(Romany, aka Romany, the Magical Mistress of Ceremonies, www.romanymagic.com ,is a British female
stage magician working a quarter of the year on cruise ships and the rest in cabaret, theater and
private performances. )
Magic is tricky. The journey towards a well polished, complete and satisfying routine is paved with
frustration and dilemma. It can be a lonely and confusing road, full of wrong turnings and foolish
deviations. I know mine was… Is. All those questions… “What finale is my show going to have?
Why doesn’t the knot slide off the silk smoothly? Why aren’t I getting the applause I deserve?” If
you really want to know the answer to your questions and if you really want to take your magic and
performance to the next level, an excellent solution is the McBride Masterclass. And after doing
quite a few of them over the years, I’d like to explain what, how and who goes on in a typical class.
If you want to perform magic then of course you are always going to experience dilemmas and
questions. You might be lucky and belong to a magic club with experienced members who help you
out and give you honest feedback. If you don’t and are struggling along on your own, one really
efficient way to answer your questions is to put them all in a large black magic bag and take them
wriggling and squirming to a McBride Masterclass. When I first went to my very first Masterclass
in my very first year of learning magic, my big burning question was how to produce a HUGE crystal
gleaming with Mysterious Power out of Nowhere to be the Grand Standing Ovation producing
moment of my show….. (I put the capitals in there to express how much I yearned to know
the answer!!!) How Jeff how?
The answer?? You don’t. Crystals don’t read on stage. Go home, read Tarbell, pick a good solid
classic of magic that actually works and start building a routine on that.
Of course I didn’t listen. I got a prop maker to build me a HUGE crystal out of real quartz and put a
LED inside it…. Cost me a Fortune. And…? It didn’t read on stage. It never appeared out of nowhere
to great applause and after gathering the dust of neglect and despair in my garage it was finally sold
for pennies at a garage sale.
The plot is simple. You have lots of questions and queries about magic and performance. After their
lifetimes of magic experience, McBride and Eugene Burger usually have the answers. They also have
the equally strong desire to help you as you want to be helped. Perfect. Which is why, when you see the
students who have just completed a masterclass, you will see them buzzing with a new confidence, a
new motivation to go home and put in the improvements they have learnt. They proudly carry a whole
new magic bag of enthusiasm and energy that has replaced the confused and stale sack of cul-de-sac of ideas and tricks they bought to be transformed.
Step one. Book yourself onto the Masterclass. http://www.magicalwisdom.com/events
Step two. Enjoy. Absorb. Learn. Have Fun. That’s it.
The moment you walk into the Masterclass everything is taken care of. The venue, whether it’s in Jeff’s
House of Mystery in Las Vegas complete with theatre, library & mirrored practice studio or somewhere
else, will have been organised to make your experience comfortable and easy. Both Jeff and Eugene are
people it is extremely easy to like. Nearly everyone I know holds them in the highest esteem. I certainly
do. You’ll be warmly welcomed, made to feel at ease and one of the first sessions is specifically designed
to find out what you personally want to gain from the class. My experience is that both Jeff and Eugene
listen intently to what each person wants. It is also my experience that each person ALWAYS gets what
it is they came for. In fact, once at the end of a 3 day seminar on bizarre magic which wasn’t really my
cup of tea, I cheekily wrote on my review questionnaire that my money would have better spent on a
private session with Jeff. That night I got a phone call inviting me to come over to his house where… yup,
I got a private session answering any left over magic issues I had.
The class days are structured so that you get the most out of them and so that the energy keeps moving. You’ll get both small group tutorials from Jeff and Eugene individually and also get the chance to ask
ANYTHING. Jeff has an encyclopaedic knowledge of everything related to magic. Eugene is wise. Not
just because he has an impressive white beard but just because he is. Wise and kind. You want some
wisdom on something? Anything? Ask Eugene.
So you can ask anything you like and you’ll also get tasty short tutorials on the best force, on a classic
trick, on techniques to increase your applause… Anything and everything. You want to know something?
In addition the classes are structured around Works in Progress. These are the short performances by
students of where they are so far. You’ll get a slot, a space on stage and while you’re doing your stuff,
everyone else will have a sheet of paper to note down their supportive critiques (“great… AND you flashed
on the repeat!” ). Afterwards, while you enjoy the relief that you’re done, Jeff and Eugene will comment
and help. Your performance and feedback is filmed and you’ll get a copy to take home so that you can go
over it all at leisure. Of course you have to divide the available time with the other students but again, my
experience is that Jeff’s mind never stops whirring and he’ll come up to you over dinner to show you a
special knot that is going to make all the difference to your routine. Plus you’re going to learn from the
feedback that the others get because it probably applies to you too!
Another notable feature of their class is the camaraderie that is created between the students. Each time
I’ve done a masterclass I’ve felt especially close to my little gang. There is no atmosphere of competition
and instead a real feeling of support and appreciation.
A masterclass can typically be 3 days or you could go wild and attend an extended one for 5 days. That’s a
lot of learning! If you go to one in Las Vegas, you’ve got all the thrill of being in the centre of Magic. Be
prepared to miss out on some sleep! Jeff and Eugene will often take the group to see Mac King’s brilliant
show and many groups have been surprised by Lance Burton, Siegfried or David Copperfield dropping in. I’ve been going to masterclasses throughout my now 20 year stint of learning magic. Each time, I’ve had
a brilliant time, I’ve been revitalized and reenthused and been amazed to learn that the reason why my
knot didn’t slip off easily (this is not a metaphor) is because I was flipping doing it the wrong way!
So book a place now! If only I were on commission! (I’m not.) You’ll love it, you’ll learn and
learn and… You’ll get to spend time with Jeff and Eugene. Priceless.
Romany, the Magical Mistress of Ceremonies