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Topic: Okito’s, and Zombie’s, and Astro’s. Oh My! (Floating Balls)
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 4, 2007 09:47PM)
Okito’s, and Zombie’s, and Astro’s. Oh My! (Floating Balls)

It seems the “Floating Ball’s” popularity has flourished this past year,
so I thought I’d help with a “Floating Ball-101” mini-overview…

Maybe it’s because in a one-person, non-stage show,
you can’t float a lady…
and the mysterious ball is the next best thing???

Maybe there is renewed interest because of the Losander versions,
or the two dynamite DVD’s by Jeb Sherrill,
of the new RNT II SBL Ball,
or David Mann’s Kinetic Sphere, and
there are going to be a bumper-crop of good products out this year!
(just wait and see…)

There are three basic forms of this astounding illusion:

--Suitable for Stage (and perhaps platform) Work is the Granddaddy:

THE OKITO FLOATING BALL
(to my knowledge no one today performs this in the intricate dance-like fashion that made this an Okito trademark, and though the basics of method and hook-up are published in several places, it is difficult to piece together an accurate picture of what it
must have been like in person.)

Closely related to this (or as close a we get now-a-days) is:

THE DON WAYNE FLOATING BALL
(Mark Wilson performed a variation of this, as did David Copperfield with a mirror-ball, and a few contemporary performers do a nice job with this larger ball, including Timothy Drake who has a video of his version. There are two hook-ups suggested in the Wayne instruction booklet.)

--Suitable for parlor / cabaret / or platform work:

A smaller version of the floating ball, but using a similar principle…

ASTRO-SPHERE
(this one-person version has been around for quite a while, but not as popular as some versions, as the plastic ball usually included is easily damaged. Here the ball floats in front of, around, and behind a very sheer see-through foulard.)

SBL FLOATING BALL
(by Rings ‘n’ Things II has a slightly improved hook-up over Astro-Sphere, and a larger six-inch, mirror-finish, aluminum ball of very high quality, and this beautiful ball just hit the market.)

--Very Flexible / Practical for parlor / cabaret / or platform work:

KARSON’S ZOMBIE
(This was a revolutionary method for a one-person floating ball, with a method different from Okito’s, that Joe Karson marketed almost sixty-years ago, and then sold the rights to Abbotts Magic Company to produce, it has been copied by many other makers in plastic, metal, and stryofoam, and there is a huge variation in qualities.)

THE ZOMBIE BALL
(now thought of as a “generic” version, there are many styles available from fifteen dollars to over one-hundred dollars, you tend to get what you pay for.

The best I now of are currently being imported from Italy by Viking Magic, however sometime during 2007 Rings ‘n’ Things II will re-produce an improved version of their ball, which was always thought to be one of the best.)

LOSANDER / WONDER SPHERE & LOSANDER BUBBLE
(the bubble is a zombie type float, which augments Losander’s other bubble Illusions.
The Sphere is a larger ball, and a dual-creation with Tommy Wonder, with a very different gimmick system, which Losander produces and sells.)

KINETIC SPHERE
(Precision Magic is the “new kid” on the block, with a very lightweight ball that has been made to float using two different methods, it may be used as a zombie set-up, or there is another internal system which allows floating without a foulard in various venues.)

-------------------------------------

--There are too many companies manufacturing versions of the ZOMBIE Type Ball to review them all here, if anyone cares to email me privately I’d be happy to give my frank opinions on the various pros-and-cons of the many styles and brands.

--There are also half-a-dozen or more Zombie Gimmicks which can in some cases improve the ease and quality of performance, my favorite is the Sommers version, I’ve heard great things about the General Grant version, Losander’s gimmick allows for some new moves and flexibility, and Jeb Sherrill’s Dream Gimmick allows for additional moves including a “peeking” over the foulard of the mischievous ball.

-------------------------------------

--If one wants to attempt to re-create the original Okito presentation, I would highly recommend the SBL Floating Sphere as the ball to adapt for that hook-up, and if a larger ball is desired, I understand that Don Wayne is again producing his floating ball in limited quantities.

--There are many books and booklets available on the Floating Ball,
if you can get a copy or download the e-version Al Schneider’s is the best I think.

