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Magic Newsletter, August 13, 2023

Dear Friends in Magic,
I have just returned from Chicago after wrapping up a run (which got extended) of my full-evening show at the Rhapsody Theater. What an extraordinary experience! I have a lot to share, so let’s start with…
The Rhapsody Theater is a venue in a major city, which means part of one’s success is being able to draw in and connect with a public audience. Working for the public is a different game than performing for magicians at a convention or fulfilling a corporate or private event, so here are a few insights from “the front lines.”
1. We are never done marketing. Having a great show is essential but so, too, is endlessly marketing it. Public airways are a wall of noise and signal, but we must somehow break through. I knew this heading into the run, so I worked at it with intense focus. I also hired a digital marketing expert, my friend Keith Tomasek from Toronto. Keith helped at every level of the work, from teaching me about these complex systems, to developing a vision for my engagement, to being a great cheerleader, to drafting copy. Frankly, I can’t imagine this run without Keith’s efforts and the dedicated work of Rhapsody’s publicity team. Public tickets don’t sell themselves—and you don’t get TV news-spots or top reviewers in your house (as I did)—without professional expertise and guidance.
2. Many people are still finding their way toward live entertainment. This might sound strange because, as magicians, we were out there so early. But in every one of my shows several people told me I was their first live show since the pandemic. We are competing with Netflix more than ever, I believe, along with the gaudy parade of streaming shows on TVs, computers, and hand-held devices. Just as people came to strongly prefer working at home, many came to prefer consuming content at home.
But every challenge is an opportunity, right? So very early during my run, I started to remind people that live magic is better because “I am not on a screen!” This line invariably got big laughs and often a round of applause. They were laughs of relief and recognition about screen fatigue. And I sincerely thanked every audience for coming out to experience live theater.
In all this, I am reminded of the Eagles’ Don Henley, who once said, “Television makes rock n’ roll so much smaller than life.” Which is doubly true of magic, especially when it appears in a 3” x 5” box on YouTube surrounded by ads and chatter. We simply need to remind people, and perhaps ourselves, too, that seeing live magic is exponentially better.
3. Just when you think you’ve seen it all. Working for the public is a constant reminder that anything can happen. For example, in one show, as I’m building tension toward the revelation so I can send everyone off to intermission on a high note, the man on stage next to me blurted out, “Would you hurry? I really have to go to the bathroom.” It took me about a second to “grok” that, but then I banged right through to the end, and the dude ran offstage.
After the show, one audience member told me, “I thought it was all a set-up, until I saw the look on the guy’s face as he ran down the aisle.”   
I am preparing to deliver a 70-minute show as part of the Labor Day Weekend Washington, D.C., Festival of Magic. I kick off the Festival on Friday night, September 1, and four other full shows are being offered that weekend by Stephen Bargatze, Joe Holiday, Kayla Drescher, and the All-Stars of Close-Up. I can’t wait. If you are coming to any of the shows let me know. I will be there all weekend and love to visit with magician colleagues!
I am also getting ready for two wonderful magic teaching events with Jeff McBride in Las Vegas. First up is the Weekend of Wisdom, September 8-10. This is the Magic & Mystery School’s premier event that hearkens back to the meaningful explorations of the early Mystery Schools. It is a remarkable weekend of magic, learning, and friendship. At this moment, there are only two seats left—and maybe one of them will be filled by you!
Beckett Studios
Then I'll be back in Las Vegas in October for two sessions of our Master Class for Mentalism, which features the one and only Ross Johnson. My keynote presentation this year will focus on several of Max Maven’s big ideas and their implications for mystery entertainers. Session 1 is full, but Session 2, October 16-19, has a few spots remaining. Please go to to sign up. 
In late June, we paused my run at the Rhapsody so I could meet a previous performance commitment in San Diego. Marjorie’s non-profit organization (the Council for Independent Colleges) was holding a retreat and renewal event for college presidents and their spouses or partners, and I was brought in as “talent.”
Since the whole program was designed as a retreat from day-to-day concerns and held in a peaceful, natural setting, I couldn’t help but find myself feeling renewed. Indeed, I discovered that in my inordinate busy-ness over many months to prepare and deliver Magical Life, I had let go of certain practices that are central to my sense of balance and well-being.
For me, personally, I reconnected with the importance of making good time for high-quality reading—both in magic and in other areas that nourish my inner life. I also remembered how important it is for me to make sure my creative time is not eclipsed by the endless wave of transactional activities. And I recommitted to daily practices of exercise and warming up my body and voice. I feel refreshed!
So, let me ask: How do you renew your inner life? Is it about time to have some kind of break or vacation from your daily grind? Are there “golden books” that can reconnect you with the heart-core of your magic or life?
From me to you: may these words remind you to pause for some fresh, new air!
In my previous two newsletters, I unveiled the new Eugene Burger book, and today is the day when we start taking pre-orders. Please go here to pre-order your copy of Eugene Burger: The Workshop Transcripts. The cost of the book is $80.00.
After two years of relatively secret work on it, I am so excited for you all to have this book. It features three highly readable transcripts of Eugene’s legendary 1985-1986 workshops where he first taught his personalized approach to Equivoque and Dai Vernon’s “The Trick that Cannot Be Explained," along with other routines.

The Workshop Transcripts also provides a fourth transcript from a 2011 workshop where Eugene taught his “Favorite Card Forces.” In addition, the book includes Eugene’s lost script for his no gimmick version of Max Maven’s “B’wave” and his full script and handling of Bryce Kuhlman’s “Accentuate the Positive.” Finally, the book provides access to nine audio and video supplements, including audio excerpts from each of the early workshops. So, yes: you will hear the Master speak!
All profits from sales of the book will be donated to Eugene’s preferred philanthropy, the Magic & Mystery School’s Scholarship Fund. To maximize the donation, we have decided that The Workshop Transcripts will only be available from us at Theory and Art of Magic Press in this one edition of 850 copies—each one numbered and signed by me.
For the same reason, USPS Media Mail will be the only free shipping option available in the USA. US residents can choose USPS Priority Mail, but that will incur an extra charge. USPS International Priority Mail will be available for international customers.
I am thrilled that pre-order day is here! In just a few months, Eugene’s TRULY FINAL book will be in your hands. And please tell your magician friends: I don’t want any fans of Eugene’s magic to miss out.
Thank you, so much, for being a part of my extended community! I am always happy to hear from you and will answer back when I can. Feel free to share my newsletter with anyone who might enjoy it.
Best Wishes,
Larry Hass
Real-World Magician
Dean of McBride’s Magic & Mystery School
Publisher, Theory and Art of Magic Press