Happy New Year!

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
— Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

Happy New Year

Dear Friends:

As you read this, we are all entering a new year.  It will not be like any year you’ve encountered before. Things will change, and so will you. If this year is anything like the last few, you’ll find things changing at an accelerating rate. So you’ll have some choices to make:  Will you strive to remain the same, and attempt to slow down the change that’s happening around you? Or race forward in an effort to keep up, to go along, to stay with the crowd? I’m hoping many of you will take yet another path:  That you stop, consider, and make the choice to consciously create the changes in yourselves and your world that you feel need to be changed.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.”
— Leo Tolstoy

I’m about to publish my book, The Wizard’s Way, which is a guide to becoming one of those powerful, potent individuals we think of as wizards.  This seems a good time to take a few moments and introduce you to some of the ideas from the book that I think you may find to be of use.

Lest you think I’m speaking of your becoming some old man with a long white beard, wearing a robe and making mystic passes over a cauldron while chanting wild incantations — consider that, while Merlyn & Gandalf are amongst the models I use for what it is to be a wizard, far more interesting and useful are the examples of Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Eve Ensler and Steve Jobs.  In Jobs’ words, these are all individuals who “Made a dent in the universe.”  People who exerted more than their fair share of influence over the changes in our world.

None of these people just found themselves “in the right place at the right time,” which seems to be the conventional wisdom about such things. No, each one made specific choices that led them to become what they were.  Each one did more than just wish to change the world. They took action. And the actions they took all started with themselves.

“There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction.”
— John F. Kennedy

Each one encountered significant pushback from their communities. Each one chalked up as many failures as they did successes. But each one did some things most of us do not.  Each one developed his or her own vision.  Each one educated themselves (note, I do not say “was educated”) and learned to view the world from different perspectives than those around them.  Each worked from a creative, proactive frame of mind, choosing action, even when the path forward was not already clearly laid out.  Each one took personal responsibility for the course of his or her life, and for creating the change they believed they needed to make in their worlds.

So I would ask each one of you:  What are you doing to create the life you want to have – both in magic and in the context of your personal life? Have you taken the time to define your vision? Are you doing things each day that will move you along the path you want to follow in life? Are you seeking out and spending time with the people who can help you educate yourself with the knowledge and skills you really need? Do you waste time complaining, or “waiting for that big break,” — or are taking action to create that big break yourself?

Jeff McBride & George Parker

Two of the more interesting wizards in The Wizard’s Way are people most of you already know:  Jeff McBride and George Parker.  Both have served not only as examples of how true wizards operate in the world, but also as consultants who helped me develop the ideas and techniques taught in the book.  It’s not an accident that both George and Jeff were such large influences in developing my ideas for the book.  In fact, all of the staff:  Jeff, Abbi, Eugene, George, Bryce and Larry Hass have been large contributors.  And each one already walks the wizard’s path.  In fact, it is a large part of the philosophy that governs the directions of the McBride Magic & Mystery School.

You see, we have a common vision.  As we like to say, we’re dedicated to helping to raise the level of magic, one magician at a time.  Each of us encounters hundreds of other magicians in the course of our work, both in performance and in our teaching. We do our best to be the best examples we can of a kind of magic that goes beyond the art of deception, and that redefines the magician’s job as one of creating magical experiences.  Deception is certainly an important tool, but it by no means the only one in the tool kit of an effective magician. That’s why, although we do teach a lot of tricks and deception techniques, we also spend time teaching stage presence, showmanship, story telling, as well as business and marketing techniques for magicians.

For me, at least, this is an important distinction.  The magic that consists only of tricks and illusions is a magic that is light entertainment, at best.  There’s nothing wrong with that.  For me, though, and I think it’s safe to say, for the rest of us at the McBride Magic & Mystery School, magic is a deeper and more important form of art and expression than mere light entertainment.  It is a very special kind of theater, capable of eliciting strong emotion and inspiring real transformation in those who experience it.

Part of our growth as artists, then, comes from a constant questioning. A constant quest, not only for new techniques, but for new kinds of experiences we can create.  A quest to redefine why we do magic, what it means to each of us. Reading books about life outside magic — history, philosophy, novels and science. Because magic is our medium, but life is the subject.

As we enter this new year, we will continue to grow, to evolve, ourselves and the experiences we are able to create with the McBride Magic & Mystery School.  You can help. You can let us know about your ideas for what you would like to see more of.  More live classes in Las Vegas?  More “on the road” events, where we bring our shows and workshops to you?  More online learning? More advanced technique classes, or basic technique classes?  More on the history and philosophy of our art? What subjects are we not covering enough that are important to you? Have you got any brilliant ideas for ways we can expand our impact, how we can be more effective in reaching our stated goals?

