Wonderball

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Postby mrgoat » 01/17/13 09:02 AM

Funniest thing I've seen for years.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeG_ahxGjIU
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Postby CraigMitchell » 01/17/13 09:56 AM

I'm curious ... would any layperson actually be fooled by this ?

Or is it just us magicians who believe audiences aren't going to scream "ball on a string" ?
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Postby Chas Nigh » 01/17/13 10:46 AM

The comments made my day.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/17/13 11:05 AM

Chas Nigh wrote:The comments made my day.


I missed the comments. Bloody hilarious!

Imagine being so desperately sad you have to pay someone on Fiverr.com to post fake comments on your [censored] [censored] [censored] trick.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/17/13 11:06 AM

CraigMitchell wrote:I'm curious ... would any layperson actually be fooled by this ?

Or is it just us magicians who believe audiences aren't going to scream "ball on a string" ?


You'd have to be as dead as her career to be fooled by that.
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Postby M.Lee » 01/17/13 05:39 PM

Okito was known to do a decient job w/ it ? as did Henning & Copperfield

so if not done by T----- How the hell is it supposed to float then ?

( Its interesting how easy things are for those NOT in the arena )

WoW !! is Char really that disliked here , Where's the Love People.

Throw the lady a crumb - after all Isn't she attempting to Re-group after 25 yrs of busting her ass doing GRAND ILLUSION w/ JP - Sorry but In my book that means somthing.

The set of DVDs produced by Jonathan & Char on the Art of the Grand illusion offer some of the most Solid , Most informative ,REAL world advice to be found anywhere . a Steal at the price they sold for . ....Appreciate the memories.

Good Luck Char.

PS . Just dont' sell (?) any more large illusions.


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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/17/13 05:59 PM

Balls float either by being on the end of stick or suspended by thread. If you hear a loud noise, then it's a hair-dryer or vacuum cleaner moter like Abbott's had for a floating balloon.

I believe the Wonderball is a version of "Astro-Sphere," and excellent floating ball ostensibly created by Tony Spina and which Tannen's sold when I was a kid--I still have mine.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/17/13 06:02 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:...I believe the Wonderball is a version of "Astro-Sphere," and excellent floating ball ostensibly created by Tony Spina and which Tannen's sold when I was a kid--I still have mine.


IIRC the "Astro-Sphere" and it's translucent cloth had to be rather close together due to the method.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 01/17/13 06:04 PM

Teller is currently doing a version that Penn introduces as being done with a piece of thread, which, of course, is exactly how it's done. But when you watch itand even knowing how it's doneit seems impossible. (And for those who demand "art," the ball seems to have a life, and attitude, of its own.)

So, while her work on this is less than good, it's possible that someone could make something of it.

(Oh, and did anyone notice the 13 minute video of Slydini on the same page?)

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/17/13 06:21 PM

Teller's version of the Okito Floating Ball is great. Sublime. The ball becomes a living thing.
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Postby PapaG » 01/17/13 06:53 PM

Dustin Stinett wrote:(Oh, and did anyone notice the 13 minute video of Slydini on the same page?)

Dustin


Stunning.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 01/18/13 05:44 AM

"Teller's version of the Okito Floating Ball is great. Sublime. The ball becomes a living thing."

If memory serves me correctly - Tommy Wonder had some great input when it came to objects levitating and how they need to move independently of the performer. Giving life to an inanimate object is something which Teller has clearly perfected.
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Postby Q. Kumber » 01/18/13 07:40 AM

Giving life to an inanimate object is powerful mojo.

But you can look at it in different ways. Take Blackstone Jr for example (I never saw Snr).

The Floating Light Bulb and the Dancing Handkerchief. Similar methodology.

Yet in the Bulb effect Blackstone is controlling the bulb. With the handkerchief, it is an independent being with a life and mind of its own.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/18/13 08:59 AM

I think the main difference between Teller and Charlotte is that Teller is good.
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Postby JHostler » 01/18/13 11:05 AM

I remain astonished that magicians insist on floating or levitating *anything* (even competently). The effect can be pretty, but never actually fools anyone of moderate intelligence. An invisible means of support is the simplest, most immediate, and - without fail - accurate explanation. Today's sophisticated audiences would likely be more impressed with the slow two-centimeter movement of a small resting object captured on time lapse video - something more subtle, with a range of explanations that can be cancelled out under proper performance conditions/constraints.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/18/13 11:08 AM

JHostler wrote:I remain astonished that magicians insist on floating or levitating *anything* (even competently).


I do a bill float and it kills. SO many times afterwards people take the note and rub it on their sleeve (as I do) trying to recreate the 'static' that I claim made it float.

