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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Okito’s, and Zombie’s, and Astro’s. Oh My! (Floating Balls) (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dougini
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Hi all! Another Floating Ball thread? LOL! I just posted this in the ASTROSPHERE thread, but I'll post it here to save you a trip:

If you still have your Astrosphere...

Toss that ugly cloth & thread hookup....useless.

Get this thread:

http://www.thatthreadshop.com/sulkyinvisible.htm

Get the "Smoke" color, then get this book, Invisible Thread Manual - Ralph Wichmann :

http://www.hanklee.org/xcart/product.php?productid=6140

Then buy a 24 - 36" sheer scarf from JC Penney or a women's accessories store (the mall), and you will have the best Astrosphere routine EVER!

The One-Point hookup (chapter one) is what I use...I start with the cloth, the ball moves up, over, and behind the cloth...up & over to the front...then I DROP THE CLOTH...the ball moves to the floor, then up to the left hand...then s-l-o-w-l-y to the right hand.

I'm told it's MUCH spookier than the Zombie, which I also perform from time to time.


Hope this helps!

Doug
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Doug!
Great thoughts, the books is a must-have if someone is looking to work with a thread method, and yes, an upgrade to the foulard is I feel a necessity!
Thanks for sharing some of your moves!
Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
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"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
SpellbinderEntertainment
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There are ways to do the zombie-method of the Floating Ball, and
there are ways NOT to do the zombie-method of the Floating Ball.

The little hardcover gold book that inspired Tommy Wonder to explore more possibilities, and that was the forerunner to most good zombie-work and technique,
which has become the standard for excellence,
was Al Schneider On Zombie.

Although out of print in the gold-binding format,
Al himself is now carrying an updated PDF version on disk,
it is the most comprehensive work on this topic to date.

And the BOOK is far, far more complete and understandable
than the highly abbreviated video!

The Schneider techniques make the ball look like it is actually floating,
and actually has a life of it’s own, independent from the magician.
It also allows the Floating Ball to be convincingly done fairly close-up,
and almost totally surrounded by the audience.

If you are, or intend to be, serious at all about Floating Ball work,
you need to contact Al and get his pdf format book now,
before it vanishes from sight again.

The “usual” instructions that come with a Zombie Ball are generally highly inadequate and terse, and the work available to date in print and on video, while welcomed and helpful, varies in quality and practicality, I’ve mentioned elsewhere in Magic Café threads my preferences there.

That said, get the little “bible” on this work, the link to his book page is:

http://www.worldmagiccenter.com/salesb/esales1b.htm

Al’s techniques for the Zombie will work very well for most all applications, and all you’ll need is a great story/presentation to open the piece with, then perform it to some unique and wonderful music.

Feel free to email me about your Floating Ball work and questions,
at SanFranEntertain@SBCGlobal.Net
and I’ll also try to keep the Café up to date
as new equipment and references become available.

Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Sammy the Kid
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Just gotta throw in my thoughts on the Floating Ball. I've never used the Astrosphere, but I do use the Zombie. However, I started using a 2 inch red glitter covered foam ball (a recycled Christmas ornament) hooked up in the Fearson Floating Cigarette IT hookup. Just a different idea for a floating ball.

Sammy the Kid
SpellbinderEntertainment
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There are a thousand hook-ups that can be used,
and a thousand objects, large and small that can be made to float.

The book suggested above:
Invisible Thread Manual by Ralph Wichmann
will provide some great ideas and techniques.

Personally, doing mostly parlor, cabaret, and stage,
I prefer a zombie style hook-up to an invisible one.

The one constant, is to make the object “really” look good,
that means a quality object, a powerful set-up,
and tons of practice and rehearsal.

Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Daniel Faith
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I have done a review of Jeb's Dream Gimmick some time ago.
See the following link:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=109

As well as a review on Jeb's Zombie Re-Antimated DVD's.
See the following link:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=111
Daniel Faith
Kjellstrom
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Sarah Brightman - Eden - Hans Klok Magic Show

The best and most wonderful floating ball I ever seen.
Watch the video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vYYNEivpWhU
drabon
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Oh yes, one more question. If one wants to do an Astrosphere or Floating Ball and wants to go into it without going off stage or out of the room to hook-up, how do you get "hooked-up" in front of the audience?

