Escape Your Nightmares – Run Away to Your “Happy Place”

For many kids, school is a nightmare! But I had an escape plan. I could just run away to my “happy place!”  This special, enchanted place was a magic shop I could visit anytime…in my mind. I would visit in person only once a year, but I could journey to it anytime I needed to. The magic shop was at 1540 Broadway. This was Louis Tannen’s Magic Shop – heaven on earth! My first visit was in 1970, and it changed my life forever! I lived on 52nd Street and 8th Avenue, and for nineteen years, I would visit the shop three or four times a week. It was like a second home – my “happy place!” 

I remember the phone booth outside in the hall was my office, surrounded by all those great photos of famous magicians. The hallway next to Universal Costumes was often my rehearsal studio and a place where I would show off my new card manipulations to new friends. Every Saturday was a special day to connect with the magic community; stepping into that store was stepping into another world filled with celebrities, stars, and the wannabes. I was a wannabe. I wanted to be a star! 

 Tannen’s was the place to meet the stars – and learn from them too. I met so many legends of magic: Jeff Sheridan, Harry Lorayne, Frank Garcia, Bobby Baxter, Lou Lancaster, Slydini, and so many more. These amazing Gods of Magic became my teachers, and eventually my friends.
Below is a photo of Louis Tannens in his magic shop, who inspired the lives of  thousands of magicians worldwide!

The NYC magic scene was thriving in the 1970s and 80s. Most of my days were spent practicing, jamming, seeing shows at The Magic Townhouse and Mostly Magic, and meeting new friends. I met David Copperfield at Tannen’s. We were both in our teens, and neither of us knew what adventures awaited ahead of us, but we were getting prepared and training for that adventure! The magic I learned, and the people I met at Tannen’s, transformed my life. Magic gave me the opportunity to travel the world for 40 years and to live a most magical life. Even though I now live in Las Vegas I spent lots of time at the “other Tannen’s.”

The “Other Tannen’s”

I am very blessed to be able to visit David Copperfield’s museum and experience his dream version of Tannen’s Magic Shop. It is the greatest feeling to be able to enter David’s most magical museum and step back in time to the glory days. I think back to them often, and how those days at the magic shop shaped my life. 

David Copperfield has re-created the look and feel of the old Louis Tannen’s Magic shop in every detail – it is a time capsule of my “happy place.” Here I am with David Copperfield, sharing stories with the very funny comedian Alan Bursky. Allen was actually one of the original demonstrators at the old Tannen’s.

The 1970s are my Golden Years of Magic, and some of my most powerful memories come from those times. To enter the doors of the magic shop is to step into another world of infinite possibility. Today, I have built my version of the dream magic shop in my Magic & Mystery School, so I can access those sweet memories and connect with that special feeling every day. I think back to Tannen’s and the wall of photos of all the famous magicians, and now I am one of them! The magic shop is my happy place. “To step inside is to come home!” 

Did You Know?

Steve Martin started  his career by working in a magic shop at Disneyland. Below is a photo of Steve in his “happy place!”

Only 13 Will Join Jeff McBride’s Magical Mystery Tour!

Jeff McBride’s Magical Mystery Tour is more than a magic show. It is an immersive, theatrical experience that explores the heart and the art of magic. This immersive magic experience celebrates the life legacy and spirit theater of one of the world’s most beloved and celebrated magicians – Eugene Burger. 

Jeff McBride studied with Eugene Burger for over 30 years; many of his secret teachings will be passed on to you during the course of the evening through magical rituals, performances and the art of storytelling. Imagine yourself joining this delightfully mysterious adventure! For this limited run, limited seating experience, only 13 lucky people will be personally guided through a series of magical encounters, finally culminating in an authentic recreation of a seance.

Inspiration for Performing Artists

Everyone at Mystery School  sends a thank you to Paul Craven for sending this inspiring quote:

May the autumn harvest bring you the bounty of life and love,

Jeff and Abigail

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