(Close Window)
Topic: Don Wayne's floating ball
Message: Posted by: haywire (May 27, 2005 02:38PM)
Can someone post any links to a demo video, or review of this effect?

I've read it can be performed solo or with help from an assistant for better effect.

I'll probably only be able to use it solo due to the size of the stages (small clubs) 60$ is not a lot for a stage illusion but it is if its not usable.

The last thing I need is another box in my closet of junk effects...

Any help/reviews/insight would be much appreciated...

Message: Posted by: rtgreen (May 27, 2005 04:00PM)
You may want to check into a Zombie instead. The Don Wayne ball is great, but you may have some problems with it in a small club venue.

Message: Posted by: The Drake (May 27, 2005 05:27PM)
If you can find a DW ball buy it! They are no longer being made/sold and if you don't like the effect you can surely sell it here in the Café. I hear from magicians all the time who are looking for a DW ball.

I use the one man method. You can see a video of the DW ball at http://www.timothydrake.ca/video.html you will also be able to see my video of Zombie which will work better in smaller venues.

I bought several of them years ago just in case I had my damaged. Whew...glad I did now that they are unavailable.

Boo Hoo....we'll miss your great products Don Wayne.


Message: Posted by: rtgreen (May 27, 2005 06:23PM)
On 2005-05-27 18:27, Timothy Drake wrote:
If you can find a DW ball buy it! They are no longer being made/sold and if you don't like the effect you can surely sell it here in the Café.

Tim is absolutely correct. If you find one and don't use it, I would be happy to buy it from you! :)

Message: Posted by: Jim Stan Magic Man (May 27, 2005 06:28PM)
I was recently at Magic Inc. in Chicago and they had one in their showcase. You could check with them to see if it still available. Their number is 773-334-2855.
Message: Posted by: reedrc (May 27, 2005 07:50PM)
Please contact me in private.
Message: Posted by: Kline (May 27, 2005 08:33PM)
There is a video - Ryan Reed has it and is in the process of putting it all together.....Its not my call on releasing the video.......
I can tell you, as you already know, the entire routine is not just the ball - its a collaboration of everything in the show) lighting - (which by the way they used 14 automated fixtures), fog, haze and of course routining - I do know they are working on a new version of it.
When the curtain opened for the ball routine, the guys in the booth ( specially me and Ryan ) simply looked at each other and said...WOW ! That moment for me was very magical !
all the best,
Message: Posted by: The Drake (May 28, 2005 09:24AM)
DW Floating Ball owners take note.

Your silver sphere has turned colour....its turned to gold. Dig them out of your " I'll never do that" closet and sell them to you fellow Café Members.


Message: Posted by: olivertwist (May 28, 2005 09:41PM)
I found ome last year at a good price and bought it even though I don't have a venue for it yet. It is beautifully made. I'll keep it for any stage shows that come up.

Tim, Thanks for the link to your video. That looks great.

Message: Posted by: Michael Taggert (May 28, 2005 10:05PM)
Ill put my name on the list of I want one. I owned one years ago and didn't use it but now that Im back on stage I miss the dw ball. a supurb piece of magic that was not expensive but is a show stopper. Now that they are unavailable I REALLY want one. Im currently doing a floatine handkerchief routine that is similar in operation. Nietehr of the two routines is complex in the handleing but certainly not small club material either. the success with them depend on the place as much as anything. The one man and two man method both have advantages and disadvantages. The method should be based on how you work. (I preferr the two man for my show but the one man is more creative in my book.)
Michael Taggert
Fredericksburg VA
Message: Posted by: Kline (May 29, 2005 09:58AM)
Hey Michael,
I was through Fredericksburg VA on the last 2 tours - there are some beautiful theaters there that would surely accompdate the floating ball. I'll look you up if we make it that way again in the fall !
Message: Posted by: haywire (May 31, 2005 09:30AM)
I found a website that mentioned them, that's where I learned of them.

As luck would have it, I can now not find the website that offered them.
Honestly I didn't look very much, I'm sure I can find it again, but still...
If anyone has one willing to sell or better yet trade me, please pm me.


Your video really sold me, If I can perform it 1/2 as good as you its well worth
getting. Excellent performance, really.

I currently don't do zombie, I do astrosphere instead. I'm looking to go one better
than zombie or astrosphere free floating ball)

Thanks for your help guys, that made my decision a lot easier...

Message: Posted by: The Drake (May 31, 2005 10:40AM)
Hi Steven,

Glad you enjoyed the video ( thanks for the kind words )and it influenced your decision....BUT...don't sell Zombie short. As much as I enjoy performing the floating ball many venues I perform in either don't have the room, a proper stage or lighting abilities that are required for the DW Floatingi Ball. I developed my Zombie routine to fill this void. If I play a smaller venue I do my zombie. I made my Zombie out of a DW ball so I can switch between the two on stage seemlessly.

Zombie takes some time and acting to get it right but I've gotten great responses with mine.


Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (May 31, 2005 11:25AM)
For the zombie I saw a guy in Ohio from backstage do the zombie and it still looked amazing. It is all about presentation and selling it to the audience.

Tim not a bad idea putting both into one ball. :O)

Message: Posted by: The Drake (May 31, 2005 11:42AM)
Hello Michael,

Someday I'll reverse the process and start off with Zombie and then lead into Floating ball but that will have to wait till I can find the time. Glad to hear of the success with your floating ball. Kudos!

