Jeff McBride's Magic & Mystery School

Jeff McBride is one of the world's greatest magicians, known for his creative, energetic presence on stage. Anyone who experienced him in Sweden in 1999 will always remember Jeff McBride.

Now, 99 hours with Jeff McBride have passed: one Master Class each in 2000 and 2002, followed by an Advanced Master Class the same year.

In the Master Class, we learn to know ourselves better. We begin to look upon ourselves differently. We study different "moves," explore exciting routines and journey into the theory and history of magic to understand our art in a profoundly new way. We learn to receive and give constructive feedback.

In addition, the tutor uses the expertise from Eugene Burger, mentalist and philosopher. The experiences belonging to Tobias Beckwith, personal manager, actor and friend are also drawn into the teaching process. Unfortunately I cannot tell you the contents of the curriculum. It will remain a secret till you attend a Master Class. But as the reader might understand, it is of high quality.

It was intense. McBride is a thorough mentor. Nothing stays unnoticed. He watches everything — odd movements, unnatural transpositions, lack of eye- contact and inaccurate timing. The observations are noted. He hears everything — poor diction, unfortunate choices of words and strange phrasing. The experience feels like being an actor having an instructor, director and dramaturge all working on your performance at the same time... with Jeff McBride representing all three. He also teaches us to discover the meaning behind the magic, the reason for what you are doing. It is not enough to demonstrate that a ball can float in the air. "Why do you want the ball to float?" the mentor asks. "Why should people care?" he continues.

Master Class is for those who wish to learn. McBride is the teacher who stimulates and wakes you up to become more creative. All feedback happens within a friendly and positive atmosphere. It is not "dangerous" to attend a Master Class, otherwise people would not have returned four and five times.

Of course, Master Class is strenuous. Jeff McBride wishes to lift every student's magic up to a higher level of excellence, and that takes energy. One's own contributions are also important. Be focused, make notes, have opinions and participate within the group. Do not get frustrated when receiving feedback. Remember, Jeff McBride is a caring person and a skillful mentor that wishes you the very best. Be aware, you will receive "homework", theoretically or practically, and the next day McBride may ask if it has been completed.

Jeff McBride emphasizes the importance of the students feeling well, that we trust each other and enjoy each other's company. The camaraderie is good. There is no competition among us. We do things together, laugh, hang out, dine together and perform magic. In this way pleasure and business are joined.