I am always looking for good audience participation effects. This is a routine built around an idea Karrell Fox taught me. It was his concept to produce a big sponge ball from a silk (as will be described). I applied it as an ending to a standard “sponge balls to the ends” trick. The result was wonderful.
Three balls mysteriously pass from the magician’s hand to the hand of a spectator. After this has happened, one of the balls is chosen and wrapped in a handkerchief. While in this handkerchief the ball seems to grow many times bigger than it was before.
- Four sponge balls. 2” size is fine. Color does not matter.
- One bigger sponge ball. I suggest 5” size for this. If you can find a bigger one yet, that is even better. (A standard “Growing Ball” will work for this.)
- One 18” silk.
I will not describe the method for getting the balls to pass to the hands of the spectator. It will be known by most readers. If it is not known, the explanation can be found in many books and DVDs, plus it is usually included when a person purchases a set of four balls in a boxed package.
You will use your standard “balls to the hands” routine and then apply the ending about to be described.
Take the large ball and fold it down until it is as small as you can make it. Place this ball in the center of the handkerchief and twist the handkerchief around it. Put a clip of some kind on the handkerchief to keep the ball in place in the center of the handkerchief.
For performance you will pick up the handkerchief in a way that keeps your hand over the area where the ball is twisted in. This will make it appear that it is only a handkerchief when actually it is a handkerchief that is loaded with a big ball.
The action of the trick is as follows:
- Pick up the handkerchief with your right hand over the area where the large ball is twisted in.
- Place the handkerchief over your left fist. Use the fingers of your left fist to hold the hidden ball in place. The ball portion of the handkerchief will be down in your fist. The handkerchief itself will be spread out over and above your fist.
- Pick up one of the small sponge balls and bring it over to the center of the handkerchief spread over your hand. Start pushing the sponge ball down into the center area of the handkerchief. As you do, flip the left fist over so the handkerchief falls down over the smaller sponge ball.
- When the smaller sponge ball is out of sight under the folds of the handkerchief, palm it in the right hand so you can secretly steal it away. Let the area of the handkerchief that contains the big ball be seen. The big ball is still squeezed tightly so it appears that you have just slipped the small ball up into the center of the handkerchief and it is what the audience is seeing. The small ball is actually palmed. They are seeing the compressed version of the large ball.
- Release pressure on the ball that was twisted into the center of the silk. Let it slowly expand. It will appear that this is the smaller ball that you put into the silk. It will appear that this smaller ball is expanding.
- Reach over with your right hand (the one that now is palming the sponge ball) and grasp a bit of silk that is above the ball twisted inside the handkerchief. Hold the silk at this point and shake it until the ball completes expansion. Then turn the silk over and show the big ball.
It is a simple process. The big ball is already hidden in the silk. During performance the smaller ball is switched for it under cover of the silk. It appears the small ball grew into a large one.
Invite an audience member on stage. Inform this person that he or she is about to assist you in the “World’s Fastest Trick.”
Indicate three sponge balls. (I display mine on votive candle holders obtained from a Dollar Store.)
Ask the spectator to select one ball. Place this ball in the person’s hand. Pick up another ball and place it in your pocket or in a table. Magically make this other ball appear in the spectator’s hand. (When the person’s hand is opened, two sponge balls fall out.)