--There are also DVD’s out, Tim Wright’s preserves many of the Neil Foster techniques and moves (and Foster was the unprecedented master of the Zombie).
L&L just released a DVD with several magicians giving their thoughts on the Zombie.
And as I said above the Zombie Re-Animated DVD’s by Jeb Sherrill are valuable and encyclopedic in nature.

--The Floating Ball is best routined and presented with music.
however, spoken presentations may also be effective
(in fact it was Karson’s patter which gave the effect its name).

NO VERSION of the Floating Ball is easy to do.
Consider any version to require a daunting slight-of-hand learning curve to perform effectively.
I worked for over fifteen years until I felt ready to add this piece of pure magic to my act.

-------------------------------------

So that’s an overview of what has been done, what can be done, and what’s to come in variations to make a metallic ball float and dance in space.

This commentary is in NO way exhaustive,
I’ve listed only the basics,
if you are serious about Floating Ball methods and work,
feel free to contact me at:
SanFranEntertain@SBCGlobal.Net
with specific questions
(it’s easier to email me than to PM me here on Magic Café please).

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: mattmccoy (Jan 4, 2007 10:58PM)
Very Good information. Very resourceful.
Matt
Message: Posted by: hugmagic (Jan 6, 2007 06:57PM)
David Ben does perform the Okito ball and does a very creditable job with it.

Nice overview of information. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Jan 7, 2007 12:51AM)
Great over view, thanks for sharing.
Message: Posted by: mcharisse (Jan 7, 2007 07:22PM)
A good place for a beginner to start might be the Vernet Mini-Zombie that matches the Billiard Ball. The lightness of the ball and gimmick make it much easier to use than a full size Zombie.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 7, 2007 08:03PM)
While I appreciate your view,
I don't really agree,
the small size makes it less deceptive.
The Vernet balls are not attractive.
It cannot be done except in a very small setting,
and a good zombie weighs little more.
If a beginner wants to work up to size,
and practice techniques, then The Thing
would by far be my suggestion for that size.
Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Jan 7, 2007 08:56PM)
I'm sorry to say that I've never been a big fan of the mini-Zombies either. They seem like a great idea, but just don't give the same impression to me. I think for a quick, two second float they are all right, but not much good for an actual routine.

Jeb
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Jan 9, 2007 01:42AM)
I agree with Jeb! Forget Mini Zombie.

Start off Zombie with a 4 or 5 inch ball & learn it properly over time.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 9, 2007 10:46AM)
I far prefer the "original" standard size which is 4 inches,
for both parlor and even large stage work.

It is big enough to be seen, and the foulard to ball ratio is more impressive.

I know Jeb prefers the 5 inch, mostly because of special moves he's worked out, which may require more masking.

In any case, those to me are the acceptable sizes, the exception being The Thing, which is not a ball anyway.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Luke Sherratt (Jan 9, 2007 12:39PM)
Mike Danata had a really nice floating ball, it was a one man set up. Very nice. It's a little tricky to get the hang of and he still does it better than anyone I have seen do it. I have been working on it over a year now and its still not perfect!

Best wishes,

Luke
Message: Posted by: Steven True (Jan 9, 2007 01:18PM)
Thanks for all the good information. I might just get my old zombie ball out, dust it off, ad give it another try. I used it a lot durig my shows on Calif back in the..well lets just say it was awhile ago. I had a great response with it and still like to see one done. I like Tim Wright doing his ad of course seeig Neil Foster was watching the great. Again thanks for all the info on the many differet kids of floating balls.

Happy Magic
Steven
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 9, 2007 01:27PM)
Hey watch tomorrow,
I'll post a balanced review of a hot new zombie product!
Walt
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 9, 2007 01:30PM)
Hi Luke,

I'm here in the USA and have not heard of Mike Danata's work with the Floating Ball,
I'd truly appreciate any info on that you can provide,
so I can keep up to date with the twists and turns of this effect.
My email is SanFranEntertain@SBCGlobaql.Net

Thanks so much!
Walt



[quote]
On 2007-01-09 13:39, Luke Sherratt wrote:
Mike Danata had a really nice floating ball, it was a one man set up. Very nice. It's a little tricky to get the hang of and he still does it better than anyone I have seen do it. I have been working on it over a year now and its still not perfect!

Best wishes,

Luke
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 9, 2007 07:24PM)
OK Kids, it’s time to come out and play!

I’ve had the opportunity to work a little with the newest Zombie Ball gimmick to hit the market (late last year) and I’ve got to officially say it’s pretty dang cool (even “kewl”)!

