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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Fellowship of Christian Magicians! » » Will the FCM be around 20 years from now? » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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bjharris
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Maybe? And if so, in the same form? What will it look like?

I'm not big on forums, mainly because my schedule doesn't allow me to have tons of conversations online outside of my current projects in other social networks. However...

I recently made a comment on my Facebook profile, and it seems to have stirred up some conversation. If you're on Facebook, I'd love to get your thoughts:

http://www.facebook.com/harrisiii?v=wall......22642010
Kif Anderson
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Bjharris -

Why not share your thoughts here...I'm sure you will get feedback.

FCM is a great organization...with a long history. Yeah...there are things that need to be improved...yeah...change takes a while...but it is a great organization of folks.

If you...as a member...have ideas for change...share them in this forum.

Thanks
Kif Anderson
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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I went to my first wonderful FCM convention in New York (the state) in 1971 with John de Vries. Still remember seeing Bill Baker and Jimmy Lake perform (Jimmy was both an IBM and FCM international president), along with John. It is the people that make FCM so good- the actual meeting together- not just the sharing of information (which is good too of course). There are so many alternative ways to share ideas now on the web. But yep, as long as Christian magicians/performers enjoy being the actual personal "fellowship" of one another- FCM has a long future history in my view. Conventions (whether magic related or not)in general have been declining in numbers (such as IBM this year), but that may be due more to the current down economy more than not as many magicians not wanting to physically visit with one another anymore. I don't have any idea if 2010 FCM attendance was up or down from 2009, but it was certainly far more than what we had back in 1971. It would take at least 20 years to decline back to those earlier levels- who knows- by then (2030)the convention may all be done in virtual meeting space on 3D holographic monitors. All conventions may be obsolete by 2030 as too expensive- and all organization communications could be digital only. But my guess is folks still will want to gather somewhere... just like the local church does. Have a great day all, I would be interested to see BJ thinks as I do not connect currently with facebook. I have a face for script.
MagicBus
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Whoops, to answer the question asked: "Let's hope so!"
Kerry Kistler
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Hey BJ,

You mentioned on your Facebook "Good to Great" - a wonderful read - just finished it recently. Who is your selection for a Level 5 leader for the FCM? We really need a Hedgehog concept too.

Y'know, I wrote on this very topic in the July/Aug '08 Conjurer in an article titled "Balancing the Ballyhoo: Does our FCM Tent Need Some Patching?" That was the toned down version.

Read it here: http://www.usc.salvationarmy.org/usc/WWW......Document

That one article generated more calls, emails and letters than the entire three years of my column...combined - all in agreement with the article.

But to be fair, the conference has had some world class performers and lecturers in recent years. Perhaps not in the quantities we would like but I do think some effort has been made to raise the bar. I hope the trend continues.

Kerry
MagicBus
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This may sound terriby outdated, but I do not subscribe to Facebook, so cannot download the BJ Harris comments (or at least I can't figure that out how to do that without becoming a member of facebook). Any chance someone could summarize on The Magic Café' here the content of BJ's comments?

My two cents worth (and may not be worth even that):

As for me personally, it is just a personal preference, not much more. I simply chose to not attend the vent lectures at FCM, etc.. (although I went to a Dave Mitchell vent lecture two years ago and can't remember ever laughing so hard at a lecture- funny, funny stuff). Kerry is right- many of us really have zero interest in face painting, story telling, clowning, chalking or even puppeteering.

However, when very capable magicians such as Sheldon Rhodes utilize excellent magic, puppeteering and juggling in his very well known and successful children's outreaches, it is difficult to say FCM should not be about those areas as well. I have done some programs with SuZie, and quite honestly, the most "buzz" after the show is over is most often about her chalk art. We have obviously seen very strong Gospel messages at FCM in the area of puppeteering- I would sure hate to be the one to say the capable puppeteers need to have their own convention/organization to further their art form. I am actually kind of happy to have them with us, we can often learn from their creativity and dedication.

