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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Fellowship of Christian Magicians! » » How does a Christian perform "mind reading" or "metal bending?" (28 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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DavidKenney
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So I have been gravitating more towards mentalism lately - for me - it seems to be a more pure form of magic relying soley on a few props and a whole lot of gravitas. But the struggle has been - how does a "Pastor" present this character?

You can't say, "none of this is real" that just cuts the legs out from under the effects and so much of mentalism is this "show" of the performer being able to bend object with their mind or to be able to discern thoughts... it's very... spiritual and new age.

Granted, Derren Brown never bills himself as a mentalist or being able to read minds, but I don't think people believe him. Has anyone here had any success marrying believable mental effects with their faith?

Especially without being corny?

Thanks in advance.
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themagiciansapprentice
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Don Townsend lectured on three effects at the 2012 Conference
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DavidKenney
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Derren Brown said in an interview...

"If you believe that God created us - then surely the mind is the pinnacle of that creation"
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Terry Holley
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There are numerous threads dealing with this discussion here in the FCM and Gospel Magic area of the Café. My suggestion is to do a search.

Hope this helps!

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Terry Holley
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Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
DavidKenney
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Thanks! I will! Smile
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stempleton
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I always do a disclaimer before the program, but I routine my "mindreading" effects carefully. For example, I did a version of MPS for a Palm Sunday program, and I tied it in to Isaiah's prophesy of the Savior riding a donkey. I plan on doing a book test in the future by featuring it as an illustration of how easily we are deceived. It can be dealt with, with proper scripting.
Payne
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Perform mental magic instead of mentalism.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Ed_Millis
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In my opinion, such as it is, a Pastor or other minister standing in front of his own congregation must be very careful. These people know you and trust the "you" that they know. If you present a "character" that is out of sync with the man they trust, you could set up some doubts and fears that won't easily go away. Or you might stand to lose some credibility. A travellinv evavgelist wouldn't necessarily run into this - his character is the only one they know.

You might try coming at it from the aspect of theater. In any good theatrical production, you know the characters are real people -- you may even know some of them personally. And you know that character on stage is not who they really are, not any more than the cardboard tree is real. But if the theater is good, all that fake stuff will combine together into something that can affect you deeply and make you think like nothing else can.

Ed
DavidKenney
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Well, the other way around it is - mentalism works better with strangers. And so technically a stranger doesn't need to know what I do for a living. Right? Most people who do walk around or who do table hopping don't start off with, "Hi, my name is Mark. I am a tax attorney, but I also do magic. Would you like to see some?"

I think the best bet - is to keep my "character" separate - and if I ever perform for friends, then I stick to card tricks. Smile
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Danny Kazam
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What kind of a Pastor would not want to take every opportunity to represent God? I thought being a Pastor was a calling, not a living. So, being a Pastor is just a job to you?
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DavidKenney
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...is that a serious question or are you trying to play devil's advocate?

Of course it's a calling and not "just a job" to me. But I also have hobbies and I have a social life that allows me to relax and unwind. Being a minister is a sacrificial life and so I have to work into my life moments of down time to allow myself to recharge, otherwise we experience something called "burn out." 90% of pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week and 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job. Almost 1,700 pastors leave the ministry each month and 50% of the new ministers starting tomorrow won't be around in 5 years. Those are frightening statistics! Perhaps Magic is how you make your living and you're a professional, and that's your "calling" but for me it's an escape and it's a way to force my mind to think about a different topic for a few hours.

"What kind of a Pastor would not want to take every opportunity to represent God?" well, I guess my answer is a selfish one. I am a broken sinner who admittedly fails to seize "every opportunity." Believe me, I pray every day that God would make me a better man, a better Father and a better shepherd, but for some reason my growth as a disciple is a slow one.

