Fellowship of

Christian Magicians

Member Dennis Blacksmith achieves Order of Merlin Excalibur

Thu, March 31, 2016 10:18 AM | Anonymous

Performing professionally as Dennis Blacksmith (my name Kowal translated into English) since I was eleven, I’ve been dedicated to the field of magic steadily for all my years.  I put myself through college performing up to four shows a day on weekends and saved enough money to buy a Victorian House on the National Register for Historic Places when I got married.  Until his death, my father and I attended all the magic conventions and two International Brotherhood of Magician’s ( I.B.M.) Ring meetings a month; learning first hand from lectures by Ali Bongo, Slydini, and Anverdi.
My father and I founded I.B.M. Ring 200 which had as a member a young David Copperfield as well as the inventor of "The Fastest Trick in the World", Al Delage.  My father raised doves and sold them to magicians (our doves are featured in the Copperfield Slide Show about his history and growing up magically) and my father encouraged me in my art.
I perform around the world when not running my successful architectural practice or doing motivational speaking.  I am past Vice President of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians and won the "Most Outstanding Junior Magician of the Eastern Coast" Award from M.A.E.S. when I was fourteen.  My creative shows have been featured in the center court of shopping malls as well as famous New York City Theatres and were custom designed and built:  "Star Spangled Magic", Punch & Judy, "Storybook Magic", Alakazam Magic Show, "Professor Gizmo's magical Journey", The Cat in the Hat Magic Show, "The Magic Circus" and "Out of my Mind".  I am a popular speaker on inventing and designing magic effects and have lectured in the US and Europe.  My favorite invention was converting a dollar store dancing flower into a kazoo-controlled hindu rope and rising card effect.  My favorite show was in Norway when I realized the same props I had used since I was eleven had accompanied me and propelled me all the way to this performance in a new country on a world stage.  My favorite effect is my own torn and restored signed card and story which has brought both amazement and tears to my audience.

But all of this was merely preparation.  At a FCM conference where I hosted the Heritage Night performance, I was asked by a Christian Ministry in attendance to accompany them to Cuba.   Of the 700 magicians attending that conference that week,  I wondered why they only asked me.  It seemed that there were much better choices from professionals who were extremely talented.  My friend Peter was incredibly funny and much better.  My friend Toby had big illusions with sound, lights and smoke.  My friend Mark had perfect timing and wonderful routining. 
But I have been traveling with Caring Partners International around the world ever since and I finally realized “why me?”.  It was exactly because I wasn’t those that I so esteemed.   I go to places that sometimes need two sequential translators because the dialect is so remote.  Peter’s jokes which are a play on words simply would not work.  I’ve traveled three hours up to a base of an active volcano to perform to a shoeless village.  There was no power for Toby’s lighting or music.  I’ve had to stand on the top of a Range Rover to perform and be seen when surrounded by a thousand curious students in South Africa, Mark’s timing would be all off.  God called me because I had learned to be adaptable; performing at all those outdoor corporate picnics, using simple effects with large and colorful impact to compete with the distractions of a carnival, and relying on the clown within me to ham it up without words when necessary.   God didn’t need an award-winning magician like I had previously assumed, just somebody who was adaptable and truly enjoyed people.  The magic became a tool to love others.  People weren’t an “audience” to make me look good, I was there to meet their needs.  So when something didn’t work, we laughed it off together. When it was so humid in Thailand that the simplest clothing would soak, I performed a stage show barefoot to at least feel the cool tiles.  And when I fumbled reading a tract in Spanish, I let the children correct my pronunciation and they became the important helper (a tactic  that I continued to use…I never could pronounce that tract correctly without them!)
Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t promote incompetence in performance.  My equipment and my performances are well rehearsed and designed to meet anyone’s standards.  In fact, I keep inventing new effects like my Magical Dental Show which presents the Gospel and teaches oral hygiene.  But after the show, I can be found holding the hands of patients who are having teeth removed without Novocain.   My wife, Susan, serves along my side both in performances and by running the pharmacy.  There is no greater joy than working with a spouse in ministry.  Remember that shoeless village?  Susan somehow managed to find a pick-up truck full of new shoes and bought the lot and shoed every child in that village.  We also funded their first “head start program” (breakfast with pre-school) and today the school has grown to multiple classes, uniforms and yes, “shoes”!  I’ll never forget my sweet and generous wife sitting in the sun and making balloon animals for an endless line of children when I, in horror, watched her use an indelible Sharpie marker to start putting a big “X” on their hands (in a country with no soap and water!).   It turns out, even the sweetest person has limits as she realized the kids were taking the balloons to a stash in their huts and getting in line over and over again.
The Order of Merlin Excalibur award marks fifty continuous years of dedication to the art of magic through membership in the I.B.M.   I thank God for giving me a talent to serve Him which has had such enormous impact and benefit to my own life. 

