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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Ball Vase routine info (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Mitch Schneiter
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Thanks for the information Harold, I was unaware of the Carney and Williams' routines.
I think Mr. Gorman's routine is great and is certainly the most involved ball & vase routine I've come across. And the Riser made Ball & Vases that he uses and that come with his routine are really terrific.
I thought I had looked through the Art of Closeup Magic for B & V routines but hadn't found any. I'll have to take another look.
I seem to recall reading somewhere that Jules DeBarros had a routine with 3(?) vases. I'll have to try and track that one down too.
mike gallo
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The magician is Doug Gorman and his routine is called "The Stones of Tutankhamun". Have a look at

Yep...That's him...Thanks Harold.

Mike
Mitch Schneiter
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Due to recent events it is time to go ahead and mention the project I’ve been working on and the reason I’ve been researching Ball Vase routines. The reason I’ve been trying to track down all the Ball Vase information is for a Ball Vase bibliography which I want to include with an item I’ve created which is being produced by RNTII.
I have been a big fan of Mike Gallo’s terrific Ball Vase routine since it was published in Richard’s Almanac. However I didn’t perform it for laymen as I never came up with a presentation I was happy with which dealt with the Vase itself. I prefer working with normal everyday type items and the Adam’s red plastic Ball Vase was just too “magic prop” looking.
Last year I bought a mahogany Ball Vase made for the Gallo routine (no shell) and a presentation came to me which I was happy with and which played well. It explained the Ball Vase as a reproduction of a 17th century drinking/gambling game played in the pubs of London. The object of the game was to sneak the ball into the Vase without your drinking partner catching you. If you were successful he had to buy you a drink, if not you had to buy him a drink. The game progressed in levels of difficulty.
The idea then came to me that I could update the effect and my presentation with a Ball Vase shaped like a miniature liquor bottle. The presentation would be the same except now I would be able to explain it as a bar game played in the bar where I used to bartend.
I contacted Jim Riser and asked him to make me a Ball Vase (with no shell) shaped like a miniature liquor bottle with cherries and olives instead of balls, along with one larger olive for Gallo’s kicker ending. Also in my first query to Mr. Riser concerning this bottle I suggested that the olives have a small indentation drilled where the pimento would be so you could tell the difference between the olives and cherries in your pocket by touch alone.
Jim thought it was a “cool idea”. He made the Bottle Vase for me and it turned out great. I thought the Bottle Vase was a unique idea and based on spectator’s reactions to it, I thought other magicians might enjoy it as well. I asked Jim if he’d be interested in producing the Bottle Vase. He wasn’t interested.
At Kramien’s convention in Oregon in May I showed the Bottle Vase to Reed McClintock, Pete Biro, and Chance Wolf. They all made positive comments about it. I explained that Mr. Riser custom made it for me but wasn’t interested in producing it in quantity and sought advice as to getting it marketed.
Following their advice I eventually talked with RNTII and they were immediately enthused about producing my Bottle Vase. As a satisfied customer of RNTII, both with their products and service, I have given them the sole-right to manufacture the Bottle Vase and they are now in the process of producing it in assorted wood and materials. I’m looking forward to RNTII making it available to the magic community and hope that others will enjoy performing with it as much as I have.

Mitch Schneiter
cataquet
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Mitch, not to get too picky here, but "a 17th century drinking game"?! Don't get me wrong; I like the looks of the props (I had seen them some time ago on Jim's website, and his work is always superb). But, given the premise, wouldn't it make more sense for the olive to go under a shot glass or cup [a premise common to many chop cup routines] rather than a half bottle?!
Harold Cataquet
Mitch Schneiter
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Harold, I don't take your comment as too picky at all. The "17th century drinking game played in the pubs of London" patter was just the presentation I used to explain the unfamililar and strange look of the traditional Ball Vase to non-magicians as a "real world" item. While historically it's all bunk I've never had anyone question or comment that the Ball Vase was never used as a drinking game in the old pubs of London. Of course, I'm in America which may make a difference. You on the other hand living in England might be challenged using that patter as you're probably more likely to run into people who are more knowledgeable on the history of pubs and what games were played there.
The thought process behind my Bottle Vase is that I can still use the same drinking game presentation but not dress it in terms of antique reproductions of a strange-looking item used in the old pubs of London. My updated presentation presents the Bottle Vase as a bar game played in the neighborhood bar I used to bartend at. There are all sorts of little wooden and metal games and puzzles which can sometimes be found in bars. I believe the Bottle Vase easily passes for one of these little games or puzzles. Again, since performing my Bottle Vase I have not been questioned as to the validity of my claim that it is a bar game and it always plays well.
And yes it would make sense to use a cup or shot glass and olive to play the game. I have used the basic premise of the drinking game with shot glass sized chop cups as well as chopped cocktail shakers. The creation of the Bottle Vase is a direct result of being a fan of Mr. Gallo's fine Ball Vase routine and coming up with this drinking game presentaion angle for it. The idea for the Bottle Vase evolved from there.
In closing all I can say is I really like the Bottle Vase. I've enjoyed working with it and performing with it and as I've said it always plays well for me. Other magicians have thought it unique as has RNTII. And when it's released by RNTII those that are interested will have an alternative to the standard Ball Vase to perform with.
Bill Palmer
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If you want to work with the ball and vase principle, I suggest that you purchase a couple of ball and vase outfits at your nearest magic dealer's and start improvising from there.

