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Topic: Sponge Ball DVD
Message: Posted by: snowpuppy (Aug 20, 2010 04:44PM)
In your opinion,Which is the Best DVD on Sponge Ball Magic and Why?
Message: Posted by: Alex Rapattoni (Aug 21, 2010 03:22PM)
I have yet to find a good spongeball DVD. The best source I have found is "the sponge book". I like that as a source, because it was written before sponges were considered "beginners tools" or "kids magic" so the ideas and concepts are creative and beautiful.
Message: Posted by: magicians (Aug 21, 2010 03:50PM)
I have my sponge DVD on Diminishing sponges.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awvDOjE_HOE&feature=related
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 21, 2010 04:56PM)
Ian's routine is very good. You would probably profit by getting it.

However, the bulk of the sponge ball DVD's are horrible. In fact, when you get right down to it, most magic DVD's have a certain fatal flaw. When the beginner buys the DVD, he apes the performer without understanding why the performer does what he does. So we end up with a bunch of bad copies of reasonably good performers.

Learn from books or from teachers.

At a recent David Roth lecture, he told of an incident when Darwin Ortiz was lecturing. Darwin was talking about books. A kid in the front row kept interrupting with "I can't learn from books. I need DVD's. I can't learn from books."

Finally, Darwin got fed up with it. He leaned over and asked, "Is it the [i]capital[/i] letters? Or, perhaps, the spaces [i]between[/i] the letters?"

As far as currently available books on sponge ball magic are concerned, [i]The Sponge Book[/i] is one of the best bargains there is. There is stuff there that you won't find on the DVD's. So you can fool all your friends who have the DVDs.
Message: Posted by: afinemesh (Aug 21, 2010 06:30PM)
I will agree that most sponge ball DVD's are not that good.

But, come on, L & L's world's greatest has lots of goodies from routines by Roger klause, Johnny Thompson, Eugene Burger, Steve Darci, Frank Garcia and Albert Goshman.

I've learned a lot from this DVD.

I'm not knockin books, I own the sponge book. I just think this DVD is worth having.

J
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 21, 2010 11:44PM)
I do material by all of them, which I learned ... from books. And there is more material in the books than there is on a single DVD.

Granted, the total price of the books is far greater than the DVD, but there is so much in, for example, Roger Klause [i]In Concert[/i], [i]Polished Polish Presentations[/i], etc, that the DVD pales in comparison.

And you won't end up being a bad copy of a great magician if you learn the material from a book, because you won't imitate what you see on the screen.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Aug 22, 2010 01:52AM)
The best sponge ball book is Frank Garcia's Sponge Ball booklet, not the out of print hard bound but the booklet now being printed and sold by Magic Inc. It has the 10 count routine which even fools you after you learn it well.

If you must have a DVD then consider the Magic Methods video, it has a few good items on it for the beginner. It has the 10 count on it as well.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 22, 2010 04:40AM)
I believe you mean the DVD by Magic Makers. Magic Methods, Jerry Mentzer's company, does not produce any DVD's.
Message: Posted by: douglasnagel22 (Aug 23, 2010 03:37PM)
I haven't watched it yet, but Jay Noblezada has a spongeball dvd available at penguinmagic.com.
Message: Posted by: Russell Davidson (Aug 24, 2010 03:27AM)
Isn't the preference of book vs DVD a generation thing? Don't get me wrong, books are of course worthwhile, normally much better value for money as they contain a mutlitude of effects, but sometimes you need to physically see what is happening to truly understand it. And appreciate it.
I bought a Pat Page sponge ball DVD last week & although he races through everything at light speed it was still really nice to see a pro at work.
Message: Posted by: Alex Rapattoni (Aug 24, 2010 05:12AM)
It is always nice to learn a trick from someone directly. You get to see what the moves are supposed to look like and you get to see a good performance, which can help kick you off with some patter and I think that is the draw of DVDs, that it's easier.
You have to work to learn things from books even if you like doing it, and in books you really only get partial patter, if any at all. I think the can't learn from books cliche us all part of our instant gratification society.
Just my thoughts.
Alex
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 24, 2010 06:13AM)
[quote]
On 2010-08-24 04:27, UncleBunkle wrote:
Isn't the preference of book vs DVD a generation thing? Don't get me wrong, books are of course worthwhile, normally much better value for money as they contain a mutlitude of effects, but sometimes you need to physically see what is happening to truly understand it. And appreciate it.
I bought a Pat Page sponge ball DVD last week & although he races through everything at light speed it was still really nice to see a pro at work.
[/quote]

It could be. But more the loss for the younger generations and their audiences. When you have 300 guys doing Jay Noblezada's sponge ball routine exactly the same way he does it, the value of the routine is greatly diminished. Books force you to interpret.

The advantage that I have over someone who refuses to learn from books is that I have thousands of times more resources available to me than they do. Also, I can lay dozens of routines out on the table in front of me and compare them in minute detail without having to watch all of them all the way through.

I am not without DVD's or VHS tapes. I have almost every C&B DVD that has been marketed. And I have watched all but two of them. I had to take time out to rest!

My biggest complaint about DVD's is that most of the people who are putting them out have NO idea how to shoot a video. Every idiot with a flip phone thinks he can put out some kind of a video. I reviewed DVD's, books and tricks for MUM for several years. Some had good material and bad audio. Some had great audio and video but lousy magic. There are only a handful of people who put out consistently good DVD's with quality audio and video, as well as properly credited material. One is L&L. Meir Yedid also does this. Stevens did it. There are others, as well. Koz keeps his quality high.

Back as late as the 1980's, when VHS was just getting to be a real force in magic, you couldn't get a decent quality video without paying for the use of a really good camera. You also really needed someone who was a decent operator to run it as well. Studio time was not cheap. So the performers had to do material they knew.

Now, people are buying $300 digital cameras and they think they are getting studio quality. They aren't. But if they were, the only part that would be high quality would be the quality of the video, not the material.

If you wrote a book in 1980, and you wanted to get someone to publish it, they would have to read it, like it, and then subject it to their editorial board. These guys would verify all of it, and by the time your book came out, you had been waiting for about a year. Your outlay for a book would be in the low 5 figures, because there is a minimum order, etc.

