Posts Tagged ‘Escape Artist’

Nashville Rocked!

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

Kristen and I were in Nashville, TN over the weekend. We were doing a showcase for NRB, National Religious Broadcasters, at the beautiful Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. It was a great opportunity for us, along with the other ministries & performers that Reach Your City represents, to showcase what we do and how we can help make an impact across the country. Kristen performed her Full View Water Torture Cell twice to a breathless audience. Gresham, Tim & Natasha with Reach Your City did an incredible job putting this showcase together. The Gaylord Opryland Resort is a must see if you have not been there before. It truly feels like you’re outside.
Thank you to NRB for letting us be a part of this great convention. We look forward to next year!

Opryland at Night

Hot Hearts Beaumont, TX

Monday, January 24th, 2011

Hot Hearts in Beaumont, TX was an incredible youth conference. 5500 teens from Texas filled Ford Park Arena. The event featured speaker Clayton King, funny man Kacy Benson, Christian Stanfill, rapper Tedashii, Family Force 5 and yours truly, Living Illusions.

Kristen kicked of the event with her aerial stunt. She wrangled herself free from a straitjacket while upside down at about 30 feet in the air. Next she pulled herself up and released her feet from the footloops holding her in place. Now hanging by her hands, she let go and did a High Fall to an awaiting stunt airbag. Christian Stanfill led worship for both days. It was moving and got everyone praising God together.

Clayton King really brought home the message. Throughout Friday & Saturday over 1000 came forward and gave their life to Christ. Kacy made people laugh till their sides hurt. Together Kristen and I did several illusions. Kristen also did her Rope Tie piece where she ended up with a gentleman’s jacket on underneath the ropes and knots he had just tied himself. I brought my straitjacket out for a comedy bit. Sorry about the $50 guys.

Family Force 5 rocked the house Friday night. They are good friends of ours and it was great seeing them and catching up. Solomon really knows how to work the crowd. They had them in a frenzy.

Saturday morning we got serious and talked about people’s lives. A teen named Tyrin came up and I hope he never forgets what transpired on that stage. Remember, When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

The afternoon session started and it was time for Kristen’s Full View Water Torture Cell. This was her 893rd attempt. She did great, the crowd was eerily quiet, then erupted with a standing ovation as she escaped that watery grave. The crowd was loud and it was humbling to see the outpouring of appreciation from the crowd. After the water cell I gave the message ‘You’re The Love of My Life’. The true story of Kristen’s incident in the water cell 4 years ago, the extra time I had with my father before he passed away and how God wants to use us, in spite of our failures. Wrapping the message up with my coke can illustration seemed the perfect way to drive the message home to everyone.

Tedashii closed the conference Saturday afternoon with an impressive performance. The bass was thumping, his lyrics were right on target and the crowd was really into it. He reminds me of rapper LG Wise. I talked with him after the show. He’s legit and I hope our paths cross again this year.

Thanks to Adam, Reed, John, both Micah’s, Lee, Andrew, Cindy with Ford Park and everyone else I forgot for helping make the weekend a huge success! You guys made our job easy and we greatly appreciate each of you. To the teens and youth leaders…you guys are awesome. The outpouring of love & support in just the past 2 hours on Facebook has been overwhelming. We love you guys. Texas ROCKS!!!

Kevin coke can

God, Family, Stryper
Peace out,
Kevin & Kristen

Can’t Get Enough of Ridgeway & Johnson

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

WOW…what a very humbling and incredible review we got while performing at the Kentucky State Fair. The following is from the office of public relations for the Kentucky Expo Center.

http://kystatefair.tumblr.com/

There are things that we, as collective humans, come across that make us happy, sad, cry tears of joy, shout expletives, nervous, cry tears of panic. Normally, we are in no place to experience this cavalcade of emotions. We are having a bad day. We are busy. We are in a hurry. We are here just for a good time. These things touch our lives and we never forget.

I wrote this immediately after walking out of today’s 3:00 p.m. Ridgeway and Johnson show. As you bloggers are aware, we, the blog writers, are people too. We like things. We dislike things. We love things. We hate things.

We, or I, love Ridgeway and Johnson.

The show is to be experienced, not reviewed for entertainment quality. Yet, regarding entertainment, this show had it all. Audience participation, humor, ridiculously awesome tricks (sorry, but “ridiculously awesome” just kept popping up as I watched the show three times) and a show finale showstopper guaranteed to make you look at your watch and look up… look at your watch and shake your head.

The entire show is a showcase of every illusion, magic trick, card ruse and the classic “stuff-a-pretty-girl-into-a-box-that-my-3-month-old-son-would-struggle-to-fit-in.”

The 3:00 p.m. show ended in a fashion befitting $100 seats at the MGM Grand (in Las Vegas). Kristen Johnson, the world’s premier and only current female water torture cell escape, performed her signature trade. Bound with two Smith & Wesson shackles and padlocks galore, Johnson jumped into the 140 gallon tank on a single breath, but not before a simple, quiet moment with her husband (the other half of their name, Kevin Ridgeway). One cuff at a time, Johnson removed her shackles.

Let’s not leave any room for disbelief. Every single second that passed by, as a spectator, was gruesome. I felt for her. I longed to leap out of my seat at every wince and grab an ax to bust her out. But quietly and with a couple shakes of her head, Johnson managed to ease closer to taking her next breath.

I won’t spoil the end because it simply cannot be missed. It cannot be described effectively enough.

Orlando Salvation Army Event

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

We arrived in Orlando yesterday and checked into the Wyndham Resort. We had driven 16 hours from Indianapolis and had to navigate through the flooding in Nashville.We pray the waters there recede quickly.

After some good sushi at MoonFish I went to check out the convention center where we are performing today and tomorrow. Rounding the corner I run into Bernie & Rick. These guys are in the Salvation Army and provide live production for SA events around the country. We have worked with them numerous times. It’s always refreshing to know we’ll have an awesome team working with us.

This event is the Territorial Youth Workers Conference. We’ll be sharing the stage with Ron Luce- President and founder of Teen Mania Ministries, Mark Oestreicher- former President of Youth Specialties, Greg Stier & Jennifer Keitt. the Salvation Army always puts on first class events. We continue to be impressed with what they do and we have made lifelong friends along the way with them.

Tonight we have a 20 minute set, which will consist of Kristen’s Full View Water Torture Cell. After her escape I will share the true story of the incident she had in the water cell almost four years ago. In the audience that afternoon was my father whom I had not seen in over eight years. Also in attendance was an emergency room physician. The events that unfolded that day were nothing short  of a miracle. They show that when we let God be in charge, he can turn around a negative situation and change it into something positive and life changing.

The whole story will be part of a new book coming out by John Eckeberger, called The Secrets We Keep. I’ll keep you posted as to when it will be released.

K&K