Community of the Like-Minded

Dear Friends:

Tobias here – my turn to write to you all. As I write this, I’ve just returned from Pennsylvania, where I was blessed to help my mother celebrate her 90th Birthday. Amazing!

Something happened while I was there, that I think is just as amazing. I got to meet with some of the local magicians, who, when they found out I would be in town, invited me for coffee at their local meeting place. This is something that happens over and over again, and one of the ways I’ve made many, many friends over the years. Magicians reach out to others in our magical community, even when we don’t know one another.

I’ll never forget going to Hong Kong for the first time, and communicating with Albert Tam, who had a magic shop (or two) there at that time. He wanted to know all the details of our schedule – and I had no idea why. Until we disembarked from our plane, at the end of over 20 hours of travel, and were greeted by a group of about 30 magicians right there at the foot of the steps leading down from the airplane. The magicians showered us with flowers and streamers, followed us to our hotel, and then took us out to their favorite restaurant. We’re still friends with Albert and several others from that group some 25 years later!

It happened again when I first moved to the Bay Area – actually a little town called Boulder Creek, which is up in the redwoods between Santa Cruz and Cupertino. I was feeling very isolated, when two magicians from Silicon Valley got in touch by e-mail, saying “I hear you’ve moved to the Bay Area…let’s have lunch!” I was quickly welcomed into the Silicon Valley S.A.M., The Magic Garage, and other Bay Area magical communities. I no longer felt “all alone.”

This next paragraph may seem like a tangent, but bear with me.

When I started working with Jeff McBride, Jeff had just returned from his first time headlining a show in Las Vegas. He had more success before he turned 25 than most magicians ever do…and yet he couldn’t find real happiness. Why? Because he had a thirst for “real magic,” and felt like a fake every time he “pretended” to be one…even though audiences loved him and he was at the top of his game as a performer.

As Jeff likes to say, “you can’t give a gift you don’t have yourself,” and the magician’s job is to give the gift of a magical experience. But what does that really mean? Probably something a little different to each of us…but something important, nevertheless.

Jeff went on a quest to discover “real magic.” He visited occult stores, native American sweat lodges, ashrams, fire circles…anywhere he thought he might find someone who could clue him in to the secrets of real magic. He went anywhere he might experience magic outside of tricks and illusions, and he found several varieties. Probably the largest and most consistent form of real magic he found – and later introduced me to – was the community that formed around fire and drum circles. This was a community of individuals who were conscious about creating conscious community and community-centered events.

It was Jeff’s experience with these groups which lead to the creation of our very first “Mystery School” retreats back in the 1990’s. If magicians needed to have a magical experience that felt real to them before they could give that experience to others…well, we were going to provide them with the basis for that.

The first Mystery School retreat was made up of an invited group, asked to pay only the bare minimum to cover the cost of food and lodging. It was made of magicians who Jeff felt might be “ready” for the experience…and the group proved to be more than ready. Most were thirsty for something that felt authentic. They were open to experience something new and different…and they plunged into our drum, dance, ritual theater, discussions, and other elements (many still a secret, if you weren’t there). Together, this group of amazing individuals created something that I think is probably unique in the history of performing magicians, and something I still feel lucky to have taken part in.

Here’s one of the first groups to attend Mystery School. It’s not the very first one, as I can’t find that just now…but see how many people you recognize here:

Well…the Mystery School has evolved. Many aspects of that first set of retreats, (which we did for 10 years!) have either fallen away or moved to other kinds of events in which we sponsor or participate. One of the things that has survived, though, is the part I think of as the most powerful, and most magical – and that is the wonderful community that assembles and re-assembles, year after year, at our Magic & Meaning Conference to share company, wisdom and knowledge of our unique art. A community who recognizes magic as something more than just “light entertainment.” A community of truly caring, deep-thinking and feeling individuals who love magic as much as we do.

It has taken me a long time to fully appreciate the “real magic” that comes from this magic of community. It’s not big or flashy magic, but it IS a magic that can transform lives, and add richness and value for many, many individuals. All magic is about transformation, and I know this community has transformed my life in many wonderful ways, and I’ve seen it change others as well.

