“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?
“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?”
IT IS TIME TO TURN THOSE VOICES OFF!
“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.”
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.
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 www.mcbridemagic.tv.
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
The Halls of Magic
Jay Scott Berry
Dr Solar’s Medicine show
9 PM – Host: Christian Diamond
10 PM – Host: Jeff McBride
The Halls of Magic
Jay Scott Berry
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!
Dear Friends & Colleagues:
Any month that begins with a few words of wisdom from our Dean, the inimitable Eugene Burger, is, in my estimation, a month that is full of promise.
CREATION AND DESTRUCTION
My living room window faces the Three Arts Club of Chicago. Designed in 1912 by John Holabird, of the Holabird and Roche architecture firm, it is an imposing building in the Byzantine style which surrounds a lovely outdoor courtyard. The original mission of the Three Arts Club was to provide support and residence for young women coming to the city to study the three arts: music, painting and drama. The last resident left in 2003 and the building has been empty since then.
Various proposals of what to do with this structure have come and gone over the years. Of the proposals, my favorite was turning the building into a columbarium to hold the urns containing the ashes of the dead. Not surprisingly, I was very positive about this idea and felt real disappointment when it fell by the wayside.
The building is now under a major multi-million dollar renovation with the expectation that it will be finished by the Summer of 2015.
Last week, a huge banner, dozens of yards long and about eight or nine feet high, was put up on the side of the building. The side that faces my apartment. On the banner, in letters that are at least two feet high, there is a quote attributed to Pablo Picasso:
“Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”
Below that, in slightly smaller letters is the invitation:
“See what destruction hath wrought Summer 2015”
I expect that these signs will be facing my apartment until the project is completed this coming Summer. Happily, I will be traveling and out of the city for almost all of this time. Traveling does have its benefits.
For the past week, viewing this sign each morning, I began to wonder: Is every act of creation “first of all an act of destruction”? It’s a fascinating question, don’t you think?
In the stories of India (which, by the way, have literally taken me around the world), Brahma is the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer who destroys so Brahma might create again.
I don’t know about “every” act of creation but, certainly, many acts of creation involve acts of destruction. Imagine, for example, that I do want to create something, create something of value — perhaps create the presentation for a magic trick. Imagine that I have a piece of magic that has been ready to perform for some time except that I really don’t have any sort of presentation for it that pleases me. In short, I am stuck.
What do I need to “destroy” if I want to succeed in my creation of this magic presentation? What am I willing to sacrifice?
The answer might be any number of things. It all depends upon me.
I may need to destroy the amount of time I spend on the Internet.
I may need to destroy the amount of time I spend watching television.
I may need to destroy the amount of time I spend reading.
And, perhaps most painful for many of us, I may need to destroy the amount of time I spend with friends.
There are many, many things I may need to “destroy” if I am to reach my goal.
And this brings us to what I have always thought was a deep paradox of human existence:
I want change but I don’t want to do anything differently!
Or, to put it the another way: I want things to be different but I don’t want to change anything major in my life.
And the truth seems to be that none of us can have it both ways. If I truly want to create something of value with my magic, if I want change, then I must be willing to begin doing some things in my life differently! Perhaps I need to look with new eyes at how I “spend” my time.
Perhaps it really is that simple.
So tomorrow morning when I wake up and look out my window and see that large sign with Pablo Picasso’s message, perhaps I won’t be so negative about it. Perhaps I will realize that the message is there not only for those who pass down the street but also, and perhaps especially, just for me!
If people knew how hard I had to work to gain my mastery, it would not seem so wonderful at all.”
— Michelangelo Buonarroti
What does it take to be called a ” Master”
In the following paragraphs, you will learn a few techniques and philosophies we have worked with to create our magical art. One of the secrets is having a team of “masters”– people who are friends, mentors and inspirational advisors — honest friends and colleagues who will point out our “blind spots” and tell us the truth.
