Looking Forward

Our guest contributor for this first Museletter of the new year is none other than our Dean – a multi-talented performer, teacher, author, and philosopher of magic—Dr. Larry Hass.

Happy New Year to everyone! The year 2021 is in the rear-view mirror, and 2022 lies ahead like a beautiful vista with open horizons. It is time to “clink” those champagne flutes and move ahead with a beginner’s mind.

Many of you know this is my favorite time of year, and that I typically carry out a reflective exercise to help me turn the page. That is, I explore, write, and share with my family, my answers to the following questions:

1. What are my best achievements for the previous year?
2. What are some good everyday behaviors I resolve to do?
3. What are my goals for the year ahead?

I have found this practice, this ritual, to be very affirmational and productive. (You can read more about it HERE.)

Yet, as I engaged in the exercise this year, nearly two years into our global pandemic, a supplementary set of ideas kept surfacing in my mind—three special reminders at this world-historical time. I offer them in the hope that they resonate with you, too.

1. Honor the Wins…and Wounds

Everything is more difficult during a pandemic, from needing to wear a mask in public, to limited access to goods and services, to separation from, and worries about friends and family, to uncertainties around planning…among so many other things. This often means that the wins come harder. What might have previously been “a challenge,” can now feel like dragging Frodo and the Ring up the side of Mount Doom.

So, celebrate those wins! They were harder than they used to be, and that’s an important part of the story. The trials and travails need to be sung and spoken, especially this year. They are essential flavor notes for the 2021 vintage.
 
And there are also wounds. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t lost something or someone because of this crazy thing. When difficult memories surge up, I try to put my hand on my heart, take a deep breath, and honor the moment. I have found this to be more helpful and healthful than just forging ahead or telling myself everything’s fine.
 
2. Re-align Our Goals
 
Human beings are the forward-looking animal; we can’t help but look ahead, make plans, and try our best to fulfill them. Yet, if the pandemic has taught us anything it’s that the need to revise our goals is built into the fabric of things. And you know what? These past two years, we have met that need time and again, and become more resilient through the process.
 
Indeed, I have come to see that “long-term planning” is a luxury, not a given. And it was a privilege I previously took for granted. This keeps me living a bit “closer to the bone,” and I find it keenly productive to plan that I will need to revise the plan. So, I am definitely setting goals for 2022. But one of those goals is being ready to re-align my goals as needed without stress, regrets, or depression.
 
3. Cultivate Hope
 
Some folks say, “Hope is Love,” others call it a desire. Emily Dickinson wrote that it’s “a thing with feathers…that sings the tune…and never stops at all.” I suspect there is truth in each of these, but for this context I take hope to be an elusive human capacity to imaginatively create a forward path or sense of the future, exactly when those things seem foreclosed.
 
Ordinarily, hope is a reservoir we draw on when needed, but during the pandemic we’ve gone to the well more than usual. Which perhaps means we need to do a bit more to replenish the well.
 
For me, this happens with some intentional quiet time—shutting off the constantly interrupting noise of modern social-media life. It happens over meals with family and dear friends. It happens by reading meaningful things rather than superficial trash. It happens by getting sufficient sleep and going for walks. Your own list will vary.
 
But I think what’s true for all of us is that magic fills the tank. Every little “miracle” is a human-created reminder that the world is a surprising place, that through art the impossible is possible, and that feels great. So sure, magic is the art of the impossible, but that very phrase also makes it the art of hope.
 
So please remember as we turn the page—the world needs your magic. It really does! And you need your magic. It is one of the finest things we can do to cultivate and enlarge our capacity to hope.
 
Here’s to your Magical New Year! “Clink!”

Our Very Own Santa

Greetings, magical friends,

Holiday greetings to all!  

First, a big thanks to all of you who helped us make Jeff McBride – The Story Master such a success! We’ve been receiving lots of wonderful responses, and are already planning the next show for one weekend in February.

Abigail and I have been spending nearly every night curled up in our reading chairs, sitting next to a crackling fire, drinking tea and reading magical stories to each other. We’ve been reflecting on our dearly missed Master and Mentor, Eugene Burger.

He was the “real Santa,” who gave us the gift of his friendship and guidance, and also helped me learn a deeper way to experience and learn the art of magic. One of Eugene’s favorite wisdom sayings was: “The real secrets of magic are not found in books or DVDs; they are passed down from master to student… in whispers.”