I'm not that far from MI ( 2 hrs from Detroit ) so drop me a line in advance the next time you'll be performing it as I'd love to see it live.


Message: Posted by: haywire (May 31, 2005 12:21PM)
I am not discounting the zombie, I agree its a wonderful effect.

I used to perform the zombie ball, then moved to astrosphere, which is very very
similar but a different method and the foulard is almost see through, so the
effect is greatly enhanced.

I perform the astrosphere with music,to great effect, I just thought if the ball was free floating, that would be an even better.
Timothy, how much set up time does the free floating ball require?

Message: Posted by: The Drake (May 31, 2005 12:40PM)

Hookup is quite simple. I recently did a series of shows back to back where I had to reset the effect between each show. I did it in about 5 minutes each time.

With this said....keep in mind that I spent about 45 minutes getting the light and angles set just right for the first performance but that can be said of any simular effect. The free floating looks better I agree but the audience will be more suspicious of wires or strings so you will have to have things perfect.

I remember when I wanted to do only the DW version but time and experience told me that the Zombie was better for many venues and that a lesser effect ( zombie ) was MORE of an effect than the DW done under the wrong conditions which plays to the audience poorly. One glimpse .....I mean just one little glimpse of the method used in the DW ball ( by the audience ) and you have LOST the audience for the entire effect and made a miracle into a joke. I don't expect you to take my word on this but you will discover it for yourself when you do the DW ball under less than ideal conditions.


Message: Posted by: reedrc (May 31, 2005 12:56PM)
I'm going to agree completley with Tim.
We spend a couple hours getting it right with automated lighting and conventionals. If its too dark you get the tell tale of hiding something.if its too bright you see wires.... Its a difficult balance at times...
Message: Posted by: haywire (May 31, 2005 01:30PM)
Looks like astrosphere may be fine enough for my needs, it NEVER fails, NEVER
(knocking on wood now to avoid the jinx) :)

I called every major magic supplier in the united states including tannens and no one has this effect.

Further, Thanks Timothy, I would not never have the perfect angles/lighting in my current stages in my opinion. Performing with my band, we quite often can't even get them to turn off the stage lights (we bring our own) so I doubt some of these
small concert halls/clubs would work with me for setting up something like this.

Currently I do d-lite flite, astrosphere, fickle fire, fire book, a broom suspension and several other illusions during our show. I'd really like to add a knock them dead free floating levitation effect at the end though...

Anyone hear of okido floating ball or okito? or any other easier to manage
free floating effect...? YES I have lite flite and some other itr stuff, but
I'm looking for something bigger and better.

Also, does anyone know where I can get plans or a book on the asrah levitation
with vanish?

Anyone interested in trying to design/build a new free floating ball type effect,
I've heard Don Wayne is all but finished making his...

Message: Posted by: The Drake (May 31, 2005 01:47PM)
Hi Steven,

Okito is the originator of the one man floating method. When you see a one person ball illusion like mine you ARE seeing the okito ball illusion. The DW ball is called that because he manufactured the ball. The two man method is his I think with help from Dick Zimmerman if I remember correctly ?

It sounds like you have a perfect act for the venues your band plays. If it works stay with it. If you want a floating effect that will also knock them dead and can be done surrounded check out the Lodsander ( and only the original Losander ) Floating Table. Check out his website for more info http://www.lodander.com You can see several videos of his tables in performance on the HocusPocus video page.


Message: Posted by: haywire (May 31, 2005 03:50PM)

I'm very familar with the losander floating tables...

They are unfortunately very beyond my financial means.

My current show is going well, but as always I want to add better and more impressive effects. I'm working on a flash appearance for myself to start the
show (frame type with flashpots) Also working on more effects involving female assistants, I have two at my disposal but so far have not used them both.

I am adding a hummingbird card type effect with a lighted gimmick...

I'd like to add a free floating effect, and perhaps a bi-section type effect,
still researching these.

Also remember, this stuff is all taking place during a band performance, so
the selection of effects that make sense or fit is quite limited.

Also of important note is that the venues are quite often very uncooperative to
our needs besides the usual band type of things. (What? turn off the stage lights? Why? or Hey, no fire in here pal, that's dangerous! or my favorite, is this a band or a magic show?)

Any suggestions for good and preferably inexpensive stage effects would be greatly appreciated. I'm glad I finally registered and started posting here, so far everyone's advice has been awesome... Its amazing to me that famous seasoned professionals will take the time to help their fellow performers.

Warmest regards,

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (May 31, 2005 09:32PM)
Billy Russell also did a very good floating ball routine. Supposedly, he taught parts of it to Thurston. I believe there is a write up of it in the old Linking Rings. I know it was published by Donald Holmes and republished by Richard Robinson. I have a copy of the orginal and may someday publish it again with some other Russel material I have.

Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jun 1, 2005 03:43AM)

Hope I someday have the chance to see Tim Ds & Mirror Image routines. I enjoy all floating effects.

Have been researching/working Floating/Dancing Efx for about 35 years and wrote a book on Dancing Hank work which has just been re-released (NEW ANIMATIONS) Have worked many angles of each in Conventions, TV and Theatre. The Tech chapters were comprehensive due to input from the great Charles Reynolds, who consulted extensively to his good friend harry Blackstone Jr. and also to Doug Henning on many TV specials.

There are Many, many, many techniques for the floating Ball as well as Dancing Hank and they go back much further than most of us are aware. The Technique taken to its's best by OKITO (Tobias Bamberg) was actually created in rudimentary form by well-known amateur magician David P Abbott, who offered the effect to the touring Howard Thurston. Bamberg was with Thurston that night (he did his Chinese act and assisted and built for Thurston).

