You’ve probably never thought of being an evangelist. Most mentions of the word conjures up scenes of Billy Graham or tent revivals from the 1950’s and 60’s, primarily experienced in the south. Collins World English Dictionary from reference.com defines evangelist as:
World English Dictionary
- an occasional preacher, sometimes itinerant and often preaching at meetings in the open air
- a preacher of the Christian gospel
- any zealous advocate of a cause
- another word for revivalist
Let’s pay attention to number 3, “any zealous advocate of a cause”. And let’s say that our cause is magic, or more specifically, good, entertaining magic. One good way to develop good entertaining magic is to associate with magical practitioners, compeers, purveyors of the art. Clubs, organizations, brotherhoods and societies are the prime vessel for such associations. So, one excellent way to evangelize our good and entertaining magic is by evangelizing our clubs, organizations and societies.
Obviously membership in such groups is restricted to the devotees of the art, but evangelizing these groups to those devotees who are not a part of our memberships should be to everyone’s mutual benefit. The association should provide opportunities for the members to learn, develop and master the art of good and entertaining magic, and the members should provide the association with support by lending expertise at all levels for all phases of the performance of the magical arts.
When evangelizing, opportunities must be recognized and acted upon immediately. Be prepared to share your enthusiasm for magic with laymen and other magicians alike. Promoting good magic is good business. Sure, promote your good show, but be realistic and understand that not everyone will see your show. When you know of opportunities to let a layperson see a good show by another magician, do a little promoting for them. I’m going to bet that most of you magicians already do this. It’s only fair and a normal part of business in areas not magically related. We often refer friends and family to the best dry cleaners or plumber.
Here’s where we can do the best thing to help promote good entertaining magic. Engage those magician/entertainers on the outside of the organizations. Let them know they are needed and wanted in your local organization. And if you don’t feel that your local group is the type that promotes good and entertaining magic, get involved to the point where you can guide changes. If you get enough compatriots that are of a like mind, you can guide changes in your local organization for the good.
Start today. Start somewhere. Changes are bound to come. Remember, a couple thousand years ago, a guy with just twelve helpers changed history.