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mota
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It is difficult to keep things sounding as gentle as you mean them sometimes and I have a question that I hope you can take in the manner it is meant.

Are there any Christian magicians that are entertaining to the general public?

I ask this because I was strolling through this section and one effect after another of magic with a message just seems like it would come off too preachy for the general public.

If you are already Christian you probably can't hear this enough but would the general public/lukewarm Christian (I know...but you know what I mean) react to what could come off as more preachy than entertaining?

This inquiry is not meant in any way as an insult. It is hard enough to be an entertaining magician...if you add too much preaching to it I would think it is even more difficult.

I guess another, gentler way to ask this question is are there any magicians presenting a magic with a gospel message show that are side-splitting, get-gramma-to-the-bathroom-quick funny?
Kif Anderson
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Interesting question.

Short answer: YES.

Longer answer: There are many ways to get a message through to people. Consider the television show All in the Family. It dealt with many subjects...slanted in ways I may not have always cared for, but through humor it conveyed a message.

I think gospel magic can do that as well. When magic was first used to share biblical truth, it was not by magicians seeking to grab the church market, but ministers who used effects as object lessons. C.H. Woolston most noted for starting that movement. But the message share in that setting is not the same as a Christian entertainer weaving the gospel message and other biblical truths into its presentation.

I am part of an act called Oz & Wilde and through humor we convey all sorts of things...from "Not bearing false witness" when Wilde gets caught cheating...to "go into all the world and preach the gospel" using a puzzle of a map of the world talking about how Christians are called to specific ministries. Both of these lessons are filled with humor and never come across like people are being "preached to."

Now it take a lot of work developing scripts...but the effort is rewarded.

And is it "side-splitting, get-gramma-to-the bathroom-quick" funny? Well some of our single bits have had audiences laughing for 15 seconds or more. Don't know about anyone elderly having to leave quickly for the facilities...but yeah...it can be very funny. And all pointing/leading to the message of the gospel. But to get to that point takes a lot of creative effort and hard work. But so does "entertaining magic" as you pointed out previously. For most however, being preachy is a lot easier...just as in the secular world profanity is easier than good clean humor. And most audiences...even in comedy clubs...prefer funny to filthy. I know that is an odd comparison, but it is relevant to the listener and what they don't want "thrown at them."

><> J
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
<BR>
<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
MagicBus
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Hey, are there that many magicians all that popular with the general public? If so, Jay Leno would have more of them on. Many people can't run away fast enough if a guy wants you to pick a card. David Blaine in the real world on the streets of New York would probably get his head kicked in as some kind of wierdo (per Silly Billy saying this). Even the World Magic Awards performers (e.g. the best in the world) did not have the audience running for the bathrooms.

I was just part of a variety "Gospel" magic program that did 14 programs/events aboard/in the Logos Hope ship theatre. http://www.logoshope.com Auditorium held 400- it was often filled to capacity. Show had all kinds of magic, escapes, chalk art AND various Gospel messages throughout. These programs were very well received- not a "church" crowd-often made up of public school age kids from 1st to 8th graders or people who just walked in off the street. Our Wednesday night program (1.5 hours) had probably more adults than kids. MagicBob and SuZie are very good at this (he will do his very entertaining rope escape next Wednesday night at the FCM convention, for example)- he can and does do effects all the time without being too preachy.

At the same time- there is such a thing as the "offense" of the Gospel- the Word has to actually be shared/spoken to be understood. On the Logos Hope- they gladly want the Gospel to be proclaimed- that is the purpose of the entire ship. So that was wonderful. Yes, there were probably a few/may have been some that would have preferred a straight vaudeville type show- straight comedy- but we did not see it. We were followed up in some of our programs with a "Jonah and the Whale" live acting program (including music, live actors, sound effects, huge props, puppets, etc.)- I never even saw one family walk out all week. Instead, the applause was terrific and many came up to the stage afterwards to talk to us. So in answer to your question- I can humbly say Yes!

Andre' Kole is a good example (far, far better than I could ever dream to be)- his programs are very entertaining- yep- yet he was able to sincerely present his personal evangelistic message on college campuses all around the world... I personally saw Andre' do this in the huge Miller auditorium on Western Michigan University's campus in Kalamazoo, just to give you another example. His audience was probably 70% college kids.