Thurston passed on the effect, but Okito was fascinated and spent much time choreographing the effect. He first featured it as part of the Thurston show and later left to head his own act. It was said to have brought down the house at the "Wintergarden" (a famous European hall of the time).

Some notes:
Okito was deaf as the result of a childhood near-drowning and subsequent illness. he lived in a world of the visual.
Legend says he often practiced the routine in a robe of white in every new venue to test the limits of the lighting.
It was also said he completely forbade anyone backstage from moving during its performance as even the slightest tremor would translate to an unsightly jiggle atop the long support end (being unfortunately vague here) to which the ball was fixed.
OKITO (an anagram for "TOKYO" Passed the effect on by shadow rehearsals to his son, David Bamberg, a famous Magician in his own right, better known to us as "FU MANCHU".

(Some Tips:, many oldtime pros say the key was to start with the lights up as BRIGHT as possible and bring down the ones that were giving you trouble. a BLACK backdrop is widely considered problematic by those in the know, and only armchair magicians (and unfortunately some armchair authors) reccomend using black as a drop. those who actually do this effect, you know what I mean, I've recently discovered some nifty new backdrop ideas that work well for the effect and have updated the tech chapters in the 2005 Edition of the book).

According to some, the effect (or a version of it) actually goes back to the 1800's. A performer named VALLADON (I believe) was the first to advertise such an effect. He has the unfortunate distinction of being the only magician blown up onstage (The result of a steam boiler accident).

The physical makeup of the Okito Ball is very interesting, if I have time, I will try to get back to this topic. I suspect it will suprise you. In a way it is somewhat similar to how the Don Wayne ball was made.

I had the good fortune to see Doug Henning do his version in Vegas. It was super awesome and filled a massive stage. So good I thought it was computer controlled. Only years later while researching the Dancing hank book did I begin to understand to the method he used. He was an awesome young performer who made magic "Accessible" to those of his generation, much the same as David Blaine has given this generation an appreciation for it.

Magical Aloha;
-Mike C

PS Yes Richard, thanks for reminding me, I think I have the reprinted manuscript of the Billy Russell routine, I believe he specialized in school shows, and had a method similar to Okito, though not as refined.
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Jun 1, 2005 08:27PM)

You are indeed a wealth of knowledge! I have the David Abbott Book of Mysteries so I know a bit about him but the history of the effect you know is amazing. Where is your book available from?


Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jun 1, 2005 09:53PM)
Thanks much Tim;

Theres a little about it on one of the recent DANCING HANDKERCHIEF threads. I don't have the website up yet, though I hope to within 2 months with a CC link and plan to advertise in MAGIC and Café'. It was carried by Magic inc/Hank Lees/Tannens but my initial run was rather small since I figured it was such a specialized topic. I ran out quickly and got pre-occupied with other things until now.

It is $55 (Airmailed) anywhere in the US. If interested contact me and I will send you the mailing address or Paypal Invoice you until the site is up.

I can't recall which books I learned about the Abbott info from, suspect there were several and also from conversations with Chas Reynolds. He is a longtime hero of mine.

Have long heard the definitive illustrated breakdown of the OKITO routine was published in a set of book(s?) by Dr. Albo. Often referred to as "The Albo Book" by collectors, it is said to be rare and prohibitively expensive. If anyone has it I would appreciate hearing from you.

The original OKITO ball was said to be made up of two 9" celluloid half-domes used to package candy (this was a shock to me, I didn't even realize they Had celluloid back then!). Okito/Bamberg, a master builder, apparently obtained several and a supply of gold candy foil which he proceeded to glue and smooth over the outside of the lightweight sphere. Thus the Original OKITO floating ball, a 9" globe with a gleaming golden finish, was created.

The Don Wayne ball of course is 8" lightweight "Space-age plastic" (as described by Don) in gleaming Chrome finish. I actually use a ball made from a 6" Chrome plastic Christmas ball as this is the perfect size for me with a bulky robe costume. Dons Fb is gorgeous and I've ordered 3 in my time, but I find the larger models a little too easy to bump against the body at close range, which can set off that "Give-away" dangling motion.

TIP: think Don Wayne still sells his ball-bearing "Thread Guides". This is an excellent hookup device that allows the ball to move much smoother than it would through regular eyelet hookup points. Strongly suggest the very serious try to obtain these through Don, at least for experimentation. If I had to bet my life on doing the smoothest float possible I would absolutely use them, especially for heavier floating objects.

Am told many of the early commercially sold Floating balls were actually made from Paper Mache' or plastic school globes.

Have been researching a book on floating techniques for a long time. Hope to get to know more of you who perform such routines.
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Jun 1, 2005 11:02PM)
There is a very good description of the Okito routine in "Illusion Builder to Fu Manchu" It is the routine David was taught by his father. The story is they used to rehearse the routine side-by-side and move-by-move.

Mike, do you know if those 9" globes are still available? I made a 10" ball from a christmas ornament last year. It worked great, but fell one too many times in rehearsal and I can't find a replacement!

Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jun 2, 2005 05:14AM)
Richard: There is a very good description of the Okito routine in "Illusion Builder to Fu Manchu"

MC: YES! That was one of the books. Thanks for reminding.

It is the routine David was taught by his father. The story is they used to rehearse the routine side-by-side and move-by-move.

