Today’s musings are contributed by Abigail McBride. Enjoy!

Greetings Magical Friends,

I’m not here to try to sell you anything, or to try to make you believe in anything, or to convince you of anything at all. I’m just here, with you, right now, in a state of presence, of paying attention and being aware. I’m allowing myself the gift of uni-tasking, just doing one thing, and right now. That one thing is reaching out to all of you, to each of you, to say what a wonder each one of you truly is.

By some amazing coincidence, your ancestors encountered each other, and through a dance of chance and genetics, through the ages and across the world, you came to be here now, alive, breathing, and with a mind that is sharp enough to make sense of squiggles on a screen.

Somehow, life brought you into connection with us – an uncle pulled a coin from your ear; an aunt gave you a Golden Book of Magic; you saw a magician do something mind-boggling on TV – and the desire for magic came into your life… and somehow, over time, that led you to us, to be here, now, reading these words. What a wonder!

The Master, Eugene Burger, often spoke of there being “fellowship across differences” in the House of Magic with many rooms, and I continue to be delighted that, regardless of religious background (or lack thereof), of political alignment (or apathy towards), of style of magic we perform (or don’t), we are all here together, in good company, in the shared enjoyment of magic. What a gift to be part of this community, to be connected to so many (almost 15,000 of us) reading this, now.

Sometimes, I am floored with gratitude.

I hope to see you all soon, either here at the Magic & Mystery School, or online in our virtual school, or at our monthly Wonderground show.  Until then, know that I am here, part of your circle, and happy to be connected.

Wishing you the very best of everything,



Finding Your Path to Mystery

Finding Your Path to Mystery

Do you remain “teachable?”

I’m so glad I made the decision years ago to seek out mentors! It has been a blessing to have been coached by Larry Hass, Tobias Beckwith, and of course our Master mentor, Eugene Burger. I can’t imagine what my life would be without these amazing teachers!

All I can do with this is to hope to “pass it forward,” perhaps to you!

Who is your mentor? If you don’t have one–you need one!

Why You Need a Mentor

  • A mentor keeps you focused and on your career track.
  • A mentor can cut YEARS off your learning curve
  • A mentor gives you creative and emotional support in challenging times.
  • A mentor can bring out the very best in YOU
  • A mentor believes in YOU and your vision.
  • But wait! There’s more!


Where Can You Find a Mentor?

If you are a magician and you want to find a mentor, here are a few suggestions.

  1. Your local Magic club.

There are hundreds of Magic clubs worldwide. I.B.M., S.A.M. and many other local magic clubs exist in just about every city in the world. Members of these clubs have years of magic experience to share with you.

  1. Mystery School Online Classroom

You can join us in our online classroom and interact and discuss magic. One recent training session featured Losander, teaching levitation systems for close-up and stage. Many of our members and faculty also teach magic and encourage and mentor the students in our online classroom. Go take a look at www.mcbridemagic.tv


3.   Skype Mentoring What will supercharge
your magic performance & business?

“No matter what your level of experience, these sessions are the best 100 dollars you will spend in magic.” – Victor Benoun

4.    The Residency

If you would like personal training at our school in Vegas we can set up private classes for you. We also have a new residency program with 1, 2 or 3 days and evenings of one-on-one training. Whatever you want to explore and learn, we have the team to take your magic to the next level.

So come to Las Vegas and train with me personally for as many days as you desire, anytime you want. Call Abigail for more information 702-450-0021.

Wonderground News: April 19, 2018
The Kent Axell & Will Bradshaw Show!

We keep experimenting with new format. And April’s WONDERGROUND will break new ground with a special event and a Las Vegas headline!

Special Event!
Mentalism, Comedy, Drama and Mystery

8pm – Direct from New York City
The Kent Axell & Will Bradshaw – 2 Man show!
     Mentalism, Comedy, Drama and Mystery

9pm – Will Bradshaw is your host
Jordan Rooks – Storytelling Magic
Jungle Josh – Magic with a Twist
Kent Axell –  Mentalism and Magic Direct from NYC

And at the WONDERBAR
Tim Wise – A Magical Game Show
Scott Steelfyre – Die-Namic Skills

10pm  – Tim Wise is Host
Will Bradshaw – Fire-Flower
Allie Sparks – A Passion for Fire
Jordan Rooks – Modern Enchantments
Jungle Josh – Exotic Enchantments
Xavier Mortimer – Wondrous Waters

My hope is that you find your mentor, and that their wisdom and help will make a world of difference in your work, art and life!

