My latest fascination is manipulations, with a special emphasis on card manipulation (though billiard manipulation looks wonderful as well). So far, the only material I have that deals with manipulations is contained in Dai Vernon's Inner Card trilogy which contains a method for producing cards from interlocked fingers, two card productions (Allen Shaw's and Cardini's), and one routine (though I find that the routine is not adequately explained due to assuming the reader has knowledge I do not yet have). I do also have Bobo's coin magic book, but am not currently interested in coin manipulations.
I am looking for good learning material. So far, I have considered purchasing the following:
1. Routined Manipulations by Lewis Ganson
2. The Art of Card Manipulation (3 dvd set) by Jeff McBride
3. Romaine: The Monarch of Manipulators Expert Manipulation DVD
I usually preffer books. This time, however, I am leaning towards going the dvd route. My experience trying to practice manipulations from a book have shown me that I would benefit greatly from actually watching someone do it properly.
If you have any opinion on the material Ive mentioned, please share it. If you have any recommendations for material that is superior to what I have mentioned, please share that also.
Finally, on a slightly different topic: sponge balls! Im practicing the routines from Mark Wilson's but am wondering if there are books with more in-depth sponge ball manipulation techniques or routines, or even books dedicated to the topic (or DVDs for that matter).