News, News & More News

Dear Friends:

This is a special mid-month Museletter. I’m composing it in Jeff’s absence, while he is starring in the 808 Convention in Tai Pei. We have two big news items for you:

Before the really big stuff, though, I wanted to let you know that all of our next set of classes still have spots available. All are already well-subscribed, but there are spots still available in Medicine & Magic, the 3-day Master Class, Real World Close-up and the two Street Magic Classes with Mario Morris. These latter two usually sell out—and I expect they will this year as well, but if you’re interested in attending any of the above, go register now!

Our First Big News:

We have just secured Mac King as our special guest for this year’s Magic & Meaning Conference. Mac has been a long-time friend and supporter of our work at the Magic & Mystery School, and we’re excited he has agreed to join us this year. Here’s a bit about Mac—you’ll know some of this, and be surprised by some:

Mac King

Acclaimed by MAGIC Magazine as the premiere comedy magician in the world today, Mac has been named “Magician of the Year” by the Magic Castle in Hollywood, broken a Guinness World Record, appeared on seven TV specials for NBC-TV, been voted the sixth best show in all of Las Vegas, rocked the audience on The Late Show with David Letterman, tore it up on Penn & Teller’s Fool Us (where Penn and Teller called Mac, “The greatest comedy magician at least alive today, and maybe who ever lived”), and his book from Random House just entered it’s 12th printing.

He’s been named “Entertainer of the Year” by Las Vegas Weekly, and “Best Magician,” “Best Bargain Show,” and “Favorite Male Las Vegan” by the Las Vegas Review Journal.

He is currently starring in the long-running The Mac King Comedy Magic Show at Harrah’s Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas where, over the last 19 years, he has performed nearly 10,000 shows to more than two million fans.

His astounding sleight of hand and irresistible humor has been seen both live and on television in China, Spain, Japan, Germany, Australia, Denmark, Sweden, England, Argentina, Holland, Cuba, Mexico, Finland, Canada, Chile, and Portugal.

According to his wife and daughter, he is a fine husband, a great dad, and all-around swell fellow.
That’s it for our first big news story. If you want the chance to hang out and learn more from Mac, and you haven’t yet signed up for Magic & Meaning, now’s the time!
Our Second Big News:
It is our profound pleasure to announce the four recipients of the 2019 EUGENE BURGER LEGACY AWARDS from the McBride Magic & Mystery School: BEN BLAU, GABRIELLA LESTER, DARYL ROGERS, and TOM VERNER.

Congratulations to Ben, Gabriella, Tom, and Daryl!

Created in collaboration with Eugene’s estate, these awards recognize artists who an anonymous committee recommended as exemplifying Eugene’s highest values and qualities as a magician. Winners of the award will forever carry Eugene’s name forward, and they will also receive a merit-based full tuition scholarship to any class at the McBride Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas.

I invite you to study their magic biographies to become acquainted with these extremely talented, wonderful magicians. We believe that Eugene would have been proud. 

Donations to the Eugene Burger Legacy Fund can be made by going to

Let’s meet the recipients:

Ben Blau

Ben Blau is a magician residing in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA. He is the author of the bestselling 2016 book Asymptotes — Sound Thinking on Mentalism with Playing Cards, is the creator of the modern classic ESP match-up routine “Unfazed” (performed by such luminaries as Eugene Burger and Bill Malone), as well as the mind-boggling “HOTOAC”, “Polygraph” and more. He has recently completed his second hardcover book entitled Truth Fables – The Mental Mysteries of Ben Blau.

Ben’s specialty is devising routines that not only mystify his audiences, but due to his appreciation for what Max Maven sometimes refers to as “The Aesthetics of Method”, creates material that often feels real for both the audience and performer.

As a student of Eugene’s, Ben gained the confidence and ability to connect his magical inventiveness to a more expressive mode, which allows him to metaphorically express his occasionally-esoteric worldview, via his distinctive magic creations and performances. 

Ben is also a prominent college educator, professional musician, and practicing audio engineer in the Southeastern Michigan area, and frequently performs his routines for students, professional colleagues, corporate executives and even complete strangers. His writing has been quietly and positively influencing the international mentalism community for decades, and often compares the subjective experience of “creating” a magic effect to that of the archaeologist; namely, the subjective feeling of “discovering” something that was already there. Like the archaeologist, Ben carefully brushes away the dust to uncover something beautiful that was there all along, and just waiting to be performed. 

