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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Tony Clark Paper Balls (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

harp
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Oklahoma
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The paper balls is one of my favorite routines. I ordered the Tony Clark DVD today. Wondering who uses the paper balls that would offer feedback on your experiences with it. I do not see it performed very often. How do you like the Tony Clark version?


Thanks.

Harp


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TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
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It's a good comedy piece for a stage show.
I've used it and it gets lots of laughs.

The only downside I can think of is that there's usually some guy in the audience that thinks they're going to do it at their next get-together.

"Hey, I'm going to try that, heh heh heh. Cool!"


Frank
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jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Paper balls has been a regular part of my silent-comedy show for several years.

It was Tony Clark's video that first inspired me to try it out and I will always appreciate his genuine encouragement, via the videotape, to go out and perform the routine and to perform it well.

I perform the version that uses a roll of toilet paper installed between the volunteers two index fingers (obviously the tissue box is a must for kids, or for adults when the magician's persona is a very reserved, albeit classy, magician).

A lot of magicians seem to hesitate to peform this trick because they fear that the volunteer will feel embarassed, and loose face amongst his colleagues.

To prevent this tragic result, and to ensure success, I choose my volunteer carefully, usually pre-showtime during the mingling magic portion before the show (cocktails). Or,if there is no mingling magic, I ,make it a point to scan and observe the audience as they walk into the room to take their seats and again,just prior to my entrance onto the stage.

Please note that I am always certain to let the volunteer in the chair look behind him at the end of my final throw, to see where the balls went --giving him a wink and a reassuring touch on the shoulder, followed by a sincere handshake for helping me out.

Then, just before he leaves the stage to return to his seat, I thank him enthusiastically for being such a good sport and for making the routine a real success by agreeing to play along with me in the first place. I also make sure that the audience applauds his courage. They are cued by me to do this as he comes up onto the stage,at the end of the routine and as he returns to his seat. In this way, the volunteer returns to his seat feeling great (lots of "warm fuzzies"), like they were one of the stars of my show and not the brunt of a "sucker" effect. In fact, I utilize this thanking and applause technique throughout my show, for all my volunteers, without exception. It works well for me, fits my style and feels natural.

When the show is over, before I pack up, I promptly seek out all my volunteers and thank them personally (again!), asking how they felt on stage and making sure that it was a very positive (and memorable)experience for them.

To date, I have never yet had a volunteer that seemed genuinely disturbed by the Paper Ball experience --but remember, I was careful to chose the "right" volunteer from the start.

I really enjoy this "thanking" aspect of my show, almost as much as the performance itself.

In summary,I must emphasize that Tony's Paper Balls video is an excellent teaching and motivational tool. He shares valuable thoughts on approach, technique, style, volunteer and audience management etc.

So the video is a great way to learn the routine...But, please, be sure to make it your own by incorporating your own persona and style of performance.

I hope this review and these tips on audience management help.

Have fun with those paper balls, those volunteers, the audience, and those "thank yous"!
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
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Frank Tougas
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Inner circle
Minneapolis, MN
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Max,

Your post is absolutely marvelous. Your points were obviously well thought out and your advice well taken. It is always a pleasure when a working pro gives advice. I especially like how you thank each volunteer a second time, something I have never thought to do, and will in the future.

Frank
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2133 Posts

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Thanks for your kind words Frank.

I believe you will enjoy the "second thanking"...the volunteers certainly do.

It would be a pleasure to know how it goes.
Please consider sending me an e-mail directly at: max@maxmagician.com

All the best!

Magically,
Joathan Levey ("Max")
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
http://www.maxmagician.com
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
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www.maxmagician.com
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perlimpinpin
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Jonathan/Max,

I've been considering doing a PBOTH act for some time and even tried it out on my family a while ago.

Your first post attracted my curiosity. Obviously a key aspect of PBOTH is to direct the spec's attention in a specific manner at the moment the throw is done. In his show and as demonstrated on his tape, Tony Clark uses a combination of physical and verbal direction to do this.

Can I ask you, if your show is a silent one, how do you direct the spec's attention ? You must use some very powerful method if it doesn't require verbal direction as a strengthener.

Best regards
Daniel
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Quote:
On 2004-01-19 05:26, perlimpinpin wrote:
Jonathan/Max,

I've been considering doing a PBOTH act for some time and even tried it out on my family a while ago... if your show is a silent one, how do you direct the spec's attention ? You must use some very powerful method if it doesn't require verbal direction as a strengthener.

Best regards
Daniel


Daniel,
My character, Max, is very friendly and physical --yet always respectful of the volunteer. I do a lot of touching the volunteer (but he /she is never offended).

As I sit the volunteer into the chair, I clasp my right hand over his left shoulder and place my left hand over his chest, directing the volunteer with a somewhat forceful (but very friendly) downwards motion into his chair (anotherwords...I'm in control --but everyone kows, it's all in fun).

From this point, I might gently turn the volunteer's head to face the audience, I might continue to tap or clasp my had on his shoulder throughout various parts of the routine to gain his attention and control where he looks. I also pantomime throughout the routine, pointing to him, pointing to me then to the paper balls in my fist-- as if to say "you look at me and the balls", then when the ball is hidden in one hand, since both fists are closed (and not free to pantomime) and he has to be prodded to guess which hand the ball is in, I make fun facial gestures, and crane my neck in the direction he is to look/point, and nod him affirmations all along the way to encourage his involvement and proceedings with the routine.

By the way, a key instance for me and my audience is just after the paper ball shoots over the volunteer's head...as it hits the floor behind him, I am quick to turn my body and head to the audience and "shhh" them with my index finger against my lips (as I simultaneously wink at them --to let them know that I know that they know). This cues the audience to keep the secret (and the fun) amongst ourselves and not to shout out the mystery's solution to the volunteer.

It's certainly not easy to describe in words how I perform this routine without words. Still, I hope the above gives you some idea of how I "pull it off".

All the best.


"Max" Smile

P.S. Daniel, You may want to check out my video clip, on the stage show section of our website: http://www.maxmagician.com
It should give you some idea of my style of physical comedy on stage and how I direct the volunteer's attention during my routines. The video clip shows Max stealing the volunteer's watch, in a good-natured, fun-filled way.
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
___________________________________
www.maxmagician.com
www.mindreadershow.com
www.monsieurmagic.com
perlimpinpin
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Well Max,

Thanks for the explanation, I did look at the vid on you website and it does translate your 'physicality'. Still very impressed that you manage to direct their attention without your voice !

Daniel
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
2133 Posts

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Daniel,

Thanks for the postive feedback on my videoclip.

Please note that in addition to my primary silent-comedy character, "Max", I have also developed a bilingual speaking character (French/English) named "Jack the Gambler" who performs close-up only.

I enjoy both (speaking and non-speaking) and I am currently developing a new speaking character that will combine magic & mentalism in an entertaining fashion.... but that's to discuss in another thread.
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
___________________________________
www.maxmagician.com
www.mindreadershow.com
www.monsieurmagic.com
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