Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

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Gord
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Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Gord » April 15th, 2008, 10:56 pm

This is an editorial from a college newspaper about the Andre Kohl show.

HERE

Has anyone else seen this show? Is this really happening?

Gord

David Alexander
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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby David Alexander » April 15th, 2008, 11:36 pm

That's what he's always done; only he did the proselytizing himself, not through a surrogate. As I recall, in the beginning (sorry) he did not separate the two parts of his show. Later, he made the announcement and people were free to leave, and many did. Hes been associated with the Campus Crusade for Christ for a long time.

I'm about as far as you can get from Kohl's beliefs, but I've always found him to be sincere. Despite our differences, a number of years ago I helped him with a few suggestions about presentation. He adopted them and sent me a lovely letter and an autographed photo which I have in my den. Ive had dinner in his home once or twice.

The criticism of the style of proselytizing may be valid, but, as the reviewer stated, those who did not want to stay were free to leave. When the reviewer found the presentation distasteful, he should have left.

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Bill Duncan » April 15th, 2008, 11:57 pm

Perhaps Penn and Teller should go on tour with Andre Kohl and bill the tour as "Opposing Viewpoints?"

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Sue Anne Webster » April 16th, 2008, 4:07 am

Penn & Teller already proselytize in their shows. ;)

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Rick Maue » April 16th, 2008, 11:05 am

Let's see...

Here is the definition from the online Merriam-Webster Dictionary for "proselytize"

intransitive verb:
1: to induce someone to convert to one's faith
2: to recruit someone to join one's party, institution, or cause

transitive verb:
to recruit or convert especially to a new faith, institution, or cause

That isn't even close to what P&T do doing their performances. They merely express a personal viewpoint, which is what many good artists do. They never try to convert anyone. However, the same cannot be said for Mr. Kohl.


Keep the change,
Rick Maue

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 16th, 2008, 11:12 am

What's the product? What's the price?

Are we ready to discuss techniques of salesmanship (the pitch)?
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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Doug Brewer » April 16th, 2008, 12:04 pm

There are comments on the bottom of the article, including a response from Campus Crusade, that explain the events a little better. I would assume the truth of the story is somewhere in the middle - an over-the-top, whiny student review of the show vs. a more aggressive-than-usual sermon. Since Andre was sick with pneumonia both the show and sermon were done by substitutes. I like what Andre is doing. Anything that can expose more people to the Word, especially in a fun way, is adding to this world, not taking away.

On a somewhat interesting side, a fascinating movie is coming out on Friday by Ben Stein, titled "Expelled", that talks about the squashing of free speech on college campuses for anyone who has the temerity to mention "God".

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 16th, 2008, 12:27 pm

Andre is an interesting character and a truly creative magician. At least he truly believes in what he's doing, which is more than can be said of many people.
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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Ralph Mackintosh » April 16th, 2008, 12:47 pm

Maybe the answer for why this person was so upset can be found in his signature: "Freshman Psychology major"

I never met a freshman psychology major who wasn't confused and challenged on religion. It seems to be the mission of those teaching freshman psychological to try and shake students belief systems (especially Christianity).

I really enjoy Andre's show and have always felt he was careful to separate the spiritual presentation from the pure entertainment portion. It's always been a tribute to his magic that many who were not primarily interested in religion stayed out of respect and interest generated by the magic.

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Rick Maue » April 16th, 2008, 12:51 pm

Doug Brewer wrote:I like what Andre is doing. Anything that can expose more people to the Word, especially in a fun way, is adding to this world, not taking away.



Greetings Doug,

Please accept my questions as mere questions. They are truly asked with respect.

With that said, would you offer the same level of support for those that deliver a message that differs from yours? Would you defend the rights of those with a blatant message of conversion to Atheism? Or how about a performer that tours the universities of our nation with the intention of converting students to the Muslim faith? Remember, to many millions, those too are "adding to this world." And who is truly capable to judge what is honestly "adding to this world?"

It is easy for all of us to defend those that we agree with. However, one of the keys to freedom is to be willing to fight for the rights of those that believe differently, because that is what this country truly stands for--the right of every citizen to be heard, and defended.


Keep the change,
Rick

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 16th, 2008, 1:12 pm

I am sorry that the blog poster was so put off by the Kohl show they attended.

