Wisdom of the Master

Kung Fu, the TV series, was all the rage when I was in middle school. Watching that show, I imagined myself studying under the direction of a great master. Little did I know that years later I would actually meet my own Zen master, Eugene Burger, and then create a mystery school!

Seems like the show Kung Fu is playing out in my real everyday life!

We all need someone to help us along the path, who can call us on our procrastination or give us a wake-up call! Good friends and mentors can do that!

Photo Credit: Richard Faverty

Poetry Corner:

Two Mystery School Haikus by D.R.

Arcana and lore
Secrets in a hidden room
Find the sliding door


Seekers of knowledge
Magic and mystery school
A goal for many.

Now you have the opportunity to study many of Eugene’s most prized and private performance pieces in the new book, Eugene Burger: From Beyond. In 2010, Eugene asked Dr. Larry Hass to write and oversee two books that would include all of his unpublished material (routines, essays, talks, interviews, and scripts). Working closely with Eugene right up to his death, Eugene Burger: From Beyond is the first of these books, and it includes all of Eugene’s unpublished parlor magic, stage magic, and spirit theater. The book is now available for purchase from Larry at: https://www.TheoryandArtofMagic.com.

Secret Shows

One of the best kept secrets in Vegas is that there are numerous private party shows that the public and magic community never hear about. (OK, on Facebook there were a few mentions.)

Last week I had the pleasure of being on a special show that was the creation of my visionary friend Stephane Vanel.

On the show Stephane performed with Lance Burton, Shin Lim, Amazing Jonathan, Rocco, Will Bradshaw, Kent Axell, and me! The event was hosted by WONDERGROUND’S Tim Wise. Now there’s a cast!

QUIZ: “Can you name all the performers in this photo?”

I love performing at private events, so if you want to have me at your events in 2020, please contact my friend and manager Tobias Beckwith: tobias@yourmagic.com

McBride’s Magic & Mystery School All-Star Show at Mindvention–This conference is one of the world’s largest gatherings of mind readers and mystery entertainers. Our school rocked the house this night! Thanks to everyone for such a great opening night show. Here’s the cast list:

Lawrence Hass, Jeff McBride, Kabir Khan, Victor Castañeda, Gene Franklin Smith, and Ross Johnson.

If you are planning to attend the
I’ll be hosting two very special classes just before and after the convention:

Did you love magic as a child and are just getting back into magic? Many of the world’s top magicians started late in life. The important thing is to get you started and learning in the best way! 

The BEST way to learn magic = Live Personal Instruction
The BEST place to learn magic = Las Vegas Magic Capital of the World  

Imagine yourself receiving hands-on personal instruction from some of the top experts in the world of magic…now you can. Join us for a few days of magic, fun and wonder!

Start your magic year off the correct way — Learn from the best teachers in the world. Our small group method gives you hands-on instruction and practical information.

Jeff McBride is one of the world’s most experienced magic teachers. Jeff has helped start the careers of thousands of magicians around the world. He can help you learn the tricks and techniques that you will use for a lifetime!

  • Learn how simple and invisible props can make you look like a master.
  • Learn the effective way to practice, rehearse and perform. 
  • Learn the right way to perform sleight of hand magic at your skill level.
  • Learn what to do if something “goes wrong” and how to cover it.
  • Learn how to connect and make people smile with your magic.
  • You will also learn “The BIG 10” techniques of magic and illusion. 
  1. Vanish
  2. Appearance    
  3. Levitation/Animation     
  4. Multiplication
  5. Indestructibility/Restoration
  6. Sympathetic Reaction
  7. Transposition
  8. Transformation
  9. Memory & Rapid Calculation
  10. Mind Reading/Mind Control

Join our class here: 


You are invited to the biggest magic party in Las Vegas!
3 great DIFFERENT shows…
ONE night only! Never to be repeated!

November 21st, 2019

8pm     Comedy Magic Show
     Tim Wise is your host
     Michael Mirth – Cryptic Conjurations
     Louie Foxx – MagiComedy
     Professor Phelyx – Enchanting Mind Reading
     Derek Selinger – From P&T’s FOOL US
     Ryan Brown – Mysterious Manipulations

9pm     Close Up, Parlor & Strolling Magic
     Will Bradshaw is your host
     Michael Mirth Opens his Cabinet of Wonders
     Louie Foxx – Funtastic Magi-Comedy
     Derek Selinger – Canada’s Famous Mystery Man
     Civi Civiac – Continental Conjurations
     Professor Phelyx – Enchanting Encounters
     Zack Patee at the WONDERBAR

10pm   Variety Stage Extravaganza!
     Ryan Brown – Rising Star of magic
     Louie Foxx – Comedic Deceptions
     Civi Civiac – Continental Conjurations
     Niels Duinker – Gravity Defying Skills
     Derek Selinger – Magic from the Shadows

All the Above Plus:

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

Abigail and I are looking forward to hosting you at the McBride House of Mystery, so when you visit Las Vegas, know that you can always come over for a class or event. There is always something new and amazing happening here! Just drop us an email at Jeff@mcbridemagic.com.