How do you learn magic?

Many of our students want to dive deeper this year, so we’ve created some brand-new classes!

MASTERS & MENTORS IN MAGIC– with Jeff McBride & Dr. Larry Hass

January 13th–27th, 2022

MASTERS & MENTORS IN MAGIC is an exciting new series where you get a front row seat to learn the “Secrets of the Masters!”

Jeff McBride and Larry Hass are privileged to have studied with many great masters of magic, live and in person. Now, Jeff and Larry pass down the essential lessons they’ve learned to you! They will share great secrets they have gathered from their teachers and their own deep studies into the presentation and philosophy of magic.

Become part of magic history!

Jeff and Larry spent years in the company of these true masters, and they’re excited to share their most treasured memories, insights, and magic routines from these encounters with you!

Eugene Burger, Juan Tamariz, Tommy Wonder, Bob Fitch, Lance Burton, Channing Pollock, Jeff Sheridan, Frank Garcia, Dai Vernon, Slydini — and many, many more!

Takeaways:

—You will learn new & effective routines that illustrate the lessons of the masters.

—You will enjoy a guided tour through the recent history of magic with modern masters who made this art great.

—You will see how Jeff and Larry incorporate these teachings into their own work, and thereby create strong magic that remains their own.

—You will have access to these files for one year to deepen your studies.

—You’ll be part of a community of like-minded Magicians.

MASTERS & MENTORS IN MAGIC

REGISTER NOW!  https://shop.magicalwisdom.com/events

* * *

SHOW & BUSINESS – THE PRO CLASS

Jan 14th–Mar 8th, 2022

Taught by Tobias Beckwith & Jeff McBride

Level up this year – join this class!

This will be a student-directed course in how to build an integrated business and career around your magical passion.

Congratulations! You’ve become a good magician and performer – but now you want more. You’re thinking of making this into a career, or maybe a fun side-hustle. That’s a big step! Or maybe you’ve already taken that step, and it’s time to change direction or shift that business into a higher gear.

  •  Every Tuesday and Friday at 9:30 am (Pacific) for a 45-minute session on Zoom. 
  •  15 sessions Live on Zoom, plus 8 video teaching lectures by Jeff & Tobias.

The class is limited to 18 students so that we will have time to focus on each of you and your needs. In some ways, it will function as much as a mastermind group, as it will as a seminar, which means sometimes some of you will contribute more than Jeff or Tobias does, because you have more experience in a particular area. Sometimes we will invite others we know to come in and address a particular subject if neither of us is the most expert of anyone we know in a particular area. It is our hope that the students will continue to assist one another to become the new leaders and innovators in our art.

Learn the professional secrets to answer these questions and more!

  • How will you structure your shows to best serve the needs of your clients?
  • How will you understand and manage your finances?
  • Learning to create work that packs small but plays big.
  • What are the legal considerations you need to handle?
  • Building long-term relationships with your own team and your clients.
  • What is showmanship, and how it can make all the difference?
  • How to develop the skills and systems you need to succeed.

Register now at https://shop.magicalwisdom.com/event/show-business-the-pro-class

The best way to learn magic?

Online personal mentoring is now available.

Private online magic lessons with Jeff McBride are being arranged for the new year.

What goes on at these one-on-one classes? Find out here!

https://shop.magicalwisdom.com/p/stage-magic-manipulation/skype-mentoring-package

Invite Jeff McBride to your next event or party!

We are now booking live and online events for 2022.

Jeff McBride’s Online Virtual Magic Shows.

Take a look!

Now for the 1st time you can have a custom-made virtual magic show for your friends and family, club, church or business, performed by one of the true masters of art. 

Jeff’s magic works GREAT on zoom. How can you get it?

All you need to do is call Abigail to arrange a time and date! (702) 450-0021.

Have a most magical new year and we will see you LIVE in Las Vegas or online in our virtual classroom!

Jeff and Abigail

Warming Hearts in Dark Times

Greetings, Friends!

Here we are once again in December, coming up on the longest night of the year. Many cultures celebrate this magical time with traditions that go back thousands of years – Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas, and others. One thing they all seem to have in common is the notion of light returning. Even on the darkest night, a single candle brings comfort and light – and a warm fire provides a place to gather and share the stories that help us define who we are communally and individually. Since the earliest cultures, the role of “lore-keeper” has fallen to certain members of a tribe – and often those same members were the shamans, healers, and magicians.

