It’s Not What You Know

It’s Not What You Know

Greetings and Happy New Year! Tobias, here, writing from Silicon Valley, where I continue to learn more and more about new ways of doing business. I’m almost finished with the new book, currently entitled Money is the Best Applause: A Wizard’s Guide to Business and Marketing for the Independent Performer. If you have suggestions for a better title, please drop me a line.

In the meantime, I thought you might enjoy reading a selection from the book. This part is all about building relationships. Building great relationships is one of the keys to having a business that thrives, instead of one that is always struggling. Here’s the excerpt:

It’s who you know
The famous comedy pianist Victor Borge once pulled one of my clients over during a week on a cruise ship.  “You’re very talented, son. I want to give you a piece of advice about this business.  I’ve been in show business for over 70 years, and this is the most important thing I’ve learned.  Always remember – it’s not what you know.  It’s who you know.  Now…go be successful.”

Who knows you?
Good advice, as far as it goes. Jeffrey Gitomer, the famous writer on salesmanship and marketing (if you don’t have his books, get them, or just look him up online and sign up for his weekly newsletter), in his Little Black Book of Connections, takes the statement one crucial step further:  “It’s not who you know. It’s who knows YOU!”

Although it does do you some good to know lots of people – to know who they are and how to reach them – it’s infinitely more productive to have lots of people know you and think well of you. The more true friends you have, the richer your life will be, both financially and in human terms. This chapter teaches you to build and nurture relationships.

What have you done for them lately?
It’s one thing to have acquaintances. But you want acquaintances who want to do things for you. By and large, those are people for who you’ve done something – and within recent memory. Our subconscious minds function on the principal of reciprocity – the idea that if you do a favor for me, I owe you one in return.  My subconscious isn’t particularly happy until I’ve returned that favor. More on this later.

6 degrees
Have you ever had a friend tell you about one of their friends, in glowing terms?  Maybe they just want you to know about their friend…they’re claiming bragging rights.  Perhaps they want to ask a favor for their friend – would you put in a good word with your boss when their friend comes in for an interview? This is the power of expanding a network through degrees of separation. You don’t know their friend, but you do know and like them, so you’re willing to do something for their friend. There’s a theory that none of us are more than 6 connections away from anyone. Want to reach the CEO of YouTube?  You know someone who knows someone who knows someone…who knows her.  Maybe you can use that connection to get an introduction.

The more good direct connections you have, the more people you can find using shorter routes to the people you want to connect with.

Who do you need to know?
So – who are the people you need to know and to have know you? Let’s have a look.

Your Team Members

You certainly need full contact information for your team members. You need to be able to reach them by phone, e-mail, and probably their snail mail addresses in order to send them documents, payments, etc. You may also need to visit some of your team regularly.

It’s a good idea to also track down and get information from potential future team members. Do you want to get the William Morris Agency on your team? Start by finding out how to contact them!

Potential Clients

Potential clients will most likely make up the bulk of your contact list info. You’ll want to know how to reach them, how to track what they’re doing, and as much information as you can about each of them.

Direct Clients
Direct clients are those who hire you directly. The Mom hiring you for a birthday party is a direct client.  They’re terrific, and since they’re the ones you ultimately must satisfy, they’re very important to you.  However, if you have to interface directly with every potential direct client yourself, you’ll waste a lot more of your time marketing and trying to get booked than if you use Arms’ Length clients.

Arm’s Length Clients

An “arm’s length” client is an event producer, agent, or someone else who will book your show to lots of other clients. I highly recommend using them, and cultivating great relationships with as many of them as you can. They will do the lion’s share of your marketing work for you. Sure, they’ll take their cut – but if they take 25% and double your overall take, who cares? They’re worth it.

It’s much easier to handle a close relationship with 10 event planners than with 500 direct clients, believe me!  What’s more, these are professionals trained over hundreds of events each year. Where most direct clients might throw 3 or 4 events a year, the event planner has the experience of hundreds.  Which one do you think will know the business of putting on the best event, and will know how to deal with you in a more professional manner?  Which one do you think is more likely to hire you a second or third time if they have a good experience with you?