Be inspired,

Is Your Magic “Sticky”?

From the Dean, Lawrence Hass, Ph.D.

Is Your Magic “Sticky”?
Longtime readers will know I conclude every calendar year with a reflective “visioning” process, during which I articulate my goals and plans for the new year. As one part of this, I state some commitments for the year ahead, and for 2018, this one was at the top of my list:

Spend more time with sticky art.

I came up with this concept—“sticky art”—last year while watching David Lynch’s extraordinary show, Twin Peaks: The Return. I had enjoyed Twin Peaks when it aired in the early 1990’s, but that was nothing compared to the incredible experience I had while watching The Return from May to September 2017.

It was 18 weekly one-hour episodes—no binging allowed!—and thank heavens for that, because each episode left me thinking, pondering, reflecting for days. Watching this show was an incredibly rich encounter with art—one of the very best I had all last year.

So at the end of 2017, I realized I wanted more of that. I wanted to spend less time and money on superficial, glossy forgettable art-stuff. I wanted to have fewer “potato chips” and less “white bread” in my arts and entertainment diet. I wanted to invest my deeply precious time with entertainment objects that would “stick to my bones.”


I hope by now you are starting to think about entertainments you’ve encountered that have this quality. One good measure of them is that you find yourself thinking or talking about them—not just the next morning, but two days later. Here is a list of some sticky art I have recently experienced:

Films: The Last Jedi and Black Panther (my wife, daughter, and I dined out for days on these films.)

Art exhibits: Jasper Johns (The Broad) and Richard Diebenkorn (SFMOMA)

Graphic novels: Planetary (by Warren Ellis and John Cassidy) and Watchmen (by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons)

Music: David Bowie’s astonishing final album Blackstar

Short stories by Harlan Ellison and Neil Gaiman

I understand, of course, that what’s sticky for me might not be so for you. As with most aesthetic things, they are inflected with personal interests and tastes. Even so, I believe there are certain qualities all these entertainments share, and I suspect you’ll find at least some of the following qualities in the items on your list.

  1. Again, these objects are sticky as opposed to slick, superficial, or glossy. They are memorable two days later rather than being bubble-gum forgettable.
  2. They are thought-rich rather than thought-poor. That is, a palpable amount of thinking and artistic decision-making went into their creation. You can feel and tell that the artist(s) thought about every detail.
  3. Sticky art objects are also fecund as opposed to barren—they are more like a tropical jungle than a desert. They inspire energized thoughts and conversations. Essential to this is that they don’t give everything up on the first experience. Each of them is what J. J. Abrams has called in one of his TED Talks, “The Mystery Box.”
  4. Also, I have observed that sticky art involves things that are dramatically unexpected, as opposed to “organic” developments or run-of-the-mill, cliché familiarities. (This is part of why A Game of Thrones is so compelling.)

Now, with all this in place, I have a few questions for you. Since we are the Magic & Mystery School, you might consider it homework.
What art works—films, TV programs, fine arts, music, theater shows, comic books, fiction, stand-up comics, architecture—have you found sticky? Spend a little time reflecting on them, and compare them to the list of qualities I just provided. This process will allow you to enjoy them once again, and might give you a richer sense of why.

Next: What pieces of magic or magic shows have you recently experienced that were sticky in this way? (I have a few in my recent experiences, but I don’t want to hijack your process.)

Finally, and perhaps most important of all: since “stickiness” is obviously an extremely fine, powerful quality in entertainment, which pieces of magic in your repertoire have it, or have more of it than others? And can you aim to get more of it in the next piece you create? That is, can you make that routine more memorable, thought-rich, fecund, and unexpected? Can you craft a hooky “mystery box” that will linger for days?

Because I hope by now you see: stickiness isn’t merely an aesthetic quality, it’s also a commercial one.