MC: True, that is what I meant by "Shadow Rehearsal". I was not sure people would get that.

Mike, do you know if those 9" globes are still available? I made a 10" ball from a christmas ornament last year. It worked great, but fell one too many times in rehearsal and I can't find a replacement!

MC: Rich, I'll bet you'll be able to find them when holiday decor items break around Sept/Oct though I find them heavy myself. But if it works for you, great. I'm reading on this Forum that the Don Wayne ball is out of production or difficult to find, I believe Don produces them in lots every so often.

In the meantime Let me check around, If I find one I will email you. Strongly suggest rehearsing over carpeting to avoid damage to the ball. Curious, what method were you working with?
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Jun 2, 2005 12:37PM)
I have been learning the Okito routine from the Fu Manchu book. I've done a lot of research into various methods, but really like Okito's hookup. I did change a bit at the beginning, however, just to cancel out the real line direction. I carry the ball across the stage away from the hookup, but I don't initially turn to face it. I hold the ball with one hand on top and one hand on the bottom. I then remove the hand from the bottom and the ball remains suspended from the top. I lift my palm away from the ball, just leaving the ball suspended from one finger. Finally, I turn 180 degrees with the ball suspended. I found by allowing the gimmick to ride between my fingers and over the back of my hand, I could keep good control of the ball throughout the entire turn. From there, my routine follows the Fu Manchu routine exactly.

Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jun 2, 2005 01:07PM)
Nifty bit of initial misdirection. Very nice!
Message: Posted by: ALLEN TIPTON (Jun 3, 2005 10:02AM)
Michael Ching's book is a veritable encyclopedia(139 pages) & although it deals with the Dancing Hadkerchief the chapters on Materials & Hardware. Thread Selection, Backgrounds & Backdrops Hook Up Hardware are invaluable to any Thread worker and a must for anyone who aspires to The Floating Ball. It was amongst the top the best magic presents I was ever given by a young magician a few years back.
I have passed my Don Wayne Floating Ball onto the young professional magician who inherits all the Tipton Magic Stuff as and when..... I only really used it when I produced my version of the Dante Show in 1980. I'll try in a couple of days to attatch pic of this. Like the Abbott Ball & Okito's it has the guides on top of the ball and this you have to watch as a wrong move or body position can make the Ball seem to be hanging from something. I have used about 8 or 9 balls over the 28 years I've performed the effect but have always gone back to the 2 my wife made in 1977. With these the thread runs through the centre and I find this gives me a better balance. You do need to rehearse it before a performance. It's like a ballet. The balance between the Ball & you, the very feel of the thread have to be as one. Concentration is the thing. One day (hopefully soon) I'll publish my set up and hook up. it can be prepared very quickly before your perfomance and carried out to your performing area. For those who wish to study the full Okito method you need to see The Magic Of The Bambergs, by Dr. Robert Albo. This I think was the first of his brilliant series of books. The details in Illusion Builder to Fu Manchu are interesting but sketchy. The background Okito gives in Okito On Magic is interesting but that's all. His story of attempting to burnish the gold leaf he applied to the ball only to find it all disintigrating before the tool is hilarious. More later. But Thank You Michael Ching.
Allen Tipton
Message: Posted by: Kevin Ridgeway (Jun 3, 2005 10:37AM)
To Allen Tipton, Mike Ching, Tim Drake, hugmagic & rtgreen...thank you for all the info and history you have shared.

Just as important as the different hookups are the history and the men behind this great effect.

Thank you for HANGING around the Café and sharing this info...don't worry we couldn't tell you were hanging by anything...LOL

Message: Posted by: haywire (Jun 3, 2005 12:40PM)
Since Don's ball is no longer available I went looking for other options...

All this floating talk got me pretty revved up :)

There is the floating flute, but no one seems to know much about it. I am assuming it is simply a superlight prop for I.T. manipulation.

I'm pretty determinted to incorporate a large free floating object into my illusions. I've cleaned out a big portion of my huge basement and I've been experimenting.

With the help of a friend and some nifty hardware, I may have just come up with
my own floating rig. Its basically just I.T, some pulleys and assorted hardware. Needs more work but if It works out I will post a video soon. Looks good so far,
but needs more time to perfect.
Message: Posted by: ALLEN TIPTON (Jun 4, 2005 05:27AM)
Richard. Please don't copy the Fu Manchu routine 'EXACTLY'. Like all the great Classic tricks, the routine is the thing and it MUST be personal, to fit you, your style, your clothes etc. Take the moves and techniques and build a Ricard only routine. This takes time, experiment & performance. It's worth it in the end. I have the Full Okito routine but have only used 2 of his moves. My version took nearly a year to complete even with the help of my wife, who made the 2 first(and still used ) Floating Balls.At one time, twenty years ago she even did it better than me!
Haywire. Don't complicate things with pulleys etc.You're only setting up difficulties and very hard work for yourself. The Ball, like the Linking Rings, the Cups & Balls are akin to Great Acting. Simple truth. A brilliant actor over the years strips away the externals and only presents the hard internal nut to his his audience.
Allen Tipton
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Jun 6, 2005 11:59AM)
On 2005-06-04 06:27, ALLEN TIPTON wrote:
Richard. Please don't copy the Fu Manchu routine 'EXACTLY'. Like all the great Classic tricks, the routine is the thing and it MUST be personal, to fit you, your style, your clothes etc. Take the moves and techniques and build a Richard only routine. [/quote]


Thanks for the comments. I agree with you 100%. So far, I have not gotten to a performance ready routine. I am learning the Fu Manchu routine for educational purposes. I would love to get a hold of the Albo description of the Okito routine and learn from that also, but that has been pretty hard to find. I want to get a feeling for what Okito and Fu Manchu were thinking when they developed their routine. From there I will develop my routine that will be used for my audiences. My background is in classical music. To me, learning a classic routine like this is similar to studying a Bach Fugue.