When MagicBob, PJ Weber and myself did a magic lecture Friday morning at the most recent FCM convention, I recognized pretty much everyone there and I did not really see any puppeteers or vents there who were really there only just to curiously learn the "secrets" of our magic trade. That argument, in my view, may be a little bit of building a straw man--- that may not really exist all that much or be much of a problem at FCM. As for the evening programs, even Abbott's or IBM (International Brotherhood of Magicians) has jugglers, change acts, escape artists and vents (and even a vent-o-rama at Abbott's) in their evening shows and other assorted novelty acts from time to time.

As long as FCM has a strong magic track during the FCM convention, and right now it does with constant daily and multiple lectures, I do not see much of a problem for me as an amateur "magician." If magic lectures were being cut in order to have lectures instead on story telling, for example, that might be a problem. But I think that realistically the FCM probably has to work pretty hard to fill all the lecture magic spots available now during the week, so magic tracks are not being cut... And if a strong magic act is available for the evening program- it is not being pushed out for something else. There are just not enough strong magic acts available for a week long convention with a smaller budget than the "big boys" of IBM, SAM, Abbott's, World Magic Seminar, etc..

Have a great day all, of course improvement is terrific!
MagicBus
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Full disclosure: I do make some pretty good one balloon animals--- do make them rarely from time to time. But I usually don't go to those lectures either or build the great balloon art pieces- do enjoy looking at it though. The Van Gogh Starry Starry Night piece at FCM this year was pretty wild... But most magic dealers also carry 260 balloons too for sale including Abbott's...
Kif Anderson
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FCM is a lot like going to church. Some go to be seen and heard. Others go to worship and fellowship.

The notion that folks don't go to FCM because they don't "get anything out of it" has me questioning their motive. Selfishness perhaps?

My first trip to FCM International was in 2006. My buddy and I had been invited to come and perform Monday night and teach a class on Friday morning. We felt when we headed that way we might try to do this every three years or so. We went back in 2007, 2008, 2010...(missed 2009 because I was dealing with medical issues). I took my wife and youngest daughter (Faith Renee on the podcast) this year. They loved it. My wife figured maybe she would go every so often...now she can't wait to go again next year.

Would you like to know the coolest thing that happened to me in 2006? It wasn't a trick I'd learned...a new move to make my magic better...it was a handful of friends I made...including someone I had been a fan of his work since starting in Gospel magic...Del Wilson (who is now the international president...and a great and loving guy with a tough job right now).

It is the fellowship that brings us back...keeps us connected. Although I had met him briefly at both the 2006 and 2007 conventions, in 2008, I really got to know this guy by the name of Joey Brummet. Now he is one of my closest friends. He suggested one day in a phone conversation it would be fun to have an FCM podcast...and three weeks later...Episode 1 was posted. And completely blessed by the board of directors. By this weekend Episode 24 will be posted...that's two years of collaborating with folks we met attending the convention...Mark Tripp, Daniel Lusk, Robert and Alexandra Bremner...along with Gene "Oz" Oswald, Faith Renee, Joey and myself.

All this to answer a question...where do I see FCM in 20 years? Well...if the Lord has not returned...still doing what it is chartered to do...equipping and encouraging folks to share the gospel.

Check your heart and see what your motives of attending are. If the are "what's in it for me"...hey...secular magic conventions are probably a better fit for you. But if it is one of a servant's heart...you know that Jesus thing...that thing we are supposed to be emulating...then I can't think of a better place to spend a week than the FCM convention. Because you will find a lot of like minded people there.

That's my two cents.

><> J
Kif Anderson
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FCM International since 2000
LAFCM since 2000
FCM-OCGAS since 2005
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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Through my son's facebook, I was able to check out BJ's comments last night.

My own view (one cent's worth) is that FCM will flourish equal to the amount of effort put into by the membership. That effort is being encouraged, not limited. I do not personally see the FCM doing anything to not assist- as evidenced by Duane Laflin asking PJ Weber, MagicBob and myself to lecture at the 2010 convention. That was a wonderful opportunity- and I think any fairly decent Gospel magician (ok- questionable in my case) can pretty easily get immediately involved even at the convention level... Such as the many lecturing spots open at FCM- probably more than any other convention I can think of. With the Late Late shows, etc., if you want a chance to perform magic- you have that opportunity right now. No waiting. SuZie did her chalk art on Wednesday night, next thing she was invited to immediately do several lectures/group meetings about her art. Wow- that was great to see.

