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Topic: Gospel Magic busking
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Oct 25, 2018 12:20AM)
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!
Message: Posted by: funsway (Oct 27, 2018 04:25AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: mrpiper (Oct 27, 2018 12:10PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Oct 27, 2018 04:58PM)
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".
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Oct 27, 2018 05:03PM)
My magic stand has a cool hip sign that says "Ask to see Free Magic Tricks: Specify Regular Magic, Gospel Magic or Both"
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Oct 27, 2018 05:05PM)
Also doing some sponge ball magic: see Jay Noblezada Sponge DVD from Penguin Magic.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Oct 28, 2018 05:52AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Oct 28, 2018 06:23AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: John Long (Oct 28, 2018 08:56PM)
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 :) ). 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.

Message: Posted by: mrpiper (Oct 29, 2018 08:04PM)
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!
Message: Posted by: Russo (Oct 30, 2018 11:26AM)
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)- ???????????????
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Nov 12, 2018 04:53AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Nov 17, 2018 05:59AM)
I love "The People We Meet" Gospel magic trick. No longer being produced(?) by Doc Haley, Daytona Magic still had/has them in stock. Steve Taylor published an excellent alternative routine on page 19 of the 2001 January/February issue of The Christian Conjurer for this outstanding effect.
Message: Posted by: Donald Dunphy (Nov 17, 2018 05:36PM)
Even if Doc Haley Magic sold it, I believe that "The People We Meet" was actually produced by Samuel Patrick Smith (aka Sammy Smith). It's a gospel variation of the "Sketch-O-Magic" trick (inventor credit - David Garrard), that Sammy manufactured. I remember it being on Sammy's website, but it's no longer listed on his website either (there's a dead link to "The People We Meet" off of the Sketch-o-Magic Pocket Size webpage).


- Donald
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Nov 17, 2018 07:20PM)
Thanks for the corrected update. I use "The People We Meet" in every program I do. I have a spare now on its way from Daytona Magic. My first one was wearing out due to my own carelessness. Penguin says it's discontinued. My original one says produced by SPS Publications exclusively for Dock Haley Gospel Magic. Both adults and kids like it, I combine it with a personal true story about my son being kind to strangers at the Burger King Drive Thru window.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Nov 23, 2018 07:09AM)
Need motivation to share the Gospel with others-including informally on the street or doing table hopping magic in the park or wherever? A little 104 page fire up book is the 2009 Big Mac Publishing "So Send I You - A Burning Passion to Share Christ" by Floyd C. McElveen. Previously published in 2003 by Multnomah as "Unashamed". Really has challenged me to Just Do It! Free short preview of this is on Google Books.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Nov 24, 2018 07:19AM)
Author Floyd McElveen died in 2014 at the age of 88, over two million of his books in print. He really inspired me to give Gospel magic street and park or beach picnic table hopping a try. Will videotape some routines next year if get the opportunity. Floyd used to go undaunted cold turkey doing door to door evangelism in Alaska when it was below zero temperature... "So Send I You" by Floyd C. McElveen is only 99 cents on Kindle books and is still available in many digital formats or from used book sources.
Message: Posted by: John Long (Nov 24, 2018 10:02PM)

Your last 2 comments seem to imply that you haven't shared your faith with too many people.
If so, it sounds like you are looking to use your magic presentation as the vehicle for the Gospel presentation (as opposed to what I stated for myself - that the magic is primarily to draw in a person, with whom I will then gauge how to just start talking to them about Christ (so I'm OFF script at that point))

Different approaches. I'm not familiar with the book that you mention, but it seems that Duane Laflin uses an approach similar to what you are talking about. I haven't seen him, but would like to. I think in his Greater Gospel Magic, there's a picture of him drawing in/presenting to a crowd. I think this was at some ~Clown Fest convention. I would recommend seeing how he does it.. since you seem to already have some relationship with him (he was part of your Now That's Magic? series), can you go observe him?

Also, in his (above) book, Laflin talks about different types/categories of gospel presenters. If I remember right, he put himself in more of a preaching mode, and talked of having formal Bible training for that. In any event, reading his book may give you further thoughts on the matter, and what category is best for yourself.

Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Nov 29, 2018 08:43PM)
I am excited that I will be doing table hopping magic at 2019 selected home games for The Kalamazoo Growlers baseball club, part of the Northwoods League. Fired Up, what a hoot! 🤗
Message: Posted by: Joeni (Dec 5, 2018 04:35AM)
Wow, great to hear @MagicBus! Really interested in reading more about it!
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Dec 17, 2018 04:39PM)
I will be starting doing "Gospel Street Magic" in earnest in May, 2019 on the downtown streets of Kalamazoo ("permitted" by the Arts Council of the City even). I was looking for a eye catching hoodie to wear particularly outside in the cooler evenings- turns out www.rageon.com sells a bright yellow hoodie with the words "Must Be Magic" printed on the front of it in huge visible letters. Price is about $89 depending on the buyer discounts you can get from them, extra shipping costs, etc.. Nifty! (and hopefully not too tacky). Just put in "Must Be Magic hoodie" in their web site search box. I have not used this particular company before, I assume the hoodie quality is ok, but I'll let you know if it is of poor quality (it ought to be pretty good material for this price). If I don't re-post about this "Must Be Magic" yellow hoodie later, you can assume this hoodie was worth it for me at least to hopefully help draw some attention to my street close up stand. Fired Up! :)
Message: Posted by: CarlEJones (Mar 1, 2019 04:14AM)
Those hoodies (many of them!)are incredibly cool!


God Bless You!
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Mar 2, 2019 03:55AM)
Just a note about my "Must Be Magic" hoodie- they are made overseas and the delivery time is quite long. But mine eventually arrived in good shape.
Message: Posted by: funsway (Mar 5, 2019 09:46PM)
I wonder what Christ could have accomplished with such an outfit. What is the message you are trying to convey?
Not challenging, just confused.
Message: Posted by: jamiedoyle (Mar 6, 2019 02:08PM)
In terms of performing on the street, I can see that the hoodie has the potential as a conversation starter. Great idea. Not only that -- if people see you on another day, they will instantly recognize you and might want to see another trick or talk about Christ... who knows!
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Mar 9, 2019 01:37AM)
I found a perfect manly looking close up bag for table hopping. It is made of black leather and has multiple zippered pockets. It's about the size of a shoebox, so it easily holds my small Miser's Dream cup, many card decks, coins, sponge balls and my multiple give away items. Best feature: it comes with a very long strap it so it can be swung around one's back out of sight while doing a trick, then swung to the front to take out props. It is a "TVB" model sold for $29.99 at D and D Leather, Inc., located next to the IMAX Theater in Branson in a nice store (they also sell a number of various sized leather coin purses). They will ship the bag for an extra $10. D and D Leather, 3562 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson, MO 65616, phone 417-334-7257. I found this shop while in Branson for the recent Gospel Magic Days put on by Duane and Mary Laflin - their Hollister Grand Magic headquarters/theater also has a nice Gospel magic shop.
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Mar 9, 2019 07:46AM)
I am handing out free copies of What Time Is Purple? doing street magic near WMU's campus. Tremendous 46 page booklet, can obtain for free by paying the shipping only. See www.WhatTimeIsPurple.com or go to www.wretched.org/purple
Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Mar 9, 2019 09:45AM)
I have created and used Gospel Pocket Evangelism Cards based upon the short long Sven principle. It shows a stack of black sin cards that can be shown freely that turn into a stack red Jesus cards. The Romans Road is printed on the back of he cards. The description and instructions are a free download on my website. It’s a very strong visual example of what God does in our lives through Christ. https://www.halsaxonmagic.com/store/pocket-evangelism-cards
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Mar 9, 2019 03:53PM)
Thanks Hal!
Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Mar 9, 2019 04:08PM)
My pleasure. You’re very welcome
Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Mar 22, 2019 07:07AM)
Another Gospel idea is my Pepper IN Salt OUT Transformation Vanish using the TT. It is a very visual Pepper/BLACK. Salt/WHITE transformation that can be used in a close up Gospel presentation. The spectator pours pepper in the top of the magicians fist and salt comes out the bottom. The spectator stops pouring pepper and the salt stops. Repeatable. It is a free download on my website using this coupon code. D9KBJTI until the end of the month. Let me know how you would present the Gospel with this effect. https://www.halsaxonmagic.com/store and scroll down.
Message: Posted by: jamiedoyle (Mar 22, 2019 10:43AM)
Mr Hal,
I'm looking over your site: WOW! You may be the one guy who is currently emphasizing and training people exclusively on the TT. This may be the place I go shopping next!