I think most tricks can be deconstructed by anyone with moderate intelligence. Torn and restored card - well he must not have ripped up the card, but made us think he did. Card to wallet - he must have shoved the card in the wallet when we weren't looking. etc etc etc.
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Postby JHostler » 01/18/13 11:44 AM

Response bias - similar to self-selection in open opinion/satisfaction surveys. I won't presume your bill float to "suck," but there may - just may - be a silent contingent who are neither fooled nor inclined to heckle.

My observations of most non-magician spectators never indicate much beyond polite bemusement and stifled giggling when it comes to these types of effects. (And no, I'm not referring to my personal performances - I know my weaknesses! :o)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/18/13 11:48 AM

Let's not ignore Al Schneider's ground-breaking thinking regarding the Zombie, and the separation of the ball's movements from the performer's.

Many decades ago he created the curved Zombie gimmick and wrote (I'm paraphrasing), "When the ball moves, the performer doesn't. And when the performer moves, the ball doesn't."
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Postby JHostler » 01/18/13 12:19 PM

I've seen some absolutely lovely zombie performances... but still don't believe they're sufficiently mystifying. Maybe my standards are just too bloody high.

That said, I REALLY like Bill Abbott's "The Thing" - precisely because nothing is actually seen. The audience's thoughts are rerouted from "something's holding it up" to "what the hell IS it?" And then they wonder about the box. And then they just give up and enjoy. Simply brilliant.
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Postby Bill McFadden » 01/18/13 12:27 PM

Comments: "sexy feet". Has anyone told Rex Ryan?
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 01/18/13 12:39 PM

Blackstone gained great conviction with his floating bulb by taking it into the audience and floating it inches away from spectators (while simultaneously, and very convincingly spinning a hoop around it.)

I was lucky enough to see him perform it a few times (and also Darren Romeo who does it well) and it went over like gangbusters. Unlike Charlotte Pendragon's abortive attempt (failure), Blackstone really understood how to sell the levitation.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 01/18/13 12:45 PM

I remember when David Copperfield's Flying special appeared on TV. Many of my friends and co-workers asked me about it. What did you think of it, I said. It was amazing, they all replied, and they all asked how he did it. How do you think he did it, I asked. Oh I don't know, wires? was the invariable answer.

They all loved the trick. They all knew how it was done when they thought about it. But they all loved it.

They loved it because it gave them a powerful emotional feeling to watch it. Knowing how it was done was comparatively unimportant.

This is the exact opposite of the way many magicians operate. They concern themselves totally with preventing the audience from knowing how the trick is done, and any emotional content is an afterthought.

"The magic of drama is infinitely more powerful than the magic of trickery. It is as available to the conjurer as it is to the actor. The only difference is that actors take it for granted, whereas few conjurers are even aware that it exists."
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"There is a tremendous difference between even short-lived illusions and none at all. If a play fails to create any illusion, it is worthless. On the other hand, if it succeeds in creating an illusion, the fact that the spell of drama is broken with the fall of the curtain does not diminish its effect in the slightest."
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Postby Tom Stone » 01/18/13 01:28 PM

I didn't think it was possible to do something that looked worse than the Sands ripoff... You learn something new every day.
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Postby Chris Aguilar » 01/18/13 01:38 PM

Tom Stone wrote:I didn't think it was possible to do something that looked worse than the Sands ripoff... You learn something new every day.

Agreed.

Both videos are horrible, a real embarrassment.
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Postby CraigMitchell » 01/18/13 04:19 PM

The first time I saw Tommy Wonder perform his zombie was believing in magic again ... it was truly beautiful.

With regards to DC's flying - those who had seen it live with me first jumped to "wires" as explanation - but then discounted that option themselves after factoring in all the "convincers" - hoop / box etc. For a live audience - those were powerful moments - as you could almost collectively hear the gasps of astonishment as he tore away so-called "solutions" as the routine progressed.

Once again - that element of beauty comes to the fore in both.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/19/13 01:53 PM

I like the idea and I think the idea can be worked into something.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/19/13 02:01 PM

Glenn Bishop wrote:I like the idea and I think the idea can be worked into something.


Triumph?
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Postby erdnasephile » 01/19/13 03:35 PM

I found the clip uncomfortable to watch.

Same feeling I got when I saw a late middle aged man and his spouse doing a dancing cane routine at a SAM convention. The movements and music no longer fit the performers and it made me just a little sad.

