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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The November 2005 entrée: Al Schneider » » Zombie » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bill Palmer
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Hello Al:

One of my favorite Al Schneider pieces is the Zombie. I first saw you do this at the IBM Convention in Little Rock, Arkansas, about 1975. It fooled me mightily. I bought the book. I set my Zombie up like you detailed, and I played with it some, but I never worked in a place that was really suitable for the routine. Most of my work was outdoors, and wind was a major factor in my show.

I also have your DVD set, so I can see you doing the routine as well. I still like it, 30 years later.

Recently, I purchased a Zombie for a friend of mine who is interested in learning the routine. I also found your book at H & R and got that for him, as well.

Do you have any suggestions for him about learning the routine?

I'm asking this, because I know that he probably will not ask on his own behalf. But once he sees this on the forum, I'm sure he will read it, and perhaps, respond.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Al Schneider
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Bill Palmer

As the story goes a tourist couple was walking down the streen in New York.
They stopped at a crosswalk and noticed a man carrying a violin.
They asked him how does one get to Carniege Hall.
He said, "Practice, practice, practice."

I don't know what to really say about mastering the Zombie. It is the most difficult trick I have ever mastered. Bear in mind that I have not mastered the pass nor second dealing. I offer that to provide a bit of perspective on what I think is difficult.

The standard bar kills my finger. I have always thought that a two finger gimmick would be better. Someone once offered me a two finger gimmick since they were not using it. I did not respond. I guess I am embarassed when someone offers me something. I don't know how to cope with kindness. However, I am not sure I would use a two finger gimmick now. During my routine I press on the coil gimmick to rotate the ball. A principle I depend upon is that the ball is a sphere and becasue of that the audience does not know which part is up. During the motion of the ball it is rotating but the audience does not know that. This adds greatly to the illusion the ball is floating. If the ball were not symetricial such as a candle, 50% of my moves would be eliminated because the candle would at times be horizontal. That would look very funny. But the ball always looks like it is upright. There are times I need to rotate the ball along the axis coming from my finger. This is done, as I say by pressing on the coil with my thumb.

Tommy Wonders concept with floating things, while brilliant, is very limiting. The floating ball loses a lot of manuverability and personality because of the mechanical limitations.

I fear I could not do the wide variety of motions with a two finger gimmick. Also I am not now willing to leap into a long reasearch and development path to see if the two finger gimmick would work. Developing the routine I do not took six years and I am getting old now.

My suggestion is to start off with a two finger gimmick and see how it goes.

I would also suggest doing the drills a lot. Do them with the cloth and without.

I think Zombie is a lot like puppetry. The ball must develop a mind of its own.

I hope there is something for you here.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Bill Palmer
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Al:

Thanks for these thoughts. This all makes sense. Since the fellow hasn't Started working with it yet, I think we can make all the modifications necessary to the prop.

As an aside, I had a friend named Lou Kaiser who did a routine with two Zombies -- a very large one -- about 7 inches in diameter, and a regular 5 inch zombie. This was a magnificent routine. One evening, right after the local magic club had its banquet, and I had performed there, Lou said, "I have decided to teach you my Zombie routine." I was flabbergasted.

He dropped dead less than two weeks later, and I never got to learn the routine.

But I have that big Zombie!

I wish I'd learned the routine, if for nothing else, to preserve it.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Richard Lucas
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I am the recipient of the Zombie and your book "Al Schneider On Zombie" that Bill Palmer so generously offered. Bill is an accomplished Magician and highly respected, he is known as Merlin and was the featured magician at the Renaissance Festival in Texas for 15 years or more, he recently lectured at the Magic Castle and often lectures at our S.A.M. and IBM meetings here is Houston. Bill has been a tremendous help to me with several effects. I want to publicly thank him for all that he has done for me in many ways as well as being a good samaratin, let alone the Zombie and your book. Thank you Bill.