A few years ago, I was in San Antonio at a hospitality suite for a major paint manufacturer. They went to ElBee novelty and purchased a bunch of slum magic. Among the items they purchased were ball vases. I pinched one and got the ball out of it. Then, after one of the salesmen came up to regale me with is newly acquired skill with the trick, I began to perform a much more advanced version of it with the lid, the base, the extra ball and no gaff.

This is one of those things you can improvise on. Do that, and you will find that in a month or so, you will have worked out an appropriate ending.

The ball and vase was first published as the "Egg Box" and the "Globe Box" in Sports and Pastimes, 1676. The Globe Box featured two gimmicks, plus a ball.

The manufacturer of both of these was Robert Spooner.
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Mitch Schneiter
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Thanks for the early Ball Vase reference Bill. Are you familiar with the DeBarros routine with the Ball Vase and whether it is in print?
cataquet
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Mitch, I'm an American (a New Yorker to be exact), so my comments don't arise because I am an Englishman being picky. My problem is that the premise (a bar game) just seems too contrived. In my view, I think you've got a nice looking prop, but not a believable presentation. No one is ever gonna call your bluff in any presentation; spectators will almost always let you set the scene just to see what you are going to do with it. That's not to say that using your "incarnation" (the bottle vase) or "presentation" (the drinking game) is any more or less valid than anything else that's out there already.

I have a very different design for a ball vase (which I have no intention of marketing) and an unpublished presentation which makes sense (because it's half true). In brief, the ball vase is presented as a container for pinballs. The ball used is a genuine pinball, and that's roughly where the presentation begins. The design of the vase is very different to the traditional design, but some of these improvements could be applied to traditional vases (making them better).
Harold Cataquet
Mitch Schneiter
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Harold,
Again, I don't think you're being picky. You have a valid opinion and I have absolutely no problems with your comments concerning the Bottle Vase and it not being believable. I was just trying to answer the question you voiced and explain my thoughts on it. I've had fun with the Bottle Vase and enjoy performing it.
By the way, I recall you mentioning your Pinball Wizard presenation in a previous post and it sounded like a fun premise with a lot of patter and routining possiblities. I'm sure you have a great routine there.
Bill Palmer
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I doubt that anything of Jules DeBarros is still in print. I have never seen his ball vase routine. If I can find Jules, I'll give him a call and see what is going on with him. Last I heard, he was living in Baton Rouge LA.
"The Swatter"

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Jonathan Townsend
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Soap and soapdish? travel case for designer soaps? jumbo bath bead? An enlargement of the world's largest perfectly round pearl and the detective case that started when it turned up missing? A present from willy wonka?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
cataquet
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It's funny you should mention pearls, Jonathan. I have a vase routine that uses a large pearl and talks about the legends of the pearl. For example, Cleopatra dissolved one of her pearls (earings) in wine [pearl is removed and vanished], and offered the other one to Mark Anthony [pearl is produced from the vase]. There are many legends and facts about pearls that work for the routine... I finish with a large black pearl.
Harold Cataquet
Jonathan Townsend
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Harold, that is interesting, using the vase as a pearl holder or as the wine glass.

Someone suggested that the thing is an egg of a sea monster and the vase is a ritual thing, suggesting a Chtuhlu type thing that might end with tentacles flopping out a the end for a final load (OMG it hatched!)

;)
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Euangelion
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Mitch rather than a cherry why not make it an onion. Olives, onions and vermouth or gin/vodka bottles are all involved in martinis. It might lead to natural lines and thought. Such as, Some people like olives, of course, some like onions (appearance), etc.

Of course, you could add the onion to the olive and cherry. Put a nub of a stem on to the cherry, hole in the olive, plain onion. Go back and forth with the olive and onion then toss in the screw ball cherry as out of place right before the kicker.

Focusing the routine around Martinis which are very popular right now and a right British drink might work. Heck Right Martini and Rossi for a sponsorship gig.
Bill Esborn

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Mitch Schneiter
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Nice idea about the Martini presentation with onions and olives Bill. Good patter/presentation potential there. You could even dump a lemon out of the bottle in case they prefered a twist of lemon. I don't know why that hadn't occured to me because I make one heck of a good Martini!
Bill Palmer
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The best Martini is made by pouring a Martini glass of gin, then saying "vermouth" over it. But not too loudly.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Euangelion
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I agree, Bill, my Martini's last saw vermouth at the State Store. Of course that might work as a line for the empty bottle. A Martini, extra dry.
Bill Esborn

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Mike Walton
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Quote:
On 2005-11-03 12:10, Mitch Schneiter wrote:
Harold, I don't take your comment as too picky at all. The "17th century drinking game played in the pubs of London" patter was just the presentation I used to explain the unfamililar and strange look of the traditional Ball Vase to non-magicians as a "real world" item. While historically it's all bunk I've never had anyone question or comment that the Ball Vase was never used as a drinking game in the old pubs of London. Of course, I'm in America which may make a difference. You on the other hand living in England might be challenged using that patter as you're probably more likely to run into people who are more knowledgeable on the history of pubs and what games were played there.


I think the old pub game premise could work indeed and is an interesting introduction. Both Brad Burt and Eugene Burger use "old carnival game" scenarios for at least one of their routines each. And an old carnival and old pub are very similar in nature and potential for having such games as part of their culture. Historical "stories" can gain more attention because they're not cliched and individuals don't know how they'll unfold so they pay attention, assuming the time is right for such a routine. I wouldn't say "17th century" as those words are lost and almost seems too hard of a sell. But Old Pub Game is simple and easily understood.

Nice job on adapting a classic.
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