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Topic: Rose / Billiard Ball / Cane product questions
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 8, 2011 07:54AM)
Hi I'm not very well read bout stage magic. But Im really looking forward to start learning it and buying some props. But I wanted to ask a few questions to guide me to get the best props possible with my money, Im looking to spend a upper middle range price for props, but not professional prices if you get what I mean. Im also after some more modern teaching dvds if possible as well.

1. Appearing Canes, Disappearing Cane, Color Change Cane:
Metal or plastic which is better?
Which brands are good? but wont set me broke Im after middle/upper middle priced canes.

2. Rose/Flower Manipluation (Routines, The roses used for rose manipulation):
Curious if there are standards for manipulation roses for sale or not. Which brand?
Which brands or where can I buy the rose where the bud is removed and then back on the rose again
Are there vases for manipulation purposes? Or is it something I will have to come across myself?
Any rose manipulation dvds out there?

3. Top Hat stand (Basically hat that sits on a cane? The hat is removable).
Brand? Where can I get it?

4. Billiard ball manipulation:
Fakini or Mirage Billiard Balls? Quick one is better quality and better handling?
Any good teaching Dvds? Im kind of after a more modern style if possible, but willing to watch old dvds as well.
Any dvds that cover one hand, four ball production?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 8, 2011 10:37AM)
Yano, I am surprised that you think magic equipment is like buying cloths, there are different price ranges and quality available. Magic is a very small market, thus you pay the price asked or forget it.

Here is your answers.
1. Metal is the way to go, there is currently none available on the market.
2. There is no teaching Rose lecture DVD or books on this subject.
3. Fakini, but they are out of your price ranges as you stated above.
4. No there are no DVD teaching 1 hand ball production of 4 balls. This is currently top secret and I have swore to not reveal the methods used in this fabulous production.
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 8, 2011 11:11AM)
Ok you somehow don't think I want to fork out anything? I will fork out $100 for one prop but lets say $300 for one prop, that's a bit too much for a non pro for me to fork out that much. Actually the price for fakini and mirage sets are actually close this is why I asked, but thanks for letting me know faikini is better.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 8, 2011 11:27AM)
I believe price is relevent, who says "forking out" $300 for a trick is to much? Doesn't it depend on the quality, materials and working of the prop? You get what you pay for, just read the comments on the Caf about the cheap magic currently on the market. Most will not even work, others fall apart before the 1st showing.

So you want to spend $100 and go out and preform a trick and make $400.00 for a show, but you won't pay $300 to use the best prop possible in that show.

I never owned a Mirage, but they look like they may work, but they only come in one size, and you can buy extra balls and shells separately. I have a feeling that Fakini's are heavier then the Mirage balls.
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 8, 2011 12:13PM)
Yes if I was professional I would buy the best props possible, and I know props made to the best quality are worth a lot cause well their professionally made. I'm just saying I'm not a professional magician, everyone starts somewhere no? I'm still working on creating a stage act, I have no idea how much props I need or will use since I have little knowledge of stage magic. I'm just saying if the prop I need, really does cost $300 then I can't afford it and I'll work on buying other props first.

I'm not trying to get hated here I'm really am new to stage magic. Just an example I'm sure not everyone buys the $2000 Losander's table first up? For someone who has never used it or maybe they have used it before and they want one maybe they'd want to go for the $1000 or $600 one cause they're new to it or really haven't got a chance to practice it before. Or maybe they can't afford it but would like to still be able to perform it.

I'm not saying I want cheap brands, I'm saying I want good brands. But I know some good brands have professional and normal quality props, just like the Losander's table (This is what I mean bout not professional prices). Some good brands do have lower prices for the non pros if think? Sorry if my price on how much I wanted to spend was confusing.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 8, 2011 12:34PM)
The 1st thing you have to do is decide what kind of stage magic you want to pursue. Then the kind of magic you like doing, manipulation or talking with props.

Unfortunately, it is a hit and miss choice, to find your path in stage magic.

