MuseLetter: Mind Expanding Magic & The Real Halloween Party

Dear Friends:

We are having a Halloween party, and you are invited!

Jeff McBride here in Vegas. I am preparing new adventures for those willing to expand their minds!

SHHH! Hidden in this letter is a bonus video for those of you who want to dig even deeper into the real meaning of this season, if you dare!

I have a few invitations for you my friends; one is a party, and the other is an immersive learning experience. (But first let’s look into this month’s darker theme, if you really dare!)

The Real Meaning of Halloween?? 
Historians have linked Halloween to Samhain, the Celtic festival of the summer’s end celebrated in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. According to Celtic mythology, the veil between the Otherworld and our world thins during Samhain, making it easier for spirits and the souls of the dead to return. People would make offerings of food in order to get on the good side of these spirits and departed ancestors.

Different traditions celebrate this autumn season in many ways. Here in Las Vegas, we are celebrating by doing what we do best, putting on a party!

I have created a show that will inspire you, shock you, and maybe even raise your spirits in these dark times!

MAGIC, MASKS AND MONSTERS – Twisted Mysteries & Bizarre Storytelling
One day only! Saturday Oct 30th, 12pm & 6pm Pacific – (Vegas time.)

Join me for my online Halloween party! Wherever you are on planet earth — you can make it!

A limited number of tickets are available here:

Jeff McBride, Master of Masks & Mystery, invites you to his House of Mystery for our first-ever interactive Halloween show, directed by Tobias Beckwith, with special guests including Media-Mage Scott Steelfyre — and more surprise guests!

“One of the greatest teachers in the history of magic.
He’ll share an important story – his own.”
– David Copperfield

October is World Magic Month, and your spirit guide for Magic, Masks & Monsters will be Jeff McBride, whose passion for masks, monsters, and magic, his live Las Vegas shows, and his recent MagicQuest virtual show have all helped him gain critical acclaim. 

Jeff has created an all-new experience, using the wonderful interactive tools developed to create MagicQuest — this time with a very different set of dark stories and very twisted magic!

Once again, there will be a Special VIP afterparty, in which we will share some of the more frightening and bizarre aspects of Jeff’s extensive Curiosity and Oddity collection.


Last month we SOLD OUT all tickets! So don’t miss out — ORDER NOW! CLICK HERE for your ticket. Get just one ticket for your entire household!

Also coming up in mid-November is a special online class for those who want to dive deeper into the real mysteries of magic.

The Las Vegas Seance Summit – A Celebration of Bizarre Magick and Storytelling – November 19-21, 2021    

They said it couldn’t be done–an online seance. But, after last year’s success, we decided to do it again! Dedicated to the Spirit Theater and Bizarre Magick of Eugene Burger.

Some of the top minds in the world of spirit theater, seance, and bizarre magick will gather online to form a circle, and to share their stories as we journey together into the world of shadows and candle-lit mysteries. When the candles are extinguished, these spirits will emerge enlightened, 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, Kevin Lepine, John Ferrentino, Jon Stetson, Joe Cabral, Vince Wilson, and David Parr, with other guests to be named! 

On November 19-21, 2021, the Magic & Mystery School will once again hold an Online Seance Summit. Our subject: the performance arts of seance, 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, & special effects for creating this kind of magic, both light and dark.

Now, as we journey into the dark time of the year you just might need some magic to lift your spirits in these dark times.

Well, my friends, here is magic that is guaranteed to make you and your friends smile! This is one of the most versatile magic routines I’ve ever performed. Now you can learn why I love to perform this in every one of my shows!

You can perform it to music, perform it silently — or with the professional scripts provided. You can even create your own custom presentation. It can be performed solo or interactively with audience members. Take a look!

You can order yours now by clicking here:

You take a large silk handkerchief. Tie a very fair and sturdy knot in the center. Tug on the knot to make sure it’s secure… Then, you make a magical gesture, and the knot mysteriously slides right off the end of the silk!! This can be repeated with a hilarious kicker finale. 

BEKOS Packs Small & Plays Big! 

You can perform this strolling, street, parlor, and it is visible even on the largest stages. BEKOS is a complete professional routine! 

Our detailed instructions, scripting, and presentational tips will give you all you need to dazzle and delight your audiences. Your choice of classic red, or Smiley Face yellow. BEKOS comes complete with special, improved knots, and access to a special online training video. Get it here:

I hope you find something of interest on our Events Schedule this fall. it is our great pleasure to host you! I will see you at our online Halloween party or here in Vegas at one of our live events.

Jeff & Abigail and all your friends at Mystery School

PS: you made it so far, so here is the bonus video… it brings tears to my eyes every time I watch it.

