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Jeff Haas
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I looked at all the options for billiard balls. Another section of this site recommended some new ones made in China - I know that sounds like they would be cheap knock-offs, but they are actually excellent. They're made of silicon and very sticky. I had tried out some of the Fakini balls and I think these are actually a bit better.

Search for "RED Multiplying Billiard Balls 45mm High Quality" on Google to find them. The brand is "Jieli Magic", and the tube says, "Professional One Ball to Four". When I bought it from ws.magic they included a small DVD showing a couple of routines.
Potty the Pirate
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Quote:
On 2004-11-26 11:18, magic4u02 wrote:
Kids do not want to be fooled. Kids want to have fun, to laugh, to giggle and to be entertained. With this in mind, your manipulations and routine has to have those qualities in it.

Kids use their own imaginations and live in this imaginary world. Use your own imagination to make your manipulative routine fun and have the qualities I mentioned above. You will find the routine goes over much better. It suddenly is not about showing off but becomes maybe a story being told through the use of manipulation.

Kyle


I totally agree with this, Kyle. Our Art is to make kids laugh, and to provide a "fooler" moment here and there, and to make it "magical". That is what will keep them entertained, and fuel their imaginations.
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Quote:
On 2004-11-26 16:16, magic4u02 wrote:
It really all comes down to presentation. Over the years I have learned to relaize that kids really do indeed enjoy the journey we take them on more then the actual final effect. So I always try to make the journey part of any routine as fun and humerous and entertaining as I possibly can.

I also realized that if I do manipulation in a kid's show, that I really must present it differently. Me standing there showing off every move I know only impresses me but does NOTHING for the kids at all. It really bores them to tears cause there is no involvement with them. There is no interaction, comedy or anything and so they are not quite sure how to react to it.

Now if you take the same ball and all of a sudden you call it a freindly martian and he always beams up inside your little box. And you tell this story abiout this martian and how he is bashful (color change to red). And how he disappears when he is in the dark.

In other words, if you add more to it and change it around, you suddenly give the kids soemthing to grab ahold of and soemthing to have fun with. The kids love stories and love their imaginations. Why not use this to your own advantage.

Kyle


Hi Kyle,
I am sorry but each to their own . The this is a Martian type presentations you ellude to are what I really really hate about lots of kid show magic . From my experience it is also what makes kids over about 5or 6 hate a magician that uses this sort of thing . I understand that it is an easy way to develop new stuff /make it your own but to me it is poor. I understand that many performers like it . But its def not for me phil
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Gimmick not required in my routine.(which is a combination of many peoples including Mr. Buckingham's material. I left the "g" off in my post above)

I love using sound, and other things appearing. It's been awhile, but I used to tie in the bubble gum coil during some of these type routines.

As far as the martian thing..I don't think the ball could be a martian, but perhaps a Martian's play toy...space ship...(hey there kinda small)...gum ball...yummm ..gulp....could be a jaw breaker...OUCH...bit my tongue...tongue ...bleeds...gets longer....

First we imitate...emulate...create..(based at least on my experience on things in
different boxes-both in my prop room and in my nearly normal brain.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Potty the Pirate
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Quote:
On 2014-01-23 12:44, pbj100 wrote:
Quote:
On 2004-11-26 16:16, magic4u02 wrote:
It really all comes down to presentation. Over the years I have learned to relaize that kids really do indeed enjoy the journey we take them on more then the actual final effect. So I always try to make the journey part of any routine as fun and humerous and entertaining as I possibly can.

I also realized that if I do manipulation in a kid's show, that I really must present it differently. Me standing there showing off every move I know only impresses me but does NOTHING for the kids at all. It really bores them to tears cause there is no involvement with them. There is no interaction, comedy or anything and so they are not quite sure how to react to it.

Now if you take the same ball and all of a sudden you call it a freindly martian and he always beams up inside your little box. And you tell this story abiout this martian and how he is bashful (color change to red). And how he disappears when he is in the dark.

In other words, if you add more to it and change it around, you suddenly give the kids soemthing to grab ahold of and soemthing to have fun with. The kids love stories and love their imaginations. Why not use this to your own advantage.