Be inspired!

Jeff and Abigail

P.S. Just one more haiku by D.R.

Behind the white beard
Wisdom, humor, and knowledge
A naughty Santa.

Eugene Burger’s Secret Project

Eugene Burger’s Secret Project
By Larry Hass, Ph.D. the Dean of McBride’s Magic & Mystery School

This November is a truly special time for our Magic & Mystery School community.

That’s because November 10th is the release date for Eugene Burger: From Beyond—the first of two books that Eugene planned in order to share his most carefully guarded and previously unpublished material.

Design Credit: Stina Henslee
Photo Credit: Michael Caplan

How this book came to be is a remarkable story, and I am delighted to share a brief version of it with you here.

In February 2010, Eugene called to ask if I would be willing to write and publish a book (it was only one book at that time) that would share and teach all of his unpublished routines. Without pausing for even a breath, I said “Absolutely!”

Eugene did, however, have two firm conditions. The first one was that the book would not appear until after he had passed away, because, “Larry, people are still paying me to perform this material!” (insert his booming laugh). I certainly agreed to that, believing and hoping it would be many years away.

Eugene’s second condition was that I couldn’t tell anyone about it, I mean no one—except for my wife Marjorie, who was also a dear friend of Eugene’s. Eugene said this strict silence around the project was so that he didn’t have to keep answering questions about it for the rest of his life, which I understood completely and also agreed to.

And so Eugene’s top-secret project was off and running. During that call, I told him I would go through all my notes and get back to him with a list of his unpublished materials. Indeed, as a scholar I had been keeping careful records of everything related to Eugene’s work from the beginning of our friendship in 1994. Eugene not only knew I was doing so, he actively encouraged it. As he said, that way he didn’t have to keep track of everything!

When I got back to Eugene a few weeks later, he was astonished to learn that he had over fifty unpublished items—routines, essays, interviews, scripts, public presentations, items that had not appeared before in one of his books or on one of his videos. Instantly Eugene knew there needed to be two books, and he gave me their exact titles: Eugene Burger: From Beyond and Eugene Burger: Final Secrets. Eugene named a price, we drew up a detailed agreement, I wrote the check, and now the work would begin!

In July of 2010, I flew to Chicago for three full days of learning and videoing all of Eugene’s unpublished secrets. I understood what I was being entrusted with, so I arrived ready to go: with lots of questions, plenty of notepaper, and multiple back-ups for all the video. During those unforgettable days, Eugene was wonderful. He was completely unambivalent about explaining these routines – a number of which were his most favorite pieces that he had guarded carefully from the beginning of his career. He expressed many times how important it was to him that there would be a complete record of all his magical creations.

Between then and his death in August of 2017, Eugene and I worked regularly on the books. We frequently discussed the organization and contents of the books, and he approved every chapter I sent to him for review. We had several additional video sessions as he created new routines. And, every month or so I would receive a package in the mail from him with artifacts or memorabilia from his career that he thought I might want for my files.

Indeed, Eugene was actively involved in this work of protecting his legacy, and he took great pleasure in the thought that magicians everywhere would learn his deepest secrets after he was gone—that these materials would arrive from beyond.

And so, after ten years of secret labor, Book One, Eugene Burger: From Beyond, will be released on November 10. (Book Two will be released in July of 2021.) It shares sixteen of Eugene’s unpublished parlor, stand-up, and spirit theater routines, including his legendary spirit slates. It also contains a long chapter that finally, for the first time, shares all of Eugene’s work, scripts, handling, and secrets for his signature effect, “Gypsy Thread.” In addition, Eugene Burger: From Beyond provides access to thirteen video performances of this material by Eugene and two audio performances. The book also includes rare photos, essays, scripts, interviews, and public presentations. It is a treasure trove of Eugene!

Although we don’t typically stress sales in our Museletters, Eugene was such an important person to our community that we don’t want anyone to miss out. You can purchase your copy of the book by going to www.TheoryandArtofMagic.com. It will be mailed to arrive in your hands on or around November 10th—its official release date.

By way of closing, let me say how honored I am to have been asked by Eugene to shepherd these materials into your hands. Eugene really wanted us to have these secrets – to know how he did it. A big part of it was Eugene’s deepest sensibilities as a teacher. But, it was also because in so many ways the world-wide community of magicians was Eugene’s family.

The book is here; the time has arrived. I am so excited for you to hold this book in your hands: Eugene Burger: From Beyond!

Photo Credit: Richard Faverty

The Key That Opens Any Lock



One of the greatest magicians of the 20th century was Harry Houdini. His escapes were symbols of hope and freedom — a reminder to us all that the human spirit cannot be chained. I remember Houdini’s quote above whenever I feel trapped or at a dead end.

