The Illusion of Communication

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

—George Bernard Shaw

From Larry Hass, the Associate Dean:

As you may know, I have spent the past three months on tour—both in support of my latest book, Inspirations, and of the 25th Anniversary of the Magic & Mystery School. I have met magicians from all over who have been very kind and enthusiastic about our efforts to help people become better, more successful magicians.

Even so, I have been surprised to hear the following kinds of comments, again and again:

“The School has a live video broadcast every Monday night? And we can watch it ‘on demand’?”

“You offer scholarships to attend your classes in Las Vegas?”

“Wait: you guys are a real school for magicians!”

Answers: yes, yes, and yes!

I am always happy to educate people about the Magic & Mystery School, but I have also been thoughtful. How can it be that after 25 years and all the articles, press, and media, many magicians still don’t know what we do?

One answer, with a nod to Shaw, is “The Illusion of Communication”—our assumption that flying the flag loud and clear, far and wide, is sufficient for people to hear us. Indeed, in our age of information overload, where so much media screams for attention and the information cycle is measured in minutes, people might well miss seeing our “flag,” or not understand much about it.

So in the interests of ever-clearer communication I will devote this Museletter to the latest, exciting news and notes about the Magic & Mystery School. I have a lot to report, so let’s plunge in!

1. Latest News

— Last week Jeff and I learned that we, as co-lecturers, were nominated for the “Lecturer of the Year” award from the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood, California. We are greatly honored by this, and we send our warm congratulations to the other nominees. Voting for Academy members begins very soon and will conclude by the end of April. Margie and I are planning to attend the Awards Ceremony in Beverly Hills on Sunday, May 15. Hope to see you there!

Larry Hass and Jeff

— The House of Mystery was home to a Penguin (Live) Lecture shoot on March 24-25, hosted by Dan Harlan. After a week of pre-production, Penguin filmed four long lectures during those two days; lectures by Jeff, Eugene, Ross Johnson, and me. Penguin’s plan is to release them one-by-one over the next several months, so please keep your eyes out for them. They are fully reflective of our Magic & Mystery School approach to teaching and learning.

Larry Penguin Lecture

2. Magic and Meaning Conference Announcements

— We are now accepting proposals for presentations and performances for the Magic and Meaning Conference this October 19-22, 2016. The guidelines and requirements for making a proposal can be found by going to: We hope that you will consider sharing your best thinking and magic with us at the Conference.

— Also, it is not too early to register for the Conference. This is going to be our big 25th Anniversary Party, and we think you will want to be there. The theme for the Conference is “Honoring Eugene Burger,” who will be our guest of honor. Our Special Keynote Speaker is the wonderful magic director, Bob Fitch.

3. 2016 Supporting and Premier Member Videos Now Available

In January 2016 we increased our benefits as a way to generate new members. Previously, we had made an exclusive video available only to Premier Members, but this year we decided to extend this exclusive video to Supporting Members as well. On top of that, we are making an additional special video available for Premier Members.

The 2016 Exclusive Supporting and Premier Member Video is a film of the show and panel presentation that were part of the School’s 25th Anniversary Party at the Magic Castle in January. This was an extremely successful event for the School. (The place was packed, wall-to-wall, and the Southern California Friends of the Magic & Mystery School kindly sponsored the refreshments.) The 2016 extra video for Premier Members is a terrific interview with Jeff and Eugene that was filmed at Blackpool several years ago.

If you are a Supporting or Premier Member, these two videos are now available at your Member Home page at If you are not yet a member, we ask you to please join at the Sustaining, Supporting, or Premier levels ($25, $50, and $100), or at the new Angel level (any amount over $100 you like). The benefits of membership are extensive, but also the lion’s share of your membership fee goes directly into our scholarship fund that provides need-based financial aid for talented magicians to come study with us in Las Vegas.

4. Program Notes

— The theme for Mystery School Monday for April 2016 is “Going with the Flow.” Tune in every Monday night this month, 7:00 p.m. PDT, to learn what our faculty and facilitators have to say about this fascinating topic.

— Dr. Lynn Miner, our Director of Development, has published “A Prescription for Practice” in the April issue of MAGIC Magazine (pp. 44-50). The article details a strategic approach to the work of practice so we get the most out of it.

