Wine & Wizardry

In the summer of 2021 my magic has been BIG and small: a city-sized magic event followed by wizardry at a small wine-tasting soiree

Daniel Greenwolf headlined Waterbury Harry Potter Day
Photo by Jim Shannon of the Republican-American

Hello and Happy Summer! The magic of my summer reached a pinnacle in two special events back-to-back. As producer for “Waterbury Harry Potter Day” I worked with dozens of local businesses, community members, officials, artisans and magicians to transform the downtown streetscape into a wizardly wonder. Hundreds of witches and wizards flooded the sidewalks. They visited Spirit Cafe for butter beer lattes, bought Fascia’s chocolate frogs from Grand News Deli, answered trivia questions at the office of Congresswoman Jahanna Hayes. These and other food & fun were listed on the “magic map” that eventually brought them back to the Silas Bronson Library for a fire-breathing magic show by Celtic Magician Daniel Greenwolf. Daniel was not alone as a magician in conjuring up fun. Bella Greenwolf joined Daniel in his shows, Michael OJ performed street sorcery throughout the day, and the Witchcraft and Birth of Modern Magic evening show at the Mattatuck Museum featured Andy Morgan, Joe Cabral, Michael DiFlorio and Michele Jacome. And, as Cyril the Sorcerer, I enjoyed sharing enviromagic and more with attendees throughout the day.

The host of the wine tasting provided a great number of wine-related quotes which I offered along with my own

Wine combined with wizardry the following day as I provided conjuring and calligraphy for guests at a tasting for wine enthusiasts. I have found that many enjoy the novelty of quill and ink calligraphy in a world of automated printing. I enjoy bringing it to them at events in the form of quotes, charms and even writing out “fortunes”. We followed this early evening fun with a formal performance of Water Wizard, my show about our planet’s most precious resource. It was fitting to share water magic with a group of winelovers!

This summer also marked the launch of Green Magic, a column I will be writing monthly for magicians in The Linking Ring magazine. Changing the world with enviromagic is something I hope many other magicians will do with the advice and suggestions I provide in this column. Our world needs more green magic!

My wish to bring tips, tricks and ideas to other magicians on how to perform enviromagic has come to fruition this summer with a new column

#enviromagic #enviromagician #waterburyharrypotterday #harrypotterday #cyrilthesorcerer #causemagic

Wind & Wizardry

From an intense marathon of on-line performances in the Winter of 2021 my enviromagic has made a windswept return to in-person performing. Both have made for epic adventure…

My on-line magic shows for Waterbury began with several performances for the Library on recycling and water

The silver lining to Covid distance learning was the opportunity to perform for Waterbury school children stuck at home. My calendar quickly filled up once the coordinators of several after-school programs learned of my ability to deliver educational magic shows to their students during their afternoon sessions. Performing more than 40 shows in 60 days was exhausting, exhilarating and extremely fulfilling. Students enjoyed a magical break from their studies and more typical on-line experiences. They also responded by asking insightful questions about recycling, trash and what they could recycle in their bins at home. And the additional silver lining…. I did not have to “haul” my show to each school, set it up and re-pack it after each performance. The three on-line shows I developed over the winter were all kept with lights, camera and backdrop in my office. Both the physical and the magical were in many ways easier.

Performing water magic under an open sky at the Rocky Hill Earth Day celebration

I returned to in-person performing in late April sharing “Earth Day Magic”, a new show, with several communities. This show is themed even more fully with my wizardly spin on environmental education: I am here to educate the audience on how to be heroes for our world. In Earth Day magic I share the powerful steps we can all take to recycle, protect water and choose clean energy. This is all wrapped within the wisdom of “The Wizard’s Ancient Secret”: “everything is connected.” This truth reminds us that our ability to help protect our planet is greater than we may realize.

As if the excitement and challenge of returning to in-person performing were not enough I had to relearn how best to work with an old partner and sometimes nemesis: wind. Despite my love for wind as element and provider of clean energy I do not hold that love for the capricious nature of its gusts and breezes. In years past these would blow props off stage, ruin the effect of an otherwise marvelous moment of paper magic and topple my hat from atop my head. This Spring, however, I planned well. I re-tooled Earth Day Magic to be nigh windproof! I replaced routines focused on paper and aluminum foil recycling with one using heavy steel cans, for example. Wind got the last laugh, however, blowing my grand hat from my head during a show. The audience got a good laugh and we all welcomed a return to some degree of normalcy.

