Jeff McBride – Hard Core Magic

Hard Core Magic

QUESTION: What separates an “OK magician” from a GREAT magician?


Great magicians have developed a formula that makes an unforgettable impact on their audiences. World-famous close-up, stand-up, and stage magicians have developed THE CORE ACT to perfection. What are the essential ingredients to THE CORE ACT

  • AN EYE-POPPING OPENING — How to grab attention and sustain it.
  • SHOW-STOPPING MIDDLE ROUTINES — Sharing your personal message with your magic
  • A STANDING OVATION GRAND FINALE! — Leave your audience breathless and wanting more!

In the past, THE CORE ACT took years and years to develop. However, now, because of the miracle of our online training programs, you can meet me in our virtual classroom, and I can personally guide you, step by step, in creating your own CORE ACT.

I can help you shave YEARS of frustration off your learning curve. I can also save you from wasting money and time, and direct you to make wise choices with your energy and finances.

  1. You will learn new magic routines, and develop powerful techniques that you will use for the rest of your life.
  2. You will learn how to take magic effects you already perform, and personalize routines to fit your style and character.
  3. You will learn presentation and performance skills, that will help you connect to your audience, and make your show a memorable theatrical experience.

I only hold these skill-building classes once a year. They are priced affordably, and we even offer financial assistance with our new Stipend Program. Our School believes in giving you a helping hand during these challenging times.

Please join me for this life-enriching, skill-building series.

Learn more and register at:

(Note: The first listing is for all four classes, but if you wish to take just one or two, you can scroll down the page and register for each one separately)

Yours in better magic,
Jeff McBride

Questions? Contact Abigail (702) 450-0021

Why We Care

Dear Friends:

As I sit to write this, we’re about halfway through two weeks where the temperature will clear 110° F every day here in Las Vegas. Between that, the pandemic, and political strife around the globe—you might be wondering why we would even care about what it means to say we’re having a “Real Magic Master ClassTM..” But we do – especially since we have one coming up in just a couple of days!

(Register here if you want one of the last spots available:

It would appear that the term “Master Class” is losing its true meaning. There is “,” where you can sign up online and watch people—many, but not all, of whom really are “masters,” teaching lessons on what they are best at. I’m sure they’re wonderful, but you won’t get what you can from a “Real Master ClassTM.” It seems that every magician and his sister are also offering online and offline “Master Classes,” which, though they might be wonderful classes and lectures, are NOT really what that name would imply. I’ll tell you why in a minute.

You might well be wondering why this would be important to us—and, honestly, if you’re one of our students, YOU are the reason.

I first encountered the idea of a Masterclass on a PBS program back in the 1990’s. It was a broadcast of a real masterclass, conducted by the opera singer Luciano Pavarotti at Julliard. There were several episodes, and on each one, several Julliard students would sing for Pavarotti, as their classmates looked on from the audience. The great maestro would proceed to give notes, direction, and otherwise help the student who had just performed, get better. Each student had different problems to be solved, and each got individual feedback and attention. Those who did not perform (most of the class) got the benefit of the maestro’s instruction, as well. The students were advanced students, and much of what was taught would never have been taught in a “normal” conservatory class.

I’ve seen other real Master Classes over the years, including those Jeff and Eugene started conducting about 20 years ago. We actually took the conservatory model and added to it…because we start each class by asking every student what their goals are—both for the long-term, and within the context of that class. One student might want to learn a particular kind of card manipulation. Another might need guidance to develop their onstage character. Still another needs to learn how to build their business and market it. You get the idea. Everyone has different needs and desires—and if the teacher doesn’t ask up front, chances are strong that the class will not meet everyone’s needs. But we do ask, and we pay attention, and we structure the rest of that Master Class Session to meet those particular needs.

So…in addition to the performances given for feedback, each of the faculty members creates and conducts break-out sessions that will address particular students’ needs and goals. If we have three students focused on new close-up magic with cards, we’ll do a session on that. If several others really want to talk about how to market their magic, we do a break-out on that. Every one of our Master Classes is, therefore, different from every other one. That’s why some students come back again and again. There really isn’t anywhere else you can get that kind of intense personalized attention from real masters of their craft, without paying top dollar for one-on-one instruction.

Of course, not all of our classes are Real Master ClassesTM. We also have focus sessions, training sessions, and seminars, all of which offer real deep dives into particular areas of magical performance. They each have their places, and will be right for particular students at particular times…but they aren’t “master classes,” by the real definition of that term.

So…I hope this longish and somewhat academic diatribe has entertained and enlightened! And…if I’ve really piqued your interest, that you’ll join us this Saturday and Sunday! This will be our last Real Master ClassTM offering this year.

Wonderground News
The news is that this month will be the first in over 10 years without Wonderground. Why? Because we’re working on something we think will be even better, but it’s not quite ready yet. I can’t give out details just yet, but watch this space for information on Jeff’s own “Magical Mystery Tour ZOOM Show.” Jeff and the team are all inspired to create a magical experience unlike anything else out there…and you’ll be the first to learn all about it!

