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Topic: My New and Improved Cups and Balls Routine
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 1, 2008 11:44PM)
All right people, here it is. A few months ago I posted my routine, and got very good advice from different people. So I incorporated the things that everyone said and came up with this routine.

Enough chit chat. Grab a bag of popcorn and enjoy the show!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bni4bldWHGs
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Nov 1, 2008 11:46PM)
I don't see any video or is it just me.
Message: Posted by: dcjames (Nov 1, 2008 11:48PM)
Link doesn't work. Says "Video is Unavailable."
Message: Posted by: MickeyPainless (Nov 1, 2008 11:48PM)
Nope James, I don't see it available either!
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 1, 2008 11:49PM)
Sorry, give it a few minutes. Youtube is slow, what can I do.

EDIT - video is up now!
Message: Posted by: dcjames (Nov 2, 2008 12:00AM)
Good work. The final reveal (yellow ball) surprised me.

Nice.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Nov 2, 2008 12:13AM)
Great job.

Is the working surface a bit tight for those 3 cups?
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 12:15AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 01:13, JamesTong wrote:
Great job.

Is the working surface a bit tight for those 3 cups?
[/quote]

A tad, but I'm OK with it. I have plenty of space when using my Foxy II's.
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Nov 2, 2008 12:28AM)
Black coat, black pants, and black close-up pad, saw lots of blackness and had a hard time seeing the dark C&Bs. Still deaf since birth, so forget about patter. What did I see? Not much! He did look like he was pretty good spinning that wand, but that is all I could tell through all that darkness.

My only adice about that video is to turn on the lights.
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 12:37AM)
Madkiki, I'm sorry about the lights. For some reason my 8 megapixel camera did a pretty crappy job at recording this one. I was actually wearing a navy suit, which didn't blend in really with the cups.

I'm sorry about the lighting.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Nov 2, 2008 06:21AM)
The routine is pretty solid. The first final load really shocked me. I would recommend losing the silver case as a stage, a larger work area would probably make you more comfortable and would make the trick play bigger. Also, with those dark copper cups, lose the red balls. You really want them to pop. Same thing goes for your loads with the dark blue. I use 2 sets of cups regularly, My silver Sherwood cups get red glitter balls with fruit and a giant red ball as a loads, and my copper cups get white glitter cups with matching load and fruit.

Oh, and that phrase, "I'm an honest magician", you really say that too many times. Or maybe you're going for a call back.

You do the Ammar load VERY well. I think if you make just a few changes, which are mostly color related, you'll have a killer routine.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Nov 2, 2008 12:10PM)
At times you spoke so rapidly that I didn't quite understand what you said, or had to concentrate on what you were saying (something an audience member should never have to do). There were a also a few 'dead beats' - just little moments here and there where everything halted for just a beat or two.

I think if you speak your words a little more slowly at times, that will help maintain the flow of the routine (I know that sounds funny, but try it).

Take note - nothing was bad. I see my comments as more helping someone move from 'good' to 'very good'.
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 02:00PM)
Thanks for the advice guys!
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 03:03PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 07:21, pepka wrote:
The routine is pretty solid. The first final load really shocked me. I would recommend losing the silver case as a stage, a larger work area would probably make you more comfortable and would make the trick play bigger. Also, with those dark copper cups, lose the red balls. You really want them to pop. Same thing goes for your loads with the dark blue.
[/quote]
I fully agree with the needed pop of the balls. I'll look into getting some. Do you have any advice where I can get some high quality/heavy balls? I'm a little tight on cash right now, so please take that into consideration. Right now I use the red 7/8" balls my PF cups came with. I think they are made by RNTII, because I purchased the cups straight from Jake.

Just as a side note, my final loads are a lighter GREEN. The camera did a pretty crappy job, not sure why.
Message: Posted by: rannie (Nov 2, 2008 03:21PM)
I think its a solid routine. The only suggestion I can give after watching it twice,,,is for you to have more eye contact with your audience. You tend to look at the table more than the audience even during some moves. It is something that is difficult to unlearn later on. This is one of the important things that my mentor kept reminding me about. I have been doing my routine for 15 years. For the first 3 years I was watching all my moves like the audience. It took me a while to undo this habit as it became natural to me. I listened to my mentor and to my other teachers and friends in magic...I worked hard on it and I continued to do so. It may not be the best but it keeps getting better.

You have improved a lot. Please keep an open mind and heart regarding the suggestions. Best of luck!

Mabuhay from Manila!

Rannie
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 03:32PM)
Thanks for the advice Rannie!
Message: Posted by: rannie (Nov 2, 2008 03:43PM)
You are most welcome Uriel. I hope I was able to help in any way. Keep it up ok!

Rannie
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2008 04:06PM)
There are NO PAINTINGS of the ancient Egyptians doing the cups and balls on the walls of the pyramids.

None.

Zero.

There are no paintings of the ancient Egyptians doing the cups and balls at all.
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 04:29PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 17:06, Bill Palmer wrote:
There are NO PAINTINGS of the ancient Egyptians doing the cups and balls on the walls of the pyramids.

None.

Zero.

There are no paintings of the ancient Egyptians doing the cups and balls at all.
[/quote]

You think the average person knows that Bill? ;)

If you feel so strongly about it, then I'll take your advice. After all, you have been doing this a lot longer than I have. ;)

I can remove that little part.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2008 04:38PM)
No, I don't. But if you have just ONE person in the audience who knows it, and he yells out "BULL****!", then what are you going to do. You will freeze, because you have been caught out.