Jeb Sherrill had a dream (for real, really) and from what he could remember, he made a totally new hook-up to replace his standard Zombie gimmick.

It is not like a Foster, or Grant, or Losander, or any of the other strange and wonderful ideas and/or improvements I’ve seen, in fact this one is truly, truly weird. But, weird in a very good way.

First, it is revolutionary. Because of it’s unique and single-piece design, the ball can be in what appear to be totally impossible places and positions, to anyone who knows where the ball/foulard/hand relationships should be.

OK, I’ll state it can do a few new-dog tricks that no old-dog method could ever learn.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, I’m talking about “The Dream Gimmick” and it gets it’s name because of Jeb’s dream (otherwise he’d have had to spend weeks thinking up a name so lucky him for having that dream). And if you decide (only after you read all my comments) that you want one, you can find more info or order at http://www.SableMagic.com.

Now, partly because it was born out'a the dreamworld, and partly because it’s so different in geometric design, it can also be problematic. This is NOT a tool for the faint-of-heart!

You’ve got to solve, then watchdog, some pretty involved angle problems (two, rather than the usual one, as I see it) and that means just tons of dedication and practice with this method. Each and every of those problems has a solution, and all are covered directly or indirectly on the excellent -as well as highly amusing- instructional DVD, but they are going to take effort on your part.

In other words, you can have a Floating Ball routine that will make the guys at the club wet their pants, but you’ll need to work diligently, devotedly, and determinedly, for quite a while for this to pay off in performance. You cannot take this out of the box and use it right away (in fact you need to customize it before you can use it at all, and that’s the first chapter on the DVD).

What really, really impressed me (and with floating ball things I’m darn hard to impress) was not the “basic” routine and handling of the teach-in, but instead the “second” dastardly mad and clever possibilities on the advanced portion of the DVD. It’s this second routine and handling which to my mind separates the men-from-the-boys and the women-from-the-girls, this is where Jeb takes Zombie work to another level, but once again, it has angle-ly angles you have to work to overcome.

When I first saw the demos and read about “The Dream Gimmick” I did not want one, because it seemed to me a “one trick pony” that allowed the ball to “bounce” around a bit, and peek out here and there over foulards and shoulders, and that just did not look magically impressive to my jaded mind. Of course there are a few standard moves which cannot be done with this method, but you can still shape an impressive routine.

However, now I’ve held the clever contraption in my hands, seen it’s potential, and know what it is capable of as a tool in the hands of an imaginative and painstaking performer, I admit I was selling this great idea way short.

If you do ANY kind of Zombie style Floating Ball, I highly suggest Jeb Sherrill’s two-volume DVD Set of “Zombie Reanimated” to study seriously and get some leverage with these effects. These encyclopedic DVD’s are a huge contribution to Floating Ball work, and provide a firm foundation for study of this genre.

There are going to be a few add-ons for this gimmick which allow other objects to float, but because of the geometry of spheres they work best, and I’m a traditionalist here, so don’t ask me about any anomalies.

Now… and this is a biggie… so read this….

Now, ANY Floating Ball method is simply a tool or an instrument, like a chisel or a violin.

Not everyone who picks up a chisel can whack at a slab of marble and make a “David” as Michelangelo did, nor can anyone take just a few music lessons and play the violin with the elegance and finesse of Joshua Bell.

It takes some sweat, tears, and maybe even blood to create beauty and art, along with perseverance and time. And make NO mistake, the Floating Ball at it’s best (not on YouTube generally) is a magical example of beauty and art.

That said, if a performer is willing to do what it takes, the better the quality of tool or instrument, the better the presentation, routine, art, and entertainment value can be.

In the proper hands “The Dream Gimmick” is that sort of specialized tool, and can with fortitude, bring a very standard Zombie routine to a level of Floating Ball artistry and magical beauty.

These above thoughts are of course relevant to any Floating Ball presentation, or method, or for that matter most any Magic endeavor in general.

To sum up, this is a good product, it is well made, it is well packaged (and so will arrive safely to your door) it is well documented on a good quality, thoughtfully put-together DVD.

If you’re a Floating Ball fanatic like me, or if you want to become a future Floating Ball fanatic, this is a great tool to work with, once you master move after move, you genuinely will fool yourself when you perform in the mirror.