You might be thinking this sounds all well and good, but that you haven’t attended one of our events, and so aren’t a part of the community. Not true. If you’re reading this, you’re connected. The group is one of the most welcoming, warm groups it’s been my good fortune to encounter, and if you love magic, you’re already “one of us.” We have performers, philosophers, fans, and teachers. As Eugene Burger used to tell us, “The house of magic has many rooms,” and all are welcome. I know of nowhere that is truer than at Magic & Meaning.

But time is running out for attending this year’s gathering. Our cut-off date for hotel reservations at our discounted rate is Oct. 8. We have only a  half dozen or so spots left (72 is our maximum number). We already have talks booked from many of our favorite participants…and we’re all looking forward to spending time with our special guest, Mac King.

So…if you’re teetering there on the fence, trying to decide whether this is your year to attend, then now is the time to act. Go to, grab one of those spots, then reserve your room at the hotel (instructions are available when you register), and plan to be with us for another magic experience!

+ + +

I know conferences aren’t for everyone. However, if you’re reading this and thinking you would really just like to learn some magic, there’s another event just before Magic & Meaning that may be of interest. That’s Jeff’s Fall Training class, coming up this next week. You can register for just one day, or all four (with a hefty discount)…or anything in between. Each day is devoted to a single kind of magic: Mentalism and mental magic, Storytelling Magic, Séance and Bizarre Magic, and Stage Illusions. If you attend, you’re going to be amazed at how much you can learn in a single day!

+ + +

Finally, I want to let you all know I’m going to be offering my online workshop on marketing & management for magicians, based on my latest book, Beyond Applause. The class is very much like a college seminar: 12 sessions over 6 weeks, with homework in the form of worksheets to be done between each session. Before we’re finished, you’ll have actually done and received feedback on most of the things you need to do in order to run your own business as a performer.

I’ve booked and managed about $15 million in engagements for Jeff and Marco Tempest in all different kinds of venues over the years—if you want to find out how, this class will let you in on my secrets!

Dates aren’t set yet, but if you’re interested, please send me an e-mail, and I’ll let you know when the next set of sessions will begin.

That’s all for now…we’ll be back here in a couple of weeks…and hope to see you in the Monday Night classroom, at Magic & Meaning, or at one of our other events soon!


Tobias Beckwith

Help Me – I’m Drowning!

“No great artist, dancer or opera singer has ever learned their craft from YouTube! The great masters of magic are certainly not teaching there.
MagicFlix is collecting material from people who have been in the business for years, and are not just those seeking hits and clicks on their YouTube sites. MagicFlix is not going to be the indiscriminate hatcheting of people’s material that is thrown up on YouTube.
I think that is over…. MAGICFLIX is the antidote to YouTube.

                                       -Jeff McBride in VANISH MAGAZINE

Greetings my friends,

Like many of you, I often feel like I’m drowning in information. Today, more than ever, we need experienced guides and mentors to help us navigate the overwhelming inflow of information. I am so blessed to have some of the most inspirational friends and teachers!

I stay away from negative people and many of them seem to be on YouTube. I find watching magic on YouTube soul crushing. I want a quiet place to learn and study great magic, old and new. We have created that place now. It is real. It is MagicFlix.

NOW you can get an idea of the scope of this project… it is amazing!

New School Magic Meets The Old School Masters!

Our teachers already include Eugene Burger, John Carney, Rich Ferguson, Franz Harary, Kenton Knepper, Amazing Johnathan, Justin Miller, Jeff McBride, Rocco, Dan Sperry, Michael Trixx, Stephane Vanel, Jason Ladayne, Fielding West, Larry Becker, and Paul Gordon…. We have over 500 videos online now, and the numbers are growing every day!

MAGICFLIX also features THE GREATER MAGIC LIBRARY in its entirety!

It’s all included with your subscription to MAGICFLIX, and features such masters as Karrell Fox, Shimada, Michael Ammar, John Carney, Sylvan, Johnny Paul, Larry Becker, Charlie Miller, Tom Mullica, Johnny Thompson, J.B. Bobo, Billy McComb, Mr. Electric and Daryl. This collection is already an impressive one, and it is getting bigger and better every day.

CLICK HERE to watch the video

YES to having all your favorite magic videos in one place, accessible from any device, anywhere in the world!