As to Conjuring for Chthulu ...
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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Jim Maloney » April 16th, 2008, 1:29 pm

Guys,
I just want to make note of the Genii Forum's policy on discussion religion. Specifically, that it is not allowed.

The talk here has been respectful so far, but I will be keeping an eye on this thread. If it veers too far off course, you may find the thread locked, posts deleted, or some other action taken. Until that point, however, please, keep up the good discussion.

Just an FYI.

-Jim
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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Jim Maloney » April 16th, 2008, 1:37 pm

Oh, one more FYI, since it appears that the original writer's error has propagated over to this forum: it's Andre Kole.

-Jim
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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Brandon Hall » April 16th, 2008, 1:43 pm

I want to add that as a Christian it is his responsibility if not duty to witness to as many people as possible. Remember, they truly believe we are lost if not given the opportunity to be "saved". As an athiest we have no such responsibility. Thank God.
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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 16th, 2008, 1:47 pm

It's not so easy to love ones neighbor for who they are and as they are...
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Gord » April 16th, 2008, 1:52 pm

Jim Maloney wrote:Oh, one more FYI, since it appears that the original writer's error has propagated over to this forum: it's Andre Kole.

-Jim


That would be a my bad. I even went to the Andre Kole site before I posted the link and even then ended up spelling it wrong.
My apologies.

Gord

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Doug Brewer » April 16th, 2008, 1:57 pm

Hi Rick: BTW, loved your work at the mentalism LVMI a couple years ago. I'm not offended by what you asked at all, but I certainly don't want to get into too big a back-and-forth. Regardless, I'll say this - if the Campus Atheists wanted to sponser a show and at the end of it they wanted to try to convince the crowd to disavow ALL religion (not just the pacifist Christians, but Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, etc, etc) by all means I wouldn't burn the place down in protest. I'd be a little saddened by it, but hey, whatever. But since I'm biased toward my Christian faith, I do honestly think that "having" faith adds to a persons life in a positive way. I've seen it in action around me and in my life. Atheism, by definition, is the absence of faith in God/Christ/Holy Spirit to me. For a Muslim, it would be absence of obedience to Allah and the Koran. For other religions, you'll have to look it up :)

Ironically, and this seems to be a more recent phonomena, athesism is moving toward not only a simple claim of "absence of faith" but a more militant denial of free speech for anyone claiming to have faith in a higher power (not just Christians).

Hey, you are certainly free to your opinion/belief system and I love healthy arguments (that is, arguments in the Aristotlian sense). Faith is not an easy thing - it requires a lot of reading, listening, meditation, (praying), and hey, arguing - just as I'm sure you're faith in the absence of a higher power requires. I've been a Christian all my life, and well, I'm a believer. I don't, however, bring religion into any of my shows - not even a whisper. What Andre is doing is interesting - I perceive it as kind of a show/revival. I haven't seen his show, but it would be interesting to see how it is transitioned from "illusion show" to "religious presentation". Perhaps the transition was a bit abrupt for the reviewer.

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 16th, 2008, 2:01 pm

Rick and Doug,

Please use the PM feature of this site or your personal email to continue your part of this discussion.

Many thanks,
Dustin

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Doc Dixon » April 16th, 2008, 2:09 pm

Some kid named Justin had to hear someone talk about something he didn't like and he called it "hell". Wow. What a tough guy. Scratch that. He didn't have to hear it. He was given a choice to leave. OK, so let's start all over. Some kid listened to something he didn't like by choice and called it "hell." Yes, the Duke is dead. Long live Justin.

I'm a Christian. Which means I'm not an atheist (Unless I'm the Joel Osteen variety, then it's a toss-up). I have good friends that are atheists (one very close friend). I have listened to them share their beliefs with deep emotion and conviction. They have listened to me share mine. When the conversations were over neither of us felt like it was "hell"

I have seen P&T live where Penn shares his atheism. Afterwards I did feel like I went through "hell".

Regarding the "bait & switch" aspect of his complaint, well, let me get this straight. He saw a cool, big, ol' magic show for FIVE BUCKS and he's griping. Hmmm ... Now if he saw the Wyrick show ...

One of the comments at the newspaper site said Campus Crusade for Christ was "assaulting the opinion of a concerned student". Can anybody tell me, outside the confines of a bad freshman (and I mean HIGH SCHOOL freshman) creative writing class how someone can assault an opinion??

Anyone? Anyone? Bueler? Bueller?

