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Topic: Billiard Ball Magic
Message: Posted by: Eric Dittelman (Jul 17, 2005 06:30PM)
Hey everyone!

I was just wondering what a good place to start learning billiard ball magic would be. I am currently trying to enlarge my repertoire of non-card magic and because I haven't seen many performances that use billiard balls, I think it would be a fun and interesting route for me to explore. Any help is greatly appreciated!

-Eric D.
Message: Posted by: Pavel (Jul 18, 2005 02:04AM)
Mark Wilson's Encyclopedia of Magic, Tarbell course in Magic, Jeff McBride's World class manipulation videos, Tim Wright's Multiplying balls video, Shimada's videos. Using this sources you will know much about ball manipulation.
Message: Posted by: Eric Dittelman (Jul 18, 2005 08:33AM)
Thanks!

I think I'll start with McBride!

-Eric D.
Message: Posted by: Pavel (Jul 18, 2005 08:57AM)
That is a very good idea! McBride's videos are just awesome!
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Jul 18, 2005 03:48PM)
Good choice in props Eric...the multiplying billiard balls is a classic and I'm glad they are not on everyone's must have trick list! I've enjoyed performing them for over a year now. I prefer the wooden ones.

johnny
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 18, 2005 07:08PM)
I also recommend an old book called "It's Easier Than You Think" by Geoffry Buckingham. It is an older book, but is packed with great advice and ideas on billiard balls, how to steal and make body loads and misdirection.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 18, 2005 10:07PM)
The classic reference is "Expert Billiard Ball Manipulation" by Burling Hull. It is more of a collection of moves. Other sources previously listed are better for routining a routine.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Glenn Godsey (Jul 19, 2005 01:18AM)
I noticed that Tim Wright's video on the billiard balls is currently listed on ebay with a "buy it now" price of $15. It is an excellent and enjoyable source.

The usual disclaimers apply.

Best regards,
Glenn Godsey
Message: Posted by: Elliott Hodges (Jul 19, 2005 06:32AM)
How can you get Buckingham's books?
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 19, 2005 06:57AM)
Magic Inc. owns the copyright and still sell the Buckingham books. Give them a call and I am sure they can help you.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Elliott Hodges (Jul 19, 2005 07:46AM)
I think we are in the same position Eric,
I am also looking for ball tricks to help cut down my card stuff
Message: Posted by: Chris Miller (Jul 19, 2005 09:14AM)
I ordered a wooden billiard ball set years ago, and it came with the a little orange instruction card which I will now expose here: FIG. 1 Hand with 1 ball. FIG. 2 Hand with 2 balls. FIG. 3 Hand with 3 balls. That was it! No description. So, I think you are smart to look into sources for routines, so you won't be disappointed if you order a set of balls and there isn't even a basic routine. I had help from a nearby magic shop once I showed them my dilemma. I think the billiard balls are the best lesson in misdirection that I have learned, even better than the cups and balls. My original wooden set were 2" diameter (I figured the bigger the better), but I kept dropping the 4th ball. Then I tried the Vernon balls which are highly textured. I didn't drop them, but found them to be noisy and painful. So, I've gone to a 1.5" set of wooden billiard balls and am very happy. When choosing what size to order, you might try spreading your fingers as far as is comfortable and measuring the smallest gap at the tips. Good luck,

Chris
Message: Posted by: GrahamFishman (Jul 23, 2005 06:25PM)
Start out with some Fakini golf balls and work up to 2-inch Fakini balls. as for learning the moves check out McBride's stuff or get your hands on Lewis Ganson's "Routined Manipulation" as a cheaper alternative.

graham fishman
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 23, 2005 08:32PM)
If you want to learn some basic moves of billiard balls without the expense, first try and get some 1 3/4 inch bouncy balls. They work great and cost very little. This is a great way to learn some basic ball moves and handling without a huge investment. Then if you enjoy what you are doing, you can invest later in a Fakini set.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jul 23, 2005 09:38PM)
If you plan on using 2" balls, start with 2" balls. The handling, angles and such are very much different than smaller balls. Why go through the trouble of learning it twice? If you can learn the moves with 2" balls, 1" balls will seem like marbles.