Message: Posted by: haywire (Jun 6, 2005 03:04PM)
Just to keep everyone informed...

I have called literally EVERYONE I could think of in the magic business.

Online suppliers, brick and mortar real shops, and Don Wayne's floating ball
is no more.

I'm still hoping someone has a dusty boxed one in there back room somewhere,
but it does not look good right now. That is really a shame, because it looks
like an incredible effect. I'm going to try a different floating object in
its place.

My home made contraputation is failing miserably, but I'm still trying new things.
What I need is a lighter ball I think.

Ah if I get my own working, that would be very rewarding but I'd sure like to just buy an out of the box working solution...

Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Jun 7, 2005 10:31PM)
I m quite surprised that these are no longer made!!

Ive had a brand new one in a box for a few years now an elderly magician passed onto me to use in our full evening show-so I dug it out & what a great effect

To think I almost sold it at a recent convention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Horrors)

Now I have a new copy of the original manuscript coming from New York & I intend to put this into our show in the near future!!

Timothy Drake 1 of the members has a beautiful version combined with his Zombie with a DW Ball-

I cannot wait to include this in our shows!!-Thanks DW
Message: Posted by: haywire (Jun 8, 2005 10:47AM)
Yeah go ahead rub it in, I still can't find one!

I've given up on a free floating stage roaming ball...

I did however come up with a pretty incredible effect. Taking Mike's advice I found a smaller ball, a bit smaller than a tennis ball. It was in fact a chrome
plastic cristmas ball. Once the stem was removed, I used a hookup very very similar to the hummer or hummingbird card. The only real difference is I don't attach the it to the usual body part but rather use that as a pulley of sorts.

so one end goes to the ball, the I.T. goes past a certain body part of my head
then connects to my other hand.

While the ball is somewhat confined to an area around my body, the effect is still remarkable. First I give the ball a flick of the wrist spin and release it.

With subtle motions of my heard I get the ball spinning in a clockwise motion in front of my body. I then spin my hand under it counterclockwise. More movement from my head and the ball flys seeminly from one hand to the other, up down, to the side of my body and back while my hands move above, below and around its sides.
The great part is it seems to move independantly of my hands motions...

I make a diamond with my hands and the ball passes through it... very very convincing. Now I just need to practice the subtle "ballet" between the spinning
floating ball and my body/hands to make the effect convincing and more striking.

I will practice for awhile, then I'll post a video. Its a good compromise for what I wanted, and obviously requires no assistants, just some I.T. a ball and some magicians wax.

Message: Posted by: the Sponge (Jun 9, 2005 12:54PM)
That's wonderful. sounds like you self-discovered "LITE FLITE "

Message: Posted by: The Drake (Jun 9, 2005 12:56PM)
Kudo Steven,

Your new effect sounds very simular to the Lite-Flite effect created by Perry Maynard. I suggest investigating that effect more. There is a video available with cool handling tips. The Lite-Flight is a little orange pingpong ball that floats around you and lights up. Its a very nice effect and would fit your venue perfectly.


Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Jun 9, 2005 01:03PM)
Excellent work Steven! Sounds like it will be perfect for your venue. I can't wait to see the video.

Message: Posted by: haywire (Jun 9, 2005 03:49PM)
I have never purchased lite flite, but I had a feeling that's the method lite
flite used. A light up ball would perhaps be nice, but I like my chrome mini

I DID purchase the hummingbird card hummer/card so I didn't just invent my
hookup of course. Funny how many effects you could buy that are nearly the
same method. I also purchased laser flite, which I'd says is a waste of money...

I was thinking of purchasing lite flite, but now I'm glad I did not, I just saved
myself 20$.

First things first I guess. I'm practicing my handling of this effect. In time I will have a stage roaming free floating ball I'm sure, but for now this is
suffecient and the effect is much better than my zombie all around...

Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jun 9, 2005 04:30PM)
As best I know, that basic hookup may have first begun with STEVE FearsonS' FLOATING CIGARETTE. It is a nice idea and practical for your use.

RE: the light-up ball idea you might try this: Go to TOYS R US and get a white hollow plastic "baseball" (there are different sizes) in the kids sports section. Insert a led light (the flashers with earth magnet at the end) and you are in business if your IT can handle the weight.

Under normal lighting, the lights in the ball are not much visible. When the lights are dimmed or go to a color wash such as red or blue, the light can be seen quite well and "read" over a large area. Bring up the lights again and its just a white ball.

Don't be concerned about the molded-on "stitching" pattern of these plastic balls as from a short distance they are nearly invisible with the interior lit.

I am glad you are putting some thought into this and not just doing standard stuff. That is how cool new ideas are invented.

Good luck!

Some from the Forum have been Emailing me asking about ordering the Dancing Handkerchief Book. (w. info applicable to floating Ball wk). I hope it is Kosher to mention this info here, if not let me know. On contacting several retailers I am standardizing the price to $47.50 + $5 for AIRMAIL 1st Class to anywhere in the U.S. / $15 AIRMAIL outside U.S.
Fastest way is to send you a PayPal Invoice. Book is usually recieved within 3-5 bus. days depending on locale. Hope this helps.

