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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » The Trouble With Sponges... (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Frank Tougas
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Minneapolis, MN
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Have several sets and trade them out letting a set rest for a while. Don't let them get "raggy" looking. You are supposed to be a professional performer so a professional has tip top equipment, right? Come on they are not that expensive. Like cards they need to be retired after so many performances and new ones introduced.

In my three (4) ball routine I call them "Thingy balls" it seems to get a smile. I too have called them clown noses, but that is only in my ball(s) to cube routine. It gets a laugh when I hold one up to my little assistants nose and one to mine and ask the audience, "How do we look?"

I'd like to say I keep the Hermetically sealed between shows but the truth is they roll around in my briefcase until I next need them.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Joe Russell
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Buffalo NY
397 Posts

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I store all my sponge balls in the circular file, my magic is done with common objects and until regular people start carrying spongeballs around in their pockets every where they go, I will not perform sponge magic, but that is just my oppinion.
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Matt Kap
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Seattle, Washington
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Wash your sponges.
Store them in the box they arrive in.
Load them right before you perform.

C.P.R. does in fact revive them (blow and kneed).
Larger sponge balls get out of whack easier.
Buy new ones periodically.
End your routine with a production of all the balls so you don't have to walk around with the extra bulk in your pockets. (and the fear of permanent disformadies)
-MATT KAP
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious." -Albert Einstein
Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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How to maintain them? I use a one pint container from a Chinese restaurant.
Quote:
On 2005-09-21 11:33, Eric Leclerc wrote:
The trouble with sponges.........is explaining to the spectator what they are.. what do you guys say?


I almost explained my routine. I'd like to keep the basic approach/concept exclusive for now. Let's just say the sponges are the same color as the mat and I got inspired by a moment at the clothes dryer. I've been happily alone with this presentation and would like things to stay that way for the time being. Smile

I'm sure the above suffices for the clever to know what I'm doing and for the honorable to curb their enthusiasm. It was written serve as example for the creative to find a personal approach that serves their own aesthetics.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
TheAmbitiousCard
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Northern California
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Yes, I know what you're doing.
Curbing, as you suggest. However, I don't use a mat so my curbing will continue for quite some time.

Nice idea John. Reminds me a tad of John Bannon's explaination that I use once in a while. His clever and witty presentation (except his is for cups and balls balls)
comes from Impossibilia. A fantastic book.

Have you had a chance to read that?
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Ken Dumm
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Quote:
On 2005-09-21 11:33, Eric Leclerc wrote:
The trouble with sponges.........is explaining to the spectator what they are.. what do you guys say?




I call them "Nerf" balls, the kind you find in toy stores. Nerf has been around for a long time, so they could be considered common objects by kids.

Ken
John Bowlin
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Maryland
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The first one I produce is a clown nose, when it splits in two, the second one is a clone nose.
twistedace
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philadelphia
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That's funny Jonny. Did you guys ever just consider buying NEW sponges? I primarily do the bunnies. I swear I should own stock because I go through them. Working my restaurant and private events, I feel it's best to use a new pack of bunnies every month. $15 a month isn't a lot to spend to keep myself employed, lol. Remember you see your props getting dirty or disfiguring over time, when your new customer sees these props for the first time. They don't want the dirty, mis-shapen ball in their hand! Get new props as long as they're inexpensive. We're not talking buying a new snake basket every month, just sponges!
Tim Pressley
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Frank,
You said that you buy your sponge balls in packs of fifty. I go through a lot of sponge balls. Where do you buy them? Are they cheaper in large quantities?
TheAmbitiousCard
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Father Photius
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All the above are good tips (well for the most part), but I learned long ago, to not carry magic props in my pockets unless I was performing. I carry too much junk in my pockets for everyday use as it is. To keep sponge balls from getting so dirty, and any other magic prop, I empty my pockets before a performance so only my props are in my pocket, and if I need the same pocket over time for several props, I arrange my stage movement or room movement to permit me to pocket other props as I need them, leaving only the props for the trick I am doing in any given pocket. I use both coat pockets and both front pants pockets as a general rule, that is enough for 4 different pocket fulls of props. One pocket per effect. Dumping and reloading can be a hassle some time, but my props stay in a lot better condition.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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I have sponge balls that I've been using for over a decade. They still looks new.
TheAmbitiousCard
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I believe you, but it seems impossible.
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DavidCaserta
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I keep my sponge balls in the original box till I'm ready to use them. This keeps them in great shape.
Christian Illusionist
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Ohio (currently located in Missouri)
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All the tips so far are very good as to care of sponge balls.

I find that a lot of how much or how little you need to buy new balls depends a lot on the performer.

For instance, I do not regularly do sponge magic. Therefore, I'm going to have every set of sponge balls looking newer and lasting longer than a performer who performs with them at every show, right?

Also as far as explaining to a spectator exactly what they are...

I really enjoyed the explanations presented by several of the members, but has anyone tried working with Jay Sankey's "Earplugs"? This takes a lot of explanation out of your hands. I know David Neighbors uses sponge dice in his performances. This also leaves for easier explanation.
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Northern California
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Don't be swayed by marketing material. Just because something might require an explanation doesn't mean it's bad.

Using spongeballs and having that require explanation is wonderful. It provides a perfect opportunity to conversate with your spectators, laugh at what they say, pick up extra bits of business when they say something funny, etc. it's a PLUS not a negative.

It's not like you're trying to explain away some silver dollar shaped cylinder welded to the outside of your miser's dream bucket.

For the same reason, earplugs are sort of comedy-ready items. That's the plus with earplugs, in my opinion. I don't use them but they seem inherently funny.

Did someone really come up with using earplugs because they had been hounded so many times by spectators about what sponge balls are/were? I don't think so!

This is definitly a case of humpty-dumpty marketing logic that people fall for.
As a magician, isn't it less likely we'd be explaining away sponge balls and more likely we'd be explaining why we are carrying around disgusting earplugs.

Is someone going to want to hold your earplugs? Did you use them already?
Are they sanitary? Are they real? Does your dog use them on July 4th?

If you have to explain something, take it as an opportunity.

Earplugs seem like a great fun idea, but what they are not are...

"Finally I get to stop explaining why I'm carrying around little red balls"
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Christian Illusionist
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Ohio (currently located in Missouri)
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I see what you're saying and agree.

I wasn't attempting to give the history of "earplugs" merely pointing out that it is an alternative for those who want a quick explanation.

I myself use classic, red balls.

(I also think that it would be great to include the line about the dog using them on the Fourth of July in a comedy routine. The mental picture one gets is funny.)
We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.
daffydoug
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I'm pretty shocked that this dead topic has been revived after all this time!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
jdbach
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United States
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Looking for a source for other color sponge balls, 2", blue, orange, yellow, purple etc. Would be nice to find a vendor that would discount gross of mixed colors or single colors. Any ideas?

Thanks,
Joe
Chad Long
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Just in case anyone reads this topic again, I thought I would post a silly idea on storing sponge balls that I've been using for years. I only do a simple four ball routine, so I keep them in one of those Tupperware containers that holds a stick of butter! They fit perfectly and it works great.
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