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Topic: Don Wayne Floating Ball
Message: Posted by: ladpromenades (Nov 10, 2002 10:26AM)
I am considering purchasing the Don Wayne Floating Ball but I have a few questions about it first. I have seen David Copperfield perform it on the Magic of David Copperfield II and I really liked it. Does this illusion require a massive stage? Does it also require "assistants" backstage to control the movement of the ball? I have also heard of a version of this trick called "Braco's Floating Ball." Which trick is the better deal? Which trick is more complex? I would really appreciate any input.
Message: Posted by: jrabenho (Nov 10, 2002 01:52PM)
I'm not sure about Braco's method of the floating ball. But I do know that Don Wayne's version does require assistants . It also requires other special considerations. If you are looking for a more reasonable floating ball, then look into a zombie. That can be performed under almost any conditions.

John
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Nov 11, 2002 06:56AM)
I agree with jrbenho. Although the effect doesn't require a massive stage setting, the Don Wayne version does require special lighting and a "busy" back drop. (Of course the more massive the stage, the further the audience is away - which is conducive to this particular effect.)

There is a way to perform the DWFB solo. The instructions that accompany the effect tell you how to set it up for one man operation. This is the way I used it.

I liked the effect, but found that I had sporadic problems with the gimmick.

I'm afraid I can't comment on Braco's version... I'm not familiar with it. Hope this helped.

Lyndel
Message: Posted by: John (Nov 29, 2002 10:10AM)
There are numerous threads in this forum on the "Braco Floating Ball." The general consensus seems to be that the ad is misleading, the method impractical and the offering in general "a piece of junk." Mike Ching is an expert on the floating ball effect.
Message: Posted by: Magicduck (Nov 30, 2002 11:45AM)
A couple other sources: The pamphlet "One Man Floating Light Bulb Effects" by Burling Hull would work exactly the same with the ball. Also, Okito was one of the first to turn this into a popular effect. I know he has books describing his secret. This is an effect that you will either be doing on a stage, or like most of us, merely enjoying playing around with it in the living room...where it looks great.
quack
Message: Posted by: Saydean (Dec 3, 2002 10:13AM)
OK, I have used the DWFB for a few years, Yes there are some concerns on lighting and you do need a backstager BUT,it's awesome!

I think this is one of the most magical illusions you can do. Small stage or big it works really well.

You do need a lot of rehearshal time to perfect the smooth moves. I have combined the floating ball with several other illusions such as disembodied princess where the ball passes thru the open space where my partner "stands" on the ball and raises into the air (3 in 1).
Message: Posted by: Dr.Maya Baalaamurugaan (Sep 13, 2004 01:48AM)
DWFB is the best floating ball I have ever seen. I have tried something similar in a pub using just my own imagination: a ball and ITR, with an assistant!
Message: Posted by: MarkTripp (Sep 13, 2004 06:23AM)
However, one needs to read the Burling Hull book to get the point that the one man floating light bulb is vastly superior to the floating ball because there is now a reason to dim the lights. You want people to see the bulb is lit.

I would place my attentions there.
Message: Posted by: The Mirror Images (Sep 13, 2004 07:11AM)
Lyndel

I disagree with a busy background. You can get a way with out a busy background. Do your lighting right and you got this made in the shade.

Michael
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 11, 2004 06:00PM)
Aloha:

I've been fascinated with the Floating/Animation effects since I was 10. In 1991 wrote NEW ANIMATIONS THE DANCING HANDKERCHIEF BOOK that put me in touch with a lot of the finest performers of the DH, and many of them have had versions of the FLOATING BALL as well.

I have been working on a second book of floating ball/object ideas and have looked at many methods. Could give you a lot of info, but here is what I think you can use at this time:

Some facts:
1. The DON WAYNE ball is an excellent FB prop (I have gone through 3) It is lightweight (as Don calls it) "Space age plastic" in beautiful chrome finish, relatively durable, and can take a few falls though I reccomend practicing over carpeted areas if possible. Minor mars or scratches dissappear onstage. I reccomend it as the best commercially available ball on the open market.