Past Clients

Past clients are likely to be your best source of future work.  You want to collect as much information about them as possible.  If you’ve been hired by a company, who within that company was responsible?  How do you reach them?  What are the names of their support team (secretary, receptionist, assistant, partner…)?  Do they have families?  What are their names?


You want to be able to send information to local journalists who might provide you with publicity.  This could be in the form of their newspaper columns, mentions on radio or TV news, interviews, blog mentions…whatever.  Seek them out, figure out how you can reach them, and start making friends! Keep all of your media contacts in a list that you can use again and again when you send out press releases.

Fans can be a big part of your team.  Someone who has loved one of your shows in the past will recommend you to their companies, bosses, spouses…in short, to others who can hire you. Nurturing a “fan” base can pay off in a big way.  A few years ago, Criss Angel opened his show at the Luxor in Las Vegas to almost universally bad reviews. However – the show had advance sales of over $5 million, made up mostly of Criss’s fans from his TV show! The show survived and thrived, and that gave Criss the chance to build the excellent show he now performs. Whether you’re working birthday parties, corporate events, or selling tickets for your shows in theatres, your fans will form the biggest basis of support for your work.

Create a newsletter, create social media pages and other ways where they can talk about you. Respond to their posts whenever you can. Your relationship with your fans is probably the greatest asset your business can have. Nurture them!

That’s it. I’m hoping the book will be finished by the end of March, and available for sale sometime in April. I will keep you posted here with regard to its progress.

And, speaking of progress, we have quite a bit of that to report!

From all reports, our team had a great time and won rave reviews all around for their performances two weeks ago at The Magic Castle. A special highlight of the week was a program Eugene Burger: A Celebration of Life on Wednesday afternoon  –  it turns out the rest of the magic community loved him just as much as we did!

Since returning to Las Vegas, Jeff and Abbi hosted our first ever “Magic for Beginners” session, which was a great success. On the final day of the class, students were joined by one of our first official corporate tours of the Magic & Mystery School. The executives were treated to stage and parlor performances, and a tour of the great room, library, movement studio and backyard stage  –  and they all even learned some simple magic tricks they can use in future presentations and social situations.

All that is in the past, though. Let’s look forward!

The Master Class in Deal (in the U.K.) is nearly sold out. If you were thinking of attending, now is the time to register!

There will, of course, be additional events while Jeff and Larry are in the U.K. as well… including a show at the Astor Theater in Deal with special guests (, an event honoring Eugene Burger at The Magic Circle, conventions in Ireland and Scotland… and more!

Something special, recently added

Immediately after the tour in the U.K., Jeff will be going on for a special 3-day event in Belgium, hosted by our friend Alexis Brouard. Three days of classes, and it’s already half-filled only a couple of weeks after we opened registrations. Jeff will be teaching lots of new material at this workshop, so even if you’ve attended one of his classes before, this is not to be missed! Learn more and sign up now:

Special note regarding the class in Belgium: There was an early-bird discount, which ended on January 30. However, just for the readers of this Museletter – send an email to before Feb 15 and you’ll get a chance to get that early-bird discount. Be sure and mention that you read about it here. I suggest you do it now!

So… that’s at least some of our news from the Magic & Mystery School. We’ll have lots more for you mid-month, but I think this particularly Museletter is already long enough! We’ll see you again in two weeks.
Best wishes.


Tobias Beckwith

Learn the Secret Formula of Master Magicians

Read the secret formulas below… they can help YOU think and create like a magician!

Ok, let’s start by looking at this playful little map below. It looks very simple, but is actually a formula for making BIG magic.

Innovation & Magical Creativity
We magicians have an impossible job! We have to appear to break the laws of nature on a daily basis… Now you can learn to solve your challenges like a master magician!