Dale
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This question probably belongs in Secret Sessions now,
please PM me and we can talk about your options.
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
donrodrigo
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Please look at my post on the floating zombie routine to Neal. astro???
should be trashed. Sorry guys with all do respect. Broco's ball? I rather inflate a balloon and give it to a kid he'll smile at me.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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It is a good idea to take this to Secret Sessions for deeper discussion!

There are many versions of the zombie style ball and gimmicks,
many are poor, some are very good.
It IS possible to perform a quality Astrosphere as well,
again I suggest the SBL version by RNT II,
BOTH versions of the Floating Ball take a great deal of thought and practice!!!!

The Okito or Don Wayne versions require platforms and stage hook-ups.
And, yes, the Braco's Ball is unworkable for just about anyone.

Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Peter Loughran
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We have a new rig for Don Wayne's floating ball, givng this classic of magic a practical and easy set up that was once difficult in the past.

http://www.masterofillusions.ca/voyager.html

Peter.
Brand New: SPELLBINDER -The New Supernatural Stage Table
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SpellbinderEntertainment
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Very, very cool Peter!!!

This has been needed for a very lo-o-o-o-ong time.

A few questions:

--When set-up what is the height/width of the rig?

--Broken down what is the total size/weight (with and without ATA case)

--Why type and size of wing-space do you recommend for the set-up?

--How stable is the rig (vibrations from backstage activity affecting the ball)?

--Is the rig aluminum?

…and the rough one…

--Would there be any way to adjust / alter method,
to allow for just performer operation with no backstage assistance?

Thanks for sharing what is looking like a beautiful and practical tool for expanded floating ball work.

I think Okito himself would be proud of you for this one!!!

Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Peter Loughran
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Hey Walt thank you so much!

I sent you a Pm in more revealing detail but will also try and answer your questions here publically without exposure.

Steven and Michael Pignataro first approached me with the concept and they had come to me with a clever little prototype that just needed some redesign work. I took the concept and ran with it. What we built is an entire rigging system complete with an Animation Control Stand that allows you to control the animation sequences. In the past there were often 2 backstage assistants needed, or more difficultly animated versions as evident with Performers such as David Copperfield and Lance Burton(bird cage verstion) and some even often employed two guys one at each side of a stage with ladders etc. Then Dick Zimmerman came up with an underground one man version(the one Timothy Drake uses-who is a good friend of mine) but was controlled and set up differently than ours and was never marketed, I think it was left underground. I looked at his set up in complete confidence thanks to Tim , and researched with Steven and Michael, who were in contact with Don Wayne at the time who was also aware of the Zimmerman hook up, to make sure ours was not the same.

Our Animation stand allows you to distribute, control and clean up the line super easily. The System also allows the ball to be in a Locked position so you can fly it up in the rafters until ready to perform, a flip of a lever and down she comes.

You need 1 assistant only. The system allows the Animation Control stand to be placed virtually anywhere backstage or even in the wings at the sides.

Plus the line is stored and distributed in the animation control stand so that the line is protected when not in use and acts for super quick clean up, aswell as super easy distribution of the line during set up. No more fumbling with spools and such back stage, line getting tangled and all the other nightmares that were once associated with it.

The Stand is adjustable so it can be comfortably used by some one who is say as short as 5 feet or as tall as 6 or 7 feet.

The majority of the rig is alluminum.

The case roughly measures 24 inches by 24 inches by about 12 inches, and the rigging itself only weighs about 15-20 pounds maybe, and in the case total weight would be around 30-35 pounds.

The rig is very stable. It has two back feet and also two casters on the front so not only is it stable while sitting idle but can be tilted foward and pushed around like a wheel barrel if needed.

This adapts to almost any size of stage or theatre. You can do this in small or large theatres/stages. It takes up hardly any room backstage aswell. You just need room for the stand. There is no running from one side to the other like older hook ups. The assistant just stands on the animation control station and controls the whole illusion without ever taking a step.