Kyle


Hi Kyle,
I am sorry but each to their own . The this is a Martian type presentations you ellude to are what I really really hate about lots of kid show magic . From my experience it is also what makes kids over about 5or 6 hate a magician that uses this sort of thing . I understand that it is an easy way to develop new stuff /make it your own but to me it is poor. I understand that many performers like it . But its def not for me phil


This is a very emotive issue, I think. I've already commended Kyle for his post, and I have to admit, I also totally get where Phil is coming from.

I do think this is the "nuts and bolts" of our trade, and it's very important to have your own handle on it.

Personally, it's as much of both, as I can possibly muster......
Dick Oslund
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When I was "starting out", all the old timers told me that, "You can't do manipulation for kids." I believed them.

Then, I reallized that they defined manipulatin as doing card fan productions or multiplying balls, etc. or multiplying thimbles, or multiplying eggs or multiplying candles or multiplying ?????!!

Others said, "You can't do sleight of hand for kids." I believed them.

Then, I realized that they defined sleight of hand as a series of "moves" and "hand washing" demonstrations.

My act, today, is mostly sleights and skill "stuff". The difference is, that I realized that in the "multiplying whatsits", after the ssecond "whatsit appears between the fingers, they know that two more are coming! And, SURPRISES are a definite "ingredient" in entertainment,

I don't do any obvious "tricky moves" and obvious "hand washing".

I've never heard the little boy in the front row say to his mother: "Mother! He has cards on the back of his hand!" or, the mother say: "Quiet son, he knows it!"

I use sleights as "tools" to produce effects that help magic to happen in the spectators' minds!

I do, do a few flourishes with balls, which demonstrates skill, but they are played for laughs. Also, I do all the fancy card shuffles, but they are played for laughs. I even do some rope "juggling" for laughs. A good line will get a laugh, but I lean more to SITUAION COMEDY. People may laugh at a line, but they tend to remember more the funny situaions.

In other words, instead of boxes and tubes and bags on a stick, I use those two "things" on the end of my arms,and the skills they have, plus a bit of intelligence and talent, to create effects that will get the spectators laughing! --and,even applauding!

I've watched Quentin with his handkerchief routine! --He understands! Michael Baker and I agree 100% of the time. I don't know Kyle (Magic4uo2) For the most part,I think he and I agree. (But, I am not excited when it comes to MARTIANS either!) lol! ROY BAKER'S "YELL IT UP" (there's a Brit expression!) sounds interesting--and several posters above have reported that it plays well. Actual experience with a routine is far better than an ad!

THE LATE CLAYTON RAWSON, was a regular contributor to "HUGARD'S MAGIC MONTHLY" in the old days. In the July 1949 issue (page 562 )he contributed two "perverse" routines, One was an idea with 6 CARD REPEAT, and the other was a bit that he called, THE UNCOUNTABLE GOLF BALLS. IMHO,they would play well for kids, even now 60 years later,(I think becausse the lines don't involve SMURFS OR MARTIANS! -- THE LINES ARE ABOUT KIDS AND ARITHMETIC--TIMELESS!). Although, I wouldn't use both in the same act. (effects, too similar.) If this sounds interesting, and you don't have access to Hugard's, speak up, and I'll type up the golf ball bit. (I don't know how to scan).

Dick
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Jeff Haas
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Dick, I did it for you. You're right, it's a great routine that can be done today with almost no changes at all. It's a great example of a "Look Away" routine (where something happens behind the magician's back while he looks away...)

And now, for your performing pleasure, here's Clayton Rawson's "Uncountable Golf Balls"!


Merlini's Magic
by CLAYTON RAWSON
Hugard's MAGIC Monthly, July 1949 (page 562)

The Uncountable Golf Balls

In the May issue Milbourne Christopher beat me to the punch with a routine for doing the multiplying billiard balls backward. Here's my version, in which the magician, after proving that his audience can't add two and two, gets double-crossed by his own mathematics. "Let's try a new trick I’ve just learned using five golf balls." (You can use your billiard ball set, although Ireland's golf balls are a bit more convincing because you can toss the ball with the shell on it in the air safely.)

