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Topic: Floating a ball.
Message: Posted by: SIX (Mar 22, 2011 12:59PM)
Hey guys,

I want to float a ball, say the size of a basketball. Now I'm looking for routines and hookups already out to accomplish this.

Ideally I don't want any hook ups on the stages. Maybe from me to the ball, or table. But want to avoid hooking up to the stage.

Any resources on this? Also the ball wont be a baketball it will be lightweight.

Thanks,

Six

P.S No Zombie lol
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Mar 22, 2011 01:22PM)
So.... how would you do it?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 22, 2011 01:55PM)
There are 2 books I would recommend to help you with your floating ball.
The 1st is Burling Hull's Floating Light Bulb booklet, it will show how to use a floating device with a large hoop.
The 2nd is the String Book by R. Wichmann, this covers everything you need to know to float a ball or other items on stage with only a simple hookup. I like several of his ideas, 1 using a sword and another using a cane. His table hook-up is enlightening. He has a lot of clever ideas in the book.
Message: Posted by: SIX (Mar 31, 2011 04:00PM)
Thanks! I googled the books and found nothing, do you have any links?

Thanks,

Six
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Mar 31, 2011 04:39PM)
Funny, I copied the titles in the Google search engine and came right to these, Says only one left of each. Let's see who buys them 1st.

http://www.magicbookshop.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=764

http://www.magicbookshop.com/product_info.php?products_id=11060
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Mar 31, 2011 04:42PM)
I THINK Losandr sells a floating basketball.
Message: Posted by: SIX (Jun 1, 2011 09:39PM)
Pete you right, although it looks nothing like a basketball at least here in the U.S lol
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (Jun 1, 2011 10:13PM)
Look around for Charlie Frye's take on the zombie. He has a routine where he uses a bowling ball. I suspect a similar setup could work for you.

There are only so many ways to float a ball and you probably have a good idea of the most common methods. If you have a particular routine effect in mind, perhaps it would be possible to give detailed advice.

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: SIX (Jun 1, 2011 10:42PM)
Well I searched floating balls to find the best idea of what Id like mine to look like.

Here is what I found : http://www.youtube.com/user/MAGICSIX?feature=mhee#p/a/f/2/81QclWVOL8I

ANy info on detailed work on this kind of floating effect in print would be great.

Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jun 1, 2011 10:59PM)
Greater Magic has a description of the Nixon floating ball.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 2, 2011 01:49AM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-01 23:42, SIX wrote:
Well I searched floating balls to find the best idea of what Id like mine to look like.

Here is what I found : http://www.youtube.com/user/MAGICSIX?feature=mhee#p/a/f/2/81QclWVOL8I

ANy info on detailed work on this kind of floating effect in print would be great.

Thanks!
[/quote]

It looks like the little girl in the YouTube video read my posts previously mentioned above and impressed you.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 2, 2011 02:32AM)
This little girl, Patricia Duncan, is good. I saw this video a few years ago. I wonder how well she has progressed since then.

As far as her hook up, it's the basic Okito set up. Okitolearned it from David P. Abbott. Click on here http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/6286597 to see where the thread goes. You can learn the Okito/Abbott set up http://miraclefactory.net/zenstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=75 and the Dr. Albo book on Okito which is hard to find.

The hook up that Patricia used is even more simpler than that. The basics are described in the already mentioned the String Book by R. Wichmann.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 2, 2011 06:31AM)
Six, Just in case you do not totally understand where we are coming from on our suggestions. I will try to express it in words. The flosting ball is not a trick that is an off the shelf trick you can buy from a magic shop or site. Owen Magic sells a large metal ball, but with only bare bones instructions. The same with Don Wayne's Floating Ball that has recently re-appeared on the market.

You only get a few lines of how you could possibly make it work. The rest, such as a routine, is totally left up to you and your creative mind. The few magicians that have mastered the Floating Ball, do not share their methods or secrets with anyone.

Teller of Penn and Teller worked on his floating red ball for years before it was ready to present to the public. He used the David P. Abbott method, but he created the total illusion himself.

I once saw a magician do the Floating Ball on stage, and he made the ball disappear while it was high above his head with only a fan as cover for a moment. This is not in print anywhere that I know of.