The DON WAYNE Ball comes with two methods. I suspect it is no great secret that The first (Solo method) seems a variation of the routine popularized by OKITO/TOBIAS BAMBERG. I believe LANCE Burton does a variation of it with his sphereical birdcage, probably the best known such routine today.


The beauty of this technique is that the ball moves as the performer moves and it is obvious on some level that it is HIS skill that makes the effect work. If your routine is well thought out and rehearsed (this requires an enourmous amount of rehearsal to do smoothly) the crowd responds for the effect, AND for your skill.

Another method is Operator driven (a single operator prefereably skilled in dance or other body-control discipline). Copperfield used this method on television, I suspect, because it give a greater impression of "independent movement" between ball and performer.

Performer/Operator rehearsals need to work to coordinate movement action between Magician and ball to give the impression the performer is in control(where in the solo method the goal is to create the impression of seperation when possible).

This method is "initially easier" but still don't expect to pick it up and do it next week. Audiences applaude when the FB is done well because they sense the cleverness, difficulty, thought and rehearsal that goes into a GOOD routine. There is no way to get around the thought and rehearsal, and that is why you so rarely see free-floating ball routines done by amateurs and even semi-pros.

I really hope to do a lecture on this worldwide someday, the methods and tech on this effect are fascinating and new ideas are always being created! I've done the lecture locally (in Hawaii) a couple times now and it is always well attended and well recieved.

Just remember the many performers who put so much of their thought and time and work into the Floating ball and dancing hank. If you actually get into the work you will be humbled by their contributions. (We stand on the shoulders of giants).

look to the work of Blackstone Sr. and Blackstone Jr. Thurston, Okito ("The Albo Book" is very expensive and hard to find but the ultimate work on his FB version), Burling Hulls book is a must have for your floating library too. ANY book by Finn Jonn. Sorry no time.

(RE: BRACO, he wrote the excellent booklet "FLOATING ROUTINES FOR TABLE AND STAGE" I highly reccomend it. Sorry I am not familiar with his commercially available floating ball).

Floating and animation effects are the most captivating and delightful in magic. But done well, I suspect they are also the most rare.

I see some great ideas today from Sean Begonia, Dirk Losander, Tommy Wonder, Kevin James, several others, and of course, the Master, Finn Jonn. Yet still there is so much to be learned. :)

Hope that helps a little. if you are interested in this topic please let me know. If I have time I will post!

Magical Aloha;

-MikeC
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 11, 2004 11:40PM)
Before you throw all of the Braco floating illusions out like you throw the baby out with the bathwater, let me point out that there are several different "Braco Floating Ball" methods. The current one from Europe has been generally dismissed as a dog. There are things in the manuscript that are doable, but it definitely is not THE DEFINITIVE floating ball.

Braco had an earlier release that is similar in method to the Don Wayne Floating Ball. I recently received a copy of it from him. This manuscript has not been translated into English yet.

It is a one person method. It does not use the h***** f***** b******. I'm going to investigate it and see if he wants me to translate it into English. If this happens, and it is different enough from the Don Wayne method, I will let all of you know about it.

I have to see if it predates Don's work on the floating ball before I can justify the work necessary to publish it.
Message: Posted by: Doha Dealer (Oct 12, 2004 02:35AM)
If you are not keen on using a complicated method then I would recommend going for Mike Danata's floating ball.

This is very strong and very well routined. The routine is something like this:

Remove ball from top hat on table, ring is around your head. walk away from table and float ball between your hands, let ot go up and down. Take ring off your head and watch ball float up through it. spin the ring around the ball - this is very deceptive and it seems impossible that the ball can be suspended in front of you. You finish by watching the ball float back to the table and down into the hat (you can be several meters from the table).

