Warming Hearts in Dark Times

Greetings, Friends!

Here we are once again in December, coming up on the longest night of the year. Many cultures celebrate this magical time with traditions that go back thousands of years – Yule, Hanukkah, Christmas, and others. One thing they all seem to have in common is the notion of light returning. Even on the darkest night, a single candle brings comfort and light – and a warm fire provides a place to gather and share the stories that help us define who we are communally and individually. Since the earliest cultures, the role of “lore-keeper” has fallen to certain members of a tribe – and often those same members were the shamans, healers, and magicians.

I remember, when I was a child, gathering at my grandparents’ home, along with aunts, uncles, and cousins. This was at a time when many families still had both a family room and a parlor. During most visits to Grandma and Grandpa’s, we would spend most of our indoor time in the family room, watching movies and TV and playing games. But on special occasions, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, they would build a fire in the giant fireplace, and we would gather in the parlor. This was a time without the normal distractions of television, board games, or other casual play. We would open gifts and catch up with one another’s lives – in other words, tell our stories.

Uncle John would tell us about his adventures growing the bank where he was president. Aunt Carol had a funny story about something that happened in the church group where she was active. Mom had something to tell about her activities getting the local League of Women Voters chapter off the ground. Cousins traded stories of what happened at our various schools, or the sports teams we played on. It was a time when the whole family came together as one, sharing our stories around that huge stone fireplace. Sometimes, my Aunt June would sit down at the piano, and we would all sing carols together–all while the field outside the big picture windows filled with snow. I have only happy memories of those days, and I think it had a lot to do with defining the person I was to become.

That’s a big part of the reason I’m excited about the show we’re developing for later this month. Jeff McBride – The Story Master will be a collection of stories from our larger family – the whole human family stretching around the globe. Stories and magic, both the warm and fuzzy kind and the more terrifying, perhaps funny ones. Both the mundane and the magical. Of course, there will be lots of magic – and most of it will be magic you haven’t seen before. As with our other shows online, the formal show will be followed by an after-party where audience members get to ask questions, make observations… and perhaps even tell some of their own stories.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Jeff-McBride.-HOLIDAY-STORYMASTER-jpg-1024x1024.jpg

(You can click the graphic to go to the ticketing site.) Tickets start at $30 per screen – which doesn’t mean $30 per person. Gather the whole family and put the Zoom room on your big screen. Just make sure you can turn on your own camera and microphone so you can interact, and we can see all of you. The Zoom platform isn’t quite like a live show, but the show can and will be far more interactive than a typical show on TV or movie. As Jeff likes to tell his audiences, the more energy you give from your end, the more you’ll inspire him and the better the experience will be for everyone.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for our holiday celebration. We have two performances on Saturday, Dec. 18. One at noon and one at 6 pm, Las Vegas time. That’s so our friends on the East Coast and in Europe can join us at times convenient for them, and even those of you in Asia won’t have to get up in the middle of the night. We’re planning a wonderful celebration for all, no matter what your personal holiday traditions and beliefs might be.

Oh…and we’ll be having guest performers, some of whom might be new to you. Chris Herren as Faust is a wonderful performer who, like Jeff, combines mask, mime and magic. His style is unusual and immensely creative. Judge Gary Brown (yes, he’s a real judge) will be telling a harrowing but magical story I’m sure you’ll all be able to relate to. And our own Abigail McBride will be sharing some magic and a story in the Celtic tradition. Have I convinced you to join us yet? I hope so. The more the merrier!

Just click here to get your tickets: https://mcbride.wellattended.com/events/jeff-mcbride-is-the-storymaster

While I’m thinking of it…most of the holidays we celebrate around this time involve the giving and receiving of gifts. We might have something you’d like to give or to get right here at the Magic & Mystery School. A number of new classes have just been posted.

The class I’m personally most excited about is the one Jeff and I will be teaching for 8 weeks, twice weekly, starting January 14. It’s our class for professionals, and we’re calling it Show & Business. It’s probably different from any other class you may have taken, as it will be largely student-directed. In the first week or two, we’ll give you the basics of building a business around your magic and re-thinking your magic to make sure you’re serving your market as well as possible. After that, you’ll tell us what you want us to teach. The format will be that we’ll deliver you a lesson on streaming video each weekend, and then on Tuesday and Friday mornings from 9:30 am till 10:15 am (Vegas time.) We’ll meet online in an open seminar format, to discuss what has been taught in the video lecture, and what each one of you is experiencing in building your own business and career. Want tricks appropriate for your situation? We’ll teach that. Want marketing and sales techniques? We’ll teach that. Each week you’ll tell us what you want (by consensus), and we’ll do our best to deliver what you need in our next video lesson and discussions. We have to limit the class to just 18 in order to be able to deliver the kind of personalized instruction you each will need.

Learn more here: https://shop.magicalwisdom.com/event/show-business-the-pro-class

To tell the truth, though, I’m excited about all of our new offerings. Jeff and Larry will be teaching you all about Masters and Mentors of Magic in 3 online sessions starting January 13. Interested in knowing more about Tommy Wonder, Dai Vernon, Juan Tamariz, Eugene Burger, and other master teachers of the past? Do you want to know what made each one special, and formed the heart of their teachings? This is the class for you!  Paul Draper will be leading his new class for performers who like doing private events, but who find that, although they get lots of bookings for certain months, they also experience “dry” periods. Book Yourself Solid with Life Cycle Shows is designed to help you learn how to book more events like weddings, bar mitzvahs, and more. People gather to celebrate for baby showers, baby naming ceremonies, baptisms, and confirmations — and they can use our skills. There are seasonal holidays in every religion from Easter to Passover to Chinese New Year -– and they can all use a little entertainment. Paul and his guests will teach you how to find and market for all these and more – and how best to serve those markets, which may be new to you.

Then, starting February 10, Dr. Larry Hass will be teaching a class I know many of you have been waiting for: Deep Study of a Modern Master: Eugene Burger. Larry has helped write and publish the definitive books on Eugene and his work, and I know you’ll want to be there for this very special class.

Any of these classes would make a fine holiday gift – for yourself, or for the magician in your life.
So…that’s what I’ve got for this one. Thanks for reading, and I’ll look forward to seeing you at the show on the 18th, at one of our Mystery School Monday get-togethers, or in class.
Best wishes for a wonderful heartwarming holiday, filled with joy and magic!

Tobias Beckwith

Comments are closed.