Another New Beginning

Dear Friends:

I hope you won’t mind receiving this so soon after we sent you the Museletter announcing Jeff’s “Masterpiece” series. Jeff suggested I send you all a note to help promote the release of my new book, The Wizard’s Way. I do want to do that, but I also thought this might be a good opportunity to share some things you might not be aware of.

A bit of history

As of today, I’ve known Jeff McBride for nearly 28 years, and been working as his manager for 26. I count him among my best friends and supporters, and I want to tell you just a little bit of why that is.

Tobias and Jeff
When we first met, I had never worked in the magic business. I had an idea that it would be a good thing for some of the dance companies I was then helping to manage if they would add some magic to their repertoire, so that they might raise the commercial appeal for what they did. I was tired of having to beg for money to pay for supposedly successful seasons.

My friend Bob Fitch introduced me to Jeff, with the advice that “he knows more about magic and movement than anyone else I know.” I first met him backstage at The Sands in Atlantic City, where he was then the opening act for Raquel Welch’s nightclub show. We hit it off immediately, but not over my dance company project. Instead, we decided to work together to develop a full-evening show that Jeff would star in, to be presented at the Edison Theater on Broadway, which I was then managing. Shifting directions would become a recurring theme in my work with Jeff.

After working for almost a year to develop that show, we had a couple of backer’s auditions, and failed to raise the money we needed to fully mount the production. However, Jeff continued working on the show, and showed me the results at one of his rehearsals a few months later. What he had developed was incredibly creative, but not yet really developed into a cohesive whole. I had another meeting with my friend Bob Fitch, who also happened to be a director and choreographer, and he agreed to spend time with Jeff working out the kinks in the show, before it was to have it’s debut at an off-Broadway nightspot called The Ballroom. By opening night, the show had developed into an unusual piece of theater, still a bit rough around the edges, but so original, with Jeff’s own amazing magic as it’s centerpiece, that it received raves from the New York theater press and audiences. I think that’s the point where I realized that magic theater was really my calling.

Shortly after that first show that we worked on together, Jeff’s manager of the time became ill, and began his slow decline, which would end in his death a year after that. During that time, Jeff asked me if I would take over as his manager. I at first declined. A personal manager, in my estimation, was just a glorified agent, and the life of an agent was not one I wanted for myself. However, after some long discussions, I agreed that I would try it out. I would keep my “day job” running the theater, and handle Jeff’s business during my spare time. Things worked out better than I had expected, and within a year or two, I had two other clients besides Jeff… both of which he had brought to me. When the show (and the theater) closed a couple of years later, I was all set to open my own office and move into the world of magic and magicians full-time. Since then, that has been my full-time business, and it’s been great fun. The business has taken me around the world several times, allowed me to direct and produce magic for some of the greatest magical artists of our time, and otherwise indulge my own creative aspirations. And it’s all because Jeff McBride talked me into it, and had the courage to stick with me as I learned the business. I’m still learning, and we’re still working together.

So this is my opportunity to say “Thank you, Jeff!”

We haven’t always seen eye-to-eye on decisions about his or my career and business, but we’ve always supported one another’s decisions. We’ve gone through both great and difficult times together, and we’ve shifted directions many times. Both of us are fans of Joseph Campbell, and his writings were one of the things we had in common when we met. That first show we did together was heavily influenced by Campbell’s teachings. It was called Mask, Myth and Magic.

Later on, Jeff introduced me to the writings of the philosopher Ken Wilbur. One of Wilbur’s core ideas is that we all move forward by a process of transcending and including what we’ve done before. That’s a bit of what the whole “Wizard Project,” of which The Wizard’s Way is the central piece, is all about. It is a manifesto and textbook for a new way of thinking, and a new way of being. The book is based on the legendary and real wizards of the past, and on the unique ideas and beliefs which set them off from others, and gave them their “powers” to do what for others seemed impossible.

Tobias - The Wizard's Way

The great news is that this particular shift in direction doesn’t require that we give up anything. Jeff’s performances, our classes at the McBride Magic & Mystery School, my work writing and teaching and managing—all that continues. What is changing is that I will be spending more time spreading the ways of the true wizard—first with the book, then through talks, and ultimately through events that we produce as training sessions. We’ll be teaching speakers, business-people, non-profit teams and others all to become more effective world-changers. Some events will include trainings using some of the methods we’ve developed through our work at the Magic & Mystery School. Others will include talks and presentations by myself, Jeff McBride, George Parker and others already on the team, as well as a number of others.  Maybe some of you reading this will become wizards on the team. I certainly hope so.

In the meantime, now you can read the book. It’s available in both trade paperback and Kindle editions from Amazon right now. If you purchase a copy before midnight on Monday, December 15, there’s a bonus pack that comes with it. You can learn more about the book (and my others) by going to Since it’s only available through Amazon at this point, just send me an e-mail with your Amazon purchase receipt and a note saying you’re a Museletter subscriber, and I’ll send you a link with information so you can download the bonus materials.

Oh: And please click the small image below to go directly to the “buy” page on Amazon. If you do that, Jeff will receive a small affiliate fee from your purchase, and you’ll be helping support our future activities at the school.

Wizard's Way Amazon Link

Whether you buy the book or not, I hope you’ll join us on the path towards true wizardry. I’m putting out two or three “Wizard’s Minute” videos teaching the core principles each week, posted on YouTube and Facebook (there’s a Wizard’s Way page I set up there). They will soon be joined by a number of Wizard Interviews—video taped interviews with some of those “real wizards” of our own time. We’ll explore their unique beliefs and techniques, and will learn from them. We’ll work together to develop our own wisdom, create our own community of wizards, and start changing the world together!

Other news:

We have changed the dates for a couple of our events at the Magic & Mystery School for 2015.  “Hypnotic Wizardry” has been moved from January to April 10-12, in order that Jeff could accept a special engagement on a World Cruise for Holland America. We’re just sending out notices to those who had already registered for that class, and are hoping it may make it possible for a few more of you to participate. The class will both teach interesting magic for use by hypnotists, and some hypnotic techniques for use by magicians. I’m looking forward to both sharing and learning myself at that one!

I think most of you have already heard this, but just in case, I’ll mention it again: Magic & Meaning 2015 has now been moved back into October. The dates originally planned turned out to conflict with a major convention in town—which meant the hotel would have charged double what you all paid for your rooms there last year. Since part of the reason we had decided to move there was to make the event more affordable for you, that seemed a bad idea. The new dates are October 21-24, the week after our Magic & Mentalism class. Max Maven is our special guest this year, and has confirmed he will be with us for the new dates.

Happy Holidays

I think that’s it for now. Best wishes to all of you from all of us at the McBride Magic & Mystery School for a most magical holiday season!


Tobias Beckwith

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