Take for example Billiard Balls, the best thing to do is buy a set of Billiard Balls, then buy Levent's Billiard Ball DVD set. After studying those for say 3 months then seek out the 10 or 20 other sources of Billiard Ball books and DVDs on the market. Study all the routines and this will help you develop your own routine. This should take about a year of study and practice.

If you would jump right into the 1 to 4 ball production, you would soon fail at mastering it, because you do not have the basics and understanding of what a billiard ball routine should be composed of as a whole.

The section you are in is the Stage Manipulation part of the Caf, it only deals with manipulation of props like billiard balls,candles, cigarettes, playing cards, coins, thimbles and the props that may be able to be manipulated.

Good luck! And welcome to stage manipulation magic.
Message: Posted by: Signor Blitz (Jul 8, 2011 02:37PM)
Yano!

Glad to hear that you are going to work on a manip act. Something you should keep in the back of your mind is that just because a prop has a good reputation doesn't mean it is the right prop for you - there is a little bit of trial and error.

Example - IMOP - Fakini Billards are the best - BUT I know folks that cannot work with them because of overly sweety hands instead what works for them are laquard wooden billards.

If you are able to try the different props first - either a demo set at a convention, an associate in magic or just order a single billard so you can see what is right for you - before investing.

I know some performers that wanted to do billards and went out and invested in set of Fakini's with flash four, dimminishing and even a ball stand and after a couple of months working with them realized that they really didn't like billards after all - the just liked the idea.

As for old tapes - they are the best. You can get foundational information and make it your own style. A word of caution is the sometimes with dvd's you pick up some bad habits of forgetting where your audience is which results in learning the sleight the wrong way where it exposes the move to the audience. It is best to work with someone that knows manipulation or tape yourself and be honest and critical with yourself.

Gook luck!
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jul 8, 2011 03:28PM)
I say if you want to start off small, then save your money like I did when I first started. It's best to get the best. But, sometimes you waste your money on crap, so that's why you have come here, to help you do avoid that. Besides, you want to start with one thing and practice it well before going on to another. This will give you time to save your money.

As far as billiards, do get the Fakini's (if you can get them these days) and buy Levent's DVD on Billiards. It is worth it and you'll learn everything you need to start off. Just watch it for the enjoyment before you try a routine. Then learn the moves. And finally, when you see a routine that you like, then invest into the time to learn it. And I do me invest. Learn it well.

Go with the plastic canes if you want to do a dancing and vanishing. A good DVD for the Dancing is "Dancing Cane 101". If you are not going to use the canes for the dancing, then use the metal. Care must done so you don't cut yourself. But, if you use it properly, it won't happen (that often).

As far as the rose, you might have to be the trailblazer to come up with a good routine. Granted there are those like Rocco that have done it, but a full blown routine might be something that might separate you from the rest.

Don't hesitate to ask anymore questions and don't forget to practice like hell.
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 9, 2011 03:03AM)
Thanks I will try demo it before I buy the Fakini balls, I'm not sure which size will fit me yet as well. Thanks I will have a look at Levent's DVD as well.
What is the alternative to Fakini's? if their not available these days? Just not sure why you said "(if you can get them these days)"

Regarding metal canes I really never thought they were dangerous till you mentioned it, thanks. But I have a question is will metal canes tear silks? is there a difference in speed(Plastic/Metal)? Is the Fantasio brand good?

Just to make sure, there aren't specifically made roses in the magic industry for manipulation?

Thanks for all your feedback so far.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jul 9, 2011 03:32AM)
As far as the appearing canes, the metal is faster. I suppose they can catch onto the silks, but I haven't had it happen yet.