Now you can write a book and have hard copy in your hand FROM A REAL PRINT SHOP in less than two weeks. Three to four weeks if you want a hardback. And there is no minimum order. So anybody can publish a book on anything they want to.

One of the reasons I have a lot of respect for Richard Kaufman is that he is meticulous about the material he publishes. He gets it right.

There is a humonguous mound of natural fertilizer out there in DVD's, books and tricks.
Message: Posted by: Russell Davidson (Aug 24, 2010 08:59AM)
Your points are valid Bill. Quality & value for money are hard to find these days. Although I like to see an effect performed as it should be on a DVD, there are many releases that fail to inspire. And almost every demo put out is just flickering lights & people screaming at something you can't see. Anyone with anything worthwhile to offer doesn't need to shoot a demo like that. Sadly, I can't see that changing.

Thankfully there is some gold out there on DVD. As you mentioned I have never seen a bad L&L release, the Worlds Greatest Magic sets are fantastic & you get so much for your money.

Interpretation of books does have more flexibility granted, but also without guidance can be interpretated incorrectly! But you're right, people blindly follow someone elses routine & patter to the letter which I think is very bad. Even if an effect is good you should always be asking - can I improve it, & tailoring the patter to fit your personality is paramount I feel.

Todays world allows us to see so many things we couldn't 20 years ago & has made the acquisition of magic quick & easy. All this is great, but it does breed laziness with so many willing to accept a fast food, instant version of an art that really shouldn't be hurried.

Old man rant over! :)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 24, 2010 03:45PM)
I have seen DVD's put out by people who couldn't actually perform the tricks they invented, so they hired someone else to do the performance. I can understand this in the case of someone who is strictly a builder of apparatus. But I can't understand it when it's a card trick, especially one that requires very little skill.

We live in a world of multiple standards. Criss Angel gets panned because he allegedly uses stooges and plants gaffs here and there. Cyril does the same things and gets praised.
Message: Posted by: Josh Riel (Aug 24, 2010 04:31PM)
[quote]
On 2010-08-24 16:45, Bill Palmer wrote:

We live in a world of multiple standards. Criss Angel gets panned because he allegedly uses stooges and plants gaffs here and there. Cyril does the same things and gets praised.
[/quote]

I would imagine that that is because more people have heard of Chris, therefore fewer people are intimidated by Cyril. What do I know?

The main reason I don't like Chris is just because if someone finds out I have done magic they nearly always ask if I "do that trick Chris angel does when he -whatevers a whatever- and the people freak out" It was the same when Blaine was really popular.
I have nothing against them personally, and no real opinion about their magic. I've kind of settled down with the [i]too many opinions about stuff that doesn't affect me and is none of my business anyway[/i] thing.

At least I'm trying.
Message: Posted by: phillipsje (Aug 24, 2010 05:26PM)
I think Brad Burt's "All About Sponge Balls" DVD is one of the best. His private lesson video series are all great in my humble opinion.

Just a note that I watched it on VHS. You know it's good when you are willing to sit through a whole VHS tape. Brad's material actually made me want to practice which is no easy task.

I purchased the Jay Noblezada spongeball dvd but I haven't had a chance to watch it.


Jeff
Message: Posted by: Noah Riley (Nov 4, 2010 09:04PM)
I'm not necessarily looking for routines to copy, but as being a beginner to sponge ball magic I'm looking for a good DVD to teach the basics.

I know several DVDs were mentioned on this thread and I was just wandering which ones focused on beginner to intermediate level handling.

Also, I know some mentioned Noblezada's DVD but no one really seemed to have anything to say about the content. Does anyone have their two cents they would like to add about the DVD?

Thanks,
Noah
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Nov 4, 2010 09:55PM)
[quote]
On 2010-08-23 16:37, douglasnagel22 wrote:
I haven't watched it yet, but Jay Noblezada has a spongeball dvd available at penguinmagic.com.
[/quote]
Which sucks.

Posted: Nov 4, 2010 11:02pm
The one I always recommend is the CHEAPEST and the BEST.
The Patrick Page DVD on Spongeballs.

Great ideas, technique, etc.

The Nozebleeda DVD is so bad on so many levels it needed it's own reply above. And penquin had the nerve to call it "the last word on spongeballs". very irresponsible.

p.s. Patrick Page's DVD on the TT is also great. Great advice and ideas from a long time Pro. I'd rather get those DVDs from Pat Page with 50 years experience than DVDs from kid in sunglasses any day. Makes good sense.
Message: Posted by: Noah Riley (Nov 4, 2010 11:26PM)
Thanks so much for the advice. I think I'm going to go with it. Someone else had also suggested Page's DVD to me to start off with. It sound's like a winner.
I appreciate it.
-Noah
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Nov 6, 2010 08:27PM)
Noah,
You might want to consider Steve Dacri's Sponge ball Toolbox & DVD. Good background on a number of slights and some routines. For sample routines, see The Secrets of Sponge balls in the World's Greatest Magic series. Both are good reference DVD's and Dacri's is particularly clear (in my opinion). I found The Sponge Book, from Magic Inc. to be dated but okay.
Sponge balls are great fun -- magic happens in the audience's hands -- it just doesn't get any better than that!
Hudson
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 6, 2010 08:39PM)
Hudson -- You say that [i]The Sponge Book[/i] is dated, but okay. Here's a question for you. How many people do you think have actually seen a sponge ball routine?

Question 2 -- Did you actually try the routine on page 15 -- "Big and Little Balls"? That's way ahead of some of the things I have seen people crowing about that you find on DVD's.

And then, there's the Eugene Burger variant of Dr. Jaks' Multiball. That's not in [i]The Sponge Book[/i], but it's a very strong routine. The only disadvantage is the cleanup afterwards.

Regarding the preference towards DVD's -- it's not just a matter of a generational thing. It's a matter of laziness. At the IBM convention in San Diego this past summer, David Roth told about a Darwin Ortiz lecture in which he was referring to a certain book as source material. A teenager in the front row interrupted him and said "I can't learn from books. It has to be a DVD." Darwin ignored him, and the teenager popped off again.