Believe me, I wanted to be James Bond or Spiderman when I grew up, but God had different plans. He keeps telling me that He can use me and that "His grace is sufficient for me" and I just have to trust that He knows what He's doing.
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Ed_Millis
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Ah - performing for strangers is a totally different story. There, you are only bound by the limits you and God have set. I do shows and never once mention God. That's not why they hired me and that's not why I'm there.

Kudos to you for running from burn-out! I've heard those statistics before and it truly is frightening and sad.

Ed
markofmagic
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When I do my mind reading type show in a church setting after I am finished I explain that I can't really know someone's mind but God knows our ever thought and I move into a short sermon about an all knowing God.
robvh
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Quote:
On Jun 27, 2014, DavidKenney wrote:
90% of pastors report working between 55 to 75 hours per week and 50% feel unable to meet the demands of the job. Almost 1,700 pastors leave the ministry each month and 50% of the new ministers starting tomorrow won't be around in 5 years.


Not to get off topic but I think you've hit on one of the reasons the Catholic Church promotes celibacy for its priests. It's a very demanding vocation and the demands of caring for both a flock and a family often means that one or both will suffer (neither outcome being desirable).

I have a tremendous respect for these men and once I get settled in my new home my intention is to invite local priests to my home for a nice meal, a friendly visit and maybe a little magic. Now you've got me thinking about those dedicated nuns too...
Bryan Drake Show
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Some magicians give me a lot of flack but at the beginning of our show we basically say, "everything you see me do tonight is fake. It's not real..." That openness generally puts people at ease to enjoy the show more in my experience, and to listen to my Gospel presentation later because of how open I am with them. We tend to work with high school students for the most part.
Bryan Drake Show
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I should say at the beginning after the intro.
Bryan Saint
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One thing to keep in mind, is that you don't have to make every routine in your show a gospel presentation. I remember seeing a friend a while back doing that and, from my perspective, it made the crowd less receptive to it. My show is 100% clean, no matter where I perform. When I'm in a church, I don't do a gospel presentation unless I'm specifically asked to do so. And when I do, it's the next to the last trick. I saw Andre Kole do that and it was pretty powerful.

As far as how a pastor would present this character, determine what kind of character you're looking for. I don't think you have to say, "none of this is real", but by saying something to the effect of, "Things like this are used to deceive a lot of people in a bad way. Deception is ok, as long as it's 'honest'", I think you get the best of a few worlds (something funny, great trick, not debunking what you're doing).

Good luck with it, David!
Thehedge
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When performing mentalism, I never claim to read minds. At church or any where. Manipulation of the mind does not need to be dishonest. I usually perform concepts of mind reading.

For example, "I always wished I could read my wife's mind; it would make finding a place to eat much easier. Have you ever wondered what it would feel like to read minds? I could imagine it would look something like this... (perform effect) ... on the other hand, maybe there is a reason why we can't read minds."
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OzJosh
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Quote:
On Aug 5, 2014, Bryan Drake Show wrote:
Some magicians give me a lot of flack but at the beginning of our show we basically say, "everything you see me do tonight is fake. It's not real..." That openness generally puts people at ease to enjoy the show more in my experience, and to listen to my Gospel presentation later because of how open I am with them. We tend to work with high school students for the most part.



yeah, maybe not say it's fake.
it kills a lot of the mystery that goes with this.

maybe something like,

"your about to witness and amazing special of slight of hand, that any magic you may see here tonight has been well thought out and practised tirelessly to insure that you are brought a highly professional show with tricks and illusions that are mind blowing that will leave you asking yourself... how the heck did he do that".

everyone knows it's fake.
when I do one on one tricks, I'm always asked how I did something.
I tell them, lots of practice and if I told you, they will cut out my tongue and laugh.

people respect that and know it's not real.

kids on the other hand.

maybe impressing they are illusions.

I thinks it's kind of taking the fun out of it by saying, hey this is fake, here is half an hour of fake stuff.

that's just me.

it's only one opinion lol
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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Fellowship of Christian Magicians! » » How does a Christian perform "mind reading" or "metal bending?" (28 Likes)
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