When we listen to experts, we accelerate our ability to break out of old habits and take risks.
Please look at the clip of my recent TV show… then I’ll share a few secrets that successful magicians use to make the impossible possible! You will then be able to take these secrets* and apply them to your work!
Television Series News
You may have seen me last week on Masters of Illusion on the CW network.
If not, here is the clip!
The Secret to Creating Entertaining Magic
When I develop a new routine, I focus on how many “layers” the new work has. I try to combine many different skills into my pieces so they are textured and multi-dimensional. Here is a list of some of “the ingredients” I used to cook up “The BRAVO Bowl Routine”. The ingredients include:
As I continue to learn and grow, my new routines have more dimensions than just “script and trick.”
I encourage you to “add just one more layer” to your magic routines in development. What could you add to a magic routine you already do to give it more texture? What personal skill, talent, passion or quirk could make your next magic routine even more “multi-leveled”?
You can learn more about innovative techniques on how to create innovative magic on my “Squeak Technique” DVD. Here’s the trailer for that:
The Kabuki Shaman is Back!
Just a week or so back, Abbi and I traveled to Los Angeles and taped a few more pieces for the next season of Masters of Illusion. This year, Abbi does her own solo spot on the show! We’ll let you know air dates just as soon as they are set.
Here is a photo of me on the set.
Funny Clip of the Month
Is this guy really psychic? What do you think?
New free episodes are online and waiting for you. If you are inspired by our MuseLetter, you will love what we are doing online: 24 hour-a-day magical inspiration and philosophical conversation by the world’s leading magic teachers.
My Burning Man friend and astrologer Rob Brezny reminded me that author, John Creasey struggled in his early efforts at getting published. For a time he had to support himself with jobs as a salesman and clerk. Before his first book was published, he had gathered 743 rejection slips. Eventually, though, he broke through and achieved monumental success. He wrote more than 550 novels, several of which were made into movies. He won two prestigious awards and sold 80 million books. I’m not promising that your own frustrations will ultimately pave the way for a prodigious triumph like his, but in the coming months, I do expect significant progress toward a gritty accomplishment. For best results, work for your own satisfaction more than for the approval of others.
Thank you Rob… I love your books especially PRONOIA! This is the book I have gifted more than most any book ever!
“It took me a lifetime.”— Pablo Picasso
Video of the Month
If you feel stuck, or are looking to break into the next level, be kind to yourself and watch this and get some courage!
Ira Glass tells it like he sees it, and hits the nail on the head!
“The secret for mastery is concentration; the success of concentration is in elimination. Avoid everything in general and focus one thing in particular. You will be a master!” — Israelmore Ayivor
Life Lessons, written by a 90 year old
1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick, your friends & family will.
5. Don’t buy stuff you don’t need.
6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.
7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. Save for things that matter.
9. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
10. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
11. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
13. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
14. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.
15. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.
16. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
17. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
18. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
19. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
20. The most important sex organ is the brain.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
22. Frame every disaster with these words, ‘In five years, will this matter?’
23. Always choose Life.
24. Forgive but don’t forget.
25. What other people think of you is none of your business.
26. Time heals almost everything. Give Time time.
27. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
28. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
29. Believe in miracles.
31. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
32. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
33. All that truly matters in the end is that you are loved.
34. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
35. If we threw all our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.
36. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have, not what you think
37. The best is yet to come…
38. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up
Las Vegas Magic News
WONDERGROUND, February 19TH — A talent packed one of-a-kind extravaganza. It happens only once.. Never to be repeated!
Jeff onstage at WONDERGROUND this month!
WONDERGROUND is the Biggest Magic Party in Las Vegas! – Thursday, February 19th — all info at www.vegaswonderground.com 7pm – Jeff will be performing NEW close up magic and gifting Psychic readings
8pm- Comedy Stage magic with Host Tim Wise
Jimmy Fingers- Illusionistic-Innovations
“Anannta” -The Global Villiage Idiot
Jeff McBride- Teaches a few new illusions
Tim Shegitz- The elegant and funny fooler
9pm- Parlor magic with Host Christian Diamond
Jim Vines- Award winning Close up magic
Jeff McBride- a few new mysteries
Master Payne- Mojo beyond imagination!