Richard
Message: Posted by: coleman (Aug 26, 2005 08:51AM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-18 23:07, hugmagic wrote:
The classic reference is Expert Billard Ball Manipulation by Burling Hull. It is more of a collection of moves. Other sources previously listed are better for routining a routine.

Richard
[/quote]

Any idea where to source this book please?


cole. x
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Aug 26, 2005 09:12AM)
I believe it was republished by Mickey Hades. It has tons of moves in it. But for gosh sakes, don't use them all. Otherwise check with used book dealers.

Richard
Message: Posted by: coleman (Aug 26, 2005 09:24AM)
Would micky hades be hades publications? http://www.trickster.com/

I'll definitely email them and find out if they can help.

I've had a good look around used book dealers already and that is what prompted my post - the prices dealers are asking for this book are rather hefty!

thanks for the info richard.


cole. x
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Aug 26, 2005 04:01PM)
It is a collectible book that is tender in condition in most instances. I do not know the address for Mickey Hades books. Sorry.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Chris Bristow (Aug 26, 2005 04:30PM)
Magicbooks.com is currently carrying this book
Message: Posted by: coleman (Aug 27, 2005 06:03AM)
Wow - thanks a lot chris!

have ordered it today.


cole.
Message: Posted by: coleman (Sep 1, 2005 10:38AM)
Turns out magicbookshop.com only had volume two of 'expert billiard ball manipulation' by burling hull.

I ordered it and they will look out for a copy of volume one for me (i thought they were very friendly and have so far provided an excellent service), but if anyone knows of somewhere that currently has a copy for sale I'd very much appreciate a heads up.

many thanks,


cole. x
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Sep 3, 2005 08:37AM)
My favorite billiard routine to watch is Tim Wright's. Get his video.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Sep 3, 2005 08:42AM)
For billiard balls you might want to start with the Vernet balls. They are inexpensive and very easily manipulated. The one drawback is that they are covered with little prickly points. This is why they 'stick' to your hand so well. It's also why they hurt a little.
Message: Posted by: Nell (Sep 6, 2005 07:05PM)
I have the Vernet billiard balls. Thos e points will tear up your hands. In time they wear down and can be really beautiful though. My hands, unfortunately, being a female are a bit on the small side. They're a bit on the large side for me. That fourth ball is murder. Fun stuff though.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Sep 7, 2005 03:03PM)
Nell is right, they are 1 3/4 balls. The thing is, those things stick to your hands like fishhooks (and feel like it). Of course, it does encourage learning a gentle touch.

I've heard the Fakini's are great but, hey, I find it really hard to justify the price since Billiard Balls is a small part of my show.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 7, 2005 06:46PM)
It is a big price and a big investment. However, they last a life time if you treat them well and they more then pay for themselves after just a few performaces. I just love my set and they are just by far the best out there.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Nell (Sep 7, 2005 07:19PM)
Maybe I'll look into buying a set of Fakaini's. I have all the accessory balls for the vernet's though, but I am limited for performance with the set as my hands haven't grown in the past ...oh almost a decade, so I don't think they will start now.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 7, 2005 07:27PM)
Nell:

If you plan on using them and doing routines with them in your performances of your magic, then they are certainly worth the investment. I got 1 3/4 inch balls and they work best for me as I tried out various sizes before finding what was most natural and comfortable for my own hands.

If you invest in them now, they will serve you a life time if you take proper care of them. You will also find that they work so much better then any other balls you will ever have tried. There just are certain moves you just can not do unless you have a Fakini ball.

Vernets hurt my fingers too much when I tried them and their were roll moves I could not do with them. If they fell, they did not bounce like the fakinis will and the Vernets tended to chip more easily.

If you do get the Fakinis, I would reccomend the Yellow or the White. I personally use the white myself and they work good as they show up well under most any lighting conditions. TRhey also get a great effect when a black light is placed on them. I have done this in the theater for some nice effects also.

I wish you much luck and success with them. Keep me posted if you can.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: coleman (Sep 8, 2005 07:02AM)
Are all fakini balls uv active then kyle?

I only ask because up until now, I did not know of any white uv active silicone ball manufacturers.

there are lots of uv active dyes that manufacturers use with silicone balls but I've never found a white set that fluoresces like the coloured ones.

do you know if there are any images available of the balls under a blacklight?


cole. x
Message: Posted by: Dave Dorsett (Sep 8, 2005 11:57AM)
They aren't always available but Frank does make a 1-5/8" Fakini ball. There are also a number of the "ancillary" balls made but probably not many of them in that size. Both Stevens Magic and Denny & Lee carry about the largest selection available.

