Eugene’s Legacy

Eugene’s Legacy

Lawrence Hass, Ph.D., Associate Dean

As I write this, the sunny heat of August has become the cool air and vibrant colors of late September. It is a refreshing time—the threshold of my favorite season.

And this year early autumn brings something extra to my spirit: profound appreciation for our recently departed friend, Eugene Burger. For me, the shock of his death (in early August) has passed. The deep pain of personal loss is lessening. What is in my heart, above all, are the gifts and memories, the joy of having known him.

What I would like to do in this Museletter is put some of this joy into words by expressing my sense of Eugene’s legacy. Or to be precise, his legacies, because I believe there are (at least) five truly special, distinctive gifts Eugene left for us and for magicians of the future. You might have others to add, but at this time here are the ones on my mind. Eugene gave us:

A Legacy of Excellent Magic

From the very beginning, Eugene’s vision was to perform magic that had great impact upon his audiences, and he achieved this quality over and over again. He was a world-class performer, especially in the area of close-up magic. He achieved this through a highly disciplined approach to preparation and delivery: impeccable taste in material, rigorous practice and rehearsal, no empty patter-blather, and not inflicting his magic on people until it was really ready. As Eugene taught, “When you finally think you are ready to perform something for people . . . wait another month.

A Legacy of Friendship

Part of Eugene’s distinctive magic is that he made everyone feel special and connected to him. He sincerely liked nearly everyone he met, and one of his super-powers was his ability to put people in contact who needed to meet or know one another. Further, Eugene created countless opportunities for many magicians, young and old alike. In his later years, he passionately talked and taught about this aspect of his great success in terms of David Devant’s saying (and poster), “All Done by Kindness.”

A Legacy of Simplicity

Eugene lived with Zen simplicity and clarity. His apartment was lean and clean. Material things came into his life and passed out of them, usually as gifts to others. His clothing was simple and elegant. All his performing material fit in his carry-on luggage. (When I once asked how he managed this, he said, “Larry, remember: everything weighs something.”) Eugene avoided gossip, conflict, and ego struggle. He was keenly centered “in the moment,” present and aware. When difficulties emerged, he communicated quickly and directly, going for the win-win. Yet those encounters were rare because Eugene had genuine compassion for other people’s perspectives and foibles.

A Legacy of Words

Eugene left us with an incredible literature: books, essays, columns, and video blogs—in great quantity and of exceptional quality. He was one of the bestselling magic authors of the past thirty years, and his writings were, and continue to be, utterly transformational for magicians. Now that Eugene has died, most of us find ourselves going back to his words. To guide you to some of my favorite writings, allow me to recommend my P-E-P Talk from the 2016 Magic and Meaning Conference titled “Eugene Burger: Hidden Treasures.” Since the time of that presentation I have discovered an additional one for that list: “Notes on the Metaphysics of Magic,” the penultimate chapter of Strange Ceremonies.

Eugene Teaching

A Legacy of Teaching

Eugene was a beloved teacher—a master teacher of magic. He has students all over the world, including some of the most famous names in magic. But also, starting in 1991 he worked closely and continually with Jeff McBride to found, develop, and build the Magic & Mystery School, now in its twenty-sixth year. Eugene was absolutely devoted to the School’s mission: to advance the art of magic by working with students through kindness (not cruelty) and by encouraging their personal self-expression. Indeed, Eugene’s perpetual question for all of his students was: “What do you want your magic to be?” The good news is that he left us one final book on this very topic, Teaching Magic: A Book for Students and Teachers of the Art, which will be released on October 23rd by my Theory and Art of Magic Press.

Teaching Magic

Eugene Burger: what a remarkable person he was! How lucky we are to have known him! And rest assured: the McBride Magic & Mystery School is plunging forward in the direction Eugene helped define—making changes to adapt to his loss and making many plans for new growth.

Eugene wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Magic Teacher Schools Penn & Teller!