In the meantime, I hope you’ll join us either for the Real Master ClassTM this weekend, or one of the upcoming Monday night shows. This next week will be all about Washington Magic, a unique, once-a-month show put on at The Arts Club in Washington, D.C. by some of our favorite students, including David Morey, John McLaughlin, and Eric Henning. Tell your friends…and make sure they know the Monday show is FREE to all.

That’s all I’ve got for today. Watch your inbox for another timely Museletter in just a few days, and Jeff McBride will be telling you all about his “CORE ACT” classes next month.

Till then, stay well, stay safe, be kind and keep making magic!


Tobias Beckwith

Is the Magician a Stoic?

Dear Friends:

Our guest columnist this month is our long-time friend, recently named as an instructor here at the Magic & Mystery School, Tim “Santiago” Converse.

Tim has an extensive background doing Quality Assurance for companies ranging from small startups to enterprise level software systems for the US Military. He is the owner of his own business, as well as being an instructor in the art of magic, and has used those opportunities to develop a significant skill in “out of the box” thinking. He regularly uses his skills as a magician and entertainer to enhance his workplace skills in communication and management of people.

Is “The Magician” a Stoic?
by Tim “Santiago” Converse 
One of the things that has long fascinated me about things like magic and philosophy is how often I find connections between them. Those connections are usually about vision, training, and discipline.

For the past year or so I have been making a serious study of a particular philosophical discipline known as Stoicism

Stoicism has its roots in Athens going all the way back to the 3rd century BCE. Originally founded by Zeno of Citium, and practiced by philosophical luminaries like Epictetus, Seneca and Marcus Aurelius, Stoicism is based on the foundational idea that being virtuous would lead to one’s happiness. The way to judge what were “virtuous actions,” would be by observing behaviors of people and the results of their interactions with each other, rather than their words. When it comes to random external events, we must take the time to pause and carefully reflect on what the best course of action might be, rather than to react instinctively on what we might perceive, as that would often be to our own detriment.

Magic teaches us forms of control over the perceptions of others, and it does so by virtue of our own understanding of our perceptions. The Tarot Magician teaches us to use our tools to exert control over the world around us, and both our own perceptions, and the perceptions of others.  But thanks to the efforts of our special corner of the magic world, the Mystery School, we find that as we dig deeper, it also teaches us to understand and master ourselves. 

So I found it particularly interesting when I ran across these words:

“Don’t explain your philosophy. Embody it.”
— Epictetus  

I can spend a lot of time explaining anything I want to an audience, but if they can simply see for themselves by looking at me that I have magic to give, that will mean so much more. Which brings us to an idea we’re all familiar with; “Magician 24/7.”

As I have spent more and more time trying to master myself, I have found it easier to pass on a sense of magic – a sense about how my audiences, too, can be magical.

We strive to teach our audiences that they have magic in them – that they can use that magic to take control over their perceptions of the world to be in charge over their lives, rather than simply being reactive to everything around them. In times like we have been facing, that is a very precious gift.

“It’s time you realized that you have something in you more powerful and miraculous than the things that affect you and make you dance like a puppet.”

– Marcus Aurelius  “How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?”
– Epictetus

Don’t we deserve the best for ourselves? No one is going to give it to us, but if we truly are magicians, then certainly we have the power to go out and get it for ourselves. What is that power? It is nothing more than the willingness to face the world in control over our own choices and our own perceptions.

Does any of this have a practical way to translate to the stage, or to a performance? My answer comes in the form of three of the most powerful words I have ever heard spoken:

“I don’t know.”

What I do know is this: the better I understand myself, the better I understand what I have to offer an audience. I can share their hopes and fears by sharing mine with them. I can share my magic and be some kind of light that says, “Look! That’s where your magic is too!”

“Nothing, to my way of thinking, is a better proof of a well-ordered mind than a man’s ability to stop just where he is, and pass some time in his own company.”
 – Seneca

The classical Stoics never really speak directly of magic. But the legendary magicians in literature, often seem to have a stoic philosophy about them.T hey are comfortable with the world as it is, knowing that they get to choose how they respond to it, knowing that they can change the course of things with their power, but only so long as they remain in control of themselves. They often see the world for what it is, and are perfectly content to live within it as it is, reserving their magic only for those times when it is truly needed.

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.”
 ― Seneca  

I have noticed more and more, especially in our current time of turmoil, that we magicians really do seem to be unconquerable. In a world that has been brought nearly to a standstill, most people have been frozen in their tracks, afraid of which way to move. There are many brave souls who have taken to the defense of our physical bodies, our health, and our overall well-being. They are amazing people to be respected and supported in all that they do.

There are also the artists and entertainers who have adapted to this new world. They find a way to continue to bring something to the rest of us that is in defense of our hearts and minds, doing all they can to help keep us sane.

