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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic - Is there an alternative? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mike Walton
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Rather than mimic someone else's sponge ball routine and patter, I'm trying to create something in my own style. I'm researching different sponge ball themes, vanishes, sleights, etc. to first understand all of the components before I come up with the underlying frame of the routine. I've noticed that many of the more popular routines are similar so I'm looking for a resource that offers more.

In several "sponge resource" threads here, Café members have recommended Frank Garcia's book, Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic which sounds like the culmination of all things sponge ball including sponge work that is different from the more popular routines. It sounds like an ideal reference solution.

I just performed a search and was shocked, SHOCKED to see it on Ebay for $255 and the auction isn't over yet. It seems this book is being bid up to reflect the combination of demand and lack of supply of this out of print, difficult to find book.

I can't find any other encyclopedia type reference. And for just under $300, I can't mentally take that step to pay for Garcia's book, as I'm sure many others won't as well.

Is there an alternative reference to Garcia's Encyclopedia that offers the same wide scope of information for sponge balls?

Finally, if this book is the cat's meow for sponge work, if there is such a high demand for this book, and if this information can't be found anywhere else, then wouldn't this type of project be good for someone who wants to write a new book and be useful for magicians interested in sponge work? (Hint, hint for you publishing types.)

Sure, it would be similar to Garcia's book, but Garcia's book is scarce these days.

The references I've found so far that offer routines as well as some different sponge work are as follows:

Scott Guinn-PB & J routine
Steve Dacri - Master Routines
Eugene Burger - Vol 1 Magical Voyages
Brad Burt - All About Sponge Balls
Kenton Knepper - Klose Up
Lewis Ganson - Routines Manipulation Finale
Frank Garcia - Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic
Jay Sankey - Earplugs
Gary Ouellet - Close Up Illusions
Royal Magic - Amazing Magic Tricks with Sponge Balls
Daryl - Fooler Doolers

Please note, I'm not asking for additions to this reference list, but for thoughts on alternatives to the Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic.

Thanks for your replies in advance.
jimisolo
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League City, TX
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Gawd, am I glad someone has asked this question!!! I, too, have been trying to come up with something as comprehensive as Garcia's Encyclopedia without the "rare" and "out of print" price tag. Unfortunately, my efforts have fallen flat as well. I will keep my eyes peeled wide though, and if I come across something, you'll be the first to know.

Until then, if anyone out there can help us out, it would be MOST appreciated.

My 2,

Rob
Ian Richards
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As noted, the Garcia book is an encyclopedia, as such there is not one equivalent book that can be compared to it.

In terms of relatively easily obtainable books that are good alternatives to Frank Garcia's "Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball" magic my vote would go to:

Audley Walsh "Sponge Ball Magic"

Jon Jensen "Professional Sponge Ball Magic volumes 1 and 2". I believe that there is also a volume 3 in the works on sponge bunnies.

Although you did not want additional references, it is very worthwhile to look at Doug Atkinson's excellent site Magic Reference Page. In addition to the contents of many books, it also has a section on sponge balls:

http://magicref.tripod.com/magref/magspong.htm
truthteller
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I hope the book is never reprinted. Personally I feel magic is too accessible and that the short lived goal of raking in a few extra bucks is a sad alternative to making some material exclusive to those who are willing to make the investment.
Mitch Schneiter
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Quote:
On 2004-01-16 12:36, Ian Richards wrote:
In terms of relatively easily obtainable books that are good alternatives to Frank Garcia's "Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball" magic my vote would go to:
Audley Walsh "Sponge Ball Magic"

It may be the same booklet as mentioned above but Audley Walsh also(?) has one titled "Sponge Ball Manipulation" which was originally coprighted in 1940, and later by Louis Tannen in 1947. In the same vein is "The Sponge Book" edited by Frances Marshall and put out by MAGIC, INC. out of Chicago. This booklet has routines by Goshman, Crandall, Don Alan, Dr. Jaks, and others.
Of course, neither of these booklets compare to Garcia's encyclopedia. I bought a first edition copy back in the seventies for $20. Knowing what it's worth now I'll have to move it up the bookshelf next to my copy of Nelson's Variations.
Jeff Dial
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In Roy Benson's "Benson Bowl Routine" he has a great vanish. I know it is found in Classic Secrets of Magic and the Phoenix, but not sure where else.
"Think our brains must be too highly trained, Majikthise" HHGG
Frank Tougas
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That vanish is demonstrated by Don Alan himself in the Steven's Video of Don Alan. The video source for much of the material written in the Racherbaumer book, In A class by Himself.

