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John Rakestraw
Santa For Hire
Santa For Hire

John's posts

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Let's have a Magical & Murderous Entertaining time together...

I do Table Top Murder Mystery streaming over the internet. The way the murder mystery events work... there are 6 suspects (you pick 6 people from your group who you believe would be great at roleplaying/acting the part of a possible killer.) The rest of the guest will be detectives (they can even come dressed as their favorite fictional detective.) We personalize all the invitations, clues, letters, suspects’ info. Those are sent to you either by snail mail or by email as pdfs. You set up a computer, or a smartphone, or a tablet... one works best or two is okayl (as long as one has earplugs or earphones... the feedback is an issue if not.) Computer's or Tablet's with large screen works well for the party guest to see me, I run the Murder Mystery, and I’m the Master Detective... a lot like a DM in D&D, but here I'm the MD (Master Detective... not Medical Doctor,) I help to keep the mystery part of the party running smoothly and on point.

A Table Top Murder Mystery Event cost $300 for 6 players, each player after that is $25. So, if you have 10 player all together it would cost $300 (for the first 6 players) + $100 (4 x $25 for the 4 other players 6+4=10 players) which is ($300 + $100 = $400 in total cost.)

Please take a moment to check out my Promokit on Gigsalad

Master Detective Father Yule John Rakestraw

I hope we can have a killer time together,

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If you have seen, heard or read any of my posts, audio theatre, Santa, Father Yule, lectures (I like to call them talks,)... you know I can cast a spell over my audience. This work is, at times, magical.

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Fleeting glances directly into the eyes of another human being is much like two mirrors suddenly turned facing each other, creating an almost endless display of pictures upon pictures upon picures.

Looking into the eyes of the audience, I see them just as much as they see me. Our engagement starts there.

During a performance of close-up magic or Santa, I am forever shifting my gaze from participant to participant, and as the event unfolds, these glances acquire a history, even a familiarity. As a result, we begin to see each other in a richer, more individual light.

My job as a performing artist is to undoubtedly transcend and to be nurturing to those unique individual relationships that these close-up magical events and setting create... the eyes definitely have a profound way of pull us together as a community.

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If you have seen, heard or read any of my posts, audio theatre, Santa, Father Yule, lectures (I like to call them talks,)... you know I can cast a spell over my audience. This work is, at times, magical.

You will also sometimes discover lots of fitful and fanciful acting and reacting, lots of pacing, stopping, starting, turning, jumping, and jabbing. It's the process. I will disarm you by openly and tacitly showing that my writing is much like my live performance... it boils down to two things: you and me... and our combined imaginations. Plus, as I like to confess, you, the reader, the audience, the spectator, have all the power. Not me. I just get to play with all the magic and wonder in front of you. All I have are the years and the tricks of my trade, the playfulness of my showmanship, and my ability to orchestrate moments as it happens right before our eyes.

I try to stay two or three beats ahead of the "flow" and your capacity to perceive what is happening... I love the giggles, guffaws, and our combined illumination. In those moments the magic happens. I, as Father Yule, literally get to bring us together into a shared experience. Father Yule, John Rakestraw understands that spectators and readers only invest time and emotions in things they care about. Therefore, when I perform a trick, do something creative... I'm always mindful of you.

So let's party together!

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ONE TRICK PONY – Web Series – Episode Three is up and ready to be read by you... yes, you over there... don't try to just move the Google+ feed down to the next post... read this Web Series...

You and Me… Can Make WE! Episode Three

NARRATOR: Shel stood there, just looking at the door. He reach into his pocket and take out a ring box and opens it. He think about knocking on the door, but hear Gail talking to someone else on her phone.

GAIL: Dumb, stupid, bastard can’t even figure out that we’re through. He still out there standing at my door. GET THE FREAKING HELL AWAY FROM MY HOUSE AND DIE!