That's one thing I admire about Copperfield. He has an acute sense of who he is and who the audience will accept. These have changed as he has aged, and he has made the appropriate adjustments to keep himself relevant.
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Postby keeper » 01/19/13 04:52 PM

Sadly the only thing more uncomfortable than watching Jonathan perform without Charolette....

is watching Charolette perform without Jonathan.

They are both trying to re-invent themselves whic is never easy. It's a painful process to watch but I hope that something good comes of it for everyone.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/19/13 10:22 PM

I think Jonathan is doing a great job reinventing himself as a middle-aged magician with a new group of people around him. Charlotte is another story.
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Postby Bill Mullins » 01/20/13 12:11 AM

You need the Wonder Coat as well.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/20/13 06:05 PM

Glenn Bishop wrote:I like the idea and I think the idea can be worked into something.

mrgoat wrote:Triumph?


I still like the idea and I still think the idea can be worked into something. Like many video's I have seen the only thing I see wrong with the wonder ball video is that it is very hard to put magic in front of a TV or video camera.

As with a lot of magic on Television often it takes a good producer and TV crew that understands magic to make it look good.

I still don't see anything wrong with this trick the wonderball or the video as a demonstration of a magic trick for sale - NOT A PERFORMANCE...

However it has been my experience that there are a lot of magicians out there that seem to have no idea of the difference between just a video demonstration and a performance.

And that to me is a triumph in itself.
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Postby Tim Ellis » 01/20/13 07:30 PM

It does appear that the WONDERBALL is simply ASTROSPHERE without the cloth. Another backward step in the "reimagining" of existing effects that so many people seem to do nowadays.

Once you add the WONDERCOAT you are getting closer to the practical method that already exists with ASTROSPHERE.
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Postby Anthony Vinson » 01/21/13 07:42 AM

So, what's up with the porn soundtracks on the videos? Seriously. I'm neither casting aspersions nor drawing inferences, but the soundtracks serve only to illuminate the silliness of the actual videos. It's almost parody.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/21/13 08:06 AM

Glenn Bishop wrote:I still don't see anything wrong with this trick the wonderball or the video as a demonstration of a magic trick for sale


That doesn't surprise me at all.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/21/13 08:55 AM

Tim, IIRC the loop predates Astro-Sphere. IMHO the semitranspareant cloth for a Zombie type floating ball routione is it's claim to novelty.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/21/13 11:49 AM

Considering how many magicicians have done just an OK job with the zombie ball at conventions. Doing music dove acts.

I could see this wonderball as part of a show in a banquet hall a night club or a fund raiser full evening magic show. With the right lighting, costume and music.

However most of the floating ball and zombie routines and dancing cane routines I have seen often in my opinion are way to long.

In my opinion the longer a object floats the less magicial in my opinion it looks to the audience.
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Postby Tom Moore » 01/21/13 12:55 PM

I to could see it in all those different show settings, unlike you though, i can't see an audience actually fooled by it since it works EXACTLY how their first (cliched) though suggests it works and because it's the core method at fault there's nothing you can do to disprove it. Astrosphere was only deceptive because zombie had become so cliched that audiences saw the same effect but were so busy looking for a zombie gimmick that they didn't have chance to get too critical about the effect; it was a sucker-effect-by-proxy almost.

If you're going to go to all the hassle of putting on a special coat to do the trick you might as well just use a normal okito style hook-up and have a much stronger routine that doesn't work specifically how audiences think it would with lots of scope for disprovers.

If your background is that much of a problem on stage then you're using the wrong magic ingredient; i've used a wide variety of material to the extent that i'm happy i could routine something in to just about any backdrop available on any stage / performing space.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 01/21/13 01:48 PM

Well Tom I guess we have a different opinion on floating an object and theater. I have seen people do the zombie ball and all there is to fool people is a magician moving a ball around on a stick. And it looks like they are moving a ball on a stick and the stick is hidden in a cloth.

Then there are people like Mr. Foster and Al Schneider who lift the routine above and make it a magic miracle.

Back when my sister did magic this is the kind of trick she would do - I could see my sister in a gown that was desined for doing this trick and I could see her making it work.

The method is only a small part of the routine and in my opinion the method is not perfect - as with a lot of magic out there the method is not perfect - however add theater and the right length and routine - plus costume and music.

If I remember right both Okito and Fu Manchu (David Okito's son) took the costume, stage setting and music into consideration when doing the floating ball. If my sister were still doing magic our family would do the same with the wonder ball, the zombie ball or any other floating effect.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/21/13 02:24 PM

Not sure how adding a stupid coat and some music will stop an audience realise they are just seeing a ball on a thread. Could you elaborate on this, preferably with some video examples of how music and costume stop a bad trick with a bad method being bad?

Thanks.
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