So you have some references, it is up to you if you want to persue the creation of a Floating Ball Miracle. The Dr. Albo and Abbott books are very expensive, I was never able to purchase them. The references I gave you are reasonable and will give you enough information to create a very good Floating Ball Illusion. These deal with parlour type performing areas. Huge stages are not required.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jun 3, 2011 05:07PM)
Hi Six,

They’re right. I’ve spent about three decades researching, locating, reading, and experimenting with any and every Floating Ball method and routine imaginable. I’ve spent a -not so small- fortune on manuscripts, books, magazines, balls, gimmicks, set-ups and props (many not available anymore.)

And what these guys are saying above is true! It’s something that over a (long) period of time you discover and develop for yourself and your particular performance needs. There is no “silver bullet” and even the easiest method is difficult to carry off in the improper setting or venue.

I get PM’s every week asking where they can “buy” an Okito Style Floating Ball, ready to work out of the box, and I tell them: You can’t.

If you want this in your act enough to build your magic around it, to do your history homework, to take the extraordinary amount of time needed to develop your method and skills, you’ll have something wonderful… in the future.

The above posts have steered you to a lot of great resources, the rest is up to you.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: TStone (Jun 5, 2011 08:21AM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-01 23:13, Mr. Woolery wrote:
Look around for Charlie Frye's take on the zombie. He has a routine where he uses a bowling ball. I suspect a similar setup could work for you.
[/quote]
Has Charlie Frye wronged you in some way?
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jun 5, 2011 08:45AM)
My version: never released
http://magicians.podbean.com/village-ball/

I did two shows that day, they are both on this clip.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jun 5, 2011 06:22PM)
Ian, he was specifically looking for a large stage style floating ball not a zombie style. Thanks, Walt
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 5, 2011 06:33PM)
Six, how's the floating ball hunt going? Any luck?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 5, 2011 09:38PM)
I thought you may as well have this reference as well.

http://dennymagic.com/products/stage-magic/thurston-floating-ball-by-herman-hanson/
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 5, 2011 11:01PM)
In 1913, Howard Thurston was playing Omaha, Nebraska and was invited by David P. Abbott to his home. Thurston brought Theo Bamberg (Okito) with him. Abbott did a demonstration of fake spiritual tricks that left them mystified. One trick in particular intrigued them and that was the floating of a golden ball. The golden ball was six inches in diameter and rose from a small pedestal and floated around the room.

Thurston wasn’t crazy about it because it required delicate manipulation and he was not willing to put the time in to perfect it. Plus, he felt it would slow the show down. Okito saw great potential in it and Abbott made him a present of the ball. Years later with the help of his son David, they improved the ball by making it lighter, but still looking heavy.

When Thurston saw the popularity of the trick had, he inserted the trick into his spirit cabinet routine. I don’t know how much of the explanation by Herman Hanson is close to the actual Abbott/Okito routine. But, I do know that the secret of the floating ball was not the rigging, but the artistry that both Okito and his son Fu Manchu infused into it. In their hands it was a thing of beauty.

I heard that Okito had special choreography for it. To get that would be a big find. I wonder if the Albo videos have that choreography in it. If it does, it would be work every penny.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 5, 2011 11:29PM)
The Thurston method is not the Abbott/Okito version. Theirs was a one man operation. This one explained by Herman Hanson takes two assistants to operate. Thurston still did some of the movement with the thr***, but not like the one man version. If you are going to go to this much trouble to rig the stage, I would go with the Don Wayne set up.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 6, 2011 09:10AM)
I just thought the OP should have all the easier to find methods. If he is truly interested, he can then decide and create a nice parlour version of the trick. The version the little girl did has a lot more to it then what you see on the video.

There is a version of this in the German 'The String Book' previously mentioned. The hard part is finding a 5" or 6" ball for the trick. Don Wayne's Ball is 8". That is very large for parlour. I guess you could use the ball that floats in front of a cloth. I think it is called Astro Sphere, you will have a ball that can be used for other floating type effects.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jun 6, 2011 09:59AM)
AstroShphere is an option, and a good thought too, though the ones made today (especially the mini) are pretty poor quality. Rings and Things once made an aluminum beauty.

It took me a long while to solve the 6" ball problem, the usual suspects like tell-tale xmas ornaments are too heavy and too hard to gimmick with no tell-tale signs. I can maybe help out but only in a PM.

With all this hard stuff and tough options the original poster seems to have floated off and vanished?

