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Topic: Ministering in Hospitals
Message: Posted by: Allan Olive (Feb 16, 2002 06:53PM)
I have a desire to go to our local hospitals and visit room to room in the childrens wing. I want to entertain and minister with magic. You know, bring some enjoyment into their day, and maybe plant a seed at the same time. This will also give me some much needed experience performing and interaction with others with my magic.

I've called the hospitals, and they will not allow you to go room to room. Any other suggestions? Where would you suggest I go? What have some of you done?

- Allan
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Feb 18, 2002 09:04AM)
Very interesting. I am currently doing magic in the Pediatric Ward at a hospital on Sunday afternoons. And I am going from room-to-room performing for the kids individually (some of them may be in traction and cannot be moved easily). Some are even in a mild state of quarantine (I have, on occasion, had to wear a facemask to perform for certain individuals. If this happens to you, be sure to have a Sharpie handy to draw a big grin or mustache on the mask to make it more personable for the kids).

There is usually a common area on one of the floors where patients can be "assembled" for a larger-style show but that is a major undertaking and a huge waste of staff time. Also, you would then be forced to do "bigger" material and not necessarily the close-up magic which you may have intended.

Do you have a "children's hospital" in your area? You might want to visit them.

Also check with the "charge nurse" at the main desk on whatever floor the Pediatric Ward is located and talk with them directly (in person). They have clout and can talk with directors and other staffers who have the power to set policy and make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Also, be sure to make an appointment to speak with whomever is the co-ordinator for the volunteer program. If you can sit down with them and explain how your program works, they may be more receptive.

Room-to-room is the only convenient (for you AND the staff AND the patients) method of taking magic to hospitalized folks.
Message: Posted by: Allan Olive (Feb 18, 2002 09:19AM)
Hi Geoff,

Thanks for the response. You are correct in everything you said. I have contacted our large childrens hospital and spoke to their family services volunteer coordinator, and she informed me that we can come in and they will assemble people to come see us perform. And, just like you said, it takes you away from the close up magic you would like to do for them, and forces you to do something bigger. Not what I wanted to do at all.

I liked your suggestions and will give them a try.

Thanks again,

Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Feb 19, 2002 09:30PM)
One thing you might consider is, if there is an FCM chapter nearby - or just some other Christian Magicians who might do the Stage/parlor bit and enjoy it, but didn't have the point of entry that you now have - or maybe they didn't think of it yet.

I find that sometimes, when I am thinking - that "It just isn't my thing.... ", one of two things will often happen;
1. God will show me someone else who will be blessed to do it, or
2. God will widen my boundaries, (Watch out Praying that Prayer of Jabez.... ;)
I often kid my wife that it is time that we leave that part of the prayer out, as we seem to have enough going on now...)

Message: Posted by: Maynooth (Mar 25, 2002 04:37AM)

We have a "Starlight" organization at the local childrens hospital and if they are contacted, they can arrange for performance. It is in a common room but the type of magic is whatever you want. So you can do close up but you might be mobbed. :dancing:

Also, it helps if you have a police clearance, and in fact it is required in Australian hospitals

Best of luck with your endeavours, :patty:
Message: Posted by: johncrosby (Apr 13, 2002 11:59PM)
This sounds like something that will at least cheer up children who are probably scared to death about being in the hospital. I will consider doing this as I think this is a great way to practice.

John :cuteangel:
Message: Posted by: Geoff Williams (Apr 15, 2002 03:34PM)
Not only is it a great way to practice, but your "audience" is often connected to a variety of medical equipment and/or under sedation/medication which means they won't be overly mischief, making mad grabs for unguarded props.

Also, the lighting is indirect and subdued, perfect for threadwork.

It would be difficult to find a more accomodating close-up performance conditions.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Aug 14, 2002 10:32AM)
You may want to consider tricks with ordinary items that you can leave behind.

Inexpensive rope from a cut and restored rope, signed cards, marked coins. Old English pennys are good. (about 80 cents each) Any of these are great. Part of your specs will be sedated and the leave behinds, will help them remember what took place. ;)
Message: Posted by: Sir T (Aug 20, 2002 11:09PM)
This may or may not be off topic depending on how you look at it?

I myself, like a book titled: Joy Bringers Youth balloon Ministry Manual. The book contains the following:

Want to set up a balloon twisting youth ministry? Here's a well thought out plan that has worked. I'm impressed with Craig's organization and tips. I like the whole idea.

Contains: The Joy Bringers program, Age group, Cost, Can kids do it? Balloons create interaction, Setting up the program, Learning and teaching balloons, Getting the stuff you need, Getting the program going, Training the kids for interacting with Nursing Home Residents, Rules for the group, Planning JoyTrips, A month before, 2 weeks before, The week of, The day of the trip, Debriefing session, Books, Pamphlets, Videos, Suppliers, News coverage request, Reproducable sheets. (as listed in Tmyers catolog)

This little book offers lots of advice for hospital and nursing homes. It mainly deals with setting up a youth program, but does offer good advice in general.

Kevin :kitty:
Message: Posted by: DougTait (Aug 31, 2002 10:39PM)
What a great way to brighten up someone's day, and and opportunity to witness to someone who may be in great need of Christ's message at this point in their life.

