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Magic Newsletter, April 14, 2024

Dear Friends in Magic,
Welcome to all our new readers! (There’s been quite an uptick lately.) As long-time friends know, I always start with…
Last issue I shared my excitement for what I call the “secrets sciences” of magic. These are the forgotten sciences behind and beyond the relatively mundane science we were taught in high school.
Believe me, the safe is NOT empty. In fields like topology, perception studies, weirdo mathematics, optical principles, logical games, psychology, and attention research, we open onto complex domains that yield wild and counter-intuitive results—and they are informing some of the best magic being created today.
Therefore, while I read and enjoy classic texts of magic, I also feel a pressing need to stay alive to the forward edge of magical methods, many of which are being driven by the secret sciences. Here are some of my pet “research” projects. 
Memory Misdirection à la Tamariz. Chapter 4 of The Magic Rainbow is one of the most important texts published in the past twenty years. This is the place to start learning Juan’s detailed techniques for massaging and manipulating what audiences remember about our magic. A genuine game-changer.
Powerful Applications à la Weber and Trono. Some of the smartest work being done these days is by Michael Weber, often with Tim Trono. At the core of nearly every new release is at least one, often two, brilliant ideas that make an older principle utterly deceptive or connect to some new domain. They have a special talent for fooling me with methods I already know by using insights I never would have had. 
New Studies in Materials à la Tenyo. I have never performed a single Tenyo trick, but I study most new releases and regularly re-read Richard Kaufman’s magisterial book Tenyoism. Why? Because the genius-level teams at Tenyo continue to create deceptive methods and new applications for physical materials, such as plastic, rubber, and paper.
Enhanced Deception through New Psychology à la DaOrtiz/Earl/Thomas. We have a new generation of performers who deceive more by doing less. They exert control through freedom; they force without force; they create astonishing magic through apparent simplicity. Dani DaOrtiz is the shining star of this movement, but I’ve also learned a lot from work by Benjamin Earl and Garrett Thomas. Not your grandpa’s psychology of magic.
These are just a few of my secret-science laboratories. While certainly there are unexplored treasures in magic’s past, if I get mired in common techniques from yesterday, at some point my safe of secrets will be empty!
Coming right up is a trip to Las Vegas to teach our 7-Day Master Class with Jeff McBride. The class is full, and I am ready to roll with many new teaching units and routines. Can't wait!
After that comes the School's double-header magic events in Chicago, May 29-June 2:
The first event is not on the poster because seating is limited. It is our long-awaited Solo Show Boot Camp, May 29-31. This is THE class for any magician who has ever wanted to have their own long-form show.
Jeff McBride, Ricardo Rosenkranz, and I all have expertise in creating, booking, marketing, and successfully delivering this kind of public show. In this two-day intensive-interactive workshop, you will learn exactly how we do it… and how you can do it, too. Details and sign up here.
The second event is our all-new 2024 Festival of Magic starring four senior faculty of the Mystery School: Jeff McBride, Ricardo Rosenkranz, Ross Johnson, and myself. We will be joined by our special guest, the comic-magic genius, David Williamson.
During the 2024 Festival of Magic, you will experience FIVE all-new magic lectures, two full-evening magic shows, and enjoy after-show parties, including Eugene Burger’s blow-out BIRTHDAY party on June 1. Details and sign up here.
Note: we are making scholarships available for these events for folks who need a hand covering the tuition for either of these experiences. You can fill out an application here.
At the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, you make your way through rooms of medieval paintings and altarpieces starring Catholic saints, Virgin Marys, and the baby Jesus. But then you turn a corner and open onto a vast painting from the late 1470s titled Primavera (Spring).
I had seen Botticelli’s great painting once before and basically missed it. This time, I had been studying the Medici’s fascination with pagan symbols and neo-platonic ideals. And with all those Roman gods and goddesses before me, I suddenly realized I was looking at the avant-garde.
How dangerous this painting was! Both before and after 1470, plenty of nobles, clergy, and artists were burned at the stake for half as much. But this masterpiece was there at the threshold of the Renaissance, and there was no turning back.
I sat at the Uffizi reflecting about the avant-garde. Every field, discipline, and art form has one or two. Like Zephyrus at the right side of the painting, they blow winds of change through everything and hearken new growth. Certainly, they meet resistance, ridicule, and perhaps outrage. That’s the endless dance… until that time when, if they are very lucky, they fully flower and become the new status quo.
And I wondered… where is the avant-garde in our field today? Where are the front edges of magic—those performers, venues, or styles of magic that are breathing fresh air into our art form? Can I recognize them? Will I embrace them with an open mind or belittle and reject them?
Oh, it's good to honor the status quo, but as Botticelli so powerfully reminded me, there is always a fresh new season ahead.
Last time, I mentioned Gary Brown’s forthcoming book, and I am delighted to report it is in the final stages of the design process. My plan is to unveil and release it at our Weekend of Wisdom in Las Vegas, September 27-29—with Judge Brown in attendance. Also, Gary and I have been working on something very special that will go inside the book! Stay tuned.
This is the last call for Eugene Burger: The Workshop Transcripts! This third book in the posthumous trilogy is down to ten copies. Within a few weeks, they will be gone. This book allows you to learn Eugene’s Equivoque strategies and “The Trick that Cannot Be Explained” from Eugene himself!
If this calls to you, please visit us at While you are there, look around at the books and performing materials of all our authors. Perhaps there is something that will blow winds of change through your magic! 
Thanks for reading! I'm always pleased to hear from you. And feel free to share this with someone—family, friend, or colleague—who might enjoy these insights about our beloved art.
Best Wishes,
Larry Hass
Real-World Magician
Dean of McBride’s Magic & Mystery School
Publisher, Theory and Art of Magic Press