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D J Hawkins
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I'd be very interested to hear what others are using as a climax to a sponge ball routine - specifically to use in a strolling (no table) situation, and also for banquets. A disappearance of all the balls seems to feature in many routines but appears magically weak to me (I was always taught never to finish a routine on a vanish). Conversely the appearance of lots and lots of balls is very surprising, but I'm getting fed up of the small balls going everywhere including the floor and under the tables and chairs. I need a magically strong, surprising climax that is easy to carry around, is controllable (i.e. dooesn't fall on the floor, in the food etc) and is instanly resettable ?

Any ideas ????
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Jonathan Townsend
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DJ, I put the balls back into the closup pad whence they came all the coins I've dropped here
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After 1 ball moves from my hand to the spectators to join the one they are holding I just put them away. I found a sponge bone that I am trying to work into my routine so that under the pretense of repeating the last effect they open there hand and find a bone. you could always use a growing sponge ball as a conclusion.
Scott F. Guinn
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On 2003-10-08 17:23, D J Hawkins wrote:
A disappearance of all the balls ... appears magically weak to me (I was always taught never to finish a routine on a vanish). I need a magically strong, surprising climax that is easy to carry around, is controllable (i.e. dooesn't fall on the floor, in the food etc) and is instanly resettable ?

Sorry, but I couldn't disagree more with that first statement. A vanish of all three balls at the end of my routine may well be the strongest thing you can do. Further, a vanish is VERY powerful, and a WONDERFUL thing to end on. Magically weak? I just can't see that.

Otherwise, my routine, "Peanut, Butter and Jelly" fits all your other requirements. It all fits in one pocket, it flows logically, the routine comes full circle and you are instantly reset.
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I think Scott's routine is great. I have it on his excellent dvd.
If you wanted to avoid a vanish at the climax, Lewis Ganson's sponge ball routine from his Routined Manipulations books (forget which one of the three) has color changes and climaxes with a sponge to potato transformation!
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I use the growing sponge ball. The actual growing kind not the compressed big ball.

It resets in about 3 seconds and you can sometimes do it right in front of the audience.

That being said, Scott's routine is excellent. Check it out!
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I place 2 balls into the spectator's hand, then telling them that one ball is 'male', the other is 'female'. I ask if they know why I know that, and I say "babies". They open their hand to reveal 2 normal size balls, and 10 'baby balls'. That usually is good enough to end with.
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To answer DJ's original question, I use Scott Guinn's PB&J but when I don't have that extra "something", a version of Carl Andrew's "eeny,meeny routine works really well. You can find it in one of his lecture notes or the tape, "Magic from Mauie" (I think) Smile
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(I was always taught never to finish a routine on a vanish).

That's interesting -- what is the theory behind that? (Might make a good Food for Thought discussion.)

Personally, I've found vanishes very effective, whether using Scott's PB&J, a two-in-the-hand routine, or any other routine with sponges. The spectator is expecting me to produce another sponge, and they're watching to see how I sneak it in, then blammo! -- I shatter their expectations. When someone thinks they have you figured out, and then you completely turn the tables on them, they think they've seen real magic.
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I use sponge words like "Go Go Gone," "Take my Word for it," and "Then There Were Four." I also have multiple bunnies/ladybugs show up too at times. For some adults I use "Ding Dong."
Jim Tighe
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I always use the routine from Mark Leveridge Master Routines in every show I do, regardless of the audience (kids, family, adults). A superbly structured worker routine. I just vary a few lines that have surfaced over the years. It's no great shakes to other magi but it gets a tremendous response from laymen. The balls unexpectedly finish in the spectators hands instead of yours. Just three balls are used, no mini's, no giants.
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Profile of drmagico
I vanish all the balls at the end of my routine. The spectators truly believe that there are two balls in my hand at that time. There is great impact at this point.
Curtis Kam
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"Never end your act on a Vanish" is generally attributed to Dai Vernon. The thought is that a vanish causes the audience to wonder two things: Where did it go? and Will it return? Both lines of inquiry tend to cause people to suspend their response, in the latter case because they are wondering if you're going to make the vanished object reappear.

