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Topic: Manipulation
Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 2, 2005 10:21AM)
OK after seeing a someone do manipulation live I have decided to get Mc Bride's World Class manipulation DVDs. I'm just wondering what do I need to do the things in these DVDs? Could someone give me a list of all the different props I will need? I don't want alternatives to anything just what Mc Bride uses in the DVDs. EG If he uses chinese coins I don't want anyone saying, "You can just use a different coloured/size coin".


Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (May 2, 2005 10:31AM)
1. For ball manipulation, get a set of Fakini multiplying balls as well as one or two balls of a different color. Fakini's are the balls that McBride uses in the video and they are extremely well made.

2. For coin manipulation, you can either get a good set of palming coins or use U.S. half dollars. McBride uses both in his video depending on the moves.

3. For thimble manipulation, get a set of Fakini's. McBride uses Fakinis in his video and, just like the balls, they are extremely well made.

Hope that helps.

Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 2, 2005 10:57AM)
Hmmm... actually for the thimbles I was thinking of Vernet. Will they work OK for all the moves. Although I asked for what he used in the vid I'm just not ready to spend a lot on Fakini products.

So Vernet Thimbles... how are the vernet multiplying balls? Or [url=http://themagicwarehouse.com/general5.html#sb1575]these[/url]?

Anywhere I can get U.S half dollars? I live in Ireland so they are a bit hard to find.


Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (May 2, 2005 01:03PM)
There are many alternatives of items to use learning manipulation.

Coins: go to a coin shop in your town (if you have any) and simply look at the size of coin that works for you. You might consider the “old style” Penny or any number of pre-Euro English, Dutch, of French coins. Buy the “junk” (low collectable value) worn coins. They typically cost next to nothing. Frankly, I think that I would look for manipulation/palming coins of the diameter I wanted.

Thimbles: I don’t particularly like the Fakini thimbles. They are much too long for my needs and my taste! They do stick to your hands like glue when manipulating them. You could simply buy the set that Jeff McBride advertises on his website. I tend to use some old wooden Berland thimbles that I bought back in the 60’s. I also use the inexpensive plastic thimbles sold by Joe Mogar (nine thimbles for $10.00 US). http://joemogar.tripod.com/id7.html

By the way, Joe’s book “Digital Effects” is a comprehensive encyclopedia of thimble manipulation.

The Vernet thimble is a “nesting” thimble good for several different tricks that looks like more manipulation skill than is actually performed.

Balls: Any ball will do. The Fakini ball set with shell is perhaps the best you can buy right now.

Wooden balls (like the German versions you are looking at) require some preparation to make tacky for easy handling.

The Vernet balls are made of plastic with a surface covered with knobby bits (I don’t know how else to describe them!). They are very light and easy to grip (due to the knobby bits). They reflect the light very well if you are under a spot light.

You can also simply buy 8 or ten silicon toy balls of the diameter you want and learn the no-shell routines. The toy silicon balls are every much as good as the Fakini (made from the same stuff!). You just don’t get the shell and often they are multi-colored. But for learning non-shell handling they are difficult to beat.
Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 2, 2005 01:54PM)
OK I think getting the Vernet thimbles would be best at the minute as there are more possibilities with them. If I prefer using the non-nesting part I might get the Mogar thimbles.

I think I'll get the Jeff Mc Bride DVDs to get a taste of them all and get the book later.

I have some silicone balls here, some small one inch one's and others which are about 1.5 inches. Is there still a lot you can do without the shell on the Mc Bride DVDs?

The Vernet ball aren't too expensive so I think I'll get them to play around with.

I have a feeling old Irish punt coins might be a good size so I'll try them if I can find any. There is no coin shop in my town so I'll have to stick with what I've got.

So overall I'll get McBride DVD 1, Vernet thimbles, Vernet manipulation balls and use punt coins for the coin manipulation. I'll see how that works out.

Thanks for all the help,


Posted: May 2, 2005 3:20pm
Found 6 pound coins. They feel pretty good in my hand and the classic palm doesn't look too unnatural with them so I'll go with them for now.

Also I think six will pretty much cover any trick I want to do. Quite lucky really.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (May 2, 2005 02:55PM)
The only thing you must realize with the Vernet balls is that you will have a hard time doing silk moves with them. The balls are "spikey" to make manipulation easier. However, that same "spikiness" will tend to catch on the silks.

Personally, I have always found the Vernet balls and thimbles to have a very light, cheap feel to them. I also found the feel of the spikes to be extremely uncomfortable on my hands whenever performing a vanish.

Just some food for thought.

Message: Posted by: GrahamFishman (May 2, 2005 06:46PM)
Not Vernet balls! IMO They are the worst you ca buy, if you are going to do ball manip you should suck it up and get Fakini

graham fishman
Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 2, 2005 07:47PM)
I ordered the Vernet but right after I sent them an email requesting them change the order to two sets of the multiplying golf balls (the yellow one's not fakini). Hopefully they'll change it for me. I just want to see if I like manipulation first and then, if I do, I'll probably get the fakini balls and thimbles.

