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Topic: Latest thinking on Cups and Balls
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Apr 23, 2006 03:36PM)
Bill Palmer has stated that your thinking on the Cups and Balls has evolved over the years. How can we learn about your latest thoughts on this subject (without attending a lecture, which is impractical for some)? Do you have any notes, etc., for sale?

When do you plan to release the "Touch of ..." series on DVD?
Message: Posted by: Hamilton (Apr 24, 2006 09:40PM)
First, thank you very much for what I have learned from you about the cups and balls. I have both your book and the DVDs.

I would also be very interested in the new ideas you have come up with since then.

... and congratulations on the move, and kids. Mine are 6 and 10.
Message: Posted by: Michael Ammar (Apr 27, 2006 01:05AM)
Bill and I discussed several different aspects regarding the cups following the lecture in Houston, so I'm not sure what particular point, if any, he was thinking about when mentioning this to you.
Perhaps it was about the shape of the cups I'm using? These are the ENCORE cups being made for me by Chris Ressman. The idea was this: if you were building a cup from scratch, and you could make it any size at all, exactly how big should the cup be?

Well, when you think about it, the final load becomes an important factor. Here's why -- as a general rule, the final load should seem to fill the cup completely. COMPLETELY. In that way, the spectators could be sure that the loads weren't in the cups all along. Of course there could be exceptions to this, so maybe I shouldn't be calling this a rule, but generally speaking, the final load should fill the cup.

So if you have a really big cup, you are going to need really big loads. The bigger the cup, the bigger the loads, and at some point, it becomes hard to conceal big loads, either in your hands or your pockets.

But that's not to say that you should use tiny cups, because it's nice if what has been produced would seem to over flow the average hand, so that where it came from will seem like a decent mystery.

Dai Vernon once told me that he preferred fruit as a final load, because it came from the real world, and each was a different shape and color, so it held people's attention as each was revealed. So I've always used fruit, but the problem with that is that you have to go to the grocery store every 3 or 4 days! There you are in the produce section taking 5 minutes to check out the lemons, and then you buy 1. The same thing with the potatoes and turnips! Twice a week this guy makes some kinda' crazy salad...

So I was delighted to eventually find a place to take the perfect pieces of fruit and make them in rubber, so now I never have to worry about changing my lines if I can't find the right piece of fruit to fit my cups!

And Hamilton -- 6 & 10 huh? That's about what our age separation is. Savannah is 5 & 1/2, and Evan is 8 months...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 27, 2006 12:32PM)
Part of the discussion was about where the loads came from, and how the spectators actually perceived it. You mentioned something in the lecture about how the back pocket loads with the big pocket actually looked.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Apr 28, 2006 01:24AM)
Latest thinking on the cups and balls...
Who cares?
Don't over think...

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 28, 2006 02:52PM)
Thinking gets in the way of bad performance.
Message: Posted by: Alewishus (Apr 29, 2006 01:46AM)
You shouldn't be thinking when you perform. You only start when things are going wrong.

Anyway, when I hear something like "new thinking on the cups and balls", I gotta tell ya, I'm thinkin' either someone's trying to sell me something or we're once again part of that never ending quest for the perfect routine.
My money is always on the former, but whatever floats ya...

Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Apr 29, 2006 03:50AM)
It depends on the level of difficulty of what you're doing and how long you've been doing it. Certain moves in certain tricks require not only thinking, but extreme concentration. Of course, we strive to know our moves and routines so well we don't have to think about them too much, so that we can concentrate on our performance, but I, myself, alas, fear that, at least in this lifetime, I will be unable to achieve such a lofty goal. But I'll try.

As far as selling anything, I have nothing to sell, except a couple of Porper items if you're interested (inside joke). I wanted to know if Michael had anything to sell me, in the way of notes and such.

And it is always the quest for the perfect routine, always, till the day I die, which, because I'll die before I get there, is, for me, never-ending.
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Apr 29, 2006 07:42AM)
I couldn't disagree more.
You should always be thinking.
Like Bill said, thinking gets in the way of a bad performance.
It's not going to get in the way of a good performance.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 29, 2006 04:41PM)
I'm not even going to try to explain to Alewishus what I had referred to as "new thinking on Cups and Balls." It would be like teaching a pig to sing. It would waste my time and annoy Alewishus.

To the rest of you, though -- When you are performing anything, it should be down to reflex level, but you must always be acutely aware of what is going on. It's like watching the gauges when you are flying on autopilot. If anything goes wrong, you have to be there to fix it before it gets out of control. Since nobody performs in a vacuum, and there is always an audience, you need to be aware of how they are reacting.

Michael had a particular goal in mind when he set out to compose his own cups and balls routine. The criteria were that he should be able to perform it without a jacket, standing up. At his lecture, he stated that he had learned that the spectators were not as concerned about the things he had been concerned about when he worked out his routine. There were other factors as well. So now he is performing while wearing a jacket. The routine is basically unchanged.
Message: Posted by: RonCalhoun (Apr 29, 2006 09:55PM)
As Always Big Bill is hitting all the nails square on the head.

Bill you said, [b]"When you are performing anything, it should be down to reflex level, but you must always be acutely aware of what is going on."[/b]

As a pitchman I found I could do my spill without thinking too much about it, which allowed me time to study the crowd. Because I have the pitch down to "reflex level" I can watch the crowd, look out for hecklers, and adjust my speed of delivery.

Ok now, [b]everybody else[/b] get back on topic.

Michael Ammar's latest thinking on the Cups and Balls
Message: Posted by: Ray Haining (Apr 30, 2006 12:14AM)
During Michael's performance of the Cups and Balls on the Steven's video, he tells the audience that people think, when he is wearing a jacket, that things go up the sleeves or in the pockets, so he is going to work in his shirt sleeves. I've found that wearing a jacket does not in and of itself arouse suspicion, but if I don't roll up my sleeves, spectators think it is possible for things to be going up my sleeves--even though I wish I could be so adept at sl*e*i*g--so I always make sure my sleeves are rolled up.

It is certainly true, learned time and again, that what is important to magicians is mostly unimportant to spectators.

I've always performed the Cups and Balls standing, although, lately, I've been looking at a couple sit-down routines.