Darwin leaned toward him and asked "Is it the [i]capital[/i] letters? Or is it the spaces [i]between[/i] the letters?"

This is one reason I'm really disappointed that Erdnase is now available on DVD's. This material is so important that people who want to learn it should really be required to get it out of the book. If you aren't willing to put forth the effort to interpret it, then you shouldn't be doing it.

Of course, it IS more than 100 years old, so I suppose it would be considered to be dated.
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Nov 6, 2010 11:59PM)
Bill,

I agree with you that books make an excellent reference for learning magic -- or for learning anything for that matter. I also believe that there is a great deal to be gained by combining books with videos. I try to obtain several good written and video references when working on any effect. I also look for guidance from members at the local magic club. Combining all of these together, I am able to arrive at a routine that is based on tested principles and yet still my own. For sponge balls I use the skills learned in the Tool Kit and skills developed in lessons from a teaching professional. However, my preferred routine is a variation of Eugene Burger's routine on the World's Greatest Magic DVD. I doubt that I would have concluded this was the right basis for my routine without watching the video.

I do trust your judgement and will try the routine on page 15, Big and Little Balls. It looks like it is simple and yet would have a strong impact on the audience.

Hudson
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 7, 2010 12:06AM)
You won't regret it. It's really strong. Interestingly, if your spectator acts like most of mine have, they will be reaching for the big ball when it makes its appearance, and there is a good chance that they will remember it (incorrectly) as having expanded in their hand rather than in yours.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Nov 7, 2010 12:35AM)
Back in the day, I saw a video tape from Hampton Ridge Magic that taught basic sponge technique and I remember it being pretty good. The quality of the video was poor even for the time, but the information on the video seemed to be good.

The best source I have ever read on sponge magic was Frank Garcia's Sponge Book.

Christopher
Message: Posted by: Dale Houck (Nov 7, 2010 09:30AM)
[quote]
I found The Sponge Book, from Magic Inc. to be dated but okay.

[/quote]

This comment made me remember something I learned (indirectly) from David Copperfield. I was in Arturo's Magic Shop in Topeka, Kansas about 30 years ago when Arturo (can't remember his real name) received a phone call from Copperfield, who's first words were, "What's old?" Later, in a discussion with Ben Stone of Delben Magic, I mentioned that call to Arturo and Ben said Copperfield asked him the same thing many times. I'm guessing that the things that are "new" pale in comparison to all the great old, and often forgotten magic that has come before us. Copperfield knew that and for the same reason, I am grateful for the wisdom shared by the many great magical minds I find on the Magic Café. I'm also grateful to all those dated books in my magic library. To most of the world, everything in them is new.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 7, 2010 12:09PM)
This is spot on. Think about this. When David Copperfield did his first special, one of the levitations he performed was Harbin's Super Simplex levitation. This was one of the "Forgotten Gems" in the Harbin book. The hookup Harbin described in his book was actually rather rudimentary, and wouldn't work without some modification. but it did allow the performer to have the back curtain raised when the person being levitated was at the top of the rise. There was nothing behind the curtain to be seen.

The neat part about that levitation was that it didn't require any fancy equipment at all. It could be done in any well-equipped theatre. While it wasn't exactly "old" compared to some others, it had been used successfully by Harbin for quite a while. Still, it was much more deceptive than some of the ones I have seen that cost THOUSANDS of dollars to do. This one could be fabricated for less than $250, these days.
Message: Posted by: Noah Riley (Nov 7, 2010 06:14PM)
Thanks for all the input and suggestions everyone. I really appreciate it.

I agree with Hudson. I'm not at all opposed to learning from a book. But I do think there is something beneficial about learning from video format as well. Having both types of references at my disposal I'm sure will help me to develop more fully the proper techniques and subtleties.

Unfortunately I don't have the privilege of knowing another magician personally to study under so I was assuming that a well made and taught video may be able to satisfy that more visual and interactive part of learning (though I know not nearly to the same degree.)

-Noah
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 7, 2010 10:21PM)
Why don't you know another magician to study with? There are more than 25,000 magicians in the US and Europe. There are a couple thousand in Australia and New Zealand. Almost every major city has a community of magicians. If you let them know that you are serious about magic, they will help you. Granted, some of them are probably less informed than you are, but an educated set of eyes can be a great help when you are working on a routine.

If you are using books and DVD's to learn from, that is much better than using DVD's alone.

A couple of decades ago, I noticed a trend in magic that has almost disappeared. That was what I would call "regionalization." Every area in the country had a couple of magicians that everyone else imitated. The guys who initiated the use of a particular routine in a given area really had to protect their material. If they performed it at a magic club meeting, then pretty soon everyone around there was doing that particular material.

Some of us retaliated by learning sleights and/or techniques that the lazy ones couldn't do. But most of the guys were basically doing what they saw the other fellows doing.

Sometimes, they would get a good idea at a lecture. But by and large, there was a big chunk of incompetent performers who used "well, I'm not a professional magician" or "well, I'm an entertainer, not a magician" (as if the two were mutually exclusive) as their excuses.

The problem with the DVD-trained magicians is that they look like copies of Jay Sankey, Oz Pearlman or whatever other pitchman du jour happens to be on their latest DVD. The danger of this is that some of these guys are very regionalized in their own way. New York humor, for example, doesn't play well in some other parts of the country.

If you use the DVD's as a technical reference only, you will probably be in good shape. But please be careful not to become a clone of one of the fellows who pitches for a mail order house.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Nov 7, 2010 10:40PM)
[quote]
On 2010-08-22 02:52, wmhegbli wrote: The best sponge ball book is Frank Garcia's Sponge Ball booklet, not the out of print hard bound but the booklet now being printed and sold by Magic Inc. It has the 10 count routine which even fools you after you learn it well....[/quote]

You bet. Frank Garcia gave his sponge ball lecture at the TOAM in 1973 or thereabouts. He was a great teacher. I also have a low quality vhs tape of him teaching the routine to someone in his apartment in NYC back when he was buying magicians wands from me and selling them to his students.

