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Gary Barker
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Tampa, FL
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I would love to hear some dialogue on how you routine your show. What elements do you put in, leave out and why? How do you decide the pace of your show and how it is structured for the audience?

Who will be the first to reply...
Wes Holly
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Baltimore, MD
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"You ask so many questions, what answers should I choose?
Is this schizoid paranoia, or just existential blues?"
(Tom "T Bone" Stankus)

What elements do you put in, leave out and why?

In reference to what? What elements are you asking about? There are many elements that can make a show bad or good.
How do you decide the pace of your show and how it is structured for the audience?

First create your character/persona, that will go far in determining everything else.

wes holly
Happily Yours,
Wes Holly
Baltimore, MD, USA
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Profile of REV BILL
My friend Duane Laflin has a 3 DVD set on Gospel Magic. Also check out his book,"Greater Gospel Magic". You will not be sorry for either one.
Specializing in Family Entertainment,Gospel,Comedy and Educational programs for over 30 years.(Order of Merlin)
Dan Bernier
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It would take a good long lecture to answer all your questions, but they are very good questions in deed!

I have been changing my main show several times now. I have two other shows I perform, but they are pretty much fixed to what they are at this time.

I onced believed that every trick had to have a Gospel theme. And every trick had to lead into another trick and Gospel message, where in the end it all tied nicely together.

I realized my show was too preachy, and not as entertaining as it could be. I believe that as a Gospel magician it's important to be entertaining. I have settled with the idea of leaving the preaching to the preachers, and the theology to the theologists. I am a Christian entertainer.

After my introduction, I now start my show off with a demonstration of slieght of hands tricks. Not much patter, mostly just eye candy. I want to establish two things right in the beginning. One, that we are here for a good time, and two, that I know what I am doing.

I then perform a routine that involves a spectator. A comedy bit to get the audience cued on laughing and applauding.

I then perform a sucker routine. I like the "Dots Next", but have also performed the "Hippity Hop Rabbits".

Around this time I like to present the answer to whatever question I will raise at the end of my show. For example. I may at this time present a stage size three card monte with a King Of Hearts/Jesus card explaining how Jesus Christ in the King of my heart.

I then like to perform a routine that is personal to me. A trick that ties into a personal story about me, or my life as a Christian. I've changed this a several times. Once it was a story about losing a loved one, and not being sure if they went to Heaven. It all depends on where I'm at in life, and what story I feel spiritually drawn to share. I also shared about a time I almost drowned if it were not for my older cousin who was stronger and a better swimmer than I. The moral was about needing someone more stronger than us to save us from drowning in life's circumstances.

I then like to get a few spectator's on stage for another comedy bit. I like performing the Rings. Specifically a routine by Dan Harlan. It's a great routine using 8 rings, and it always gets huge laughs. I will also perform the Miser's Dream. I used to perform the Miser's Dream at the beginning of my show, but found it much better near the middle.

This is where I perform the Axtel Magic Drawing Board. I'm still improving my routine for it, but it sure gets huge reactions. As soon as the eyes move, the kids go wild! Just a fun good hearted routine to remind everyone that we are here to have a good time.

I usually give a small speech at this time just before my last trick. My last trick is usually about how one can be saved. What the cost is and how to obtain eternal life. It ties in to whatever I had earlier performed. I like performing, "The Key To The Kingdom"

At this point, it is up to the Pastor/Minister of the church to choose to make an alter call. I do not make alter calls. The reason is very simple for me. I am not the sheppard of the flock, nor will I be able to sheppard new flock. Only those who are willing to sheppard should make such a call, in my opinion.

That's a quick break down of my show. That's the jiff anyways. It has been changing and changing lately, and I am almost ready to add "Chico, The Mindreader to my show.

I of course also use my trusted friend, "Buddy". Buddy helps me with younger children who might not be so impressed with some of the magic tricks I perform. The kids sure love Buddy though. Even though most of them know it's a puppet, they sure don't show it when I perform with him. They will talk with him as if he were real. At times I have even felt upstaged by Buddy.(lol)

Hopefully my response will incourage more.

"If you're going to walk in the rain, don't complain about getting wet!"
Kif Anderson
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1961 - 2012
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One of the keys to success of the Oz and Wilde show is structure. There is a formula for how we align things. It is as follows:

Beginning: Introduce ourselves and show you can do something magical
Example - introduction and simultaneous vanish and appearing canes (from start to effect happening in less than a minute) Something needs to happen quickly

Second effect: Begins the message of our show...identify the theme
Example - ABC Gumball ReCombobulator (Wolf's Magic)where we start discussing the gospel "A-B-C" becomes Accept you are a sinner, Believe Jesus came and died for our sins, & Change and live for Him. (This introduces the concept of the gospel...which is reinforced later)

Third A/Third B effect: Questions the message of the first effect and spectator helps
(A & B mean it could be the same effect or two separate effects)
Eamples -
A - Jumbo Balloon Wand (Wolf's Magic) with cards showing Bible verses (force Mark 16:15) And talk about the Great Commission
B - Puzzle effect (Oz & Wilde) that continues discussion of Mark 16:15 as to how the Great Commission applies to our lives personally

Forth Effect: Introduction of conflict
Example - Confusing Crayons (Yuratsis) This version of the old bottle trick is very effective but we don't use it as a sucker effect - but instead the "spectator failure" (see Fitzkee's Trick Brain) effect is "Wilde failure" which leaves him feeling he was made a fool of and makes him seek (friendly) revenge.

Fifth Effect: Challenge/Repentance (spectator involvement)
Example - Blow Yur Stack (Wolf's Magic) - we do this with Wilde challenging Oz to a cup stacking contest but instead he plays against a spectator. Cheating is discovered and when Wilde realizes he has been breaking a commandment...he becomes repentant and asks forgiveness. Helper is the hero for willingness to be forgiving.

Closing: Solid gospel message and invitation
Example - Three Ball Trick (Andre Kole) & My Life Book (Oz & Wilde) These two effects blend together well for us as Oz is sharing the most of the first and Wilde the second. Each are the most "serious" effects in the show, but both have humor added through Wilde comments and antics.

None of these effects are performed to the "routine that came with the trick." They are woven together and present a very solid message...first planting the message of the gospel...then the need to share it (great commission)...followed by conflict...then repentance...and ending with the gospel...which is not being introduced for the first time...but is much tighter with Kole's effect then made even more personal with the effect My Life Book.

So that is the logic behind the plot of a normal Oz and Wilde show.

Hope that helps.
We are not cisterns made for hoarding, we are channels made for sharing. - Billy Graham
<BR>Sharing the gospel with Comedy & Illusion
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If the show is in a church, I mix in three of my favorite gospel effects: Torn & Restored Bible, Twentieth Century Silks, and the Temple Screen. I agree with Gospel Dan that it is easy to get so preachy that effectiveness is lost.

So I may open with Torn and Restored Bible, use 20thCS mid-way, then close with TS.

Hope my $.02 worth helps.
John Russell
Mastering Magician
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