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 6, 2011 10:52AM)
I thought Six would be back as he was gone for 9 days from his 1st post to his 2nd post. So I just wanted to complete the comments in case anyone else is interested. I always wanted to work on some of the hook-ups in the String Book, but never did, I think it would be great magic in a smaller venue.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jun 6, 2011 01:16PM)
Your absolutely correct, great in a small venue, but with adjustments and expansions of the methods for non-theatrical lighting or special backdrops. Very specialized and painstaking process, but it can work!

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jun 6, 2011 03:40PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-05 19:22, SpellbinderEntertainment wrote:
Ian, he was specifically looking for a large stage style floating ball not a zombie style. Thanks, Walt
[/quote]
My method can float virtually any lightweight object including a 13" beach ball, #14 balloon, or styrofoam ball. That is why I joined in.
His constraints were that he did not want wall or floor attachment or assistance.
Tony Spina was concerned when I had designs on releasing this as he had just started to market the astrosphere. My ball movement looked identical without using his method.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 6, 2011 04:31PM)
Magic ian, are you suggesting your method/version is available? Being you mentione that you never released it, I take it that you wish to keep it for yourself, or wait until you have finished creating your miracle.

Your effect looks wonderful, but if you have not published a book or created a video on the working and method, and/or are offering it for sale; why suggest this to the original poster again.

Please, I am un-clear from your suggestions.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 6, 2011 05:11PM)
I have often thought about doing the Abbott/Okito version by attaching the thr*** to something like a coat rack or something tall like Lance's lightpost. I think it would work well. The problem is making a mystery out of it. Once you float it, then what? That's why I think that having Okito's choreography would be very valuable.

Without having that, I feel the best floating routine is Raymond Crowe's Naked Zombie. There is no hookup, just a zombie ball. He adds some good moves that you can milk. And if you combine it with a good zombie routine like Al Schneider, I think you would have a good routine that can last a while.
Message: Posted by: magicians (Jun 6, 2011 05:33PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-06 17:31, wmhegbli wrote:
Magic ian, are you suggesting your method/version is available? Being you mentione that you never released it, I take it that you wish to keep it for yourself, or wait until you have finished creating your miracle.

Your effect looks wonderful, but if you have not published a book or created a video on the working and method, and/or are offering it for sale; why suggest this to the original poster again.

Please, I am un-clear from your suggestions.
[/quote]
Yes, I fully intend to release it pending some minor adjustments. It is not on the market yet but there have been some inquiries in PM's and e-mail where I have discussed the use of the method.
In the past, when I have thrown in the link, the potential user has contacted me and discussed his needs.

I do use this forum as a sounding board and an interest generator and I usually post in on most zombie conversations.

The video instruction is very involved and that is primarily where I am working. I also have been experimenting with a lit version that could fit into the latest fads of led and flashing lights. That actually solved some of the lighting problems I have had in the past.

I originally developed mine for Jeff McBride years ago when he was doing his isolation moves at his fairground act. I discussed some of these aspects with Jeb Sherril as well who thoughts were along my style of thinking. He too, has a similar unpublished zombie method.

I contacted him when I was trying to emulate some of the contact juggling motions and infuse them into my floating method.

Sorry to tease about the availability. When I release an effect, I try to make sure it is a significantly different method. I hate to ever have the comment that some old master of magic might have done this in the past. Forum conversations like this help me a lot.

I have used the method to float a candle, ball, standard zombie, balloon, large styrofoam objects of almost any shape, and silk foulard.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 6, 2011 06:04PM)
Okay, so when will it be available? Do you have a launch date? How much will it be? Will it be released before I die? Does it have to done on a darken stage? Why do I have to pull all this out of you. If you have not guessed, I would like to be exposed to the methodology.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jun 6, 2011 06:34PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-06 18:11, mtpascoe wrote:
I have often thought about doing the Abbott/Okito version by attaching the thr*** to something like a coat rack or something tall like Lance's lightpost. I think it would work well. The problem is making a mystery out of it. Once you float it, then what? That's why I think that having Okito's choreography would be very valuable.

Mt. Pascoe-

If you do the Okito / Bamberg staging that is in "Oriental Magic of the Bambergs" and you do it well... you needn't worry about making a good solid mystery of it. It's all there.