Message: Posted by: R Don (Jun 13, 2005 08:24PM)
What would the Don Wayne ball be worth now since it is unavailable?
Message: Posted by: ricker (Jun 23, 2005 08:09AM)
I sent Mike an email on this.

Already, on ebay, his book is going for more than he is selling it for. Check out item 6540366338. As of 6/23, it's at $59.30.

I LOVE eBay! :)

Update: June 24 2005

It finally ended up selling for $73.15. A classic it is!!! :)
Message: Posted by: haywire (Jun 24, 2005 12:03PM)

I probably should order one of those from Mike, sounds very interesting.

Message: Posted by: Farrell (Jun 24, 2005 02:43PM)
You can still get the don wayne floating ball manuscript. then just put what ever kind of ball you want on the thread. Be it a mirror ball or a globe or pretty much anything. you can even get plastic domes and paint them silver. you don't need the Don Wayne floating ball. you can literally use anything you want. be creative and use something that makes more sense than a chrome floating ball that would have no eathly bussiness anywhere but in a magic show.
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jun 25, 2005 02:17PM)
The Don Wayne manuscript is good though concise. It gives care and feeding of the ball plus 2 methods: An Okito-type single line idea and a more complex loop rig.

I have Notes from my floating lecture that has fairly extensive ball info. includes History, Lines & Lighting basics, some Illustrated techniques and a section on several ways to make a floating ball.

The most suprising thing included at the last minute turned out to be the most popular part of the lecture: a "Map" or "Plan" of a classic floating routine detailing Start - Body & Finale' Phsychology and plan of attack for creating strong routines and the effects' impact on an audience. This was based on experimentation and several years of research on the greatest floating routines I could discover. It is much easier to press forward if we understand how well thought-out some of the great routines were, and how much work they put into them.

I don't have the commercial website up yet, but If anyone is interested the notes are $16. Air USPS. I can paypal-invoice and get orders out same day if recieved early.

(RICKER; thanks for the Ebay tip. That was very cool to see! Pls let me know when you recieve the book, I'm interested in how fast USPS is to your part of the country)


Message: Posted by: ricker (Jun 26, 2005 12:12AM)
Will do Mike. it's a few miles from Hawaii to Alabama.

didn't see it today, but bet Monday or Tuesday
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jun 27, 2005 12:43AM)
A post above made me think as I rarely see these things explained. Why a Chrome (or highly reflective) ball?

Chromed spheres not only look ethereal and catch light well, they reflect their surroundings and light sources consistently No Matter What Angle they are turned. This gives the Illusion the ball is "stable" in space. The phenomena gives no clue to the actual orientation of the ball and helps conceal its manipulation source (valuable in the case of ZOMBI for example). It also helps conceal the giveaway "Dangling" motion to a degree.

True, a ball of solid color gives much the same effect, though colors darker than gold or white may not show up as well. Any type of marking on a ball instantly makes it a "directional" object and gives visible clues to its position. This is usually not an advantage in most floating routines.

Message: Posted by: ricker (Jun 27, 2005 06:33PM)
Mike, book came today. Very nice.. good work.

Message: Posted by: ALLEN TIPTON (Jun 29, 2005 10:38AM)
For Haywire...... Hi Steven. Looking at your 'costume'and knowing you work with a rock band, wouldn't The Floating Candle fit your personna better than The Ball. Check out Doc. Dhotels. version. I think.. it may be in Magic Without Apparatus by Camille Gautier but I'll try and search for it. What made me think of it for you was re-viewing an old Doug Henning tape. The long hair, the 'rock style(?)' clothes etc. I think it might be made for you.
Allen Tipton UK

For Haywire again. Steven, I have located The Floating Candle. It's 8 pages long. You need 2 glass (probably brass these days) rings, a long, long length of thread, a candle, a candlestick and 2, easily constructed wire gimmicks. It's one man control but does need a stage. The rig is extremely simple. A ladder and 5 minutes.
The routine needs MUCH rehearsal. The lit candle floats all over the stage including up to the flies and finally into the candlestick.

Do you have an e mail number?
Allen Tipton. UK
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jun 29, 2005 09:47PM)
Horace Marshall copied an effect Harry Blackstone Sr. did and sold it . It was similar to the light bulb. It was the floating glass of milk.


PS Mike were you going to send me an invoice for the book?
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jun 30, 2005 11:47PM)
(Sorry Richard,)

my apologies, been distracted. invc completed & sent, My bad.

(scrambling to take a show to Kauai from Honolulu and get back for another same day, means creating a "travelling" version of act without fire, nail clippers, scissors ect & ordering items onsite. you know the drill these days. taken a few days to order & customize a travel case, but mostly done. I sure don't wanna do this every week.)

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 1, 2005 06:52AM)
No problem. I will get the paypal out the first back of next week. I have to check the other bills that are due first.

Yes, flying is such a hassle now. I dread flying to do conventions. If I can drive, great. Otherwise, I try to ship most ahead. If it gets through the security stuff, there is a good chance it will be damaged by the inspection or handlers.