It used to be available from Repro Magic in the UK, not sure if it still is.
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 15, 2004 02:02AM)
Sorry, not familiar with Mike Danatas' FB. Got a link to it?
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Oct 15, 2004 03:22AM)
Contact Mike Danata direct from his website:

http://www.mikedanatasmagicstudio.co.uk/
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 15, 2004 02:10PM)
Mahalo for the tip Lee
-MC
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Oct 16, 2004 04:48AM)
[quote]
On 2004-10-15 15:10, Mike Ching (Hawaii) wrote:
Mahalo for the tip Lee
-MC
[/quote]

You guys fascinate me with only twelve letters in your alphabet!
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 16, 2004 01:46PM)
Lol Yeah Lee;

Just a greeting from Paradise to start your day. If you're not into Hawaiian, "Mahalo" means Thank You. Did Email M. Danata so hope to get more info on this set up. Great lead.

Just a note to avoid some confusion, I see "Ralph Wicchmann" and "Bracco" mentioned here. Believe "Bracco" is the Stage Name of "Ralph Wicchman". I understand Wichmman has a stage character of an "older" magician. A character he can "Grow into" while remaining vital. Very clever.

PS: I'm actually not Hawaiian, but we use those words interchangeably over here. I'm actually Chinese-Portuguese-Irish (Yeah, you probably run into that everyday!)

Very much enjoying this topic.

Hope you are all having a busy weekend!

-Magical Aloha
-MikeC

Hey Lee, Guys (& Girls);

Did get in touch with MIKE DANATA re his Floating Ball. (Told him about Magic Café, maybe he will stop in?)

YEs this sounds like a very practical set up. It is not currently in production though he is interested in updating & selling it. I hope so.

I can see this being ideal for most stage & cruise ship work. I believe you are able to walk on with the table, place it and walk (away) back still working the ball. Finish Clean. Nice.

He also mentions the latest FINN JONN Video which I would like to find: "THE INCOMPARABLE FINN JONN". I can search for it, just wanted to know if anyone knew a shop carrying it offhand? Wonder how recent this video is? (I am a HUGE Fan of FINN JONN's work).

Anyway Mike Danata, if you get here, let me be the first to welcome you!

Aloha
-MikeC
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Oct 20, 2004 06:42PM)
Mikale, He mea iki!
ko'u hoaloha!

If Mike Danata gets here let me be the second to say "E komo mai!" to him. I saw him in Greece on Rhodes Island when he was doing his Barry Manilow look and sing a like magic act. Poetry! (The act included the floating ball that this thread is all about).

If you want a self contained floating ball there is the one with a see through cloth ( the name slips me), but the moves are rather limited.
Unlike the zombie however it does float either side and completely away from the cloth right down to the floor and above the cloth ( rather like Losander's bubble before the zombie part of this).

It is a cheap alternative and may be worth looking into.

A hui hou!
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 20, 2004 07:55PM)
Not Bad Lee, are you part Hawaiian too?

(For Mike Danatas' reference, "E Komo Mai" means "Welcome".)

* * * Per Lees' last post:

If you want a self contained floating ball there is the one with a see through cloth ( the name slips me), but the moves are rather limited.

Unlike the zombie however it does float either side and completely away from the cloth right down to the floor and above the cloth ( rather like Losander's bubble before the zombie part of this).

* * *

Hmmm... Sound a lot like ASTROSPHERE?

Some General Thoughts re: General practical floating, (expanding on some of the ideas above also).

Some suggestions:

If you perform under NUMEROUS DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES without much control of your LIGHTING & ANGLES:

* ZOMBI is probably your most practical, do-able Floating effect.

Though not exactly "Free-floating", the audience "remembers" it that way. (There are some nice "Advanced moves" in JEFF McBrideS' Video "MCBRIDE MAGIC ONSTAGE VOL. 3". I very much reccomend getting it to do a ZOMBI routine with the best manipulations currently possible).

Its' ability to be done under many (sometimes hostile) conditions made it a favorite with magicians on the "Niteclub" curcuit in the 40's and 50's

(ZOMBI creator, American JOE KARSON had a reputation of being a very fine NITECLUB performer. He apparently picked up a toilet tank ball one day and pondered the possibilities... The rest is History. If his family had royalties from every ZOMBI sold... It boggles the mind.)