In the words of King, "Can't we all just get along?"

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Rick Maue » April 16th, 2008, 2:38 pm

Doug,

Thanks for the nice words about LVMI. I will be working the event again in June (it will be a lecture about bridging magic and mentalism), and I hope to see you there. I will buy the coffee, and we can enjoy a passionate discussion.

So, with that said, I will promise to behave now Dustin. :)


Keep the change,
Rick

PS. By the way Doug, I have one quick comment in regard to your statement about Atheism becoming "a more militant denial of free speech for anyone claiming to have faith in a higher power." Simply put, as I alluded to in my earlier post, denying free speech is always wrong, no matter which side of the fence it falls on.

(OK, I didn't completely behave Dustin, but I was actually agreeing with Doug, so am I forgiven?)

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Doug Brewer » April 16th, 2008, 3:47 pm

Sounds good, Rick. Maybe see you there. And I'm with you on the free speech.

Hey, let's all talk about politics now!

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Terry » April 16th, 2008, 9:20 pm

Rick,

What makes this country different from others is that we do have the right to discuss whatever we want to. If our audience doesn't appreciate it, they may leave. Kole's shows are advertised as Christian in nature and anyone choosing to pay their money to attend should understand that.

As far as college goes, they do promote every thing except Christianity on most campus. Most bend over backwards to accomodate muslim practices which would have the ACLU screaming if you were to substitute Chrisitian for muslim.

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Brad Henderson » April 16th, 2008, 10:19 pm

Then it seems that the steps taken to make very clear that there would be a "Christian theme" for part of the show, and that people were given the chance to leave would make the poster irrelevant. They performed due diligence. The author of the story did not. He had the chance to leave. He didn't.

I thought we were supposed to take responsibility for our own actions.

Can't wait till this kid gets suckered into his first Amway meeting.

Brad

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Terry_Holley » April 16th, 2008, 10:21 pm

I was an associate of Andre's from 1987-1996. I was just with him about two weeks ago as his final tour of the season was winding down. He was off the road and back home due to a bout with pneumonia for which he had been hospitalized for a few days. The first show of that tour was the first time in approximately 44 years of touring that Andre' missed a show due to personal health reasons.

Andre's son Tim toured with him this season and Tim and Andre' shared the stage. Allan Rasco, a magician from Tucson who has toured with Andre' as an assistant and performer in the past was also on the road this season. When Andre' became sick and had to be hospitalized, Tim performed the main illusion show with Allan sharing during the spiritual presentation. One reason that "Alan Roscoe" couldn't be found on the internet by poster Allen Ratliff in the review pages in question is because Mr. Ratliff did not have the correct spelling.

I wasn't at the show in question, so I can't speak to what was communicated at it or to the student review. But from talking to Andre' prior to reading this thread and knowing about the review, I have no reason to believe that it would have been any different from what Andre' has been sharing this touring year, other than Allan sharing his personal faith story in place of Andre's.

I believe that the opportunity that Andre' gives for attendees to leave if they so desire is done in good taste. I've been at shows where some leave and shows where none do.

I hope this throws a bit more light on the discussion. If you haven't seen the show, I think you've missed an important part of the history of a touring illusion show. I hope you'll be able to take it in some day.

Terry

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Nicholas Carifo » April 16th, 2008, 10:27 pm

Terry wrote: Kole's shows are advertised as Christian in nature and anyone choosing to pay their money to attend should understand that.



Terry,

The complaint made in the Nebraskan Article, was that the show in question DID NOT advertise itself as christian in nature, other than a "vague" reference in small type at the bottom of the page simply stating a sponsor organization. Nothing, allegedly, stated the show was anything more than a magic show.

The complaint was not about the right to present a christian themed show, but to not keep that fact hidden by not advertising it as such.

-------------------
Here's a link to Andre's own site, and his posters:
http://www.andrekole.org/posters.htm

I only notice religious imagery on the Easter Musical & Christmas posters, not on his normal show posters. However, I have no way of knowing if any of these were used to promote the show in question in the original article.

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Nicholas Carifo » April 16th, 2008, 10:30 pm

Oops... I accidently deleted the above post when trying to edit the post for spelling typos. Luckily I was able to reverse it, however the above post should fall before the two posts above it to make sense, as they refer to the link I posted. Sorry about he confusion.