PPS We still have a spot left for our Weekend of Wisdom, coming up next weekend. Use the calendar link below to grab it!

Three Motivators for Engaging Your Audience

Dear Friends:
Our guest columnist this month is Jonas Caine, founder of and the hashtagposivity (#positivity) community group on Facebook. He is an accomplished magician, speaker and workshop leader, and a longtime member of our Mystery School community. You’re going to love this!
Three Motivators for Engaging Your Audience
By Jonas Cain

The look on the woman’s face said it all—but if there was any doubt, it was resolved when she opened her mouth.
“How long is this going to take?”
These words punched me in the gut. I had just walked in the door of the senior center ready to perform my magic act, but the entire community of seniors were engrossed in a game of bingo. When the staff stopped the game to begin the performance, the stern woman confronted me to make it clear she wasn’t happy about the state of affairs, adding, “I hope it’s a quick show.”
This experience became a valuable reminder that not everyone in our audience will want to be there, and even for those who are excited for the opportunity, as presenters, we are gifted with the responsibility to honor that excitement by providing an all-around engaging experience.
Activators to A.I.D. Engagement
In my work as a performer, facilitator, and coach, there are three key motivators I use to engage with my clients: Attention, Interest, and Desire. Whether in a classroom, boardroom, theatre, or wherever your work takes you, you can use these same motivators to A.I.D. engagement with your own audiences—and in so doing, make stronger connections with the people you serve.

When initiating these strategies, it’s recommended to approach them linearly — starting with attention, then interest, and building to desire. Once all three are activated, you can then use them together iteratively, weaving back and forth to reinforce deeper engagement. 
What follows is a brief explanation for why these engagement motivators are important and suggestions for implementing them:
1. Attention

You may have something wonderful to share, but if no one is paying attention then it simply won’t matter. Gaining attention activates a temporary state of curiosity through external stimuli, motivating them to respond with perceptual curiosity—the tendency to investigate novelties in the environment.
How do we apply this to our presentations? Fast-paced visual magic works well here, such as appearances, transformations, color changes, and so forth, as does changes in sound and light. A joke or a brief story can also work if they are both crafted and paced well.
Attention, however, wanes quickly, which is why we must transition efficiently from mere attention to interest. And that’s the key to this motivator: attention unlocks the potential to foster interest in experiencing more, inspiring your audience to sustain their attention.
2. Interest

Whereas attention tends to be fleeting, interest can be longer-lasting because it relies on what your audience already intrinsically cares about, motivating them to respond with epistemic curiosity—the tendency to investigate unanswered questions and develop deeper understandings. By connecting your presentation to what your audience already cares about, you motivate a deeper level of curiosity, inviting them to engage more meaningfully in the experience.

How do we apply this to our presentations? Magic that speaks to emotions and strongly held beliefs can work well here. For example:

  • The Light and Heavy Chest can speak to beliefs about power.
  • The 100th Monkey can challenge the perception of beliefs.
  • Anniversary Waltz can speak to the value of relationships.

These are just a few samples to help get you started thinking about what is inherently motivating for your audience. In addition, it’s worth noting the valuable role stories can play here. Humans are wired to understand life through metaphor, and a well-crafted story embedded in the right part of your presentation can do wonders for creating a deeper level of interest for your audience.

3. Desire

When genuine interest is activated, it can become fuel to drive your audience to get involved, motivating your audience to respond with social curiosity—the tendency for people to value what they help create. This final engagement motivator is where you invite your audience to follow your lead and become co-creators of the experience.

How do we apply this to our presentations? Scripts that utilize call-and-response and do-as-I-do will work well here, and magic that empowers your audience to perform their own magic can be used to great effect. Jeff McBride’s “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” is a perfect example of a piece that utilizes this strategy.

Another valuable way to activate desire is your ability to demonstrate authenticity, likeability, and trust—the dance between who you are, what you do as an expression of who you are, and the attitude you express towards your relationship with the people you serve. Simply put, if your audience likes you then they will want to engage in the experience, and if they don’t then they won’t.


  1. How might you generate attention?
  2. How can you foster interest?
  3. How will you inspire desire?

Final Thoughts
As presenters, we are gifted with the responsibility to provide an all-around engaging experience for our audiences, and taking this responsibility to heart will reward us with stronger connections with the people we serve.

Using these same engagement activators all those years ago at that senior center, when my magic act interrupted a game of bingo, I was able to win over the heart of even that stern woman who was hoping for a quick performance. Throughout the show, I watched her scowl turn into a smile, and listened to glee spill from her heart in fits of laughter! And by the end of the act she even willingly volunteered to participate in the grand finale, becoming an engaged co-creator of a valued experience. When the show ended, she once again approached me, this time with a transformed heart, saying: â€œI thought I didn’t like magic, but I like you!”

