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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Zombie ball (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

krowboom
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I have a zombie ball and have never gotten the hang of it. I read that Tommy wonder and Losander developed a better gimmick for the zombie. Can anyone recommend the best and easiest gimmick to make handling the zombie ball fairly easy? In other words what is the best Zombie ball to buy that I can easily do?
thanks.
Cyberqat
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I learned on a Styrofoam "Miracle ball' and still find it far easier to perform then the metal ball I have sitting on a shelf. I have one of these on order in the hopes that the weight and handling will be similar...

http://www.fabmagic.com/zombiedreamfab.html

I have to say though, learning Zombie will never be "easy". Zombie handling is a lot like puppetry. You need to be able to "act through" the ball. Imagine its rise and tug at the cloth. Imagine it as a floating creature with a will of its own... and then practice a LOT in front of a good full length mirror.

I do all my Zombie routines silent to music and I find the right music also helps me "feel the rythm" of the beast. Try something "floaty and lifty" with dramatic moments.

The reward of really learning to work a zombie is wonderful. I still believe its the most visually beautiful and captivating illusion I do. In the hands of the truly great artists its simply magnificent.

But the only thing that makes it "easy" is practice.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
dsalley13
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I too started with the "Miracle Ball". I purchased mine for $3.00, from Top Hat Magic (Evanston, Ill.) in 1960. I still have it and the coat-hanger material gimmick that came with it. It sits on the shelf with my old Magic. The foulard has long since shredded.

I use a home-made gimmick now too and bought my 2-piece ball (a P&L) from Tannen's some years ago.

Some of us prefer a weighty ball. It allows your movements to be smoother.

This is the best information I have ever seen on Zombie. It's not exactly cheap to buy both DVDs, but the link I am providing offers them as pre-owned DVDs for considerable less money:

http://tinyurl.com/282mwnj

These DVDs and Tommy Wonder's essays on Zombie will be all you need for a lifetime of performance.

The advice about Zombie being like a puppet show, is spot on. You have to will the ball to live. Good accompanying music is also very desirable. Zombie will be with us forever. To see a good Zombie act, still brings tingles to me. I really feel that Norm Nielson does it best, especially with his violin and bow Zombie routine.

(I've got to get Norm's new "Chinese Sticks"! I've been dreaming about them!!! I guess the Roy Benson book got to me! :o)


dsalley13
konjurer
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The Worlds Greatest Magic DVD is excellent and it is $15. It has Wonder, McBride and Schnieder. It is fabulous. The gimmick that Schiender (and I think Wonder) recommends is simply a re-forming of the gimmick to conform to your arm better than a straight gimmick.

AL SCHNEIDER
Zombie Ball

JEFF McBride
Gimmicks and Ball
Quick Start Opening
Floating Technique
The Cradle
The Arm Balance
Down the Edge
Around the Arm
Around the Back & Neck
Double Spiral
Zombie Vanish & Reproduction
Beginning & Ending Your Routine
Bare Handed Float
Floral Finale

TOMMY WONDER
Zombie Ball
===========================================
Clever stuff goes here!
Vick
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Read Tommy Wonder's work on the Zombie (Books of Wonder) and I forget which video of the 3 it is on but Tommy Wonder's work with the Zombie is amazing.

Some of the modification and concepts you will apply to other pieces as well

Go buy the 3 videos and you will learn from one of the best and most amazing minds ever
http://www.dennymagic.com/cgi-bin/hazel.......m=006124

Most floating table, zombie and the thing routines look terrible to me, if the performers doing those routines would read and watch Tommy Woner's work first they would be so much better.

Beyond Neil Foster, Tommy Wonder is one of the very few who can make the Zombie into a work of art.

Now please stop reading and go buy the Tommy Wonder video if you want do perfrom the Zombie to the best of your ability
(if you can't afford all 3 find the one that has his Zombie work on it, you will be blown away)
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dsalley13
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Vick hits the nail on the head. Without untold hours of practice, most Zombie acts look like a "Ball on a stick". It took me years to get my ball and stick work to become smooth and Magical enough to call it a Zombie routine. Patience leads to smoothness. You can't rush the refining of your technique. Keep smiling and keep practicing. Develop a theme for your Zombie routine and hone it to as close to perfection as you can make it. If it's not working out for you, change themes. Keep trying.


dsalley13

Tip for birthdays or other parties: cut a small hole in a cupcake and stuff a stiff TT (metal, if you can find one) into it (the bottom of the cupcake paper and into the cake itself). Leave that tilted sideways on a servante. Drop off the Zombie ball into the servante and pick up the cup cake, then finish the routine. Your foulard will get dirty, so use a cotton foulard and take it home to the wash after every use. A match-striker hold-out makes the perfect way to light a single candle on that switched-in cupcake. Adds a bit of safe drama that children love.
Cyberqat
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What I used to do with my miracle ball was to bring it back and "land" it in its cup, while dropping the gimmick in a home made servante on the back of my table.

Id then pick the ball up in my left hand and drop the foulard over it with my right. At the same time I'd dump the ball in a well and cover my now back-cupped left hand with the foulard. In that position it looked amazingly like the ball under the cloth, being held up by my hand.

Id grab my left hand from the outside with my right, as if cradling the ball, carry it into the middle of the audience and throw the foulard up with a strong upward throw of both hands. The foulard was stiff enough to hold the curve for a second or two while I grabbed the corners out of the air and snapped it--- ball vanished!

It made a great dramatic ending and the suggestion was so strong, I've had people tell me the SAW the white ball vanish from mid air. Ofcourse, I never correct them.

This works with a miracle-ball sized ball-- it would never work with a full size zombie. I've been toying on and off with ways to effectively build a "zombie asrah" into the foulard for a bigger ball. If I ever get it to work, maybe I'll sell it Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Cyberqat
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Here's the performance that inspires me the most... I also know for a fact I will *never* be THIS good.

But its a high goal to aspire towards Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOSkcjrOE7I
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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