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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » How to prevent spectators from grabbing cups and balls (8 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pete Biro
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Love it. Smile Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Ray Haining
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Very good.
cafeinst
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Excellent idea!
Rainboguy
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My good friend, Magic Mentor, and all-around nice guy Dick Oslund was over at my house Saturday afternoon for one of our "Kibbutzing Sessions", and this very topic is one of the things we discussed....

The BIG PICTURE here is: You have to MANAGE YOUR AUDIENCES, and for those relatively new magicians, it's a good idea to realize that learning these things take time. I started performing Magic for money in 1956....after you perform for a few decades for civilians for money....you "Pick Up a Few things along the way that work". As I mentioned to Dick..."YOU DON'T LEARN HOW TO MAKE LOVE BY READING A BOOK"......many things in life need practical, hands-on experience in order to get really good at them.

One of the many benefits of being a member of The Magic Café is that there are MANY seasoned and experienced magicians here who are more than happy to share their tips and ideas for performing Magic better....my best advice is to PAY ATTENTION.......it's NEVER too late to learn!!!

I'm 65 and still learning about performing Magic every day....... and, in my opinion, if you're truly serious about performing Magic, that's the only way you will get better....
Ray Haining
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This is very true. Experience trumps theory any day of the week. You can read all the theory you want, read about "creating magical fiction" and other such pie-in-the-sky ideas, and it will get you nowhere until you actually get out there and perform.
doug brewer
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Ditto on getting out and performing it more. That is really where you learn audience management. That said, I will tell you that the cups & balls are my money maker, the one they ask to see over and over again, and where I book more shows from. I do it close-up, at the bar, strolling, stand-up shows - wherever. It is solid, powerful magic.

When you get more seasoned you will find that you really don't care if you get busted. Yes, I care, but I don't. I've had people ask me to open both hands - I simply say "well, then you'll see the extra ball". They laugh, we move on. I've had people prematurely lift the cups - occassionally. But for the most part the routine moves at a clip and there are set points where I allow them to lift the cups (audience involvement). My only heartburn is when people lift the cups when the final loads have been placed. I'm upset not because I got "busted" but because my patter hasn't yet established that something amazing is about to appear in the cups - it steals that strong magical moment from the audience.

Johnny Ace Palmer's strolling cups routine is a great place to start with a routine that can play in very close-up situations. Study it. I was the first person to ask him to teach me it when I was his student (many, many years ago). Smile
Greg755
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I think it has to do with reading your audience first and then following up by managing them. In other words try to avoid trouble before it begins. If I do a couple of tricks and see a wise guy in the crowd then I may not bring out certain effects. If I notice small kids or hyper kids then I may not do some things. If I spot these problems while doing a couple of tricks then I know that if I proceed I need to take steps to manage the situation. I also try to think of things that could go wrong and try to think of things I can do or say when it happens - while you can't predict every mishap you can come up with several replies that will work well with different problems, or you can sometimes get lucky and turn the mishap into a trick on its own. for me it's more about "don't PANIC" than it is about being "caught"
EVILDAN
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This year I was performing at an outdoor festival when, and I don't know how, the 2nd ball dislodged from inside the cup falling next to the ball on the table. The teens in the crowd started laughing. I just looked at them and said, "I don't care. I'm going to fool you anyway." I went on with the routine adding an extra step to set up where I needed to and floored the laughing herd at the end of the routine with a double load.
coreyw
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Great ideas on how to handle this. I have fought it once or twice over the last ten years, both as a magician and as a minister. Whatever the situation, the best way to control a crowd is to never let them see you sweat, even if you're sweating bullets!

Some kids (and even adults) don't get or respect boundaries. Be especially careful if it is an event where alcohol is involved, I learned that one the hard way. During a show for my community's fourth of July festivities, a drunk lady walked right onto the platform and started messing with an escape I do from a 55-gallon drum (a version of Houdini's milk can escape). I just mentioned over my shoulder that if she wasn't 100% sure what she was doing, she'd probably die, and just kept moving with the act. She beat if off the platform pretty quickly.

The first time something like that happened to me, a kid ran up during the zombie ball and tried to grab it. Being newer to public magic performance at the time, I raised the whole thing higher, and glared at the mom until she came and got the kiddo. Today, I'd probably handle it differently.

It happens sooner or later, no matter how good your crowd control techniques. Just roll with it. Don't let them see you sweat!
Greg755
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Ever heard of whack a mole son? You know the last person that tried that didn't get out of the dungeon for 2 weeks. My pet spider/snake lives here. Careful they (cups) bite. Before you start: I'd like you to meet my little friend, bringing out the finger chopper. - I'm thinking this would be a great time to try out the "electric touch".
Rainboguy
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I may have to re-rehearse using the Jumbo cups shown here:

http://www.cupsandballs.nl/

These are BIG, HEAVY cups and the balls I have to go with them are 1 1/2 inches, Neon Yellow Monkey-Fist Balls......
CMT VN
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Here's my 2 cents....

To avoid the 'touchy' audience, I refer to 'condition' them first. What I mean is I will start my routine with them handling the cups first. The spectator stacks the some of the cups, and the ball falls through. By doing that first, I hope the audience will feel that I have passed the 'test' and will not mess with me again. However, this does not work 100% though.

So I guess the turning to frog thing is something I can adapt. Smile in my country, turning into a bird is funnier
Mobius303
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Mike Perlman
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I had a sparking ring and when someone touched it unexpectedly I would spark the next cup I touched. They backed up and did not touch the cups again the whole show.
It is really all about how you handle it.
I have also done what pete did and made it a running joke through the show. Check the cup....nothing there eh, the show goes on.
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