Presenting youthful attendees with a certificate extends the magic of the show and serves as a reminder that the power to protect our world is in their hands. This splendid artwork was created by Craig Conley, a.k.a. “Professor Oddfellow”

Who is Championing the Environment in 2020?

This one question has many answers…and that is a very good thing. Recently I was honored to receive Aquarion’s Environmental Champion Award for my efforts in using magic to inspire and empower the public. Aquarion also presented Environmental Champion Awards to other businesses and individuals working to protect our planet. I am happy to be in good company and to see such good work being done.

The bigger answer, however, is even better. My goal is not to “save the world” by championing the environment through magic shows. Instead, I want to win the hearts and minds of audience members with the message that it is their efforts that will make the difference. Ideally, following the experience of one of my shows, they see themselves as environmental champions. Almost as good is when my audience members recycle more, waste less, conserve water, energy and wilderness not because they are “environmental champions” but simply because doing so now makes sense.

photo by Debbi Morello Republican American

Thank you for joining me on this journey! With enough environmental champions we will make a world of difference!

Reach me to plan for a brighter and greener 2021! 203-737-0475

#environmentalchampion #environmentaleducation #enviromagic #cyrilthesorcerer

Summer & Sorcery!

The Conjuring Connection

a Newsletter for Friends & Supporters of Better World Magic

Hello and Happy Summer!

In these troubled times I encourage you to find restoration for your heart and spirit in Nature.  The cancellation of the live performances I had scheduled for the busy Earth Day season of Spring provided a silver lining.  Weekends and evenings became more free.  I had the time to get outdoors with family, dog and on my own.  No enviromagic I will ever perform will ever equal that we can all experience by walking out the door.  This photo is of a recent family hike.


To continue public outreach on recycling, water, energy and other topics for the citizens of Waterbury I have shifted venues from school and library to Facebook and YouTube.  

During Covid I share a valuable secret from Harry Houdini.  I hope you will watch this three minute video to see the vital lesson Houdini offers to us.  He learned this lesson overcoming childhood poverty and other substantial challenges in his own hard times.


For enviromagic presentations and performances geared towards professionals and other adults please visit my other website:  Better World Magic!

Enjoy the summer and keep your own magic going!

– Cyril “CJ” May


Cyril the Sorcerer



Who Will Save the World?

Sharing MAGITRICITY with attendees at the Connecticut Science Center

Legend, folktale, fantasy novel and magic-themed epic movie all agree:

It will not be an old wizard who saves the world.  It is the role of old wizards to help the younger heroes of these stories to do that job.

Merlin schools young King Arthur.
 Gandalf guides Bilbo & Frodo.

Dumbledore trains Harry Potter.

Following this tradition I seek to enchant, educate and empower my audiences so that they have the confidence, knowledge and skills to protect our planet.

Let us work together!

I am offering a number of enviromagic shows this year!

All shows are suitable, or adaptable, for audiences of any age:


MAGITRICITY introduces the basics of energy and climate change.  It teaches that everyone has the power to save energy, save money and save the planet.  It began as a companion piece to an exhibit on climate change at the Yale Peabody Museum.

WATER WIZARD uses Vegas-level water magic to share important information on conserving and protecting our planet’s most precious resource.  It incorporates the master level wizardry that my teacher, Master Magician Jeff McBride, used to best Penn & Teller on their TV show “Fool Us.”

RECYCLING IS MAGIC has been my mainstay show for more than 15 years.  In a story of monsters, magic & too much trash, a wandering wizard learns that recycling is the best magic to cure the woes of a village beset by messy ogres.

LITTLE FAIRIES, BIG MAGIC teaches the importance of humans, animals (and fairies) sharing wilderness. It was created for fairy festivals but succeeds in providing its fun and important message in all settings.


RESOURCERY presents environmental magic and environmental learning on a variety of topics in a TED Talk fashion.  While Resourcery is usually shared with professionals and other adults as part of training programs and conferences, it can be adapted for younger audiences.

Let us work together to empower this,
and the next, generation of heroes!


Conjuring a Better Climate

Hello and Happy 2019!

2018 began with water magic and ended with energy magic.  Water magic was assisted by teachers from America’s Hogwarts, McBride’s Magic & Mystery School.  New lessons in energy magic came from people working in the nuts & bolts world of training the next generation of energy experts.  Let me explain.