7 Reasons to Learn Magic as an Adult

Question:  Do I have to be a performing magician to learn magic?

Answer:  Of course not. You just have to love magic!

Greetings magic lovers!

Did you know that most people who love magic do not perform magic? I often have to explain to friends, that, just as with the opera, most of the people who love the performance of magic are not performers themselves…but they have a deep appreciation for the art.

Many of the people that I teach are what I call “magic lovers” or “magic enthusiasts.”

Magic enthusiasts come from all walks of life.

Just in the past few years I have shared my magic lessons with many students of magic who are business people, screen writers, actors, truck drivers, housewives, stay at home dads, politicians, government officials and more – all of whom who love magic as a hobby.

Learning Magic is a great way to enrich your life,


  1. Learning magic increases self-confidence.
  2. Studying the art promotes self-discipline.
  3. Learning how magicians think sharpens your critical thinking skills.
  4. Performing a simple magic illusion can bring great joy to others.
  5. Magic can help us learn to approach people and enhance our socializing skills.
  6. Magic is an international language that transcends cultural boundaries, and a great way to meet people.
  7. People think magic is very hip and cool these days!

One of my students, Ming Da, wrote a great article on the life-enriching qualities that studying magic can add to your life! You might enjoy it: http://mformagic.biz/?p=895

If you are one of those enthusiasts who think you might like to actually learn more about performing, you may want to consider our upcoming Spring Training classes, March 20-25. You can come for just two days, or for all six. Learn more here: http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events – 561
Nick Diffatte – First time on stage at Wonderground
First Eugene Burger Legacy Awards are Announced
We are delighted to announce that the first two Eugene Burger Legacy Award recipients have been announced. They are two of our favorite magicians, Kim Z (Kim Zoller) and Dr. Geoff Grimes.
Created in collaboration with Eugene’s estate, these awards recognize artists who we believe exemplify Eugene’s highest values and qualities as a magician. Winners of the award will forever carry Eugene’s name forward in relation to their own, and they will also receive a merit-based full-tuition scholarship to any class at the McBride Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas.

Donations to the Eugene Burger Legacy Fund can be made by going to www.magicalwisdom.com/eugene.

A Magical Party
This month we are hosting a very special party honoring The Wonderground All-stars!

We will have special events planned for the opening of all the shows!

Experience the Close-up magic of Rocco – One Show Only!
Join us for the biggest magic party in Vegas!
Thursday March 15th, 2018 7:30pm. 3 big shows! All info at www.vegaswonderground.com. Nick Diffatte and Superstars of close up magic Rocco Silano & Allan Ackerman!!!
PLUS an ALL STAR-line up!

Here is the schedule:
7:30 PM  Strolling magic Will Bradshaw, Taylor Lloyd & Allen Scott will do tarot readings

8:00 PM  Comedy Magic & Variety — Your host Tim Wise
Michael Tetro – From Burning Man to Hollywood
Jeff Lockett — Con Man Confidential
Kevin Hall —  The Wild Man of Magic
Nick Diffatte –The New Comedy Star of Vegas!

9:00 PM — Your host is Will Bradshaw
Allan Ackerman — The Las Vegas Card Expert
Michael Tetro – Hollywood’s New Magic Sensation
Kevin Hall — Madcap Mayhem
Rocco — Modern Master of Mystery

10:00 PM  — Your host is Clyde McBride
Sonny Fontana — An Illusion that Is NOT to be Seen!
Kevin Hall — Comedy Magic as Seen on AGT
Michael Tetro – Magic in “Flow-Motion”
Nick Diffatte — The NEW star of Comedy Magic
Jeff McBride  — Toast of the Town!

See the Las Vegas Card Expert in Action.
PLUS:  Photography by Sheryl Garrett. Bar Magic with Zack Pattee. Scott Steelfyre, Corey Rubino, NEW Belly Dancers, Psychic Sideshow with Alan Scott, live art with Areeya – and many more surprises and special celebrity guests!!

We are now preparing for our upcoming classes on tour, online and here in Las Vegas. Please drop us an email and let us know when you plan to visit!

Your friends in magic,

Jeff and Abbi

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