Whenever I see sponge balls mentioned, Frank Garcia is who I think about. You can't go wrong with this booklet, and all you need besides practice.
Message: Posted by: Noah Riley (Nov 8, 2010 12:01AM)
[quote]
If you use the DVD's as a technical reference only, you will probably be in good shape. But please be careful not to become a clone of one of the fellows who pitches for a mail order house.
[/quote]

Yeah, that's what I plan to do. I'm mainly just looking for techniques and structure. I mean, the fun part is putting your own ideas and personality into the magic that you do. What's fun about being like everyone else?

-Noah
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 8, 2010 02:29AM)
Bravo! That's the way to do it. Here's the ticket. Learn it the way it's done in the book or on the DVD, just to get the technical part down. Then, when you have it really smooth, put your own twist to it.
Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Nov 8, 2010 05:11AM)
Tabman is right on the money along with Bill...
I have that same video of Frank Garcia, think it's called the last teach in or last lecture, something like that. Back in the 80's Frank Garcia actually spent some time with me going on what is in his sponge book while we were attending one of the New York Magic Symposium events....I was pretty good but I watched in amazement as the Man with the Million Dollar Hands performed...I will never forget it..He drew a crowd in nothing flat. Invest in the book and you will never regret it..
Message: Posted by: Noah Riley (Nov 8, 2010 08:12AM)
Thank you guys very much. I'll definitely have to get the Sponge Book then. :D

-Noah
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 8, 2010 10:01AM)
Frank Garcia's sponge book is a different book, by the way. There were actually two of them. One was a very small pamphlet put out by Gene Gordon. This one is still available from some suppliers. It's part of his "message from Garcia" series. It has some good basic sponge ball material in it.

The other is the Encyclopedia of Sponge Ball Magic, which is unavailable unless you have $300 - $400 to spare.
Message: Posted by: Noah Riley (Nov 8, 2010 11:27AM)
Hmm.. yeah, I donīt have that kind of spare change to spend on a book at the moment. Are there any other good books that you could recommend that donīt cost such a pretty penny?

Thereīs the one by Gene Gordon you suggested, Bill, and [i]The Sponge Book[/i] by Magic Inc. that people have mentioned. Are these good starters or does anyone else have any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Noah
Message: Posted by: RiffRaff (Nov 8, 2010 11:51AM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-06 21:39, Bill Palmer wrote:
Question 2 -- Did you actually try the routine on page 15 -- "Big and Little Balls"?
[/quote]

The DVD camp can use this routine as an example of the difficulty of learning from the printed page. Figure 2 illustrates a performer with two left hands and Figure 10 shows a performer with two right hands!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 8, 2010 02:29PM)
That's where the "reading" part comes in. ;)
Message: Posted by: tabman (Nov 9, 2010 09:54AM)
[quote]
On 2010-08-22 02:52, wmhegbli wrote:
The best sponge ball book is Frank Garcia's Sponge Ball booklet, not the out of print hard bound but the booklet now being printed and sold by Magic Inc. It has the 10 count routine which even fools you after you learn it well. [/quote]

You don't need the hardbound book. Get the booklet mentioned above. Just like the man said, its available from Magic Inc and for a paltry $5.95.

http://www.magicinc.net/garciasspongeballs.aspx
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 9, 2010 10:18AM)
Maybe I'm reading something into wemhegbli's original post that really isn't there, but there is an inference that the 10 count is not in the larger book. This is not true. EVERYTHING in the small book is also in the large one, as well as lots more. IF you can find a copy of the big one and you can afford it, and you plan to do the sponge balls, you should have the book.

I bought my copy directly from Frank when he was at the TAOM in 1976. It was reasonably priced then.

There is no reason this book should not be in print. However, it is hung up in the bickering between his estate and people who think they were unfairly left out of his estate.
Message: Posted by: tabman (Nov 9, 2010 02:16PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-09 11:18, Bill Palmer wrote:...I bought my copy directly from Frank when he was at the TAOM in 1976. It was reasonably priced then.....[/quote]

Was it '76? I was thinking it was '75. Time's not flying by as fast as I thought. ;)

Was it at the same one Ron Wilson lectured at??? I've still got all those notes I got those guys to autograph. Garcia was so smooth and polished. I became a life long fan. Ron Wilson too.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Nov 9, 2010 03:37PM)
Regarding the Sponge Balls...

I first learned the Sponge Balls back in 1976, when I went to Worcester, Mass., to visit my stepmothers parents. I visited Steve Dacri's Magic Shop in downtown Worcester. I bought my first spongeballs from Steve. I remember laughing so hard at that trick! I was only 20 then. He taught me the basic trick, and I went back to my grandparents house on Lincoln St. and began practicing.

When I went back in 1977, his shop had closed. I have no idea where he went, or what happpened to him, but the two times I visited his shop, I always went away with my sides hurting from laughing!

Then, I bought a little booklet called Spongeball Manipulation, by Audley Walsh, that had two different routines printed in it. One was called "The Master Routine with the Sponge Balls", by Kozak (Not the Las Vegas Kozak...different guy).

Kozak came to Rumford, Maine in 1977/78 to visit our club, The Maine Magician's Society (independant of IBM and SAM), and the four of us spent the evening going over the Master Routine. I believe this is where I learned the Ten-Count. Kozak said to use a Chinese accent to do it. He said something like, "Chy-NEE do tlick..!", and did the one, two, three, four...etc., palm down, palm up, all the way to ten.

That is all I remember. That book by Walsh was lost in the foreclosure, so I can't reference it any more. I believe Kozak used a purse frame, I'm not sure. I remember he "sawed" the first ball in two with his finger. Then, the Ten-Count. Maybe one of you guys can fill in the rest? :)

Doug
Message: Posted by: Noah Riley (Nov 9, 2010 11:31PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-09 10:54, tabman wrote:

You don't need the hardbound book. Get the booklet mentioned above. Just like the man said, its available from Magic Inc and for a paltry $5.95.
[/quote]

Will do. Thanks.

-Noah
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 10, 2010 12:03AM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-09 15:16, tabman wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-11-09 11:18, Bill Palmer wrote:...I bought my copy directly from Frank when he was at the TAOM in 1976. It was reasonably priced then.....[/quote]

Was it '76? I was thinking it was '75. Time's not flying by as fast as I thought. ;)

Was it at the same one Ron Wilson lectured at??? I've still got all those notes I got those guys to autograph. Garcia was so smooth and polished. I became a life long fan. Ron Wilson too.
[/quote]

That was the 1976 TAOM convention in Houston. I accompanied Ron Wilson from his room to his lecture.

