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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » ZOMBIE HELP!!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DerekMerdinyan
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1030 Posts

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One note of warning, failure to reply to this message with good advice could result in the gory death of my zombie ball.

On that note. I HATE MY ZOMBIE BALL. TO ME ZOMBIE BALL= CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT... And yet I am dieing to perform it. Here are the problems with my zombie. 1. The gimmick I got absolutely SUCKS!!! It hurts like crazy, I have tried wearing it on my middle finger, my index finger, and my ring finger. NO LUCK. 2. The gimmick is really wobbly on my finger. When I get past the pain of the gimmick The gimmick slides around a lot and doesn't let me perform the vast majority of the moves with it. 3. Mine didn't come with a fouliard. I went to buy one but they were way too expensive for a fouliard. So I decided to see what I had at home. The silk is ok, but when I do it, because of the length of the gimmick the ball doent always show in the middle, but more off to the side as if it just couldn't reach the center of the silk... 4. When I make the zombie rise it seems to raise on one side because the silk is loose but on the other side the silk between my hand and the gimmick is very tight and doesn't look like it is floating.

So are there any good pain free gimmicks out there? How do you design the right fouliard. Have any of you made your own gimmicks and what are they made of? How can you improve the moves to make them look more realistic. ETC. My zombie needs your help!!!

Derek Merdinyan
kregg
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1958 Posts

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Derek,
I highly recommend that you get The Books of Wonder by Tommy Wonder.

Happy New Year,
Kregg
POOF!
Brent McLeod
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New Zealand
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Derek-

Take it easy buddy!!-I assume you have a std zombie & gimmick

Most Zombie gimmicks come as a std size-Just a week ago I altered my second gimmick -rehearsal ball as well as Show Ball

Take off shoelaceoff gimmick end remove cork & staple & cut down wire with hacksaw etc & rebend with pliers to fit about halfway across foulard-plenty of good materials at curtain shops etc , lightweight & showy etc if you don't sew 2 silks together

Slide lace back on -also repaint your cork & restaple gimmick to cork-most important to have curl end of wire fit to your finger only-normally these are too big so squeeze with pliers to fit upto your first knuckle of your finger

most important is to support your finger with 1 or 2 others as well so weight is supported by all-imagine a small spoon on your fingers -How would you hold this without spilling something!!

Also let other Magicians see your technique-you are doing a small thing wrong somewhere-They will help!

Tim Wrights video on Zombie will answer all questions & can be bought cheap on Auction sites etc

Give this effect time-Its worth the effort-takes a few months of hard practice & then you will add music to top off this beautiful illusion
themagicman3
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NC, United States
49 Posts

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Yes,
I would also recommend Tim Wright's video. I purchased the zombie after seeing Melinda perform it on World's Greatest Magic. Then, I was disappointed and frustrated with it because it just didn't look good and I felt like I had no control over the gimmick and/or the ball. After purhcasing the tape, I figured out a few small things that really helped my performance out. It may be thirty dollars, but it is well worth the money if you spend some time with the tape.

Cameron
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22451 Posts

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Get the Al Schneider book on Zombie. As for the fit, the straight wire should be resting on the top of your finger. This will help with the weight and control. Take a trip to a fabric store. Look around for a a nice thin material. Then get black lining material. Sew them together. Professional recommend a 30" cloth as apposed to a full 36" scarf. Just sounds like you have to work on it some more as far as the cloth not being in the middle and showing pulled.

You could get the gimmick from Encore Magic that solves this situtation.
Kent Wong
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Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
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To customize the fit of the gimmick so it doesn't roll all over the place, take a black shoelace and wrap it through the coil end of the gimmick several times. This will make the fit more "snug". Continue doing this until it fits just right. Then tie off the remaining portions of the shoe lace and cut off any excess.

The Al Schneider book on Zombie is excellent as is Abbott's Further Tips on Zombie. I would hold off getting Tim Wrights video until you are comfortable with the basic moves and have developed a decent routine of your own.

The only reason I say this is because Tim Wright's video teaches you the basics of his routine. Although there is nothing wrong with learning someone else's routine, I believe you should strive to make each effect uniquely your own.