As I said in my long Floating Ball thread, 2007 is going to be a bumper-crop year for improvements in quality and technology with these effects, and many new methods and higher quality equipment will be produced, so use these new tools with care as they hit the marketplace, and upgrade your Magic into Miracles!

As always, feel free to email me with questions at SanFranEntertain@SBCGlobal.Net.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Marshall Thornside (Jan 10, 2007 03:56PM)
I believe http://www.sablemagic.com has been re-vamped recently and has video of the add-ons for the Dream Gimmick now.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 11, 2007 11:08AM)
You're right Marshall, thanks for the added info.
If anyone else hears about new, quality Floating Ball innovations please let us all know!
Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Jeb Sherrill (Jan 12, 2007 06:12PM)
This thread has gotten me thinking that the planets (those mystic, floating spheres, drifting through the heavens), must have aligned strangely this year. I concede that when I turned the silver key and tracked the softly blazed trails of Randolph Carter, that I had no idea where it would lead me.

I thank Walt for reviewing the Dream Gimmick. I appreciate all his kind words and particularly his words of caution. All the inventions, gizmos and concepts are only as good as the mage mastering them. The Floating Sphere illusions will forever be my most loved and they should be done justice. Spend the time before the mirror, the video camera and your close magical friends, mastering every intricacy of your craft before taking it before your audience. Choose your music well, your garments and your style from only the best. The difference between a trick and a miracle is the time one puts into any given effect.

I genuinely can't wait to see what comes next.

Jeb
Message: Posted by: mcharisse (Jan 13, 2007 07:51AM)
Spellbinder,

Wonderful discussion, and thanks for the information on The Thing. I do the Vernet as the climax of a multiplying ball act and am loath to part with it, but your comment on size and effect seem right on. I certainly don't get the impact as I would with a full-size ball, so size does really matter. I'll be looking up The Thing to see if its something I want to try. thanks again...
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 13, 2007 10:57AM)
Hi Mcharisse,

There are a lot of threads on The Thing, including input by me, in the past few months.
I think it offers more presentation possibilities than the Vernet.

It is a very good product, and I think you'll be very happy with this method for spaced and shows that have angle problems or are smaller in size.

If you want to have more flexibility with a zombie hook-up download Al Schneider's book from his website as it is not longer in print on paper, he would do it fairly close and surrounded. The great thing is the size, and it can be used in many larger spaces and shows.

Feel free to email me privately if you have questions, my Thing has had several adjustments I made to fit my style and venues and the look of my show, although the "out of the box" one is good quality as well.

Watch RNT II for what I hope will be high quality and some zombie innovations later this year.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: The Funny Titan (Jan 13, 2007 01:19PM)
Wow, a lot of great info to help with my Zombie routine, I really like the Astrosphere because of the see-through cloth. Thanks for all the info.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Jan 18, 2007 10:37PM)
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:

[b] 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.[/b]

Hope this helps!

Doug
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 18, 2007 11:43PM)
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
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 23, 2007 12:46PM)
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
Message: Posted by: Sammy the Kid (Jan 23, 2007 10:18PM)
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
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 26, 2007 02:57PM)
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
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Jan 27, 2007 03:43PM)
I have done a review of Jeb's Dream Gimmick some time ago.
See the following link:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=180684&forum=109

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

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=160414&forum=111
Message: Posted by: Kjellstrom (Feb 21, 2007 01:28AM)
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
Message: Posted by: drabon (Dec 27, 2007 05:16PM)
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
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Dec 28, 2007 10:41AM)
This question probably belongs in Secret Sessions now,
please PM me and we can talk about your options.
Walt
Message: Posted by: donrodrigo (Jan 22, 2008 11:06AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 22, 2008 12:52PM)
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
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Jan 30, 2008 12:08PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 30, 2008 03:45PM)
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
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Jan 30, 2008 06:20PM)
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.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jan 31, 2008 11:58AM)
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
Message: Posted by: bosque (Feb 1, 2008 12:52PM)
Although it's not strictly speaking a floating "ball", Bill Abbott's "The Thing" is a wonderful prop.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Feb 1, 2008 01:46PM)
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
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Feb 1, 2008 05:01PM)
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
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Feb 2, 2008 08:56AM)
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.
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Feb 3, 2008 11:53AM)
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
Message: Posted by: Christian Illusionist (Feb 9, 2008 10:34PM)
This is a really old clip, but it has one of my favorite routines with a Zombie in it by Tina Lennert.

