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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Sponge ball finale (9 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Houston MO
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Hello everyone. I want to start off by saying that I know an effect is only as good as its performer but I just want some opinions on this matter.

I've always done sponge balls the same way Mr. Eugene Burger does. His routine works great for me. However, he ends his with an explosion of spongeballs from the spectators hand. I love the reactions this gets but 16 spongeballs is a lot to carry and it takes a small amount of time to reset. That's not a big deal. However, recently I started doing the two in the hand one in the pocket finale and end with nothing in my hand. Its instant reset and goes over good. Does anyone find it's worth carrying the extra sponges? Thanks in advance for any responses
Xcath1
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I don’t think you can beat the multi sponge finale but I often
do just what you said for the same reasons that you gave.
Dick Oslund
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The late Dr Stanley Jaks, started the "multiball" finish, about 60+ years ago. Al Goshman was still a baker in NYC (the Magic Castle didn't "exist, yet) and, the nice "machine made" sponge balls hadn't been "invented" either!!! Jaks (I knew him, and Al Goshman, too) used "scraps" of small pieces of sponge! The EFFECT, when that fistful of sponge bits, "exploded", from his hand, was a great finish! (Note: The EFFECT is not the TRICK. The EFFECT is what the spectator PERCEIVES! The TRICK is what the magician PERFORMS!) A rather fine distinction, I realize. (cf. FITZKEE!!!)

Jaks came to a table by invitation. (cf, Danny's recent description of Matt Schulien's "method" of working tables.) Danny, Matt & Chuck Schulien, Bert Allerton, Eugene Burger and Jaks did not "table hop".

Jaks' 'multiball" IS a great finish, but, I agree with you, Chance, that "two in the hand, and one in the pocket" is a good finish, also. --And, it's PRACTICAL for table hopping!

Doing school shows, is not like working in a legitimate theater! I had to get in and out, fast! When I did a sponge ball routine in a high school, it was a brief routine with a purse frame, and TWO sponge balls. It "killed"! There was NO set up!

I sat on a big rock at a Navajo Pow Wow in Arizona, 30+ years ago, and entertained some little kids with a few small STONES. --I did "two in the hand, one in the pocket".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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P.S. One of these days, I'll tell the late Frances Ireland Marshall's story of the Chicago magician, who kept "eating regularly" by hand cutting sponge balls, during the GREAT DEPRESSION of the "30s".
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
jimgerrish
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In The Wizards' Journal #29, I describe my Pseudo Cup and Balls routine, which is actually a three-color sponge ball routine combined with three-color cups. To jump to the ending, instead of using my pocket for the "One in the hand, one in the pocket" ending, I use a small paper lunch bag (also used to carry around the cups). The advantages of using the bag: it stands up by itself when opened (unlike a cloth bag); it can easily be shown empty (unlike my pockets which are also kind of personal, you know?); if you are only doing the one show, it can be torn up at the end to further "prove" its emptiness. So now, with the paper bag it's "One ball in the hand, one in the bag, etc." At the end, the hands are empty, all the balls having vanished, and the line is: "Where do you THINK the balls went?" to which there is just one answer - the bag. Then when you show the bag empty as well (or tear it to pieces) the mystery is complete. You can't really do that with pockets unless you want to take off your pants and hand them over for examination, which is not a pretty sight. However, if you don't tear up the bag to pieces, you can also use the optional ending of having the three balls reappear in the bag after being shown empty, or go some steps further and have a whole rainbow colored set of balls (9 to 12 is a good number) come bouncing out of the bag as a finale. Anyway, if you can't figure out methods, you'll find them in the e-Book at WizJ #29.
Image

The same method can be used for a regular sponge ball routine without involving cups, but it's a little more difficult to explain why you have to carry around sponge balls in a paper bag.
Theodore Lawton
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One way I used to finish my routine for table hopping was to use a giant sponge ball in the spectator's hand, you end clean and they get a real surprise without having a handful of sponge balls to deal with. It's also not as anti-climactic as ending with "nothing."
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
TheAmbitiousCard
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It might be laziness but I've determined it's not worth carrying extra anything unless there's a very good reason.
A very good reason might be where the firm that hired you has a product/service that can relate to a large number of colorful balls appearing.