One caution I just learned from working with puppets in hospitals. Some people are very latex rubber sensitive. If you have any props that you think could be made of latex, don't let anyone handle them. I coat the latex puppets with Armor All, as a precaution (makes then slick as the dickens, but still won't let the kids touch them. I bring along stuffed puppets which they can play with. :wavey:
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Oct 30, 2002 02:13AM)
I, when I was a military kinda guy, went to Womack Army Hospital and basically just cut up with the patients. I started out trying to see kids, in the pediatrics ward, but in a military hospital, like Womack on Ft Bragg, Their just aren't many/any kids.

I do clown/gospel/comedy magic, juggling & balloon twisting so the first time I went(this was before the movie Patch Adams), I put on my clown makeup, and borrowed a pair of hospital scrubs (asked in advance) and made a name tag of Dr I.B. Wacky. I went to Ped's and there was no one there, so the head nurse suggested I go up to the regular adult wings. Well this sounded crazy to me, but I had just spent the better part of an hour putting on clown makeup to see kids that weren't there. (thinking about it, that sounded crazy too.)

So, having spent time in an Army hospital before, and remembering what a stimulating experience it was, I said why not. It was great. You don't have to be extremely talented to bring a smile to the face of someone whose only ability at the time, is to sit in bed and wait for the next hospital meal. Now remember, I had some balloons, and a couple of silly magic tricks, and was going
in to visit GI's on the post with the reputation of the toughest in the Military.
But then again, I was the only show in town.

Again I repeat, I had a blast, the audience was captive, they couldn't get away even if they wanted to, but I would always ask if I could come in to the rooms, and was never turned down. I don't remember one time when someone didn't want a balloon animal, if not for themselves, for their kids or wife. As in most hospitals, you must ask in advance about their policy on talking about God. Most will say that you shouldn't bring up the subject, but if in talking to someone, they bring God up you can pursue it, just don't upset the patient.

To help this along, I have one large button that I wear, and only one. It has "Jesus loves you" written in (I am having a senior moment, I can't remember the name of the language spoken in Indonesia, so I'll just say) Indonesian. which usually illicits questions of "what does your button say?" Hey, they brought it up. (sly as serpents and harmless as doves)

Anyway, I have found this to be a very fulfilling ministry, and would like to thank
You for letting me share it and JT "Bubba" Sykes (my clown daddy) for getting me into it. He has a website, although I don't remember it's address. If you type in
JT "Bubba" Sykes on google I bet you could find him.

Thanks again
Message: Posted by: DanTheMagicMan (Nov 1, 2002 09:47AM)
Bubba's web site is http://www.bubbasikes.com
Message: Posted by: sdgiu (Nov 2, 2002 05:13AM)
Thanks Dan
I went looking for it after I posted, and couldn't find it where I said, at least as easily as I said.(embarressment embarressment) I did find it today though, and posted it somewhere else.
Thanks again
Message: Posted by: GlenD (Nov 7, 2002 10:52AM)
I am very interested in doing this type of thing also. It was mentioned in one of our FCM meetings awhile back. I guess I just need to get the ball rolling. I have one thing in my favor with the L.A. Childrens Hospital, they want my blood! They want me to be a donor buddy or something since I donated for a friends newborn earlier this year.

I have done several kids shows and would really like to get involved in something like this.

Thanks for the thread and the reminder for me to make it a priority and attempt to move forward.

Message: Posted by: jkvand (Jan 13, 2003 12:57AM)
Hey everyone, Thanks for all of your posts here! I've been thinking about doing magic in my local hospital, but wasn't even sure how to get started. This thread gives some excellent ideas, so thanks everyone for sharing! Anyone do anything with magical therapy? I read something about it in last month's Magic Magazine, some program Copperfield started 20 years ago. Also, another one called 'Healing of Magic', or something like that. Anyone tried these?
Message: Posted by: Al Kazam the Magic Man (Jan 14, 2003 09:57AM)
I'm not too sure about the "Magic Therapy" thing you mentioned, but I have a thought or two on the general topic.

I have been visiting weekly a large hospital in my city for almost 2 years. I mainly only visit the kids wards.

I have met some "special" patients over that time who are what you could almost call regulars at the hospital, (cancer patients, one boy with no immune system, etc) who are in the hospital more than out. Often they don't have much to do and really like to get visited and have fun with the magic.

I have taught one boy some simple card tricks and tissue magic. It has helped his self esteem no end in my opinion. Not because of my good teaching, but just the fact that he has learned a "special" skill, and he really enjoys magic very much. I'm not too sure on the "therapy" side of things, but it seems to be a special thing and has opened doors to meet their parents, relatives, as well as sharing the Lord's message. It certainly has borne good fruit from what I've seen.

A few thoughts.
Message: Posted by: amazingboz (Jan 28, 2003 07:32PM)
From what angle did you approach them and who did you speak to? There may be issues with any type of "religous orientation" however, I would approach the social worker
on staff and inquire what they recommend how
best to share your desire with the sick children (mention; just because they may not have introduced this tpye of program until now, so what) Great PR for the hospital and you have set the precedent.

Good luck and I hope you will be able to turn this stone into a diamond.

Phil aka AmazingBoz

:bunny2: :bunny2:
Message: Posted by: Chad C. (Feb 28, 2003 08:41PM)
Hi guys and gals,
Just wanted to say that this sounds like an awesome ministry opportunity, and it's something I will be doing this summer. I'm a teacher so I have the summer off. I've found that kids will open up and be willing to talk after seeing some magic tricks-what a way to minister and brighten someones day. This thread really warms my heart, and it's inspiring to see so many willing to use their talent to serve our Lord!!!

God Bless,
Chad C.

I just noticed, we are from the same area! How cool!