* In a similar vein you could also perform a good FLOATING TABLE routine (Such as DIRK LOSANDERS. I've seen Dirk do this live and RIDICULOUSLY Close-up. Its' truly an "all-condition" wonder).

2. If you have SOME CONSISTENT CONTROL of LIGHTING & ANGLES (Audience mostly out front, Major light sources being
* colored lights from directly overhead or from the sides.
* No strong WHITE lighting from directly in front,
* and audiences starting at around 12 feet,
You can likely perform:

* KEVIN JAMES'FLOATING ROSE
(A FLOATING EFFECT that doesn't start out as a FLOATING EFFECT, but as

1. an Animated ball of crushed paper,
2. then Paper fold to rose,
3. then a BRIEFLY floating Paper Rose,
4. and finally a visible suprising transformation to a real Rose
5. AND a GIVEAWAY to the lady!

(From a ROUTINING standpoint it keeps the audience guessing, a series of smaller effects that leads to an emotional payoff. It is practical and do-able. Hmmm, why am I not doing this trick?)

* ASTROSPHERE

A good effect, though there are many models and unfortunately some are buit far better than others. There is a line involved though generally camoflauged, but it is "Hanging out there" sometimes and close Platform use should probably be avoided.

Still, if you find a number of dramatic poses, you can sell it well as an artistic presentation.

I find it pretty, but wish there were a greater degree of seperation of ball and cloth. This method will suprise audience members familiar with the ZOMBI technique (Legion unfortunately).

The absolute best Video version of ASTROSPHERE I've seen is in a Japanese "Magic Video DEMO" catalog circa about '94 performed by an older Japanese gentleman.

More thoughts later.

Magical Aloha
-MikeC
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Oct 21, 2004 01:42AM)
[quote]
On 2004-10-20 20:55, Mike Ching (Hawaii) wrote:
Not Bad Lee, are you part Hawaiian too?

The absolute best Video version of ASTROSPHERE I've seen is in a Japanese "Magic Video DEMO" catalog circa about '94 performed by an older Japanese gentleman.

More thoughts later.

Magical Aloha
-MikeC
[/quote]

No Mike I am not Hawaiian, or even part Hawaiian - I just wanted you to feel at home! (Oh the wonders of the search engine - hey that's just blown my secret!! - Aiâ!Auê!).

Thank you for a great post - you summed up the effects well. Yes it is Astrophere that I am talking about. Mine I purchased from Hungary, although I am not sure if it was made there too. The box says Butterfly Ball.
The demo at the convention was done on a dealers stand in bog standard daylight at close range, and there was still nothing to be seen ( the selling point). I have had it years and it is still as good as new, even after hundreds of performances.

For a "dancey" performance this is great as you can expand your moves. For the "straight" magician the moves are very limited.

I would love to see the Japanese magician do this on the video. They seem to have such finesse are are always more relaxed and graceful! Any ideas who this is?
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 21, 2004 06:36AM)
Re: Japanese ASTROSPHERE Demo Video

It was on a VHS owned by Jimmy Yoshida shown at a SAM mtg at his home. I see him on occassion. Will ask him about it. I'd like to see it again too.

Will let you know.

-MC

Hmmm which reminds me of something else...

Re: your mention:

"For a "dancey" performance this is great as you can expand your moves. For the "straight" magician the moves are very limited."

Excellent point Lee. ZOMBI, ASTROSPHERE & most Floating tricks really are "FULL BODY" routines. That is, the audience is very aware of the perfomers Expressions, posture and attitude towards the ball. Full-body mirror or video rehearsal is virtually a must to create an excellent routine.

The trick isn't just a "Floating Ball", it's YOU floating the BALL.

Which makes me think of this from another angle:
What are the "TOP TEN" Mistakes in most ZOMBI routines?!

As ARNOLD would say "...I'll be back..."

MikeC
Message: Posted by: LeeAlex2002 (Oct 21, 2004 12:01PM)
TOP TEN MISTAKES IN A ZOMBIE ROUTINE:

(Not in any particular order)

1) The Ball when not "floating" and held away from the cloth ( for example at the beginning or end of the routine) is shown to be lightweight. This could be by having the ball tossed lightly in the air and caught.