If the firm you've been hired by sells something that makes things go away, like a cleaner or solvent, etc., ending with zero might even relate better and could tie in with their product, via clever presentation.

If the firm produces wine corks, it might be best to end with a single wine cork in your hand and no balls at all.

If I don't have some "presentational" gimmick to tie into what they do/make/sell I would stick with what's easiest for me and end with nothing.
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Oscar999
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I like the idea of ending with a large sponge ball ... but my sponge ball routine ends with all vanishing.

Oscar
Dannydoyle
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If you are working before the dinner arrives having a multitude of sponges all over the table makes very little sense.

If however after dinner it seems to be more manageable. Like everything in life context is everything.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Houston MO
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Wow. Thanks for all the quick replays. I enjoyed your history lesson Mr. Oslund. I like to know where the trick I'm performing comes from. Also I do like the idea of a giant sponge ending. Out of curiosity what size do you use. I agree that carrying something has to to be legitimized but that may simply be for a greater effect, I think o used that right
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Wow Danny I just had your post load after submitting. You make a good point
Dannydoyle
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I think so often we (Me included.) get so caught up in our own situations, our own opinions and experience that we forget that it is not universal.

Almost every performance situation is unique in some form or fashion. So there are just so universal "truths" that it makes no sense to try to apply them. It is all about context.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Theodore Lawton
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The 4" ball worked well. If you have them opening their hands slowly it's quite a site to see it expand in their palm. It always got great reactions. I kept it in one of my unused back pockets so the space wasn't even an issue.

You might be able to find larger ones, but the four inch ball is a pretty good handful and you can make it look like the 3 balls you are already using by the way you pinch it.
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
SleightlyChris
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I third the giant sponge ball. It's great and unexpected. I use a 5 inch.
Yellowcustard
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I just do a two ball routine. Ending with me putting one ball in my hand and one ball in their hand. I explain that they need to squeeze tight. If they don't the ball escapes, (At this point I show my hand empty). Now I use to go wrong and rush to get them to open their hand showing they have two. But quite a few years ago some one said show your hand empty then just wait. The spectator will either open their hand, or someone else watching will start guseing whats happened. When your spectator open their hands they will be the star of the show and the other spectators will feel part of it as well.

Also use the biggest balls you can find.

Hope this helps.
Enjoy your magic,

and let others enjoy it as well!
Jeremy Soon
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I use a giant sponge ball as the finale. Tried using multiple sponge balls but it is kind of a hassle to clean it up if it ends up on the tables and on the floors.
rabbitok
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I use the Al Goshman "and then there were Four" Prop, "I'm going to ask to hold on to all the sponges balls, how many sponge ball do you think you're holding ? They usually answer "Three" ; "open you hand flat" and they're holding the four, always goes across well...
(I use 3" soft round for the rest of the routine, not a huge fan of the supplied pieces with the "then they were four" sets..)
jimgerrish
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One of our former Wiz Kids came up with a large sponge ball ending for our "Colorful Sponge Ball" routine, which is performed with a red, yellow, and blue sponge ball. After making the three balls vanish from the "ball in hand to ball in paper bag" ending, the balls finally reappear back in the "empty" paper bag and are given to a spectator to hold while the performer "packs up". He asks the spectator:"you have the blue, red and yellow balls in your hand... what color are we missing? Green? I lost the green ball years ago." The spectator opens his hand and is holding only a single large (4") green sponge ball. "Hey, you found it! Thanks a lot!"
Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
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Houston MO
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Thanks for all the input everyone. I haven't been able to try the large sponge finish as o do t own o e and haven't had a large enough order to get one.

However, I have been trying Burgers routine with the 2 in the hand one in the pocket finish where I end with 0 balls in my hand. I find that it goes over very well and resets instantly. One thing I noticed is that on the second revelation of three balls in the hand it is important to show the pocket hand empty. It's the convincer that let's them know they are wrong and there was never a fourth ball.

However, I have noticed that the emotional finish isn't as strong as having 16 spongeballs shoot out of their hands. I also noticed that the size of sponge used in each of the two routines needs to be different.
warren
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My routine ends with the 2 balls ending up in the spectators hands as I agree with many other working pro's.... that it doesn't get much stronger than that.
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