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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Paperballs Over the Head (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Nicodemus
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Does anyone do this "Paperballs Over the Head" trick ? If so..
(1) How did you practice it or did you just go out and 'take your best shot' ?
(2) What tips have you picked up in the process of performing it ?

Thanks, - Nicodemus
" Res Non Verba "

" Deeds Not Words "
MacGyver
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1. I just went out, and it was a BIG success the first time. Honestly it "flies over people's heads". I probably did it a bunch and they never caught on, it is VERY disarming. They might even think you are dropping or throwing them, but they never look behind themselves.

2. Don't do it where they will here it hit the floor!!! Other than that just wait for an offbeat and do it!
Nicodemus
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MacGyver: How many rounds or times did you do the toss effect ? And did you end by using a very large ball for the last toss ?
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" Deeds Not Words "
MacGyver
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yes i did, I don't rememeber but it was a lot, mostly based on the reactions of both who I am doing it for and who is watching....You need to do the big ball right before the person your doing it for is about to give up, and after the rest of the audience has gotten a GREAT laugh out of the routine since they see it all.

Just watch your audience carefully and you should be able to judge when to stop and how big you should make your last ball.
Dougini
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Love it!

It's one effect you really can't practice...it's a "feel" kind of thing.

Just do it. On the off beat? Probably the best way to describe it. Sort of a distraction just for a second, when they make eye contact, and then, just for a second, they blink, look down, WHAM...gotcha...

Have someone standing behind them, ready to catch, and you can use a dinner plate, glass tumbler (hold your hands so the glass is blocked from view...), in fact, I did a kitten once, and it was GREAT! Tell the audience not to let the victim in on it for about a year...I tell ya, when that kitten "dissolved away" right in front of her eyes, her expression was priceless...a live animal... Smile

Doug
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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This subject is dear to my heart.

When I was drafted into the Army (Korea) I was in basic training and heavy into doing a lot of magic to keep myself from going crazy (It also literally saved my life twice)!!!

Anyway, our Company was on break just outside our barracks, when the Drill Sargeant comes over and says, "I hear you are a magician. Fool me."

Yikes.

OK, so we are on the steps leading into the barracks, not real high, if you know the standard design it is maybe 4-5 steps to a small landing. A perfect "stage" as the troops, about 100 of them are all standing there looking up at us.

I didn't have anything with me when he hit me with the challenge, but there was an EMPTY COKE BOTTLE on the landing.

I picked it up... did some fiddling with it and then used the Paper Balls Over the Head vanish throwing it far and into the crowd so someone would catch it.

He grabbed my sleeves, etc. the usual and was totally NAILED... to the DELIGHT of the 100 or so watching.

Only drawback, I seemed to have had more sessions peeling pototoes the next few weeks than anyone else.

Smile Smile Smile Smile

Oh, how did magic save my life?

The first time a guy went nuts on the rifle range and aimed a loaded rifle at me and was going to shoot me.

A crowd circled us... I was terrified, but started to talk and asked if he had a match. (I have no idea why I said that). He said no... but another guy tossed me a book of matches.

I took one out and did a terrible old gag with a match where you split the end and form a "Y" then hold the split ends like a SKOOTER, then I raised one leg and pretended I was riding a skooter.

The guy was so out of it he was watching me do this silly bit, dropped his guard and a coupld of guys jumped him and took his rifle.

He was later sent to a mental hospital and discharged.

The other time was when they were about to ship all of us out to fight in Korea.

I had been doing a lot of shows at the Officer's Club, and the officers in charge knew me... and when a request for a couple of guys to be shipped to Germany, one of the Captains (who I had gotten to know) called me in and said I was going to Europe instead of Korea.

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
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TheAmbitiousCard
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You can put a couple pre-prepared balls in your jacket, sleeve, pocket to further disarm the spectator. So you can alternate between it disappearing and reappearing.

I also use a roll of toilet paper because it's funny and it also quite convenient.

I think Scott Guinn also uses TP.

The person sits in a chair and becomes the TP holder..

"Hold out your fingers like this"

I always ask... "Are you a 'this-a-way' kind of guy or a 'that-a-way' kind of guy (as in comes off over the roll or under the roll).

The whole toilet paper thing is just too amusing to pass up.


frank
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Mitch Schneiter
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I've done this in bars quite a bit using the cocktail napkins. First using one napkin rolled into a ball, then a couple more, until you end up with a big ball. I did it in a bar in Thailand once and the bar girl actually felt and closely inspected my hands after the napkin ball disapeared as if she expected to find slits in the palm of my hands that the balls were being hid in. One of the really great impromtu tricks.
zaubern
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Check out Tony Clark's video on the subject.
Zaubern Smile
Kenn Capman
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You can also read Slydini's version called 'Flight of the Paper Balls' in "The Annotated Magic of Slydini" by Lewis Ganson.

Might save you a lot of trial and error.
"The thermometer of success is merely the jealousy of the malcontents."
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Neil
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Hey Pete - you sound like you've lived a litte!