I see the FCM as very active, very receptive, wide open, receptive to new ideas or improvement, and growing even in these tough economic times. By comparison, I cannot even get an invitation to attend FFFF, let alone share anything there (and I love Obie O'Brien too- talked to him at Abbott's a few weeks ago- a super gent and a good giving guy). Fired up about the FCM! Terrific magazine and web site, super convention content with a first class location- all at a very reasonable price. I have gone to many conventions- Abbott's, World Magic Seminar, Michigan Magic Day, etc., FCM is exactly what I look for in a convention- many dealers, tons of lectures, night shows galore with many Christian performers, nice! Of course the FCM evening shows may not be equal to what IBM has- but that is a much larger organization and draws talent from the entire world including fulltime performers/entertainers from Vegas (Hobson, King, Thomas, McBride, etc.). But Michigan Magic Day did not either, yet it was a wonderful event enjoyed by all. Psalm 67!
MagicBus
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Whoops, forgot to add: FCM, Advance, etc. are terrific resources to learn and grow in the "art" of Gospel magic- to proclaim The Good News! That is probably more challenging (and more difficult?) than just doing straight magic performance or watching a fine comedy act (such as John Carney) at Abbott's. So yes- FCM performers should have high standards for sure. I need to practice, practice, practice!
marklock
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When I lived in California I ran a seminar with Adam Christing and Barney Kinard called Music, Magic and Storytelling. It was primarily for those who work with children, which is a lot of the audiences many in FCM perform for (children and family). I think that is a niche group, and clearly not what a performer like BJ would be looking for in community. As I continued to work with teenagers, I not only received less benefit from the FCM community, I felt I had less to contribute to the community too. So I left.

I think FCM is maybe a bit of a misnomer, it really is less about "christian magicians' and more about a fellowship of people that perform and minister in a niche market, and really do enjoy the relationships they've built with others.
harris
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I am going to my first FCM event tomorrow. Will report back next week. I was told the registration was about 60 +. This will be refreshing after being at a few national S.A.M. and I.B.M. conventions.

I look forward to learning from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.


Love brother Harris
fishers of men of kansas city
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Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Kif Anderson
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Quote:
On 2010-08-18 23:56, marklock wrote:
When I lived in California I ran a seminar with Adam Christing and Barney Kinard called Music, Magic and Storytelling. It was primarily for those who work with children, which is a lot of the audiences many in FCM perform for (children and family).


Well...FCM in the days of Music, Magic & Storytelling in So. Cal is very different than today. LAFCM, which is blessed (beyond belief) to meet monthly at The Magic Castle is certainly magic focused...as well as fellowship. It just celebrated its 10th anniversary. FCM-OCGAS (Orange County Gospel Arts Studio) is very focused group of serious performers...both gospel and secular (and has been around for five years). So though smaller perhaps than some chapters...Southern California FCM is very active. And its not a kids performers only ministry anymore.
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
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<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion www.ozandwilde.com
marklock
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Very cool Kif, Thanks for the update. I haven't lived in CA for several years, but have kept up my Castle membership. We tried on a couple occasions to get regular SoCal meetings going in the late 80's. Really glad to hear it is going strong.

Just to be clear, I don't think that being a children/family performer makes anyone less serious a performer or less significant. And I think the FCM community is a group whose members benefits from it's existence, it just may not be for EVERY magician who is a Christian. FCM was incredibly valuable to me when I was beginning and had I not moved out of the SoCal area imagine I would have continued to be involved.
Kif Anderson
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Marklock -

I didn't take the comment that way...just wanted to point out that FCM in SoCal is a bit more diverse perhaps than back in the 80s. Hey...we even have a podcast now...(www.themagicpodcast.com) or find on iTunes (better choice) as "Christian Magician the Podcast."

And if you can ever make the 4th Monday to The Magic Castle...we would love to have you join us...(and anybody else for that matter...that meet the requirements of Magic Castle entry...i.e. age...dress...etc.)

><> 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
harris
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Kif, your name got mentioned at the Shawnee, Kansas event.

