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daffydoug
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Has any one who has used sponges observed that if they are not handled with kid gloves, they end up a mess? If they are in your pockets with other objects, they could end up looking "squashed", or dirty...And heaven forbid you put them in a pocket with a pen! Even if it doesn't leak, it can still leave ink marks on the sponges.

Keys in the pocket can tear a nice gouge in the sponge, and spectators hands can be either rough or dirty, and this shortens their life span considerably.
Sponge ball to square (The first effect I learned many moons ago) must be set up just prior to the performance, or the cube will look like anything but a true cube when produced. Not very magical, at that point.

Still, despite these drawbacks, I love sponge effects.

Anybody have any solutions to these plagues?
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Euangelion
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Don't know what to say I have never had that problem with mine. How about a Zip Lock baggie?
Bill Esborn

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daffydoug
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Possible.
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Harry Murphy
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Depending on the time you have before a performance you could do a couple of things.

First, you store your sponges in containers that don’t crush them, right? If not do so. Carry them to the venue in those containers. Load them at the last minute.

Second, at the venue, soak them in water just before the show. Soak them and wring them out dry (as dry as they’ll go). Then load them. They will feel strange and unusual, especially to the spectator holding them (but it is a magical thing right?). They will hold their shape longer and spring back to shape sooner.

If you want your growing sponge to look half again larger when it is produced do the above.

By the way, these are Billy McComb tips from a lecture he did in the 70’s.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
daffydoug
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I've done the water thing for a few years, it works great, but the water tends to evaporate (Or make the inside of my pocket wet leaving a rather conspicuous wet spot in an obvious place!) and I have to resort to many trips to the men's room to keep them hydrated! Kind of looks like I am incontinent.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Sponge ball thoughts:

I have switched to 1.5" instead of 2" so it takes up less pocket room.

I wash them in cool soapy water before each gig to get them big again.

I might switch to non-susper-softs after this bag-o-50 runs out to see how I like it.

For strolling, I only use 2 now (instead of the 4 I used to use).

I keep them in my pouch instead of my pocket which eliminates the
shrinkage squashage factor until I'm ready to use them.
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daffydoug
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What kind of pouch are you using?
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Daniel Faith
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I use 1.5" sponges too. Not only do they take up less space but they fit into kids hands better.
I only use water occasionally to restore the sponges but not while performing.
I don't care to use damp sponges.
Daniel Faith
daffydoug
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Sometimes when you use the damp sponges you will get a funny comment from the spectator! (Wet sponges are a joke just waiting to happen!)
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Alan Munro
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When washing sponges, I use anti-bacterial dish soap and water. I squeeze the water out of them and blot them with paper towels, until they're almost dry. I sometimes place them in a net, to dry further. I also store sponges in a plastic container that has allows air in, so the sponges won't be compressed. I rarely damage any of my sponge items.
daffydoug
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Have you noticed that the sponges "bleed " when you get them wet, and after several dunkings fade and lose their brightness?
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KenW
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I was given a great little insight on sponge balls. Bring a pan of water to a slight boil. Drop in your favorite sponge balls, let them enjoy all the bubbles for about ten minutes. Take them out and place them in a nylon washing bag hung up like a hammock and allow them to dry. WALLA! You have yourself a springie, new looking (and fresh smelling), spong ball family!

Wanna know where I got this information?
GOSH.....AH I FORGOT.

Magically,
KW
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2005-09-10 22:41, daffydoug wrote:
Have you noticed that the sponges "bleed " when you get them wet, and after several dunkings fade and lose their brightness?


Yes, I noticed this. I don't keep my sponge balls too long. Sometimes, I give them away, even though they bleed a tiny bit, it's not very much, not at all.
One time, a kid BOUGHT them off of me for $3 and then wondered why they didn't WORK Smile

This was at an outdoor show. He kept bugging me about getting sponges, etc. Ha!

I buy them in a pack of 50 (or so).
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RicHeka
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Boil Sponges? That should make them fade real quick!

Here is the method that I have been using for 10 years. When you finish your gig, put your sponges in a dedicated (used only for this) microwavable container. Wash your hands. I say this because sponges are germ magnets,and our wonderful little helpers (kids and also adults) can be wakling petri dishes. Never touch your face before you wash your hands. Now,before your next performance take the sponges out and rinse them in COLD water, and squeeze out the excess water using a paper towel. Rinse the container with HOT tap water. Place the sponges in the container cover loosely and microwave for 45 seconds (this will kill most germs). Wash your hands. Keep the sponges in the container until you arrive at your venue. Think about it, it's so easy to transfer germs unintentionally.

If you follow this routine, I can almost guarantee you will get less colds and such. As a bonus, your sponge props will stay in prime condition. All the best. Rich
KenW
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PaleoMagi,
Boiling the sponge balls doesn't cause too much fading. Try it. I got that information from the man himself years ago. I do agree with everyone with changing out our sponge balls often. The boiling will make them like new, at least for a few more performances but they will fade a little. GOSH, I can't remember who said that. MMMMM GOSH, sure wish I could remember. GOSH, guess I just forgot AGAIN! GOSH DARN IT!
KW
Daegs
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Lol, Monk the Magician.
Eric Leclerc
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The trouble with sponges, is explaining to the spectator what they are. What do you guys say?
TheAmbitiousCard
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Re: what are they? I find this very much a non-problem. I always ask them first. "Does anyone know what this is?"

I hear: clown nose, etc. and have fun with all the guesses.
Eventually I tell them "well, that's close but actually, it's called a "Pocket Ball,
becuase it vanishes *snap* and goes back to my pocket", and I begin my routine.

There's nothing better than getting people actively involved. That's a good thing.
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Steve V
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I either tell 'em clown nose or I do like Mark Leveridge suggested and pull 'lint' off a kids shirt and it is a lint ball. If pressed you can say they are sponge balls. This isn't an issue worth over thinking.
Steve V
wsduncan
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They are little red rubber balls and that's what you should call them. Because only the person handling them needs to know they are VERY SOFT rubber balls. Let the rest of the audience think of them as just like other "rubber balls", and not at all compressible.
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