You have two balls with the shell on one of them in your left coat pocket at the start. Take out ball and shell and count one, placing it in the customary position between thumb and forefinger. Bring out the second ball, count two, and place it between forefinger and second finger. Steal the ball in the shell at the same time, go to your pocket, bring out what appears to be a third ball, and count three. Just as you say three, the two balls in your right hand coalesce into one. Look at it, register bewilderment, then look at the audience. "Now you've got ME confused."

Repeat the action. Count one and two, make the steal, and count three as you bring the ball from the pocket. This time nothing happens, until you look at audience and say, "This is better; now we're all right." Whereupon the two balls perversely again become one. Give it a dirty look. "I really can count past two and I'm going to prove it if it takes all night." This time watch the two balls in your right hand closely and suspiciously as you slowly bring the third from the pocket. After a moment, look quickly at the third, then right back at the two as if afraid they were going to contradict you again. Finally, satisfied that the danger is past, look at the audience and count, "Three." Instantly, you're back to two again.

Give up in disgust. "The trick with five balls wasn't a very good one anyway. I know a better trick using just one." Put one back in your pocket, and the remaining one immediately becomes two. Try it again, inserting the pocketed ball into the shell secretly each time you remove the other. Then repeat two or three times, speeding the process up. Each time you remove a ball the one left turns into two.

Finally, leave the second ball in the pocket, and just as you go to take the one of the two balls again, roll it into the shell, take it, toss it in the air, and pocket it. Start to take another from your right hand only to discover it is empty. "I know an even better trick," you say hopelessly, "with no golf balls at all." And go into the next item on your program.
Jeff Haas
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Oh, and I found the Milbourne Christopher routine that Rawson mentions. It's a classic type of manipulation bit, you hold four balls in your right hand and make them disappear one at a time by taking a pinch of pixie dust (or confetti) out of your pocket and tossing it at them. Not really what we're looking for here.
Dick Oslund
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THANK YOU JEFF!

I'm happy that you found and could post Rawson's Uncountable Golf Balls! I'm also happy that you feel the same way I do about it.

Rawson wrote a number of murder mysteries that featured MERLINI, a magician/detective. 'FOOTPRINTS ON THE CEILING', 'NO COFFIN FOR THE CORPSE' 'HEADLESS LADY' and one more that I can't immediately recall. He also wrote some short stories. They were published in hardbound editions, and also came out in paperback (DELL, I think)

Many who have read the novels, have noted a striking resemblance: Merlini and Jay Marshall!!!

Again, Jeff, thank you for following through on this. It's a very good example of a routine that, even though it's 65 years old, would still play with only a few minor adjustments. And, it only need two balls and a shell!!!
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Jeff Haas
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Dick, I've actually got hardback editions of the Merlini mysteries. They were re-issued years ago by the Mysterious Press, a book publisher that specializes in mysteries.

For the rest of you...I just checked, and it turns out the Mysterious Press has issued e-book versions of the Merlini mysteries. Here's a link to their site that lists all the books. You get them for Amazon Kindle, iTunes, and other ebook readers.

http://mysteriouspress.com/products/sear......bmit.y=0

Anyway, back to our previous discussion...

I hope that some of you take this routine and make kids laugh. Clayton Rawson would be happy to know that years later, his trick was still getting performed. And if you like his routine, he published a lot of stuff in Hugard's Magic Monthly and Genii back in the day. You can get digital editiona of Hugard's from Lybrary.com, which will make searching for routines a LOT easier than flipping through the paper version like I did. And of course Genii has online archives for subscribers, which are a breeze to search.
Shawn D
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I use the basic rouitne in MArk Wilson Magic book. Been doing it for years and gets great reations also.
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Dick, Thanks for letting us know about Clayton Rawson's routine. That does sound very entertaining! Jeff, Thanks for taking the time to write it up. As a kid I used to do the multiplying balls but it was strictly the basic 1-4 production and back then I didn't think (or know) about presentation or patter! As I got older my thinking on this trick never really progressed beyond the 1-4 production and for adults, at least, I didn't think it was magical enough. I was worried that adult audiences would be familiar with the trick - it's in so many magic kits. But that's another topic! Anyway, you've got me dusting off theses props again and seeing a new entertaining angle for kids:) John
Dick Oslund
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On 2014-01-25 08:21, Kanawati wrote:
Dick, Thanks for letting us know about Clayton Rawson's routine. That does sound very entertaining! Jeff, Thanks for taking the time to write it up. As a kid I used to do the multiplying balls but it was strictly the basic 1-4 production and back then I didn't think (or know) about presentation or patter! As I got older my thinking on this trick never really progressed beyond the 1-4 production and for adults, at least, I didn't think it was magical enough. I was worried that adult audiences would be familiar with the trick - it's in so many magic kits. But that's another topic! Anyway, you've got me dusting off theses props again and seeing a new entertaining angle for kids:) John