Do you know the difference between Creativity & Imagination?
YIKES!  Recently I was schooled by one of the great thinkers in our business…. It was a bit embarrassing, but here is the story.

I was giving a keynote speech at a recent conference on “Magic & the Mind.” After my talk, I met a fascinating man named James, who shared his thoughts on this topic.

James said, “Imagination, in its purest definition, can be like an undisciplined, unfocused wild child that molds and forms ideas, pictures, images or concepts. Depending on the focus, the outcome could be productive or unproductive, fear or love, motivational or stifling. Creativity is the harnessing, conscious, disciplined focus and application of the imagination to form original ideas, a vision, a product, an outcome especially in, but not limited to, artistic work.”

At that time I did not even know who I was really speaking to… then I realized I was talking to one of the leaders in the world of “thinking!” I was talking to creativity expert James Mapes!

James Mapes  is the best-selling author of Quantum Leap Thinking, which is a great book I’ve been reading for the past few weeks. There are some amazing ideas there to inspire your creativity!

Watch a TED talk of James Mapes in action. (Let me know if anything happens to you when he brings out the magic lemon!)

Study and read the work of the masters, and get a mentor!
Here are 2 ways we can help you live your dream.



Tobias just gave me a new book called, Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss.

Here is a free taste of the book… and a free audio book!

Innovative Illusions and How We Created the Magic Trick of the Year.

We Hate to Even Call It a “Trick”.
This is our all time best selling magic item. Professionals around the world are using this in their shows… this is the 2nd effect in my stage show! Take a look:

Jeff’s version of this classic effect is a solidly onstruccted routine, guaranteed to bowl you over with fun, entertainment and magic. – Levent

Now you can get the “Best Ever Knots off Silk,” so YOU can delight your friends and audiences.

This is one of the great models of creativity.

Brennan’s Hierarchy of Imagination:

McBride Magic World Tour News:

The Magic Castle Hollywood

Euro-Tour 2018
The Dean of the McBride Magic & Mystery School, Larry Hass, and I will tour Europe this spring. We have created a very special tribute to our first Dean’s life, magic & memory. We are calling it…( drum roll please!)

“The Eugene Burger Legacy Tour.”

Find out more about the Eugene Burger Legacy Fund here:

The UK TOUR  will kick off in the spring. The time is now to book your class here in Vegas or in the UK

The Las Vegas Magic Cabaret & Showcase 

Photo Credit: Sheryl A. Garrett

Jan 18th 2018
8pm – MC’s Shocker and Bizzaro!
Liz del Sol – The Feminine Mystic
David Groves – Direct from the Magic Castle
Jordan Rooks – A Surprise Inside the Magic
Dyno Staats – Steam Punk Magic

9pm – The Shocker host close-up and strolling magic shows
Dyno Staats – It’s SCIENCE!
David Groves – Master of Deception
Bizzaro – For him, “normal” is just a setting on the dryer!
Steelfyre- Performs his world-famous dice act at the Wonder-bar

10pm – Show Extravaganza
Your Masters of Ceremony are Shocker and Bizzaro
Bizzaro – The Name Says It All
Jordan Rooks – Poetic Mystery
Shocker – Power Punch Magic
Liz del Sol – Midnight Magic
Swingshift Sideshow – Freak’in Awesome Stunts

PLUS:  Photography by Sheryl Garrett. Bar Magic with Zack Pattee, Scott Steelfyre, Corey Rubino, Taylor Lloyd, Sudaa Nar Fire Tribe Belly Dancers, Psychic Sideshow with Alan Scott, live art with Areeya – and many more surprises and special celebrity guests

 The Final Muse Inspiration for Today.

We are always here to help inspire your creativity! Please just call us at the school, we would love to connect with you 702-450-0021

See you in Vegas or on TV!

Jeff & Abigail

Can Magic Heal Our Wounds?

Dear Friends:


This is Jeff, writing from the high seas:





I did not accomplish everything I wanted last year!