The fact of the matter is that these problems are not difficult to overcome, and if the audience's expectations are properly managed, they will realize that the objects are gone for good. (ref: Copperfield's closing number vanishing members of the audience)

It is a rule, like the rule against heresay, "more often honored in its breach than its observance." But is is a good thing to consider if, upon vanishing something, you're not getting the response you anticipated.
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David Le
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Not to spoil anyone who hasn't seen DC's show, but he makes them reappear BEHIND the audience members Smile

so perhaps you could find some way to make them reappear? if not, TRANSFORM them into smoething else. like one ball changes into a bottle cap or coin? I dunno...
Paul Chosse
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See the July, 1983 Genii magazine, the Magicana column by Charlie Miller. It details one of the best sponge ball effects ever published. A funny, thetrical presentation, based on Patrick Martins marketed effect "Clones", but fixed up so that it really plays. It also contains suggestions for personalizing the material, and a sponge ball vanish that looks like real magic, not a move.

As to the "growing ball" effect, I don't know how most of you do this, but I have done it under a handkerchief for years. It has a spooky effect if you do this: Apparently put the standard size ball in the center of a handkerchief, gather the corners in one hand and twist the handkerchief into a rope, sort of. This leaves you with a small ball in the center of the cloth, and you are holding the ends twisted into the rope-like tail of the handkerchief. If you release pressure on the ends slowly, as you shake the whole thing, the ball appears to grow within the handkerchief. The visible growth is spooky looking! By the way, you are holding the thing in your left hand. The right hand is free to cop another production item. I use a bottle of dish soap. Once the ball has completely expanded (I use a 5 inch ball), you grab the ball through the top of the handkerchief and turn the whole thing over, tossing the handkerchief over the right hand (and the bottle of dishsoap you have copped as they are watching the ball grow), to reveal the big sponge ball. This is quite a surprise. You say something like "this is good for all sorts of things, but I've trained the kids to do the dishes with it. Of course if you want the job done right, you need this too!" Grab the bottle thru the handkerchief and reverse the previous process, turning the hand over and tossing the handkerchief over the left hand and revealing the bottle. This is a simple adaptation of an old coin production idea that appears in many books, including Bobo, as I recall. Adjust the talk lines to suit the situation, and change the final production item to whatever you want, what's important is that the "growth" is great misdirection for stealing anything short of an elephant, so steal away ...

Best, PSC
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Paul, I believe the production you mentioned is creditted to Jack Chanin.

I would like to hear some more about the Charlie Miller article, or is there somewhere we can pick up back issues of Genii - as far back as 1983?
Geoff Weber
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The two sponge routines I do have a built in ending.. Sponge Four.. and Sponge Bunnies.

Sponge Four ends with 4 pieces of sponge, combining to form the number Four. I then like to do Ray Kosby's follow up effect where you "rip" it up into 4 pieces again to reset.

Sponge Bunnies, which I consider to be a stronger effect, probably the strongest piece of magic in my entire repetoire, is perfectly lovely ending with the production of the family. I did it that way for years, always got a great response. However an extra kicker I've been using these days is to blow up one of the babies like a balloon into a jumbo. explaining that they start off cute and small, but like all babies, before you know it they grow up on you.
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I usually will produce some sponge donuts or eggs. Kids love it. Ladybugs have been a big hit with kids too. BTW, Scott's PB&J is excellent!!

On 2003-10-09 15:13, Isramagia wrote:
a version of Carl Andrew's "eeny,meeny routine works really well. You can find it in one of his lecture notes or the tape, "Magic from Mauie" (I think) Smile

It's on Carl Andews' Cups and Balls DVD. He concludes the cups and balls with this sponge routine.

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Well, now you have me thinking about my ending. I'm not sure I should modify but I'll think about it...

Currently, to end, I finish with the appearance of another ball. BUT.........

...I've taken advice from someone here at the Café (who has never revealed themselves) and I do the following ...

I have two balls in play (3rd fingerpalmmed) and I tell person #1 to "squeeze both of these into her hand" (person #2).

So, unbeknownst to them, person #1 squeezes 3 balls into the hands of person #2.

I'm nowhere near.

I use the word "squeeze" on purpose for obvious reasons.

The appearance of 3 balls in #2's hands is hard to beat especially since #1 JUST gave her 2 balls.

I urge you all to put a phase into your routines where person 1 gives person 2 an extra ball.

It's fun to listen to the 2 people discussing the event afterwards...
"Did you feel 3?"... NO.
"Did you just have 2?"... YES.
"Did you feel it happen"... NO


Now.... which one of you diners at the Café gave me this idea??????


p.s. I have been caught just once but the person #1 did not say anything except to me privately afterwards.. "I saw 3 balls". I think that #1 was so excited about what #2 was going to find out that they were happy just to be in on it.

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David Le
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You can do the push in vanish right after you do the pinch or TWO SPONGE BALLS in the spectator's hand...

and right after the push in vanish, you can make it reappear anywhere you want (?)

I dunno, I have four balls, but have only used 2 whenever I perform it.

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