2) The cloth. This can be too large, too heavy, too light, too "bordered" - so many cloths are bordered black to hide the gimmick which in my opinion always leads to suspicions, too "glitzy" - many a time I have seen a cloth which takes away from the beauty of the ball, which is the centrepoint of this effect, not the cloth itself.

3) The way the cloth is held. Too many times ( in fact 99.9% of the time )I see the left and right hand holding the corners of the cloth in completely different ways. The "holding hand" is always untidy and unnatural, whereas the non-holding hand merely pinches the other corner.

4)The ball doesn't float. The idea of the zombie is that the ball is floating, but too many times I have seen the ball just stuck on the edge of the cloth, covered and the nasty move of the ball pulling the magician.

5)(See above) - "The nasty move of the ball pulling the magician". This is not the ball taking over the magician, but merely the ball's attempt to float higher. To make this move convincing the whole body needs to be used, including the hands, arms and shoulders working separately, and the feet,legs and main body following suit in the appropriate way - but again all separately ( rather like a chain reaction). I should imagine that Jeff McBride with his mime training would be able to pull this off well, although I have never seen him perform the zombie.
Too many times we see the ball go up in such a rigid way, which screams the method.

6)The method. The zombie has been exposed many times as a comedy gag ( and unfortunately through bad performance), and is well known to the lay audience. The most common mistake is to enhance the feeling of this method, as opposed to presenting a "new effect" which has never been seen before. This does not necessarily mean to change the ball to another object, but to present the effect as a floating ball in a poetical, magical way, choreographed to music. Too many times acts have background music which neither fits their own style, nor the style of the effect in question.

7)Concentration on the gimmick. This often happens at the end - although can happen anywhere in a routine. The magician is intent on hiding the gimmick and shows this through physical looks or body language/ stiff moves. The gaze should ponder on the ball, but also involve the audience. Often the magi is intent on watching what is happening in his own hands and never keeps contact with his public.

8)Length and position of the ball. Either the cloth size is wrong, or the gimmick size is wrong. This leads to the ball being lost under too much cloth, or the ball being on the edge of the cloth biased towards the gimmick.
I have found that the ideal length of gimmick ends with the ball in the crock of the elbow, and the cloth from the finger tips to the inner shoulder ( ie right to the point of where the shoulder begins). I have found it is much safer to have your own cloth made ( or make it yourself) than to buy a ready made cloth).

9) Overtime! This goes for most floating effects and is not peculiar to the zombie. A short sharp, jawdropping, leave them wanting more is far more impressive than a lengthy under choreographed, under rehearsed, out of synch epic. Short and sweet is the secret to timie.

10) I'll leave this to Mike - my dinner is ready on the table!

Theese are just a few thoughts thrown together - yuk, rather like the dinner in question.
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Oct 21, 2004 12:56PM)
[quote]

5)(See above) - "The nasty move of the ball pulling the magician". This is not the ball taking over the magician, but merely the ball's attempt to float higher. To make this move convincing the whole body needs to be used, including the hands, arms and shoulders working separately, and the feet,legs and main body following suit in the appropriate way - but again all separately ( rather like a chain reaction). I should imagine that Jeff McBride with his mime training would be able to pull this off well, although I have never seen him perform the zombie.
[/quote]

Jeff has a section on the Zombie in the Stage Magic videos and he does address the "getaway ball" move. Personally, I have always disliked this move because it is illogical (Oh no! My brother's opinion of me as Mr. Spock may just be right :))

When I usually see this move done, the magician mimes that he is being carried away by the ball - even to the point of jumping into the air. It seems to me that no matter how hard that ball pulls away from you, it is not going to lift you off the ground, or even move you at all. What would really happen is the ball would fly out from under the cloth. (It's just a light covering over the ball, not a bag around it)

On Jeff's videos, however, he seems to understand this logic. He anticipates the ball will move one way and it goes the other. His struggle is not to keep the ball down, but to keep the cloth over the ball. It is very convincing.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 21, 2004 01:25PM)
One of the best treatises on the Zombie is Al Schneider's book. His theory is extremely sound and makes for a truly consistent presentation.
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 21, 2004 04:28PM)
Good posts.