Guess what? Neither did you!

So what are we going to do?


Cry? Give up?


No! Be Persistent!


Let me tell you a short story:


Ray was middle-aged. He said he was ‘over the hill’ at 52 years old.


Ray was a poor milkshake salesman, but he had a vision of a more empowered life, and in just a few years he became one of the wealthiest men in the world. How?


When asked what it took to manifest his billion-dollar empire, Ray Kroc said the most important quality a person could have was (drum roll, please)…





Let us define persistence.


Persistence:  A firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition

                                   –Oxford English Dictionary


…and best when tempered by patience!


I might not be the world’s most famous magician… but I am persistent!

And, I can teach you a few things about that. My joy is in helping you get your dream life on track — and our team is here to empower your goals.


We live in a world of distractions – the thousand little things that pull us away from the goals we set in life. Cell phones and social media addiction, too much information, and endless amounts of work, work, work — that leave little time for what we love — and it is not going to stop unless you change and get help!


Pain Points


Ouch! Some projects and goals just hit a dead end! I hate that. Ouch!


When I am blocked, overwhelmed, or need help to focus on realizing my goals, I get professional help! You can too…and you deserve the best.


Tobias reminded me recently that we must often do the things we don’t like to do, in order to get to the things we love! Tobias calls the things we hate “pain points.” Our job at Mystery School is to help you move through and minimize as much of the pain as possible, and realize your goals.




One of the things I’ve learned is to be very patient with myself and our team. Our visions often take many years before they “take off.”  For example, here are a few of our projects that took many, many years to become successful:

It took almost 25 years for the Magic & Mystery School to become the leading magic school in the world…we are PERSISTENT.


WONDERGROUND is now celebrating a 10 year anniversary…..good things take time..we are PATIENT. now has over 400 hours of programming for you… creating a new 1 hour plus show for you every week…we are COMMITTED!



A Real Fairy Tale – Really!

Once a young lady came to our school with a BIG dream of being a world traveling professional magician. She had one major challenge: she was a beginner and had limited magic skills at that time! But she kept at it and enrolled in many of our classes. She learned her magic history, learned the classics, met top teachers, practiced, rehearsed, and built her own original show. This process took her many years. But she was patient and persistent. She was daring enough to enter a major magic competition in Las Vegas, and won a $5,000.00 top prize at the World Magic Seminar! She became an ‘overnight sensation’ after 15 years of work! Now she has a full evening show, travels the world on luxury cruise ships and often performs her show for the British Royalty… her name is Romany the Diva of Magic.


Romany is our poster girl for patience and persistence!



Romany is now one of the top magicians in the UK! You can see her onstage with us in our new show in the UK this April.


To purchase tickets for our shows at the Astor Theatre in Deal in the UK, CLICK HERE.


So my friends, if you have a dream, stick with it.


No matter how skilled

No matter young or old

No matter if you are rich or poor!

If you are patient & persistent, you will accomplish your dream!



I wish you good health… but remember, as I’ve been reminded too many time over this past year, you are not going to live forever!


What are YOUR goals for this year?


Do you have a show you are working on? A new routine you need an outside eye to look at?

Are you trying to book more shows? How can I (or our team) help you this year! 


I am hosting Skype classes and they are a fun and effective way for us to work together, especially if you can’t make it to Vegas for one of our live classes. Just e-mail me and we can talk about the next step… or just say hello, I love hearing back from you! I’m always available at:


Talk soon,


Jeff McBride


My Show From Hell

My first shows were disasters! 

I really wish I had heard Eugene Burger’s wise words when I was starting magic! 

I had many challenges. I was not very skilled. I was self-taught. I lived in the sticks and I had no local magic shop, no real professional books, and videos, and DVD’s would not even be on the market for years!

All I really had was my overwhelming passion for learning magic… I tried, and I often failed!

My show from hell #1

Crash! Splash and broken glass!