Be aware though that sometimes production of the balls does fall behind. The production of the Fakini's is definitely a mom & pop operation.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 8, 2005 06:30PM)
I have just used the white ones and the yellow ones under a black light conditions and they show up well enough for me and worked out quite well with the proper lighting. I also wore black gloves so that the balls really stood out much better.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Nell (Sep 8, 2005 08:41PM)
Thanks for the info in response to my typo-filled post. (My mind starts moving 10 steps ahead of my fingers and I become the Queen of typos!) Anyhow, I will look into buying a set of Fakini's because I really do want to add a billiard ball routine to my act. Thanks again for the info!
Message: Posted by: Amazing Rallo (Sep 12, 2005 08:17PM)
If you haven't ordered your silicone billiard balls yet, Daytona Magic offers a set of 1 1/2" for $65.00 I think. 4 balls and 2 s*****.
Message: Posted by: danryb (Sep 13, 2005 02:57PM)
Would daytonas silicone balls (that sounds awfull) be as good a quality as fakinis?
or are they a smaller rip off?
does anyone use them?
Personaly I have had no trouble with the vernet set together with the vernet hank ball. I perform almost daily and the little pricks (that doesn't sound good either) don't bother me at all. viceversa - they assist in manipulting when my hands are dry and living in eilat (40 degrees in the summer with about 10% humidity) they get quite dry most of the summer season.
How do the fakinis balls manipulate in dry hands? could they slip and if so would the white or yellow ones bick up grissle and dust from the floor and stain aswell?

dani
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 13, 2005 06:38PM)
Nell:
You are most welcome. If I can be of further help to you, please just let me know. I would love to help you out in any way that I can. I love billiard ball and manipulative magic in general and I strive to create acts that are not just a showing off of skill alone. I strongly feel that a manipulator can give an audience much more than that. I wish you the best with it.

The Fakinis work wonderfully in dry weather cause of the silicone they are made out of. The grip is just amazing. The bigger problem for the manipulator is working or doing them in the cold. Not so much for the balls themselves, but because of the muscles in your hand feeling like they are moving much slower.

This is a natural occurance and happens to anyone. This is why it is best to keep your hands warm and to also warm up the fakinis before any show you are doing.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Wizzard (Sep 16, 2005 09:36AM)
No matter what Balls you decide to purchase, the overall size is very important. They must "Fit" the hand. This will make the manipulations appear more natural. Adding to the list is Buckley's 'Principals and Deceptions'Here is the contents of CHAPTER FOUR - Magic With Billiard Balls
My Original Billiard Ball and Card Harness
Pointers
The Production of a Ball From Behind the Left Hand followed by the Take Away Vanish
A Ball Held in the Finger Palm Position by the Left Hand is Secretly Removed by the Right Hand in Passing
The Wrist Roll
The Production of a Ball on the Fist
Moving the Ball Down from the Fist Position to the First and Second Finger
The Production of a Ball Between the Middle Fingers from the Palm Without Aid from the Thumb
The "De'Biere" Production of a Ball
The Ball Roll from Finger to Finger
The Ball Roll with Another Ball Concealed in Your Palm
The Knee Roll Vanish
The Strike Vanish
The Wrist Roll and Palm Off Vanish
Concealing a Ball Behind the Hand While Both Palms Are Shown
Color Changes (first method)
(second method)
(third method)
(fourth method)
The Ball and the Handkerchief
Production of Eight Solid Balls at the Finger Tips Without a "gimmick"
Concluding Remarks
Work with Balls is demanding and hours of practice are required. Is this Easy Magic? NO! When done correctly it is one of the most beautiful and stunning effects in magic.
Regards,
Wizzard
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Sep 16, 2005 08:45PM)
I agree wholeheartadly Wizzard and Magic4uo2,
that is why I've been practicing my woodeen balls for over 3 years and have yet to actually put them in my act...it takes a lot to satisfy my ego and I'm just not set right yet, with the best routine...but good things come to those that wait, it's been said.

Hehehehe, I copped a couple of square wooden cubes the same size and color as my billiard ballses from one of my kidses old wooden block set, I've got me some good handlings wiff 'em.

