Life, Death, and Magic

Dear Friends,
I was sitting by the fireplace the other night with Abigail reflecting on life…and death. One of the questions I asked myself was, “What will I leave behind when my life is over?” Yes, there will be lots and lots of books and magic props left behind, and memories from shows gone by. But, what is the story that will be told long after I’m gone? My answer was, “The story of my life and love with Abigail, our magic school, and the magical gifts I shared with my dear friends and students.” 
My question for you today is, “What will you pass on to the future generations before you, um…pass on?” While you ponder that, watch the following film. It might put life in perspective. When I saw the short video below, it brought tears to my eyes. It is a story about an old magician who shares a moment of magic with a child, and the impact that a simple “trick” can have on a young person’s life. A little gift for you!

You just never know how your magic can change a person’s life. I feel the power of this special magic when I pass on the wand of magic to the next generation. I always remember that I am very blessed that I get to be part of passing on a magical legacy to magicians of the future!

Meanwhile, Back in Las Vegas…

We are back home now, re-inspired, refreshed and energized to share our magic with the world! As we enter the new year, it’s important to remember the importance of recharging during the winter months. Just as the earth takes a break and goes dormant, so too should we take time to reflect and rejuvenate. This is a time for us to get a renewed vision for the year ahead, to set new goals, and to re-imagine our craft.

Reflections and Projections

The months leading up to the new year are so often filled with hustle and bustle during a time where Mother Nature whispers to us. “Take a break!” This slows down after the bells ring in the new year. Now is a perfect time to focus on inner work, study, and practice. 

Reflect on what worked well in the past year and what you can improve upon. Take the time to learn new skills and techniques, or to delve deeper into the ones you already possess. Revisit old routines and see if you can find new ways to make them more powerful and engaging. Following are a few things you can do to refresh and renew your magic.

Twist It and Invert It

Here is how you can add a new twist to an old trick. Take a classic trick or illusion and put a new spin on it. This can make your routine feel fresh and new. If a magic effect is often performed as a comedy routine, I try making it dramatic. If it is typically dramatic, then I’ll try a comedy frame for it.

For example, I am very serious and dramatic during my “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” coin routine, yet there is a huge contrast between my drama, and the fun and comedy the kid is experiencing on stage. The audience roars with laughter. Look at Rudy Coby performing his famous “Four Legs Act.” Rudy is being serious and the result is hilarious. What can you twist or invert to create a new and refreshed piece of magic?

Pro Advice

Ask a professional to watch one of your routines and give you feedback. You might be surprised how a fresh pair of eyes can spot things you missed. If you need help getting feedback, let me know. I’m here to give you professional help and direction on your show and your business.

Get Inspiration 

Watch performers who are not magicians. Watch singers, dancers and musicians, and study how they touch and move their audiences. Watch other magicians perform, read books and articles about magic, attend conventions and lectures, to get new ideas and inspiration for your routines. Attend one of our upcoming classes online or in person.

I often get inspiration from watching past masters and others. Here is a great channel I found that might give you some inspiration to create original art. I come back to this page again and again to get inspiration, and I’ll bet you will, too.

Self Care First

Most importantly, don’t forget to take care of yourself during this time. Make sure to take breaks, get enough rest, and stay active. Your physical and mental well-being is essential to being able to perform at your best. 

Everything dies to be reborn. Each winter, we have the chance to reflect on life, death, and magic. As we move forward into the new year, let us all strive to be alive. Strive to be the best and most magical versions of ourselves. Let us recharge our batteries and renew our vision, so that we may continue to amaze and inspire audiences with our art. 

I hope to see you at one of our classes soon!

It is a matter of Life,

Jeff McBride and Abigail

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