Mat Vizio- Cabaret wonders
10pm- Stage show & variety extravaganza! With
your Host Jeff McBride
Neils Duinker- One of the world’s finest jugglers
Zamora -The Torture King- HE feels NO PAIN!
YOU will be Shocked & Amazed!
Chris Randall – Back from China with
Kyle & Mistie Knight- Direct from TV’s
Live DJ, NWR Dancers, Live art, Strolling magic and The Psychic Sideshow!
JEFF AND ABBI BACKSTAGE AT MASTERS OF ILLUSION tv show
Check my tour schedule for shows near you! Until next time, I’ll see you on TV, on tour or in Vegas, Baby!
“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that many people enter into a relationship in order to get something: they’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.”
Our guest columnist this month is our good friend and the Associate Dean of the Magic & Mystery School, Dr. Larry Hass. I know you’ll enjoy what follows!
From Lawrence Hass, Ph.D.
A Fundamental Secret
In my early years as a performer, I would focus on these kinds of things before a show:
—Are my props set?
—Are my pockets loaded?
—How full is the House?
—Are my hands and voice warmed up?
—Is the “mic” going to work?
—What can I do about these “butterflies”?
Obviously, they are all important. But somewhere along the line I woke up to the fact that there was something much better to focus on backstage. I realized a deep truth about performing that I want to share with you this month:
The fundamental business of every magic show is relationship building.
I can’t think of a better topic for this February Museletter. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, this is a time when we focus attention on the relationships in our lives. The classic image on the Rider-Smith Two of Cups expresses the spirit of the season: contact, mutual recognition, health (the caduceus), and heart (notice the shapes at the top of the caduceus and between the cups).
These four qualities are essential in our personal relationships, but what I woke up to many years ago was that some version of them are required for our audience relationships. With these qualities in mind, here are the kinds of questions I now ask myself before a show.
Contact: How will I greet the audience? Will I remember to look people in the eyes? Will I include the entire audience with my gaze? Will I smile and convey that I am delighted to be with them? Of course, more dramatic or theatrical openings are often desirable, but in any show (unlike an act) there will be a time and a place for contact. What will be the quality of my contact, whenever it happens?
Mutual Recognition: Will I really see and engage individuals in the audience or only perceive a wall of faces? Am I trapped in stock lines that feel inauthentic? Will I let others “shine”, or will it all be about me all the time? Do I think of the encounter as a contest or battle of wits, for applause, for control? Will I recognize what this particular audience as a whole is giving me so I can “dial things up or down” as needed?
Health: Is the show I am planning to deliver an enriching one? Will the audience members leave feeling charged, inspired, touched, thoughtful, astonished? Or will they be relatively bored, disaffected, underwhelmed? Would the producer hire me again? Would other people in the audience feel like they want to share me with their family, friends, clients, customers, co-workers, or attendees? As I have learned from Eugene Burger, “Work must make work.” If my shows aren’t generating more shows, there might be something unhealthy going on.
Heart: Where is the heart in my show? So much magic and mentalism focuses on intellect: “give me a number,” “think of a card,” “remember the conditions,” “follow the procedure,” “consider this idea.” That’s fine, but laypeople go to art and pay for art because it activates deep feelings and allows for their exploration. So which piece or pieces in my show perform this function? Also, will I have the courage to share my heart as I create and perform, or will I hide it?
In short, what I realized years ago was that there won’t be much of a magic show at all unless I work consciously before the show, and once I take the stage to create and build an excellent relationship with the people who are there. That’s the bedrock condition, the fundamental “business” that allows everything else to flow: applause, astonishment, delight . . . and further performing opportunities!