But the magicians? We not only seem to be able to adjust and adapt, but we are thriving under this very strange time. Beyond that, we are even creating something that gives hope. I think that is a very stoic place to be. I think the Stoics knew that they had the vision to see not just what they needed, but to see what we all needed – not just to survive, but to thrive, no matter what the adversity may be.

The Stoics teach us to consider everything carefully with all due deliberation. Then from there, to determine what it is that we cannot affect, and what it is that we most certainly can. To act with purpose in order to bring about our own happiness and the happiness of others. That seems like an act of deliberate magic.

And so I have to wonder, is “The Magician” a Stoic?

New Ways of Seeing Our World

Let’s take another shot at 2020.

When this old computer I’m typing on freezes, I just remember to reboot! Turn it off, wait, then turn it back on, and “poof” – like magic, it is working again! It seems like the world we live in needs a “Reboot.”

We all need to take a breath and start over.

A few years ago, there was a great essay in Psychology Today by Barton Goldsmith: Starting Over. Instead of making a resolution, which most of us aren’t all that great at keeping, why not look for some areas in your life where you’d like to begin anew?

“Here are some tools to make starting over a little easier and your new year a little more emotionally fit.
1. Starting over is not the same as recouping from a failure.
It is a new beginning. This mindset is helpful because it keeps you from wasting your time being too hard on yourself.
2. Moving through life is like climbing stairs.
You go up a level and then you level off. Nothing is ever a straight shot. Have some patience with yourself, and with your newfound direction.
3. Endings are not necessarily bad things.
Even if the past year was your best so far, the one ahead might just leave it in the dust. This is also true if it’s been your worst year so far, and you’ve suddenly found yourself unemployed or unattached.
4. Starting over may feel scary, but it’s really a cause for celebration.
Think of it as exciting, and many of your anxious feelings will begin to fade.
5. Remember that your future is not governed by your past.
No matter what has happened in your life, you can find a way to make things a little better for yourself, and hopefully for those around you as well.
6. Having to start over is different from choosing to start over.
For those whose lives are still in chaos because of man-made and natural disasters, starting over is not a choice. Giving support to those in need and being able to accept it when necessary are great qualities.
7. Starting over is about giving yourself a chance at real happiness.
You will have to be brave and get good at learning new things, but how bad can that be? At the very worst, you will acquire the skills you need to start on the next project.”

Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D. is an award-winning writer and columnist for The Chicago Tribune
Read his full essay here:

We are YOUR helpers!
Yes, we are in dark times and all of us at the Magic & Mystery School are responding to the global crisis. We are committed to helping the magic community flourish online. We also offer a free online class every Monday evening.
Here is the ZOOM link for each Monday night for the next few weeks. We go live at 7 pm pacific time. You can just save this, and click the link:
We are also posting these shows at our virtual Magical Wisdom site, so if you do not get a chance to join us, you can enjoy the on demand shows here:
BEHIND THE SCENES: Jeff McBride in the News.

Jeff McBride: The King of Cards
Here is an article of interest. I know you will enjoy the history of my mystery!

Magic News! Join us for the 2020 Lance Burton Teen Seminar.
This year, the Teen Seminar will be online, using the Zoom Platform. If you are an I.B.M. member between the ages of 13-19, or with a family connection/relation with the I.B.M.,you can attend the Lance Burton Teen Seminar ABSOLUTELY FREE.

The Seminar will be facilitated by Jeff McBride and Dr. Lawrence Hass, the Founder and the Dean of the world-famous Magic & Mystery School in Las Vegas. It will also feature special guests.
The dates for the Seminar are July 7th and 8th, from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM PDT.

The McBride Magic and Mystery School has been facilitating Lance Burton’s Teen Seminar since its inception in 2003. In the past, among others, our special guest instructors have included: Jeff McBride, Eugene Burger, Suzanne, Oscar Munoz, Joe M Turner, Larry Hass, Joshua Jay, Jessica Jane, and Shawn Farquhar.

If you are a teen and have a serious interest in magic, then this is the place to be in July… seriously! Need more info? Contact Simone Marron at To sign up for the Lance Burton Teen Seminar, please download the application by going to, and clicking the “CLICKING HERE” link at the bottom of that page: You can complete the application, and email it back to

Special Thanks to The I.B.M. Endowment and Development Fund (EDF) For Sponsoring This Event.

Join us for the longest continually running variety show in Vegas! Thursday, June 18th at 7pm pacific time

We are now LIVE online on ZOOM.

Jeff McBride, Scott Steelfyre and Tim Wise welcome you to a new world of wonders!

Jeff McBride – Welcomes you with NEW magic!

Tim Wise – Hollywood Stars of Magic

RJ Cantu – A New Light in the World of Illusion

John Shore – Presents “The Fabric of Time” a Mysterious Victorian Illusion.

Charly D’Carlo – The Magic Factor, Live from Cancun

Paul Draper – Perhaps the Nations #1 Zoom Magic Performer

See you online soon!

Your friends in magic,
Jeff & Abigail

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