The House of Magic Has Many Rooms, and Ours Has Many Chairs Around the Table

Dear Friends:
The Reverend David Reed-Brown is one of our oldest friends and students, who has been coming to various Magic & Mystery School events for over 20 years. Besides being an inspiring performer, David is a deep thinker about both the technique and philosophy of our art. I know you’ll enjoy his guest-artist article which follows:

The House of Magic Has Many Rooms,
And Ours Has Many Chairs Around the Table

Eugene lovingly took Cindy’s hand…  My wife had just come through the front door of the House of Mystery during an evening session, but she didn’t know where to go.  He graciously led her to our group out back on the patio and made sure she had a place at the table. It was my first Master Class, back in January, 1999.  That was Eugene Burger’s way. He often looked out and looked closely for people on the fringes, for those who are different. He very intentionally connected and welcomed people. Eugene was fond of saying, “In the House of Magic there are many rooms.” Let me add to this statement, “In our particular room we have a variety of chairs around the table waiting just for you.”

Magicians Dana Douglas & Eugene Burger
Photo Courtesy of Dana Douglas.

I remember performing for critique at my first Master Class.  I had never performed for magicians before, and I was so “green,” yet still very welcomed.  We have people of many different abilities participating at the Magic & Mystery School.

We have those just starting out, as well as seasoned professionals, women and men, older and younger, people of all skin tones, LGBTQIA, well-known and unknown people speaking different languages, all with different finance levels, professions, talents, and education – each one with a unique approach to magic.

Back in the early 2000’s after one of our conferences ended, a number of us went into Las Vegas to watch close-up magic.  A well-known magician approached us, and we introduced ourselves as being from the School. He looked down condescendingly, muttering under his breath, “You know that’s where all the gay magicians go, don’t you?”  A number of us proudly responded right away, “O yes we do! It’s a safe, caring community where all are welcome. It doesn’t matter to us if someone is different. It actually enriches us and magic all the more…” A silent and magical teaching moment followed, as he absorbed a glimpse of this love. What I’m saying is, “All are welcome.” We’re not perfect at it. No one is, but we really try.

Every October at Magic and Meaning, the annual homecoming of the Magic & Mystery School, we open with a ritual led by Abigail McBride.  I won’t fully explain this experience because that mystery is especially for those who attend, but I will share that it is lightly adapted for our purposes from Mahatma Gandhi’s community.  This bonding experience helps us to appreciate and support each person in a variety of ways right from the start of the conference. It creates room for each one. We also check in with the group at regular points along the way.  There are daily opportunities for each person to share in smaller groups what they are processing. The welcome continues in some fashion at every online and in-person event hosted by the school. Every voice is welcome.

AN INVITATION:  No matter who you are, no matter where you are on your magical journey or your life journey, in our magical room, there’s a special place for you at the table. In fact, meeting YOU might be the best thing that happens to us all year…

Jeff and Abbi Welcome Us

David Reed-Brown is an Instructor at McBride’s Magic and Mystery School, where he has studied for twenty years.  As a fusion of clergy and magician, he gives people hope through the Art of Magic. He lives in Simsbury, Connecticut with his wife, Cindy, and two amazing boys, Matthew and Kirby.  See his articles on

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