One of the routines that I really liked that I was doing on the school assembly tour was my tennis ball routine. It opens with a production of a single tennis ball from my Take Out Production Box, then it goes into mulitplying balls style routine and ends with a tennis ball turning into confetti.
Here’s the routine:
At about the 1:50 mark you’ll notice one of the kids in the middle showing the kid next to her that she thinks the balls are coming out of my sleeve. When I reviewed video of the show I noticed that, I added a bit where I show my sleeves empty. It’s a little thing, but it makes the routine stronger.
I really like this routine and would like to use it elsewhere, however the challenge is that I need the book to ditch the final tennis ball. I’ll need to figure out another way to ditch the final palmed ball.
When I was putting together my tennis ball routine for this school assembly tour, I started using Sponge Tennis Balls by Daba Magic. I like these more than the Alan Wong Sponge Tennis Balls as the Daba ones pop open much faster.
After using them for 2-3 shows a day on this tour, I found one thing that I don’t like about the Daba Sponge Tennis Balls. The white line on them is tape or something like that, where on all the other sponge tennis balls I’ve tried, they are painted on. After about a week the tape lines started getting loose, and this week they started falling off.
Here’s what the lines should look like:
And here’s what they looked like this week:
Honestly, I wasn’t surprised that this would happen to them. I didn’t think that tape was good way to make the lines. I went to the store and bought some paint and redid the lines:
It only took a few minutes to paint the lines onto the sponge tennis balls, and this should hold up for a lot longer than the tape lines.
For years I’ve used a sponge tennis ball in my show. I only use it as a one time production item. The first two sets I had were made by Alan Wong. Sometime between my two purchases, he changed how they were made and the newer ones were more dense and didn’t pop open nearly as well as the first (older) set.
I’ve been searching for a new set as my original set is pretty beat up looking and I recently found a set of sponge tennis balls by Daba
I will say that I’m not a fan of the routine, as when you squish the balls, it takes away from the earlier productions. The first half of the routine is good, but the second half I don’t like. The sponge tennis balls are great! They compress very small, and pop open nicely! They will make great replacements for my original Alan Wong set!
If you need a sponge tennis ball, I recommend these!
One of the routines I’m working on for my school assembly tour next month is a ball manipulation sequence. It’s going to use sponge tennis balls. I’m choosing these because them fit the theme I’m going for AND they play very big. For the routine I need to steal two balls, one at a time. I don’t want to do pocket steals, and they look bad on stage, the work better close up.
Years ago when I used to do a multiplying balls, my routine had a body steal and I used this holder:
This one is great and it lays flat after you steal the ball. However stealing a sponge ball is a little different that stealing a ball that is solid. So to experiment, I bought several different styles of ball droppers to play with:
After trying them, I think the winner is the Sponge Ball Dropper!
This has a couple advantages over the other ball droppers, mainly that it’s designed to hold sponge, and not a solid ball. I like the release action being a squeeze and not a pulling motion. Also it completely hides the sponge ball when it’s in my coat, so if my coat opens, you don’t see a bunch of colorful balls pinned to the inside.
My worry about things that have moving parts is that if it breaks and needs repair while I’m on the road, it might not be easy to fix or get another one. I’ll probably travel with a couple of normal billiard ball droppers as back ups and hope I won’t need them.