Dennis Kowal Blacksmith

Comments

  • Fri, April 01, 2016 2:11 PM | Gloria Morales
    Congratulations to you Dennis, and your lovely assistant (and wife) Susan. As you have served, sacrificed and loved on people all over the world with your magical gifts, may you both be richly blessed in all that you do.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Fri, April 01, 2016 2:19 PM | Tom Browning
    Dennis,
    We are so proud of your energy, competence, creativity and the love of the Lord and your amazing bride. Dottie and I consider it a privilege to know you both.
    Congrats on you coming award. You have definitely earned it.
    Tom & DottieTM5496
    Link  •  Reply
  • Fri, April 01, 2016 3:25 PM | Carol Kowal
    Congratulations Dennis--Remembering way back when you performed your Christian Magic Shows for our VBS at 4th Reformed Church in Somerville and for all our family parties--Your brother Richie and I always knew that God had given you a special talent--May God richly bless you and Susan as you continue your mission around the world--Love, Carol
    Link  •  Reply
  • Fri, April 01, 2016 4:16 PM | Tim Wolf
    Dennis,
    Congratulations on this great honor! May God continue to richly bless you as you share His love through Gospel magic.
    Link  •  
    Author
    * Comment
     
  • Fri, April 01, 2016 4:26 PM | Scott Gandolfe
    Well deserved honor for a great man with a heart for God and a pretty good magician :)
    Link  •  Reply
  • Fri, April 01, 2016 9:50 PM | Tom Sigley
    Way to go Dennis
    Way to Represent
    Link  •  Reply
  • Sat, April 02, 2016 12:34 PM | Jim Bennett
    Dennis, congratulations on this prestigious award. Well deserved. It was great to you perform recently at an outdoor Easter celebration and see the kids (and adults) captivated by both the magic and the story telling that you do. You were a blessing to the entire audience.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Sun, April 03, 2016 7:44 PM | James White
    Hey Dennis, what a fantastic way in which God has used your life, and I should add the life of your father as well :). Very much looking forward to learning about your favorite effect!

    PS - Ever consider adding Blacksmithing to the resume? Just saying...
    Link  •  Reply
  • Wed, April 13, 2016 9:06 PM | Sherry Peckhaus
    Dennis...Congratulations on this amazing (and informative) article! You and Susan are so gifted, and willing to use your talents on the mission field. I bet you are unaware of how many peoples lives you've touched and blessed!
    May God continue to use you both for His Glory!
    Hoping to see you and Susan at Convention...
    Link  •  Reply
    • Tue, April 26, 2016 12:20 PM | Ed Hall
      Congratulations to you Dennis and to your wife Susan as I'm sure you would agree that all of this would not have been possible without her by your side supporting you. I know this because I too, have a great wife who supports me in all that I do. Isn't God good to us Dennis,wish you and her all the best and hope to get to go to the convention this year and hope you will be there to. Love you both and bring Tom Sigley with you too.
      Link  •  Reply
      • Mon, June 27, 2016 3:45 PM | Anonymous
        Ed,
        Thanks for remembering Susan and me with your best wishes. She is a remarkable helpmate and my greatest gift in this world.
        Link  •  Reply
    • Mon, June 27, 2016 3:43 PM | Anonymous
      You and Klaus have been true professionals and a credit to the profession, thanks for your warm comments.
      Link  •  Reply
  • Wed, April 27, 2016 11:31 AM | Peter Cooper
    Congratulations. I still use one of your puppet routines you taught us when you came to a British FCM conference.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Fri, April 29, 2016 2:37 AM | Peter Gardini FCMUK
    Well done Dennis. Keep on coming up with new and crazy ideas.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Thu, May 05, 2016 2:33 PM | Padre Van
    Congrats! Dennis & Susan! You are quite a pair! Made for each other. May the Good Lord continue to bless you in your wonderful magic ministry. I will miss your friendship while I am overseas serving the Lord in Colombia, So. America.
    I hope & pray that FCM balloon artist, "Jim White" &/or FCM magicians Craig & Jaynie Pontz will be able to take over "nursing home visits" this year at FCM Nashville.vh
    Link  •  Reply
    • Wed, May 25, 2016 6:25 PM | Anonymous
      Congratulations Dennis, Raymond & I were always so proud of our "baby brother" with the Magic Shows!
      When I gave you crayons & yellow X-ray paper you made magic drawing, Soon after Dad took you to Magic School and you have been on stage since with the Love of God on a special mission all over the world,along with Susan as your assistant. There was never a party in our family without your magic. God Bless you for Magic at Raymond's 85th. party the best present ever. May God continue to bless you & Susan as you continue your mission.
      Love & Prayers, Caroline
      Link  •  Reply
  • Mon, June 20, 2016 2:51 PM | Justin Flom
    CONGRATS! Way to go brother. Keep up the good work and never stop sharing joy.
    Link  •  Reply
  • Sun, July 31, 2016 6:22 PM | "Michael T." Myers
    Dear Dennis and Susan; God bless you both for your dedication to sharing The Lord's Work with children and adults alike around the world! Congratulations on the honor your have achieved!
    Link  •  Reply
    • Thu, January 26, 2017 1:43 PM | Dennis Blacksmith
      Thanks for your kind expressions on the Member Spotlight for our ministry!
      Link  •  Reply
  • Sat, November 12, 2016 2:53 PM | Thomas Mason
    Congratulations. AWESOME. You deserve the recognition for your service and your expertise. Susan, your faithful companion, deserves a big hug also. It's fantastic the way you have been able to get such support from your colleagues.
    Link  •  Reply

Fellowship of Christian Magicians is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software