I saw some posts of the Vernet balls hurting your fingers so I decided I better change them. Thanks for the tips and warnings guys, really appreciated.


Message: Posted by: GrahamFishman (May 2, 2005 08:27PM)
Gooood!!! I also learnt ball manip with those yellow golf balls (but get Fakini in the near future)

graham fishman
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (May 3, 2005 09:25AM)
The yellow multiplying golf balls are a good set for beginners. They are very visible, they have a nice gimmick, and they aren't too expensive. In comparison to other balls, they are a little light and with use, they loose some of their gumminess. Be sure to wash them regularly to keep them bright and sticky.

Sometimes, with this set, you may find that the ball doesn't want to come out of the gimmick. That's normal. There is a bit of a "get ready" move you need to do before the multiplication. I think Tim Wright explained this in his Multiplying Balls video.

Have Fun
Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 3, 2005 11:09AM)
Yep they changed the order to 2 sets of the golf balls. Cheers for the help and info everyone. I'll look forward to playing around with them and the thimbles. I've started on coins from the Bill Tarr book but I can't wait for the McBride DVD to come as it goes into so much more depth.


Message: Posted by: gumbimagic (May 3, 2005 03:51PM)
The McBride DVDs are great. Yes, there is tons of stuff your can do without the gimmick item, infact most of the moves. You will want to get a ball of another color and same size as your yellow set. There are many color changes you will want them for. I have the Vernet balls and I have three sets of the Fakini. I highly recommend the Fakini balls. The Vernet balls have their place, but I would not recommend them to a beginner. All the practice will tear up your hands. Once you have mastered the moves you could move to the Vernet and be O.K.

Also, if you haven't ordered your McBride DVD yet get all three if you can afford it. You will end up buying all three anyway. It will be cheaper to get them as a set.
Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 3, 2005 04:54PM)
Already ordered and shipped. Thanks for the tip though. It'll be there for anyone else interested in buying them :).

Can't wait to start on the first DVD. I think I'll mostly do balls and thimbles. For some reason I don't like the shape of coins for manipulation and sleights in general. Kind of weird. Though they do look great when performed right. I'll probably work on them after thimbles and balls.

BTW themagicwarehouse.com is a great shop. Good prices, great customer service and excellent shipping time. They shipped it the same day I made the order. Better than any other magic shop I have dealt with.

Posted: May 6, 2005 4:25pm
The stuff came today. After just three days from America to Ireland. Brilliant!

The thimbles are nice though quite big. They are however very easy to palm.

The manipulation balls are a nice size though very slippery. Is there any way to fix this problem? Also they seem to be made of some sort of sponge but one set hard harder than the other (not as easily squeezed). Any idea why?

I also got some rope and Abbot's Encyclopedia of Rope magic which is brilliant. $9 for over 150 tricks!

The DVD I got a bit of a look at and it seems very well explained. The Super Practice sessions are very very useful. They are more needed here than in Daryl's encyc. of Card Magic or Ammar's C&B DVDs.

BTW I don't know if this is the same whereever you get them them but I got Jean Hugard's Thimble Magic booklet free with the Vernet thimbles. It's very very good, with a lot of info packed into a very small space.

The balls are my major concern at the minute as I am finding them quite hard to grip. Any info would be appreciated.


Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 6, 2005 08:36PM)
Ah c'mon you must be able to think up of something I can do with the balls. I don't want to spend $50 or more on a set just yet.

Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 7, 2005 08:12AM)
I know I just don't have the money to buy a fakini set yet!

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 7, 2005 09:49AM)
What works great for starters and is not costly is to use 1 3/4 inch super bouncy balls in various colors etc. Now of course you do not get or have a Sh***. But this is a way to be able to learn the regular ball moves and sequences as well as color changes without spending a lot of money to do so. It is an option for you to think about.

Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 7, 2005 10:08AM)
Yeah thanks. I have some here and have been playing around with them but I really like using the shell. I'm looking for some way to make the yellow golf balls grip a bit better.

At themagicwarehouse site they say: "Each ball is made of rubberized plastic for easy grip. The balls have that ’stick’ to them that makes easier manipulating. The color is dyed completely through the ball. No more of slippery balls that fall easily. Will not chip or crack."

They are probably comparing them to normal billiard balls or the German balls they sell.

Although the balls are the tiniest bit grippy they still feel quite slippy. I'm just looking for a way to correct this. I have looked for Plastidip but cannot find any over here. Any more help would be appreciated.


Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (May 7, 2005 10:49AM)
You can make the golf balls a little stickier by washing them in warm water. The balls will soak up a little bit of moisture that will help with the stickiness.

But the key thing to remember is that, most people starting in ball manipulation may find ALL BALLS slippery, just because they are not yet used to the moves. To get your fingers loosened up nicely, practice doing ball rolls. Then practice popping a single ball from the gimmick on a repeated basis. Many of the muscle movements needed to perform these two moves come into play time and time again in much of a typical multiplying balls routing.