Nick

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Nicholas Carifo » April 16th, 2008, 11:10 pm

Terry,

Being on tour with Andre Kole all those years... dare I say his PRIME years must have been an amazing magic experience. A good friend of mine toured with Copperfield for years and I imagine your experience had to be akin to his.

As I posted the link above, I should add that I am a big admirer of Andre Kole, of his brilliance in creating original and ingenious magic illusions. I have seen his show several times and will continue to attend when I have the opportunity.

Also, I am not at all interested in the religious message or portion of his show, but I go in knowing full and well what to expect and choose to stay and watch the magic involved, and not to miss the final vanishing statue sequence of the show.

I personally have no problem with Andre Kole presenting his religious messages in his show. It's his show to do with what he pleases. He presents his personal passions and his religion is part of that.

However, the point keeps being made that they give the opportunity to leave -- just before the religious lesson portion of the show begins. Why don't they inform everyone when they arrive at the theatre BEFORE THE SHOW, as to not require them to stand up and leave with everyone staring at them when they do so?

The many times I've seen the show -- most recently at the IBM convention in Kansas City a couple years ago -- it is apparant that this method puts those wishing to leave in the embarrasing predicament of getting up and walking out in front of everyone. It keeps many in the seats for the message, even if they would rather leave.

Also, during the shows that I have attended, this is not done during full intermission, but simply a few moments with the lights up to leave while everyone else watched them do so.

I would think complaints such as the one the author of The Nebraskan artcle has would disappear, if attendees were simply told upfront about the religious overtones and sermon in the show from the onset, being given the oportunity to choose before entering the theater whether to stay or leave without being put in an embarrasing situation.

Now, that said, I'm one of the guys who sit through 20 bad zombie routines and dancing canes at a magic contest just to experience the one diamond in the rough:)

Nick

PS... On another note.. .does anyone know if Andre Kole tours Southern California? I've never seen him appear here and would like to catch the current show.

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Paul Q » April 16th, 2008, 11:48 pm

When I was 14 (and a budding magician) my dad took me to see Andre Kole. What a night! The illusions I witnessed filled me with wonder. Especially his levitation. After a full hour and a half grand show, he very respectfully said that after a short break he would come back and tell us of his personal beliefs. He graciously stated that if anyone wanted to leave they could do so during the break. Out of the 1000 or so there that night, I saw no one leave.
After a few minutes Andre came out and told the gospel story using a magic routine to enhance it. It lasted 20 minutes or so, and was well received.
I am now 44 years old and last year I took my 14 year old son to see Andre Kole. Some of the illusions have changed and he is definitely showing some age, but the flow of the evening was much the same as I had witnessed some 30 years ago. An excellent traveling stage show. Our tickets were $7.oo each. An absolute bargain!!! What Andre does is a labor of love and he is a man on a mission. He donates his proceeds to Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization he has worked with for over 30 years.

What our unfortunate college friend saw was NOT an Andre Kole show. It was his son and an assistant. Just because you can push the buttons on the box or preach does not mean you are a master showman and passionate communicator.

It's not the trick, it's YOU!

Andre Kole is the real deal.

Grace and Peace

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby NCMarsh » April 17th, 2008, 10:38 am

Just to clarify, to those who feel the kid should have left:

But remember, this magician did mention that anybody could leave if they felt uncomfortable.

I assure you, we did.

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Re: Commentary on the Andre Kohl Show

Postby Q. Kumber » April 17th, 2008, 3:52 pm

Terry wrote:Rick,

What makes this country different from others is that we do have the right to discuss whatever we want to.


It may come as a surprise to you Terry, and to many other US citizens but there are lots of other countries in the world where people have the right to discuss whatever they want to.

We in Europe though do look on with some amusement when a women's breast pops out during a televised sporting event and half your country has apoplexy. Equally when a TV station plans to air a program that interest groups object to, and instead of accepting the TV station's right to broadcast the program they target advertisers forcing the station to drop the broadcast.

I've never seen Andre Kole live but about 25 years ago, our local Baptist church had an evening showing on film, a portion of Kole's show, including the Willard Spirit Cabinet, It closed with Andre presenting a religious message using a light bulb. The latter was very tastefully presented.

Any magician watching Kole's show should spend more time studying how he presents his message than watching the tricks. Sometime you might have to give a talk with a message (religious, sales, motivational) and it would be well worth studying his structure.


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