I also got to know Johnny Thompson at that convention. He needed a high quality reel-to-reel tape recorder to play his music for his stage show. I had a Revox. So we took it over to the Music Hall and set it up.

About four years later, a local drug addict broke into my apartment and made off with my Revox, my television set, and a whole bunch of other very valuable material.

Posted: Nov 10, 2010 1:06am
The Audley Walsh book was published by Tannen's and I think it was illustrated by Ed Mishell.

I have the Kozak Master Routine as a separate booklet. It was published in 1973 by Imperial Magic.
Message: Posted by: DLarkins (Nov 10, 2010 02:50PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-06 21:39, Bill Palmer wrote:
Regarding the preference towards DVD's -- it's not just a matter of a generational thing. It's a matter of laziness. At the IBM convention in San Diego this past summer, David Roth told about a Darwin Ortiz lecture in which he was referring to a certain book as source material. A teenager in the front row interrupted him and said "I can't learn from books. It has to be a DVD." Darwin ignored him, and the teenager popped off again.

Darwin leaned toward him and asked "Is it the [i]capital[/i] letters? Or is it the spaces [i]between[/i] the letters?"
[/quote]

Bill, let me start by saying that I respect your opinion, and I largely agree with you about the quality of material available in books as opposed to DVDs. However, when I read this I can't help but wonder if Darwin (or anyone else who doesn't care for DVDs) has considered that there are people who truly [i]cannot[/i] learn from books due to some learning disability such as severe dislexia. For these people, video learning of one type or another may be their only viable option. In addition to that, we all have our own particular style of learning. Some benefit more from the written word, others prefer visual, still others may prefer audible instruction.

While it is certainly true that people who learn magic from DVDs have a performance that is readily available to mimick, I do not think that it is a foregone conclusion that all people who learn from that media will copy the performer they see. This is especially true if the learner has a serious interest in magic and knows that this can be a pitfall of video learning.

Personally, I own lots of books and lots of DVDs as well. Each has its merit, and I enjoy the variety and depth of instruction that can be had by combining the sources.

Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Kevin Gardner (Nov 10, 2010 09:34PM)
I really like the Sanky's, "Earplugs" instructional DVD good solid instructional material.

On his DVD, "Fooler Doolers" Daryl performs one spongeball effect and one sponge rabbit effect. These are excellent effect, very well thought out for proper flow and audience participation. If you want to learn a good solid working effect for spongeballs or sponge rabbits learn Daryl's.
Message: Posted by: inaciolino (Nov 27, 2010 09:07PM)
What a wonderful thread. There are some good material in the market. "Steve Dacri - Sponge Ball Toolbox" is really good. The late Pat Page has a wonderful video too. Don't forget WGM - Sponge Ball DVD, it's pretty goo. Jay Noblezada and Ben Salinas has some material, they're woth watching. After watching all this material give your own touch on your routine, this is the secret. See you!!!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 27, 2010 09:22PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-10 15:50, DLarkins wrote:
[quote]
On 2010-11-06 21:39, Bill Palmer wrote:
Regarding the preference towards DVD's -- it's not just a matter of a generational thing. It's a matter of laziness. At the IBM convention in San Diego this past summer, David Roth told about a Darwin Ortiz lecture in which he was referring to a certain book as source material. A teenager in the front row interrupted him and said "I can't learn from books. It has to be a DVD." Darwin ignored him, and the teenager popped off again.

Darwin leaned toward him and asked "Is it the [i]capital[/i] letters? Or is it the spaces [i]between[/i] the letters?"
[/quote]

Bill, let me start by saying that I respect your opinion, and I largely agree with you about the quality of material available in books as opposed to DVDs. However, when I read this I can't help but wonder if Darwin (or anyone else who doesn't care for DVDs) has considered that there are people who truly [i]cannot[/i] learn from books due to some learning disability such as severe dislexia. For these people, video learning of one type or another may be their only viable option. In addition to that, we all have our own particular style of learning. Some benefit more from the written word, others prefer visual, still others may prefer audible instruction.

While it is certainly true that people who learn magic from DVDs have a performance that is readily available to mimick, I do not think that it is a foregone conclusion that all people who learn from that media will copy the performer they see. This is especially true if the learner has a serious interest in magic and knows that this can be a pitfall of video learning.

Personally, I own lots of books and lots of DVDs as well. Each has its merit, and I enjoy the variety and depth of instruction that can be had by combining the sources.

Thanks.
[/quote]

I come from a family of teachers. We were in the teaching BUSINESS before people worried about dyslexia (SP) and other similar problems. I have NEVER met anyone who couldn't learn from a book, if that person were sufficiently motivated, and if that person had someone to help steer him or her through the material at the appropriate time.

Check out this link: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=151715&forum=171&10 . In particular, check out section 2 and section 3.

I suffer from a very rare condition that I call "adult onset dyslexia." About 30 years ago, I had a malignant melanoma on the choroid layer of my right eye. It was treated with radiation and lasers. As a consequence, the vision in my right eye does not always align itself perfectly with the vision in my left eye. I also am missing about 50% of the retina. So my reading speed has slowed from ca. 1500 WPM to a plodding 500 WPM. I have to check and re-check my posts just to make sure that I spell things correctly and do not leave out the occasional word.

Has this stopped me from learning, studying, working or practicing? Not at all. The only thing that has slowed me down is that I have decided that I don't want to work any more than is absolutely necessary, but I still read, learn, etc., and, up until about 3 months ago, I reviewed tricks and DVD's for MUM.

My observations about DVD clones are based upon personal experience, watching the kids that I come into contact with perform various pieces precisely like the junk performers I see on so many DVD's.

Still, there are the occasional performers who can shine through the Mist* of DVD madness.

*I mean this in the German sense of the word.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Nov 28, 2010 03:10AM)
Thank you for the last two sentences Bill.
:rotf:
Message: Posted by: leaycraft (Nov 28, 2010 08:41AM)
I teach students with learning disabilities (almost 10 yrs) and feel qualified to comment on this thread.

