Sponge ball reference needed

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Postby Edwin Corrie » 08/18/03 07:56 AM

I'm not really into sponge ball magic, but was recently reminded of a simple stunt that might go down well with my daughter and was wondering if anyone can provide a reference.

It's the one where you have two balls and you count from one to ten, performing a basic action with one of the balls on each count (e.g. pick up, put down etc.). The last few actions involve apparently placing one of the balls in one hand, making it vanish and then finally, on the count of ten, showing both balls in the other hand.

It's obviously a simple "two in the hand" effect, and I'm sure it's well known, but I can't for the life of me reconstruct the exact sequence. Does anyone know where I can find it?
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Postby Michael Kamen » 08/18/03 08:04 AM

Frank Garcia taught me that trick in about 1963-64. Called it "10-count" and said he invented it, so you will probably find it in his sponge ball tome (hard to find these days). Of course you can do it with any small objects, even coins. It is really a great trick.
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Postby Bob Gerdes » 08/18/03 08:29 AM

I think I can add a few more references that you might already have:

Its in Ganson's "Art of Close Up Magic", I think called "Chinese matchsticks" by Vernon.

Its in "The Magic Book" by Harry Lorayne (can't remember what he calls it).

Its also in "The Blackstone Book of Magic and Illusion" (a surprisingly good description of why this simple trick works)

And I know Johnny Thompson does it as a part of his Benson Bowl routine on "Commercial Classics of Magic" (Vol 1, I think).

Bob

PS: Almost forgot...you can see Herb Zarrow do it with paper napkins on the "Dai Vernon... the Spirit of Magic" video.
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Postby Pete Biro » 08/18/03 09:16 AM

If Garcia had lived long enough he would have invented every trick known to man, woman, child and dog. Argh.... :whack:
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Postby Frank Yuen » 08/18/03 09:25 AM

I believe that it is in the Mark Wilson course as well.

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Postby Michael Kamen » 08/18/03 06:58 PM

Pete,

I am beginning to realize that. He was a helluva nice guy though. I was only a kid then anyway, and it was great fun to show him his own sponge ball trick (not the 10-count) and watch his stunned expression as he asked me to do it again. :D
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 08/18/03 10:36 PM

A big thank you all round. The only one of the sources mentioned that I have to hand is Lorayne's Magic Book, but I'll check out Ganson and Mark Wilson when the rest of my books arrive.

I'm glad the trick has such a good pedigree and has been performed by some of the greats. It seems like a minor stunt, but it certainly made an impression on me.

This just shows once again what a great place the Genii Forum is for finding information.
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Postby Guest » 09/19/03 01:11 PM

Jay Sankey demonstrates it on his "Ear Plugs" Video. You may or may not like the idea of giant size ear plugs made of sponge, but this is one of the best and most complete video compendiums extant on sponge magic.
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 09/19/03 02:37 PM

Thanks. I'm not sure if I can picture the routine done with ear plugs, but I'll check it out if I ever see the video.
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Postby Chris Bailey » 09/24/03 10:46 AM

That's a funny quip Pete! Didn't Frank Garcia invent that saying?
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Postby Guest » 09/24/03 07:07 PM

Garcia teaches the Ten Count on his first video for Tannen's, lo so many years ago... Asrah

p.s. In a Magic Manuscript article on Garcia he says, "Men create. Monkeys imitate." :D
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/24/03 07:23 PM

I have a vague recollection that the 10-Count thing was invented by Martin Gardner, but the Blackstone citation seems to refute that.
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Postby Guest » 09/24/03 08:29 PM

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
I have a vague recollection that the 10-Count thing was invented by Martin Gardner, but the Blackstone citation seems to refute that.
I also recall some sort of a Martin Gardner connection to the 10-count. I believe the reference was in the booklet published by Magic, Inc.: The Sponge Book.

I no longer have a copy. Perhaps someone who does can look it up...
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Postby Bob Gerdes » 09/25/03 07:33 AM

I have a vague recollection that the 10-Count thing was invented by Martin Gardner, but the Blackstone citation seems to refute that.
Richard,
The Blackstone book I mentioned is the one published in the 80's (I think) by Harry Jr., so it wouldn't necessarily rule out Gardner as the inventor. I mentioned it only as a good source to learn the trick.... I often see that book in regular bookstores.

But I seem to recall reading somewhere that the 10 count was likely very old, but was popularized by Vernon.
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Postby Jim Maloney_dup1 » 09/25/03 10:44 AM

It's on Roberto Giobbi's lecture DVD. I'll look it up tonight -- I'm positive he mentions the creator.

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Postby Pete Biro » 09/25/03 01:50 PM

A loooooooooong time ago, In London, Pat Page was doing the 10 count, and I also think Ken Brooke... perhaps it has origins in the UK? :confused:
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Postby Ryan Matney » 09/25/03 06:25 PM

I'm not near my library, but I can recall reading Martin Gardner's version with matches in the Encyclopedia of Impromptu Magic. If this part of the series reprinted from Hugard's magic monthly, then Gardner may be the genesis of the trick.
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Postby Guest » 09/25/03 06:45 PM

There is actually a reference to the matches thing in Robert Parrish's book "A Magician's Handbook" At least I think that is the title.

The first chapter describes a little match routine with paper matches and the matchbook. The first part of the routine has what is essentially the 10 count tricks only without the 10 count.

If you see what I mean.

Same trick anyway.

I did read once who invented it. For the life of me I cannot remember.
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Postby Guest » 09/25/03 06:47 PM

My brain is slowly deteriorating. The Parrish book was called "for magicians only"

Or was it? He wrote a sequel and combined the two books. I am beginning to think I was right the first time.

Oh, who the hell cares anyway?
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Postby Edwin Corrie » 09/26/03 02:35 AM

I have "The Sponge Book" but it's inexplicably got lost somewhere and I can't put my hands on it to check.

About the only other book I have on sponge balls is a small French book which gives the basic sequence without the counting-to-ten business. Martin Gardner and Ken Brooke are mentioned, but not specifically as the inventors.

I then checked "Ken Brooke - The Unique Years" (Supreme) and found the KB Sponge Ball Routine, which includes a similar sequence with a count of "one, two, one, two" (actually done in French as a sort of gag).

To me, counting to ten adds an intriguing dimension to what is really just a simple transposition.
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Postby Guest » 11/03/03 02:24 PM

I know for a fact that Heba Haba AL and the crowd at the New York Lounge in Chicago were doing the 10 count as far back as 1972, when I first started frequenting that joint.

I later worked there as a backup magician, never pulling drinks.

Skeets Mallun used to do it during his rendition of the Benson Bowl routine and Heba used in both the Benson routine and in his standard sponge routine.

The book Garcia did on sponges came out in the late 70's or early 80's IIRC and he describes it in there. However, a caveat on that book. For an encyclopedia, it does NOT cover color changes at all! Nor much on lapping or holdouts for the sponges.

Just some more background.

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Postby Pete Biro » 11/04/03 11:28 PM

And then there was a version (I saw Mike Rogers to this) where you sang "Yankee Doodle Went to Town... " etc. etc. :D

who's was that? :confused:
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Postby Tabman » 11/06/03 12:13 PM

i recently bought a dvd off ebay that was billed as garcias lost tapes or something like that. crudely filmed and reproduced it looks like somebody taped a private session with frank in his nyc apartment complete with ever present cigarette and traffic sounds on the street outside. im wondering if anyone else bought this DVD of frank and if anyone has any info on this tape????????
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