Message: Posted by: jamiedoyle (Mar 22, 2019 10:49AM)
I just took advantage of the coupon code you offer above - very thorough! Stuff for real students of magic... thank you so much for this free gift. It's worth more than it's original price!
Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Mar 22, 2019 11:07AM)
[quote]On Mar 22, 2019, jamiedoyle wrote:
Mr Hal,
I'm looking over your site: WOW! You may be the one guy who is currently emphasizing and training people exclusively on the TT. This may be the place I go shopping next!

Thanks! [/quote]

Thanks so much Jamie, You will have to let me know you're routining/adaptation for a gospel presentation. And you are very welcome...-Hal
Message: Posted by: tbaer (Mar 22, 2019 04:32PM)
Hal, I also want to thank you for the free downloads on the TT.

Message: Posted by: Wx4usa (Mar 22, 2019 04:38PM)
[quote]On Mar 22, 2019, tbaer wrote:
Hal, I also want to thank you for the free downloads on the TT.

Tom [/quote]

Hi Mr. Tom, You are welcome and let me know how you might use it for a Gospel presentation. Patter etc. I am curious to hear various adaptations. Enjoy my friend. Best regards, -Hal
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Apr 24, 2019 09:45AM)
I found out yesterday I start doing table hopping June 21 at the Kalamazoo Growlers baseball team's "Faith Day". Absolutely 👍 amazing coincidence. I can't wait to use my new "Baffling Blocks" Lego paddle for picnic tables with little kids- going to change the paddle to the team color matching blue. I really like the look and visual size of "Baffling Blocks".
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Jun 23, 2019 03:48AM)
I have been posting quite a bit lately in The Fellowship of Christian Magicians closed/private Facebook group about Gospel street magic/table hopping- feel free to join in there with comments too. I've found during the summer months there are several neighborhood block parties sponsored by non-profits that welcome free Gospel sharing magic/giving out Bible based handouts.
Message: Posted by: kellycards347 (Aug 6, 2019 08:37PM)
[quote]On Oct 27, 2018, funsway wrote:
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. [/quote]

I think it's totally doable to mix in a message with some magic. I can get that people would be turned off if your like "hey look I can take off my thumb, did you know you are going to Hell if you don't know Jesus?". But there are lots of tricks and routines where it's a natural part of the patter or story. I'm working on a trick that is a version of "The Soldiers Deck" that uses the entire deck to tell the Gospel story as well as a shout out to the armed men and women who risked their lives to make our country free. It's a very strong effect with a nice ending, and touches on how we are blessed to have freedom in our country to believe what we want, all while sharing my story and what I believe to be true. Put it to some music and it's a tear jerker. I'll have to post a video of it when it's ready.
Message: Posted by: kellycards347 (Aug 6, 2019 08:42PM)
[quote]On Mar 2, 2019, MagicBus wrote:
Just a note about my "Must Be Magic" hoodie- they are made overseas and the delivery time is quite long. But mine eventually arrived in good shape. [/quote]

Just be sure to roll up your sleeves :) If you are outside and it's cool it might be hard, but if ever able I always try to wear a t-shirt when street performing as a perfect slight always gets blamed on hiding something up your sleeves.
Message: Posted by: bluejay17! (Aug 7, 2019 07:15AM)
Just don't ask for money. If you intend to evangelize someone you should not at the same time be asking for money
Message: Posted by: MagicBus (Aug 31, 2019 06:02AM)
I went out several times this summer, will be going out more next year after thoroughly practiced up. Did have someone give me money, I immediately declined. I gave out a lot of materials instead including What Time Is Purple?
Message: Posted by: Vandecarr (Dec 26, 2019 07:27PM)
I like this topic! I have been busking since 1998. I don't have to do it anymore, but I love it and still do it every opportunity I get.

I ALWAYS include a brief message and openly ask God to bless everyone in the audience. I've gone as far as having 3:16 tattooed across my knuckles and that opens the door to further discussion. It also identifies me to other Christians who talk with me after shows, as well.

If you think my approach won't gather a crowd, then I encourage you to visit my website and watch the promo video www.MikeVanDeCarr.com

Do not listen to ANYONE who tells you that it can't be done, that it's in bad taste or anything else.

Message: Posted by: Russo (Dec 27, 2019 11:17AM)
When asked 'how much' for a gospel program, I always say,'Faith- what ever you wish' = never been disappointed -even when 0 -and tithed any received. Basic $$ for a regular program.
Message: Posted by: Russo (Jan 15, 2020 09:54AM)