Let us know!

And, in the meantime, please accept our best wishes to all of you for a most magical and wonderful new year! These interesting times are sure to continue — but we’re sure you have what it takes to see them as exciting challenges that will help enrich your lives and your art.  We’re excited and grateful to all of you who stay with us, reading the Museletter, attending classes and supporting our efforts.

Thank you, and Happy New Year!

Tobias Beckwith &
All the staff & faculty of the McBride Magic & Mystery School

PS:  If you’ll be in Southern California between January 13-19, don’t miss us in our annual “Magic & Mystery School Week” at the Magic Castle!  Jeff, Abbi, Larry, Bryce, George and Eugene will be joined by Jordan Wright, Michael Carbonaro, Tim Wise and Bill Cook in a special week where we bring our own special brand of magic to Hollywood.

After that, Jeff will be touring in Europe, with a special class in Germany from Feb. 13-19, then the Blackpool Convention in the U.K. Followed by a series of lectures around the UK. Check his calendar at the right for further information.

Gifts of the Magi… Gifts of Wisdom

The gold was their tribute to a King,
The frankincense, with its odor sweet,
Was for the Priest, the Paraclete,
The myrrh for the body’s burying.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Dear Friends:

If you know me well, you know I collect gold – and I love to give it away! Here are a few “golden nuggets” of magical wisdom to ponder as we move towards the new year.

Seven Brilliant Quotes

The secret to my success in life – I attribute to the wisdom of my teachers.

I love giving gifts to my friends and family. (Shhh… and I occasionally get a gift for myself.) One of the reasons I hosted the first Mystery School 24 years ago is that I wanted to share the gifts of magic with my close friends… (and it was also a gift for myself!)

I invited the world’s foremost philosopher on the art of magic, Eugene Burger, to join us for a week at a magical retreat center. It was a exploration in “what magic could be in our lives”.

What we created that one weekend has evolved and grown over the last two decades into what is now called “The World’s Most Prestigious Magic School.” Tobias, Bryce and Abbi were all there! What our team created that weekend was a place for magicians to experience the deep mysteries of magic, and to encounter the best teachers in the world. A place to fill up on the magic of life… to be reawakened to the art of magic.

“You cannot give a gift you do not possess!”

Quite simply put, you must have a magical experience before you can give a magical experience.

I want to learn form the best, so I ask the magic teacher that are tops in their fields to join us at Mystery School for a week. For the past 6 years, I have been hosting my friends and magic fans at Wonderground, and this year, I wanted to continue my studies in restaurant magic, so I called my friend Doc Eason.

Doc will be in Vegas for a special class and you are invited to join us for this special session called “Raise the Bar.”

Give yourself the gift of a Magical Experience

Join us for a class this year in Las Vegas. We have Master Classes and classes on manipulation, restaurant magic, street magic, mentalism… and many more! Which class would be your favorite to attend? Explore our full schedule of classes at www.magicalwisdom.com.

If you can’t make it to Las Vegas, then join us at the world’s 1st online magic school

We stream our magic classes 24 hours a day at mcbridemagic.tv.

GastonDid you hear?  Master Class is coming to Germany!

My friend Gaston is really one of the great theatrical magicians in the world today.  He is a great actor and a skilled conjurer. We are teaching a 3-day class in Germany together. This is a rare occasion opportunity to study the “theater of magic.”

For details, email Gaston: info@gastongaston.de

WONDERGROUND HEATS UP DECEMBER 19TH

The biggest magic party in Las Vegas, and you are invited!

Once again, we have an amazing line up of guests from across the USA, including our capital of magic right here in Las Vegas. You can see the entire line up at www.vegaswonderground.com.

Wonderground

Abbi is home preparing for the holidays at The McBride House of Mystery. I am on tour a bit and home in time for our week at The Magic Castle in Hollywood, January 13-19. We hope to see all our friends from the Greater Los Angeles area then!

Wishing you all a most magical holiday season!

Jeff McBride and all the gang
at the Magic & Mystery School

Magic & Medicine: A Credo

Wherever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love of humanity.
— Hippocrates

Dear Friends:

Welcome to the holiday season!  A time of year filled with much magic and special challenges for all of us.  I think of it as “the dark time” of the year – probably because I have an inordinate fondness for sunshine, and there’s just not enough of it to go around for the next couple of months. In magic we must, however, learn to embrace both light and darkness, and to find ways of keeping our lives and our art in balance between the two.