“My mind is the key that sets me free!”

We all have the keys within us. 

Spooky Facts:

Harry Houdini died on Halloween, 1926. Every year, even to this day, seances are held around the world to contact his spirit. Seances are a unique form of theater.  

Our beloved Eugene Burger was a master of this rare form of spirit theater magic. 

Now Eugene is on “the other side of the veil,” and perhaps seance mediums will invoke his spirit at the seance table… I’m sure Eugene would amuse, startle and delight the sitters in the darkened parlor room… I can hear his wonderful heartwarming laughter right now. Can you?

Keeping the Tradition of Spirit Theater Alive

We just finished a mysterious weekend workshop of Seance & Sprit Theater here at Mystery School. Seance Master John Ferrentino held us spellbound as he manifested sprits from beyond the grave. 

Our mission at Mystery School is to explore all branches of the magical arts and help turn our students into great performers! Perhaps one of our new students – maybe you – will become the next Houdini!

How Do Magical People Celebrate Halloween?

FOR THE PAST 20 YEARS, Abigail and I have met up with 300 new and old friends and gone out to the middle of the desert for an all-night drum and dance ceremony called BONEDANCE! This is a Samhain/Halloween celebration – an alchemical fire circle ritual of drumming, dance, voice and sound. We honor the ancestors, the turning of the wheel, the balance of shadow and light, and journeying through the darkness into the beauty of the morning. Fueled by magic and led by mystery, Desert Moon Circle will present the opening for our Circle, and this magic is not to be missed!

We love to drum and dance and make magic around the bonfire. Every year we host BONEDANCE, an all-night dance in the Nevada desert

How Do Witches and Wizards Celebrate Halloween?


Thursday October 31st, 2019

8:00 PM – 11 PM @ The Olive, 3850 E Sunset, Las Vegas, NV 89120 * Phone: (702) 451-8805

Don your masks and finery as we ride the sonic waves. Shake out the cobwebs, and see who takes the prize at the costume contest! This is a special community co-creative art installation.

With DJ Mystery, the New World Rhythmatism Featured Dancers, Spiral Dance and Community Ritual, Interactive art, Costume Contest for awesome prizes, the Mystery School Magicians, The Psychic Sideshow, big surprises and much more! Creative and festive costumes and masks are wholeheartedly encouraged but not required.

Go here to learn more:

“Never before has so much magic content been available in one place for people to learn and enjoy magic for such a low price.”

– Jeff McBride

MY NEW PROJECT… is really happening!

And I want you to help me test this new platform:

It is AMAZING! Over 600 videos and growing!

Take a look at this astonishing video!

MAGICFLIX is collecting the proven masters, and at the same time, we are cultivating the up-and-coming young magicians that are innovators, and are creating new magic for new generations. 

A Special Gift for You!

The team gave me a private promo code for my friends. You get 1 month free of charge! 

Go to MAGICFLIX.COM, register, and put in the code   MCBRIDE

Las Vegas Magic News

The Las Vegas Magic Stars will be touring in 2020. Shows in the USA, as well as a China tour are in the planning stages. 

Mat Franco’s show continues to sell out at THE LINQ. Mat mentioned to me that he has many new items in his notebooks just waiting for the green light to get to the stage!

Kevin Lepine opens his new show called “Seance” at Binion’s Casino:  https://vegasseance.com/   

Tommy Wind will open his new show at the OYO hotel and Casino. We wish Tommy the best of luck! 

Penn & Teller’s FOOL US is renewed for another season. This show is a “career maker” for many magicians willing and able to take a shot at mystifying the masters…. good luck guys!

Congratulations are in order for one of the world’s top magical entertainers, Gazzo! Gazzo has a new residency in Las Vegas. He will tell us all about it at WONDERGROUND!

Wonderground News

The BIGGEST MAGIC PARTY in Las Vegas just got better– 3 great shows – never to be repeated!

More info at: www.vegaswonderground.com

October 2019

8pm — Tim Wise is your Host
     Iam Creed – Lights up the night!
     Eric Stevens – Curator of Unusual Moments
     Jay Jay – He Can Steal your heart!
     David Frost – Tech-No-Magic!
     Luna Shimada – Feminine Mystique

9pm – Close-up Theater
     Will Bradshaw- is your host
     Eric Stevens Close Up Curator of Unusual Moments at The WonderBar

     Special One-Man Show!
     GAZZO- Living Legend of magic! 

10pm — Jeff McBride is your Master of Ceremonies
     Luna Shimada – Dynamic Dynasty 
     Bizzaro – Direct from Spain!
     Jay Jay – You’ve not seen him yet!
     David Frost – Grand Illusions

All the above plus: 

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

I hope to see you over at the MAGICFLIX.com site, at one of my shows in Vegas, or on the road!

Be inspired,


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 http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events#602, 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

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