No, I don't think there is any roses for manipulations. I've been waiting for many years for someone to jump on that bandwagon. I guess one of these days I guess I'll have to figure out how to make them. I have an idea for them, but I am not a crafts person, so I guess it will just remain an idea.
Message: Posted by: bojanbarisic (Jul 9, 2011 03:34AM)
Check this site http://feather-flower.com/index.php?main_page=index&language=en
Keiko Muto has 3 DVDs on flower magic ( http://feather-flower.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=7 ) and all products they sell on that site look amazing

regards,
Bojan
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 9, 2011 04:21AM)
Thanks for the information again mtpascoe. Also thanks Bojan, that's basically 90% what I'm after regarding rose manipulation.
Message: Posted by: Signor Blitz (Jul 9, 2011 12:56PM)
As for size of billards

the golf balls are 1 1/2 inch
standard billards 1 3/4 inch
Fakini also are available in 2 - 2 1/8 and 2 1/4 inch

the problem with 2 inch and larger is that you have to be extra cautious of top and bottom flashes - the 1 3/4 is a lot more forgiving in hand posistion and lends itself to moves that look a little more natural.

Some folks have a harder time with the golf balls due to the dimples, they are not for everyone.

Fakini's are not that hard to find - PM and I will point you in a few directions for either new or used Fakini's.
One thing you should know about Fakini's - a new set will have a gloss that really aids to the palming - after time the gloss will wear off and the ball will have more of a satin look to it. They are still very palmable but not like a new set. But with pratice and experience it will make no difference.

If you have hand that are sweaty - that will make Fakini's a little bit challenging.

Metal canes - I am old school - I really like the Walsh cane. It is a good soilid cane that is built to last. Fantasio's are the best in plastic - I believe he retired and there are a few kock offs out there that are not as good. The problem with fantasio is depending on how you are using it - you may have a wobble after appearance.

There are a few commercial items for roses out there but some of the best ideas that will seperate you from the hobby shop performer is creating your own effects. A trip to a craft store, your imagination and everything you know about basic magic princples and you can create some wonderful effects that are unique to you.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 9, 2011 01:20PM)
I am selling the very best Vanishing and Appearing Canes made currently on the Caf in the Let's Make a Deal section of the Caf.

Unfortunately you can't access that section until you have 50 posts. You can PM me directly for information.
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Jul 9, 2011 10:28PM)
Where are you from Yano?
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 10, 2011 04:38AM)
Thanks signor great insight; yet another thing I never would have thought about (gloss), I pm'd you already. Thanks for the rose advice.

I've decided on metal appearing canes, but curious for vanish canes; mtpascoe said its better to get plastic ones is there any reason?
Wmhegbli I will pm you soon.

Yin_howe I'm from Townsville in Australia, the only magic stores I know in Australia would be Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne. But they're pretty far from me; like at least like 10hrs drive to the closest.
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jul 10, 2011 11:51AM)
Only get the plastic if you plan on doing the dancing cane with it because it's lighter. Other than that, get the metal ones.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jul 10, 2011 02:06PM)
In the video clip at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wl5VQ6hYDo
the opening effect performed by Fantasio himself is a cane to parasol. I think the cane he's using looks fine, and I assume is the plastic variety that Fantasio makes and sells. Keep in mind, too, that whatever the cane transforms to has at least some effect on the "diameter" of the cane when it is set up. A transformation to a parasol will no doubt make the diameter of the cane thicker than a transformation to a couple of 18-inch silk handkerchieves.

Canes as used by magicians come in a variety of thicknesses. The dancing cane used by David Mann at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fth11-UHkJY
is noticeably thinner than, say, the canes that were made by Abe Creekmore, which were pretty much the industry standard. But I think the cane in the David Mann video looks fine.

Also take a look at the cane used by Fred Astaire in the song "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails" at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wc77Vlb-yAE
At least to my eyes it looks fairly thin, especially when he's tapping the paper in his hand.

I've pointed out before that when most of today's audiences see a magician's cane--regardless of whether it's Russ Walsh or Fantasio--they often call it a wand, not a cane; probably because any black stick with white tips held by a magician has to be a wand. I have a videoclip of Johnny Hart doing the silk to cane on the Mike Douglas show. He hands the cane to Mike, and Mike (being the ham he is) goes into a 3-second song and dance step. Later, when Morgan Fairchild is holding a silk handkerchief in her hands, Johnny tells Mike "Wave the magic wand." A dove then appears in the silk that Ms. Fairchld has been holding. My point is that Johnny, knowing that most of the studio audience might not think of the stick as a "cane," substituted a word for an item that the vast majority of people _are_ more familiar with.