For Immediate Release

Contact:Tobias Beckwith

(415) 889-9491

Magic Teacher Schools Penn & Teller!

Las Vegas – September 8, 2017:  Last night on the CW, while becoming only the 8th performer of this season’s Fool Us to actually fool Penn & Teller, master magic teacher Jeff McBride told the pair that, “Magic is not always a puzzle to be solved, but sometimes a mystery to be experienced.” McBride proceeded to fool them completely with one of his signature pieces, known as “Rainmaker,” which conveys the story of a mysterious unseen force that causes two metal bowls to fill and refill with seemingly endless amounts of water.

McBride is a teacher of the art of magic and has been wowing Las Vegas audiences since he first appeared at Caesar’s Palace with Diana Ross back in the 1980’s. He became one of Las Vegas’ youngest stars when he headlined Le Bal de Moulin Rouge Revue at The Las Vegas Hilton when he was only 25. McBride headlined Caesars Magical Empire, and for the past 9 years has hosted his own magic nightclub, Jeff McBride’s WONDERGROUND in Las Vegas.

McBride’s Magic & Mystery School was founded in 1991. The school is a “Real life Hogwarts” that teaches stage magic and close up magic to hundreds of professional magicians from all around the world. Students include A.G.T. winner Mat Franco. Designated “the world’s most prestigious magic school,” by BBC TV, McBride’s School is a major influence on the art of magic around the world.

Most recently, McBride has returned from a two-month, 5-city tour of China with his Las Vegas Magic Stars show, conceived and produced in concert with illusionist Greg Gleason. The show is scheduled to return to touring early in 2018.

What’s next for McBride? “At this point, I’m focusing mostly on our magic school and bringing quality magic to audiences who wouldn’t otherwise receive it. I’ve been strongly inspired by my late teacher (and Dean of our School for 26 years), Eugene Burger. Eugene said, ‘The enchantments of magic point beyond mere illusion to the Great Mystery of life, the eternal transformation of life, death and rebirth.’”

# # # # #

Millions of viewers around the world witnessed Jeff McBride on Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us“. Were they fooled? You bet they were! Now, magic lovers around the world are wondering where and how they can study with Jeff to learn his wonderful magic.

Remember our last Museletter? We told you all about:

The McBride Masterpiece Series

More info here:

And about

“Jeff McBride’s Inner Circle Mentoring”

If you’re ready to really take your magic to the next level, contact Abigail to schedule your sessions now.

Important: Please contact Abigail ( to get scheduled for your sessions, or with any questions.

Also: Please note that we have 3 or 4 spots left for this year’s Magic & Meaning Conference. We’ve recently spent quite a lot of time and effort planning the details of the conference, and it promises to be something really special. If you’ve already signed up, do make sure you’ve also reserved your hotel room. Our discount rate is only good until September 22.

The Biggest Magic Party in Las Vegas – 3 Nonstop shows, one night only!

WONDERGROUND September 21st, 2017

7:30pm     Allen Scott will do tarot readings in the “art area” before and after the close-up shows by Kent Axell, Will Bradshaw, Tim Shegitz, Jeff McBride, and Ryan Brown

8:00pm     Tim Wise is your MC

Jose Herrara – Amazing Illusions

Tim Shegitz – Magic & Comedy

Jeff McBride – Always a Wonder to Remember

Kent Axell – Magic & the Mind

Will Bradshaw – Street Magic Sensations

Krystal Lawrence – Femme Fatal

Ryan Brown – Lord and Master of the Rings!


Krystal Lawrence – Close up

Jeff McBride – The Magical Medicine Show

Steelfyre – Die-namic Dice-ceptions

Kent Axell – Magic and Mind reading

10:00pm     Jeff McBride is your MC

Tim Wise – The Host with the Magical Most

Jose Herrara – Exotic Illusion

CG Ryche – Drummagic!

Allen Abbott – Faster than your eye!

Will Bradshaw – Moonlight on The Moulin Rouge

Ryan Brown – Card Manipulation Supreme!

