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Christian magician's show presents truth and illusion

January 05, 2012|By CHRIS COPLEY | chrisc@herald-mail.com
  • Illusionist Brett Myers and assistants Genae Bishop, left, and Labrina Gerhart bring the BAM magic show to Antietam Recreation this weekend. They will present shows with a Christian message on Friday and Saturday.
Submitted photo

Magician Brett Myers deals in illusions. On stage, he makes people and things appear and disappear, saws his fiancee in half, makes inanimate objects seem to move by themselves.

But he’s an entertainer with a message for his audience.

“We really want people to understand what is illusion and what is truth,” he said. “Within every show that we do, we give that message of truth — the truth that we find in a relationship with God.”

Myers and his BAM magic crew will perform this weekend at Antietam Recreation, south of Funkstown. Shows will be at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, and Saturday, Jan. 7. Tickets cost $8 to $12, plus tax.

During a recent phone interview, Myers, who turned 25 this week, talked about the shows at Antietam Rec.

“We are doing a two-hour, theater-style show with large-scale illusions. We make the stage similar to a theater. We bring in all of our own lighting, our own sound system,” he said. “People can expect an evening with a lot of comedy. They’ll laugh a lot. And there’ll be live animals, including a chinchilla I call my pet, Peeve.”

Myers travels with a cast and crew, including his sister and brother-in-law and his fiancee, Labrina Gerhart. They have a heavy schedule, performing the show as often as three or four times a week up and down the East Coast and across the country.

But Myers got his start performing magic not on the big stage, but on the way to school.

“This started for me at a very young age — 14 years old,” he said. “I did rope tricks, card tricks, small things I could do in passing, could show kids on the bus.”

At about the same time, he became a Christian. In his bio on his website, www.bammagic.com, Myers described how he experienced fear and depression because he couldn’t be in control of his life. In his new faith, he understood that some things are beyond human control. He found peace when he committed his life to Christ and stopped trying to control his life by himself.

Myers studied marketing and business at Bryan College, a Christian liberal arts college in Tennessee, and apprenticed with other magicians who blended their Christian witness into their magic performances. Myers developed his own show, using stage magic as a metaphor for life.

“Our message is not just a matter of entertainment, but we are reminding people of the truth,” he said. “It’s sometimes the things that are unseen that are important.”

Myers acknowledged that constant traveling and performing is challenging. For one thing, it can lead to falling into a rut. He and his crew try to stay fresh by continually improving and expanding the show.

“Usually, it takes us about nine months from concept to a new act on stage,” he said. “First, we figure out what is the effect we want to accomplish and what its purpose is in the show. Then, we identify the mood we want to convey. Then we work on scripting and soundtracking and buy equipment. Finally, we rehearse.”

Myers said he will debut a big, new finale for his show this weekend at Antietam Rec.

“It’s actually a unique twist that has never been done before,” he said.

He gave no hints of what audience members will see, other than to say he hopes the illusion will inspire audiences with the truth.

And that’s the intent at the core of all Myers’ stagecraft.

“For me, this in not a job. It’s my passion. I feel blessed to use my art to be able to tell an important message,” he said. “I love it when people come up to me afterward and say, ‘You know, we were blown away by what you did on stage. But we really appreciate that you were able to remind us of truth.’”


If you go ...        

WHAT: A magic show with Christian illusionist Brett Myers

WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6, and Saturday, Jan. 7

WHERE: Antietam Recreation, 9745 Garis Shop Road, south of Hagerstown

COST: $8 to $12, plus tax

CONTACT: Call 301-797-7999 or go to www.antietamrecreation.com

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