Eric Gribin shows area middle school students how they can help the planet and make a future for themselves with a career in clean energy


Sharing MAGITRICITY with attendees at the Connecticut Science Center


WATER WIZARD grew out of my desire to share the magic of our planet’s most precious resource with audiences.  With the help of Master Magician Jeff McBride, Dean Larry Hass and others at the real-life school for wizards, I created a show of 25 minutes which empowers audiences to care for our water planet (More on the adventure of learning Vegas-level water magic in a previous post). They learn how to be water wizards, conserving and protecting water whether it is coming from their own tap or traveling into an ocean downstream.  In 2019 I will be sharing it with water experts to help my messaging be as powerful and professional as is the magic I learned from Las Vegas.

MAGITRICITY began many years ago as a companion piece to an exhibit on climate change hosted by Yale’s Peabody Museum of Natural History.  Like Water Wizard, it empowers audiences with basic knowledge about humanity’s relationship with Nature, in this case climate & energy.  Through the show, and fliers provided at the end of the show, it offers direction and hope on how to save energy, save money and help save the planet.  Near the end of 2018 MAGITRICITY received a noble invitation to take the stage again from Eric Gribin, Director of the Energy Management Program at Tunxis Community College.  Working with Megan Dempsey of the Connecticut Science Center, Eric and I provided more than just magic and information about the environment and energy.  Eric engaged the young people in energy analysis demonstrations and inspired them to see their future in the clean energy field.

What magic does 2019 hold for you?  What suggestions have you for Water Magic & Energy Magic in the upcoming year?  I would love to hear from you!

– Cyril John “CJ” May a.k.a. Cyril the Sorcerer

“Everything is connect” is a fundemental truth I share in Water Wizard, MAGITRICITY and my other enviromagic shows.



Helping the Planet Through Vegas Magic: Environmental Magician Learns the Secret that Fooled Penn & Teller


Master Magician Jeff McBride bested Penn & Teller on their Fool Us TV Show with his most recent version of “Rainmaker”, his water bowls routine. He has shared his secrets with Cyril May to aid him in greening the planet one magic show at a time.

November 15, 2017

Environmental magician and Resourcerer, CJ May recently returned from a residency at the Vegas “House of Mystery” where he studied the secrets of the Water Bowls with Jeff McBride, the master magician who bested Penn & Teller on their network TV show “Fool Us”. May seeks to use this groundbreaking magic routine to help the planet by teaching his audiences about the wonder of water.

Before his appearance on the Penn & Teller hit series “Fool Us”, Jeff McBride had experimented and refined his water bowls routine over more than 30 years. Having welcomed Connecticut native CJ May to his House of Mystery, and the Magic & Mystery School for which it serves as home, McBride invited May to learn the water bowls. McBride loved May’s use of magic for environmental education in his shows on recycling, energy and, of course, water.  McBride and May began preparations for this sharing of secrets long before McBride took his beloved water bowls routine, named “Rainmaker”, to national television.

May now has the training for the routine as well as two gleaming “magic bowls”. Anyone is welcome to examine them, however, for as May says “the magic is not in the bowls, it is in water.  That is the most vital lesson and magic I can ever share.”

Master Magician Jeff McBride schools environmental magician Cyril May in The Water Bowls.  – McBride’s Magic & Mystery School. Las Vegas

In addition to the McBride Magic & Mystery School, Cyril John “CJ” May has studied at another venerable institution key to his role as “spokeswizard” for the planet. May graduated with a Master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

May performs his environmental magic around the country as well as internationally. When performing environmental magic shows for children he assumes the role of “Cyril the Sorcerer”. When giving his TED Talk style presentations and training programs, with magic included, to professionals and other adults he is “Cyril John May – The Resourcerer.

Supporting May in taking his magic to “The Vegas Level” has been TOMRA, North America. TOMRA is a manufacturer of recycling sorting equipment. May met representatives of TOMRA in 2016 when they shared the podium in presenting at a professional development event for classroom teachers. In partnership, TOMRA funded May’s water bowl studies in exchange for environmental magic and related work.


Keywords: Environmental Penn Teller water magic Las Vegas McBride recycling Yale

Travel by Magic

Harry Potter carries on the ancient tradition of wizards flying upon the backs of hippogriffs. This beautiful drawing was done by Di Acra

“As a modern sorcerer of sustainability it is fitting that I travel upon wind and sunlight.”