— The April article for The Secret Art Journal is from Craig Conley, author of the remarkable book Magic Words: A Dictionary, who instructs us to create a personal and inspirational talisman that employs Robert E. Neale’s “Birth Date Magic Success Square” from An Essay on Magic. Go to

5. In Case You Missed It . . . .

For many months Jeff and I had been laughing about the Beatles’ connection with our recent “Magic & Mystery School Tour” of the UK. We imagined Jeff, Eugene, and I in satin, pastel-colored Sgt. Pepper’s jackets. We wondered who would be the Walrus (“goo, goo, g’joob”). But there we were in Hertfordshire with our friend and producer Jay Fortune, and it all became clear. On the way to lunch, we saw a crosswalk, and our fantasy became a reality. We call this our “Abbi Road” photo. Enjoy!! And no, I am not dead!

Abbey Road

Thank you for being and staying connected to the Magic & Mystery School!

Please Don’t Let Them Die. Keep Your Dreams Alive!

comfort zone


Our magic student Paul Craven turned us on to the quote above–it struck a chord! I hope it can help move you to take steps to keep your dreams alive! As a teacher, it is my job to inspire and motivate our students. I also learn and listen from the best. Today we listen to the wisdom of writer and “life-hacker” Alan Henry.

He suggests a few good steps to take to keep your dreams alive. Alan says,

“Here are some ways to break out (and by proxy, expand) your comfort zone without going too far:

  • 1-Do everyday things differently. Take a different route to work. Try a new restaurant without checking Yelp first. Go vegetarian for a week, or a month. Try a new operating systemRecalibrate your reality. Whether the change you make is large or small, make a change in the way you do things on a day-to-day basis. Look for the perspective that comes from any change; even if it’s negative. Don’t be put off if things don’t work out the way you planned.
  • 2-Take your time making decisions. Sometimes slowing down is all it takes to make you uncomfortable—especially if speed and quick thinking are prized in your work or personal life. Slow down, observe what’s going on, take your time to interpret what you see, and then intervene. Sometimes just defending your right to make an educated decision can push you out of your comfort zone. Think, don’t just react.
  • 3-Trust yourself and make snap decisions. We’re contradicting ourselves, but there’s a good reason. Just as there are people who thrive on snap decisions, others are more comfortable weighing all of the possible options several times, over and over again. Sometimes making a snap call is in order, just to get things moving. Doing so can help you kickstart your personal projects and teach you to trust your judgement. It’ll also show you there’s fallout to quick decisions as well as slow ones.
  • 4-Do it in small steps. It takes a lot of courage to break out of your comfort zone. You get the same benefits whether you go in with both feet as you do if you start slow, so don’t be afraid to start slow. If you’re socially anxious, don’t assume you have to muster the courage to ask your crush on a date right away, just say hello to them and see where you can go from there. Identify your fears, and then face them step by step.”

Read the full article:


People tell me all the time that they are “scared to travel overseas these days, with all that is going on in the world!” Too bad for them. They are walking the slow funeral march of the dead and dying dream!

Words of Wisdom

A few weeks ago Eugene, Larry and I left the comfort of our homes, and we are so glad we did! The new adventures we had enriched our lives. We met new friends and reconnected with our community in the UK.

THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR–25 years of Mystery School

Abbi Road

Jen Allen took this modern classic shot of us on the tour. Our own “Abbi” road!


Viktor Wynd Museum

Here is a photo of us entering the museum – by Paul Kieve

I’m a fan of “Cabinets of Curiosity” also known as “Wonderkammers.” A few months ago I read Viktor Wynd’s book on “oddities and curios.” Last week my longtime friend Paul Kieve took me to Viktor’s “Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History.” Yes, it’s a very strange place.

Old Vic


Eugene and I “trod the boards” at one of the grand old theaters in London. The “Old Vic” has a new Variety Nights show. Our friend Paul Kieve created an opportunity for us to weave our magic into the night’s production.

Here we are at the theater.

Trade Secrets

SPRING TRAINING: Take the leap from the minor league to the Major League!”

