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Shawn D
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Anyone here have a gospel message using the Strat-o-sphere. its been sitting on my shelf for about 5 years and thought it would make a good gospel object lesson. So I was playing with some ideas and wanted to see what others might have come up with.



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Joe Marotta
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I don't perform it but I know 2 guys who do it with a gospel message. I'll email them right now and get back to you.

Have you tried the FCM board?

Joe Marotta
Joe Marotta
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My friend Kif Anderson wrote this routine for your review. He is a member of the Los Angeles chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians. Kif can be reached at

"I do have a routine for the Strat-O-Sphere. It is not completely original in thought, but I've modified it and this is how I do it.

I think it is one of the most powerful effects to drive home having Jesus as the main focus of our lives. This is not a humor filled routine as Strat-O-Spheres often is. Instead it is very simple and straight forward and has the three effects (transposition-vanish-production... for

those of you who are students of Barney Kinard's the Trick Brain program) with

powerful points when they happen. Well enough about it and on with it.

Set Up

But before I do that, I need to share what I did to "update" the equipment. Rather than a tube with the three balls on the front, I've covered the tube with contact paper and put a "?" (question mark) on the front. As for the box, I also covered it with contact paper (I use black contact paper in both

cases) On the door, I put a picture of a church... basic house shape with a cross on top. (the other side is blank). Now the routine will make a little more sense. Also, the clear plastic tube needs to easily detach from the base.


(Begin by having the outer tube with load covering separate from the clear tube sitting on it's base. The vanishing box is on the table, church side down - gimmicked door side down - so the audience can only see the bottom of the box. I begin by juggling the balls. Note: It is well worth learning to juggle for this opening... but it really isn't necessary)

Have you ever noticed how some folks try to juggle too many things in their life that they think are really important?

(before long I often miss one... I'm a magician, not a juggler... and this

helps drive home the point)

When we do that we often focus on things that really aren't that important and forget to focus on what really is important. I have three balls here... remember this order.

(holding the red ball in one had and the green in the other, trap the yellow ball between the two and show them vertically - red on top and green on bottom - the basic traffic light configuration. Move all the balls to one hand... or hand and arm arrangement. Cover the clear tube with outer tube with load)

We need to make sure we keep the main thing the main thing. We will start with the green ball. Now today we will say the green ball represents money. Now it's okay to have money. We use money to help ourselves and others.

(Put the green ball into the tube)

But it shouldn't be the main thing. Now the yellow ball we will say represents fun. Now it's okay to have fun. As Christians we have lots of fun.

(Drop yellow ball into the tube)

But even fun shouldn't be the main thing.

(Showing red ball)

The main thing needs to be Jesus. And we use the red ball to represent that because it reminds us of his blood that was shed on the cross so that we could go to Heaven and be with Him forever.

(Put the red ball into the tube)

So that needs to be on top of our priorities. But you know what? Not everyone thinks that way. In fact, many people don't live their lives that way.

(remove outer tube to show yellow ball on top, green in the middle and red now at the bottom)

A lot of people put God at the bottom ... or...

(lift clear tube up enough to remove the red ball from the bottom of the stack)

...they don't have Him in their lives at all.

(Cover tube again and push down the loaded ball as the cover hits the base to cover the sound Then pick up the box with church side facing you)

Now some people think they can put God in a box...

(put red ball in box)

...and some people call that box church.

(turn the box around showing the picture of the church)

And they think that when they need God, they can just go to church, but they leave Him out of their lives all the rest of the time. But do you think you can keep God in a box? Do you think God is just sitting in a church hoping you come once and awhile to visit? No. You can't keep God in a box.

(swing door open to show ball has "vanished" and set box down)

You know Jesus said as it is recorded in Matthew 6:24, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other or be loyal to one and despise the other. You can't serve God and money." So you better make sure that...

(remove outer cover to reveal the red ball on top inside clear tube) have the main thing in your life as the main thing. And that is living for Jesus.

I hope that helps you Shawn and anyone who has this effect collecting dust on their shelves. For anyone who does this in a secular show, you may not want to cover the apparatus as I have described... or buy another set. I don't think it is a good idea to refer to the church using a box with Jokers on it. This routine is message driven so don't expect a whole lot of applause each time something happens... but you will get it at the end. I find, especially when the balls change places... the audience tends to "catch it's breath" which sends the powerful message to the brain that "I better not do that."

It is really a fast routine... can be done in less than two minutes and if you juggle, you can easily stretch it at the beginning. But I recommend keeping it fairly serious and moving once the effect gets started. This is also a good one to do just before an alter call for those of you who do that. The segue is easy...

As you can see it is important to have God at the top of our lives but to do that we need to ask God to come be in our hearts. The way we do that is....

I hope that helps.

Keep fishin'

><> ><> J ><> <><

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That is Great! It is so good to have folks around who are willing to share!

I do mostly walk around street magic but if I get a good deal on one, I may just add this one, and I definitely will save the routine (with credits attached)

Thanks to Kif and to jmarotta for bringing such a full presentation!



If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Big Fat Daddy
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WOW! That is strong!

Thank you for sharing that with us.

Steve Varro
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Thanks Joe for sharing that great routine (thanks to Kif also) I use a very similar effect about priorities.

But my reason for writing today is prompted by a comment from BroDavid. BroDavid said; "That is Great! It is so good to have folks around who are willing to share!"

I could not agree more! In the past 25 years that I've been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians I have heard that same statement over and over. This is one of the things that first timers are amazed about when they attend one of our conferences. Everyone is so willing to share their ideas and routines. I think mainly because we are all in this work together and we want everyone else to do their very best for HIM. For those of you who have never been to an FCM Conference I encourage you to attend one. It won't be your last!

Oh, BroDavid there's one every year in America's North Coast! Hope to see you there March 1st and 2nd.

In HIS service,

Steve Varro

International FCM President
STILL In HIS service

Steve Varro

International President of FCM

Owner/Dock Haley Gospel Magic Co.
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You can count on it Steve!

I will be there! God Willing....

I am back fresh into magic, after about a 7 year absence - and am blessed by a local FCM group (and come payday, I will get my FCM membership) of great folks and solid performers.

It is absolutely exhilarating and rejuvenating to be able to share with so many like minded individuals!

I will do all I can to be there!

Thanks for the heads-up Steve! I look forward to meeting you in March.



If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
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