A very disappointing book about a fabulous artist and one who any close-up or walk-around performer owes a nod of recognition for paving the way. In our own way we have all taken something from Don, a trick, a philosophy, a line or a performing style.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
johnloon
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Also checkout the book "Magic by Gosh" there is a very good routine for sponge ball. I think it is the best.
doowopper
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I am old as dirt so I have Garcia's, "Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic," and Audley Walsh's pamphlet on the sponge balls. I bought Garcia's book for $12.50 (price sticker still on it) at Tannens umpteen years ago - $255 for it now - wow!
Anyway, Walsh has a great retention of vision sponge ball move that I have been using for over 30 years. It's well worth a look if you can get his pamphlet.
Richard
harp
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The following has worked for me on scarce or obscure titles, relating to magic and otherwise. Get the name of the author, title of book, and ISBN and take it to the local library for there interlibrary loan program. Sometimes this takes a while, however if there is one out there, it will come back to the local library for a limiited time. This will at least give you a chance to get your hands on it for a few days. Maybe Richard would provide the information to you. It's worth a try at no cost to you.

Harp
Mike Walton
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Quote:
On 2004-01-23 16:19, harp wrote:
The following has worked for me on scarce or obscure titles, relating to magic and otherwise. Get the name of the author, title of book, and ISBN and take it to the local library for there interlibrary loan program. Sometimes this takes a while, however if there is one out there, it will come back to the local library for a limiited time. This will at least give you a chance to get your hands on it for a few days. Maybe Richard would provide the information to you. It's worth a try at no cost to you.

Harp


Great idea.

Thanks to everyone for their feedback.
Rcitgo
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I was the winning bidder on that book and I consider it money well spent.Hey it was written by Frank Garcia and no other spongebook has that much info so I will be very happy with it. Smile
Alan Munro
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I would think that the Steve Dacri tape would be a good thing to get. I learned much of what I know about sponge work by analyzing a televison performance of his "Martians" routine.

"Routined Manipulation Finale" by Lewis Ganson has some good advice on sponge work that is often overlooked.
Bill Hegbli
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Turkey,

Frank Garcia also put out a booklet with excellent material many years before the Encyclopedia. I last found it on Morrissey Magic site. It is very inexpensive.

Yes, I would like to see the IBM or SAM sponser or found a national archive of all magic so that it is never lost to the future youth.

Bill
froxen
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Well... for those interested in Garcia's Encylopedia of Sponge Ball Magic. There's one up for auction at eBay now.
"The most beautiful experience we can have is the Mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and science." - Albert Einstein
Mike Walton
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OK, I finally broke down and bought Garcia's Encyclopedia. I have to write that there is no good substitute for this book as it's filled with around 20 useful vanishes and lots of interesting routines from Garcia himself and many of the old classic magicians. I'm typically a 2-3 sponge ball vanish guy, but the new vanishes (in my mind) are brilliant. I highly recommend this book for its usefulness.

...but for those not wanting to spend that large lump of cash, Jon Jensen's Professional Sponge Ball Tricks Volume 1 & 2 offer a nice compilation of various vanishes and lots of routines. They're plastic bound booklets and are well worth the $$$.
phread
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I too have the jensen books and think they are the best for one who is interested in starting sponge work.
Deckless Wonder
ostadler
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Hello all,

I have just started with Sponge ball magic and found this thread. As I come from Germany I want to draw your attention to a German translation of Frank Garcia's Sponge Ball Encyclopedia. I found this title in a German magic shop (check it out here and needless to say I just ordered myself a copy Smile . The price is about 20 Euro.
Maybe some of you will find this hint useful. Personally I think that a German translation (even for a non German speaker) is a good alternative to the original book for hundreds of dollars....

I hope that helped Smile

Greetings from Germany,

Oli
Bill Palmer
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The German translation will only be of value to someone who can read German.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
ostadler
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Hello Bill,

I don't know how many pictures there are in the Encyclopedia. Of course if it mainly consists of text and descriptions it could get kinda hard for a non German speaker. Anyway, maybe some people with little or some knowledge of the German language might want to give it a try.

Greetings,

Oli
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