His early training in performance art included intensive participation in kabuki drama and in mime, both of which are evident in McBride’s performances such as his “Masks” routine or water bowls. McBride founded the Magic and Mystery School and often attends local and national magic conventions.
Born in 1959, he started his magical interests in Sullivan County, New York. A voracious reader, he absorbed the local libraries magical content and developed his skills at a very early age. McBride was influenced by reading The Golden Book of Magic by The Great Merlini. McBride also performed at birthday parties and civic events in his teen years, and was featured at the Orange County Fair in Middletown, New York at age 12 (his brother Clayton eventually took over that show).
His fascination for magical history led him to discover the older great magicians, especially the great Cardini. He even befriended Swann Cardini (Cardini's wife) getting stories and information on the master and even owns Cardini's original Linking Rings.
In 1973, he made his national television debut as a guest on the quiz show What's My Line performing a small Flying Carpet illusion. In 1975, he was booked on a tour of Japan as the opening act for the "Fania All Stars". McBride also performed street magic and "busked" in Miami, Orlando, and New York with a friend and partner Abe Steier "Abatar". The act was a combination of magic, juggling, and fire-eating. It was during those years he developed his "commando" style of magic, being able to bring hours of magical entertainment with a small backpack of simple props.
McBride co-founded the local S.A.M. Cardini assembly #147 in Middletown, New York along with Magic-Ian, and won his first of three Magicians of the Year contests in that group's annual function.