PLUS:  Photography by Sheryl Garrett, Bar Magic with Zack Pattee, Scott Steelfyre, Corey Rubino, Taylor Lloyd, New World Rhythmatism Belly Dancers, Guest Belly Dance Stars, Psychic Sideshow with Alan Scott, live art with Areeya – and many more surprises and special celebrity guests

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to seeing you at Wonderground, on Monday Night Mysteries, or at one of our events here in Las Vegas soon!

Best wishes for a magical September.


Jeff McBride

Get In Your Own Lane

Dear Friends:

Late Breaking News! Jeff McBride is hotter than ever. Just back from a tour of China and Peru, now he will be featured on the top two magic shows on TV during the next two weeks. Don’t miss him tonight (Sept. 1) on Masters of Illusion on the CW network, and then again next week (Sept. 7) on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us, also on CW. Check your local listings for exact times. These are memorable performances you won’t want to miss! Please help us spread the word.

Jeff - Masters and Fool Us

This week’s article is from our friend Bryce Kuhlman, an amazing serial entrepreneur in his own right, and wizard of all things digital for the Magic & Mystery School. Enjoy his words of wisdom!


From Bryce:

I remember years ago…

A friend called and asked if I wanted to take over the online sales and fulfillment for a big celebrity (CDs, DVDs and so on). I’ve been in eCommerce for over 20 years and have helped build many successful companies. But, my expertise has always been in the online part… creating and optimizing the systems, digital delivery, increasing revenue and conversion rate, etc.

Now I was being asked to build a fulfillment house. We’re not talking a few boxes in a closet, and a couple of trips to the post office every week. They were sending hundreds of boxes a day. That meant warehouses, inventory management and unskilled labor.

I was tempted by the challenge.

But I also knew it was pretty far outside my wheelhouse, and was going to take a lot of work… and not the fun kind.

So I did what I would always do when I had a big decision to make:

I called Eugene.

He answered my question by posing one of his own:

“Is that the business you want to be in?”

I only had to think for a second before responding “not really!”

That was 15 years ago and I still ask myself that question on a regular basis.

So many people that strike out on their own think they have to do it all themselves.

“Chief cook and bottle washer,” as the saying goes.

And magicians seem to be some of the worst. They try to be performer, graphic designer, marketer, prop builder, director, etc., etc., etc.

One of my business partners has this great saying: “Get in your own lane and stay there!”

I’ve added to it:

“… and surround yourself with others who are going in the same direction, but in their own lanes.”


There was a time, not too long ago, when it was hard to find people to help. Even if you lived in a decent-sized city, the Yellow Pages wasn’t exactly user friendly. And, even if you did find people with expertise in other areas, how could you know if they were going to be a good fit for your specific needs?

Those days are gone.

We now have entire communities of people that legitimately want to help (and can deliver the goods).

So I urge you to take a hard look at all the things you’re doing and ask yourself a few questions:

  • Am I really good at this?
  • Do I LOVE doing it?
  • Is there someone else out there that does love doing it?

We all have TO DO lists.

I want you to create a TO DON’T list.

Then reach out. Ask your colleagues and mentors.

Ask us. I’ve been involved in The Magic & Mystery School for over 25 years. Many of the things I’ve accomplished in life would not have been possible without the support, and connections, that have come from this amazing community we’ve built.

Pick up the phone. Send that email.

Do what you love and partner with people who love what they do.

“Anything is possible – if you dare to ask!”

The Aladdin Factor” by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, authors of the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series

Heads Exploded! Minds Blown!

You haven’t seen it yet, but in the next week or two, it will happen on TV.

Jeff McBride performed his famous “Rainmaker” piece on “Fool Us” for Penn & Teller.

Millions of viewers around the world witnessed Jeff McBride on Penn & Teller’s “Fool Us“. Were they fooled? You’ll have to watch to find out. Now, magic lovers around the world are wondering where and how they can study with Jeff to learn his wonderful magic.

