Fire on the Dance Floor

Dear Friends: 
Experience is often the best teacher, but the lessons learned often don’t come cheap. Read what Magic & Mystery Schoolfounder Jeff McBride had to learn – the hard way!

Have you ever asked yourself “How does good magic go bad?” 
It was New Years Eve, and my biggest gig of the year 1977. I was just out of high school, and already a full time magician. I had a rock and roll magic show, and I had a live rock band playing behind me. All was going well, when suddenly the dance floor burst into flames! Right then I knew it was not going to be an easy show!

What could go wrong? 
I rehearsed this fire act in my mind over and over again! 

  1. The show opened with my production of silks from an empty tube.
  2. Then from the silks the fire bowl appeared – wow!
  3. Then the dancing flames in the bowl suddenly turned into paper flowers.
  4. Unexpectedly, the flowers caught fire. The fire pan started burning. It got too hot, I dropped it on the dance floor, and now we have a disco inferno – for real!  

The band behind me started stomping out the flames, while never missing a note to Herbie Hancock’s tune “Chameleon.” The flames eventually died down, the screaming stopped, and miraculously the magic show continued. All the time I had to step over the burned mess in the center of the dance floor–not such a good way to start 1977!
Why did this show go so wrong?
I rehearsed this fire act in my mind over and over again – and that was the problem. I rehearsed in my mind, not with the actual props and lighter fluid, and now it was too late! Lighter fluid and paper flowers are on a collision course to pyrotechnics – and I was learning this lesson the hard way.

I learned the hard way, but it didn’t have to be like this. If I had a mentor I would have learned the lessons before the accident, and how to avoid it!

  1. I would have learned from my mentor’s experience not to overfill the fire pan with lighter fluid.
  2. My mentor would have trained me in fire safety, i.e, silk + fire= disaster!
  3. Most importantly, I would have learned to aways rehearse with “live loads” and perform all of my routines full-out physically, not just in my mind.            

So how can you avoid making costly or dangerous mistakes, and cut years off your learning curve? Get a mentor!

Actual image of how mentorship works!

I was blessed to have many mentors in my life, and now I am sharing their teachings with my mentees. You see, having a mentor can help with more than just avoiding expensive dance floor repairs; a mentor is a friend and guide to help you, even when things do not go so well. We can all use that kind of support, can’t we?

We all need a guiding hand through the often confusing world of magic and entertainment. If you are interested in learning many of the most important teachings that are handed down to me by my master mentors, then go take a look at this:

“Jeff McBride is the greatest magic teacher in the world”
– David Copperfield

Also,If you are interested in private coaching, I can work with you on Zoom. I teach magic at all levels, from beginner to pro! Learning magic and working on your career moves can be fun and easy – just take a look!
The circle of mentorship and magic continues as we expand and develop our programs here at the McBride Magic & Mystery School. We will see you live on Monday nights at, or see you for “in person” classes here at The Mystery School in Vegas!
Jeff & Abigail and all your friends

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