I have an interesting position at the Magic & Mystery School. I’m technically faculty, but I have asked not to be paid (other than a small travel stipend which I usually spend on dinners with the gang). In addition to all of the web and technical work, I donate about six weeks of my time every year to teach at the Extended Master Classes.
Why, you may ask, would I do this? Those of you with two or three weeks of vacation a year probably think I’m completely out of my mind!
I do it because I have never found a better source of support and inspiration. If you could spend this much time with Jeff and Eugene, the rest of the faculty, and all of the amazing students, wouldn’t you do it? As it turns out, the reason I can spend this much time is due, in large part, to these same people. They’re the ones that have constantly inspired, motivated and supported me over the two decades that I’ve known them.
I also have an interesting position at the Extended Master Classes. Even though I’m there for almost every moment of every day, I don’t have much to do. I give a talk on websites and internet marketing, perform in the shows and try to help the students with anything they need. I play the role of “observer” more often than “teacher.”
I’d like to share some of my more common observations with you.
First, I’m constantly surprised by how freaked out some of the first-timers are at the night-before party (held at Jeff and Abbi’s home). When I think back to the first time I met Jeff and Eugene, I completely understand. The good news is that by the end of the second or third day, everyone feels like we’ve known each other forever. It’s the same every time.
If I wanted to have a fool-proof prediction, I would seal the following statement into an envelope and put it in full view at the night-before party:
On the morning of the second day of class, at least one student will state, “I’m so overwhelmed. I’ve already gotten my money’s worth… and we still have the rest of the week to go.”
Whoever is the first to say it is greeted with a room full of nodding heads and people whispering “yeah, no kidding.” It’s the same every time.
Works In Progress. Three words that strike fear into the hearts of most students. That’s where you get to stand up in front of the whole group and perform. Luckily, there’s always one brave soul that wants to go first. They perform. Jeff and Eugene take the stage with them and polish their act (and their character, movement, props, etc.) into something truly amazing. From that moment on, you realize that there’s nothing to fear. Jeff and Eugene are here to help you become the best magician you can be. The only problem now is that everyone wants to be next in line to perform. It’s the same every time.
I could go on, and maybe I will some day in the future. For now, I hope you’re beginning to understand why I make the trip to Las Vegas every couple of months. I hope to see you there some day soon. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.