Message: Posted by: plainman007 (Aug 3, 2005 12:03PM)
Have you tried the light weight inflatable balls that are available now from childrens shops. Its just an air filled rubber ball a lil larger than the orginal DW FB and is considerably lighter too. Yes !!! Lighter than the DW FB. They come in a ethereal silver color but matt finished. It looks like the cloud silver. Not the chrome silver. And they cost about $1 each :lol: they are available in my country. Dunno about yours. Try,,, you should find them. They are inflatable too. So you can deflate them and carry them in a small box. And then inflate with a bicycle pump. Kewl right ? This is my only option when my orginal DWFB crashes.
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Sep 4, 2005 08:44PM)
Thanks for the Tip Plainsman. I spend way too much time in TOY and HARDWARE stores and I always look for new useable ball types. haven't seen this one yet but will look. You might be able to get rid of the matte finish by spraying the ball with silver fast dry spraypaint prior to going on.

I have a new floating ball design I hope to get on the market in the next few months. It's hard for me to be objective, but I think this radical method is pretty cool, and magi who have seen it say it looks great. I'm certainly no Finn Jonn, but I keep plugging away.

More soon, lets keep this thread active:D Welcome JADE! You are one of my all-time favorites.
Message: Posted by: AJMagicman (Mar 4, 2007 09:18PM)
I realize this Topic is quite old, however I would also like to consider the fact that there is an Old Floating Ball routine, in which I personally like to perform, known as: "Braco's Floating Ball"

One of my truly personal favorites, and best commented on my performances.

It was quite a while back, when I searcehd for Don's Floating Ball, and realized it was out of the market.

Finally I discovered Braco's Floating Ball, and am having a blast with this gem.

It is a "real" floating ball, that actually looks alive and active.
Highly rated than the Zombies out there, for now there are kids performing our classic zombie.

Is there another current peformer of this effect, that would like to add on a comment?

Thanks again, I truly hope you try this effect.

All the Best,
AJ Magic Man
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Mar 5, 2007 12:00AM)

Bracos Floating Ball has been discussed here many times before ( most have called it junk ) and I don't think anyone has ever been able to get it to actually work to the point of performing it. If you have......we'd love to see some photos of the actual ball or of you performing it. Video would be outstanding. You only attached the drawn image normally used to market it which seems a little suspicious and makes us doubt you actually can/do perform it. Can you put such doubts to rest and be the first to post photos or video????? If you do you will instantly impress a lot of us here as we have NEVER see it happen.

All of us floating ball fans anxiously await your photos!


Message: Posted by: mvmagic (Mar 5, 2007 05:07AM)
I am, like my friend Tim there, also very anxious to see pictures and especially a video of your performance if you could upload one to youtube. Practically no one has been able to perform Bracos Ball so this is REALLY interesting. It woud be great to hear your comments on how to actually make it work.
Message: Posted by: AJMagicman (Mar 7, 2007 10:03PM)
Already, sounds fair guys.
Hope I'm not revealing too much, but in the pictures I'll attach, the "ballon floating ball" will be spary painted gold, with the black box.
The effect is simple: It floats up, by releasing the (you know what), and then it comes down. It is simple, and okay. However I like to adding it to a final kicker, or even a 20 second opener.

No biggy, really nothing to it.

It isn't something you can do all the time, or randomly perform. But there are ways to iron it out, then add it to you other "levitation" routines.

Tim, the video was never a thought, however I can take a few shots of it even at home, so to introduce my performing style.

Let me know if you guys still want to see em, or if any ceratain ways you'd like to perform the effect. Even better, you can always contact me trhough a freidnly PM.

Thanks Again folks,
AJ Magic Man
PS: Pics to be taken and uploaded asap.
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Mar 7, 2007 10:11PM)
On 2007-03-07 23:03, AJMagicman wrote:

Let me know if you guys still want to see em, or if any ceratain ways you'd like to perform the effect. Even better, you can always contact me trhough a freidnly PM.

Thanks Again folks,
AJ Magic Man
PS: Pics to be taken and uploaded asap.

Thanks AJ,

Looking forward to it.


Message: Posted by: The Drake (Mar 17, 2007 12:33PM)

Any ETA or that video or pics?


Message: Posted by: The Drake (Mar 29, 2007 09:05PM)

It's been 3 weeks. I'm starting to think that your BRACO's floating ball success belongs in that " it never really happened" category that we mentioned earlier in this thread.

We'd love to see those photos and see someone actually performing this effect.


Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Mar 30, 2007 07:55PM)
Yawn!!!!!!!!!! someone wake me up when this video is done.
Message: Posted by: m3r1in (Jul 20, 2010 12:08AM)
Hey guys, lots of great feedback here and lots of information and just to add more fuel to that fire, I do too think this is a wonderful effect. I saw this effect in a video, of Blackstone Jnr performing it, and also there was another video which I saw of a little girl who was performing it to (however she used a silver ball), either way I was stunned at how it was done and couldn't work out the mechanics.

However, with a bit of research, I came across a little book called "Miracle Floating Light Effects". Now I am not sure which method was used by Mr Blacksone or Okito, however the methods which are shown in that book are really interesting. I have yet to try them out ( for I only just got the book on friday last week and have been too busy to really get into it. In the book, it does show methods on how to float it away from you and back to you, around you, so you step over it, and also the infamous hoop method (which I think adds a lot to the effect). It also shows you hookups so you can later walk out from the stage and float it close to where the audience is, however it doesn't show how it is made to float over the audiences head ( but you will get the idea on how to do it when you read the book, or from just experience with flaoting effects). It is also doesn't need assistants,which I think is a bonus!

However, I really enjoyed the way a lightbulb was used, but the silver ball does add more to the effect, however the lightbulb does allow you to float it close to the spectators.