Our guest author for this Museletter is Ricardo Rosencranz, our friend, colleague, and the man responsible for gaining us the ability to offer CME credit for our Magic & Medicine event. As a lover of magic, I find what Dr. Rosencranz has offered below to be a great reaffirmation and inspiration. I hope you will find it the same.

Magic and Medicine: A Credo

Ricardo T. Rosenkranz, M.D.

Dr. Ricardo RosenkranzSure, I love the magical arts. And I have dedicated a significant portion of my life to medicine. But connecting them together has never been about my interests or me. Magic and Medicine intertwined in my life just as the two snakes encircle the rod of Hermes. But for what purpose?

For as long as I can remember, I have longed for a life of beneficial service. Painting a smile on someone’s face and pouring measures of hope into someone’s cup have been my fantasies, then dreams, then quests. I am no different than many of my colleagues in Medicine who enter the profession for the self-same reasons.

Today, however, the life of a physician seems to drift away from that fundamental, ventral, central goal of mine. Productivity, technology, competence, efficiency, evidence and proficiency are the terms that define our professional lexicon. And yet, we long for the true meaning of what we do. I know this because nearly every physician I meet reflects on the existence of this malaise and senses that our boat has indeed veered away. Is it unexpected? Not really. Today’s winds, forcibly swirling around the ship, are the product of the engine of progress. We hunger for more knowledge, want to have a bigger impact in the health of others, and strive for excellence and precision. It seems that since the 17th Century, when the Scientific Method gave rise to the modern view of Medicine, we have been sailing at vertiginous speeds, eradicating illnesses right and left. But where are we going?

Currents create winds and winds beget storms. Today, I would venture that we are adrift because we believe more in ship than sailor, more in GPS than captain, more in engine than ingenuity. The noise of the motor is so loud that it drowns out the voices of the most important ones, the oft forgotten reluctant passengers of this ship: the patients. Even the great William Osler, father of modern medicine said, “He who studies medicine without books sails an uncharted sea, but he who studies medicine without patients does not go to sea at all.”

That is where I have found the second snake of this caduceus I might call my life’s paradigm. I would like to think that she saw what was missing in my “Aesculapian Staff” and methodically embedded herself into my self-awareness. Her name is Magic, and she is teaching me to better understand the world of healing. Every night she reads to me from the books of Burger, McBride, Maven, Neale, and Hass, among others. She lifts a mirror towards my audience allowing me to see my patients’ hearts while my reflection sheds a painted smile. And it is through her that I have come to understand that which I already knew, yet needed to experience from the other side of the sail.

Today’s Medicine, while breathtaking, needs a course correction. Medicine needs to pay heed to the balance of science and humanities. But this is not the only realm caught up in the storm of reductionism and practicality. It seems today that all educational endeavors are challenged by this concept. Recently, the presidents of Stanford University and Michigan (a computer scientist and a biochemist) published the following in the Washington Post:

“The humanities — history, literature, languages, art, philosophy — and the social sciences focus on the lasting challenges relevant to all of us: creating lives of purpose and meaning, appreciating diversity and complexity, communicating effectively with others and overcoming adversity. Ultimately, our ability to work meaningfully with others will determine the success of our enterprises, and that ability is honed through the humanities and social sciences.”

In the world of the Caduceus, I firmly believe that technology, technique, synthesis, evidence, and method need to embrace with art, grace, empathy, reasoning, understanding, and love. To me, this is the challenge of my generation.

That is why I chose to merge these two realms of mine. That is why I love to teach young medical students who hold neither preconception nor predisposition. Because I believe in transformation and empowerment, I never tire of sharing what Medicine and Magic can say to each other.

And when the Caduceus is planted in terra firma, when complementary snakes dance upon its solid staff allowing the inner eye to really learn and see the truth, the wings shall overtake the sky, embracing all with care and compassion. Now that’s a journey of a lifetime.

Mentors and Masters

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.”
— Plutarch

EXCUSES, EXCUSES!

I hear lots of them… mostly from folks that are stuck in jobs they hate.

“I’m too old to begin a new career”

“What if I fail?”

“I don’t have the time or resources to do this!”

Many great artists had financial challenges or started late in life!

See http://tinyurl.com/ydckbyt

But, many great artists had a mentor! And a mentor is worth more than gold! A mentor reignites our  creativity and passion, and lights the way for us when we feel lost.

Who is Your Yoda?

This is a question I often ask our students at our classes. Who do you consider your coach, your inspiration?  Just like in STAR WARS… the hero needs a mentor; one to bring out that hidden treasure inside.