I agree with Frank Starsini's idea of mixing in some pocketed balls and also using stuff like sponge-ball style retention vanishes and false takes/puts. Otherwise some smart specs will get to wondering where the balls are going - if you are strong performer and keep it rolling and if it's a more formal setting where the spec is pressured to act accordingly this is no worries but in a social situation people are apt to look around a bit. Leading them down a false path early on can extend the hilarity a fair bit.
Larry Davidson
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The best presentation by far that I've ever seen for this is the one that Bob Sheets and Steve Spill created (with input from John Kennedy) and performed for years when they were a team. The balls vanished and reappeared, and they had so many funny lines that it was one of the most entertaining routines they performed, if not the most magical.

Larry D.
Pete Biro
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Historically the effect seems to have started with Harry Blackstone (SR.) and one of his assistants, George Johnstone used it in his club act.

Slydini saw Johnstone do it and asked if it was OK for him to use it. But didn't ask for permission to publish it... however, what Slydini came up with is quite different "technically" than what was done before.

I tend to do it more like the original.

Just thought of a funny thing...

I was working in a hotel suite in Indianapolis, doing it on A.J. Foyt... and I was vanishing stuff off the dinner table... and THROWING them over his head and OUT AN OPEN WINDOW...

I hope they landed harmlessly in the bushes below.

I was tossing out Bread Rolls to start and wound up throwing small coffee cups out the window!

Another time, impromptu, I was just doing dinner rolls, and noted a couple of waiters standing to the rear of the "sucker" watching, and I just threw them far enough so they caught 'em... and played along.

It is one of the greatest all-time effects for a fun group.

Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
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Nicodemus
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Although I have 'read' the Slydini routine and have seen the Tony Clark video it just comes down to stepping out and "doing it" for the first few dozen times.

Thank for the input gentlemen.
" Res Non Verba "

" Deeds Not Words "
Thoughtreader
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It DOES come down to "just doing it" BUT it does require that you learn what to do and how to do it, not just watching someone do it and then try to copy them. There are many subtelties involved in doing this correctly or you will wind up slaughtering the routine. I have seen so many just ruin it that it makes me cringe anytime I see someone trying to do it.

The Best of Slydini and More teaches it quite well with all the photos but it still does not do it justice without seeing it performed well. In any event, PLEASE learn the subtelties involved and understand the psychology ofr it including the changing of methods during the routine in order to do this the justice that it deserves. It is not just as simple as throwing it over the head, it is about a full routine that demonstrates how misdirection is so powerful.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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Paul Chosse
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There is quite a bit more to this than "just doing it...". Having taken many lessons from Slydini, and concentrating on this routine for a long time, I can tell you that Tony had a specific routine, that his misdirection was very well thought out, that there was a mix of "over-the-head" vanishes and other vanishes, that there was always more than one ball involved.

This is NOT "jazz magic", and treating it as if it is will serve you poorly. Tonys' directions regarding eye contact, the specific release point for the tosses, the control of the spectator AND the audience, all these points were quite detailed. The written descriptions are useful adjuncts to a personal lesson, and , barring that possibility, the next best thing.

Please, don't think you are getting all you can out of this trick if you are "just doing it...", because I can assure you from long experience - you're not!

Best, PSC
"You can't steal a gift..." Dizzy Gillespie
Nicodemus
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Would you consider the Tony Clark video adequete to supply the subtelties ? Believe me I in no way want to damage a great routine without prep time but at the same time how can you get prepared without actually "doing it" ? It does not strike me as something to practiced in the mirror.

Sort of a catch 22.
" Res Non Verba "

" Deeds Not Words "
martyk
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Tourist Boat to China, everyone supposed to offer something for entertainment. Wife offers me. I practice Cards Up the Sleeve, switch to 11 card trick, in the end too anxious to do either and wanting something more visible. Did the Paper Balls for first time ever. AFter third ball, told Spect, "Here's what I reallly do" and show her old egg bag stunt) how I put it nder left arm after pretending to put it in hand. I repeat using the toss, ask her where it is, she points to left arm, I pick up arm--she lets out a shriek, a geninely flabbbergasted shriek ! of surprise. GREAT ENDING!
Pete Biro
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And after the ship exploded and sank, the Parrot floats up to you and says, "How did you do that?" Smile
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Jaxon
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Those are some great storys Pete! Thanks for sharing them with us.

My funniest experience with this trick is when I did it at a bowling ally with a bowling ball. A magician friend of mine was with me. The bowling ball flew over the guys head and my friend caught it. The timing is a little different. It was more of a clap vanish (Clapped my had and the ball was gone).
This of course blew him away (To even my surprise). I then produced it from his jacket by opening it at the side and grabbing the ball from my friend behind him.

I'm just glad I haven't seen the guy since because he'd probably ask me to do it again. Not likely to go over so well the second time.

Ron Jaxon
Image


After regaining my ability to hear after 20 years of deafness. I learned that there is magic all around you. The simplest sounds that amazed me you probably ignore. Look and listen around you right now. You'll find something you didn't notice before.
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