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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Latest and Greatest? » » Do you have any questions about Billiard Ball manipulation? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Levent
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Dear Fellow Magicians:

I have just begun pre-production work for a new instructional DVD set, which will be titled "The Ultimate Guide to Billiard Ball Manipulation". Those of you who have seen my previous DVDs ("The Potassy-Wave Deck", "Super Salt Pour Gimmick", "Manipulation Act" and "The Ultimate Guide to The MIser's Dream") are no doubt aware that I go through great lengths to fully explain the history and techniques of not only my versions of the trick, but many of the techniques of the master magicians of the distant past.

As before I will do my best to give this subject a very comprehensive treatment. In order to provide the magic community with the best possible educational resource, I would like to hear from magicians who have experienced problems with any technical aspect of the Billiard Balls, and your input on anything regarding billiard ball manipulation that you feel has not been fully explained in previous books or DVDs.

If all goes to plan, I should begin principal photography of the project in early 2009. Please feel free to post your replies on this thread at the Magic Café or if you choose you can send me a "Private Message" at the Magic Café or you can send me an e-mail through my website.

Needless to say if your comment or suggestion is one that I have not previously considered or one that I deem especially useful, I will be happy to include your name on the DVD credits and send you a complimentary copy of the video when the project is completed.

Best regards,
Levent
FunTimeAl
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Angles are my biggest concern. I'm forever fretting over bad angles.

I consider billiard ball manipulation to be my single greates joy as a magician, and my greatest source of frustration as well.

Would you consider (are you considering already?) a chapter devoted to using a pouch for billard ball manips? I don't use a ball dropper as I don't wear a coat. All of my steals (and ditches for that matter) come from (and go to) either a pouch or a pocket.

I'm also guessing that you'll give equal time to both routining with and without a sh*ll?

I really enjoyed your work on the miser's dream and am excited that you've chosen to focus on billard balls as well. THANK YOU for your contributions to our art!

Chad

Oh, yes...and...are you going to include anything on sponge balls in the scope of this project? Just curious. Perhaps that's covering too much in one project?!?!
magic4u02
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Levent: I am glad someone is doing a new DVD on Billiard BallManipulation. I am also happy to see that you are reaching out to the magic community for ideas and suggestions. Afterall,that is what makes the DVd better. It should be about what we as magicians want tosee and what we seek and what we feel may not have been covered offon on other DVds of the same subject. I commend you for this.

As you may know I hava a passion for the manipulative arts and for creativity in magic. I would like to offer you some ideas and suggestions that are more food for thought then anything else. I hope they may be of help to you. Most may be things you have already thought of. If so, then perhaps this will serve asa way of knowing you are headed in the right direction. If there is something here that interest you,please let me know as I would be happy to go into more detailwith you.

First, I feel many previous DVds do a lot in showing you proper technique and moves. This is essential as it is the tools of the manipulative arts. You can not build a work of art without knowledge of the tools in which to do it. the problem is that many DVDs in the past cover off on moves mainly and fall short on other areas I feel could and are of importance to Billiard Ball manipulation.

- History: It would be wonderful to have a DVD highlighting just some of the history of billiard ball manipulation. Knowing the past helps the student of the future.

- Tools of the Trade: Cover off on the various types of billiard balls on the market and the pros and cons of each. But not only what is out on the market but what has been done and used in the past. How were early balls used etc.

- Care for your props: Cover off on the care and proper care of the props used. How to store them, prepthem and when is it time to get new ones.

- Preparing yourself: How do you physically prepare yourself before doing any billiard ball act. Keeping your hands warm vs. performing when they are cold. How to get a better grip or tack on your hands etc.

- Hand exercises: Teach and show exercises you can do and ways you can learn to get your hands used to being in the positions needed for the moves. The hands and fingers simply are not used to doing what they will be asked to do and you can do exercises in order to limber yourself up and to get your fingers and hands used to it.

- Holders and Gimmicks: Only in books do I really find more on this subject. Books Like, "It's easier then you think" have an entire section devoted to holders and gimmicks. It would be great sowing this on a DVD. Showing various types, what is out on the market, why they are used, how they should be used. This would be very useful and powerful information.

- Steals: This would also be a huge thing for a DVD on the subject. Talk about the proper and inproper ways in which to do steals. Various tyopesof steals from the body and from the table etc. Show visually stepby step how to work it and the proper usage of misdirection.

- Music: In this I simply mean how do you work with music and how can music integrate with a billiard ball act and not just be tacked on.

- Movement: This in part goes with the above concept. It can cover off on how one can move and should move based on the music and tempo being played and also cover off on proper movement during an act. How not to overextend. How to amke sure you are not blocking off certain sidesof the audience.

- Transitional effects: How can one learn to transition from one sequence or move into another. It can also show how to transition from the ball into a different object.. such as ball to silk.

- Usage of silks with balls: Show moves and techniques of incorporating billiard ball moves with silks and how some moves can be used in combination.

- Creativity: Talk about creativity vs. show of skill only. This is huge for me. We see way too many folks doing a billiard ball act simply as a means of skill and nothing more. How can one learn to take the billiard ball moves and envoke creative ideas in with it. This can stem from character to music to pacing, emtoional response and themes.

