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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Nelson Downs ball routine (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

simsalabim
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Hlelo,

I was wondering if anyone here is familiar with the Nelson Downs
routine for multiplying billiard balls? It's described in the Art of Magic,
page 305. It takes time to practice, but it's really worth it when you get
the technique down. It uses 4 solid balls and no shell.

Carlo
TheAmbitiousCard
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Thanks. I don't own the book but I'd love to see it. I'll search for the book.
What size balls does he use?
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simsalabim
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Quote:
On 2006-09-07 23:01, Frank Starsini wrote:
Thanks. I don't own the book but I'd love to see it. I'll search for the book.
What size balls does he use?



Get the book, it's a must....cheap from Dover. I don't think he gives specific sizes. It pretty much depends on your hands. In my opinion better smaller than larger. The moment the audience sees a flash it kind of ruins the whole thing.

Carlo

Carlo
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Carlo,
THat is why you must practice and practice and practice and.......so there will be no flashes. I am not sure exactly how small you mean by "smaller" but be sure thay are large enough it doesn't look like you are playing with marbles or something. You want them to be large enough to be very visible to the audience. A good tip is to use balls that are very bright white as they tend to appear larged than most colored balls.
And also thanks for the mention of the Downs routine. I used to do a nice act with all solids and am interested in looking up the routine.

THOUGHTfully,
London
THOUGHTfully,

LONDON
simsalabim
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London, you are welcome,

What I meant with my comment was that using smaller balls, say 1 1/2 inch (do they even sell Fakini this small?) will prevent the inevitable flash due to angles.
You just can't cover all the angles unless you are on stage. I mean, it's easier
to do this routine in a more close up, casual situation.


Carlo
Bill Hegbli
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Fakini make balls in all sizes and colors. Starting at approx. half inch. No shells for balls this small. They are for the balls and net routine and cups and balls.
simsalabim
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On 2006-09-09 13:58, wmhegbli wrote:
Fakini make balls in all sizes and colors. Starting at approx. half inch. No shells for balls this small. They are for the balls and net routine and cups and balls.



Do you know where to find the 1 1/2 inch?

Carlo
Signor Blitz
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Dear Sim Sala Bim,

The 1 1/2 Billards you are looking for is the size of the Fakini Golf Ball Billards. Close to an 1 1/2 inch is his 1 5/8 inch Billard ball (smooth finish without the golf ball dimples) This is a special order and well worth the wait. Finally, his standard size billard is 1 3/4. (There is also a line of over sized billard, but that is not what you are looking for - I just wanted to add that if anyone else is interested)

When you receive the billards there is a wonderful gloss finish that will aid in palming - but all good things must come to an end. Over time the gloss finish will wear off leaving the billards with a teriffic flat finish (which looks wonderful on stage) At this point the natural cling is gone and actual skill must be used. You may hear chatter about hand type, typically that happens when people do not want to put the time and work into basic palming. I work with individuals who have very dry hands to the other extreme of hands that actually drip with sweat. If you want to use Fakini - then you will - no matter you hand type.
You can contact Fakini directly. His name is Frank Radtke 419-255-8658 and he is in Toledo, Ohio.
If I could make one other suggestion is that you purchase 1 extra billard and 1 extra shell and make sure you rotate them in an out so they all have the same look. (extra shell for if one breaks - it is amazing how many people will step on their shell and extra billard that if you actually drop/loose control during performance you can produce the extra and continue with your routine and not look like a fool trying to chase it down in front of your audience)

Also, when you select color remember that the white and true red will reflect light. The other colors are flouresent (sp?) in color and the do not reflect light, instead that radiate heat.(Physics 101) It is very easy to see on video tape and the white and true red are crisp looking and the floursent (again, sp?) will be fuzzy and not as defined. (Which is not a bad feature if folks are taping your act with out permission)

Sorry if this was information overload. I hope in some small way I was helpful.

