May Day


Dear Friends:

How did the first of May ever become a call for distress? Wikipedia has the answer:

The Mayday procedure word was originated in 1923, by Frederick Stanley Mockford (1897–1962).[1] A senior radio officer atCroydon Airport in London, Mockford was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport inParis, he proposed the word “Mayday” from the French “m’aidez, a shortened version of “venez m’aider” (meaning “come and help me”).[2]

I love it that it is, or at least corresponds to, the French “M’aidez,” or “Help me.”

TB Wizards Way

So what, you may well ask, does this have to do with magic, and with you? What might it have to do with our efforts here at the McBride Magic & Mystery School?

Well, we’re certainly not in distress. Classes have never been fuller, and we’ve never had a stronger or better team helping us keep everything running smoothly, and expand our efforts. I hope you’re not in distress, either.

Nevertheless, we can certainly use your help. Even the best of organizations is really only as strong as its relationships. In a company, that means how it relates to employees, investors, and clients.  Smart companies know that it also means everyone with whom they communicate, whether they wind up being customers or not. How you are perceived in the eyes of the general public has a lot to do with your ability to accomplish the mission your company has set for itself.

Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is a good example. On their web-site, they state the basics of their mission as follows:

Ben & Jerrys

Our Product Mission drives us to make fantastic ice cream – for its own sake.

Our Economic Mission asks us to manage our Company for sustainable financial growth. 

Our Social Mission compels us to use our Company in innovative ways to make the world a better place.

Many people who, for whatever reason, don’t buy and consume Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, nevertheless have a great opinion of the company, largely for the ways in which it accomplishes it’s social mission. They pass on good “word of mouth” about the company, and that translates to more sales. These people are the company’s fans, it’s community. They provide invaluable support.

For us, you are the support network. Whether you ever pay to come to a class, buy a product, or otherwise provide financial support for our mission, you continue to stay tuned in to what we have to offer. Our mission is to lift the general level of the art of magic. We are committed to providing safe environments where that can happen — where we can encourage our students to test the limits of their abilities and their own comfort zones, in order to become better magicians.

We’re about to embark on a new phase of our activities that will vastly expand our own ability to achieve those goals. I can’t tell you more about it just yet, but watch this space in the coming weeks, and we’ll tell you all about it. For now, just enjoy the mystery. We are, after all, a Mystery School.

There is something you can do right now that will help, if you’re willing. Help us spread the word. There are almost 15,000 of you who receive our Museletters. Although we continue to do our Monday evening shows and do as much outreach through our faculty’s attendance at various magic conventions, lecture tours and the like, the Museletter reaches more people, with a higher frequency, than all of our other activities. However, we need to reach an even wider audience. That’s where you come in.

Please help us by forwarding this Museletter to at least two of your friends who you think might benefit from seeing it. Encourage them to sign up! Please also do the same when you post to social media. This and all our past museletters are archived at You can use that URL in social media posts to send your followers there. The more the merrier!

As you already know, we do our best to bring you not only the latest news on what we’re up to, but new ideas and techniques that we think will be of special interest to you as magicians and fans of magic; things that will improve your lives. We seek to build a community of those who care as much about the art of performing magic as we do, and we love having you as a part of that community. This is your chance to help bring friends and family who share your passion into the community, as well. We’ll continue to do everything we can to support the mission… but hey: If you help us expand the community, you’ll be leveraging our efforts. Just by spending a few minutes of your own time, you can make a big difference, and you’ll have our undying gratitude.

Jeff McBride will be back in this space in two weeks with more of his special brand of teaching for you, along with news of this month’s Wonderground.

Till then:

Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!  Please help spread the word!

Best to all.


Tobias Beckwith

PS:  On a personal note: I’ve begun a new enterprise in association with the school, whose mission is to take what we’ve learned in our work with magicians, and expand our principles and teaching methods to a wider community. Please visit the new website for that enterprise, and send me your feedback:

Thank you!

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