You are more than welcome! I never knew Mr. Rawson, but Jay Marshall spoke highly of him, and when I was doing college concerts, I used Clayton's "Little Wonder Double Action, Oscillating Thought Projector" (also in Hugard's)It got many laughs for me.

As a youth, I bought Ireland's Multiplying Golf Balls, and practiced for a couple of months. In those days, (at 19) I was trying to be "suave & debonair". I "worked" silently.

One day, a few yeqrs later, I "suddenly" realized that while audiences may "appreciate" artistic manipulation, they really are more interested in being ENTERTAINED!!! I had been using Abbott's PERPETUAL BALL ($1,00 -- in 1950) as a part of the multiplying routine. When I thought it over, I realized that the "PP" was getting a much better response than the "multiplying". I dropped the "xxx ing" balls and added a few flourishes to the "PP" (also added Bill Williston's "Ball thru silk". For about 50 years,
THAT has been my ball routine. It runs 4 minutes normally (if I have a "live" audience it can run 5 minutes)and it's full of laughs.

The old rule is/was: NEVER TELL THE AUDIENCE WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO! One of the 'weak spots" in a multiplying type of routine is that, after the second ball appears, the audience sees two "empty spaces" and KNOWS that there are two more balls coming!

I hope you enjoy using Clayton Rawson's idea!!!
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jay leslie
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I'm going to disagree with Dick's statement that a Multball routine is too predictable, making it weak.

I believe if your sleights are perfect and your motivations, equitments are proper then producing 4 balls shows skill. The audience may anticipate what you're about to do but if they can't catch you and you do it well, then you're considered good.

Lets look at a dove act. Say you've produced 2 doves and the music is still playing and the cage is still mid-stage. The audience expects you to produce another dove or two. But it's not the act of the production that makes your act fun, enchanting or interesting....... it's the by-play and the journey you take them on. If you produce 6 doves in a period of 1.5 minutes, there would be little anticipation and little mystery but if you tear and restore a newspaper then crumble it and a dove appears from within - and it's deftly performed- that's what we call entertainment. So the act of several productions in a row should not be a reason to discount an effect.

If the act of performing something with a repetitious outcome is to be shunned then we shouldn't perform Linking Rings, Multiplying Bottles, Cube A Libre, Chinese Sticks, Modern Cabinet, Things That Go Bump in the night, or any thimble routines

On the other hand, there's a lot to be said about variety. Personally, I prefer to perform ball sleights with three different colored balls and a silk. I find the possibilities and variety more free flowing. The other reason I don't do a Multball routine is that I like using a gimmick but usually have people sitting on the sides.

Multiplying Ball = Multball, coined today.
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Quote:
On 2014-01-25 18:10, jay - wrote:
I'm going to disagree with Dick's statement that a Multball routine is too predictable, making it weak.


Great. It's time for a good row! Smile

In many routines that have repetition, the secret is to make each sequence, while anticipated, surprising.
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Maybe I should have just written the above, and come to the point.

Imagine a Square Circle presentation where both tubes are shown then two silks produced, both tubes are shown then two silks produced, both tubes produced then two silks produced, both tubes produced then two silks produced, both tubes produced then two silks produced.

Who does it like that?
Dick Oslund
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OK Quentin! but, you'll have to hold our coats! (Did you ever realize that the first man to leave church, gets the best choice of coats?)

So! Jay! This is the second time in two days that someone has disagreed with me! But, YOU have something to say. The other guy just wanted to disagree--and contributed very little to help the OP. He seemed to want to talk about HIS own ideas, and, IMHO therefore, his was mainly a cheerleaders encouragement speech.