Also, I've incorperated red confetti into the routine, where a wooden cube turns into red confetti, it looks kool. ;)

I love my ballses, but what has it got in it's pocketesess???

hehehe...;)

johnny
Message: Posted by: Nell (Sep 17, 2005 12:46AM)
My Vernets are 1.5", so that just confirms that I have REALLY small hands. I'm extremely leery of 1.75", and on that note 2" is completely out of the question! I'm determined to perfect a billiard ball routine though, so...we'll see what happens with it. Thanks again!
Message: Posted by: danryb (Sep 17, 2005 12:40PM)
Nell, I mentioned before, I have been using the vernet balls for such a long time, I have literaly worn them out having to purchase a new set at one point. But I purchased the set for 2 reasons.
1. once you perfect and perform your routine daily - it becomes a part of you and I for one, cannot part with this woderfull routine in my show. I have a comedy routine with patter and is suitable for all ages from kids to adults.
Nell - I suggest you try to build a good routine with vernet balls and put it into day to day use - you wont be sorry althoughit will take time to get yourself used to it. it's worth the time.
Personaly, I love manipulation and I think this is a classic. I cant stand linking rings and chop cups and card tricks but I love multiplying balls.

2. I never knew fakini balls existed up until now.
I intend getting a set and I cant wait to try them in my hands and in front of my audience.

Enjoy,

Dani
Message: Posted by: Amazing Rallo (Sep 17, 2005 02:28PM)
How would you compare the silicones clinging ability to a hi bounce rubber ball? Would you say that the silicone clings better, worse, or about the same? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 17, 2005 07:18PM)
Johnny:

I had to chime in here to simply say THANK YOU!! Thank you for being a select few folks who really are striving to take their manipulative magic into new areas and creating unique performances pieces in the process. That is so wonderful and refreshing to see someone actually thinking outside of the box and not being afraid to venture into areas that they may not fully be comfortable with.

Your ideas are refreshing and new I loved reading them. Why NOT go to a block? Why not use a kid's block? Why not have this change into something different? All of this is new and adds so much more to a manipulative act that an audience can really grab ahold of and enjoy.

Thanks again. Great thinking.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Sep 30, 2005 10:15PM)
OK, I know I said that I like the Vernet but I just got a set of Fakini in the mail today and well, there is NO comparison. These balls are great. The gimmick is great too. I can literally toss the ball into the air with the gimmick on and it won't come apart. I love it.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 1, 2005 11:55AM)
Rik: I am glad you got a set of Fakinis. Once you see them and feel them and begin to usethem, you find there really is no comparison. The Fakinis are just simply that good of a billard ball to use. The gimmick is well made and the balls and the grip is wonderful allowing you to be able to do moves you simply can not do well with the Vernets. Also, these can be droped and bounced without any problem and you can catch it if it happens. You can even use a bounce for a new move where you bounce the ball and as you catch it in the hand, the ball becomes two. It leads you to exploring amny new ideas. Good luck with them and have fun.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Oct 2, 2005 07:33AM)
I am an open minded fella. I found a set for a great price and bought them. When they came in I immediately could tell the quality.
Message: Posted by: benafito (Oct 4, 2005 09:37AM)
What are some good websites that sell good billiard balls for beggineers?
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 4, 2005 07:55PM)
I would contact Denny Haney at dennymagic.com. Denny knows so much about manipulative magic and carries a full line of billard balls and books and anything pertaining to manipulative magic. If he does not have it, he will point you in the right direction. Denny is a great guy who will always tell you the truth and help you out. Give him and his site a try and even e-mail him if you need to. I am sure he will be happy to help you out.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: Dave Dorsett (Oct 5, 2005 08:22AM)
A few posts back the Amazing Rallo asked about the comparative properties of silicone (Fakini's from my point of reference) and high-bounce balls. I have found the Fakini balls have a much higher "cling factor". The other consideration is that high-bounce balls eventually become brittle and crack apart. My Fakini's are over 15 years old and you can't tell them from new.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Oct 5, 2005 08:30PM)
Dave is right. High bounce balls are nice and cheap and I do often use them for color changes and effects of that sort in my manipulative routines. The point Dave brings up, is that they will turn hard and brittle and fall apart over time and over exsposure to heat and cold. The silicone Fakinis will not do this.

