April Foolsletter

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
Thomas Alva Edison

Yes, we all know that Edison was a genius. The very symbol of a bright idea is a light bulb going off over our head. Not all great ideas explode like a ball of flash paper. Some ideas start out as a little spark and need to be fanned into a blaze of creativity. The kind of fire I’m talking about illuminates new horizons; it inspires creativity, and the heat makes you sweat. It took lots of sweat and hard work by a team of great artists to create our new project… a project for you, my friends. Enjoy the fire of our creation!

We’ve been keeping this under wraps for many, many months, and now you are the first to know…. Tobias and Bryce have been working with our team of artists and web designers, including Gabe Marihugh, Duncan Eagleson, Katlyn Breene, Erin Doleshall and Abbi, on new virtual worlds for you to explore. I’ll let Bryce be our concierge to cyberspace.

First of all, I normally devote this entire email to an April Fools theme. Unfortunately, the only thing I have for you this year is the photo of me and my “twin” to be found later in this email.

Many of you have heard me talk at the Magic School or elsewhere on websites and internet marketing. The sad fact was that Jeff’s website wasn’t living up to my own standards. It wasn’t about design (it never is). It just wasn’t serving its purpose (to get Jeff work). I built his first website in 1995, while I was in college. Over the years it has grown. That was the problem.

Jeff is a very complex person with an equally complex career. We started by trying to build one website that would cover all the bases. Now we’re up to six websites.

Those of you who know me, know I tend to go overboard. I certainly didn’t break the trend here. We have completely redesigned Jeff all of Jeff’s magic-related sites and added a new blog site. The only thing that stayed the same was the VegasVortex site, which I no longer manage.

Here’s a brief overview of what happened and why. Visit the sites to see the results.

  • McBrideMagic.com – This is the site that used to try to “do it all.” The problem was that it was too much. The main goal for this site is to get Jeff work, so it was redesigned specifically with his clients in mind. It’s clean and to the point.
  • McBrideMagic.net – Jeff’s old site was full of in-depth information that was really only being read by fans. It was distracting to people who just wanted to book him. And there was always the problem of Jeff wanting something more fun and interactive. Corporate bookers don’t have time for fun and interactive. So we created a new fan site at McBrideMagic.net. It was, by far, the most complex visual design project I’ve ever worked on. Of course, I get very little of the credit for this one. Duncan Eagleson did most of the artwork and Gabe Marihugh did all of the Flash work (and the designs for McBrideMagic.com and MagicalWisdom.com). These guys are simply amazing! It takes a while to load, but it’s totally worth the wait.
  • MagicalWisdom.com – I just couldn’t let Gabe and Duncan have all the fun. McBride’s Magic & Mystery School has grown and changed a lot over the past two decades. The website really needed an overhaul. This one’s my baby… all custom-developed code so it works just the way we want.
  • SecretArtJournal.com – We’ve had a bottleneck with the Secret Art Journal for several years: me. In its original format, I had to contact all the authors, manage contributions, convert them to HTML and put together “issues” for this eZine. I finally got smart and converted it to a blog format. All of the old articles are there and with the new, easy-to-use interface, we’re getting more contributions than we ever had. And I don’t have to do much of anything…
  • blog.McBrideMagic.com – We always had this problem of what to do with Jeff’s old Museletters. I wrote some software to manage an online archive. It worked, but was pretty clunky. I finally got smart and created a blog for Jeff. You’ll find all of the old Museletters (stripped of most of the marketing) as well as a few new random posts when Jeff and Abbi have the time. Thanks to Abbi for managing all of the content.

And now, as promised… my twin.

This is my new friend Max Schneider (I’m the one on the right… not the far right with the beard, obviously). I was hanging out in our room at the World Magic Seminar a few weeks ago and suddenly Jeff screams “It’s the winner of the Bryce Kuhlman look-alike contest!” Max had just entered the room. We got quite a reaction every time we were caught hanging out in the hallways!

Max is a wonderful magician from Germany who’s currently spending some time performing in the US. While in Germany he took classes with Alexander de Cova and eventually became a student of Gaston. Even at his young age, he’s had a lot of experience in magic: competitions, restaurants, theatre, TV and even a command performance for Roy’s birthday followed by a short tour with them to perform for orphans in Romania.

Max has lots of ideas about us working together on stage. A virtual matrix routine? Hmmm…



“Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence.”
–Robert Fripp

Abbi and I love music, in fact, we met playing drums around a fire… and ever since that first spark was lit, twenty years ago, we’ve been traveling the world, sharing our unique vision of magick and music. We have been joined by friends Dr. Joshua Levin and Michael Wall, in co-creating a new group project… introducing….

The Pyromantics are a fellowship of four friends drawn together by a shared vision of loving creative harmony. Abigail, Michael, Jeff, and Joshua have devoted more than a decade to exploring techniques for creating semi-improvisational experiences that empower large groups of people to inspire, nurture, and discover each other in the moment. Drawing upon a wealth of experience in diverse fields, the Pyromantics have applied their gifts to the creation and refinement of the Alchemifire Ritual. The result is a unique, cutting edge contribution to the field of human growth and potential. Grounded in cross-cultural archetypes of ceremony, and built around the inclusive, non-denominational metaphor of alchemical transformation, their work awakens, joins, strengthens, and refines, in a festive ordeal of music, poetry, dance, and art. Offering these experiences around the country for no more than the cost of production, the Pyromantics are true to their name – lovers of the fire that dwells within and without, illuminating our way from the sun to the soul and beyond.






Join the Pyromantics for a series of Alchemifire events this summer!

MayFire, May 10-15, at the Valley of Fire State Park, just north of Las Vegas. One of the places we find inspiration is at our Alchemifire events. We are hosting one here in May, and if you are called to join us, here is the link to explore http://www.vegasvortex.com

We will be hosting another in June, in Ohio, called the Wisteria Summer Solstice Gathering, June 14 – 21, 2009

“The highest intellects, like the tops of mountains, are the first to catch and to reflect the dawn.”
Thomas Babington Macaulay

I want to thank, again, all of our Magic and Mystery School team for pouring their efforts into our new projects.

It is our hope that these Museletters will continue to inspire you and all of our friends on our magical quests.

Abbi and I love the time we share writing these, and we take great pleasure in knowing that you read our words, and enjoy them.

Love and magic to all,

Jeff & Abbi

Comments are closed.