Content on MagicFlix is presented in carefully structured levels, including “Beginner’s Magic,” “Favorites,” “Most Popular,” “New Releases,” “Coin Magic,” “Grand Illusion,” “Impromptu Magic,” “History,” “Gambling Magic,” “Ice Breakers,” “Performance,” “Philosophy,” “Interviews With The Stars,” “Street Magic,” “Manipulation,” “Lectures” etc. In other words, if you browse the “Card Magic” category, you can learn everything from how to do a pinkie count to how to back palm cards.

There is a great deal of magic on the Internet, but few safe and sane places to learn magic from the great masters of our art. That’s why MagicFlix was created.


Go to MAGICFLIX.COM, register, and put in the code “MCBRIDE” to get a free month on me!

Go take a look and tell me what you think! I would appreciate your feedback.

Abigail McBride On NBC TV!

“Abigail McBride, with Cuba’s leading lady of magic, Circe seen sharing their magic at the recent “SISTERS OF MYSTERY,” an annual gathering at Mystery School for women who love and perform the art of magic.”


For many years men have dominated the art of magic. Now, that is changing! I am so proud of my wife Abigail for being featured in the recent TV story covering “Women In Magic.”  We are all impressed with this feature segment. It seems the world is opening to the idea of women in magic…about time!

Do You Need Some Help?

When I’m not touring, I am offering SKYPE sessions, so if you need some help with your act or career, just drop us an email, and we’ll be happy to help you get started. or

Vegas Buzz

Tim Wise is happy to announce that his Hollywood Stars of Magic has a new home at The Las Vegas Magic Theater.

The show runs at 2 and 4 pm every Saturday. Recent headliners included, Paul Vigil, Allan Ackerman, Joan DuKore and FISM winner Johnny Ace Palmer.

Rocco, Hans Klok and Criss Angel were recently seen sharing magic ideas and talking about Shin Lim’s new show, at the recent WONDERGROUND. Hans has a new show at the EXCALIBUR hotel. Shin Lim has a new show with Colin Cloud at the MIRAGE.

We all wish Hans and Shin Lim the best of luck with their new shows! Vegas continues to rock as the Magic Capital of the World!

Rocco, Hans Klok and Shin Lim celebrating old friendships and new shows in Las Vegas.

Masters of Illusion star Tommy Wind has just signed a one-year contract at the OYO Hotel and Casino (formerly Hooters).Tommy is creating a new show to fit the showroom that will feature many of his best-loved pieces, as well as new creations.

Join Jeff McBride for his birthday party at WONDERGROUND!

The Biggest Magic Party In Las Vegas–And You Are Invited!

September 2019

8pm  – Comedy and Variety show: Tim Wise is your Host
     David Frost – High Tech Deceptions And Multimedia Magic!
     ET Molgen – Feats Of Delight! (You can’t even imagine!)
     Jeff McBride – “The Art Of Imagination” (1st time on stage!)
     Boob-Zilla – This Might Be “Sword-A-Hard To Swallow!”

9pm  – Will Bradshaw is your Host
     Jimmy Ichihana – From Penn & Teller FOOL US!
     (Jimmy appeared on 2 episodes of FOOL US and he will  
             present his full close up show.)
     Jeff McBride – From Alter Boy to Altered Boy!
     Always something new!

9pm  – At the WONDERBAR
     Brian Apollo
     Kent Axell
     Tim Wise

10pm  –  Stage Extravaganza!  Jeff McBride is your Master of Ceremonies
     ET Molgen –  Leg-Erdamain! Outstanding Juggling With A

     David Frost – Multimedia-Mage, Beyond Imagination!
     Boob-Zilla – She’s A Killa & A Thrilla!
     Xavier Mortimer – The #1 Magician In France Comes To

All the Above Plus:

Photography by Sheryl Garrett. Bar Magic–Brian Apollo, Scott Steelfyre & Maggie, Corey Rubino, Belly Dancers, Psychic Sideshow with Eliza and Morganne–and many more surprises and special celebrity guests.

See you at my birthday bash at WONDERGROUND! for directions and info. OR…

Come visit every Monday night in the Mystery School Monday classroom!