Bill Palmer wrote:
I have NEVER met anyone who couldn't learn from a book, if that person were sufficiently motivated, and if that person had someone to help steer him or her through the material at the appropriate time.

I must second this opinion, when there is motivation and someone to help them learn, they can learn. Anyone interested in pursuing this can look at "All Kinds of Minds". This is a program that works with educators, students teachers and families to help them understand how minds work and learn. You learn that EVERYONE can learn academics, presentation and understanding how the brain works makes this possible.

What I clearly observe with my students is success is DIRECTLY related to the effort they expend. I can explain the material, show animations to demonstrate processes, show video presentations of the material, provide them with the notes pre-typed, online and paper. Guess what? When they - the student make no effort, regardless of what I do they do not learn and succeed. The other factor her IMHO is students who make efforts to read are more successful than those who make no effort to read. Reading is critical however slow or laborious or rapid and easy. NO Reading = No learning . I believe this to be true in all facets of life

So what does this have to do with the DVD/Paper thread. Everything ------ Well written instructions are very good at telling you what to do , and how to do it. I have no problem learning from books/notes been doing it successfully for over 57 years (started reading at 3 , because of Mom). What I like to use DVD's for watching how something is done a subtlety that sometimes is not conveyed by words and would take a longer time to figure out than by watching. Note I said longer time not not figure out. I also like to see how other performers work with the same methods yet perform it differently.

To quote an older national program--'READING IS FUNDAMENTAL"
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 28, 2010 12:22PM)
[quote]
Well written instructions are very good at telling you what to do , and how to do it. I have no problem learning from books/notes been doing it successfully for over 57 years (started reading at 3 , because of Mom). What I like to use DVD's for watching how something is done a subtlety that sometimes is not conveyed by words and would take a longer time to figure out than by watching.
[/quote]

This is one of the basic problems of magical instruction manuals. Over the years, there have been only a handful of writers of instructions who were able to convey the material with consistent accuracy and efficacy. Harlan Tarbell, Walter B. Gibson, Harry Lorayne and J. Barrows Mussey (AKA Henry Hay) are four of the ones who have been very consistent with presenting their material in an easily understood manner. All of them use(d) a vocabulary that required no more than a third to fifth grade education to comprehend. There are some writers who should be avoided by beginning magic students -- Lewis Ganson comes to mind. Some of his early material is written in the most convoluted manner possible. But his photographs made up for some of his shortcomings as a writer.

Some writers require a bit of special understanding in order to make their messages clear. For example, understanding the Erdnase material requires that the reader pay very close attention to EVERYTHING in both the text and the drawings.

There have also been a number of books that had non-factual material in them. Some of the items in [i]The Art of Magic[/i] by T. Nelson Downs were clearly ficticious. Nevertheless, that didn't keep people from trying to learn them.

If you really need to understand the potential negative effects of a learning environment that consists of nothing but DVD's and vs. a learning environment that consists of nothing but books, take a look at the work of Jerry Andrus, Lonnie Chevrie and Stewart James. Then compare that to the material that you see being pushed by the mass-production DVD mills.

Jerry, Lonnie and Stewart basically were self-taught of necessity in environments where there were no other magicians (for the most part). Yet each of them contributed things to the art of magic that most of us use in some form or another. The most obvious example that comes to mind is the Headline Prediction.
Message: Posted by: iceblade (Nov 28, 2010 07:00PM)
Screw DVDs I say, learning should be made as difficult as possible. Why watch how the move should be properly executed, with all the timing subtleties and body language, when you can read a book and spend your time trying to figure out this for yourself?
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Nov 28, 2010 08:39PM)
There are "mirror neurons" and neurology demonstrated that images are creating new neuronal chains to duplicate what we see and teaching more deeply and faster, even if it leaves less room for imagination (which can be addressed in different ways).
It's easy enough to see that societies with more advanced knowledge have more image spreading tools, that image is penetrating every sphere of knowledge...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 28, 2010 10:05PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-28 20:00, iceblade wrote:
Screw DVDs I say, learning should be made as difficult as possible. Why watch how the move should be properly executed, with all the timing subtleties and body language, when you can read a book and spend your time trying to figure out this for yourself?
[/quote]

Maybe you have missed some of the point here. Most of the DVD's do not even give the proper execution of the moves nor the timing subtleties or the body language. Why should the tyro become an imitation of a bad example?

Posted: Nov 29, 2010 12:16am
@iceblade:

I think you have missed the whole point of this discussion. I don't have a problem with good DVD's that explain moves well. I DO have a real problem with junk DVD's that are put out by people who don't really do the moves well or that are full of mistakes.

I also have a problem with people who simply REFUSE to look at a book because they are too lazy to try to interpret the written word.

Actually, on second thought, I relish the fact that some of the best material will probably never be made available on DVD or whatever replaces it. This keeps the material within that certain elite group of people who can actually read.

[quote]
On 2010-11-28 21:39, Lawrence O wrote:
There are "mirror neurons" and neurology demonstrated that images are creating new neuronal chains to duplicate what we see and teaching more deeply and faster, even if it leaves less room for imagination (which can be addressed in different ways).
It's easy enough to see that societies with more advanced knowledge have more image spreading tools, that image is penetrating every sphere of knowledge...
[/quote]
That is part of the problem with teaching only through DVD's.

Consider this -- is fast, mass-marketed deep learning of the same junk magic a good thing? In any art, there is a point at which theoretical knowledge, which is not really addressed in rapid learning systems, must be mastered in order for the artist to progress.
Message: Posted by: iceblade (Nov 29, 2010 05:47AM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-29 00:16, Bill Palmer wrote:
@iceblade:

I think you have missed the whole point of this discussion. I don't have a problem with good DVD's that explain moves well. I DO have a real problem with junk DVD's that are put out by people who don't really do the moves well or that are full of mistakes.
[/quote]

I'm not discussing the quality (or lack thereof) of the (majority) of DVDs. I'm discussing the merit of the DVD medium in purely teaching proper technique, timing, and body language in the execution of the move compared to a book. If the advantages of the DVDs concerning proper execution of a move (purely TECHNIQUE) over a book are not obvious, then I rest my case. There are good DVDs and bad DVDs, good books and bad books, this says nothing about the medium itself. It goes without saying that learning from a good book is better that learning from a bad DVD, but then again this is not an argument for either case.