NARRATOR: Shel slowly turns and walks away. He put the new ring he bought Gail back in his pocket. He walks over to his car and stops… turns back to Gail house and stands there with one little tear rolling down his cheek. He wish he could die… he wishes he could just roll up into a ball and catch fire and die. He lost his love. He took too long loving her, he gave himself too much space for his own good. Well, he got space now in his broken heart.


NARRATOR: Shel get in his car and drives home. He took out a $20,000 loan on his home and bought a $10,000 ring for Gail. He paid for a place to get married, bought tickets to honeymoon at Disney World and Harry Potter World. It was going to be a magical surprise. At this moment Shel was wondering what the price was for happiness? $20,000 didn’t seem to be the right price. Shel get homes and sees that Mary Jo was there waiting for him. He walks in and just looks at her with one small tear rolling down his cheek. Mary Jo wipes it away.

JO: How it go? Did she go for it all? I’ll pack your things and watch your house while you run off and get married.


JO: Oh, Shel… I thought you were going to get the old ring and give her the new one.

SHEL: She caught me trying to get the old ring, she woke up, I must’ve pulling on her finger to hard and she woke up and got the wrong idea.

JO: How did she get the wrong idea… you only had to tell her about the new ring and then show it to her. She likes shiny new things.

SHEL: She kick me out and told me that she was having affair with someone and that she didn’t need me anymore in her life. All that before I could tell her that I have a new ring to give to her. I got us a place to be married, a honeymoon… it made it hard to surprise her with the ring after all that. I screwed up as usual.

JO: No Gail is the one who throw away a great guy. You may be rough around the edges and can screw up at times, but your heart is always in the right place.

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I'm adding being a Santa Magician this year. I've done magic in the past... I'd have to use the Way - Back Machine. It's great to pull all the performing talents you have from your past and update them with the new trends of today. Old dogs can learn many new tricks... *<|;-}])>

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Father Yule is all about being Magical to me as the performer... "The Entertainer."

I remember watching the movie Houdini (1953) with Tony Curtis as Harry Houdini. We had a TV station up in the Seattle area that play a movie, the same movie, every night for 5 day. I watch that Houdini movie every one of those nights. I got hooked on doing magic. I read every book I could find. Bought tricks when I found them at A&H Drugs store. Would flip a quarter down my fingers, and dream of being a Magician on stage. I loved watching the TV specials with the big name Magicians doing their magic. I even watch Bill Bixby in the TV show "The Magician." The pilot for that show was filmed in Seattle, I never saw Bill, but it was still cool to know he and the show were once in my backyard... so to speak.

Here I am at 54, almost 55, I have finally comes full circle back to being the "PAID ENTERTAINER" that I always dreamed of being. I have 30 some years of performing under my belt. Working a crowd. Feeling their brilliant energy and giving back to them the wonder, the magic of being up there in front of them. I became an actor for most of my performing life. Every once an awhile I'd do a gig where you would break the 4th wall and be one-on-one with the audience. I found that I liked working the smaller groups, the engagement was more intimate, more personal. I started to see how a career as a party enterainer would fit my personality better.

Father Yule as a Santa for hire, a Magician, Master Detective for Murder Mystery Events. This gives me 12 months of work as Father Yule.

The magic I do is as a "Street Magician" mostly consists of sleight of hand, card tricks, and occasionally mentalism... without a doubt the most important part is the ability to draw in and hold your audience... that's the greatest skill and the best magic of all.

My signature trick and funnest magic I do is "THE NIGHT SKY IN A JAR TRICK!"

You can book me for your Party at

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I had a brilliant gig Saturday April 15th at the Evergreen Park
in Myrtle Creek, OR. Jim Pinnell, SR. and his fantastic family were celebrating his 72nd birthday and many other people's birthdays. They hired me to be their Entertainer for the event. I did magic, storytelling and magical crafts for the entertainment... I had a great time!

You can book me for your Party at
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