Be inspired,


Like Calls to Like

Dear Friends,

Today our guest writer is Will Bradshaw. Will appeared in our lives about 7 years ago, first as a student, then apprentice…and now he’s so busy with his own performing career and his work for David Copperfield and MagicFlix, that we don’t get to see nearly as much of him as we would like. He has been working directly with our students for the Last 7 years, has consulted for award-winning Vegas magic shows on the Strip, and worked directly for the largest names in the magic world.

As a young and talented magician, “on the rise,” Will has a perspective on our art and profession that may be of special interest to you. Enjoy!

Like Calls to Like
By Will Bradshaw

As I move forward in my career as an entertainer, I find myself pondering more and more often this question: if I had to choose, do I want to be liked or respected.
As a performing artist, I am naturally drawn to the stage out of a desire to be liked. The applause, validation of our peers and mentors, that shake of the hand and hearing “That was incredible.”
I want to be liked… no, more than that I want to be loved and the stage is the place I found that.

However, there is a sinister trap looming beyond the shiny facade of validation, thrown roses, and the standing ovation. When our desire for a wisp of a moment of love is more important than our sense of self, we fall into a place where our art, passions, and lives suffer.

Over the last 5 years I have lived in Las Vegas I have met more and more famous magicians, entertainers, and powerhouses of business–and I have found, time after time, that being respected is more important by far to them than being liked. This is why I think that is.

It comes down to value.

By demanding respect, you are telling the world your Art, your Magic, YOU provide Value. And when you provide value, you are no longer willing to receive less than that value for your services. It takes courage to say, “I provide this much value to you, and for that I require X,” and if the people you are interacting with aren’t willing to provide that, then you are willing to walk because you know what you are doing and what you are worth, and that matters. People will only respect you and your show as much as you do.


So be willing to set boundaries in your show,and ask for what you need. Respect yourself and you will find others will respect you as well, because you will remove those who do not show you respect out of your life.

But how do we show respect for our show? Well these are the things I do to respect my performance; I hope you find them helpful, and if there are more things you think of, reach out to me on the forums. Open the discussion, share your feelings and experiences, because when we start talking about how to show respect, we are more likely to ask for it.

Know what your needs are: I, the performer who crafted the show that the client is about to purchase, and who has performed it hundreds if not thousands of times, know what makes my show work better than someone who is purchasing my services the first time. I know what will make it highly successful, and what will cause it to tank. So ask yourself… what do you need to perform at your BEST–and start from there. Ask yourself…

  • How much space do you need?
  • Does your performance work better on a stage, if so, how high?
  • Do you need a Mic?
  • If performing for birthdays, does your show work better before or after cake?
  • Do you need a space to set up?

The list goes on and on. Asking yourself these questions and having the answers WRITTEN DOWN is the first step in being treated with respect. All these items won’t be available for each show, but by starting with what will make your show the best and working down from there, instead of fighting for every scrap of help, you will get more respect because you are fighting for the best show possible. Know the difference between what you NEED, and what you would LIKE. Being willing to ask for what you need, and being willing to turn down a gig if it is not given, will mean you are performing at your best, and will give yourself that edge that will move your show to the next level.

Treat your props/Venue well: This is the idea of giving respect to get respect. If you treat the world around you with respect people learn that that is the type of behavior that is appropriate when dealing with you. The same works in reverse. When you arrive at the venue and your costume looks trashed and your props are falling apart, you’re telling the world that you don’t give your show respect, so you will be less likely to receive it. In addition, if you leave junk around backstage, make messes, and don’t have a way to make cleanup easy, you show the person hiring you that you don’t respect them, and suddenly you will no longer get called to perform there again.

Arrive on time/Deal honestly: This is the same giving of respect to get respect as above, but much more direct in action. When you arrive on time you are telling the people who are meeting you that you respect their time, and time is ultimately the most valuable resource we have. Dealing honestly and directly with the people you interact with shows that you are not trying to pull a fast one over them,and that you desire clear communication. The best way to get it is to give it.

We all crave being liked–the applause, the “Thank you so much”–but getting that is a trade for performing at your best. In spaces where your work is sub-par, if you lack respect for your show and yourself, you will eventually drain yourself, and that will lead to unsatisfying gig after unsatisfying gig–and ultimately an unsatisfactory life. So go out and get respect, because each and every one of you deserve it.