One other thing. Practice the manipulations over your bed so when you drop the balls (and you will drop them frequently), you don't have to keep bending down to the floor to retrieve them. Your back will thank you in the long run.

Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 7, 2005 11:15AM)
Thanks Kent I'll try the water.

I am getting more used to the balls.

The ball roll I'm finding very very hard to do fast and to get around the back of the fingers. I can get the first two rolls (thumb and index --> index and middle --> middle and ring) but getting it betwen the ring and little fingers is hard. I find it kind of flicks into place instead of rolling. I can't get it around the back at all.

The popping from the gimmick I'm finding easy enough though I wasn't practicing it away from the body so gravity makes it a little harder. Still I'm making good enough progress for my second day at it.

I thought thimbles would be my favourite but it's actually the balls I prefer. I'll learn the balls first, then the thimbles and then the coins as they are my least favourite.

Thanks for the help,

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 7, 2005 11:44AM)
Remember that a common pitfall for all manipulators is the fact that they tend to rush and perform the moves way too fast. You really do not need to do the moves fast at all. Infact the great manipulators realized that doing the moves slow, gave the best reactions and response from the audience.

If this is only your second day at it, then the problem with the balls being slippery, is just a matter of your fingers not being used to the moves they are being forced to do. Just like any exercise, you must also exercise the muscles in your hands. They are not used to the positions they are not forced into doing.

You strengthen the muscles in your fingers by working them out. I always have a billiard ball in my hands when I am watching TV etc. Just having the ball in my hand and rolling it in my fingers and doing some basic roll outs, gets my fingers warmed up and gets the muscles in the hand more relaxed and used to the moves they are required to do.

I would do this all the time and any chance you get. The more time you spend with the balls and just having them in the hand, the more your hands will get used to it and it will become easier for you.

Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 7, 2005 04:31PM)
I'm just wondering. If you do the move slowly is it not obvious what you are doing especially when doing the move with the gimmick?

I had a ball in my hand all day today and I didn't seem to make any progress with the ball roll. It's a very difficult flourish especially going around the backs of the fingers.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 7, 2005 04:42PM)
As the old wise saying goes.. Rome was not built in a day nor does a great manipulator learn a difficult move in a day either. =)

You have to give it time. The idea is that the more you practice and the more you have the ball in your hand, the more your fingers will loosen up and get used to the moves you are trying to accomplish. It took me a few months before I could even begin to do some of the moves I had wanted to do. The idea is to stick with it, rehearse and practice every day and keep on trying and learning the moves. It will come with time.

As far as the move and gimmick becoming obvious when done slower, that is just the magician in you thinking that. Trust me when I say, if you perform the manipulation at a slower and more natural speed, and if done correctly, the audience will not suspect a thing. You will also be giving them more time to react to the magic that is taking place. If you perform too fast, then your audience sees a blur and does not have a proper time to react and enjoy.

If you can, watch some of the videos and acts of the greats like Cardini or Channing Pollack and others. They do the moves slowly and with a simple slow rythmn. The moves become magical and the magic becomes great because the audience still sees nothing but has the proper time to react and enjoy what is being presented to them.

Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 7, 2005 08:08PM)
I'm having great fun learning the slieghts with silicone balls. But then when I move to the golf balls they slip from my hand and the ball roll is much much harder.

Should I just save up and buy the fakinis which I know will make it easier or should I stick with it?

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 7, 2005 08:34PM)
Fakinis are an investment. but I feel it is an investment well worth the money. If you plan on being in magic for a lonmg time and if you plan on learning and doing billiard ball manipulations, then Fakinis are simply the best in the market. I still have the very first set I ever bought years ago and they arestill as good as the day I bought them. But only you can decide if yopu are right for them and if now id the right time to get them. Moves and technique can still be learned with what you now have.

Message: Posted by: GrahamFishman (May 8, 2005 09:51PM)
Fakini's are the best. own 3 sets and out of all of my props they are some of my favorit

graham fishman
Message: Posted by: Sam Tabar (May 9, 2005 11:13PM)
As kyle said, you might want to buy a bouncy ball to get a feel for the texture and motions you will do while accomplishing sleights. Try looking in toystores. they usually have those kind of balls. You can practice ball rolls and other sleights that don't require the use of sh****.
Message: Posted by: Burrich (May 10, 2005 07:04AM)
Thanks. I have some and have been playing around with them. It makes it easier to do the roll and to grip in general especially the classic palm. At the minute I'm practicing colour changes with them and the golf balls.

A questions about the downs-palm multiple production. The side of my index finger, at the last joint is getting sore from grazing off the coins. Should they be grazing off the coins or am I palming the coins wrong?


Message: Posted by: Jeff Jenson (May 13, 2005 11:58PM)
On the McBride videos he tells you about different props to use.

Best, Jeff
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (May 15, 2005 04:14PM)
The 1 3/4 inch bouncy balls are great for practicing moves and even better for color changes, as you are doing now. It keeps your cost down and the grip is still pretty good with them. I use them a lot fo color changes and general practice.