[quote]
I also have a problem with people who simply REFUSE to look at a book because they are too lazy to try to interpret the written word.
[/quote]

I cannot speak for other people. For me, its not a matter of laziness, its a matter of efficiency. Let me make this clear, as far as TECHNIQUE is concerned, from best to worst 1) Learning from a good magician in person, 2) watching a good magician teaching this move on a DVD, 3) Learning from a good book.

[quote]
Actually, on second thought, I relish the fact that some of the best material will probably never be made available on DVD or whatever replaces it. This keeps the material within that certain elite group of people who can actually read.
[/quote]

I'd rather think the elite group as magicians who can do good magic, and no I don't see any correlation with a preferred medium for learning magic. Let me be clear. I don't have a problem with books, I really like them. I have many magic books (many more than DVDs). I will try to summarize: Books are very good for someone already familiar with a specific field of magic (i.e NOT good for beginners). Books are EXCELLENT when you want to learn magic theory (e.g Books of Wonder, Strong Magic, Leading with your Head, Five points in magic, Secret art of Magic etc).
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 29, 2010 11:59AM)
I was with you up until your summary. When you make a statement like "Books are very good for someone already familiar with a specific field of magic (i.e. NOT good for beginners)," then you set yourself up as a target for people who will say, "So all of the material by Henry Hay, such as [i]The Amateur Magician's Handbook[/i], the Bill Tarr books and the entry level books by Walter B. Gibson are not as good as the sponge ball DVD's from Penguin and Magic Makers?"

Clearly, you have not read the entire thread, nor have you kept an open mind about this thing.

This thread has been more about the BEST sources for material on sponge balls than it has about anything else. It started with what I considered a false assumption on the part of the original poster, which was that the best place to start was a DVD. Clearly, I don't believe that to be the case.

I don't believe there is a "best" DVD on sponge ball magic, because that would mean that there is a good one. ;) The comparative of "bad" is not bad, tolerable, best.

Read my posts again in particular and tell me where I have erred.
Message: Posted by: iceblade (Nov 29, 2010 12:49PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-29 12:59, Bill Palmer wrote:
I was with you up until your summary. When you make a statement like "Books are very good for someone already familiar with a specific field of magic (i.e. NOT good for beginners)," then you set yourself up as a target for people who will say, "So all of the material by Henry Hay, such as [i]The Amateur Magician's Handbook[/i], the Bill Tarr books and the entry level books by Walter B. Gibson are not as good as the sponge ball DVD's from Penguin and Magic Makers?"
[/quote]

The fact that you support that probably there is not on the market a good DVD for sponge ball magic does not refute my argument. Nor does comparing good books to less than mediocre DVDs. Let me state it more clearly with an example. Allow me to borrow one from coin magic (albeit getting off topic) with which I am most familiar. In my opinion, for a beginner in coin magic, the Michael Ammar, David Roth and David Stone DVDs (add to that the Rubinstein Encyclopedia if you want a VERY good reference) are FAR MORE VALUABLE than reading Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. Is it a bad book? No, it's a very good book. Should one read it AFTER he is thoroughly familiar with a foundation in coin magic taught by people who obviously know what they are doing? Hell yeah.

[quote]
On 2010-11-29 12:59, Bill Palmer wrote:
This thread has been more about the BEST sources for material on sponge balls than it has about anything else. It started with what I considered a false assumption on the part of the original poster, which was that the best place to start was a DVD. Clearly, I don't believe that to be the case.
I don't believe there is a "best" DVD on sponge ball magic, because that would mean that there is a good one. ;) The comparative of "bad" is not bad, tolerable, best.
[/quote]

Back on topic, regarding sponge ball material, Jay Sankey - Earplugs, Patrick Page DVD, WGM - Sponge Balls and Scott Strange-Oddballs are all very good material regarding sponge balls. Using just these you can learn proper technique and very good routines using sponge balls. Yes this is best place to start, particularly if you are a beginner in sleight-of-hand in general. Give a book to a beginner, let him learn just from that and then show me his false transfers. Yes you guessed it, they won't be very good. Because there are nuances in technique that ARE NOT described in books.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 29, 2010 01:00PM)
So, you still haven't read all my posts, have you?
Message: Posted by: iceblade (Nov 29, 2010 01:06PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-06 21:39, Bill Palmer wrote:
Regarding the preference towards DVD's -- it's not just a matter of a generational thing. It's a matter of laziness. At the IBM convention in San Diego this past summer, David Roth told about a Darwin Ortiz lecture in which he was referring to a certain book as source material. A teenager in the front row interrupted him and said "I can't learn from books. It has to be a DVD." Darwin ignored him, and the teenager popped off again.

Darwin leaned toward him and asked "Is it the [i]capital[/i] letters? Or is it the spaces [i]between[/i] the letters?"

This is one reason I'm really disappointed that Erdnase is now available on DVD's. This material is so important that people who want to learn it should really be required to get it out of the book. If you aren't willing to put forth the effort to interpret it, then you shouldn't be doing it.

Of course, it IS more than 100 years old, so I suppose it would be considered to be dated.
[/quote]

As you see, I actually HAVE read your posts so, to respond to this, here is my initial response:

[quote]
Screw DVDs I say, learning should be made as difficult as possible. Why watch how the move should be properly executed, with all the timing subtleties and body language, when you can read a book and spend your time trying to figure out this for yourself?
[/quote]
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 29, 2010 06:38PM)
I never said, except tongue in cheek, that learning should be made as difficult as possible.

Can you tell me the name of the fellow who learned to read by teaching himself magic from reading the Tarbell books? If you can't, you didn't read ALL of what I posted. You probably skipped the link.

BTW, you have been using the same kind of spin tactics that bad politicians use when they want to try to prove a point by changing the subject, as you did, when you switched over to coin DVD's. I agree that the Bobo book is not the best place for a beginner to learn to do coin magic. But I won't necessarily agree with your choice of DVD's. Ammar, yes, Roth, yes. But that's about as far as I will go.