Card Magic, Close-Up & Stage 

Parlor Classics

Portable & Grand illusions

3 Unique, 2 Day Classes

May 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 2016


*Imagine yourself receiving hands-on instruction by some of the top experts in the world of magic.

*Learn new magic, and the correct practice disciplines that lead to a professional presentation.

*You will learn both basic and advanced techniques, suited to your skill level, and how to make your magic entertaining and play BIG in large venues.

But even more…

We will explore the hidden MEANING of these magic effects, why they are memorable and how they can touch the souls of the audience.

We will explore the symbolism, mystery and metaphors of each of these classics of magic.


At all 3 events, we will have Greg Gleason as our guest teacher! Read more here!


March 17TH  is our next WONDERGROUND. Doors will open at 7:30pm at The Olive, located at 3850 East Sunset Rd., Las Vegas, NV. There is a $20 admission. Only $10 for locals. The best deal in Vegas!

The Early Stage show begins at 8:00 pm. The Close-Up show starts at 9:00 pm. The Late Stage show begins promptly at 10:00pm. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to ensure seating for the shows. 

Jeff Master of Masks

Photo montage by Sebastian Navarro

We will have a new look and feel to the parlor and close up magic this month…come in and see!

MARCH 17, 2016 Schedule

8PM       Host – Tim Wise

Michael Mirth – Classic Enchantments

Ariann Black – A Sophisticated Sorceress

Clyde McBride – Direct from Ireland

9PM     Host – Christian Diamond

Ariann Black – Beautiful Deceptions

Steelfyre – The Enigmatist

Jeff McBride – With an “eye-opener!”

Peter Woerde – The Grifter

Lion Fludd – Mind-Blowing Mysteries

10PM    Jeff McBride MC

Kevin Hall – The Halls of magic

Xavier Mortimer – A Musical Magical Interlude

Circe – Scintillating, sensual amazement

Clyde McBride – He’s back again!

PLUS: Bar Magic with Zack Pattee and Scott Steelfyre, Iam Creed, and Randilyn. Photography with Sheryl Garrett. The NWR-Tribal Belly Dance Troupe, Psychic Sideshow with Alan Scott, live art with Areeya and Suzanne and many more surprises and special celebrity guests!!

See you on the road or at a class in Vegas!

Magically yours,

Jeff McBride

Music, Breath, Love & Magic

It seems that the human race has lost a great deal of the ancient science of magic, but if there remains any magic, it is music.  Music, beside power, is intoxication. When it intoxicates those who hear, how much it must intoxicate those who play or sing themselves! And how much more must it intoxicate those who have touched the perfection of music and have meditated on it for years and years. It gives them an even greater joy and exaltation than a king feels sitting on his throne.

– Hazrat Inayat Khan

Today, our Museletter comes to us from Abigail McBride.

Abigail Singing

Greetings Magical Friends,

Abigail here, taking a break from practicing my music, and writing from the House of Mystery in Las Vegas. I would like to invite you, right here and right now, to slow down for a moment, to give yourself the gift of a deep, gentle breath, and pause for a moment in your day.

So often, we are rushing from one moment to the next, pursuing our dreams and fulfilling our responsibilities, so caught up in the “Oh, and then, I gotta remember to…” that we nearly miss the moments we are actually in.

So, here, then, is a gentle reminder, a whisper across the pixels and through the web, for you to simply breathe for a moment or two, and come back to this moment, with all the gifts and lessons it has to offer.

I’ve heard it said that the breath is a metaphor, and how we breathe reflects a great deal of how we live, how much we really allow ourselves to receive and to release in any given moment.

Abbi Shadow

The other day, I was reading an article that suggested we “drink air,” meaning that we sip in all the air we can with each inhalation, learning to completely use all of our lungs, and noticing the effect that more air moving into and out of our bodies has on us, as a whole.

In the same article, I read the suggestion to “breathe water,” meaning to keep a glass of water nearby, and to sip on it throughout the day, maintaining our hydration and keeping ourselves “in the flow.”

Abbi & Jeff

“Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice.”


I am deeply fortunate to have such a wonderful man to practice growing in love with. This August will mark 15 years that we’ve been married, and we continue to deepen and grow more in love each day. Saying “I do,” to him was one of the best choices I’ve ever made; one I am grateful for, every day.