First your people sitting on the sides problem. When I did the xxxing (my shorthand for multiplying balls)I WORKED OUT A HANDLING THAT I COULD DO SURROUNDED. I had never liked the profile stance which is/was "standard" for the xxxing balls, or any manipulation type act. Too many manipulation acts, IMHO, work profile, and thereby lose the opportunity of communicating with facial expressions, etc. (and such COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL!)PLUS!!! OFTEN, HALF THE AUDIENCE CAN'T SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING, BECAUSE THE PERFORMER'S BODY IS IN THE WAY!!! If you are a "dumb" act(I don't mean stupid. In vaudeville you were a dumb act, or a talking act)you already have a challenge in communicating! plus, if you work profile, the audience is challenged to see what's going on!

In 1948,when I broke in the xxxingballs, I basically used the John Booth routine in "MARVELS OF MYSTERY". I eliminated the cigarette opening (I was 17 and a non smoker--still am) I liked the routine as there were NO droppers needed. I added Abbott's PERPETUAL BALLS to the routine in 1950 (I was 18) I wasn't working every day back then, so it took awhile to realize that the PerpetuaL Balls was getting more response than the xxxingballs. Then,I added Bill Williston's Ball PENETRATION THRU SILK. It, too, got more response than the xxxing! I dropped the xxxingballs! With a few flourishes, the routine now runs 4 minutes (occasionally, with a 'live' audience, it runs 5) That has been the working routine for about 50 years. I,occasionally add Karrell Fox's 'Ballomatic' for an extra climax.

I will agree with your first sentence! What you describe can certainly show skill. Your second sentence, ditto! However, I'm not sure that just because they feel you are good, means that they are entertained.

In philosophy we say that analogies always limp (ANALOGIA SEMPER CLAUDITER) The dove act analogy,IMHO,DOESN'T JUST LIMP, IT FALLS DOWN. The subject is "multiplying". At Abbott's GTG about 20+ years ago, Greg booked a night club act from South America. The attractive young couple had a nice flash act and worked silent. As he finished his first effect with a silk, he produced a Merv Taylor type bird cage. The audience liked it. He hung the cage on a hook on a stand with six hooks. After the second trick, another, cage was produced and hung on #2 hook. Now, the audience knew that there were four more cages coming. SURPRISE is a big factor in theatrical entertainment! For many years,dealers sold a round prop that was on a pedestal. There were eight 'sockets' on the round thing. It looked a bit like a clock face. The effect was that a ball was produced (sleight of hand) and placed in a socket. As the act continued, balls were produced and placed in a socket. AFTER THE SECOND BALL, THE SPECTATORS KNEW THAT THERE WERE SIX MORE BALLS COMING. IMHO, they applauded in relief that after ball $8,it was finally over!

That's my "problem" with xxxing balls, thimbles, eggs ETC.

Linking rings are not produced, although linking is a basic effect, there is variety--and they don't telegraph what's coming! xxxing BOTTLES, ditto. There are no hooks to hang the botles on! Chinese Sticks--the effect is SYMPATHY, and step by step the spectator's theories are proved incorrect. I use a POM POM stick (2 minute bit)and the effect is somewhat similar to the Sticks. But, again, the effect has variety, and it doesn't telegraph! Cube a Libre--I've seen the prop, but,I'm not familiar with the effect.The Modern Cabinet is a BIG BOX that can produce a bevy of beautiful girls, BUT, THERE ARE NO HOOKS TO HANG THE GIRLS ON! and Things That Go Bump In The Night is a transposition that uses the Modern Cabinet as a switching prop. Thimble routines invariably end with 8 thimbles on 8 fingers. The only real surprise is the second four thimbles!

Your three different colored balls and a silk, sounds like it could be, not only skillful, but also colorful (eye pleasing), and if presented in a way that INVOLVES the audience (NOT JUST A "WATCH ME DO THIS CLEVER TRICK", could also be very entertaining. (and THAT, is what we are supposed to do!)

I do hope that I have clarified my thinking. My own act is mainly skill stuff, but everything in the act has been measured against the 'NINE IMPORTANT THINGS' which I will describe in GREAT detail in my upcoming book.

