Homecoming 2015

Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
–Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., Homesick in Heaven

From Lawrence Hass, Associate Dean

Homecoming 2015 

Larry and Doll

In the fall, most every school has a Homecoming weekend: alums come back, games are played, significant events are held, old friends get together, and parties abound. The Magic & Mystery School is no exception to this great, grand tradition. Our Homecoming weekend is called the Magic and Meaning Conference, and it was held at the Sunset Station Casino in Las Vegas on October 21-24, 2015.

Indeed, the Magic and Meaning Conference isn’t just an “event” or a “conference.” It is a time and place when people from all over the world come to connect with the Mystery School’s special community and reconnect with friends from other School events and classes. It is a time and place to be with people—magicians and non-magicians alike—who love magic and care about connecting the art with larger things that matter in human life.

At the heart of the Conference are 20-minute presentations from attendees on fascinating topics related to magic. Patterned on the famous TED Talks, these are our ever-popular P-E-P Talks (Performance-Entertainment-Philosophy). This year, the Conference featured 17 PEP Talks, plus interviews with Eugene Burger, Stan Allen, and Bob Neale. In addition, our special Guest of Honor was the legendary Max Maven, who delivered a 60-minute Keynote Presentation, and who was the subject of an illuminating, playful interview with Eugene Burger and myself.

Beyond the presentations and interviews, the Conference featured very strong ensemble shows hosted by Jordan Wright, Bill Cook, and Abigail McBride. It also included special magic teaching units from Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, and myself. Evening events included an opening night party at Jeff’s and Abigail’s House of Mystery and a grand closing party at the house of Simone Marron (the School’s Social Coordinator), with many Las Vegas magic luminaries in attendance. On Friday night, conference participants were invited to the Las Vegas Witch’s and Wizard’s Ball—a harvest season costume party and magic show event at the Olive restaurant. Before the Ball, our community came together for a Broken Wand Ceremony in memory of two departed friends, Larry Heil and Andy Paik.

By clicking HERE you can see the full schedule of our 2015 Homecoming Weekend.

One last thing to mention is that this year’s Conference inaugurated a new Magic & Mystery School award. Titled the “Eugenie Award,” it recognizes great service and friendship to the School, and its first two recipients were Max Maven and (I blush) myself. I was completely and entirely surprised! The team kept it from me, and that is pretty hard to do!

Larry's Eugenie

The awards themselves—shaped like gnomes with an uncanny resemblance to Eugene Burger—are hollow, and over the course of the Conference, attendees wrote notes of appreciation for the recipients and placed them inside. I am deeply honored to receive this award and by all the warm expressions of appreciation. Thank you!

The whole team is already at work on Homecoming weekend for 2016! Since next year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Magic & Mystery School, our theme will be “Honoring Eugene Burger,” who was the guest of honor at the very first Mystery School, and our special Keynote Speaker will be Bob Fitch, the extraordinary magic director and teacher.

The 2016 Magic and Meaning Conference will be held October 19-22, 2016, in Las Vegas (at a location yet to be announced). Registration has already opened for the event, and we are extending the deadline to receive a discount off the registration cost. If you sign up by December 15, you will save $30.00 off the regular registration rate of $425.00. (Please register at www.magicalwisdom.com.)

I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at our most recent Homecoming celebration! Our deep thanks to all our friends and alums who made the pilgrimage back home . . . and some of them for the very first time! We hope that you will consider joining us next year at our Silver Anniversary celebration, which promises to be “off the hook”!

Best wishes,

Larry Hass

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