Interview with Card Manipulator & Magician Jeff McBride Who is Jeff McBride? Chances are you are reading this article because you already have some interest in playing cards. So maybe you've already heard of the name Jeff McBride. If you have, you'll already be familiar with his credentials, so you'll be itching to get straight the good stuff and read what he's got to say, because you know it's going to be worth reading. But if you haven't heard of Jeff McBride before, let me tell you why this interview is a must-read: ● Are you into card magic? Jeff has been doing card magic his whole life, and is one of the very best in the world at card manipulation and sleight of hand. He has also been running his famous Magic & Mystery School for over 30 years. ● Are you into cardistry? Jeff's instructional Art of Card Manipulation videos were some of the foundational materials that shaped fathers of the cardistry movement like Dan and Dave Buck. Card manipulation is his speciality, and if there's anyone that we can learn a thing or two about card handling from, it's him. ● Are you into card collecting? Jeff's entire career has been built with a deck of cards in his hands, and he also collects some playing card memorabilia himself. So if you are a playing card enthusiast in any way, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn from one of the greatest living card men. We were delighted when Jeff agreed to do this interview with us, and couldn't wait to hear some of his thoughts about various topics relating to his own career with playing cards. We even got opportunity to visit him at his own place, and take some photos of his memorabilia and more, which we have permission to show our readers for the first time! But first let's share some of his credentials, so that we can appreciate what he has to say in the context of his own accomplishments and achievements. Jeff McBride the Performer Jeff McBride has had a love for magic that goes back to his childhood in New York's Catskill mountains, where he grew up. As a young boy he stumbled across The Golden Book of Magic in a library, which quickly became his first magic Bible. He performed gigs locally, did street performances, and eventually moved to Las Vegas, where he successfully built a career in magic, and performs his award-winning stage magic and runs a magic school. His performance style is highly praised for its unique blend of traditional magic with a form of Japanese theater called kabuki. Drawing on an unusual mix of skills that includes martial arts, philosophy, and more, Jeff's stage act combines an unorthodox blend of sleight of hand with masks and mime, to create a unique show like no other. Besides his "home" stage in Las Vegas, he's performed on stages and in theaters around the world, including touring with The Illusionists. A Jeff McBride show never fails to showcase his dynamic, innovative, and creative personality, from someone who has proven himself over time to be a master entertainer, showman, and sleight-of-hand artist. Jeff McBride's list of awards is too lengthy to cover all of them. But to mention just a few, he's received recognition from exclusive and respected organizations, including "Magician of the Year" by The Magic Castle's The Academy of Magic Arts and "Magician of the Year" by the Society of American Magicians. In 2018 the International Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques (FISM) gave him their "Theory & Philosophy Special Award", in tribute for his lifetime contribution to magic from a viewpoint that is analytical and academic. This illustrious award has previously been given only to Tommy Wonder, Juan Tamariz, Eugene Burger, and Roberto Giobbi. Most recently in January 2020 he was inducted into the prestigious Hall of Fame by the Society of American Magicians. He is part of a very small group of living magicians that are part of this exclusive club, which includes David Copperfield and Siegfried and Roy. He's even the holder of three world records - don't worry, we'll be sure to ask him about that in our interview! And of course he has appeared on television many times, already back in 1995 as part of the "World's Greatest Magic, and more recently on shows like Masters of Illusion, Criss Angel's Mindfreak, and Penn & Teller's Fool Us. But he's not just "another magician", as his selection as a judge for the 2008 reality celebrity-magic show Celebradabra confirms. Already more than ten years ago filmmakers produced a documentary about him, entitled Jeff McBride: A Magickal Life. This has been highly praised by magicians and viewers for how it shows his journey from a boy magician to a headline act in Las Vegas, and also his personal spiritual journey and development from a brash young man into a mature and caring magician who is keen to pass on the art of magic to the next generation. He really is one of the best. Jeff McBride the Teacher While the first part of his career was all about performing in his inimitable style, as the years have passed Jeff McBride has more and more mellowed into a highly respected teacher, with a keen interest in sharing his wisdom with others, and helping young magicians develop their skills in magic. Besides many written works, he's produced best-selling and highly influential instructional videos on the art of card manipulation, and on stage magic. His current passion is to serve as a sage that helps other magicians make their dreams as performers come true. Perhaps his crowning achievement and lasting legacy is the McBride Magic & Mystery School, which he established in 1991. This is a world-renowned training ground for stage magic, and is generally regarded as the very best and most prestigious institution in the world for receiving magic instruction. There's simply no better place for aspiring magicians to go, in order to take seminars, classes, and workshops, to help raise their magic to a higher level, and to learn the true secrets of the craft. Highly respected magician and lecturer Eugene Burger (pictured below with Jeff McBride) served as Dean of this school until his sad passing in 2017. It was from him that Jeff learned the importance of burning one end of your own candle in order to light someone else's candle. Many leading magicians have served on the faculty or as guest instructors, including big names like Lance Burton, Johnny Thompson, and Max Maven. Jeff McBride is a wonderful entertainer himself, but his current passion is to be a mentor to others, and he will leave a lasting stamp in the lives of many magicians of the future. But now it's time for us to sit at his feet, and learn a thing or two from his life, and about his experiences with playing cards in particular.