Late Winter Inspiration

“A professional is a person who can do his best at a time when he doesn’t particularly feel like it.” —Alistair Cooke

Greetings friends,
Alistair Cooke conveys a deep part of my philosophy about being a magician 24/7.  A real magician is ready and able to perform magic at any time, with absolutely no preparation.  At our upcoming Master Classes, I will teach you the three effects you need to know to do magic anytime, anywhere. For a bit more of the “Magician 24/7” philosophy, you can get a taste of it here:
See You in Texas
Eugene Burger, Larry Hass and I have a week of events for you to choose from at this year’s “Theory and Art of Magic Conference” in Sherman, TX.
Masks and Magic
It is my pleasure to share some of my inner secrets to a select few who join us in March to study “The Way of the Mask.”  We have a special guest teacher, Enrico Pezzoli, who is coming from Italy, and is a master of commedia dell’arte.  This workshop will be limited to ten participants.
Jeff McBride
Lightning Transformations: The Secret Art of Quick Change
Join world-famous expert on the art of Quick Change, Lee Alex and me for two days of immersive study in this fascinating art.
Jeff McBride, Dirk Losander and Eugene Burger
Alternative Spring Break – Extended Class
March 6-11th, 2011.
If you want to take your magic to a higher level of excellence, we have a fantastic new opportunity for you. Treat yourself to the ultimate spring break experience, even if it has been decades since you were in college:
…remember, Monday is a school night!  Join us for
McBride’s MysterySchool Monday
This Monday at 7pm, Pacific time.
LIVE magic, reviews, celebrity interviews & news reports from around the world with Jeff McBride and the Mystery School faculty
As you know, we love to feature a few words from our alumni, faculty and friends from time to time.  This month’s special guest writer is film-maker Jordan Wright.  Jordan records some of the videos for the Magic and Mystery School. You can see many of our magic lessons here:
And now, Jordan Wright:
Jordan Wright
Magic That Moves
There is a new trend sweeping us out of our living rooms, away from our televisions and onto our computers – it is the Internet. Over the past several months, news reports have highlighted the shifting of social media into daily life. In fact, people are spending more time on YouTube than watching TV. Most of us accept that an online presence is necessary and more or less standard for every business, but I believe social media is really where we need to connect and interact in order to be perceived as relevant in today’s markets. While many seem to still feel a strong desire to go after the television market, appearing on whatever new reality show they can in hopes of getting their 3 minutes of air-time, I believe now is the time to begin placing more focus on building a presence through social media. Posting video on Facebook and YouTube, for example, will allow you to reach more people worldwide than you will on a single television appearance.
Many performers and artists still have reservations about what they put out for public viewing, and rightly so. While I do not think it wise to put your “bread and butter” money-making material on YouTube, you might consider posting something simple along the lines of a “behind the scenes” video from a recent tour or a short clip from a recent performance. Posting video blogs is another great way to build a direct relationship with people interested in your work.
Having a good viral video that you post will serve as a look into your world, allowing an international audience to experience what you do before they are able to experience it live. Your most significant cost is time and labor. A direct return on investment cannot always be realized — but, again, this is about building relationships and influencing markets. Regardless of what you are trying to sell (your show, a new product, etc.) it has become clear that the place to do it is through social media on the Internet.
To that end, I have been hard at work creating new videos this month. View our new Wonderground promo video here ( We are also constantly adding new teaching videos to the VirtualMagicSchool.  ( Watch Jeff McBride’s new Essential Card Manipulation teaching video and his torn and restored bill effect “Money!” Other new releases include two new effects by Lawrence Hass “The Impossible Prediction” and “The Tale of the Rabbi Magician”.
A brief note from Tobias:
I can’t quite believe it, but Jeff has agreed to teach the secrets of “Magic & Masks” at the upcoming Focus Session on March 2-3. He is joined by another mask master, Enrico Pezzoli. If you’ve ever wanted to learn about masks in magic from the man whose name is synonymous with the subject – this is your chance! Sign up now – I doubt we’ll offer this again. Limited to only 10 students.
Best wishes.
Tobias Beckwith

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