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Lawrence O
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Greenwich (CT)
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Profile of Lawrence O
I tried and enjoyed using small round sea shells, tea bags, pompoms, bounce no-bounce balls, hazelnuts, nutmegs, cork balls painted with metallic paint mixed with steel balls painted the same way, plastic fake grapes, fragile looking button mushrooms, make-up sponges (by the way Sephora came out with very convenient conical ones), small artificial flowers, pebbles (real or fake or a mix of both), cherry tomatoes, fake raspberries, boysenberries, strawberries, cranberries, acrylic Ice Chips, marshmallows, almonds, even Brüssel sprouts, boiled quail eggs, small Chili peppers (red, yellow or green), black olives, green olives, pimento-stuffed green olives, cauliflowers pieces, small sausages (Lebanese or French), small madeleines...
I like "balls" that people can relate to and that convey a feel of impromptu. I don't like crumpled up dollar bill that, in my eyes, look wrong and clumbsy (god knows why) but used many times crumpled up aluminum foil.
I even used Jay Sankey giant sponge ear plugs when training for Fred Kaps routine.
I tried putty and silly putty as well as medical gells and pearls (with some Rezvani ideas) when practicing on a variant of René Lavand's Bread Crumbs

I never tried thimbles but I know that Ross Bertram did use theem from time to time.... and Albert Goshman was using Salt shakers as cups and coins as balls.

So is the nature of the ball that important (even though hard ones have noise constraints) or is it the feel, joy and energy that our magic conveys ?
Because some people did ask me to see again "your trick with the cups and the [large load they had seen]", changing the nature of the small balls and the large loads did add to the feeling of magic every time they would see it (and I made a point to remember what balls or load had seen handled before by marking it in my mobile phone after performing).
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
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Profile of Bluesman
On Mar 23, 2002, Harry Murphy wrote:
I use a “Monkey’s Fist” knot for a ball. Mine a shave under 1 inch and made of strands of red and black leather (leather laces). I have made some final load balls that are about 3 inches in diameter out of red and black rope, but don’t use them much as I favor fruit loads for the finale.

The Monkey Fist knot is an old sailing ship decorative knot. While it is a ball in a general sense it has “edges” that help keep it from rolling.

This knot makes a pretty ball and is easy to tie. There is an instruction page with illustrations at

Thanks for this web site!

Emmett Smile
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