Especially like the observation on routine length. After spending 3 years actively phone & archive researching the dancing Hank Book with numerous interviews (and logically along the way, floating Ball techniques) I had seen many videos of the best floating routines, over and over.

Some conclusions:

1. Yes, (novices especially) tend to do floating (most likely ZOMBI) routines 'way past the audiences optimum span of interest.

2. Personally it appears to me that the optimum "Free animating" or "Free floating" periods of most well thought out routines (the period the object actually "moves on its own power" or for example, the length of time the hank moves about when out of Harry Blackstone Jrs' hands) is usually about 2 to 2.5 minutes. Tops.

From my own lecture on Stage Floating, C. 2000 here is a slightly stripped down version of a "Map" for a strong floating routine.

* * *

“Classic Floating Routine outline”

1. The “Reveal” of the props
The ball is ‘revealed” to the audience in a magical, pleasing or interesting way.

2. “Cling” or “Balance” moves
Ball does not immediately free-float, but “clings” or balances on performers’ fingertips, clothing, or other props. Clings or balances are often thought of as “throwaway” effects, but are very pleasing and actually capable of applause.

3. “Animations Bits”
Ball begins to show signs of intelligence and personality by moving about objects,
or a performers’ person, but not actually free-floating yet. Capable of applause.

4. “Suspended in space / Stationary Floating”
Often, performer holds ball precariously between fingertips of both hands and dramatically withdraws them leaving ball floating in space. Momentary freeze pose. Capable of applause.

5. “Active Floating”
The actual free-floating routine displaying the balls’ range of movements, and the performers creativity, expertise and style. In these early moments of free floating, ball still remains fairly close to performer so as to give the audience other possibilities besides open lines to consider.
Likely applause.

6. The “High Float” or “Far Float”
Ball floats a significant distance away from performer. Often, performer and ball go into “freeze-pose” to sell this highlight. A once-and-for-all statement that Magician and ball are “not connected in any way” (except magic!). Likely applause.

7. “Return to performer”
Ball smoothly and intelligently returns to performer. A demonstration of closure and control. Audiences realizes this is the climax of routine. This “Primes” them for final applause.

The Strongest Routines: Short and impressive
Good Floating routines, while extremely memorable, actually do not take up much stage time. Blackstone Jr.’s Dancing Handkerchief only moved about 2 1/2 minutes. Lance Burtons’ “Birdcage” version of the Okito routine is shorter still.
The idea is to lead up to the main (floating) event with a variety of “bits” such as animation, clinging and intelligent behavior, then go to the greater-interest building stationary float,
active float, and c climax with a far float, high float and impressive return to the performer.
Use rehearsal to discover what you do well, do it and “get the heck out of there”. Interest will remain high as long as the audience senses the routine is “going somewhere”. But repetitive moves and an apparent lack of direction can cause attention to slide quickly.
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Oct 21, 2004 05:45PM)
Excellent thoughts Mike. I especially like the distinction between stationary floating and active floating.

On a side note, it is interesting to me that a lot of close-up performers seem to understand the time limitation in a floating effect better than stage performers do. A typical floating bill routine is short and sweet, but stage performers tend to do too much. Maybe its because stage magicians work with music and try to get their effect to fit the song. Then again, stage magicians aren't that worried the audience will grab the gimmick out of their hands to see how it works :)

Richard
Message: Posted by: magia355 (Oct 21, 2004 07:05PM)
Well, I tell you I have used DWFB in numerous venues and all with great success. I use a mylard backdrop that prevens any issues and can be viewed as close as 5 feet with no problems. Even though this effect requires more than one person as stated in the instructions, it can be easily performed solo, like I have always, working great. I cannot recommend this effect highly enough. Great effect and great product.
Message: Posted by: WRandall (Nov 3, 2004 03:13PM)
Mike, thank you for your thorough analysis of the floating ball. If I ever plan on doing an FB, I'll definitely be checking back here for a brush-up.