For me, getting the super bounce balls work great for my variety of moves and transitional effects I am after. They are cheap and I can always resupply myself with them with ease when they become to brittle to be effective.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: John Bowlin (Oct 11, 2005 01:36AM)
Nell, the fakini golf balls are 1 1/2". I just got a set recently and they are sooo easy to work with. My hands are fairly good size but I find that I can do manipulations so much more easily with the smaller size. The fakini also has a seperate matching gaff for the golf balls for a shrinking ball routine. Got mine from Denny at Denny and Lee's and he's really great with whatever questions you might have. Another great thing about the fakini golf ball is that I can bounce one off the floor and make a clicking sound(tongue off the roof of mouth) and it sounds just like a golf ball bouncing off the floor. Works really great if mic'd.
Any golfers in the crowd are really blown away knowing how slick a golf ball is.
Message: Posted by: Excaliber (Oct 11, 2005 03:28PM)
Shimada ( I think that how you spell it) has some great ideas routines on Billard balls old school stuff that is really cool
Message: Posted by: johnnymystic (Oct 11, 2005 09:06PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-17 20:18, magic4u02 wrote:
Johnny:

I had to chime in here to simply say THANK YOU!! Thank you for being a select few folks who really are striving to take their manipulative magic into new areas and creating unique performances pieces in the process. That is so wonderful and refreshing to see someone actually thinking outside of the box and not being afraid to venture into areas that they may not fully be comfortable with.

Your ideas are refreshing and new I loved reading them. Why NOT go to a block? Why not use a kid's block? Why not have this change into something different? All of this is new and adds so much more to a manipulative act that an audience can really grab ahold of and enjoy.

Thanks again. Great thinking.

Kyle
[/quote]

Hey Kyle,

Thanks fer the kind words bro'...I haven't practiced my routine fer awhile now. This has got me motivated, time to cut up some red confetti! ;)

This past few weekends I've had some day long gig's at a Haunted Farm, three times while performing close-up, I was able to perform a basic handling of my old wooden balls.

The balls went over great, it was like doing a new trick! ;)

Also fer awhile now I've been playing with fishing bobbers, the red and white plastic kind...guess what?

I have a plastic s**ll from a cheap set of balls that almost fits perfectly, the fishing bobbers. I've got a pretty funny routine about a redneck who loves to fish, but keeps losing his bobbers, etc. while doing the routine I talk w/a really redneck southern accent. I've done this for some rednecks and they loved it!

Of course I was thinking of ending with a jumbo bobber with a string attached and a rubber fish on the end, but I haven't actually got that far yet.

johnny
Message: Posted by: Cameron (Oct 12, 2005 02:58AM)
Alrighty Im gona chime in as well I recently went over to Frank's house to get my self a set and I am very greatfull that he only lives a hop skip and a jump away... It was really cool being able to try out all the differnt sizes and see all the differnt colors in person how ever I will have to add that haveing tried the golf balls and the normal ones I really prefer the normal ones, maybe its just me but I just thought they felt better and the S**** seemes much more duriable. He makes a great product and I love the things to death I take them with me everywhere and I'm constantly playing with them... Oh my that sounds bad haha.

BUY Fakini!!!!
Message: Posted by: CJ Daniel (Oct 12, 2005 08:16AM)
Jealous of Cameron, But I'm closer to London so na-na!
Message: Posted by: CJ Daniel (Oct 13, 2005 10:58AM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-08 08:02, coleman wrote:
Are all fakini balls uv active then kyle?

I only ask because up until now, I did not know of any white uv active silicone ball manufacturers.

there are lots of uv active dyes that manufacturers use with silicone balls but I've never found a white set that fluoresces like the coloured ones.

do you know if there are any images available of the balls under a blacklight?


cole. x
[/quote]

Coleman Apparently there are white silicones that are UV reactive, Your a juggler you should know...

The Mr.Babache one at the bottom of the page http://www.seriousjuggling.com/Balls_Bounce.htm
Message: Posted by: Wayne Hackler (Oct 15, 2005 07:44AM)
Good books for the billiard balls are Lewis Ganson's "Routined Manipulation. It comes in two volumes otiginally. Abbotts sells both combined into one volume. There is also a supplement to accompany it. Neither are very expensive.