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Topic: Maximum size for billiard ball manipulations
Message: Posted by: coleman (Aug 26, 2005 09:00AM)
I am intrigued by billiard ball manipulation and am considering entering this area of magic, but I am unsure of what restrictions would be placed on me with regard to the size of the balls I could use.

I would like to use as large a size as possible but before I go out and spend more money on props, I'd like to know what restrictions larger balls will place on the routines.

I have a handspans of 8.5" and 9" - would 2.5" or 2.75" balls still be suitable for this type of manipulation or would that kind of size prohibit their use for this purpose?

many thanks,

Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Aug 26, 2005 09:15AM)
Play with regular high bounce or toy balls to see what you are comfortable with. It will take some time for your hands to adjust to being stretched but it will be worth it to use the largest balls possible. I know Frank Radtke made a special set of balls for Levent that were 2 1/2". That is pretty big.

Do some moves and see if you can handle the angles that larger balls need to have.

Hope that helps.

Message: Posted by: coleman (Aug 26, 2005 09:43AM)
Excellent - that definitely helps.

judging from the kind of span I can currently get between my index and middle fingers, 2" is just about comfortable whereas 2.5" is quite forced - hopefully with time, I can get 2.5" to feel comfortable...

the reason I ask is because I'll be getting hold of some silicone balls soon anyway and would like to use them for both this and bounce juggling.

2.75" would be my preferred size for juggling but hopefully I can manage to use 2.5" balls for both purposes.

I'll be sure to let you know how they pan out for me for billiard ball manipulation.

many thanks for your help richard,

cole. x
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Aug 26, 2005 03:51PM)
With your hands and your fingers spread out flat, get two balls and stick one between the first (fore) finger and the second finger. Then stick a second ball between the second finger and the third finger. Now holding the two balls in place by the strength/pressure of just those fingers touch the second finger to the thumb. The balls should stay in place easily. If they drop then go to the next smaller diameter. If it is way easy to hold them then go to the next larger ball. Eventually you will find the diameter that works best for your hand.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Aug 26, 2005 08:54PM)
Earl Ray Wilcox used balls that were rather large. I think they were 3" or 3 1/2" in diameter. He didn't use a s***l and used only three balls. The way he held the balls in the hand was different, too.
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Aug 26, 2005 10:58PM)
I worked on shows with Earl two or three times. He used 2" Fakini balls without a s***l.

Message: Posted by: coleman (Aug 27, 2005 06:13AM)
Thanks for that harry.

I tried with 3" and they are definitely too large.

hopefully with some work 2.5" will be okay.
should be getting hold of some balls ine the next few weeks so I'll find out soon...

Message: Posted by: four elements (Aug 27, 2005 08:43AM)
That sounds like a great tip to measure your current capability. I have been looking for that type of guidance also on coins and cards. Do you have any other rules of thumb(no pun intended)?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 27, 2005 12:57PM)
Put 4 balls between each finger of one hand. The tell tail for me is the pinkie finger. If it can't hold the balls then use a smaller size. To be quite honest, I have only heard of 2" as the largest being used. Then if you are aware of your shirt color or jacket color in contrast to your balls they will see them just fine.

Note: I do not think billard balls wood or Fakini make for the best juggling balls. You should use one type of ball for juggling and another for the mulitplying, productions and vanishes. This is not to say you can't use magic item, Tim Wright has a nice 'drop - ball return' during his billard ball routine. But it is limited and adds that 'special surprise' to his routine.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 27, 2005 02:41PM)
Frank Garcia had a rather large set of Fakini balls.

The Fakini balls are the same kind of material as silicone juggling balls.

However, I don't believe you really want the maximum size ball you can cram between your fingers. You also need to be able to manipulate them comfortably. Weight is a factor as well as size.

A 2 inch white or yellow ball looks very large to the audience.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Aug 27, 2005 06:00PM)
I also would just test out what size balls work best for you. I use 1 3/4 as well as 2 inch balls also and find them to work the best for me. I can do a lot of the moves and can be seen easily from the stage. I prefer the solid whgite balls as the contrasts shows up really well against my outfit etc.

Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Aug 28, 2005 08:20AM)
On 2005-08-26 23:58, hugmagic wrote:
I worked on shows with Earl two or three times. He used 2" Fakini balls without a s***l.

I knew Earl, well, and visited him often. His balls were definitely bigger than 2". I saw the things many times. I used 2" balls and his were much bigger.