DE GUSTIBUS NON EST DISPUTANDUM! (CONCERNING 'TASTES' WE CANNOT ARGUE. But I don't think what I have said above 'CONCERNS 'TASTES'

I also hope that we can have a friendly DISCUSSION and not an argument.
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Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On 2014-01-25 08:21, Kanawati wrote:
Dick, Thanks for letting us know about Clayton Rawson's routine. That does sound very entertaining! Jeff, Thanks for taking the time to write it up. As a kid I used to do the multiplying balls but it was strictly the basic 1-4 production and back then I didn't think (or know) about presentation or patter! As I got older my thinking on this trick never really progressed beyond the 1-4 production and for adults, at least, I didn't think it was magical enough. I was worried that adult audiences would be familiar with the trick - it's in so many magic kits. But that's another topic! Anyway, you've got me dusting off theses props again and seeing a new entertaining angle for kids:) John


THANKS! I would very much like to hear, after you've had an opportunity to try it out in front of an audience, HOW IT PLAYS!

"MY" 'SURROUNDED' HANDLING OF THE XXXING BALLS (SEE ABOVE POST)WOULD WORK IN THIS ROUTINE. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED, PM ME.

Dick Oslund
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jay leslie
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I was referring to anything that is repetitive. Your opinion is that if the audience can guess what comes next then the effect or routine should be avoided. I'm saying that repetition, foreshadowing, or if the effect may have an assumed conclusion, it's not a bad thing in and of itself. Many dramas with a Who Done It theme are written where the audience knows who the villain is but they watch to see how the main character figures it out and how long it takes. So it's the journey that's sometimes more important then knowing the outcome in advance.

There is no difference whether the audience suspects a third ball is going to appear or a third bird will appear. Calling a routine a multiplying whatever (or not calling it a multiplying whatever) is not the issue, we are disguising repetition. I believe you are against making your performance predictable and repetitious. Good. I don't usually say "Pick a card and put it in the deck" because that's too transparent, there has to be more to it.

If Repetition of Outcome or if you present something with an Assumed Conclusion is bad then why do people see the same movie more then once and why do they memorise the words to songs? Sigfried and Roy produced more then one tiger. The fact they used different boxes does not reduce the expectation of "yet another tiger" but it created anticipation and excitment. Then there was Al Goshman. How many times did he make something appear under a saltshaker? The audience knew to watch for that coin or sponge ball by the third production but never caught on... So the difference between a multiplication and duplicity of effect is not the issue. the issue is how good at entertaining the audience you are (which we both agree, should come first).

Basically I'm agreeing but disagreeing. To me..... a bad Multball, Thimble routine or producing 20 girls from a cabinet has the same effect as a puzzle. And that's maybe how you look at things. Some tricks are puzzles, some make you the conduit and in some you create an image that you're all powerful. Would you say there is a theme in your routines?

I like approaching the show using any of the three scripts. I may do a Sword Basket (Puzzle) immediately followed by mentalism. I also do a multiplying bottle routine however, in my routine, a few of the bottles vanish then reappear under another tube as opposed to just having 9 bottles appear because "mistakes" were made. So I agree that producing two doves or balls leads the audience to look for a third but as Quentin says (In fewer words then myself ) "the secret is to make each sequence, while anticipated, surprising."

Or as the old saying goes "It's not the size of the boat but the motion of the ocean"..... or "Keep them guessing". I know what's going to happen at the end of a date, with a steady girlfriend but how, when, where? In the same way, I fully expect that ball or bird to appear but when, how and where?

Over and out
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Well, Jay, it's a free country! --And, you are certainly entitled to your opinion!

Repetition--old circus clowns (not 'carpet clowns') know about "COMEDY THREE", and they don't deviate from a proven formula! I'm an old circus clown. In the PERPETUAL BALLS routine, I break the rule of '3', but "THE EXCEPTION PROVES THE RULE"!

It's fairly obvious to me that we are speaking 'different languages', and I neither have the time nor the desire to try to communicate with such a handicap. I learned from the old pro's who were my mentors, how to entertain, and, I was never "at liberty".

Although we have some differences of opinion, I wish you well.
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