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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Zombie foulard ideal size? (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

George Ledo
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For those of you who do Zombie a lot, what's your ideal size for the cloth? I believe the one I bought from Abbott's a loooong time ago was 30" or 36" square, but curious as to current "preferred" dimensions.
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JNeal
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It should be twice the length of the gimmick, so that the ball appears to be in the center of the foulard, when it is 'balanced' on the top edge. More often than not, this is about a 30" square.
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Frank Simpson
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I've been using a 30" one since about 1981. For me it's been perfect.
Al Schneider
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For what it is worth, here is how I selected a cloth.
But this is more than that.
First the gimmick size. It was shaped so the ball would rest on the bend of my elbow. That determines the size of the gimmick. Then, I held a junk piece of cloth in performing position. Hold one corner with gimmick in position and spread the cloth until the ball rests in the middle of the cloth {as already indicated). That determines the size of the cloth. Then I went to a fabric shop. I searched for cloth that would transmit minimal light through the cloth. This prevents light from behind me from revealing the gim during performance. (I do Zombie surrounded.) I selected a smooth cloth so it would slide over the ball and gimmick easily. This aids in several moves. The cloth should be a bit heavier than silk as the weight aids the draping of the cloth during performance. Then I searched for black background broken with blotches of white. During my final move the gimmick is seen against the cloth. The white blotches break the appearance of the gimmick so it goes unnoticed.

Perhaps that is more than you want but that has been my experience.

Al
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mr_misdirection
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Whether using the gimmick or a non regular gimmick method I use a 36" square silk created by folding a larger silk. I'm not a fan of the foulards that come with it so create my own.
Anatole
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Keep in mind that there's no need to hold the silk/foulard by the exact corners. The 36-inch extra weight Rice dragon silk was fine for Neil Foster.

Watch Tommy Wonder here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5h8n5y2Bils

He holds the cloth a few inches from the corner.

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hugmagic
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You should realize the 36" Rice silk is really about 34 1/2 to 35" in size. Most I make are right around 34 for people like Dale Salwak.
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Bill Hegbli
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Actually, it depends on the size Zombie Ball one will use. When Morrissey Magic was in business they made 3 or 4 different sizes up to 5 inch in diameter. They made a special size for General Grant that he sold for years, it was 3 inches in diameter.

I found the 3 inch and 3.5 inch was best for a 30 inch Foulard. It was mostly in the center of the cloth when floating upward.

It goes to reason that the larger the object or ball, will take more of the space to cover the object.

The late great Neil Foster used the special double dragon silk that Silk King Studio's once sold many years ago. It was 36 inch square. I noticed that Norm Nielsen has his foulard he uses with his Violin color matched to his clothing he wears on stage. I seen him once with a Brown suit, and once with a blue suit. The foulard was color matched.

It just depends on what the owners wants and desires and how he feels about it, in other words, personal preferences.

I have owned and tried several size balls, and foulards over the years, and my preference finally arrived at a foulard that was 30 inches square. Double layers, it was backed by light weight men's lining material, the front was a design I found in a fabric store of light weight material with a simple print pattern on it. I had a seamstress sew the cloths with a French seam, and ironed or pressed it. The nice thing is the material does not wrinkle when folded, so it always looks nice.

Just my experience.
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David Todd
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Tommy Wonder advocated using a solid color cloth which was kept wrapped around a postal mailing tube (not folded) so it is flat , with no wrinkles.
Both the lack of folds and wrinkles, as well as the solid color provide a better view of the form of the ball under the cloth. He also used a solid color cloth for his famous floating bird cage. To me this seems best , but it's a matter of taste , I think ... Neil Foster (and many others copying him) used the elegant and exotic Rice Imperial Dragon silk (double-layered) as a foulard , on the other hand the great Dale Salwak uses as solid colored foulard. Dirk Losander uses the solid color foulard .


Click here to see image 1 - Wonder_001.jpg

Click here to see image 2 - Wonder_002.jpg

Click here to see image 3 - Wonder_003.jpg

Click here to see image 4 - Wonder_004.jpg

Click here to see image 5 - Wonder_Birdcage_01

Click here to see image 6 - Wonder_Birdcage_02

Click here to image 7 - Wonder_Birdcage_03

(note that last image is from a Dutch television episode where Tommy Wonder was portraying a character which was not his usual stage persona, hence the casual dress)
David Todd
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Quote:
On Jun 9, 2018, hugmagic wrote:
You should realize the 36" Rice silk is really about 34 1/2 to 35" in size. Most I make are right around 34 for people like Dale Salwak.


Thanks for that information, Richard .

It's interesting that I just checked and the current Rice website (today, June 10, 2018) is listing the Imperial Dragon silk as 27" x 27" . Maybe the "36 x 36" (34 1/2") size is temporarily out of stock ?

http://www.silkkingmagic.com/Art%20Pictu......agon.htm
David Todd
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Quote:
On Jun 8, 2018, Al Schneider wrote:
For what it is worth, here is how I selected a cloth.
But this is more than that.
First the gimmick size. It was shaped so the ball would rest on the bend of my elbow. That determines the size of the gimmick. Then, I held a junk piece of cloth in performing position. Hold one corner with gimmick in position and spread the cloth until the ball rests in the middle of the cloth {as already indicated). That determines the size of the cloth. Then I went to a fabric shop. I searched for cloth that would transmit minimal light through the cloth. This prevents light from behind me from revealing the gim during performance. (I do Zombie surrounded.) I selected a smooth cloth so it would slide over the ball and gimmick easily. This aids in several moves. The cloth should be a bit heavier than silk as the weight aids the draping of the cloth during performance. Then I searched for black background broken with blotches of white. During my final move the gimmick is seen against the cloth. The white blotches break the appearance of the gimmick so it goes unnoticed.

Perhaps that is more than you want but that has been my experience.

Al



Hi, Al -

Thank you for your thoughts on selecting a cloth for the zombie . (your book , "Al Schneider on Zombie",is one of the best things I have on this effect , and is of course enthusiastically credited by Tommy Wonder for inspiring his thinking on performing the zombie) Your rationale for the patterned cloth makes perfect sense for some of the moves in your routine and the fact that you often perform it relatively close-up to your audience. I think Tommy's advocacy of the solid color cloth makes more sense for his approach,(especially for the bird cage) which eschews the more "acrobatic" type moves and not so much peeking up or around the edge of the cloth.

------

One more image to add to the images I posted previously , showing the solid pattern foulard . This is from Dirk Losander's video on Zombie.

Click here to see Image 8 - Losander_zomb_foulard

.
Al Schneider
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David Todd
Thank you for pointing out that my design concerns are different than many others here. I would like to emphasize that. The perverse conditions I was attempting to perform in forced me to the extremes I chose. It has done me well. I did close up at the castle some time ago. I closed with the Zombie. There was someone sitting to my left at times four inches from the ball as I went through my routine. I often wonder what he saw.

And as we discuss the details about Zombie I would like to remind dear readers that the physical mechanics of the props are but a small part of the Zombie effect. As Tommy Wonder has said to me himself, the many magicians that depend on hiding the gimmick as magic only render the effect magic-less. The injection of one’s soul into the ball or whatever is the real magic the audience sees. Zombie is the most difficult effect I have mastered. Many years passed before I even took it to a magic meeting to show what I had.
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