Our Logos Hope shows (as are Andre's) were designed for the "general" public... I have also seen Toby Travis do this too at a community wide Halloween night show in Richland, Michigan- was in a totally packed (and most people had costumes on) evening program. But did any of the above come across as a last comic standing type program?- no- that is not what they are designed to be. The programs at the end came across as a sincere "sharing"- not really "preaching" as you might come to think of where a person is behind a pulpit giving a sermon... The Gospel itself is not "side-splitting"- but for that matter- neither are mentalists, most card or close up magicians, and illusionists... even the guys recently on Letterman did not have too many chuckles going. Love em all though- and I really, really enjoy watching them all too! Oz and Wilde can be pretty funny- ah hah!-it CAN be done with still a good solid Message!

Carry on, and fired up!

Roger from http://www.ChristianMagician.org
MagicBus
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How could I forget so soon? I saw MagicBob and SuZie's show at a Bermuda long term prison last month- can't get more "general public" than that. Yet at least 1/2 of the men came up to MagicBob afterwards to talk to him. Wonder if a comic could have pulled that off? It was amazing... and the men were asking about both the magic and the Gospel materials... just wonderful to see... So YES, I agree with Wilde, it CAN be done for sure.
RevJohn
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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 17:00, mota wrote:
Are there any Christian magicians that are entertaining to the general public?

I guess another, gentler way to ask this question is are there any magicians presenting a magic with a gospel message show that are side-splitting, get-gramma-to-the-bathroom-quick funny?


I think you ask your question well. But also think the question is "mis-asked" if you will. There are many magicians that I have seen that are very entertaining, but not funny at all. Very serious as a matter of fact. But entertaining.

I guess what I am wondering is, what is the basic question? Can a Gospel Magician relate to a general audience? Of course, we also enter into the definition of what a Christian Magician looks like? One can do a search on this forum alone and see the difference of opinions on the necessity (or not) of the "insert Salvation message here."

Or another way to ask it, "Can a Gospel Magician be relevant to his/her audience?"

RevJohn
mota
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Those are well thought out answers...thank you.

I thought funny might be tough but I didn't know if someone pulled it off. It sounds like things in this field are well thought out.

I understand you can be entertaining without being funny...it seems the way to approach this type of entertainment.

Thank you again.
harris
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I remember a conversation that followed a birthday party for a 6 year old.

During the show, I did not mention anything about the bible, Christ or God.

The grandfather came up to me smiling saying something like...Thanks for the great show and thanks for your ministry.

When your light shines, you don't have to quote verses.
(though of course I do when I am doing Fishers of Men program.)

Sometimes I include "regular bits" including Music..
This could range from Gilligan's Island theme as a prelude to a story about Jonah...and Going to Kansas City..a great blues song...that talks about temptation followed...

At a show last Saturday at an assisted living facility (actually a music gig)...a lady was trying to guess if some musicians had "regular job". After telling her I was a counselor for a "regular gig", I asked her what she guessed was my job.
This 80 + woman said...you just Love People....

My shows range from slapstick to bits that evoke tears.

Be safe, well and blessed...


Love

brother Harris
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funsway
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Unless you are just standing up there doing random tricks, and show "has a message" and is a communication of your beliefs and values -- not just the performance, but the way you dealt with people in pulling the show together. The best Ministry is to demonstrate your beliefs in every interaction with another person. Magic is a special way of doing that, but not necessarily "better than" music, telling stories or painting.

If you get the Harris response above -- "you just Love people" then you must be doing the Lord's work. If you do not get such responses, then your "preaching" may need some fine tuning. It isn;t "the words you use," it is "who you are."
"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
harris
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If I was a bit more humble, I wouldn't have even shared the story.

Of course to share the gospel, one doesn't even need a "horse and pony show", just the truth. Many have seen the movie, I like the book better.


Harris
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Tim Hannig
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I just did a church in Nebraska that had me tonight for the 2nd time and they billed me as a "comedian"... there was lots of laughter from all ages in the show... it was pretty continuous except for those carefully designed moments in the show where I was sharing a message through various means.

