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Topic: Don Wayne's Floating Ball
Message: Posted by: snedglow (Feb 9, 2004 12:28PM)
I am thinking about purchasing an illusion called THe Floating Ball, by Don Wayne.

It is, or so I hear, the one performed by Copperfield; and sells for $60.

Has anyone purchased it and performed it and was it worth it?

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 9, 2004 12:44PM)
Weither it was performed by Copperfield, I am not really sure.

What you get is a very nice ball and instuctions. You need a stage like in a theater to perform this item besides stage hands. Not much of a routine is included and no ideas on presentation. Then a lot of rehearsel is needed.
Message: Posted by: snedglow (Feb 9, 2004 12:48PM)
Thanks wmhegbli.

You mean I'd [i]need[/i] an assistant to perform it? And it couldn't be done relatively close?

Thanks for the quick reply!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 9, 2004 01:01PM)
Yes, it is only for a full stage show, lights, wings, etc.

Performing stage as in New York plays. You will also need correct lighting.
Message: Posted by: truthteller (Feb 9, 2004 02:09PM)
The official Wayne version requires two assistants. You can get by with one. In both cases you require a full stage set up. For those environments, it is probably the most magical floating ball routine extant.
Message: Posted by: snedglow (Feb 9, 2004 08:01PM)
Two assistants?!? Heck, I can't even afford one yet!

That one's going to be waiting in the wings (pun intended!) for awhile!
Message: Posted by: Scott Ocheltree (Feb 22, 2004 06:58PM)
The Don Wayne ball is the one that David Copperfield used back in the late 70's or early 80's. The method is essentially the same as the Okito (Theo Bamberg) floating ball.

Bill is correct, this is a stage effect. I'm not looking at my manuscript for it, but I'm pretty sure that only the more advanced routine requires a single off-stage assistant. There is a more basic hook-up which can be done without an assistant.

That being said, the rest of Bill's requirements...
Full Stage with wings....required
Special lighting.............required
Lots of rehearsal...........REQUIRED
Message: Posted by: Chance Wolf (Feb 26, 2004 11:58PM)
I hate to disagree with everyone above but this effect does NOT require any assistants if you choose so. The Signle Man method may not be as dramatic but it can be VERY effective as I performed it many times by myself.
I did it in a less than large area but you DO need to control the lighting. It does require a lot of rehearsal but anything good should take practice.
Rather than typing my brains out, you can call me for the performance details if you choose to buy this. PM me for my phone #.
I actually did this in a Bar type setting and sent the ball right over the heads of the audience with out anybody wise to the method. However you MUST have control of the lighting as said before.
Don't be paranoid to buy this...it can KILL if you take note of every performance detail.
Take care,
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 27, 2004 01:27AM)
Chance Wolf,

I realize there are ways to do the floating ball with 1 person. But the instructions that come with the ball do not discribe a 1 man version. It would mean buying alot of other books and ideas.

As I don't know what type of effort the person wants to put into the effect I cannot recommend it as is. I own this superior ball myself but it cannot be done at birthday parties.
Message: Posted by: Shawn Farquhar (Mar 5, 2004 06:03PM)
There is an excellent book called Animations by, I believe Michael Chung from Hawaii. It is and excellent source of information on floating anything.

I have a tape here of David doing a Silver Ball...not mirror on a special and I also have one of Doug Henning using the same style, if not exactly the same, ball. I recall the Loni Anderson mirror ball routine but think David did several version of the ball effect.


Message: Posted by: Scott Ocheltree (Mar 9, 2004 11:25PM)
Had to dig to find this stuff - Back when I dreamed of being a stage magician I bought this. I have it in my closet still in the original box. Tried it out a couple times - never had a venue for it. If you'd like to buy it from me send me a PM. (though I don't swear that I'll sell it - the dreamer still lives inside me)

As I sit here looking at the directions sheet which came with it in 1979, I see that you get a basic One-Man method for floating the ball. No routine is included.

