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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Good News! » » Gospel Magic busking (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

MagicBus
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2820 Posts

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Any readers have any experience sharing Gospel magic as a street performer? I am excited that the Kalamazoo Arts Council is now granting "Blue Skies" applications/permits to encourage street performers. I am going to do some closeup Gospel magic on the sidewalk for upcoming busy downtown festivals/sale events. Looking forward to doing this, going to do the strongest 6 minutes of effects I can muster up. Any advice from someone who has done this before? Really neat to see Kalamazoo giving performers a badge allowing them permission to perform in busy shopping and dining designated areas including right on the downtown Kalamazoo business mall. I wonder how many other cities are doing this also? - What a great opportunity!
funsway
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Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
7929 Posts

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Personally, I think it is a terrible idea to provide any religious message without permission of the other person.
To mix it with magic or other entertainment is a kind of 'bait and switch."

My "experience" is that busking is great for getting paid for artistic work or entertainment. It is not a place for a message, religious or political.

I doubt this approach will increase any interest in Christ's message, but could dilute any interest in magic as a performing art.

Christmas themes magic effects could be an exception if other buskers are also into a Christmas theme,
but only because Christmas shoppers have given general tacit permission for that message/theme.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
mrpiper
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Georgia
114 Posts

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I have a good friend in FCM who does this at "Little Five Points" here in Atlanta. You can find him almost any Saturday during the middle of the day. He has done this for years with nothing but a fishing vest with pockets filled with fun stuff! He does a nice "spellbound" type of coin routine that ends with giving away gospel coins. Over the years, he has developed quite a following with people he witnessed to bringing others to see him. He always has a sweet smile, a kind heart, and a gentle voice. His name is Bill and he has been quite an inspiration to me personally. He takes his entire show in his many pockets in his khaki vest. No table, no sound equipment, just story telling and very well practiced and polished illusions to amaze and interest the people he meets and a gift to leave them with.
His routines always end with giving away a "Million Dollar Bill" from Doc Haley Gospel Magic or a Gospel coin. I don't recall where he gets the coins but he said they are from a ministry that sends them to him by the hundreds for free! Also available in many languages. If you would like more info, pm me and I will get it for you.
Bill accepts no tips. I don't think in all these years, anyone has ever been offended by his work and I don't think anyone has ever failed to accept his gifts. He always makes a strong point to ask parent permission before beginning a discussion with children as well as before giving them their gift. He always asks them if they mind if he shows them and their children a gospel magic trick.
I personally do not think this is a terrible idea. Bill has led many to Christ through the years and been a witness to a multitude. I never see him that he doesn't have a story to tell of someone who asked them to pray with them and for them right on the street. Finding ways to honestly and openly share the gospel to a lost world is to be commended.
I look forward to hearing from you as God's word does not return void.
MagicBus
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Michigan
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Yes, no money accepted for sure, I am hoping to team up with a MD friend of mine who has a great voice and is a great accoustic guitarist, together we will give it a whirl for an upcoming downtown event. Along with Dean's Box, I am going to do "The People We Meet".
MagicBus
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2820 Posts

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My magic stand has a cool hip sign that says "Ask to see Free Magic Tricks: Specify Regular Magic, Gospel Magic or Both"
MagicBus
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2820 Posts

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Also doing some sponge ball magic: see Jay Noblezada Sponge DVD from Penguin Magic.
MagicBus
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2820 Posts

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See prior discussion on the John de Vries Blok Cord or Blockhead on The Magic Café under "Your Top Three Gospel Effects -SURVEY" topic heading. This in my judgement is a perfect street magic Gospel trick that one can share their testimony upon request. My own block is fairly large and well decorated/painted.
MagicBus
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Kalamazoo, Michigan
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I did an older less colorful version of the John de Vries "block go" near the end of the "Magic With A Message On The Logos Hope 1 Hour Special" video posted at www.ChristianMagician.org John de Vries is a former FCM President that the very active IBM Ring 211 in Grand Rapids has as part of their honorary name.
John Long
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New Jersey
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My start in "street" performing began unintentionally..

