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Topic: Some interesting cups and balls moves
Message: Posted by: Dave McFarland (Oct 5, 2008 10:36PM)
Saw this video today: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7591828733650157553&vt=lf&hl=en

Some interesting C&B moves I hadn't seen before, including some interesting steals.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Oct 5, 2008 11:19PM)
I really liked the LAST move...unique I believe. Had never seen that before. Very cool!
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Oct 5, 2008 11:28PM)
I think that last move is also used in Johnny "Ace" Palmer's routine.
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Oct 5, 2008 11:33PM)
Dave McFarland,

That guy has mad skills. He does a very, very original routine! I loved the snot out of it! Thanks for turning me on to it. Great wacky moves.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Oct 6, 2008 12:06AM)
I agree w/ KG, da man gots some chops! Definitely worth investigating and putting in some study time on this one!

Thanks Dave,

Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Oct 6, 2008 12:10AM)
No "new" moves involved, though the execution was excellent. Unfortunately, while the high skill level is evident, the entertainment value is virtually non-existent. It reminds me of a 22-phase ambitious card routine - any lay audience would have to get bored long before the ending (such as it is).

And speaking of ending, where are the final loads? Any performer who understands the performing art of magic knows that the Cups & Balls has nothing to do with tiny red balls and large metal cups. The final loads [i]define[/i] any C&B routine, and leaving them out is [i]exactly[/i] tantamount to telling a joke, but leaving off the punchline.

Message: Posted by: rannie (Oct 6, 2008 12:14AM)
I will have to agree with TW about the final loads. I really enjoyed the execution and I was watching in "layman" mode...hoping to see a bang in the end. He did handle it well though.

Dave V is correct...The ending was a Johnny Ace Palmer thing.

Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Oct 6, 2008 12:40AM)
Once Monsieur 'O' finds this he'll list every source for us!

I was just glad to see someone NOT doing Vernonesque stuff. According to his youtube site he has a complete routine. Just because I'm a insistent kinda guy I've send him a message on youtube, asking, somewhat nicely for a video of the whole McGilla.

I'd rather watch Rannie's routine though. I think I'll go do that.

You do gotta freakin' load some big-uns under the cups. It changes it from a puzzle into . . . Magic!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 6, 2008 12:43AM)
Sean Farquhar uses that move also.

Sure were a lot of odd "tells" in this routine.

And ZERO entertainment value.

It reminded me of watching someone doing a cooking show.
Message: Posted by: Dave McFarland (Oct 6, 2008 12:56AM)
Yes, the entertainment value was pretty low--at least he was well rehearsed. But I was still impressed with some of the moves, there were several unusual steals from the cups to finger p*** that I'd never seen or read about before.

Bill, what were some of the tells that you saw?
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Oct 6, 2008 01:39AM)
A lot of cup slamming for one...
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Oct 6, 2008 01:41AM)
If a C&B routine [i]must[/i] be presented without final loads it needs some variety among the sub-effects to keep it interesting.

Here's a link to one such routine that I personally find much more interesting, and I think you'll agree that the use of different colored balls really adds to overall flavor.


Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Oct 6, 2008 09:09AM)
Am I seeing 4 minutes of mainly penetration effects with those balls only?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 6, 2008 09:52AM)
That's it. Basically, the tells were, among other things, the odd little finger "p***," which he affected while handling the cups. In order to make this less obvious, he affected this fairly consistently. Also, his hand movements were very "swoopy" when he was stacking the cups.

The first time I saw him stack the cups, I thought "He's setting this up to do the elevator move later."

Maybe those really aren't "tells," but they "told" me!
Message: Posted by: walid ahumada (Oct 6, 2008 10:05AM)
Too many penetrations.
Message: Posted by: samuelchong (Oct 6, 2008 11:38AM)
Fun Shop Cups and Balls is a great routine...
Literally jaw dropping....
Thanks TW...
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Oct 6, 2008 11:42PM)
Seemed like the same thing over and over and over again... no variety and no stopping points after each effect. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Message: Posted by: magicorik (Oct 7, 2008 06:59AM)
This is why I really prefer the Vernon routine.
I have tried many of them but I keep doing the Professor's routine.
So practical and the audience love it!
If it was good for him it will be enough for me......!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Oct 7, 2008 07:26AM)
Try Edward G. Brown's routine which uses only three balls and is ingeniously constructed from start to finish. It was written up in Abracadabra back in the 40's.

Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Oct 7, 2008 12:57PM)
Carl Andrews Table Hopping Cups and Balls is a GREAT 2 Cup Routine! I'm having lots of fun with it!
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 16, 2008 06:18PM)
Nice chops but I fell asleep watching it.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 16, 2008 07:31PM)
There is a fellow I know who can do almost every move that has been written up for the cups and balls. The problem is that he insists on doing all of them.