The Don Wayne Floating Ball Manuscript (sold separately!) is referenced on the sheet. Two other sources cited on the sheet are "David P. Abbott's Book of Mysteries", and "The Oriental Magic of the Bambergs".

I have the original Don Wayne Manuscript. It describes two different riggings, both which require an off-stage assistant, and includes a full routine, as well as a discussion of lighting and backdrops.

I was fortunate to find "The Oriental Magic of the Bambergs" by Dr. Albo in the collection of the local university. A beautiful oversized book limited to 500 copies. The information in this book is much more detailed with 20f illustrations of this effect. Okito's floating ball is a one-man method - and basically the same one that Don Wayne originally included with the ball.

On the opening page of the manuscript, Don Wayne says his method "was first performed on national television by Mark Wilson... David Copperfield also featured this method in a ballroom setting and uses a mirror ball in his television performances."

Though my memory is of Copperfield floating this same ball, I am going to have to go with what Don Wayne said in the little manuscript I'm holding here. Perhaps he did both. Have you watched that Copperfield tape closely lately Shawn?
Message: Posted by: magia355 (Jun 4, 2004 01:36PM)
Hi, everyone...Great comments. However, I will tell you my experience with this great piece of equipment. I have performed it numerous times; stage,even in a circus. Now you are all right that you need proper lighting, but you can get away by placing a mylar backdrop, and with this in placed you cannot see the gimmick from 4 feet. I performed this effect just as I described it and it was perfect. Furthermore, I perform this effect alone, "no help," yes you are all right that two people would be ideal, but there are other methods to this effect that work as well.

I believe that this effect is outstanding and with some practice it would be a great piece of magic in any magician's performance.
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jun 4, 2004 08:18PM)
Magia335, Thanks for the report on actually using this prop and for the tip on the mylar curtain. I bought one several months ago on ebay or magicauction.com for about $45. It's a great looking prop. I don't do stage shows very often but I couldn't pass up the deal.
Message: Posted by: dsilverfield (Jun 6, 2004 05:02AM)
Hi Guys do anyone know where I can buy a Mylar Backdrop? Thanks
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 6, 2004 05:13AM)
On 2004-06-06 06:02, dsilverfield wrote:
Hi Guys do anyone know where I can buy a Mylar Backdrop? Thanks

I will bill you for doing a simple search for you. The simple answer is New York.

The search turned up a number of strings. Here is 1: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=61350&forum=11
I believe the Café has answered every question on magic there is. All anyone has to do now is search for the answers.
Message: Posted by: dsilverfield (Jun 7, 2004 03:56AM)
Thanks for the link WM and by the way do you accept post dated cheques? I should be getting some pay in ayear or two.
thanks anyway.
Message: Posted by: magia355 (Jun 7, 2004 07:17AM)
Mylar can be purchased at any Party Store. After you purchase the mylar have it stapled to black cloth,and there you have it. A great piece of equipment.
Message: Posted by: Grampa Wizard (Apr 22, 2010 10:39PM)
Spellbinder is such a wise & knowledgeable guy! And such a good writer. Thanks, PS for your comments on this illusion.

Folks have been saying a lot here about the need for a lot of rehearsal for this and similar illusions. And there is proof that such work pays off. I stumbled onto the Ukrainian magician Galina as I was researching the floating ball. And the way she combines the floating silks with the ball and then the ball with the self-levitation is fabulous. And then at the end, Spellbinder's dream finish as she lets the ball free to rise into the flies. This is the most sensual and beautiful magic I have seen in a long time. It is a beautifully choreographed and realized performance. Okito and Don Wayne should be thrilled to see what has become of this illusion:


At the end click on the two other Galina videos. Talk about some sexy linking ring moves! And the rings segue neatly into another routine with the floating ball. Well, here, I'll give you those links too, just to be sure:


Message: Posted by: Brian Arkell (Aug 4, 2011 12:28AM)
Fantastic Illusion under the right conditions!