Ten Ways to Become Famous in Magic


Ok, the title of this article SHOULD read “How to be a Success in Magic,” but I think people often confuse the two! Take the following steps, and hopefully, you will become both famous and successful! 

1.     Do 1,000 shows!

That is what Lance Burton says it takes to become a fine magician. After 1,000 shows, the audience and your director (yes, get a director) will have helped you to shape your show into world class entertainment. Lance Burton has done 25,000 shows and Copperfield has done 30,000. How many have you done? So, when you finish reading this, go do some shows! Don’t expect to be able to “become a magic legend” if you don’t have a fantastic act!
2.     Create original magic with a unique character.
My pal Rudy Coby says that if you can perform great magic, the next step is to create and add original magic presentations or touches to your show. You also need to find a unique and memorable persona. Look at all the leaders in our field… each has a style of magic that they are excellent in, or that they innovated, plus they have a look and presentation style that is different from anybody else’s. I combined my love for martial arts and masks with my stage magic. That combination was part of my success! Now it is YOUR turn to combine your unique passion with your magic. Let me know if I can help you find your mojo. All you need to do is drop me an email and I’m here to help!
3.     Win a competition.
Lance Burton, Greg Frewin, Shawn Farquhar and many of the world’s top magicians started as competitors in local, regional, national and international conventions. Top agents, bookers, and TV shows are looking for the new talent, and contests give you a goal to become your best. Even America’s Got Talent and FOOL US are both competition shows.

Teller presenting Jeff McBride with the coveted FOOL US award

4.     Open a magic theater in your local market.

Build a name in your local market. Be a big fish in a small pond! More and more magicians are opening their own local magic theater venues. Rick Wilcox, Danny Archer, Joe & Carol Givan, and Maxwell Blade are just a few of the dozens of magicians who now own and operate their own theaters. Others like Steve Cohen and Professor Phelyx partner with established venues to host their shows.

5.     Get on TV.

Build your name and brand on a national or international scale. More and more TV shows are featuring magicians. FOOL US, Masters of Illusion, America’s Got Talent, etc. How do you get on? PERSISTENCE! You must have a great act that fits the needs of the show. Be persistent in tracking down the booker. Make it a priority in your life and go for it! I did my first magic television show in the late 1970’s. I was on a national game show called “What’s My Line!” and many other talk shows.  I auditioned for the talent scouts looking for talented young teens. That show was the first of dozens I’ve done around the world. One TV show will lead to another! If I can do this, you can do it, too!

6.     YouTube, Facebook & Instagram

Many bookers are now selecting performers by the number of followers they have. Magicians like Rick Lax, Justin Flom, Paul Vu, and Chris Ramsay have found social media to be a great way to share their magic with fans around the world.


7.     Become an expert in a niche area of magic.

If you do the work and become known for having excellent information in an area of magic, better than anyone else, you can become the “go-to person” for rare magic information. It could be history, technique, presentation or philosophy, but there is a demand for magic expertise, consulting, and training.

Take a look at what I do in my ‘spare time!”


8.     Write a book.

Some of the great magicians in history have left us amazing books filled with ideas and inspiration. What of your magic will you contribute to the magic community? Many magicians have built international fame with their books and writings, including performers like Juan Tamariz, Tommy Wonder, Eugene Burger, and Dr. Larry Hass.

You can also write for magic journals. There are many online magic magazines and also Genii, M.U.M., The Linking Ring, MagicSeen, and other “pulp and ink” magazines that need great articles and effects each month. Writing and contributing is how many people generate a name in the magic world. It is astonishing how many great magicians have contributed to our magazines: Sam Sharpe, Max Maven, Jim Steinmeyer, Jonathan Pendragon, and so many more… 

AND, if you write for magazines you can compile a “best of” book and release it in print or as a PDF. That is how I created my book THE SHOW DOCTOR, just one magazine article at a time. It took years, and coaching from Eugene and Abigail, but I was persistent!

9.     Tell a great story
The person who has the best story wins!
Your life, your magic, your art, and your legacy all will be told as a story one day. You must be the one in charge of the narrative! Not just onstage, but offstage, as well. All the parts of your life will be in this story – the challenges, setbacks, loves, deaths, losses, and  triumphs.
You are the master and creator of this story. What will you create to be remembered by?
10.     Teach award winning students!
I have accomplished all of the above steps, so teaching is what I love to do now! I love working with inspired students; young and old. Now it is their turn to go out and do the 1,000 shows, get on TV, win competitions, write books, become famous and successful, and blaze new trails in our industry.
Following are a few magical success stories.