Will
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Jan 1, 2005 07:11PM)
RE: MYLAR BACKDROP

I used to use the same for floating/animation routines until I decided the sparkling seemed a bit heavy-handed and obvious. In other words, yes, it makes lines vanish fairly effectively, though its kind of like "Hitting them over the head" with your technique for doing so. I've actually seen people complain that it is TOO distracting, and if too strongly lit, is actually hard to look at.

if the audience is very close, Mylar is a good bet, but many professional productions tend to go with "eyelash" curtain. "Bead Drops" are often used in Vegas, though I must confess I find their patterns predictable and often catch lines against them myself. I personally would not reccomend them.

While doing research for NEW ANIMATIONS /The Dancing Handkerchief Book (C.1991)ctually wrote a whole chapter on floating hardware (lines-lighting-backdrop) and have since discovered several backdrops and stage situations that are much more subtle and pleasing. I continue to keep notes when I find a new one.

Will be lecturing for the local IBM in late January 2005 here in Honolulu. that lecture will include a few new floating ideas I've not seen elsewhere. if any of you are passing through drop me a line and we'll try to get you in.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jan 1, 2005 09:11PM)
[quote]
On 2004-10-18 14:38, Mike Ching (Hawaii) wrote:
Hey Lee, Guys (& Girls);

Did get in touch with MIKE DANATA re his Floating Ball. (Told him about Magic Café, maybe he will stop in?)

YEs this sounds like a very practical set up. It is not currently in production though he is interested in updating & selling it. I hope so.

I can see this being ideal for most stage & cruise ship work. I believe you are able to walk on with the table, place it and walk (away) back still working the ball. Finish Clean. Nice.

He also mentions the latest FINN JONN Video which I would like to find: "THE INCOMPARABLE FINN JONN". I can search for it, just wanted to know if anyone knew a shop carrying it offhand? Wonder how recent this video is? (I am a HUGE Fan of FINN JONN's work).

Anyway Mike Danata, if you get here, let me be the first to welcome you!

Aloha
-MikeC
[/quote]

Check out Steves Magic for the new Finn Jon Video.
http://www.stevesmagic.com
Message: Posted by: oagwood (Jan 1, 2005 11:46PM)
A better link is http://www.stevensmagic.com

oliver
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 4, 2005 03:20PM)
Thanks for the links. There is no one more prolific and more knowledeable than Finn Jonn. Just my opinion, but Of the current crop he is the best. I very much hope to meet him someday, remember his performance on a 70's show with his cabaret floating ball. he not only does it well, he knows how to make the audience CARE about it.

Go Finn Jonn!
Message: Posted by: Crispy (Oct 5, 2005 02:31AM)
Just have to say that anyone doing the zombie now or interested in doing the zombie should watch Lance Burton's FIRST appearance on the Tonight Show. This is not his "floating birdcage," but is the standard zombie ball that anyone can buy at a magic shop for twenty bucks. Watching this performance will give you an appreciation that the effect comes not from the method, but from the technique and skill of the performer. He does the zombie more convincibly than anyone I've ever seen.

Cris
Message: Posted by: Farrell (Oct 5, 2005 01:29PM)
Also speaking of Zombie Ball IMO Dale Salwak is the best at it.
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Oct 5, 2005 01:38PM)
I realize this is a departure from the main topic, but I would be interested in hearing what you guys think is the best Zombie presentation you've seen. Aside from the two already mentioned, I would have to add Neil Foster's routine. It is spectacular.

Thanks,
Richard
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 5, 2005 01:51PM)
There was a guy featured briefly on the old TV series THE MAGICIAN. He did a brief Zombi routine, kind of fast and very unorthodox. Moves just looked impossible. I'm sure Lance Burton does a great routine, wish I'd seen it. Is that his ZOMBI Birdcage?