I started just performing for friends while I was in a public setting (restaurants, NYC subway platform) and I noticed that people were watching! and started thinking about that.

Once, after doing a trick for a woman that I was sitting with at an outdoor table, a waitress came over and said "Oh, your doing magic, can you show me something". Sure... Not 10 seconds after she left, a ~10 year old came over and asked if I could show that again for his dad (I'm sure the boy wasn't interested for himself Smile ). So I walked over to his table and did the trick.

This got me to thinking; if people are asking me to do a trick, then I feel free to perform that trick with the patter (message) that I've associate with the trick itself.

The next day at church, they asked for volunteers for manning a booth at a street fair. Bingo.

I would stand in the walkway, not behind the church's table, but just in front of our table so as to not interfere with other booth exhibits. Along the line of what happened at the restaurant, I wanted to do something that would initially get their attention, so that they would come to me.

I tried(experimented with) a number of things, but just one thing was effective at getting their attention - I held up a large (8 x 18") $100 bill. I held it chest height, and when people looked over I would say things like "Well what's in your wallet?", or "Can you handle this much money?". I would also visit some of the other booths, especially banks, and walk up with the bill folded, and ask if they could make change for a 100, as I opened it up.

When people came over (and it didn't take long before they would), I would start talking with them and ask if I could show them a trick with the bill. I had a little routine that was basically the Wonder Land effect (where the bill seems to invert (front to back) while they hold onto a small flap that I cut into the bill.) I would then quickly say Mt 6:19-20, ending with how ones money will fade away just as Ben's face disappeared, and leave them holding the flap ( I gave these out if they wanted, there is a Gospel track on the reverse of the bill).

At that point, I was off script. It was a matter of seeing their reaction, and responding to it. I would try to get them to talk of whatever faith they may have, I could offer to show another trick that has a more in depth Gospel message). Some how it happened. Not every one would want more, but about 20-40% would. (I never tracked the responses). One did let me pray with her to receive Christ (or rededicate)

This was NOT a show, I was having private conversations with individuals, and had "bills" they could keep.

John
mrpiper
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Georgia
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Thank you for your post John. This is what spreading the gospel is all about. One on one interactions with people. Christ spoke to great multitudes, but his deepest truths were revealed one on one. The woman at the well, Zacchaeus, Nicodemus, even Pontius Pilate. These were the ones to whom Christ gave truth that extended to the very depths of their being. Just imagine the last words of Christ to the one who betrayed Him... "Friend, why have you come?" In that statement, in individual, one on one grace and mercy, even to the moment of His betrayal, Jesus was giving Judas Iscariot even one last chance to repent and come in faith to salvation in Him. What INDIVIDUAL compassion.

This is the attitude of every missionary. Speaking in church and before large groups is important, and a vital part of the life of a believer in learning, and fellowship, but nothing speaks more deeply or directly to the heart of a hurting and lost soul than a loving encourager who points them personally, and individually, to Jesus. If that is done with a little entertainment to lighten the moment, and the spirit of someone who is down, I'm all in!
Russo
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A lot of times -if you could insert a PERSONAL Witness - WOW. Made up an arrowcard effect(double size - so when opened , it would have a message) -it looked like a gift - the bow was where the ->, was,( it could be 2 x2 inch -or 18 x 18 inches)- gave a verse - a witness then -opened the card - and it said "FORGIVENESS" -(comment,the Best Gift one can give and GET)- ???????????????
MagicBus
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Inner circle
Kalamazoo, Michigan
2820 Posts

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Just a comment on the sponge ball magic DVD by Jay Noblezada sold at Penguin Magic for $19.95 which includes 4 red two inch super soft sponge balls. Outstanding multi-phase street sponge ball routine shown performed on the street, excellent teaching DVD, good price. Highly recommended. www.PenguinMagic.com Again, takes skill, practice and one's own personality to do well - but well worth the effort to do it convincingly. The Dai Vernon sponge 10 count using the spectator's hands is a just one of the entertaining phases. I have no idea how to use it in a Gospel setting, but just a great fun routine, easy to carry around all the time for sure.
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