Daryl Rogers

Daryl became interested in magic when he was twelve years old. In 2004 he decided he wanted to become a full-time professional magician, and began studying, practicing, and performing. In order to take his magic to the next level, he attended a Master Class at the McBride Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas. While there he received personal instruction form the school faculty, including two of the most influential magicians of our time, Jeff McBride and Eugene Burger.

Daryl’s next step was to enter a magic video competition, in which he took second place. He then went on to develop a competition act. The first time he performed it, at the 2018 Houdini Club of Wisconsin Convention, he won both First Place and People’s Choice awards in the stage competition.

After many years assisting with the Mystery School Monday weekly broadcast, Daryl was named an Instructor at the Magic & Mystery School. As an active member of his local I.B.M. Ring, he has been involved in fund-raising programs, and has appeared on stage with other performers in ensemble cast shows. He has been interviewed on local radio and appeared on live television to promote various events. Daryl performs his own classical magic shows for many types of clients in Northeast Wisconsin, and is regularly seen performing strolling magic at Green Bay area restaurants.

Gabriella Lester

Gabriella is a 15-year old magician from Vancouver, BC. As a very young girl, she remembers bringing a deck of cards to school, and getting teachers and friends to pick a card and shuffle the deck, so she could go through the deck one by one until the card was found.

Gabriella’s first eye-opening experience with magic was in London. While still in elementary school, she went with her family to that great city for a few weeks. One day, she came across a street performer. Gabriella was completely star-struck. She watched the performer’s full show, and she saw the magician put someone’s phone inside a balloon. Immediately after, she turned to her mum exclaiming, “That’s impossible! Give him money!”

A few years later Gabriella saw Shawn Farquhar’s stage show. She fell in love with the fact that she simply couldn’t fathom “how he did it.” After that, her passion just grew. Within a few weeks, she was carrying a deck of cards with her everywhere she went. At the age of 10, she started performing in every possible venue whenever she got the chance.

In January 2017, Gabriella got the opportunity to fly to Las Vegas to attend the McBride Magic & Mystery School—one of the greatest experiences of her life. In the following months, she began working toward her future career in magic.

Gabriella spends every day learning and growing as a magician. She is grateful for every opportunity she has received and is certain she will continue to follow this path for the rest of her life.

Tom Verner

Tom has worn a number of hats in the past forty-five years: Clinical Psychologist specializing in dreams and Jungian Psychology, A Professor of Psychology and Humanities, and a Magician.

Almost twenty years ago those three paths came together when he was inspired to found Magicians Without Borders, an organization whose mission is “to use the art of magic to entertain, educate and empower forgotten people, especially children, around the world.” Magicians Without Borders have traveled to 37 countries, and performed for over one million refugee and orphan children.

They are teaching magic to five groups of very poor children in different parts of the world. Magic helps them develop confidence, discipline, focus and self-esteem. Learning, practicing and performing magic also awakens dreams that the impossible is possible. They begin to imagine doing things with their lives they never thought possible: finishing High School, going to college, nursing school, and culinary school. Magicians Without Borders even has a Scholarship Fund to help make those dreams come true.

Tom would love to hear from anyone interested in volunteering for Magicians Without Borders:

Finally, our monthly

Wonderground News

March 21, 2019

 8pm –  Comedy & Variety show
     Your Host – Jeff McBride
     Captain S. Rokk –  Rocks your world!
     Byron Grey – Master of Mental Power
     Dave Johnson –  Various Hilarious Hocus Pocus
     Kevin Hall – The MadMan of Magic
     Tetro – Master of Flow Magic

 9pm –  Close up and Strolling magic
     Your Host – Will Bradshaw
     Byron Grey – Intimate Mentalism
     Capt S. Rokk –  Street Magic Pirate!
     Dave Johnson – At the Card Table
     Kevin Hall – Comedy Close up
     Tetro – Master of Flow Magic

10pm – Stage show extravaganza!
     Jeff McBride – New Magic Creations
     Mystery Guest!
     Dave Johnson – Animated Magical Antics
     Kevin Hall – Grand Illusion & Confusion
     Tetro – Master of Flow Magic

Plus many more Special Guest  acts to be announced!!!

Music by Nino Miani, Photography by Sheryl Garrett. Bar Magic by Scott Steelfyre & Maggie, Corey Rubino, Belly Dancers, Psychic Sideshow with Morganne – and many more surprises and special celebrity guests.

That’s it for this Muse. We’ll see you again on April 1 with an article from our friend CJ “Cyril the Sorcerer” May. I can’t wait to see what he has for us!

Until then, we wish you all a magical couple of weeks!
Best wishes from all of us at The Magic & Mystery School.

Tobias Beckwith

PS: Have you checked out Jeff’s updated website at yet?

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