Foster and Salwak are great of course though I have never seen a particularly good video (Quality of Video) of either unfortunately. There is footage on (I think) TIM WRIGHTS' ZOMBIE video (on sale at Meir Yedid's on VHS for $10 on closeout, good video: http://www.mymagic.com/specials.htm )
Message: Posted by: rtgreen (Oct 5, 2005 03:28PM)
Yes, there is footage of Foster on the Tim Wright video. It is a tape of a convention performance. There is also an early performance on one of the Magic Ranch videos. I'll have to check out the Magician videos (I collected them)and find the performance there.

BTW: Is Lance's Tonight Show appearance available anywhere?

Thanks,
Richard
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 5, 2005 06:40PM)
For those who have written me regaurding "NEW ANIMATIONS" Dancing Hank/Floating technique book, It has been re-released and is now available from a number of shops.

Unfortunately I am currently sold out so you need to order from dealers. (We are printing soon, but need have the foil Cover plate re-done as the original covers are depleted and the initial plate was lost so it may look slightly different). ALL legitimate copies of this book are both signed and numbered.

For those in this forum interested in stage object floating I will keep you posted as new items and manuscripts come up!

-MC
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Feb 16, 2006 07:17AM)
Aloha

Will be at WORLD MAGIC SEMINAR next week. A window of opportunity just opened up, so am Bringing copies of NEW ANIMATIONS and my STAGE FLOATING lecture materials thought I am NOT booked to work the convention and am told by some it is probably too late for a private venue to book me, still I head to California right after (Anaheim) so there are other possibilities. Also scrambling to complete a book on New/Classic Floating object designs: "Fantastic Floating" C. '06.

(I could just let this slide and not even try, but I've learned the hard way that unless I give myself deadlines I will never strive to complete any of the 101 projects I work on at any one time. Frankly my experience has been that these things usually work out one way or another. At the very least you learn a lot.)

Anyway, after doing it 3 times in Hawaii, feel it has a lot to offer most magicians in terms of making stage line work understandable. If anyone out there knows a venue in Vegas or CA who can help me or host it I would very much like to hear from you. Thanks to those of you who emailed and let me know you were interested. At the very least, find me at the convention and say hello.

Magical Aloha;

-MikeC
(808) 836-1800
Message: Posted by: ricker (Feb 16, 2006 07:58AM)
Mike,

What about one of the Magic Shops in L.A. I know one of them has regular seminars.

I love your book. You combine your knowledge and experince, add the Don Wayne/Sean Bogunia dancing hank in and wow, a whole act and more.

Maybe you should talk to Michael Baker and Bob Sanders about coming to SEAM here in August. I know for sure I'd love to see a lecture by you.

Hmm and you have lecture notes too on state floating... ;)

Best

Rick
Message: Posted by: SBogunia (Feb 16, 2006 12:42PM)
Very soon PTS will have a add on that will Do Don's Floating ball
BUT the big problem is that Don no longer makes this ball. I have had all kinds of trouble trying to find one. my company is looking in to making a much better ball for magicians
with no big seam..
Message: Posted by: The Drake (Feb 16, 2006 12:52PM)
Hi Sean,

Indeed Don is making the balls again.

Best,

Tim
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Feb 16, 2006 03:50PM)
Hey Sean! Let me know if you find a good manufacturer with similar lightweight chrome materials. I am looking to produce a lightweight 7" ball for a different gimmick. Yes as Tim mentioned, Don has created a new batch.

Tim, I hope to download your video as soon as I upgrade the speed on my computer. Hearing much nifty things here about your routine. Also photo is very sharp.

Mirror images, enjoyed your video (although mentioned, my download time is so slow).

Aloha

MC
Message: Posted by: Mike Ching (Oct 21, 2006 01:28AM)
Hi All

If anyone still checks this thread, my latests run of NEW ANIMATIONS is nearly sold out, but still available from me direct. (All copies of N.A. are signed and numbered.)

I have a lecture on Floating ball work that is slowly evolving from notes to actual book similar to N.Animations, and I have some new spins on floating ball that I hope to market openly soon. (Some pros have asked me to use certain of these ideas, and I just got back from doing some floating consulting for one Showroom Act. I think you floating enthusiasts will find some very exciting ideas coming up in the near future.)

Best Wishes

-MikeC