I continue to deepen into my various practices, of music, meditation, and dance. I am also putting more energy into giving and receiving appreciation, tuning into gratitude, and becoming ever more mindful of the simple things, like eating, drinking water, walking and breathing.

May it be so, for you, too.

Your friend in magic,


#1 Things That Matter



Dear Friends:

Last month, I shared my thoughts on goal setting. Now, we move on to the next step: realizing those goals. Our resident wizard and manager, Tobias Beckwith, recently shared this inspired quote about focus.

Tobias Focus

Meet Leo Babauta. He is a writer and modern day Merlin; a real wizard at synthesizing ideas. Today we learn from him “HOW TO FOCUS.”

  • Read about your goal as much as possible, on websites, blogs, books & magazines.
  • Post reminders on your wall, refrigerator, and computer desktop.
  • Send yourself reminders using an online calendar or reminder service.
  • Tell as many people as possible about it, and post your progress on your blog.
  • Have a time each day to work on the goal, with a reminder in your schedule each day.
  • Maintain your focus on your goal, and you’ve won half the battle in achieving it. Read Leo’s full essay here:

Good People Quote

One of the keys to success and happiness is sharing time with “the right people.” Positive influences and great teachers are two of the main ingredients to a successful career. My core team is Tobias, Eugene, Larry, and Abigail. There are a few other teachers and friends who have also changed my life for the better!  You can meet our extended team here:

In fact, you can meet all of us when you visit. It is our joy to share our wisdom and experience with you! We have a few new ideas for you. Here is one we are working on this spring:


“Take the leap from the minor league to the Major League!”

Enjoy three exciting NEW Classes- 3 Unique, 2 Day Classes

May 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 2016

Las Vegas, Nevada

1. Cards: Close-up, Parlor & Stage

2. The Classics of Parlor Magic

3. Grand Illusions & Portable Illusions

Imagine yourself receiving hands-on, personal instruction by some of the top experts in the world of magic.

Day with a great teacher quote

Drop us an email when you visit Las Vegas. Stop in for a Private session. Did you know that we that we now offer daily, weekly, private and small group sessions?

For more information, please contact Abigail at (702) 450-0021 or

Jeff Teaching Class

World Tour News

Our friend, Jay Fortune, is arranging a great 2-day FOCUS CLASS near London. Join us in Hertfordshire, UK

Larry Hertfordshire Video

Mario Morris and Veronica will produce our ONLY 3-DAY MASTER CLASS in Glastonbury, UK. Join Eugene Burger & Jeff McBride for a life-changing event!


February 18th is our next WONDERGROUND. Doors will open at 7:30pm at The Olive, located at 3850 East Sunset Rd., Las Vegas, NV. There is a $20 admission. ONLY $10 for locals. The best deal in Vegas!

The Early Stage show begins at 8:00 pm. The Close Up show starts at 9:00 pm. The Late Stage show begins promptly at 10:00 pm. Please arrive at least 30 minutes prior to ensure seating for the  shows. 

Jeff Abbi Romany

Here are the fabulous artists and performers you can expect to see at this month’s WONDERGROUND!


8PM       Will Bradshaw MC

Iam Creed – Radioactive magic

Jac Hayden – “Jac the Grate”

Tim Shegitz – A Slicker Trickster

Adam Flowers – The Master of Mischief

Jason Bird and Melanie – A Magical Story

9PM       Christian Diamond MC

Tim Shegitz – Conuring with comedy & style

Scott Steelfyre – The Enigmatist

MonDre – His hands are quicker than your eye

10PM    Tim Wise MC

Les Contortionettes – TWO of a kind..but really ONE of a kind!

Sonny Fontana – Our friend is back in action, come support his return!

Adam Flowers – Mischief with mystery

Randilyn – Queen of Escape

MonDre – Las Vegas Magic Star

PLUS: Bar Magic with Zack Pattee and Scott Steelfyre, Iam Creed, and Randilyn. Photography with Sheryl Garrett. The NWR-Tribal Belly Dance Troupe, Psychic Sideshow with Alan Scott, live art with Areeya and Suzanne and many more surprises and special celebrity guests!!

Magically yours,

Jeff McBride

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