Such can be the power of directing attention, speaking to inherent interests, and inspiring desire for what you have to share through authenticity, likeability, and trust. Whether in a classroom, boardroom, theatre, or wherever your work takes you, you can use these same motivators to A.I.D. engagement with your own audiences.

The Real Meaning of Life–Revealed

Greetings my friends,

I really think the teaching in the quote above is profound. However, there is a missing piece that makes it incomplete. To really get the full meaning of this quote, we must investigate a bit. So, let’s track down the source.

The inspirational quote above has been attributed to William Shakespeare, Pablo Picasso — and like many quotes on the internet today, Bruce Lee!

I searched for the origin of this quote, and was surprised that there is a missing piece of wisdom that completes the thought. Research shows that in 1993, the volume Finding Your Strength in Difficult Times: A Book of Meditations by David Viscott was published. The author was a psychiatrist who hosted a pioneering radio talk show in the 1980s and 1990s, during which he provided counseling to callers. Viscott’s statement was composed of three parts instead of two. Here is the full quote:

The missing part was “the work of life.” This is a very important step to keep in mind. The discovery and giving away of the gift can take moments – but “the work” takes a lifetime!

I really feel that my life path is to help my magic students discover their gifts and help them work to develop them. I so love to see our students light up when they “get it,” and the light goes on — that is pure Illumination!

When you need help developing your magic, I’m here for you. Just email me to set a time to meet on Zoom, or live here at the school in Las Vegas.

Jeff McBride Presents
Magic Masks & MonstersTwisted Mysteries & Bizarre Storytelling

All New Show — All New Magic!

One Night Only! — And yes…there will be Monsters!

Jeff McBride, Master of Masks & Mystery, invites you to his House of Mystery for our first-ever interactive Halloween show, directed by Tobias Beckwith, with special guests including “Media- Mage” Scott Steelfyre — and more surprise guests!

“One of the greatest teachers in the history of magic.
He’ll share an important story – his own.”
                               – David Copperfield

October is World Magic Month, and your spirit guide for Magic, Masks & Monsters will be Jeff McBride, whose passion for masks, monsters, and magic, his live Las Vegas shows, and his recent MagicQuest virtual show helped him gain critical acclaim. 

Jeff has created an all-new experience, using the brilliant interactive tools developed to create MagicQuest — this time with a very different set of dark stories, and very twisted magic!

Once again, there will be A Special VIP afterparty, in which we will share some of the more frightening and bizarre aspects of Jeff’s extensive Curiosity and Oddity collection.

There will also be a unique new online Halloween magic show & after party at Jeff’s home

ONE NIGHT ONLY! * Last month we SOLD OUT  ALL tickets!
Don’t miss out — ORDER NOW!

If you ever wondered what it is like to be in the McBride House of Mystery on Halloween… this is your chance! Join us for a night of spooky fun and magic!

See you online.

Jeff & Abigail and all your friends at Mystery School

So, when you get inspired by a thought, try to track that inspiration to its source. Or, remember the words of Honest Abe…

Magic and Vaudeville

Dear Friends:

It’s September! Back-to-School time. We’re excited here at the Magic & Mystery School about all our fall events, some of which will actually take place live and in person – for the first time since the beginning of 2020! Check the calendar at the bottom of this Museletter to see everything coming before the end of the year.

Our guest columnist this month is our good friend, and Executive Assistant to the school, Katherine (Kat) Rettke. If you haven’t been helped by Kat, you probably haven’t attended our events. I think you’re going to love the article!

Vaudeville and Magic
By Kat Rettke (with assistance from W.M.L.R.)  

It was in the setting of Vaudeville theater that many great magicians developed their acts. According to the website Magicpedia, more than four thousand magicians appeared on vaudeville bills around the world, including Harry Houdini, Ching Ling Foo, Chung Ling Soo, Thomas Nelson Downs, and Harry Blackstone. Context is important. If you want to more fully understand any of the great magicians who were performing during the years vaudeville was popular, it is worth learning more about the history of vaudeville, and a little bit about what it meant to be employed as a vaudeville performer.

Vaudeville was a type of live performance popular from the late 1800s until the 1920s. A typical North American vaudeville performance was a variety show of unrelated performances, which included performances by magicians. According to Wikipedia, “at any given time, Vaudeville was employing over twelve thousand different people throughout its entire industry.  Each entertainer would be on the road 42 weeks at a time while working a particular ‘circuit’- or in an individual theatre chain of a major company”.  

One thing that made vaudeville unique, however, was the intention to create a family-friendly entertainment, unlike earlier popular variety shows. According to the article Vaudeville (Wikipedia) one man who can be credited with this type of show was Tony Pastor, who became a variety theater performer and manager, who began to feature “polite” variety programs in his New York City theatres.