I think I like it so much because there is a definite context to it with it being a hauntingly animated 'spare part' since the rest of the routine sets up for it so well defining what it is.

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra5E6p3_jUw&feature=related]Here[/url]

Her routine is from 6:00 to 8:15 in the video.

(Also some great footage of other magicians in the special.
Message: Posted by: Laszlo Csizmadi (Feb 25, 2008 04:08AM)
Congratulation to Peter and the Twins for the new Floating Ball illusion. Once I saw on a World Greatest Magic video when Galina did the floating ball routin and I was stunned. You can see on YouTube just write Galina in the search. Do you know what version she used?

Thanks,

Las
Message: Posted by: Laszlo Csizmadi (Feb 25, 2008 01:11PM)
Here is the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7H-nVn2OKGc&feature=related

Best,

Las
Message: Posted by: Peter Loughran (Feb 25, 2008 03:29PM)
Hey Las, it appears to be the Don Wayne method but with a different ball obviously. Great Video! Thanks for sharing. You can do all of those same moves with the Voyager and then some, but probably a lot easier than what she had to go through to perfect that! She and her crew did a wonderful job!

P.
Message: Posted by: Laszlo Csizmadi (Feb 26, 2008 08:36AM)
Peter thanks for clearing that up. Your site amaze me. I like your thinking behind your illusions. Thanks again.

Best,

Las
Message: Posted by: glennmagi (Aug 31, 2017 09:10AM)
Great info. New LED light up balls (outdoor decoration, pools, etc) are a fascinating option which I'm looking in to now.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Aug 31, 2017 11:37AM)
[quote]On Aug 31, 2017, glennmagi wrote:
Great info. New LED light up balls (outdoor decoration, pools, etc) are a fascinating option which I'm looking in to now. [/quote]

I'm looking into that too. What info do you have?
Message: Posted by: Al Schneider (Oct 9, 2017 04:19AM)
I guess I'm late to the party. But I thought I would slide in an idea I have thought of lately. The routine I offer was designed to be done at blue and gold banquets. In those one often performs in a the corner of a church basement essentially surrounded by blue and gold kids. Thus it was designed to be done surrounded. The gimmick is the kind of prop in which I walk into a magic shop and say, "Give me a zombie ball." Just a standard ball. I twist the gimmick a bit and off I go. I have done it many times close up as well on full stage. There is no set up to it. Pick it up and go.

Here is the thought. I believe the routine can be done with a see through cloth. With this it is more of a stage thing. But the cloth flutters at the right times to conceal you know what. There is only one spot in the routine where there is danger of exposure. However, some thought can get around it. The cloth can be cut from a bug net people put over their bed to keep bugs off your bod. It is very floppy and easy to see through. That is it. Just thought this crowd might find it interesting.

Some comments above are very appropriate. It is not an easy routine to master. Doing what I do took well over a year to master. My routine is in a book I sell on amazon dot com. Look up Al Schneider Magic. The book is kind of a reprint. Not great but the information is there. As I mastered the routine I felt as if the ball acquired a personality. It is more like a puppet than a magic trick.

As an aside. One day long ago I found myself doing a lecture at a magic convention. Part of it was about zombie. I demonstrated one of the practice drills presented in the book. I was explaining how the thing worked. Suddenly the entire audience gasped. The entire audience seemed to go into shock. I stopped in amazement, looked dumbfounded at the audience trying to figure out what happened. Someone in the front row said, the way your hands are moving and with the black clothes you are wearing; the ball seems floating all by itself. Then he said, "It is really creepy."
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Nov 6, 2017 10:26PM)
I recently bought the ORB by Thomas Moore, and I'm still learning it. But so far, I have to say this is a great ball and system. It lights up in 12 different colors, with varying degrees of brightness. There are some lighting issues to be aware of, but to me it seems the best out there. Back-lit, it's wonderful. It's a little heavier than I expected, but it flies around at great speed with no problems.

[img]http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o192/Danaruns/Floating%20Ball.jpg[/img]
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (Feb 18, 2018 08:34AM)
Nice Dana, but out of my budget for the next ten years. Are you using D'Hotels set up?
BTW Ganson's Zombie teach-in is in the hardback collection of his books, and occasionally as a used single.