- Misc: Talk about the idea of when is it too much. Just because you know 100 moves does not mean you need to show the audience all 100 moves. How to take what you learn and know and use it sparingly to create what you are after.

- Costuming for the act: What to think about when looking at your costuming for the act? What works and what may not? What do you have to consider?

These are just a few ideas I have in my head. I hope they may be of interest to you. Let me know if I can go into more detailon any of them. If I think of anything else, I will add it here. My pleasure.

Kyle
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Donal Chayce
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Roy Benson's opinion (later espoused by Alan Walkeling) that the BBs are more magical when performed as a two-hander was an epiphany for me. I'd therefore be interested in comparing and contrasting that POV with those of other well-regarded BB performers.
Daveandrews
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Oh boy, another dvd that I am going to buy - if only for the historical part!

Best of luck with this, Levent, and if I can think of anything (not covered above by our Magic Café friend Kyle), I will surely put it up here.

Regards,

Dave

ps to Kyle - hope you get to Kidabra next year, would love to say 'hello'.
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magic4u02
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Thanks Dave. Much appreciated. Kelly and I are still trying to see where we are going next year and which trips we want to take. I will keep you posted.

Kyle
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Levent
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Hi Guys:

Thanks for the quick response!

I just flew home from a cruise ship gig late this afternoon and tomorrow morning I must fly out to Seoul, Korea to perform and lecture at the FISM ASIA 2008 Convention.

I am busy unpacking my cruise gear and repacking my stuff for the Asia trip!

For those of you that have posted, I will reply to your comments in depth next week when I return to the USA (because my schedule in Korea will be pretty hectic)!

Please keep the suggestions coming!

Bye for now and thanks to all of you!

Levent
http://www.LeventMagic.com
Darkwing
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Lavent,

I am so happy someone is addressing this aspect of manipulation. I think the approach of just teaching moves and technique does not cover what billiard ball magic is all about. The moves are important but it does not cover motivation of what makes sense in the sequence of events. The "why" of the routine. Covering transitions, loads, loading and unloading, ball and silk techniques. balls to mouth. Openings and closings. Demos of the great masters; Neil Foster, Roy Benson, Alan Wakling. Staging, lighting, angles. Working a billiard routine into a manipulation act or into your regular act.

I know I have rambled on, but just throwing out ideas as they come to mind. I don't expect to get everything out of a DVD and not to do any work myself or have someone do my creating for me. It would just help to have more info on this branch of manipulation magic.

Sorry for my ramblings.

David W.
TheAmbitiousCard
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If I could pick any DVD for you to do it would be THIS ONE! Unbelievable. I feel like I've once again hit the jackpot with you Levent!!! I started doing BB work when I thought that if you can do magic with coins, why not make it bigger, and more colorful and use billiard balls.

Your DVDs are among the best in the industry for many many reasons. I'm happy you're venturing into this.


p.s. Thanks for the Manipulation DVD.

Preliminary Notes:

- working with a shell without telegraphing that fact.
- a rainbow routine.
- how to do a routine without music and keep it entertaining
- the jacketless routine (chad mentioned this as well)
- an impromptue routine (no jacket, no pouch)
- an x-rated routine (you could do it naked)
- vaudville routine (comedy, silent, character)
- ideas on changes (balls to silk, silk to ball, ball to X, X to ball)
- footage of Benson, Wakeman, et al


Billiard balls are just beautiful to watch when done properly.
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Matt101
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Please include double shell technique, there are not many resources that covers this great technique.
Joshua Barrett
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Right now I do basically charlie frye's routine. I like it because its funny. Id like to see some ideas for themeing like raymond crowe did with the 8-ball tango. I'm not clear on the history of this classic and id love to see if other performers have done similar things. I think this makes the routine interesting rather then the basic routines in many of the books that are producing balls for the sake of producing balls
Dynamike
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My biggest problem is gripping the balls. They slip a lot. I do much better with the sponges. Explain a procedure about gripping them in a better manner.
JamesTong
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How about multiplying jumbo balls?
trashmanf
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YES! I am very very excited to hear you are working on a DVD Levent. I have been wanting to get into the ball manipulation and almost purchased the McBride DVD (well, I probably still will while waiting for yours).

I can not wait to hear when yours is released and I will definitely be purchasing them.

edit: just read through the thread and thought I would add, will there be flourishes included? When watching the old Cardini act it seemed he got the greatest amount of applause when he flourishes the billiard ball rapidly thru his fingers. Thank you Levent!
Levent
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Hi Guys:

Sorry it took so long to get back to you.

Chad:

I won’t be covering steals from the classic cups and balls pouch. But I certainly will be covering steals from the pockets. Personally I do an 8 billiard ball routine and the balls are full billiard size (2 ¼ inch diameter) and I do not use any body loads whatsoever.

So I will be covering techniques that USE and DO NOT USE body loads. I think magicians should have a choice in such matters.

Also I will cover techniques that with and without shells. Since I am a professional perform, I will explain how to protect your angles.

