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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Smooth as silk » » Multiplying silks...ala billiard balls! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

JNeal
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Since my good friend Levent is holding forth in the manipulation arena, I wondered if anyone here ever did the multiplying billiards effect with silks? This was a marketed item in the late 1960's and early 70's. the method is the same, with a shell covered with just enough fabric to match the 4 identically colored silks.

I think the silks were 24" size and the two difficulties were obvious: keeping the silk in a tight bundle without opening prematurely and at the conclusion: having the four silks unroll simultaneously and displayed properly to warrant an appreciative hand.
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Darkwing
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Interesting.

Who originally marketed the effect?

Was the shell made something like a 20th Century Silk?

Is it published in Rice's or another book?

It looks as if you could do a four finale at the end. Was it between the fingers much like billiard balls?

This has really roused my curiosity.
JNeal
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I 'think' the trick originally came from England, Possibly Supreme Magic...this would have been around 1974.

The shell was metal or plastic and covered with silk. The silk overlapped itself so as to appear like a rolled silk...just like a billiard shell.

Never published in Rice, it was created too late to even have been considered for inclusion in Vols 1-3 and I don't recall seeing it in #4 which was published many years later.

They were produced and held between the fingers like billiards, and the best I could figure out to effect a 'punch' finale, was to display the four in one hand and transfer two at the climax to the other hand. Each hand could then pinch the loose corners (of two silks each) to unroll the two silks reasonably well enough for a big finish.

Years later, it occurred to me that an easier way to do the thing would be to 'cheat' the whole trick as follows: display a single 24" silk, wind it up into a ball shape and bare hand vanish it using the Tenkai silk technique. Reproduce it,( whilst switching it for a solid ball covered by silk fabric to simulate the previously rolled silk) Go thru' a series of moves, introducing a shell, etc; until you get to four silks (ala billiard balls) displayed in the fingers.

Now segue into the continuous ball production move, apparently attempting to put the first ball next to the shell away, and steal from box or body (on one of these moves) a 24" silk that is easy to unwind. Release this silk and place over arm or table.

In the process of showing and discarding the opened silk, the solid ball is stolen from the shell , allowing the entire process to be repeated. A clever performer could effect a color change as well, allowing for the 4 silks to change color...setting you up for a blendo to follow.
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Ron Vergilio
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If you used something like a Rossini Silk Winder, you could wind a silk into a tight ball and do the routine as if they were billiard balls. Then taking two in each hand as a finalle you could grip the small protruding corner of each silk and snap change the balls into silks.

Just a thought.

-Ron
May the magic in your life never disappear

*** Lou Serrano's Steel Ball Routine ***
JNeal
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Yes Ron, as mentioned above, that's exactly what I thought and tried as well.
The Rosini winder did tend to make the balls into little cylindrical shapes though, more like tubes or barrels rather than perfect balls.

I later used a winding around the pencil technique that wraps each loop in alternating directions (tough to describe) that gave a more ball like shape, but it wasn't quite perfect either. Consequently, it never got out of the practice stage... for me at least.
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Levent
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HI JNeal

Happened to see your post.

What if you sewed a small cork ball into a secret pocket NEAR the corner of a silk. The ball would give you something to wrap the silk around giving it a spherical shape. When the silk unrolled a lightweight ball about two inches above the corner of the silk might not be seen?

Levent (going back to work now)
http://www.LeventMagic.com
Spellbinder
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My take on this effect is completely different. If you want to multiply billiard balls, then multiply billiard balls. If you want to multiply silks, then treat them (and display them) as silks from beginning to end. Let them hang down between your finger tips, not be balled up and mimicking billiard balls.

It might appear like this: show both hands empty, reach into the air and "catch" a red silk handkerchief between your thumb and finger. Stroke the silk and a second red handkerchief appears beside it, held between your first and second fingers. Another stroke, another red silk between your second and third fingers. A final stroke and a final red silk between your third and fourth fingers. To see the silks, you would have to show them head-on to the audience, separating them with the fingers of the other hand so they can see four separate silks hanging there.

Now you can do a variety of things, such as tossing them in the air and catching them as a chain of red silks knotted together. Hang the chain around your neck, vanish a blue silk and have it reappear tied between the red silks as you pull the entire chain through your neck (UF Grant, not Tenkai).

If you are brave enough to attempt multiplying different colored silks, you might end with a Blendo.

Now you can combine the silks with a multiplying billiard ball act, and not merge them by treating the silks as if they are billiard balls.
Professor Spellbinder

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JNeal
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That sounds like a charming routine Spellbinder!

And I do concur that one must be careful when trying to transfer a plot from one form of magic to another. (Remember Henry Hay's caveat about the COINS up the sleeve in Amateur Magician's Handbook?)

However, I think the original dealer item of showing a ball, multiplying it to four and only then revealing them as scarves (by having them simultaneously unroll) does possess a charm and a surprise element that is worth someone pursuing .

I personally don't plan on devoting much time to it unless I were to put it on video, because I have more than enough strong silk magic in my various shows.

But thank you Spellbinder for a very stimulating and original twist and sharing it with us all!

Regards-
JNeal
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funsway
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I once used rolled up silks in a Cups & Balls routine, ending with three unrolled silks of scambled colors, tucked back into a cup and changed into a giant scarf --
thus, I do not agree that the concept of 'ball' is restricted to some specific genre. It is easy to 'chop' a silk while rolling it up too -- if you are into gimmicks.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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bojanbarisic
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Multiplying Silk Balls was published in John Penrose`s Cabaret Collection book from 1991. Since his son Scott is a member here maybe he can give some more details on this routine.
markofmagic
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How about a "SNAP SILK" routine you start with one and end up with several. It might be as effective or resemble multiplying balls
JNeal
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Bojan,
Glad to see it was in print somewhere.
BTW-Did you get my package in the mail? If not, it should arrive soon
JNeal
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bojanbarisic
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Yes JNeal I got it. Thanks a lot. I sent you a PM 3 days ago. Looks like you didn`t get it.
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