Its pretty cool! I don't invest a lot of time into looking at other peoples projects, but when I saw the idea the Steven and Michael had, I was like...this is gold, this is brilliant, and Im going to build this really really cool! And best of all we have Don Wayne himself supplying us with his balls for the illusion( his floating balls that is...lol).

I think I answered most of your questions.
Brand New: SPELLBINDER -The New Supernatural Stage Table
www.masterofillusions.ca

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SpellbinderEntertainment
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OK, if you’re serious about Floating Ball work,
and perform much at all in stage/platform venues,
his is probably something you must seriously consider.

I’ve made a study of the history and working of many Floating Ball versions and methods, and this sounds like something Okito himself would have given his grandmother to have.

Peter has posted many important details above, but the final test is what your audience sees.

I was amazed to find how stable and smooth the ball and movements were on the video, far more stable and smooth than almost any ball I’ve seen, this both gives the ball a tangible heft and weight, but at least triples the illusion that the ball is indeed levitating and floating without support of any kind.

Actually, I don’t know Peter, and I’m not connected with this product or it’s developers, so I don’t profit from this in any way and this is my opinion based upon what I’ve seen and read about the product and my long term research and experience with the topic.

If you’re doing stage or platform work, in theatre or auditorium type venues,
and you’ve been less than happy with the technical end of your Floating Ball set-up
and execution, I think this may change your thinking,
along with your ability to perform the illusion successfully.

Last, and most importantly,
ANY version of method of the Floating Ball requires an enormous amount of planning and rehearsal to be successful, this is NOT an easy or self-working effect in any form.

To perform it well takes acting ability, chorography, staging, imagination, originality, practice, and a great deal of time and commitment. That noted, this backstage equipment should make life far easier!

Magically,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
bosque
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Although it's not strictly speaking a floating "ball", Bill Abbott's "The Thing" is a wonderful prop.
SpellbinderEntertainment
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Yes, there are styles and methods of floating balls,
from The Thing to the Stage Okito or Wayne,
which can be performed for two to two-thousand people,
depending upon your needs and skills.

Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
SpellbinderEntertainment
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This is fantastic (I’ve previewed and reviewed it)
and I consider it the next step in floating ball work progression,
after studying both Al Schneider’s Zombie Book (PDF on CD-RPM)
and Jeb Sherrill’s Zombie Reanimated 2-DVD Set…

A New Floating Ball DVD by Raymond Crowe.

“The Naked Zombie Ball” …Floating Ball Study for the Stage.

Classically trained in Mime, Raymond applies these techniques to the Zombie ball with some astonishing results - a complete routine for the Zombie using no Cloth and no Gimmick. Each phase of the routine is discussed in full detail. This DVD is a must to anyone wishing to learn more about combining illusionary Mime with Magic. The routine is designed for stage/platform use but the principles taught here can be relevant to any performing environment

DVD will be released this February 2008 at: http://www.internationalmagic.com

My Two-Cents,
Walt
“Tales of Enchantment: The Art of Magic”
by Walt Anthony
www.LeapingLizardsMagic.com

"spinning tales and weaving enchantment"
Peter Loughran
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Hey Walt, thanks for recogonizing the advantages Voyager will offer any performer serious in performing Don Wayne's classic floating ball illusion.

But you are right, while Voyager will make this illusion a dream to travel with, set up, take down and operate, the performance itself will still require acting, and choreographed movements etc. But the voyager will make everything else a piece of cake for you, allowing you to spend your time on this aspect of the illusion.

P.
Brand New: SPELLBINDER -The New Supernatural Stage Table
www.masterofillusions.ca

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inhumaninferno
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Thank You, I appreciate all the information supplied here. Floating inanimate objects in a life like manner can be highly entertaining and artistic. Neil Foster always referred to "Zombie" as if it were some sort of "being". I believe that psychological prompt greatly enhanced his animation of it and his presentation benefited greatly from treating and believing "Zombie" was some sort of entity.

Commitment in presention cannot be beat.

Do it and do it well.

John J
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Okito’s, and Zombie’s, and Astro’s. Oh My! (Floating Balls) (2 Likes)
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