I must admit I didn't have the highest expectations prior to attending the Friday night kick off. I was pleasantly surprised and blessed both on Friday and Saturday. The presenters were top notch and shared from the heart and from experience. A late night breaking of bread with some of them following the close of the first night events was as important as the rest of the mini convention. I laughed out loud (good thing I wasn't drinking my water) when Virginia told me her clown name...HOLLY LULA.

I was encouraged, inspired and educated by the attendee's as well as the presenters. I am so glad Bev Dowling took the time to pass on the information. Will be going to the site to check out membership. (probably in October..when things slow down a bit at the start of the school year)

I am a community based counselor at a middle and high school. One of the perks is each quarter I get to present workshops to 7th grade drama class, and get help from the broadcasting teacher in editing the video. An example can be seen on a link from my webpage.

Will be going back to the Shawnee Chapter, hopefully in September.

Be safe, well and blessed

love,

brother Harris
http://magician.org/member/doctoroflaughology
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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bjharris
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Certainly interesting comments everyone...thanks for sharing, and continuing to share. I've done a lot of processing, and feel like I've finally found some closure on the role and current purpose of the FCM. You guys have certainly played a role in helping me determine that.

Thanks again for commenting!
MagicBus
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By comparison, Michael Close, Editor of MUM predicts the SAM/IBM will be forced to combine conventions or perhaps alternate yearly in the near future... IBM was basically orginally formed as Harry Houdini wanted to limit SAM to professionals--- yikes, that did not work out so well- probably as many hobbyists, collectors and amateurs now in SAM as in IBM now... The one thing for certain that never changes in organizations is there is always change.
Sam Sandler
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Hellow All,

I finally had some time to browse the Café here and stumbled upon this thread.

Bj brings up a great topic and as a member I wanted to comment.

first BJ- you mentioned in your facebook comments that you are not sure how you wouldlecture for FCM you state that you need a "lecture before the lecture"

so lets start here- I performed and lectured about 4 years ago and I understand what you are saying but what it comes down to is that you or I would go and teach others how to excell to move forward how to be better how to be great. I understand your statements and agree that the FCM is more about a family get together rather then a source fo improving your skills. although I also will say that I have seen changes for the better and hope and pray that they continue to grow in this way.

when I lectured I taught them what I have learned and what has made me successful and most imoportantly that I followed the leading of the holy spirit thru it all. my shows my lectures etc.

BJ you are not the first to feel this there are many others (some very high level inthe world of magic) that agree tht FCM does not really promote excellence but rather promotes family time and sharing ideas. I hope that my time there helped change some of the direction they are now moving.

getting people like ICE to come out and perform is great lets hope they get Ammar or McBride in the future.

what this all boils down to is that FCM as a fmaily and and organization that puts its faith in God and needs to pray and seek the Lord as to the direction they need to go. as long as the leaders are doing that then we need to trust they are hearing god and help serve where we can.

I can only hope that we grow and that we can continue to reach the lost through our programs.

sam
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bjharris
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After a lot of thought, and gathering feedback, I think I'm fine with the FCM for what it is. It is what it is, and I'm not sure that's changeable. Rather than try to change it, my opinion is that the organization should just accept what it is, and stop pretending or make it seem like it's something more. The organization's leadership most certainly needs to stop believing that they're the go-to resource for training performers regarding how to share the gospel using performance art on a large, full-time, grand scale.

It's certainly important for people who have an affinity with one another to gather together from time to time for fellowship. Also, since there are many who are performing magic without any form of payment, it's important for those with limited resources to have a place to go learn routines that fit into the standards and expectations of the audiences they perform for. FCM certainly provides for this, and fulfills those needs. And because of that, I believe the FCM is important. However...

However, I think it's time, (because so many are in need of it), to add to the incredibly limited teaching that is currently available to performers such as myself.

In response to these comments, and TONS others I've gotten via other sites and mediums, I've spent the last month beginning plans for something big, and I hope those who are intrigued and interested will make the decision to allow me to keep in touch.

I firmly believe you'll be blown away by what's in the works, even if you can't attend. That's why I think you'll want to check this out and be sure you sign up for the upcoming announcement regardless...even if you can't come, you'll love following what's about to happen online, and might even learn something for free, without even registering.

I can't wait to tell you the names of people I already have confirmed to be a part of this. Trust me...this is something you'll not want to miss: http://www.SubstanceConference.com
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