I remember, when I was a child, gathering at my grandparents’ home, along with aunts, uncles, and cousins. This was at a time when many families still had both a family room and a parlor. During most visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s, we would spend most of our indoor time in the family room, watching movies and TV and playing games. But on special occasions, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, they would build a fire in the giant fireplace, and we would gather in the parlor. This was a time without the normal distractions of television, board games, or other casual play. We would open gifts and catch up with one another’s lives – in other words, tell our stories.

Uncle John would tell us about his adventures growing the bank where he was president. Aunt Carol had a funny story about something that happened in the church group where she was active. Mom had something to tell about her activities getting the local League of Women Voters chapter off the ground. Cousins traded stories of what happened at our various schools, or the sports teams we played on. It was a time when the whole family came together as one, sharing our stories around that huge stone fireplace. Sometimes, my Aunt June would sit down at the piano, and we would all sing carols together–all while the field outside the big picture windows filled with snow. I have only happy memories of those days, and I think it had a lot to do with defining the person I was to become.

That’s a big part of the reason I’m excited about the show we’re developing for later this month. Jeff McBride – The Story Master will be a collection of stories from our larger family – the whole human family stretching around the globe. Stories and magic, both the warm and fuzzy kind and the more terrifying, perhaps funny ones. Both the mundane and the magical. Of course, there will be lots of magic – and most of it will be magic you haven’t seen before. As with our other shows online, the formal show will be followed by an after-party where audience members get to ask questions, make observations… and perhaps even tell some of their own stories.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jeff-McBride.-HOLIDAY-STORYMASTER-jpg-1024x1024.jpg

(You can click the graphic to go to the ticketing site.) Tickets start at $30 per screen – which doesn’t mean $30 per person. Gather the whole family and put the Zoom room on your big screen. Just make sure you can turn on your own camera and microphone so you can interact, and we can see all of you. The Zoom platform isn’t quite like a live show, but the show can and will be far more interactive than a typical show on TV or movie. As Jeff likes to tell his audiences, the more energy you give from your end, the more you’ll inspire him and the better the experience will be for everyone.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for our holiday celebration. We have two performances on Saturday, Dec. 18. One at noon and one at 6 pm, Las Vegas time. That’s so our friends on the East Coast and in Europe can join us at times convenient for them, and even those of you in Asia won’t have to get up in the middle of the night. We’re planning a wonderful celebration for all, no matter what your personal holiday traditions and beliefs might be.

Oh…and we’ll be having guest performers, some of whom might be new to you. Chris Herren as Faust is a wonderful performer who, like Jeff, combines mask, mime and magic. His style is unusual and immensely creative. Judge Gary Brown (yes, he’s a real judge) will be telling a harrowing but magical story I’m sure you’ll all be able to relate to. And our own Abigail McBride will be sharing some magic and a story in the Celtic tradition. Have I convinced you to join us yet? I hope so. The more the merrier!

Just click here to get your tickets: https://mcbride.wellattended.com/events/jeff-mcbride-is-the-storymaster

While I’m thinking of it…most of the holidays we celebrate around this time involve the giving and receiving of gifts. We might have something you’d like to give or to get right here at the Magic & Mystery School. A number of new classes have just been posted.

The class I’m personally most excited about is the one Jeff and I will be teaching for 8 weeks, twice weekly, starting January 14. It’s our class for professionals, and we’re calling it Show & Business. It’s probably different from any other class you may have taken, as it will be largely student-directed. In the first week or two, we’ll give you the basics of building a business around your magic and re-thinking your magic to make sure you’re serving your market as well as possible. After that, you’ll tell us what you want us to teach. The format will be that we’ll deliver you a lesson on streaming video each weekend, and then on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30 am till 10:15 am (Vegas time.) We’ll meet online in an open seminar format, to discuss what has been taught in the video lecture, and what each one of you is experiencing in building your own business and career. Want tricks appropriate for your situation? We’ll teach that. Want marketing and sales techniques? We’ll teach that. Each week you’ll tell us what you want (by consensus), and we’ll do our best to deliver what you need in our next video lesson and discussions. We have to limit the class to just 18 in order to be able to deliver the kind of personalized instruction you each will need.

