Well, we heard of a third for the list. Fr. Jim Blantz, a member of the Order of the Holy Cross, served mass at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Beverly Hills and then went to The Magic Castle to start his week-long lecture series for Magicians only.
The 81-year-old priest and performer will soon celebrate 60 years in the clergy and more than 40 years as a magician.
Fr. Blantz’ first show was a one-trick command performance for a family friend. Their 12-year-old girl asked, “Do you know any magic?” The priest said he knew one trick. he performed for her. “I knew one trick. So I did it, and she was thrilled.”
He performed for kids during a subsequent mission trip to Uganda for a large audience of kids who didn’t speak English.
Fr. Blantz is a cardworker with a relatively stable and successful routine.
“I’ve done the same act for 41 years,” Fr. Blantz said. “I think I’ve got it down.”
He keeps his day job separate from his magic work. He does not perform Gospel Magic.
“I couldn’t do it,” he says. “I find that you either have to do violence to the Scripture or to the magic trick to make it work.”
Fr. Blantz donates all his earnings from his shows back to missions like those in Uganda and Bangladesh. Even in retirement he’s happily working, taking on both guest stints like the one at Good Shepherd and more magic performances than he has in years.
“Any gift God has given us, you’re supposed to use it for others. And my gift is entertaining people,” Fr. Blantz says. “For the hour that I am onstage, you forget that your kid is on drugs, or your mother has cancer, or that you lost your job. You just enjoy that moment. That, I feel, is my gift.”
Read more about Fr. Blantz and his upcoming week at The Magic Castle here.