Judging Success

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
— Author Unknown

Dear Friends:

Today our guest writer is our former student and now team member, Jordan Wright. Jordan is a talented artist, both as magical performer and filmmaker, and today he shares he thoughts on how we measure success:

Judging Success

Jordan WrightHow do you judge yourself and your success? Do you look at your career and see completion or do you see room for growth? Many magicians might choose to measure their success by how many shows they have done. Others might choose to measure only by the amount of money they make. The tendency is to dwell on the work we have in the moment or have had in the past. But there are those times when we feel like we are working just as hard yet we are getting very little “work”. It is easy to get to feeling down and to feel like we are not a success. We might receive a bad review, and suddenly our self-doubt creeps in. In the end, it all comes down to our attitude in how we judge our success. If we judge how great our work is by what we have done, or the feedback we receive, then we are only looking at the end result rather than the passion we had doing it.

One of my favorite types of art is conceptual art. In its origins, conceptual art challenged the belief that the purpose of art was to create material objects. Conceptual art is never focused on the result, or the product that is produced. Instead, the focus is placed on the process, the creation of new concepts and ideas. Relating this to magic, think of magicians who are always striving to develop new techniques and skills to accomplish an effect. A lay audience might never see much of what they come up with, yet they are always generating new ideas. Perhaps we can learn from this “concept” to measure success by our passion to attempt something new. After all, we have to be willing to create something beyond what has been done in the past in order for our art to evolve. Our work is not just about the end result, it is about the creative process. The end result will look good if the process felt good.

Thanks, Jordan!

I have just returned from Las Vegas, where we had a very successful Extended Master Class. It’s always fun sharing the week with Jeff & Abbi, Larry Hass, Eugene Burger, and Bryce Kuhlman. Leo Diaz saved the day at this class for two of our students who flew in from Venezuela, bringing a lot of talent but not much English. Leo stepped in as full time translator and made it all work out for everyone. Thanks, Leo!

I have just a bit of news on upcoming events. We would love to have your help spreading the word about these, if they are going to be near you.

First is a “McBride Magic Experience,” presented by Dan Pollack and his “Best Ever Magic” company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We will be on a schedule that is a bit unusual for this kind of event – the first time trying it out: Jeff will perform Magic Behind the Mask at 1pm, followed by his lecture at 3pm on Saturday, September 10th. The next day, his workshop will go from 1-5pm, followed by a magical birthday party Dan and his crew are throwing for Jeff…since that is his birthday! Learn more by going to:


George ParkerThe second event I want to let all our European friends know about is Jeff’s fall tour, which starts out in Amsterdam. George Parker will be presenting and joining Jeff for several events there. You can learn more at:

This will be followed by a week of teaching in Macon, France with Juan Tamariz, and festival performances in France and Copenhagen, followed by workshops & lectures in Copenhagen and, finally, a stop in Budapest, Hungary, where our friend David Merlini is presenting Jeff’s “McBride Magic Experience,” with show, lecture and workshop. We don’t yet have links for all the tour events, but check in on Jeff’s calendar to make sure you catch him when he is near you!

Finally, I understand we still have two open slots left for this year’s Magic & Meaning Conference, and one or two left for our Master Class in Mentalism. Jeff will be off in Europe during the Mentalism Class this year, but we have Eugene Burger, Master Mentalist Ross Johnson, and a special visit by the amazing Paul Vigil…so it promises to be a most amazing event.

Until next time, then, this is:

Tobias Beckwith

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