Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thoughts on Magic

I wanted to back up a little bit and respond to a comment/question about the effect that I used during our revival. It came from a fellow blogger and if you are reading as a magician, I would encourage you to check out Magic Utopia.

The idea for the effect came from Jay Sankey's book, Beyond Secrets. I think that Jay Sankey is a little weird, but he is a very creative magician and he definitely has fun at his craft. At the Midwest Magic Jubilee in St. Louis, he encouraged us to quit thinking like magicians and to start thinking like spectators. His book talks about the key visual points of an effect, the things that the spectator sees and remembers. These might be the things they use when describing the effect to somebody else: This magician took out a one dollar bill. He showed it to me on both sides. Then he folded it in half and passed his hand in front of the bill and it changed into a twenty! He showed me the twenty and then waved it right in front of my face and it changed back into a one dollar bill.

I used the HypnoBill Change from Williams Magic for the effect. I actually performed it twice. The first time was just the performance and the second talked about the key visual points above with the corresponding actions at each point. The point that I wanted to make in the message was that others watch us for the key visual elements of our lives. When we say that we are Christians but that isn't what others see in our actions, we damage the credibility of our testimony. In the same way, we are to test the credibility of others. Jesus taught us to "check the fruit." He said that a good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree will produce bad fruit. What do people see when they are checking your fruit? Is it something that demonstrates or damages your verbal testimony?

I also used Whit Haydn's Fast and Loose routine to talk to the youth group about making good choices. Fast and Loose is a con game similar in nature to the shell game or three card monte. The mark always appears to have a free choice and a fair chance but never wins. Sometimes a bad decision (like getting in the game) always leads to bad consequences (like losing your money!). At some point, one must arrive at the decision that the only good choice is to get out of the game. It may be about the friends that you've chosen, a place that you went to, or an action that you've taken. The only fix may be to undo the original bad choice by getting out of the game. As much as we would like to think that we can change the bad behavior of our friends, the Bible teaches differently. The Bible tells us that bad company corrupts good character. That means stay away from bad company. Make good choices about the friends you keep and the influences that you allow to be close to you. Bad company corrupts good character.

I really do enjoy using a simple effect to teach a lesson of truth.


1 comment:

The Magic Utopian said...

Hello, John.

Nice blog on Sankey and Haydin. Good message, too.

Best regards,
Magic Utopia