If you wish to conclude the routine with an assistant (as Bamberg did) and have it float into a box, well, that puts a 'button' on the end and will get you considerable applause.

I used this effect with a single 'hookup point' in revue shows in Vegas and other places, and it played very well!
Regards-
JNeal
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 6, 2011 09:23PM)
Thanks for writing on this. I wish that the "Oriental Magic of the Bambergs" was available. If one can find it, it is rather expensive. Now, I wouldn't mind spending money on a good effect like the way Okito and his son did it, but now that it is a collector’s item, it makes it inaccessible for those that do not have deep pockets.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jun 6, 2011 11:22PM)
While the Bamberg routine is certainly a desirable starting point, much of the same information (albeit in less detailed form) can be found in the Ralf Wichmann book on Floating effects and also the Burling Hull manuscript for the floating light bulb effects.

As for the ball itself, a trip to Hobby Lobby or any good craft store and you'll find a ball that is adaptable. I made my first floating ball for about 3 dollars and it worked just fine.
JNeal
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 7, 2011 03:45AM)
Just took a look in my Owen Catalog, they still list the Floating Ball, price was $700 in 2005, comes with a wood chest. It says it include a routine, but from my experience with Owen magic tricks, it is not anything like a full routine. Whenever I purchased a trick from them, it came with a single sheet of instructions. I think this trick would need a lot more then a single page. The ball is metal and is 7" in diameter.
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Jun 7, 2011 11:06AM)
The Owen Ball is a work of art, really beautiful, well made, innovative design, perfect weight, I had to have one. It is only useful for the traditional hook-ups with the traditional drawbacks,and yes, it arrives with one sheet of instructions.

Magically,
Walt
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jun 7, 2011 09:16PM)
Here is Lance Burton doing his classic Floating Bird Cage routine, is this the Okito or Thurston method?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEHOGLna3Sw&feature=autoplay&list=PLD9832E3B7D3C009C&index=22&playnext=2
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 8, 2011 12:40AM)
Definitely not Okito. More than likely it’s Don Wayne, but I’m not sure. The Don Wayne can do much more than that.
Message: Posted by: JNeal (Jun 8, 2011 01:08AM)
To eliminate any confusion, a bit of information about Don Wayne's floating effect and apparatus.
The Don Wayne ball is (was) suitable for an Okito (or David P. Abbott if you will....) method.

Don Wayne also created a different arrangement of the traditional gimmick that worked with his or any other ball for that matter.
This alternate 'method' required a second person working in the wings and it was very clever. It was outlined in the booklet that came with the ball as I recall.

As to Lance's effect. It was fairly standard in method but definitely NOT the Don Wayne method. I saw his hookup backstage on several occasions.

Regards-
JNeal
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 8, 2011 01:59AM)
As stated above, it was not a Don Wayne hookup, but it looks like it is not a one man setup like the Abbott/Okito method.
Message: Posted by: Ray Pierce (Jun 8, 2011 02:20AM)
JNeal is right on the money as always. I've seen Lance's from backstage as well and it is a very simple self contained one man set up that is basically an Okito style rig. When I did the floating ball at the Castle it was literally a one man rig. The girl brought me the ball then went to do a costume change. No one but me touched it throughout the routine. When I do it on a full stage it is modified (as I do it on a different size stage every day) so I use one person backstage that basically is my "trim" for the gaff. That way I don't have to "measure and pre-wind" everything each show. On the other hand, they do not do any "work" as in the Blackstone Light bulb method. It is still basically a one man effect.

I DO use the Don Wayne method (the one man version that comes with his ball) as it gives me a little more freedon than he traditional coller button method.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jun 8, 2011 02:36AM)
Yeah, Don Wayne did give two methods in his booklet. A one man method and the method that David Copperfield used. I feel the one man method is prettier. I think where I messed up with my observation of it, and thank you fellows for clearing it up, is that at the end, the ball drifted away and what seemed like on its own. I should have known that a master manipulator like Lance would have used the one man versions.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jun 20, 2011 01:21PM)
The best floating ball routine I've ever seen was Mark Wilson's presentation on "The Magic Land of Allakazam." The ball floated around under Mark's direction as dry ice fog filled the stage, which created an atmosphere of mystery while at the same time helping to conceal the modus. I believe Bob Towner created and choreographed that presentaton.

-----Amado "Sonny" Narvaez