As was said earlier, what is a "Gospel Magician?".... I share the Gospel and I do magic, but I don't think that's how I would describe myself. It just sounds too cliche and by using that term you could put me in a box and know what I do. Well, that's probably not what I do so I don't like using that term!
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Terry Owens
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I do comedy magic, and even in the churches where I share, there's a whole lot of laughing going on...not just the polite laughter. That's why we need to strive to be as professional as possible...we can have them laughing one minute and while their guard is down, you share the Good News and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

Laughter does good like a medicine...
harris
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One of my bizness cards reads.."putting the heart back into laughter."

"a merry heart is good medicine"


Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Thom Bliss
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Large parts of my "secular" show are included in my Gospel program. (Actually, lots of my birthday party show came from the Gospel program.) I get lots of laughs either way. And lots of oooh's and aaah's, too. I just hope that I'm just as effective in helping people with their spiritual lives as I am in making them laugh or gasp.
Vlad_77
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A very gentle answer:

I am a Christian - Eastern Orthodox. But, I do NOT do Gospel magic. There is nothing wrong WITH Gospel magic, but, Eastern Christianity has a very different and VERY ancient perspective on the Faith which would view Gospel magic a little differently than the West. I will not go into that here as this is not a theological forum.

But, we ARE ALL called to live as Christ-like as possible. So, in my magic, as in all aspects of my life, I strive to do that. I think Thom and Funsway are the closest to what an Orthodox Christian would say in that what is important is how we interact with our audiences. And the joy and astonishment we give our audiences is a gift from the Living God. When we use our gifts in such a manner to lighten the hearts of our sisters and brothers we glorify God.

There are quite a few big magicians out there that are Christian yet do NOT do Gospel magic. As a musician I know of MANY big musicians who are Christian yet do not do "Christian" rock for instance. Yet, they still ARE doing service in the respect that their gifts, given to them by God, are bringing joy to others.

It is interesting to note the power entertainment has to enrich others and raise consciousness of the travails that we all face. The very first huge benefit concert in rock history was organized by a VERY legendary musician - in fact, this musician was a member of the biggest act in show business history, and he was not a Christian. And his guests came from all faiths, including a legendary Jewish songwriter. The FULLNESS of the Truth is found in Christ and His Church, but, we also know that The Truth can be found in many places and expressed genuinely.

You know, the shortest verse in The Bible is "Jesus wept." We also know that Christ our True God was angry at the money-changers in the temple. We know that Christ felt fear. We KNOW that Christ is fully human AND fully GOD. I do NOT think it blasphemous to say in all safety that Jesus LAUGHED too. Smile

I admire what you guys do. Magic is a powerful conduit for teaching. We are called to spread the Good News in different ways according to our gifts.

+In Christ,
Vlad
harris
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I am also a musician who plays has played places from 18th and Vine in Kansas City to Catholic Churches around the area. In fact in the first gig location I did a duet on harmonica with a Catholic Priest.


brother Harris
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Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 17:00, mota wrote:
It is difficult to keep things sounding as gentle as you mean them sometimes and I have a question that I hope you can take in the manner it is meant.

Are there any Christian magicians that are entertaining to the general public?

I ask this because I was strolling through this section and one effect after another of magic with a message just seems like it would come off too preachy for the general public.

If you are already Christian you probably can't hear this enough but would the general public/lukewarm Christian (I know...but you know what I mean) react to what could come off as more preachy than entertaining?

This inquiry is not meant in any way as an insult. It is hard enough to be an entertaining magician...if you add too much preaching to it I would think it is even more difficult.

I guess another, gentler way to ask this question is are there any magicians presenting a magic with a gospel message show that are side-splitting, get-gramma-to-the-bathroom-quick funny?


We walk a fine line. A VERY fine line, indeed.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
jnrussell
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I have always tried to at least drop in the subject of God in presentations (magic or business).

One way to introduce the gospel into an act for a secular audience might be to say something like: "I often do performances for church groups. One of my/their favorite effects is this one:" and go one to perform one outstanding, drop-jaw effect with a good(yet respectful) message. I would then add, "if you have any questions about this, I'll be glad to talk with you... now on with the show!"

I might not even be overly explanatory either... just planting some seeds, casting some bait, and seeing if there is any interest.

Hope that helps.
John Russell
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