I am curious about where I can get a good lightbulb which is suitable for the effect, because I have, at times and I am sure many of you have too, felt that I haven't received a quality product once I have purchased it. So if any of you could shed some light, ( pun intended) on where I could find a lightbulb for this effect please let me know.

Thank you so much once again for the insight to this wonderful effect.

On a side note, there is an auction for one of the original lights bulbs that harry blackstone owned. Here is the link : http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/159185
Message: Posted by: CCPCris (Jul 25, 2010 10:36AM)
Not sure if someone mentioned this or not, but the DW floating ball (for those interested) can be bought directly from Don Wayne. I was going to buy one a while back. They are still affordable priced, and Don Wayne is a wonderfull man to work with.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jul 27, 2010 02:13PM)
Since you asked for a video, here is one for ya. Not sure if it's Don Wayne's hookup, but I bet his ball never did this:


The strange and unearthly magic of Galina. She is the MOST heartbreakingly beautiful female magician I have EVER seen!

Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Sep 7, 2010 02:26PM)
Yeah! Okay!
I've FINALLY assembled the correct props to work on my
Portable, Non-Stage "Okito Floating Ball" routine!!!

--I've had constructed the correct (non-tinsel) portable backdrop.
--I've got the perfect size and weight Sphere.
--The best choice of music I've ever encountered.
--And I've found an angle free flawless hook-up.

And most of all, I can implement the ultimate secret to
Okito's success with his presentation,
which since I discovered it, have not shared with a living soul.

Now, once I've hired qualified people to help me stage this,
I should be able to perform this Levitation in almost any circumstances,
and with subtleties that I've never seen before, live or video.

Now I've got everything together, I've got too work by rear off,
to master and perfect this classic of Magic.

I have to add that all my years working with the Zombie Ball,
have helped greatly to master this method.

I'll certainly post a video when it's all performance ready.

Don't give up on this spectacular Illusion guys,
just keep buying all you can find on the topic and you'll get there.
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Sep 7, 2010 02:28PM)
Are you using an Okito Ball, or a Don Wayne ball?
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Sep 7, 2010 03:12PM)
Neither, a ball I found and adapted,
lighter and not as huge as the Wayne
(Okito's was smaller too).
Message: Posted by: Jerry (Sep 8, 2010 12:57AM)
Hey I'm still waiting for AJ to upload those pictures of the CRAP-PO floating ball.

Is this the elusive Don Wayne device everyone is dreaming of?


Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Sep 8, 2010 02:32AM)
I don't think it's very elusive at all,
it's available from Don Wayne directly, or obviously Abbotts.

It's not the ball that makes the effect practical, it's what you can do with it and the hook-ups, Wayne's hook-ups are not very practical except in a stage setting with great lighting options, the main one also requires two people.

So is not the device itself, it's practical methods which can be implemented in a variety of settings, are one person, and have the correct routine and presentation to make the floating seem viable.

Buying the ball provides none of those things, and these are the issues I think I've now overcome.

Message: Posted by: Jerry (Sep 8, 2010 08:34AM)
Totally agree with you Walt, I believe what you say is true for everything in magic. It appears to me most magicians are to wrap up with gizmo's and gadgets and totally disregard performance, but that should be another thread.

I was only providing the link due to prior post stating "Don Wayne no longer makes the floating ball"; "You can't get the DW floating ball", "I'll gladly buy a used DW floating" and so on.

And then I came across this on the Abbott site, so I thought I would share.

Message: Posted by: jnrussell (Dec 2, 2010 10:23AM)
Very interesting thread. I recently analyzed the effects in my repertoire, and noticed that I don't have any levitation effects at all. I tend to specialize in parlor/club magic, so if I wanted to add 1 levitation (not a major illusion), would you all recommend a zombie-like effect?
Message: Posted by: jimhlou (Dec 10, 2010 03:25PM)

For parlor, I would recommend an IT effect such as the floating rose. The Alpha reel is an excellent device for exploring different levitation options.

Just my 2 cents.

Message: Posted by: flight10 (Dec 10, 2010 04:30PM)
I have preformed the Don Wayne floating ball with one backstage hand. Rigging, background and lighting must work together or you will show how its done and run the risk of the hook up breaking.
It can be done as a solo effect using you as anchor and something else as an anchor. As the ball is so light, I have used a microphone stand in the past. 30 odd years ago my father used a floating ball that floated out of a box, around the stage, through a hoop and back in the box. I used the same routine with great results. However, you should not attempt to do this if you cannot get your hook up, background and lighting working together.
Message: Posted by: TheMagicOfDean (Dec 11, 2010 07:19AM)
The Don Wayne's Floating ball can be found at Hank Lee's Shop
Message: Posted by: makeupguy (Dec 11, 2010 08:22AM)
I can't believe that you all haven't figured out.. that just because a magic shop has something in their catalog.. doesn't mean in any way, shape, or form does it mean that it's in stock.. or even available anymore.

However.. I've heard that don found a whole box of floating balls (not yet assembled) in his closet...
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Dec 11, 2010 09:42AM)

Sweet that is exciting that he found more! All the floating ball purchases I have done have always been direct thru Don. Very easy to deal with and quick to ship out. You can either communicate with him via email or phone and he will take care of you.

Message: Posted by: malamoney (Feb 4, 2013 10:56AM)
I actually have one of these. Bought it about 20 years ago. It was totally a "I have no idea when I will perform this, but I really hope I do so one day because it is an awesome effect and I want it" purchase.

While I have never performed it, I still have hope that I will.