There's More Than Meets the Eye with Brock Gill
- Thursday, May 08, 2003
Illusionist Brock Gill just might have something in common with Hasbro's line of popular Transformers vehicle-to-robot figures. Like the "more-than-meets-eye" toys, he's colorful, animated, and ever changing. But what sets Gill apart is his far superior ability to transform -- whether it be outwardly through tricks and stunts or inwardly in his ministry to thousands of lives he's encountered at his shows for the past six years.
Performing 200 dates a year, the self-taught illusionist finds that while he doesn't fit into the traditional "drama guy" or "preacher guy" category, his ministry is still effective in reaching teens in communities nationwide. Simple card tricks, sleight of hand, death-defying stunts ("The Water Coffin"), and even ping pong balls are used to capture attention and show young people that there's more to life than meets the eye.
Gill's newest outreach venture, "Freedom Experience (FX)", begins next week (May 12-14) at Chantilly High School in Centreville, Va. The three-day event will feature indie rock band Inhabited, Chaos on Wheels (BMX/Freestyle performers who mix high-flying bicycle stunts with personal testimonies), and the illusionist's own dramatic stunts, illusions, and message of the ultimate "freedom experience" through Christ.
Recently, in between road trips, this master of illusions spent some time answering the questions that will hopefully help us all to see that there's more than meets the eye with Brock Gill.
CROSSWALK.COM: When did you decide that you wanted to become an illusionist?
BROCK GILL: I was 22 years old and God just totally got all over me and called me to do it. I’m working in this saw mill asking God what does He want to do with my life, because I hated working there. But I knew He had a plan for me. And just through a lot of prayer, I just felt like God wanted me to go back to school, get my degree and do this type of ministry. At that point, I’d just started getting into magic tricks and that type of thing. As soon as I picked that up and started playing with it … I felt like God wanted me to do it as a ministry. He lead me to really pray a lot and do some fasting. And during that time of prayer and fasting, God built a foundation for this ministry.
I was back in college and the phone started ringing without me having to do anything or tell anyone that this is what I wanted to do. And God just worked it out to where I was able to begin traveling with this ministry. I kind of felt like Noah, you know, “just build a boat…” I was kind of like, “well, what’s a ‘boat?’” and “how am I going to explain this to everyone?”
CROSSWALK.COM: How did you learn your craft? Did you go through a special, secretive illusionist training program or did you just learn on your own?
BROCK GILL: I had no teachers or anything like that. Now, I’ve learned from reading books and things like that. Everything has been self-taught. The whole stage personality and that sort of thing came because I was under pressure. My very first magic show that I was supposed to do -- I really didn’t have very many tricks for it. I ordered a bunch of stuff and received it in the mail right before the first show. But I learned to do everything. Boy, I practiced and practiced and then when I got up there to do it, I realized we were supposed to say something about it. I hadn’t seen a magic show to know, and so I had to create the routines as I was onstage that first show. I did two or three shows the very first weekend, and I was developing the routine as I was going in front of a couple of hundred people.
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