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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Billiard Ball Routine (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Whit Haydn
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Here is my version of an old Al Leech routine with billiard balls. I used to use a version of this when street performing in NYC in 1968:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znrDxoOw_zs
MMAgicMan
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Nice performance. I like how you display the balls with your palm facing the audience. Isn't seen too frequently nowadays.
Dalton Jones
Whit Haydn
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Wasn't seen too frequently in the old days either... Smile
magic4u02
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Nice handling and very relaxed in the movement. Looks very clean. Great work and really enjoyed watching it.

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yin_howe
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Mr Haydn,

Would you be kind enough to tell what balls you are using?
"Talent without passion is talent wasted.."
Whit Haydn
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They are Fakini silicone balls.
Magiguy
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I love this! I originally saw it earlier this week on a 3-D demo, which was very cool.
Bairefoot
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Looks great! If you do this routine a lot you might want to get your jacket pockets made a little wider so that your hand can come out more freely. Love the way it looked and the pace with the music.

Bairefoot
Whit Haydn
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I haven't done the routine in 30 years, and don't have any plans to use it in the future unless something like this comes up again.

I actually like the fumbling with the pocket, though. It seemed very "Pop"-like to me--and didn't break the timing with the music.

Did you find it distracting?
JamesinLA
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Whit,
Thanks for sharing. Billard balls was one of my first loves in magic. Didn't Lewis Ganson describe producing the balls by showing both sides of the hand?

Has there been any discussion about the "Pop Haydn" character and when you changed your persona and why? That would be a real education for everyone.

Jim
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Michael Baker
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I liked the segment about 39 seconds in when 3 balls became two. The vanish and the subsequent hand turn from back to palm. It created a foreground and background, which is quite different than the usual left side, right side. Oscar nomination for cinematography!

My only suggestion would be at the 0:28 mark (one of two balls vanishes from right hand, as one appears in the left hand). I think it needed just a very slight pause either between the effects, or immediately after, if both are done simultaneously. It's a cool moment of magic that deserves to sink in.

The pocket fumbling is non-issue by me. It fits the character.

~michael
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George Ledo
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Beautiful work, Whit! I used to do the BB back in the old days, and I caught my fingers wanting to move by themselves as I was watching.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
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Bairefoot
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I'm sorry I did not know that is how the character does his magic. I was only trying to help. It looks great! My I use some of the moves?

Bairefoot
Whit Haydn
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No, Bairefoot. I think your suggestion made sense. I wouldn't have normally flapped the pocket like that if I did the routine on a regular basis. I usually do this routine from my pants pockets, but that was too low for the camera shot they wanted. The coat pockets were a little tight, but I didn't think the fumbling was bad. I actually find it very nice--a sort of counterbalance to the skill being shown. It didn't bother me because it seemed both disarming and to fit the character. This is not a smooth finger-flinger, after all, but a con man.

When someone asks you in for a shoot like this, you have to come prepared for what they might want, and that is not always to be "totally" prepared.

They asked me to bring "stuff" that "might look good in 3D."

They chose what they liked of a bunch of things that I brought with me--many things I had never done, not done in a long time, or never done to music. (I have been a talking, single act for more than thirty years.)

I have to fit into their needs in an intense one-day shoot involving five or so other acts--break dancers, Sylvester the Jester, an actress, some jugglers, etc. You can see the rest of the shoot in the video posted above as "3-D demo."

You don't get to do your favorite routines shot the way you think they should be shot. There is no music to work to--that is all added later. You don't get a chance to do a number of takes. I think sometimes people don't understand or forget how these gigs actually work.

You asked, "May I use some of the moves?"

You are very welcome to take any of the moves you like.

The basic routine is Al Leech's. He deserves all the credit.

A number of the moves are my own.

Just try to remember where you found them.

I wouldn't want to see Al's stuff in print someday as someone else's. But otherwise, you are welcome to take whatever you can use.

Quote:
On 2009-08-07 16:02, Michael Baker wrote:
My only suggestion would be at the 0:28 mark (one of two balls vanishes from right hand, as one appears in the left hand). I think it needed just a very slight pause either between the effects, or immediately after, if both are done simultaneously. It's a cool moment of magic that deserves to sink in.

The pocket fumbling is non-issue by me. It fits the character.

~michael


I agree with you. That was a sort of stumble. I normally would make the move shoot the ball through my knees, but realized as I approached that part of the routine that that would be off-camera, so I had to sort of fudge the move the way you see it rather than do a re-take. If I had practice time or a chance to re-shoot, I would have made it more of a moment.
Bairefoot
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Man with all that stuff you had to keep in mind I don't know how you made it look so good and easy. Thanks. I wasn't going to write it up but, thanks for telling me not to. Again it does look great! And thanks for the moves.

Bairefoot
Whit Haydn
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You're welcome! Which moves were you most interested in?
TheAmbitiousCard
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I like it, Whit!

Quote:
On 2009-08-07 19:28, Whit Haydn wrote: but that was too low for the camera shot they wanted.


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Whit Haydn
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"They" is the 3D Video company that I did the 3D demo for. It is a demo for the movie industry to show what their new 3D system can do.

They shot a bunch of stuff of me, Sylvester the Jester, some hip hop dancers and a juggler.

I was told to arrive at the studio with a bunch of "stuff" that would "look good" in 3d and all done silently. They would add music later.

The 3ality/MaxQ company HD 3D version of the complete demo is available here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyUhAUjw-pU&fmt=22
magicmatt
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I love the Billiard Balls and truly enjoyed watching your performance. Great work!!!
Pop Haydn
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Here is a much better video of the routine:

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