Shigeo Futagawa's book [i]Introduction to Coin Magic[/i] is, on the other hand, a much better starting point than Bobo.

As far as learning body language from a DVD, I don't think that's what the beginner will get out of one. That still requires interpretation, and preferrably, live instruction.

Regarding [i]The Sponge Book[/i] and Frank Garcia's book on sponges that Gene Gordon published, I don't see anything that has replaced them in DVD's. Patrick Page's DVD is a good starting point. I had forgotten all about that one. But there is one simple thing that anyone who can read at a third grade level can pick up out of Frank's book that I haven't seen on a DVD that places the whole process of a false transfer within the interpretive means of a complete beginner. He does it in less than a page, and he does it well.

BTW, I would place a whole lot more value upon your posts if I had an idea of who you are and/or your experience.

As it stands, you have posted neither, so I place very little import upon them at all.

Posted: Nov 30, 2010 12:33pm
I've been thinking this whole thread over, and I think that there are a few things that I should clarify.

1) I am not totally against the use of DVD's to teach people moves. If you read the entire thread, this would become evident.
2) I am against the plethora of junk DVD's that various on-line magic companies are issuing, some of which have either mediocre or totally wrong information. No names. They have already been mentioned.
3) Regarding the situation with Darwin Ortiz -- I'm completely behind him for two reasons. His lectures are NOT for beginners. If there is a teenager in one of Darwin's lectures, he should be up to snuff on the kind of material Darwin teaches. If he repeatedly interrupts with "I can't learn from books, it's got to be DVD's," then he deserves what Darwin hands him.
4) The comment about Erdnase on DVD's was half in jest, but only half. Erdnase is not beginner material. It's the kind of thing that IMHO should be approached with reverence, from the source.

In all cases, a good teacher really helps the learning process immensely.
Message: Posted by: Angio333 (Jan 4, 2011 02:33PM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-04 22:55, Frank Starsini wrote:
[quote]
Which sucks.

The Nozebleeda DVD is so bad on so many levels it needed it's own reply above. And penquin had the nerve to call it "the last word on spongeballs". very irresponsible.

p.s. Patrick Page's DVD on the TT is also great. Great advice and ideas from a long time Pro. I'd rather get those DVDs from Pat Page with 50 years experience than DVDs from kid in sunglasses any day. Makes good sense.
[/quote]

why do you think it was so bad? As a beginner, I found that Noblezada's DVD to be very helpful. His instructions and camera angles were great.
Message: Posted by: jonathandupree (Jan 5, 2011 09:17PM)
I enjoyed Steve Dacri's Sponge Ball Toolbox. It has great routines and ideas from several people. I enjoyed watching Darwin on this DVD.
Message: Posted by: snowpuppy (Feb 27, 2011 07:40PM)
Wow! What a malestrom I started with this Post. I thank all who added their thoughts on this. Very enlightening. As for Books vs DVD's, on my part I value both as each has it's own ups and down's. Seeing someone performing the sleights on a VHS/DVD more info on Routines and basic Tips. The only Sponge Ball DVD that I have is "Sponge" by Jay Noblezada. So I can't compare it with others, but I found it to be very helpful on performing the Sleights, but limited on Routines. Many of you suggested "The Sponge Book" and it arrived yesterday. I haven't read it front to back yet but as being the "Bible" of Sponge work,I haven't seen this to be true yet. Since my interest in Magic started in the late 50's, my "Bible" has been and still is "The Complete Illustrated Book of Close-Up Magic" by Walter B. Gibson. It covers just about every genere in Magic, (well worth getting). Until next Time,Have a Great Day! Mike
Message: Posted by: rsylvester (Mar 1, 2011 10:11AM)
[quote]
On 2010-11-08 03:29, Bill Palmer wrote:
Bravo! That's the way to do it. Here's the ticket. Learn it the way it's done in the book or on the DVD, just to get the technical part down. Then, when you have it really smooth, put your own twist to it.
[/quote]

That's really the point, here. Folks, it's not a "generational thing," it's a brain function thing. We all have [url=http://homeworktips.about.com/od/homeworkhelp/a/learningstyle.htm] different styles of learning.[/url]

Bill, I love magic books, and I buy them. But I find many of them difficult. Frankly, as a writer I've found many magic books and articles terribly written and edited. But beyond that, I learn visually, by seeing things, and kinesthetically, by doing it. That's where your friend doing the lecture missed out. "Is it the capital letters...?" C'mon. Maybe the kid had a learning disability. The appropriate response would have been, "Watch, I'm showing you, just as a DVD" or "follow along with me. Do as I do." It's why they give some kids multiple choice tests, some essay tests and administer some tests orally. We're talking about the same thing here. I also like Bill's example of finding a magician to pair with and learn from -- maybe one who learns better from books. :)

I've always learned best from attending lectures, watching videos or having other magicians show me. That's why lecturers, local chapters of the IBM and the people behind the counters at magic shops are as valuable as any books. I learned more from spending a few minutes with Ben Stone (mentioned earlier in this topic) than from just about any book. I get more out of Bobo's Coin Magic book, because I've seen Bobo do the moves and was able to go home and immediately practice them.

I love doing sponge balls, because it is magic that happens in your hands. I'd like to see a DVD that provides some different routines that could give me ideas of more to do. Not to copy but to inspire. I agree, however, that we shouldn't watch a video and ape the performer, just as I have never followed the "patter" or routine in the instructions I buy with an over-the-counter trick. But we can watch the DVD with our sponge balls and do it, learning by the experience much easier than from a book.

If there are no good DVDs on sponge balls, obviously, this is a good market for someone on this forum. It will appeal to those of us who learn by watching and doing, instead of reading, then we can take your ideas and, with a little creativity, make them our own. Bill, maybe you could get permission, or work out a royalty schedule, from the owner of the copyright of the sponge ball book to do a video showing some of your favorite moves and routines for all of the [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_learning]visual[/url] and [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinesthetic_learning]kinesthetic[/url] learners out there.

And when you do make that DVD, tell me about it. I want to buy it.