as guides for your journey of discovery.

Rainmaker Jeff

Jeff mentors John Walton during his “Rainmaker Residency

“Of all sad words of mouth or pen, the saddest are these: it might have been.”

Live your dreams now! – The McBride Masterpiece Series

Mystery School Online:

Every Monday at 7 PM Las Vegas time, join us for Mystery School Monday. This entire month is devoted to the topic of Strolling Magic… see free back episodes too at

Wonderground 2015
Jay Scott Berry

Modern Wizard Jay Scott Berry Headlines at WONDERGROUND on March 19th

WONDERGROUND! The Biggest Magic Party in Las Vegas! 

March 19th – Meet “Clyde McBride,” your Irish host for the event of the month. One time only, never to be repeated!

8 PM  –  Host: Tim Wise
Jeff McBride
The Halls of Magic
Jay Scott Berry
Dr Solar’s Medicine show

9 PM  –  Host: Christian Diamond
Michael Mirth
Richard Ribuffo
Cody Comet
Master Payne

10 PM  –  Host: Jeff McBride
Kim Z
The Halls of Magic
Jay Scott Berry
Daniel Ka

Special Addendum:

Please enjoy a tour of our online Magic School, on me. It’s FREE!

Go to this link first and sign up for the school. Watch the video 1st…

then after the video go HERE, and take the tour of the online school. I think you’ll be inspired by the tour!

See you next time!


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