I will not cover sponge balls per se, but I will certain explain the multiplying sponge ball trick (AKA Chicago Ball Trick).


Kyle:

As with all of my DVDs, I do not cover the technical moves in a vacuum. So I will teach the moves and ALSO more importantly how those moves work in concert with the over all routine.

As far as the history is concerned you will see the several routines from the 1800s, especially the very first routine by DeKolta. And I will cover how the trick progressed from DeKolta to Roterberg’s “Excelsior Ball Trick” (circa 1900).

If you have seen my Miser Dream DVD set, you will know that I will cover all the rest of the items that you suggested.


Donal:

Being the author of “Roy Benson By Starlight”, I will no doubt cover his work and the work of his contemporaries.


Dave:

Thanks!


Darkwing:

I will certainly do my best to recreate some of the routines of the past masters. If not for the moves, such routines also offer insight into routining and motivation


Starsini:

I don’t have the rights to show footage of the previous masters, but as I said before I can certainly mimic those routines.


Matej:

Yes I will cover double shell work, which by the way is a lot older than most people think. For instance I have a 102 - year old magic book, which has photos that teach double shell moves.


Joshua:

Yes I will cover some themes. But with the warning that if a magician gets too deep in such things it can confuse the audience and muddle the basic idea of a trick.


Dynamike:

Yes, that will be part of the first disc.


James Tong:

I largest balls I use are 2 ¼ diameter. I probably won’t cover balls that are larger than I can palm.


Trashmanf:

Please purchase the McBride DVDs. All of Jeffrey’s DVDs are terrific and I don’t think of it as an either or proposition.

Everyone should study his (McBrides) work on the DVD. My DVDs are just an expression of my personally philosophy and is just a different point of view.


To All:

Please keep the suggestions coming!!

Thanks,
Levent
Joshua Barrett
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I think something else that might be interesting is billiard balls in close-up. Harry Riser has such a routine, in feints and temps. done in front of you instead of to the side
Daveandrews
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Quote .... 'Dynamike:

Yes, that will be part of the first disc.'

More than one disc - yessssss, can't wait!

People, I can only say that Levent's dvd's are second to none and unique in their presentation. Quite refreshing, really. I would also agree with him in that you should buy other manip. type dvd's. Levent's compliment them oh so very well.

You will just have to buy, and see for yourself - words are simply not enough.

I think it is all in his approach and pres ... oh, just buy them and see for yourself (I'm not on commission, by the way!).

Cheers,

Dave
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John T Cox
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Hi

Having played with and performed the cone and ball routine, I think it would be interesting to have some material on that prop or something similar in which balls appear, disappear, change colors, etc.

I think that the most magical thing that BBs do is to change color. I hope you cover some nice variations of that.

Thanks

John
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Joshua Barrett
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That's one thing I look forward to seeing is color changes. iv not been able to find much in print. iv seen several performed though
Anatole
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I think a photogallery of performers who featured billiard balls in their act would be a great feature, along with a paragraph or two about the performers. Names like Cardini (natch), Baird, Rooklyn, Ross, Copper, Petrick come to mind off the top of my (top) hat. Plus a history of the development of the routine (was Buatier de Kolta the first, around 1875???) Walter B. Gibson writes in the billiard balls section of _The Complete Illustrated Guide to Close-up Magic_ (pp 85-195): "Magic with billiard balls was introduced nearly a century ago, utilising ivory balls of 2-inch diameters in contrast to the 4 1/4-inch type used on the billiard table."

Just for the sake of completeness, I would also hope for a detailed bibliography of books that feature good material on the billiard balls, both currently in print as well as out-of-print, such as Devant's _Our Magic_ Part III, Chapter II; Hull's _Expert Billiard Ball Manipulation_; Rooklyn's _Spherical Sorcery & Recollections of a Pro'_; Gibson's _Complete Illustrated Book of Close-up Magic_ (although why Walter considered the billiard balls close-up magic is a mystery to me--he even put the billiard balls on the front of the dustjacket!); Steinmeyer's _The Magic of Alan Wakeling_; Levent and Carr's _Benson by Starlight_; Fisher's _Cardini: The Suave Deceiver_; Buckingham's _It's Easier Than You Think_; Buckley's _Principles and Deceptions_; Kaufman's _BALLS! Lessons in Side-Arm Snookery_; Elliott's _Classic Secrets of Magic_; _Tarbell Course in Magic, Volume 2_; Ganson's _Routined Manipulation, Part 2_; Edward Victor's _Billiard Ball Manipulation in Seven Easy Lessons_; Macmillan's _Symphony of the Spheres_; Hull's _Expert Billiard Ball Manipulation_; and Frank Garcia had a billiard ball monograph as I recall; and then there's Finn Jon's excellent Multiplying Tennis Balls (if you've never seen this performed, you should try to at least contact Finn Jon about buying his video from him). Of course, the Potter Index might give an exhaustive list of what's in (and out of) print about the billiard balls. Some mention, too of course, of Ireland's multiplying golf balls, since the golf balls are golf ball size (whereas most magicians do not manipulate regulation-size billiard balls). Anverdi also had some ideas on ball manipulation in his lectures.
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