Learning from the Best

We all crave inspiration, and motivation to stoke our creativity.

Our Muse Letter this month is brought to you by Surrealist Illusionist Jordan Wright.

One of the first experiences I had with Jeff taught me just how a simple gift of magic can make a huge impact on a person. One night we were in the checkout line of a supermarket and Jeff asked the checkout guy if he likes magic. He replied that he had not really seen magic before. Without hesitation, Jeff began doing card manipulations for him and ended by giving him one of his cards. The guy was so shocked that his entire demeanor was transformed into a state of bliss. As we were walking out to the car I realized how a simple magic trick in an unexpected way will almost instantly bring people out of their mundane task. This was one of those unique moments that had I not witnessed, I never would have understood.

I often get emails from people asking what advice I can give them on finding a mentor. One of the best pieces of advice I can offer to anyone is to seek out a magician in your area or local market whose work you admire and who is willing to “show you the ropes”. It is not about learning tricks. It is about watching others and learning from the way they work. Having a mentor will allow you to see what real world performing environments are like, to learn what goes into structuring a show, and to absorb all the wisdom that comes from their years of experience. Having someone to not only help guide you but also teach you the life lessons of being a performer is invaluable.

In today’s digital age with so much information on the internet we often feel uncertain of where to turn to for inspiration in our magic. Here’s one suggestion:

For many years now Jeff, Eugene, Larry Hass, and the other Mystery School faculty have been hosting an event in Las Vegas called The Magic and Meaning Conference. Inspired by the TED conference held in Northern California every year, the Magic & Meaning Conference is an event with some of the most brilliant minds in magic and other fields. Philosophers, writers, filmmakers, and other artists gather with some of magic’s greatest thinkers to share their wisdom and insight to inspire others in their work. We call the talks “PEP Talks” — PEP standing for Performance, Entertainment, Philosophy. We recently posted several of the talks from previous years on the Magical Wisdom website to give people a sense of what the conference is about. You can view them here:


I recommend viewing Larry Hass’ talk on Gifting Magic and Payne’s hilarious presentation on Why Must We Repeat Ourselves?

For a little more insight into this amazing conference here is a short video I created:
Magic & Meaning Conference

I recently got the chance to impart some wisdom on younger minds in magic at the World Magic Seminar. This 2 day workshop brought together 52 teens from all over the world to gain insight from Jeff and Eugene on ways to improve their magic. Many of the teen magicians have studied with Jeff and Eugene numerous times. In fact, the three winners of the Teen Stage Competition are all alumni of the Magic and Mystery School.

1st Place — Henry Vargas
2nd Place — Reuben Moreland
3rd Place — Eric Gilliam

What do these talented your magicians have in common? They all have have attended classes with Jeff. We are all very proud of these young rising stars of magic!

It is always amazing to see what an impact Jeff and Eugene have had on magicians, young and old.

This year’s SARMOTI award winner Nestor Hato was quoted as saying “Jeff McBride was the man who taught me magic.”

As I write this Jeff is just about to return from touring in the Midwest and we are making the final preparations for our March WONDERGROUND, which will take place this Thursday, March 18. If you are unable to attend we hope you will tune in to the live broadcast on www.streetofcards.tv.

Read more about the magic and film work of Jordan Wright in his new column on www.iTRiCKS.COM.

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