As a sorcerer I continue the ancient tradition of traveling by magic.  According to historic accounts, ancient sorcerers might ride upon hippogriffs, the offspring of the mythical griffin and a mare.  Flying brooms and magic carpets were well-known as methods of transport for witches and other wonder workers far before Harry Potter and Disney’s Aladdin.

When I need to “feed” my “hippogriff” away from home I make use of the EV charging stations popping up around the nation.

As a modern sorcerer of sustainability it is fitting that I travel upon wind and sunlight.  In contrast to the wizards of old my transport is of a new sort for a new age:  a Nissan Leaf.  Fueled by the solar energy generated on our roof, and the grid-based electricity which Connecticut allows us to source from the zero-carbon generators of solar and wind, the Leaf does not pollute or contribute to climate change.  This fully electric vehicle may not have the range of a gasoline vehicle or even the gas-electric Prius which I have so enjoyed owning.  But then again, I don’t imagine the hippogriffs of ancient sorcerers could fly forever either.

Magic in Iceland

img_3001Iceland is a country renowned as a land of fire and ice, Viking settlers and northern lights.  I was fortunate to take in this magical landscape after performing “Recycling is Magic” for several schools in the Reykjavik area.  While I enjoyed sharing my environmental magic with my Icelandic audiences, the utter elemental beauty of the country reminded me that Nature is the greatest magician.

This adventure began with a magic to rival that of Iceland’s beauty:  love.   My wife and I decided to celebrate our 25th anniversary with a visit to a land for which we had such longing.   We were able to combine our own celebration with a partnership with Landervernd, Iceland’s most prominent environmental organization.  I worked with Landvernd’s Caitlin Wilson, Margret Hugadalfholsskoli-kids-and-cjottir and Gundmundur “Mummi” Gudbrandsson (a fellow graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies) to create a bi-lingual version of “Recycling is Magic” for elementary school children.  We made some cultural as well as language changes.  For example, my American “ogres” became Icelandic “trolls”, a strong cultural tie.

Given the love that Icelanders have for their majestic landscape I was surprised to learn that their recycling efforts are mixed at this point.  Reykjavik has curbside pick-up for residences, but recycling at businesses and other locales around the island nation is very intermittent.  As such my offer of recycling magic shows tied well into Landvernd’s efforts to help Icelandic schools participate in a growing international green school effort:  Eco Schools.  It was nice to contribute my own small bit of magic to help such a splendid land in its work to protect its environment.  #iceland #enviromagic #spokeswizard #recyclingmagic #recycling

Magic Beyond Earth Day

As an environmental educator and magician I look forward to April as a Santa Claus performer might look forward to December:  a month busy with shows.    Weeks before and after Earth Day are fun and full.  This year I am delighted to add a number of other magics to the recycling, energy, climate change and other environmental performances I will again be sharing this year.

This Saturday March 29th I will be performing “Escape from the Goblins” at the La Grua Center in Stonington, CT.   This is a storytelling magic show in which I weave tricks into a tale of a woodcutter who is captured by goblins.  Jasper learns magic from his fellow prisoner, an imp, and together they make their escape past goblins, an ogre and the Goblin King himself.   I continue to improve this show by gaining feedback from friends in the magic and theater worlds.   Eventually it will be part of a longer epic storytelling show, “The Goblin Sword.”    Today’s public loves the magic of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and other works of film and fiction.   Ironically, the love of magic has not extended to magicians and magic shows.   I feel this is because magicians too rarely engage their audiences with emotion and story.   Rowling and Tolkien enchant us with their characters, plots and beautiful stories.   If magicians learn to do the same, adding their “magic” to that of great stories, we may find ourselves in a period of magical renaissance.

Abraham's Tent Flash

Performing Hard Times Magic at a homeless shelter

Earlier this week I shared my “Hard Times Magic” show with residents of a homeless shelter.   We shared conversation and food before I shared how magic can help all of us through our tough times.    I told some tales of how I am inspired by Harry Houdini (Born on March 24th) and others to continue onward despite life’s challenges.   Involving residents as volunteers in parts of the show empowered them and, I hope, keeps them optimistic about their own futures.

Magic can play so many roles in our modern world, not just in the tales of bygone days.   It can empower and inspire us by capturing our imagination and pushing us to reconsider just how much power each of us has to save our planet and to save ourselves.