Sometimes it takes a very special teacher to “bring out the gold” in you.  Think back over your school years… who was your favorite teacher and why? Many of MY mentors, guides and teachers weren’t “school teachers,” they were people I admired.  I put energy into contacting them and meeting with them… and then a friendship began.

I’ve been with Tobias and Eugene over 20 years!

Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger

THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE

When I perform my “sorcerer’s apprentice” coin routine, I often have a strong impact on my onstage “apprentice,” and also on his family.  After the show, the parents frequently tell me about how shy their kid was, and that they never seen him perform like that!  My message is one of empowerment. The audience feels this and knows that it is more than a trick.  This the REAL MAGIC!

My performance and my teaching is all about “finding the treasures that are hidden inside of you!”  It takes a mentor to help you learn the process. then it is YOUR turn to mentor others!

Jeff McBride - Sorcerer's Apprentice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTyYJInSRWQ

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
― Benjamin Franklin

One of Abbi’s early music mentors was her piano teacher, Mr. Charles Rose.  When she started playing, at four years old, Mr. Rose had the right combination of talent, patience and creativity to get her involved and keep her motivated…. Now, Abbi’s music is a big part of what motivates many to become their highest visions.  She recently finished her third solo project, called The Family of Fire.  Take a listen, and let us know what you think:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/abigailspinnermcbride2

WHERE IS MY MENTOR?

Some people never find a mentor…why?..they do not look! But, there are steps to consider if you do want to find a mentor… Adam Toren is an entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. Adam says, “Although few entrepreneurs are fortunate enough to have a keen mentor in the family, it is possible to find one or two. Here are eight tips to getting the right mentor – or group of mentors – for you:

  1. Determine your needs. Keeping in mind that your mentoring needs will shift as you start and build your business, take the time to determine exactly what kind of mentor you want now. Build a wish list for your mentor – laying out what skills and support you need to get to the next step.
  2. Take time to network. Networking isn’t just important for finding customers. It’s also vital for finding a mentor. Who do you want helping you? Someone who sits in an office and thinks connecting with the business community means reading a couple of magazines a month? No, you want someone who’s out there, knows the market and can point you in the right direction.
  3. Listen more, talk less. Given your youthful enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, it may be hard to stay silent. But to find a mentor, you need to listen – a lot. Pay attention and you‘ll be able to separate the smart potential mentors from those who just use all the right words.
  4. Be “mentorable.” If you come off as someone who knows everything – or thinks you do – many people will back away. If you want to learn, be willing to consider ideas that may not match your expectations or opinions. Above all, don’t fall victim to your own hype. Your business may or may not have serious problems, but another viewpoint will help you sort things out.
  5. Remain flexible. You may have mentors who stay with you over the long haul, but you will also benefit from people who provide just an afternoon of insightful ideas. If you are fortunate enough to get time with someone who is rarely available, absorb all you can and take notes. Your mentor may be skilled only in one specific area, but that’s okay. All help is good help.
  6. Don’t overlook nontraditional mentors. Some mentors may help you without their knowledge through books, seminars, speeches, videos on Ted, TV programs and the internet. My brother and I always looked to Richard Branson as one of our mentors. We don’t have to meet him in person to appreciate all he provides to entrepreneurs and others all over the world.
  7. Thank your mentors. When people help you, intentionally or unintentionally, let them know. Mentors are not in it for the money; they just want to help others grow. Think about what you can do to let them know how much you appreciate them and their help.
  8. Pay it forward. You may never be able to pay your mentors back, but you can recognize what they’ve done for you by becoming a mentor to others.

Read more from Adam here: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/222694#ixzz2kB6havx1

Abbi and I love to read the poems of Jalaluddin Rumi…his poetry inspires us. Though he died hundreds of years ago., his words still mentor millions!

Hidden gold
“You sit here for days saying,
This is strange business.
You’re the strange business.
You have the energy of the sun in you,
but you keep knotting it up at the base of your spine.
You’re some weird kind of gold
that wants to stay melted in the furnace,
so you won’t have to become coins.”
— Rumi

I’ll be taking one of my favorite collections of Rumi’s poetry, called Open Secret when I leave for Bulgaria in a few days.  I’ll be in touch when I get home!

Keep your furnace blazing my friends!
Jeff and Abbi

PLAYING WITH FIRE!

If you want to be filled with the fire of  inspiration and creativity…we have new classes coming up
www.magicalwisdom.com

THE BIGGEST MAGIC PARTY IS IN LAS VEGAS… and YOU are invited!

Wonderground

WONDERGROUND is coming up Thursday Nov. 21, we have the full line up here!
www.vegaswonderground.com

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