When 99.44/100% of people in today's audiences see a black stick with white tips, the immediate association in their mind is "magic wand," not cane, regardless of the length or width of the stick. In all of Mr. Astaire's movies, the cane (whether a formal cane or a simple cane with a J handle or hook) is an accessory that is more for show than any functional use.

I am constantly... intrigued... by what we as magicians consider topics of worthy debate--like whether we call a piece of cloth a "handkerchief" or a "silk," which has also been a topic of debate in these forums. In the end, the only thing that matters is whether the audience is entertained, and by and large I am inclined to believe that a well-presented Fantasio cane-to-silk effect in the right hands is just as entertaining as a well-presented Walsh cane-to-silk and the amount of applause generated is determined more by the magician's presentational skills than by his props.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: mtpascoe (Jul 10, 2011 02:37PM)
Good point. I have always used Fantasios canes. I only use the Walsh style for an appearing because I feel that the Fantasio appearing is a bit flimsy when produced from the hand. What ever you feel comfortable and confident using. As long as you feel that the audience misrepresents the twisted up plastic or metal is what is seems to be, it doesnt matter.
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 11, 2011 04:13AM)
Thanks Amado interesting thoughts, yes I do believe its all about the magicians presentation. However I am just after props that are reliable and will last a while. From what I've heard is metal is faster, so this is a preference I guess since I would prefer a faster appearing cane.

thanks mrpascoe, I see so its about dancing canes, At this point of time I don't think I'll be using dancing canes. But thanks for the info, always great to know more things :).
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Jul 11, 2011 02:03PM)
Nielsen Magic sells the "Cane to Table." The details are at
http://nnmagic.com/magicitems/stagemagicpage_al.htm
Note: It's a pretty pricey item and you'll note that the cane is sold by itself with a gimmick for attaching to your own top hat or whatever receptacle you intend to drop the cards, balls, coins etc into. If you want a top hat to go with the cane, Nielsen can sell you that, too. Of course, top hats are expensive--almost as expensive as the cane--and pretty much anachronistic in today's world anyway unless you are wearing formal attire or presenting yourself as a specific character. Juan Tamariz, for instance, wears a top hat--but his persona makes it acceptable in the minds of the audience.

If you do a Google search on
+magic +cane +table
you will get other hits, but I would be hesitant to buy some of those items sight unseen.

You might want to consider other options than a cane table for your act. Although I have a Nieslen cane table and top hat, I have also used wooden decorative plant display stands. They don't collapse, but most fit comfortably in the back seat of a car, and some of them look nice on stage, almost like a magician's side table.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 11, 2011 11:30PM)
Thanks Amado, but sadly at this point of time I think I need to pass on the cane to table its simply too much for me and it wouldn't add to the magic really. But I'll definitely will buy this when I get the chance to.
Message: Posted by: Yano (Jul 24, 2011 03:16AM)
Curious to know whats the best way to store vanish and appearing canes? Would you leave them in their closed state (small form) or in their open state (opened as a cane)?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 24, 2011 03:31AM)
[quote]
On 2011-07-24 04:16, Yano wrote:
Curious to know whats the best way to store vanish and appearing canes? Would you leave them in their closed state (small form) or in their open state (opened as a cane)?
[/quote]

Store them closed, both vanishing and appearing.

What are you referring to plastic or metal? If you are using plastic a wise investment would be the Fantasio Cane and Candles book. It covers a lot of information.
Message: Posted by: conjurormatt (Aug 4, 2011 03:44PM)
Not to be too contrary Wmhegbli, but I've found (at least with Fantasios) that the appearing cane is better stored open. otherwise, it tends to stick and losses some of it's "spring". As I recall, that's how the instructions say to store it. For vanishing, I obviously agree that the cane should be stored closed.

Cheers!
Matt M.
Message: Posted by: billappleton (Aug 4, 2011 04:05PM)
Hi Yano,

The Magic Geek (www.magicgeek.com) has a great top hat made by the "New York Top Hat" company. I think they sell it also for jugglers. The one I am wearing in my profile picture is a cheap halloween prop!