Brian Arkell
Arkell Magic
Message: Posted by: ClintonMagus (Aug 4, 2011 02:48PM)
On 2011-08-04 01:28, Brian Arkell wrote:
Fantastic Illusion under the right conditions!


Brian Arkell
Arkell Magic


In what sorts of conditions have you performed this?
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Aug 13, 2011 01:28AM)
Clinton, I'm off to Magic Live,
but next weekend call or email me
and I can give you the soup-to-nuts details on this,
and where I have and have not been able to perform this.
Message: Posted by: Federico Soldati (Nov 25, 2011 09:43AM)
I saw that illusion last year. It was performed by a friend of mine and the results were great. People enjoyed it. I hope that helps.
Message: Posted by: aposjf12 (Jun 4, 2020 06:25PM)
Luis De Matos has a Floating ball routine designed to be performed by one person. No assistants needed. I don't perform it but bought the DVD because I heard the hook up was clever and may be useful for other floating effects.
Message: Posted by: Micheal Leath (Jul 20, 2020 03:47PM)
I have an original Don Wayne Floating Ball on the way. However, it does not come with instructions or thread. Can any help me in getting the original instructions (including the solo version) or let me know where I can find the routine?
Message: Posted by: David Todd (Jul 21, 2020 12:08PM)
[quote]On Jul 20, 2020, Micheal Leath wrote:
I have an original Don Wayne Floating Ball on the way. However, it does not come with instructions or thread. Can any help me in getting the original instructions (including the solo version) or let me know where I can find the routine? [/quote]

Jonathan Neal (who is a member here, user name JNeal) is the co-executor (with Christopher Hart) of Don Wayne's estate . He might be able to provide instructions. I remember that he posted last month that he had discovered a dozen 'Don Wayne Floating Balls' while clearing out Don's storage facility and would be making them available for sale.

[quote]On Jun 10, 2020, JNeal wrote:
On a related note, last year when Don Wayne passed away Christopher Hart and I were designated as co-executors of his Estate.
Having spent the better part of a year organizing his assets for distribution to the beneficiaries of his will.. I have found about a dozen of his ORIGINAL DON WAYNE FLOATING BALLS!

These were packaged by Don himself and I will be selling these on the Café’ in the near future.
These will likely be the very last of the balls to be assembled. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Kendrix (Nov 8, 2020 08:01AM)
I agree 100% with Bill H. This is a huge undertaking to make this thing look right. Much more than getting a Mylar curtain. I a magic show last year and the thread stood out for all to see. I would suggest trying to get a Tommy Wonder zombie and the Golden Zombie book and going that route
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Nov 10, 2020 11:43AM)
[quote]On Nov 8, 2020, Kendrix wrote:
I (saw) a magic show last year and the thread stood out for all to see.[/quote]

Lighting. It's all about the light.

Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Dec 15, 2020 04:49PM)
Buy a Zombie and Neil Fosters books, you'll be happy.
There are half a dozen th@@@d floating balls, skulls, candles.
the are for illusionists who already have full stage shows and staffs.
The Don Wayne CAN be done one- man and close-up under some conditions, but not vary well or very often.
Zombie is also a stage, parlor (sometimes) effect, but it is one-man and has a one hundred year history.
Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Jun 11, 2021 03:24PM)
An old thread, I know, but I agree with "ringmaster" ...
the way forward is a Zombie, and so easy to use.

However, through much disrespectful disclosure via social media, this effect might not be so "magical" any more.
Perhaps it is time to "re-invent" this classic effect ...

Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jun 12, 2021 08:33AM)
Wulfie is right. I miss the old days of brown carpet thread and actual LIGHTING skills! Red and blue Gels. Blocking and testing the tech over and over. Here is a good semi-close up version:


And, it CAN be done close up!


Very pricey, but worth every penny!

Message: Posted by: wulfiesmith (Jun 15, 2021 11:13AM)
Thanks for sharing Dougini ...