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Topic: Comedy Billiard Balls
Message: Posted by: Christopher (Jun 21, 2004 01:36PM)
Does anyone have a source for comedy billiard ball ideas. I use the fakini balls and have never been able to come up with a comedy routine that will fit in my act. A serious routine just does not make sense.
Message: Posted by: EddyRay (Jun 21, 2004 03:59PM)
The routine of "Herman" by Dan Harlan on his pack small play big All PURPOSE SHOW video is a good, comical routine. He gives the ball a personality and has interesting patter. check it out.
Message: Posted by: Christopher (Jun 21, 2004 04:31PM)
Thanks, I have the Herman routine and have used it before. It works great in a small environment. I'm just trying to find something that may play to a larger audience.
Message: Posted by: zombieboy (Jun 21, 2004 04:44PM)
You also might want to check out Tim Wright's video on the Multiplying billiard balls. It is comedic, but not in the wacky sense.
Message: Posted by: cfrye (Jun 21, 2004 04:55PM)
I thought about creating a routine that mixed Fakini and wooden balls, though I've moved away from billiard balls for now. If you could find a way to do it, and you were well-miked, the sound difference would lend itself to some comedic moments.

Stevens Magic also carries Fakini multiplying eggs. Eggs are funny. Eggs have yolks. "Yolks" has a "k" in it. Words with "k" are funny.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 21, 2004 05:50PM)
Maybe you could do it silent to funny music and make it humorous by your body language and facial expressions...

...or lip synch to a song. Something absurdly incongrous.
Message: Posted by: Christopher (Jun 21, 2004 06:08PM)
I was working on a routine to a remix of the song "one is the loneliest number"
Message: Posted by: Julie (Jun 21, 2004 07:37PM)
Do the continuous production of balls from your mouth--for some reason, especially with the proper mugging, audiences find this very funny-- a possible finale is to drop all the balls into a top hat and dump out one jumbo ball.
(I've seen Lance Burton I think it was him- do this fairly standard routine and then crack open the large ball and there's a bird.)
Another possibility is to have a hat coil in the bottom of the hat...produce the large ball, then turn the hat upside down and let the paper coil cascade to the floor or table top...THEN produce a dove or other creature from the paper.)

Have fun!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 21, 2004 11:12PM)
Here is an idea I played around with a long time ago.

You have a musical note sitting on a sheet of music on a music stand. You walk over and open the sheet music and the music starts to play. You think that it kind of clever and pick up another one.. Open it.. different music except this is polka so you shut it quick. You try it once more and Barney's theme comes on and you tear up the sheet as fast as you can.

One final sheet is on the stand. You look at the ball of the music note and decide to magically PLUCK it off. Now your not doing ball manipulations, you're doing manipulations of music and notes.

A lot of comedy can happen with this as everytime the ball appears the music starts. You keep trying to make it go away so you vanish it only to have it reappear and cause the music to start back up again.

In the end you produce the four balls and it becomes a musical scale.

It is a basic idea that could be VERY different and unique and a lot of comedy if you play it right.

Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Jun 22, 2004 07:26AM)
That's such an excellent idea, Kyle! You never fail to amaze me!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 22, 2004 11:09AM)
Thanks Kevin. I appreciate that. It is an idea I thought up but never got around to trying out. It was my quest for different ways to present manipulative acts other then the norm. Something vastly different.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 22, 2004 10:28PM)
On 2004-06-21 15:37, Julie wrote:
Do the continuous production of balls from your mouth--for some reason, especially with the proper mugging, audiences find this very funny-- [/quote]

Some audiences find this very funny, but there are many audiences who find it repulsive. Producing ANYTHING from the mouth is an especially bad idea if you are working in a restaurant or a dinner theater.
Message: Posted by: Christopher (Jun 23, 2004 03:57PM)

I agree. I think anything coming from the mouth is disgusting. I gag every time I see a child's performer using a mouthcoil and then giving it out as a lei. What is the deal with that?
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jun 24, 2004 09:35AM)
Your mouth is far cleaner then your hands. It's more hygenic to lick someone's hand then shake it!

I use the empire golf balls and I'm working on a "Golf For Dummies" routine.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 24, 2004 01:05PM)
I like the golf for dummies idea. Will this be a talking routine gerared towards kids?

Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jun 25, 2004 02:39AM)
Talking routine for adults. e.g. explain what a mulligan is a ball vanish to my foot.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jun 25, 2004 02:28PM)
Interesting. I am always striving and looking for new and different ways to present billard ball and manipulative routines. Too many do not push the performance as much as they could and it just becomes a show of skill alone. I feel there is so much more you can give the audience even if your doing manipulative magic.

Who else has some creative Billard ball routines or ideas? I would love to hear them.

Message: Posted by: yanyak5 (Jun 27, 2004 07:26PM)
There was an idea in the book Showmanship for magicians by Nelms, and it says to put hair on the s**ll and to draw a face on the ball. you can then chage hair styles and such for the ball. Maybe if you get a few s**lls you can change hair styles or even do something about what people look like. Hope this helps..
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jul 5, 2004 12:06AM)
Wow! That is WEIRD!

What balls do people use?

I use Empire Golf Balls. They are great! Nice and small and the sh*** locks! so you can throw the balls around!

Are there any good resources for moves? (rather then routines)
Message: Posted by: johnpert (Jul 8, 2004 06:25PM)
I've always wanted to do a billiard ball routine but:

I like perform w/out a jacket and thus have limited places to hide balls w/out going in and out of my pockets.

I also don't like going in and out of my case (as in Dan Harlan's routine) because I think it makes things look obvious... but that could be a magician talking.

So, if you have any tips to overcome my battle, please let me know.

Anyway, using the golf theme, consider incoporating the egg bag at the beginning and talking about the bag being the hole (as stated on Harlan's video) and doa few bag bits. When you put the bag away you could steal the shell, or perhaps another ball, or load a ball if wearing a jacket, etc.

Just a thought,

Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jul 9, 2004 05:49AM)
Hi John,
I don't steal from the pocket because I think it looks dodgy.

Going in and out of the case or hat is OK if you produce two balls, vanish one and then have it REAPPEAR in the hat. The fact that you clearly had TWO balls (really one ball and a sh***) means people won't see the addition of the second ball for what it is.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 12, 2004 04:15PM)
It is also funny that I now do a 6 minute billiard ball routine that is entirely done with just a single ball and a silk. It gets great reactions but that is because I am giving the audience much more then a showing of skill alone. The routine has in it a storyline, character and emotional response. It just works for me because I wanted to do a manip routine different from the rest and to connect with the audience.

I have described this routine idea elsewhere but will tell you about it here if anyone is curious as to how I went about it.

Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Jul 14, 2004 10:59AM)
Hey, Nicholas, I LOVE my Empire golf balls. Glad to hear I'm not the only one. They don't talk, they're bright and visual and as you say, you can throw them. I'm still working on throwing one and catching it in "ready to multiply" position but I think it can be done.
I disagree that going to the pocket looks dodgy though. I've been doing multiplying balls for years and no one has ever (to my knowledge) noticed me stealing a ball from my pocket. I do it at the same time as other ball appears; you can do it quite blatantly and no one will be looking at that hand.

I use a principle I got from Roy Baker's "Yell-Up For Kids" to turn Multiplying balls into a comedy routine.

Kyle-Billy McComb has a nice routine with a single ball and silk maybe you could add this to your routine too.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 14, 2004 11:16AM)

I would like to see Billy's routine or to get information on it. There might be some moves or ideas in it that I can learn from.

I have been doing my own simple routine for a while now and it seems to go over really well for an audience. I think it is because of the compelling story I tell that seems to connect with an audience more.

Message: Posted by: dsilverfield (Jul 14, 2004 11:36AM)
I read through this post and remembered a performance by a young man on one of the WGM specials. It was a billiard act with a cue and it was fantastic. Anyone know who this performer is?
Message: Posted by: yanyak5 (Jul 14, 2004 02:45PM)
On 2004-07-14 07:36, dsilverfield wrote:
I read through this post and remembered a performance by a young man on one of the WGM specials. It was a billiard act with a cue and it was fantastic. Anyone know who this performer is?

His name is Raymond Crowe I believe.

Kyle, I would like to hear more on your single ball and silk act. Tell me more.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 14, 2004 09:25PM)
I wanted to create a routine that utilized my love for manipulation but did not come across to an audience as a mere show of skill alone. I wanted to give more to my audience in some sort of way.

