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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » John Scarne's Classic Ball Routine from Stars of Magic (4 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Hansel
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Quote:
On 2011-03-04 22:51, kentfgunn wrote:
I actually prefer the Scarne routine. Here's what one nut-job worked out after reading some magic books.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jq0sIIb3q4

KG


I LOVE THE FIRST WORDS ON THE VIDEO! Nice routine too !!!
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Bill Palmer
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Kent has a very understated manner of performing. It's very disarming.

I'll bet that in addition to reading books, he actually "practices."
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kentfgunn
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Practice makes . . .

Well for me I'll never be perfect but that practice stuff makes it so I don't draw a vacuum.

Bill . . . sorry again.

Kent
Michael Landes
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Quote:
On 2011-03-04 17:42, Lord Anacho wrote:
Anyone know of a video performance of Scarne's routine? I don't need no tutorial, heaven forbid. I have the book. I just want to see it in action to get the 'Gestalt' of the routine. Especially the production of the first ball puzzles me. According to instructions and photo's, Scarne just grabes the ball from right hand finger palm postition with left thumb and forefinger, pushes it across the right fingers up to the right thumb and right index finger and displays it. How is that magical?
When I try to do that, it just looks like what it is. Grabbing a ball out of the right hand and displaying it.

I really would like to see that view in action, so I can see what it's supposed to look like to the audience.

Ciao for now

I'd just like to take a moment to honor your original request, because it seems to me everybody here wants to talk about other things.
Your request is very understandable. Numerous top sleight of hand experts who saw Scarne do his routine attested to the fact that in
his hands it was very magical, just a great piece of magic. Yet you get no feeling for how you might get that from these moves in the writing.
It's just plain bad writing. It's not the only place in Stars Of Magic where the writing simply doesn't do justice to the material.
I've craved for decades some video, or a better first-hand account of how the moves were handled. Offering you alternatives doesn't address
the issue, namely some idea of how THIS routine really looked. In particular I've wondered about that opening production myself.
I read everything in print on Slydini's material, but until I saw him perform in the early 70's I had NO IDEA what all those words meant,
no idea at all. Perhaps such a video record, or someone who actually saw Scarne do this routine, will pop up. good luck.

Erik
Curtis Kam
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Lord Anacho, your question about the first production is not an unusual one. There is very little written about the fine details of making something appear, when you're not just pulling it out of the air. In cases like this, when there is something supposedly being "molded" into the desired object, you want to focus attention on the "something", in this case, the ash. All of your movements should be consistent with your effort to make the ash into the ball. With this rule in mind, you can see how it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for you to bring your left hand over to the right, and then to drag the left fingers diagonally across the right fingers. If you were really trying to focus attention on something hard to see, like ash, you would not be moving the ash around. Rather, you would move your hands around the ash. Ideally, what you want to do in this situation is move the right hand, and not the left.

Try this: With the ball palmed as described, rest your right hand casually on your left forearm. This is a natural resting spot as you lean to the left, and pick up some ash from the ashtray (assuming you're still able to find ashes, ash trays, and indeed, smoking where you perform) with yoiur left hand. Bring the left hand upwards, "showing" the ash to the spectators. Roll it gently between your finger and thumbtips. Now bring your left hand back towards yourself, and at the same time, move your right hand off your forearm, and towards the audience. As you make these two motions, your right hand will pass over your left fingertips. During this motion, steal the ball at your left fingertip, and then move the right hand, not the left, until the ball is at the fingertips of both hands. Continue to "work" the ball between your finger and thumbtips, revealing more and more of it.

That's one way to make that production look better, IMHO. Now the only question is, how are we supposed to make it look like the balls become ash again at the end, when you openly reach back into the ashtray? And what shall we use in America?
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mystre71
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[quote]On 2012-07-11 00:38, Curtis Kam wrote:

That's one way to make that production look better, IMHO. Now the only question is, how are we supposed to make it look like the balls become ash again at the end, when you openly reach back into the ashtray? And what shall we use in America?


How about using some spilled salt? End by tossing the "salt" over your shoulder, put out your hank (ditching yoru prop/s), wipe your forehead with a whew, "If you wait too long (spilled salt) it's bad luck. Something along those lines.
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danielrmk
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Im guessing this is a common issue with this first trick in Stars of Magic, I stumbled against the same wall.
Rainboguy
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Johnny Thompson does the MOST ENTERTAINING version that I have ever seen!

In the words of Chuck Berry...."Go Johnny Go!"
ROBERT BLAKE
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[quote]On Jul 14, 2012, mystre71 wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-07-11 00:38, Curtis Kam wrote:

That's one way to make that production look better, IMHO. Now the only question is, how are we supposed to make it look like the balls become ash again at the end, when you openly reach back into the ashtray? And what shall we use in America?


How about using some spilled salt? End by tossing the "salt" over your shoulder, put out your hank (ditching yoru prop/s), wipe your forehead with a whew, "If you wait too long (spilled salt) it's bad luck. Something along those lines.


just pick up some dust or produce the ball behind someones ear. Don't over think it to much. This is the most performed trick I do.
lurker
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I have done the Scarne Ball Trick for years. It works very well providing you present it in an entertaining manner. There may well be better versions out there but I haven't looked at them. The key thing with ANY trick is to add and subtract things from the written description so that it suits your own skills and personality better. It can still be basically the same routine but with certain changes that appeal to you personally. For example I don't use the ash thing and never have. I have also added in an extra phase where the ball changes colour or becomes an entirely different small object which gets a strong reaction. You can also make it change size if you want. There is no rule that says you have to stick slavishly to the description if you can think of something which improves it for YOU (not necessarily anyone else).

Having said that I will give you an example which is how I personally open with it and make the first ball appear. It may well not suit anyone here as I explained above but then it might. If it suits you then by all means use it with my permission. If it doesn't suit you (and it probably won't) then don't bother with it.

I have the ball palmed in my right hand and keep reaching into various places on the table and keep putting the invisible objects into my left hand. I do this many times. I say nothing and let people think I am a bit odd then after a few seconds address a spectator thus: "say 'what are you doing?'" The nonplussed spectator will look puzzled but will play along and say, "what are you doing?" I then say "I'm catching genoomps" I keep catching them and then address the person "Now say, 'what are genoomps?'" The spectator complies saying, "what are genoomps?" I respond, "I don't know-I haven't caught one yet!"

I keep trying to catch them and put them in my left hand. Suddenly I stop and say, "Oh! I've caught one! Would you like to see a genoomp?" You then roll the ball out on the table saying, "there's a genoomp" You then explain, "Genoomp is Japanese for a rubber ball" Pause for a second saying, "It isn't really but I tell lies for a living!" Since I actually DO tell lies for a living and many people know this it gets a laugh and may well suit me more than it suits others. Anyway there it is for what it is worth.

All I am trying to say is that it doesn't really matter what routine you use as long as you make it entertaining.
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2012-07-11 00:38, Curtis Kam wrote:... how are we supposed to make it look like the balls become ash again at the end, when you openly reach back into the ashtray? And what shall we use in America?...


I went for red sponge and the closeup pad... using dryer lint as model for scraping up the first ball out of the pad.
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