Jeff with one of his award winning students – Michael Trixx

Michael Trixx: Rock & Roll Magic Star
I work with Michael Trixx every month via Skype. Trixx is now an award-winning magician after starting relatively late in life. After a successful career in music, Trixx got into magic at 25 years old. Trixx says, “I never knew about magic conventions or clubs or anything, then one day I watched a magic show, and saw Jeff McBride’s Magic and Mystery School and signed up for the 7-day Master Class.”
“Jeff brought my show from “OK” to award winning. When I returned home I started winning competitions! I was hired by major corporations and headlining.  IT WAS THE BEST MOVE I EVER MADE! Since then, I’ve been performing 6 nights a week in the upper Florida Keys for 20 years!! I do that for 9-10 months a year.”

I’ve continued to attend Master Classes in Vegas.
I catch Jeff on the road sometimes and attend his Jeff McBride Experiences whenever I can. I still Skype with Jeff once a month to work on new ideas, career goals and to get his advice on moving forward!
Jeff McBride’s Magic and Mystery School has helped build my career, and that’s how I’ve built an amazing six- figure a year schedule in the Florida Keys! Follow your dreams, make it happen, and study with JEFF MCBRIDE!!” 
Learn more about Michael Trixx by CLICKING HERE
Star Watch!
My friends and students Anca & Lucca will revolutionize the art of mind-reading in our time!

Anca & Lucca appear on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us! They have just been confirmed for Monday, the 19th of August, 2019

Click the image above to see Anca & Lucca’s FISM performance

If you meet Anca and Lucca in person, you notice right away that they are more than just a mind-reading couple. They complement and challenge each other all the time, and you can almost see how the sparks fly between the two of them. “We have a very passionate love for each other and for the art of entertainment, intertwining in our mental magic performances.”
A Magical Love Story
What makes their theatre show The Mind-Reading Revolution unique is the fact that their own love story is told through their illusions. Thus, the audience members find themselves in the middle of a romance, while the two artists perform some of the most difficult mental magic tricks that can be seen anywhere in the world. Anca and Lucca continuously push themselves to improve their methods, with the goal of making the illusions as amazing and inexplicable as possible. They never use pre-arrangements, electronics or secret helpers, and guarantee this with their notarized $1,000,000 pledge.
The current FISM Vice-World Champions of Mental Magic (Italy, 2015 & South Korea, 2018), and FISM European Champions of Mental Magic will be broadcast on Penn & Teller’s TV Show “Fool Us” on Monday, the 19th August 2019. This will be their first TV appearance in America.
Magic in Las Vegas
Jeff & Abigail’s 18th Wedding Anniversary show!
Come celebrate with us! August 15th, 2019.

8pm –  Comedy Magic & Variety Show
     Tim Wise – Your Master of Ceremonies
     Jeff McBride – Sin, Greed & Religion-A true story!
     Mz. Charlamay – Puts a Twist on Contortion
     David Shareef – Min- melting Marvels
     Michael Valladares – Pantomime Prestidigitation

9pm  – Close -up, Parlor and Strolling Shows
     Will Bradshaw – Your Host for the Show
     David Shareef – Magic and Mental Mysteries

THE WONDERBAR – Bar Magic & Close up Show
     Jeff McBride – the Man with The World’s Fastest Hands
     Tim Wise – Bar Magician from The Magic Castle

10pm  – Stage Extravaganza
     Jeff McBride & New World Rhythmatism Dancers
     Jeff McBride & Abigail – Your Master of Ceremonies
     Mz Charlamay – Balance Beyond Belief!
     Michael Valladares: Wordless Wonders

All the above plus:

Photography by Sheryl Garrett. Strolling magic Magnus Mythos, Jordan Rooks, Scott Steelfyre & Maggie, Corey Rubino, New World Rythmatism Belly Dancers,
Psychic Sideshow with Eliza and Morganne– and many more surprises and special celebrity guests.

See you in Vegas at Mystery School, on TV or on the road.


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