The McBride Masterpiece Series

Masterpiece Series

More info here:

A personal note from Jeff:

Many people from around the world just can’t get to Las Vegas, so I created a new program to help those who really need expert magic training. I call it:

“Jeff McBride’s Inner Circle Mentoring”

This is a one-on-one class. I am only accepting a few students, like you, who are reading this now.

It will be just you and me, working on your ideas, visions, routines, business needs, career and dreams.

We will focus on setting your goals, and on to ways reach them.

Here is the basic info, and below is a list of the areas we can work on.

Due to a very full schedule, I am only accepting a small number of students into my Inner Circle at this time

New Skype Mentoring Sessions: Take a look at  Victor’s testimonial!

If you are just joining my Inner Circle now, and are ready to really take your magic to the next level, contact Abigail to schedule your sessions.

We will be starting up again in September.

Important: Please contact Abigail ( to get scheduled for your sessions, or with any questions.

We are thrilled to be part of your success, and one of our greatest joys is to help you grow in the art of magic.

We hope to hear from you soon.

The 3 C's of Life

3 steps to YOUR new life

Do you really want to live your magic dream life? I can make this easy for you!


Watch this TED talk on the “5 second rule” by Mel Robbins. This is the short version.. you might want to watch extended versions.

TED Talk - Mel Robbins


Go here and choose the VERY BEST class for you… yes, you can do this!


Last step: Go here and fill out the scholarship application form and send it in!

The next step is up to you… I’ve opened a path to the heart of my magic and invite you to join us!

Jeff, Abigail and all your friends at McBride’s Magic & Mystery School 

Las Vegas Magician of the Month:


From the moment he takes the stage, it is obvious to see why Mondre has been called one of the smoothest practitioners of the Art of Magic.

Mondre is the first and only African-American Magician to win the prestigious Grand Prix Magiques de Monte Carlo, an invitation-only magic competition sponsored by Prince Albert and the Royal Family of Monaco.  In addition to this historic winning, he is also the winner of The Siegfried And Roy Bronze Lion’s Head Award.


His performance is sure to excite, delight and mystify the senses. Mondre….A Truly Magical Artist For The Ages! See Mondre live in action at the August WONDERGROUND.

Wonderground - Faverty Photo


This is our greatest night of the year

The day after Magic Live.

The “Glitterati” and “Celebutants” of Las Vegas will all be here…

…so we have planned ahead, made MORE space for guests, expanded our room, and have our BEST line up of the year!



7:30 PM   Strolling magic with the entire cast:  

Payne, Henry, Klause, RJ & Tim

Jaysin and Nikki Nightengale will be greeting and giving out wristbands. Thank you for your support!

8:00 PM   The Comedy Magic & Variety Shpw 

Abigail McBride is your MC

Jarol Martin – Illumination

Master Payne – Master of Mirth and Mystery

Henry Vargas – Direct from Brazil

Scott Land – The Puppet Man

Mondre – Extraordinary magic with the Ultimate Cool!

9:00 PM    Vegas Magic – Close Up & Strolling

Alberto Lorenzo

Henry Vargas

Taylor Lloyd


Master Payne

Tim Wise

10:00 PM   The Stage Extravaganza

Tim Wise is your MC

Klause – Tango Trickery

Master Payne –  Marvels & Mayhem

Tim Wise – A Man on Fire

Henry Vargas – Award Winning Enchantments

Scott Land – The Puppet Master

RJ Cantu – The Laser Man of Illusion

PLUS:  Photography by Sheryl Garrett, Bar Magic with Zack Pattee, Scott Steelfyre, Corey Rubino, Taylor Lloyd, New World Rhythmatism Belly Dancers, Guest Belly Dance Stars, Psychic Sideshow with Alan Scott, live art with Areeya – and many more surprises and special celebrity guests

The Bottom Line:

Setting Goals

take the next step:

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