Learn more here: https://shop.magicalwisdom.com/event/show-business-the-pro-class

To tell the truth, though, I’m excited about all of our new offerings. Jeff and Larry will be teaching you all about Masters and Mentors of Magic in 3 online sessions starting January 13. Interested in knowing more about Tommy Wonder, Dai Vernon, Juan Tamariz, Eugene Burger, and other master teachers of the past? Do you want to know what made each one special, and formed the heart of their teachings? This is the class for you!  Paul Draper will be leading his new class for performers who like doing private events, but who find that, although they get lots of bookings for certain months, they also experience “dry” periods. Book Yourself Solid with Life Cycle Shows is designed to help you learn how to book more events like weddings, bar mitzvahs, and more. People gather to celebrate for baby showers, baby naming ceremonies, baptisms, and confirmations — and they can use our skills. There are seasonal holidays in every religion from Easter to Passover to Chinese New Year -– and they can all use a little entertainment. Paul and his guests will teach you how to find and market for all these and more – and how best to serve those markets, which may be new to you.

Then, starting February 10, Dr. Larry Hass will be teaching a class I know many of you have been waiting for: Deep Study of a Modern Master: Eugene Burger. Larry has helped write and publish the definitive books on Eugene and his work, and I know you’ll want to be there for this very special class.

Any of these classes would make a fine holiday gift – for yourself, or for the magician in your life.
So…that’s what I’ve got for this one. Thanks for reading, and I’ll look forward to seeing you at the show on the 18th, at one of our Mystery School Monday get-togethers, or in class.
Best wishes for a wonderful heartwarming holiday, filled with joy and magic!

Sincerely,
Tobias Beckwith
tobias@yourmagic.com

Two Powerful Storytelling Magic Events

Greetings my friends,

When was the last time you heard a story that changed your life? I mean a real “shake your bones and make your heart leap out of your chest” kind of story?

Well, you are invited to two great Storytelling Experiences!

They said it couldn’t be done—an online séance. 

But after last’s year’s success, we decided to do it again!

Dedicated to the Spirit Theater and Bizarre Magick of Eugene BurgerThe 2021 Las Vegas Séance Summit—Live Online

Dates:  November 19-21, 2021    

If you have ever been interested in the world of ghosts, spirits, and storytelling—then this is the event of the yea—a celebration of bizarre magick and storytelling.

Some of the top minds in the world of spirit theater, séance, and bizarre magick will gather online to form a circle, and share their stories, as we journey together into the world of shadows and candle-lit mysteries.
And when the candles are extinguished, these spirits will emerge enlightened and armed with messages of hope and courage for these challenging times.

Raising Your Spirits in a Time of Darkness

Join us for this 3-day online adventure from darkness to light, as we explore the history and mystery of the performing arts of seance and bizarre magick with some of world’s leading mystery teachers and entertainers.  

The teaching team:  Jeff McBride, Dr. Larry Hass, and Paul Draper

With Special Guests: Daniel Gastelum, Careena Fenton-Cullen, Joe Cabral, Vince Wilson, and David Parr, and other guests to be named! 

Dedicated to the performance arts of séance, bizarre magick, and storytelling. This course will:

  • Celebrate the Spirit Theater of Eugene Burger
  • Explore the rich possibilities of “raising spirits” in dark times
  • Focus on tricks, techniques, manifestations, and special effects for creating this kind of magic, light and dark.

Register Now!
https://shop.magicalwisdom.com/event/the-2021-las-vegas-seance-summit-live-online

December is a most magical time!
One of the things I love most in the world is sitting next to the fireplace, sharing some of my favorite stories with my friends. Now you can join me online for a one-day only special event!

An All-New Show! – December 18th 2021
You are invited to our House of Mystery for our first-ever interactive holiday magic show. All new show! * All new magic! * An All-new show for the holidays!

Jeff McBride isTHE STORYMASTER. Come join us, as we celebrate this special time of year with tall tales and magic from many cultures. Pull up a seat to your fire, and join Jeff McBride, as he entertains with these wonderful and inspiring pieces of interactive magic! Yule be amazed! Space is limited, so get your tickets early. Gather family and friends for what promises to be a truly heartwarming time!

Get your ticket here!
https://mcbride.wellattended.com/events/jeff-mcbride-is-the-storymaster

Jeff has created a whole new evening’s entertainment, using the amazing interactive tools developed to create MagicQuest — this time with a different set of holiday stories and magic!