Once you have the basics of a routine developed, take a look at materials like Tim Wright's video and "pick and choose" those moves that fit into YOUR ROUTINE. Hope that helps.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
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NickJegor
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Lithuania
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Derek...
Very good advice for you.
Buy Jeff McBride's DVD - Magic on Stage vol.3
There are very good tips about the Zombie Ball, Very good Routine and the modifyed
gimmick with the finjon bend!
Very good DVD I have it and enjoy it!
Advice for everybody! Smile
//- Good Luck -
Nikolajus Jegorovas
Kaunas, Lithuania
Web: http://www.nicholaskin.com
Tony S
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New York
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You could also try Losander's gimmick. It will be less painful, but requires a bit more practice.
We are all about as successful as we choose to be.



www.anthonysisti.com
mysticalmike
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Saratoga Springs, NY
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Where can I find this Losander's gimmick? also where can I find a nice zombie ball?
mike
NickJegor
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Lithuania
466 Posts

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Search on the web for the magicshops, some shops have very good Zombie Balls!

Finn Jon have a very good Zombie Ball and Zombie Gimmick!
Nikolajus Jegorovas
Kaunas, Lithuania
Web: http://www.nicholaskin.com
David Todd
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Quote:
On 2005-01-20 16:16, mysticalmike wrote:
Where can I find this Losander's gimmick? also where can I find a nice zombie ball?
mike


Encore Magic sells the Losander version of the zombie gimmick .

http://www.encoremagic.net/Our_Products.html


Encore also makes a very good zombie ball. (it's expensive; if you're new
to the effect you might want to get one of the less expensive zombie balls,
such as the Morrissey Magic version , to practice with and to decide if the effect
is right for you. A very inexpensive zombie ball can be made from a 5" or 6" styrofoam ball
such as can be found at craft stores like Joanne's Fabrics or Michaels.
Coat the ball with a thin layer of primer , then paint it or decorate it as you desire ......
it does not necessarily have to be the traditional shiney metallic silver color. )


You can also make the Losander gimmick yourself if you buy Losander's Zombie video .
The video teaches Losander's basic routine and floating moves ,
plus shows how to make his improvement to the gimmick :

http://www.stevensmagic.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=521

Overall I would recommend purchasing the video since he shows you how
to make the gimmick as well as how to use it properly.

Here's a link to an online clip of Losander performing his Zombie ball routine:

http://www.hocus-pocus.com/static/clips/zombiea.rm

(you will need Real Media lPlayer installed to view the clip.)
JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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Also, one of the 3 Tommy Wonder dvds has two versions of the Tommy Wonder gimmick which is superior (I believe) to the Lousander gimmick. The Wonder gimmick allows the ball to rise with no movement of the wrist at all!
Having said that, my gimmick using the standard finger mount. Bend your gimmick so that it doesn't leave any tell tale impressions in the silk during the floating.

I make my own gimmicks out of wire coat hangers and corks bought at the hardware store. Coil the wire around a dowel rod that is a bit smaller than your finger and then ajust the coils to fit your finger. I also paint the finger area flesh colored and the rest of the gimmick black. At the other end, bend the wire at a right angle and shove this into the cork. I epoxy the wire into the cork.

I also make my own foulards. Buy black silk and any color you like. Tommy Wonder makes a great case for using a solid color that isn't too dark. That way the audience can "read" the folds of the silk, which is all that is "telling the visual story" of where the ball is and what it's doing: namely floating.

Any normal silks will do. Sew them together leaving about an inch in one corner open, then pull the two inside out, which puts the seams on the inside, then stitch the corner closed. I make my floulard about 32 inches square.

Pratice, practice, pratice. Zombie is easy to do badly. But beautiful if done well. It's like a puppet. Give it a life and personality of its own.
Good luck,
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
David Todd
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Yes, great points from JamesinLA .

Tommy Wonder's thoughts on the Zombie are in Volume 2 of The Books of Wonder and further expanded on the Visions of Wonder video series , Volume 2 . A further refinement to Tommy Wonder's handling of the gimmick can be seen in the Wonder/Losander "Animated Sphere" trick released last year . see a clip at this link: http://www.animatedsphere.com/Animatedshere.mov . Animated Sphere is a new release of the earlier Tommy Wonder Levitation System, which used the more traditional looking metallic ball.


