A friend I caught up with recently while I was seeing U2 in Brisbane asked me whether I’d consider working under another act, another banner, other than on my own. He figured, maybe I’d get more work.
I guess you could say he was asking, in round-about way, ‘is there anything about your shows that marks them out above others?’
Well, I hope you don’t think I’m blowing my own trumpet too much here; I was hoping you might be cool and just pause and share with me an exceedingly joyful moment I had last week? The moment when someone ‘gets’ what you do.
When they see more than a great show. When they recognise you’ve said the right things, but much more than that. You’ve followed the Bible’s text closely but in such a creative way that the kids have felt the message, identified with the people in the story and even chosen (ideally) who they want to be!
What sets Anton apart from other acts
I stood afterward speaking with the co-ordinator for the in-school event and listened to her explain why she loved Anton’s Antics’ “philosophy”.
With her permission I’ve repeated a review she later wrote for me below:
“Anton did an excellent job at our SRE Christmas assembly.
The story of Christmas was taught well using drawings and very funny Anton with his antics.
What I really appreciated was the commitment Stephen has to teaching the truth of the Bible and helping the kids to engage by identifying with the characters in the Bible story. The children were not just entertained but also taught well through one very talented man and three unique characters” Robyn Garlick, Narwee Baptist Church Children’s Pastor.
I highlighted the latter part because it is a lovely complement and shows to me that the person really ‘gets’ the philosophy behind Anton’s shows.
Her comments also justify why I said ‘no’ to my friend in Brisbane and prefer to stand alone rather than work under another banner.
Those comments also are the secret to why you need to pay careful attention to who and how you go about choosing someone to speak or perform at your next event
Here’s the secret sauce:
First, Anton’s shows are all about entertainment that grabs and holds kids’ attention.
Without entertainment you can’t hold their attention for 45 minutes straight. You can’t hold the same line and vibe all the time; you need to keep changing it up.
Second, Anton’s shows are all about the life-giving Word of God.
Anton’s Antics’ shows are about submitting everything to the Bible, so that each element evolves from the word and serves the message in the word.
From the opening antics of Anton, to the live drawings from Stephen, to the vibe and lyrics of Skito’s raps, everything is drawn from and aimed at serving the message of the Bible. From three different characters and their art-forms I explain, reinforce and apply the word to kids, so that the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts.
You can do better
Why am I telling you all this?
So, I can book more shows?
My goal is to raise the standard so that kids are well fed in God’s word and love hearing about Jesus, not just think it’s a good idea.
I’m telling you because you need to raise your expectations about who presents and performs at your next event.
You do characters, they do puppets…what’s the diff?
You see sometimes you just get lumped with the next guy, the next act, another performer. People think its apples for apples. They do puppets or clowning, you do characters. But it’s not a good comparison.
Some acts don’t trust their art. They abuse it.
They make the right sounds, but the art is tacked on, a bit forced; conning the kids that this is at their level when really, they just have an agenda.
Some acts trust their art too much, leaving everyone a bit short-changed, with a shallow message.
They’re funny, transfixing audiences with their professional skill but rarely actually teach from the Bible’s text, preferring simple, thematic messages, loosely tied to Scripture.
It was a beautiful day!
What a privilege it is to perform for kids and support their teachers and leaders with a creative, word focussed live show…
What a privelege it is to honour your ministry.
It’s lovely to be in the moment, sharing a space of time and not worrying about the juggle it can sometimes be to work another job, run a family and prepare, rehearse, travel, set up, meet and greet and perform a full throttle 45 minute set.
I'm starting to field Easter enquiries, but there's still time for squeezing the last drops out of Christmas
Get in touch and allow me the privilege of honouring your ministry today!