Another instrumental founder of vaudeville was B.F. Keith, who built an empire of theaters in both the United States and Canada, and partnered with Edward Albee. They developed a chain of allied vaudeville houses and contracted acts for regional and national tours through what was called the Keith-Albee Circuit, which later merged with the Orpheum Circuit and went on to be called the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Circuit.

According to Wikipedia, “by the late 1890s, vaudeville had large circuits, and small and large houses in almost every sizable location, standardized booking, broad pools of skilled acts, and a loyal national following.”  Vaudeville performers were hired by talent bookers to tour different regions on what was called the vaudeville circuit.

It was the development of cinema that led to the decline of vaudeville. Theatres used for vaudeville were updated to show movies. On an interesting side note, the Keith-Albee-Orpheum Circut merged with Radio Pictures to become Radio Keith Orpheum… RKO Pictures. This is just one example of how the motion picture industry can trace back its own history to vaudeville roots.

An important aspect of learning more about the history of vaudeville is developing an appreciation of the theaters where these shows took place.  Many of the theaters built for, or used for vaudeville circuits have been torn down over the years. Some of these theaters survive and thrive, while others are in disrepair, lacking funds, or at risk of being torn down.

The Theatre Historical Society of America and The National Trust for Historic Preservation are two historical preservation societies fighting to keep these theaters available for future generations. So many magicians have contributed over the years to efforts to save historic theaters. I can think of two wonderful examples of magicians contributing to the preservation of historic theaters: Magicians Danny Archer and Mark Zacharia, who with the Smoke & Mirrors Magic Theater hosted a magic show in January 2021 to benefit the historic Newton Theatre in Newtown, PA. Another magician, Paul Draper, makes it a point to book shows in historic theaters across the country as a way to help these theaters benefit financially.

Newton Theatre, Newton, PA

We owe a debt of gratitude to the great magicians who developed their craft through vaudeville. So much was learned in the vaudeville setting about technique and interacting with an audience, and this knowledge was passed down to following generations of magicians.  

Danger, Fear and Masks

The most dangerous killers in our world today are invisible to the naked eye… and the truth is that masks are really saving lives all over the world! 
Wearing a mask certainly transformed my life… but in a very different way! By creating my Mask & Magic act, I avoided the plague of becoming a run-of-the-mill magician.  

The “magic behind the mask” became my brand and signature effect, and a powerful symbol for me in the world of magic. In today’s pandemic world, the power and symbolism behind wearing a mask takes on new meaning.
Wearing a mask is now an everyday event. 
I have been reflecting on my relationship to the mask. This little video will give you a smile. It is my public service announcement.

Good Guys Wear Masks

MAGIC NEWS – Student Spotlight
The Mystery School was well represented at the recent Abbott’s convention. Daryl Rogers, James Ember, and Elliott Hunter all performed on the big stage.
Congratulations to Elliott Hunter for bringing back the first-place gold medal in stage magic!

We predict many good things ahead for you Elliot! Elliott will be in Las Vegas this week studying with me, one-on-one, here at the Magic and Mystery School.
We re-open our doors in September for live, in-person experiences here in Las Vegas with a special class on card magic for close-up and parlor. 
When you come to Vegas, plan to stop in and take a class, we can arrange a special one-on-one session for you here:

He is a dangerously clever man.
He is a master of the art of deception.
He is a trickster, an iconoclast and one of the most brilliant minds in magic! Now he is our very special guest at our Magic & Mystery School fall semester.

Dan Harlan is one of the great inventors of our time. He also happens to be one of the nicest people, and one of the most giving and sharing of any magicians I’ve ever met. Dan was with us at the very early Mystery Schools and brought a delightful dimension of mischievousness to our Mystery School community.
The tradition continues at The Magic & Meaning Conference and our Weekend of Wisdom.
Dan Harlan will attend both events and present two completely different programs! He will also be here with us live to share magic in small groups… Not only teaching his wonderful magic but helping you with yours.
Dan is just one of many super talented and brilliant performers that you will be working with at our fall events
You want to attend these events!
GO HERE and Register now…/magic-meaning-2021…
These are exceptional community events where we create a safe place for serious play. If you want to become a better magician, then you will want to join us.

Abigail and I are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary this month! Thank you everyone for the kindnesses you have shown us over the many years.

We send you our blessings and magic from our cozy home in Vegas.

Final Words
If you are having a party, show, or special event this fall, I’m here to let you know that I am now performing again at both LIVE and VIRTUAL events. Just email me, or call Abigail at 702-450-0021.

See you onstage or in Las Vegas!

Jeff and Abigail McBride

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