I also wanted to create a personality piece in my show so that I can connect with my audience early on and show them I am just like they are, only I know how to do some really neat things.

This billiard ball act was a combination and solved these two problems for me. It allowed me to create a personality peice that utilizes manipulation but in such a way that it is NOT a show-off piece.

In a nutshell, the stage is set to look like my childhood bedroom. I have a simple table on which sits a toy chest. A stool rest to the side of the table and a coat rack for my jacket is in back.

I take the jacket off and place on the rack and sit down on the stool. I then share with the audience the story of how I became a magician and how as a kid everything was so magical to me. The story goes on to tell of how I was inspired by an old magician at my school who told us kids, "magic is not about fooling anyone; it is about entertaining them, and tonight I hope I have done just that. You also do not have to have big props or a lot of money to do good magic. You simply need a simple prop and your imagination!"

This is when the music starts (It's a wonderful world) and a pin spot shines down on me. When it comes back up I am now wearing a baseball cap like I did when I was a kid. I stand and look into the treasure chest and find a simple ball mixed within my baseball cards and stuff teddy bears. It is the ball I stare at as the magic begins to happen.

It is a simple routine that really helps give an emotional response to my audiences. As the music ends, everything goes back inside the toy chest and the lid is closed. I then tip the chest over and open it once more and all the childhood memories have vanished and I am sitting back on the stool with my jacket on.

In this routine, it is not so much the magic that is highlighted as it is the story and emotions I am manipulating.

I only ask that you enjoy the routine but please do not steal it as it has taken me a LONG time to get it to this point. =)

Message: Posted by: dsilverfield (Jul 15, 2004 07:03AM)
That's right yanak5. He is the chap and his act was fantastic.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 15, 2004 06:41PM)
Yeah, Raymond Crowe did a nice job. I just wonder if he could have themed it even more to the whole billard ball theme. There seems to be many more visual things he could have done to add to it. Nonetheless, I thought it was very well done. The billard balls made a bit more sense and did not come across entirely as a show of skill alone.

Message: Posted by: yanyak5 (Jul 18, 2004 05:03PM)
Excellent idea Kyle. I felt warm and fuzzy inside when I read it :) I've been working on my routine for some time now, and I'm really getting ahead. I sort of mixed and changed my theme a bit. But it's comming together great! I have a lot of ideas and am getting everything I need from friends and fellow peers. I can't wait to have it complete.

Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 18, 2004 06:09PM)

I would love to hear about your routine and where you have it right now.

Message: Posted by: Stimuli (Jul 18, 2004 06:30PM)
I came up with a performance idea last week when I came across a contact juggling website, I'm not sure if you all are familiar with contact juggling so here is a link to some on-line videos of some contact juggling.

I think a combination of both manipulative arts would look amazing. I think what De'vo did for Card manipulation, contact juggling could do for billiard ball manipulation. The balls they use come in all different sizes but I've found that you can do most if not all of the moves with our regular Fakini balls. Check it out!
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Jul 18, 2004 07:14PM)

That sounds real great. If you can combine the art of juggling with billiard ball manips, you can create a very fascinating routine or act that has some real impact. Do you plan on exploring this more? If so, what ideas do you have for character or act theme?

Message: Posted by: Stimuli (Jul 18, 2004 07:31PM)
Each one of my characters controls a different object and has a whole new personality to them. I have a guy called the Gambler who manipulates poker chips while in a mock hold 'em game using a bunch of coin manipulation techniques and some things I've only seen poker players use on TV. All of my act ideas are still in the early stages of development. Contact juggling which is something completely different than regular juggling (you don't throw any balls) looks like an amazing art to learn and is pure manipulative bliss (candy for the hands). And I don't know if I'm going to develop it any further; it was just an idea I had.
Message: Posted by: Paul Romhany (Jul 19, 2004 03:23AM)
"I read through this post and remembered a performance by a young man on one of the WGM specials. It was a billiard act with a cue and it was fantastic. Anyone know who this performer is?"

It was indeed Raymond Crowe from Australia who is one of my favourite magicians. Raymond is one of Australia's TOP corporate entertainers and has appeared at FISM as a guest performer and other notable venues. In my humble opinion he also does the best hand shadow routine I've ever seen!