I often TRY to forget that show. My 5th grade elementary school show back in 1971. I made lots of mistakes. My milk pitcher fell off the table and cracked open, splashing milk and broken glass all over the front rows. Then the feather flowers got stuck in my sleeve. Ouch! The show was a disaster –but it was a start!  Here are a few words that helped me heal that awful memory.

You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

Zig Ziglar

Photo Credit: Sheryl A. Garrett

Taking your first steps in Magic? Let us show you the way.

Perhaps you love magic but have never taken a class or even performed before.

We are holding a class just for you! Magic for Beginners, from Jan. 23-25.

This class is the place to go for an in-depth introduction to the art of magic. Taught by the some of the world’s most respected magicians and magic teachers, participants will witness extraordinary magic, learn how to perform astonishing magic that is right for their skill level, and learn about the fascinating principles that make magic fun and exciting.

You do not have to be a performer to attend this class; it is designed for people who love magic, and who want to take their knowledge and appreciation of the art to a deeper level. 


The card trick that changed my life 

The fact is that one card trick did change my life! I will never forget the 1st card trick I learned. It set my mind on FIRE!

Over the years, I worked on this effect and refined it, and it is now a feature in my full close-up show. You can learn it here:

The History, Mystery and Magic of Tarot Cards

Tarot Cards hold a timeless mystique.  Regardless of whether you’ve been doing readings for ages or are brand new to this fascinating world, this class is perfect for all those with an interest in cards, card magic and card readings.

Our modern-day deck of playing cards has a fascinating origin. Many say that modern-day cards came from the mysterious beginnings of the tarot.  Some say they are a mystic oracle, and a book of ancient wisdom handed down through the ages.

Tarot cards are beautiful, magical objects filled with powerful and mysterious symbols. One thing we know for sure is cards of all styles are imaginative, fun and highly entertaining.

Study with us here:

Magic routine of the year!

Many of you saw my Rainmaker on “FOOL US” with Penn & Teller.

I will be sharing the secrets to this original effect with just a few students this year.

So reserve your spot now at:

Winter Training in Las Vegas

Here’s a perfect way to warm up your body and soul… with magic!

Take a vacation day (or six) and join one of our amazing training events. These are among our newest and most popular offerings. Let us host you in Las Vegas
We are delighted to help you plan your Las Vegas Vacation  

If you have any questions about our events please call Abigail at 702-450-0021

MAGIC CASTLE – Hollywood

I’ll be at the Magic Castle from Jan 15th- 21st 2018, and I’m told all the dinner reservations are sold out. You must be a member of The Magic Castle to get into this show.

United Kingdom Tour: April 2018

Join Larry Hass and me for our only Master classes the UK in 2018. For info

Photo Credit: Richard Faverty

WONDERGROUND 10 Year Anniversary!

That’s a looooong run in “Las Vegas years!”
Yes! 10 years running EVERY month!
Thursday December 21st, 2017
3 Great Shows!  One Night Only! Never to be repeated!
8pm – Your MC is  Abigail  McBride 
     Steve Owens - Extraordinary Manipulations
     Lion Fludd - Comedy with a magic touch
     Fr Daniel Rolland - The Priest-tidigitator
     Charlie Mount & Chloe - Magical Musings
     Elliott Hitchcock - International Man of Mystery

9pm Close – Up Magic – Will Bradshaw is your MC

     Elliott Hitchcock

     Charlie Mount

     Fr Daniel Rolland

     Scott Steelfyre & Lion Fludd at the WONDERBAR

10pm - Tim Wise is your MC
     Will Bradshaw - Holiday Hocus Pocus
     Steve Owens - Shadow-Magic
     Tim Wise - the Magical Game Show!
     Charlie Mount & Chloe - Makers of the Impossible
     Chris Randall -  The Championship Act

Stay happy and warm this winter… and if you want to be really happy and warm, come visit us in Las Vegas!  See you here in town, online, or on the road!

Jeff and Abigail 

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