Once again, there will be a special VIP afterparty in which we will share some of the never-before-seen items of Jeff’s extensive collection.

*This is a COMPLETELY NEW EXPERIENCE!

Jeff created the show just for YOU and this year’s YULETIDE SEASON!

Our past couple of shows have been sold out, and garnered raves from our audiences. Here are just a few:
“One of the greatest teachers in the history of magic. He’ll share an important story – his own.”
– David Copperfield

“Fantastic Virtual Experience!! Superb!”
– Mat Franco, USA
America’s Got Talent winner

“The most beautiful magic show that I’ve seen in a long time.”
– Adrian Lacroix, Argentina
Master Magician

“What an experience and a privilege to dive into the life of the Grand-Master!”
– Andrew Lee, Malaysia
Asia’s Got Talent and Britain’s Got Talent semi finalist

  • McBride is a winner on Penn and Teller’s Fool Us.
  • The Magic Castle’s Academy of Magical Arts has named McBride “Magician of the Year.”
  • McBride has set three records in the Guinness World Records.

Here’s what the New York press said about Jeff McBride:

“He wields the primordial weapons of the magician — the wand, chalice and sword. He wrestles with titanic unseen forces. He does not do rabbits.”
– The New York Times

“McBride, with sleeves pushed up, extrudes card after card from the air. Cards sprout from every fingertip like cabalistic tentacles, then pour from his mouth, as if a full deck had been sequestered inside his cheeks.”
– The New Yorker 


THE UNIQUE INTERACTIVE VIP AFTERPARTY EXPERIENCE WILL EXPAND YOUR MIND!

Bonus gifts and extras for our VIP ticket purchasers

MAGIC TREASURE CHEST
Each VIP guest will receive a unique master key to open an online archive of rare videos, photos and Jeff McBride memorabilia, including a video of Jeff’s full evening Las Vegas stage show ABRACADAZZLE and other rare video footage!

An extraordinary value never previously offered.

So, get your tickets now – seating is limited!
https://mcbride.wellattended.com/events/jeff-mcbride-is-the-storymaster

Have a Happy and Magical Thanksgiving, my friends!

Jeff, Abigail and all your friends at the Magic & Mystery School

Of Roses, Thorns and Gratitude

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
—Alphonse Karr

I’ve always been one of those “find the silver lining” types of people. No matter how dire the circumstance I find myself in, my first thought is usually something along the lines of “Wow, that could have been way worse. OK, what can I learn from this so I don’t have to repeat it?”

After the motorcycle wreck in the early 90s, I really knew things could have been way worse, and that I was lucky to be alive and whole, with both my legs and all my arms intact. Ok, yeah, I had to figure out which way was up, and going from easily walking in six-inch heels to needing a cane to find where the ground was, wasn’t fun, by any stretch of the imagination. But, I learned that I am loved, that death is nothing to be afraid of, and that my butt does not belong on a motorcycle… 

But, seriously, the choice of how we choose to see things influences everything in our lives. Ever since that fateful day, I choose to see everything with eyes full of gratitude and wonder, and the linings are not silver anymore; they are pure gold.

“The soul that gives thanks can find comfort in everything; the soul that complains can find comfort in nothing.”
– Hannah Whitall Smith, British author and suffragette 

This past year has been so hard, for so many. We have seen loved ones die, families fighting over different beliefs, friendships falling away, and fears growing daily…. and yet, there is still wonder and there is still magic in the world. The sun still smiles down on all of us, asking nothing in return. It is good to hold the challenges in one hand, and gratitude in the other. Finding little things to be thankful for helps to balance the challenges. We know that “energy flows where attention goes,” and that which we focus on is what grows, from plants in the garden, to food on the stove, to our magic practices, our relationships, and our art.
 
More than anything, I am so deeply thankful to be the bride of McBride, and I grow more in love with this dear man every single day.

“Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness. It’s the spark that lights a fire of joy in your soul.”
– Amy Collette, author 


So, friends, as we approach our time of thanks-giving, consider starting your own gratitude practice. See if you can find three different things each day to be thankful for, and start your own gratitude journal. Write down what those three things are, and also write down why you’re grateful for them. Conduct the experiment for 100 days, and see if the magical fire of joy grows brighter within you. If your self-talk moves toward comfort and away from complaining, and if you’re finding more roses amongst the thorns.

Email me, Abigail@mcbridemagic.com and let me know what you find! 

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