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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Teaching sponge balls (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

gomerel
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I have a class of seniors. They are smart people and not senile. Last week they picked up Professor's Nightmare quickly. But I have trouble teaching people sponge balls, specifically passe passe. I don't know why. I know I am a good teacher. But this has me stumped. Any suggestions? IM me if you like.
davidpaul$
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What's YOUR definition of Passe-passe regarding sponge balls?
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
gomerel
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danaruns
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Is it the retention vanish that is giving them trouble? If so, it's not you.

I helped Mark Wilson teach magic at the Magic Castle for a few years, and in the Magic I classes this was the most difficult sleight for new magic students to learn to do well. It takes both hands working at once doing different things, which is hard, and it makes the brain ignore something that it is working hard to accomplish. It would often take time and individual attention to teach them the vanish. And I'd have them pass the ball for real several times, studying every aspect of how they move, and then have them do the vanish and try to make their hands move in the same way as when they really did it. Sometimes I'd have to take it one hand at a time, and then put them together. It's just not easy for some folks to learn.

I feel your pain.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
funsway
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I think some of Al Schneider's material on training the "holding hand" might help. He suggests hours on that hand and mind training alone.

Seniors will have imagination and discipline to draw on. When they focus on "knowing" the ball is in left holding hand
and treating the "taking hand" as inconsequential, it might help. Students seem concerned over making the taking hand appear empty.
By focusing instead on where the ball is known to be, the palming and natural hand and withdraw will simplify.

The point is that the holding hand is not empty. It holds a real thing - the ball that is known to the audience.
If you believe that, so will the audience. Have them focus on having the holding hand seem full rather than the /taking hand seem empty.
A fake take may work better than a fake placement.

You might also try teaching "10 Count" first since the misdirection is so powerful.


This is also why an immediate reveal of the vanish is often wrong. There is a reason for placing the ball in the holding hand. What is it?
What does the audience expect of that ball? Where will you put it? Will it transport, multiply, change color?

The sleight should have a "never happened" quality. When that happens in the performer's mind it will convey to the observer as well.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
Dougini
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Quote:
On Feb 24, 2019, danaruns wrote:
I helped Mark Wilson teach magic at the Magic Castle for a few years...


This I did not know. That must have been difficult. Some people are impossible to teach! Still...what an experience! Smile

Doug
davidpaul$
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Quote:
On Feb 24, 2019, gomerel wrote:
Like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJBfYoLYN6k


That's what I thought.. instead of teaching the cadence of the routine I would teach a ROV vanish.
A simple put-and-take. Just putting a SB into the hand to get a feel what it looks and feels to do just that. (Naturalness and timing) Then teach ROV. After they understand the concept/ execution, then you can go into the "passe-passe" as you call it.

That's how I learned, just vanishing a ball at first. Then I started to get into more involved routines. Just my opinion.FWIW.
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
jimgerrish
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Start with a coin retention vanish. Elderly adults are more familiar with coins than with sponge balls (no squeezing required). Give them a craft glue dot to put on the coin so that all they have to concentrate on is the retention part and not how to clip the coin first and then hang onto it. Once that is mastered, remove the glue dot and teach the clipping part. From there, use the vanish on a small piece of candy. Only then are you ready to advance to sponge ball magic, with the hard part of the retention vanish already mastered. This also works on Wiz Kids who don't pick up on the retention vanish and who have trouble pretending to leave the coin in their hand or closing their fingers around a coin they have no intention of keeping, but adults have more years of grasping and holding learning to overcome than do children.
Wravyn
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Perhaps a two in the hand,, one to the pocket equals two in the hand. Would do away with a ROV
gomerel
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I have tried teaching the 10 count. It seemed even more difficult for students.
Melephin
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Let them do it for real (ball goes really in the hand - no vanish). Let them get the timing and the positions... if they got it, they can start do the vanish (same timing, same positions). Problem with beginners is often, the concentrate to much in hiding the secret instead of making it looking exactly the same as if they do the transfer for real.
gomerel
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I took the question to my SAM club, Assembly 72. They had several good suggestions. The best one was to clip the ball between the index and middle fingers of the right hand*, come close to the left hand, and (pretend to) "throw" the ball, closing both hands but putting the focus on the left hand. That way, both hands are doing the same motion at the same time. Students who had been struggling with the method I was teaching caught on immediately.
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