Best Regards,
Signor Blitz
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Dear Sim Sala Bim,

I re-read your post and the Downs routine is nice, very nice and very understandable to your audience. If you were to purchase billards from Frank, a set is 3 balls and 1 shell. He will let you swap out the shell for another billard. The fee is the same but you get what you are after. (I would go directly through him as he has the ability of being more flexable than a dealer.)

Best Regards,
Signor Blitz
simsalabim
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Quote:
On 2006-09-13 03:07, Signor Blitz wrote:
Dear Sim Sala Bim,

I re-read your post and the Downs routine is nice, very nice and very understandable to your audience.


Thanks for all your helpful comments and info, Signore....but what do you mean
exactly by "very understandable to your audience"?

Carlo
Signor Blitz
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Dear Sim Sala Bim,

Sorry for the delay in responding back.
What I mean by "very understandable to your audience" - Is that this is a very clear and clean routine. Many routines in print have a lot of extras that actually diminish the effect rather that improve them.
The only draw back would be the oral aspect of Down's routine. I am not one for "spit tricks" (effects that require items to be placed into the mouth) but that is a personal choice. Since the routine calls for the apparent swallowing of billard balls - a performer should be decerning about their audience. Little hands can try to repeat what a magician does but the results could be deadly and not magical.
Also, If you opt for the Fakini billards, it will be very difficult to use a cloth ball dropper - due the the nature of the silicone used. This is the 21st century and there are many other ways of stealing a billard.
This is a great routine to start with, the moves along with the timing is a wonderful exercise in billard manipulation. After working with this routine you will find yourself springboarding in many other directions.
Without seeing you do this, the only words I can say is:

Be careful about falling into a rythmic pattern in turning the body from left to right and back again.

Watch you elbow of the arm you are stealling the billard with. All to often a perform will stick that elbow out behind then as they steal and it does nothing but telegraph.

Finally, keep you arms close in to the body. Over extending your reach leave the body in a very ackward position that simply is poor showmanship.

I hope I was some help. If there is anything else, please let me know.
Best Regards,
Signor Blitz
Pete Biro
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IMHO the best handling of a bb routine is you face forward and never turn to one side. When you turn, you might lose have the audience as they will only see your back and shoulder.

For parlour distances, I found the golf balls the best size. And they made sense to me. Look up the old bit "ball thru silk" which is a nice tie in to a multiplying routine.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Signor Blitz
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Mr. Biro,

Excellent point about turning perpendicular to your audience. Turning may become a neccessity if one desires to make a steal from the backside. (Which is a basic requirement if you are studing the Down's routine specifically) A head on attempt would be suicide in particular routine that Sim Sala Bim is mastering.

A manipulator of any pratical experience knows that body, if/when turned should be skewed no more than 45-60 degrees at most - and as the body is turned the manipulation plane is moved down stage - so NOT to cut off any audience members. A very common error is to move the manipulation plane up stage as you turn. It is at that point you will cut of 1/2 to 2/3 of your audience.

A point to note is that as you press the manipulation plane down stage (towards audience) One must compensate the hand, wrist, elbow and arm position to keep the manipulations parallel to the stage or row of audience members. This may feel ackward at first, but in reality no attention is drawn to it and the focus is on the manipulation that is happening as the will appear very clean. If you do not make these adjustments another common error is that the hand turns towards the performer - this will create an unbalanced appearance and then you are doing magic for yourself as you will cut off part of your audience. If you are doing a routine with a shell, the audience will be wondering why you are holding onto 1/2 a ball.

Finally I have to affirm what Mr. Biro stated with the use of golf balls. It is a common object that most individuals have seen across the world. They will never give a second thought to what you are using and not even consider the possibility of speciality tool of the trade like shells, flash fours and diminishing golf ball and will be wowed by color changing golf balls and the apperience of a Jumbo golf ball. (Which the all can be found at Frank Radtke's - House of Fakini - Toledo, Ohio - 419-255-8658) And NO I am not related or associated with the House of Fakini - I just believe in the fine products he makes and everyone who wants Fakini products should be able to find them easily!
Best Regards,
Signor Blitz
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