Losander's own work on the Zombie was very much inspired by Tommy Wonder and
Tommy Wonder credits Al Schneider's book "Al Schneider on Zombie" with inspiring
him to find the best in this often maligned effect , created by Joe Karson .
(The book "Al Schneider on Zombie" is out of print , but occasionally pops up on eBay.
That's where I got mine. It has good information in it , but if you have the material
from Tommy Wonder and/or Losander then you essentially have the basic theory from
the Al Schneider book)

The point about using a slight bend to the gimmick so that it is naturally hidden better in the folds of the cloth is something key to keep in mind , as well as the point about using a solid colored cloth to better define the folds of the cloth hanging off the ball.

Especially notice on the Tommy Wonder dvd or the Losander video (including the online video clip I linked to in my earlier post above) how the performer is careful to keep the cloth hanging down off the ball with deep folds so that there is a visual disconnect between the hands holding on to the edge of the cloth and the position of the ball. It is very important to reinforce that impression, of there being no straight lines from the hand to the ball .
Comet
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I "used" to have a two fingered gimmick. took a LOT of pressure off that one finger. I've moved from Wyoming to Germany and now to Oklahoma and in those moves have lost the gimmick and Zombie itself. Now I picked up just the ball at one of the magic auctions/flea markets I was at and need to take the time to remake the gimmick. sometimes you think the Zombie is crule and unusual punishment for an audience but "if" done right it can be a piece of wonderful art. ALL the suggestions you recieved are no doubt good and I also plan on checking them out myself.
enjoy!!
Joe Comet
ufo
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Phoenix, Arizona
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I second the idea of your checking out Tommy WOnder's info on the regular zombie devices and thinking. He shows these is detail on "Visions of Wonder" videos. Zombie is a great piece of magic but you get out relative to the blood, sweat and tears you put in. Start sweatin and bleedin! Good luck.

-Ed
"What's your drug?" she asked. "Hope" he said, "The most addicting one of all."
Father Photius
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El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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I took a small piece of sheet metal, cut and bent it to where my index and middle finger would slide in nicely when held side by side together, gave it a coat of flesh colored paint, and simply drilled two holes in the front of it and wove the gimmick end through that. Works wonderful, easy to handle, easy to manuver, easy to put on and off, and comfortable.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22451 Posts

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Quote:
On 2005-03-02 09:20, David Todd wrote:

Losander's own work on the Zombie was very much inspired by Tommy Wonder and
Tommy Wonder credits Al Schneider's book "Al Schneider on Zombie" with inspiring
him to find the best in this often maligned effect , created by Joe Karson .
(The book "Al Schneider on Zombie" is out of print , but occasionally pops up on eBay.
That's where I got mine. It has good information in it , but if you have the material
from Tommy Wonder and/or Losander then you essentially have the basic theory from
the Al Schneider book)


The book is not out of print. They have not sold all the copies. I found the book at one of the two stores in Minn., MN, it sells for $25. If seriously interested, do as I did and call the 2 stores and order the book. Or contact Al Schneider on his web site and as him which store to contact. Al Schneider does not sell the book himself.
Excaliber
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I simply Hate the Zombie Ball routine . I don't do it. It pains me to watch anyone do it . Just my thoughts. However many great magicians do this and are very good at it and have great routines

Like I said that is just me . Have you tried to do a Zombie act with something else besides the standard Ball. think outside the box .

I once saw a guy do the sponge banana routine then did a Zombie effect with a monkey and the Banana ( that one I liked )
rikbrooks
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Olive Branch, Mississippi
1317 Posts

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I use a two fingered gimmick. It was bequeathed to me by my grandfather so I wouldn't have a clue where you could get one. I also put the Fin John bend in that gimmick.
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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A metal cigar tube, painted mat-black to match the gimmick, and interted (and fixed by apoxy glue) into the "coiled" area of the gimmick (where the finger makes its entrance) might do the trick.

It would provide additional support and leverage.

God luck!
Jonathan
Max & Maxine Entertainment
Magicians with a touch of comedy!
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www.maxmagician.com
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www.monsieurmagic.com
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