It has been said that the way to carve an elephant from a big piece of stone is to look at the stone, then take a chisel and a hammer and chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant.

The way to have a magical, entertaining cups and balls routine is to take a cups and balls routine and chip away everything that doesn't look magical and entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Oct 16, 2008 10:28PM)
Bill, when I was about 16 I tried that very thing. I seriously looked at my C&B routine and started to chip away everything that didn't look magical or entertaining. Before long I had no routine. One of the best lessons I ever learned. My next C&B routine was considerably better.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 16, 2008 11:05PM)
Not many people can pull off a really embellished style well. One notable exception from the music world was Jose Melis, the Cuban pianist, who worked for Jack Paar. He never played fewer than 25 notes where one would suffice.
Message: Posted by: cfrye (Oct 17, 2008 12:11AM)
Ladies and gentlemen, I have suffered for my art. Now it's your turn.


Thanks folks! I know a million of them. I shall now tell them in the order I learned them.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 17, 2008 12:41AM)
For my first origami figure...a red crane.

For my second origami figure ... a green crane.

For my third origami figure ... (sound of gunshot!)

Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 17, 2008 11:45AM)
But still.... he is good at what he does.
It's a prime example of "A magic club routine".

His routine sufferes because...
It showcases moves and methods.

Was there a beginning , a middle, an end to this routine ?
Any moments of comic releif? Did he ever get it wrong?
Did he lose a ball and find it somewhere else? Any tension?

He's great! He needs to take this routine out on the street
and do it for passersby. In two years, he'll have a good routine.
What's left of it.

This forum is full of magic tricks that get wonderful praise only because:

1. wow. nice chops.
2. wow. you fooled me completely with a move I already knew.
3. wow. the patter matched the moves perfectly.
4. wow. I didn't even know you were using a TT until the end.
5. wow. PK ring. great idea.

None of those are reasons why a layman will like a routine.

Let's give the man praise because he deserves it. But let's also notice that the routine, from an entertainment perspective, which is really the only perspective an audience cares about, is really far from ready.

Go ahead and do that routine at the magic club. But then take it out into the world and learn how to make it entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Dave McFarland (Oct 17, 2008 12:21PM)
On 2008-10-17 12:45, Frank Starsini wrote:
This forum is full of magic tricks that get wonderful praise only because:
1. wow. nice chops.
2. wow. you fooled me completely with a move I already knew.
3. wow. the patter matched the moves perfectly.
4. wow. I didn't even know you were using a TT until the end.
5. wow. PK ring. great idea.

I started this original thread, and only meant to point out that I found some of the moves interesting, not that I found the routine entertaining. It is boring for all the reasons mentioned, but having read numerous books and manuscripts on C&B and seen video by Ammar, Bob White, Mendoza, Gazzo, Rafael Benatar, Charlie Miller, Johnny Thompson, Johnny Paul, and a lot of others, I'm always amazed to see a move I've never encountered. Apparently, his steals and the revelation where the ball drops from the stacked cups aren't original to him, but they're new to me. It's possible to learn something even from a boring routine, not in order to copy the routine, but to find something that you can use and improve on to make your own magic better.

As a magician you'd be silly to completely discount an effect just because of its presentation. For example, you might hear patter like "In front of each bowl I shall place three balls. In front of Bowl 3--these red balls. In front of Bowl 2--three white balls. In front of Bowl 1--three blue ones" and say, 'wow that's so boring, what a dumb trick.' Of course, I just typed that from Tarbell, and while the patter might stink there's still plenty to learn from the trick.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 17, 2008 12:51PM)

I agree completely.

Again, it's basically a matter of chipping away the parts that don't look mystifying or entertaining.
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Oct 17, 2008 03:51PM)
***then take a chisel and a hammer and chip away everything that doesn't look like an elephant.***

EXCELLENT analogy!
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Oct 17, 2008 05:37PM)
The technique is flawless and the routine is the definitive demonstration that C&Bs is not about technique.

The lesson is that it's too long, too monotone

What it teaches is that even if a flawless technique is necessary, it is definitely not sufficient.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Oct 17, 2008 06:33PM)
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
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Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Oct 17, 2008 07:12PM)
Agreed!!!!! best post of the year!!!!!
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Oct 18, 2008 05:12PM)
At first I did not understand what was meant by "Zero Entertainment," but by the time I got to Lawrence O's post about being too long, too Monotone I now have a better understanding of what C&B is all about. Just before I watched that Youtube video, I had watched Don Alan's chop cup routine which I believe shows that a short quick routine can have a better magical effect.

This thread has taught me a lot, thanks to everyone involved with C&Bs.

Bill, I love the clapping hands, it makes me laugh.

Have fun folks!