I am nearly through reading your book and preparing to begin practicing over the weekend. I am more than familiar with the Carnegie Hall bit since it seems that I require much more practice than most to reach an adequate level, so I don't expect to present the Zombie routine for 3 to 6 months. Thank you for a wonderful and carefully written manuscript.
"The only difference between a Card Cheat and a Magician is that the Magician shows off.".......... Jay Ose 1965



Dicklucas
Al Schneider
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Richard Lucas

Thanks for your comments.

I am aware of Bill's positon in magic. Mostly I understand this from the wisdom he offeres in words I have seen him post in the Café here.

There is a strange property that masters posses. (I am assuming here that I am a master.) That is that one can recognize another quickly. I met a guy at the castle once. During the conversation he related stories of performing over central United States. I could tell he was a very, very seasoned professional. I wanted to share more with him and attemtpted to explain I "Had been around." I broached that subject but for a moment and he put his hand up to stop me. He said, "I saw you do a bit just a moment ago when you were talking to that other person. I know you know what's going on."

When it comes to Bill, I know what is going on.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Bill Palmer
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Richard, Al:

You are both too kind. Al, if anyone ever was a "master," you are definitely one of them.

I knew Richard wanted to do the Zombie the right way, and I knew one source. I'm glad you two got to communicate about this.

Have a Happy Thanskgiving.

Bill
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Marty
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Hi Al: It's great to have you here on the Café! I bought all of your books when they first came out, including "Al Schnider on Zombie", so while we're on the subject: My Zombie ball has always been way too heavy for my fingers. I've started practicing your routine several time in the past, but I've always quit because my fingers hurt from holding up the metal ball. Do you know of a much lighter ball that I can substitute for the original Zombie? Hopefully, any substitute would be chrome-plated and be the same size. Thanks, Marty.
Al Schneider
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Ya got me.
I purchased the standard ball.
Yes it is heavy. And it hurts my finger also.
After some time I think it was bending my finger.
One day when I conciously worried about this I looked at my finger.
Indeed it was bent. Then I looked at the finger of my left hand.
It is bent likewise. Oh well.
I do not know what to do about this.
To me, though, just getting a ligher ball might not be a solution.
During my moves with the ball, I kind of depend upon the weight of the ball to tell me where it is. If I got a lighter ball, I might have trouble with the routine.
So, I have no suggestions for you.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Marty
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Hi Al: Thanks for the info. I'll keep trying to find a lighter Zombie and let you know if I do. Marty
rikbrooks
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General Grant sells a wonderful gimmick that takes a lot of the pressure off the finger. It also has snaps on it that let you attach the foullard to it if you like.

Of course you have to slightly modify Mr. Schneider's routine to use the gimmick but I've found it to be much more comfortable. I've also found that I can easily do everything that Mr. Schneider teaches on his DVD with it.

I have your four DVD's, could you tell me, if I hunted down your book on the Zombie, would it add anything to what you teach on the DVD?
Al Schneider
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I think it would but I am not sure.
To answer this question completely I would need to review both.
If I get to it, I will let you know.
The last time I did a serious show, I had to read the book (My last) to remember to do the routine.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Al Schneider
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About which is better.
I don't know.
I watched the video again, and there are things there, that while explained in the book, come across better in the video. Moving pictures can do a lot.
So, my answer is, I don't know.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Marty
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Quote:
On 2005-11-28 07:34, rikbrooks wrote:
General Grant sells a wonderful gimmick that takes a lot of the pressure off the finger. It also has snaps on it that let you attach the foullard to it if you like.

Of course you have to slightly modify Mr. Schneider's routine to use the gimmick but I've found it to be much more comfortable. I've also found that I can easily do everything that Mr. Schneider teaches on his DVD with it.

I have your four DVD's, could you tell me, if I hunted down your book on the Zombie, would it add anything to what you teach on the DVD?

Thanks Rikbrooks for the information about a different gimmick--I'm sure my fingers will appreciate it. Marty
Bill Palmer
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If anyone thinks working with Zombie is difficult, remember, the first ones were made of brass!
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The November 2005 entrée: Al Schneider » » Zombie » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes)
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