Marvyn Roy did just that the last time he did the bit where he lit the big lighthouse bulb. He took it out of the act.

I've spent five years researching this material, and it offends me when people spread this kind of nonsense.

Your patter needs a lot of work. You need to slow down, and watch for redundancies.

The best magic tells a story and only deviates from the truth when necessary.
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 04:56PM)
Thanks for the advice Bill.

This is the reason I posted this to get constructive criticism, and I got it. Thank you all.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2008 05:16PM)
The moves look good. You just need to work on a script.
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 05:20PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 18:16, Bill Palmer wrote:
The moves look good. You just need to work on a script.
[/quote]

Got it.

Now does anyone have any advice where I can get some high quality/heavier balls (not cork)? I'm a little tight on cash right now, so please take that into consideration. Right now I use the red 7/8" balls my PF cups came with. I think they are made by RNTII, because I purchased the cups straight from Jake.
Message: Posted by: KeithP (Nov 2, 2008 05:26PM)
Soap Box!!!
Please don't read, this has nothing to do with the actual topic.

I'm am so glad to see our fellow posters being honest about thier evaluation. It is wonderful to see constructive critism being posted here. Much too often I see at magic clubs, people going up to the performer after the meeting and praising them, and giving them a false sence of how good the performance actually was. Everyone who has a slightly negative thought leans on the "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all." This leads our growing magi down the wrong path. I'd rather lean on the concept of treating others as I would want to be treated. I want the truth about my performances!!! Thank you fellow posters.

Ah...I feel better now. Thanks!
Keith
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 05:30PM)
Keith, I feel the same way. As I said before the reason I posted this to get constructive criticism, not to impress magicians. I'll leave that to Kent.;)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2008 06:23PM)
Try these people:
http://www.mouseballz.com/
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 06:57PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 19:23, Bill Palmer wrote:
Try these people:
http://www.mouseballz.com/
[/quote]

I tried using mouse balls, but the rubber sometimes make the Garcia Opener very hard. Also, they roll around a lot. I made a monkey fist around the core of a mouse ball, and it is just to big for my cups.
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Nov 2, 2008 07:00PM)
RNT2 balls are very nice and you are able to wash them too! Otherwise, you may try to get your hands on a Mike Roger's set of balls!

-Bryan
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 07:14PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 20:00, Bryan Gilles wrote:
Otherwise, you may try to get your hands on a Mike Roger's set of balls!

-Bryan
[/quote]

That was funny Brian, Mike Roger Baseballs?! :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:

Wait, you were serious weren't you. I guess you missed when I said I am a little tight for money at the moment...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2008 07:31PM)
Have you tried making monkey fist balls out of marbles?
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 07:53PM)
I have made them with steel ball bearings. They were a nice size, but I only had leather shoelaces to work with, and leather creates friction.

Here's a picture of the first one I ever made, not the best shape but you get the picture - http://img146.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn1383nt9.jpg
Message: Posted by: Bryan Gilles (Nov 2, 2008 08:08PM)
Strapped for cash... Try the little tennis balls from a pet store. They usually have catnip scented ones for the cats but they work excellent! And for a couple bucks you've got a set of balls. Then you can get regular tennis balls as final loads to complete the ensemble!

-Bryan
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 2, 2008 08:10PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 21:08, Bryan Gilles wrote:
Strapped for cash... Try the little tennis balls from a pet store. They usually have catnip scented ones for the cats but they work excellent! And for a couple bucks you've got a set of balls. Then you can get regular tennis balls as final loads to complete the ensemble!

-Bryan
[/quote]

I've tried three pet shops, none had mini tennis balls. And my PF cups can't take a tennis ball anyway.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 2, 2008 09:14PM)
You need to try either PetSmart or Petco. Or try this link:
http://www.dogtoys.com/tennisballtoys.html .
Or this one http://www.petsmart.com/family/index.jsp?categoryId=2767084&f=Taxonomy%2FPET%2F2767084&f=PAD%2FBrands%2FAir+Kong&fbc=1&fbn=Brands%7CAir+Kong&fbx=0
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Nov 3, 2008 03:57AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 18:30, MagicByUriel wrote:
Keith, I feel the same way. As I said before the reason I posted this to get constructive criticism, not to impress magicians. I'll leave that to Kent.;)
[/quote]

The last part of your post was mean. Kent is very modest as a person: it's the incredible quality of his routine that impressed all of us. Your line however demonstrates that when someone is sharing great magic rather than pushing his ego (and everybody has one), he gets recognition and fame. How many magicians try and "sell" themselves and remain in the shade...? Isn't there a lesson here?
One honor himself to give credit where credit is due: do you think that I'm not a bit jaleous as well not to have come with a routine as good as Kent's when I worked along the same path but for 50 years?
Let's praise him rather than trying to discretly scratch him.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Nov 3, 2008 04:02AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-02 20:53, MagicByUriel wrote:
I have made them with steel ball bearings. They were a nice size, but I only had leather shoelaces to work with, and leather creates friction.

Here's a picture of the first one I ever made, not the best shape but you get the picture - http://img146.imageshack.us/my.php?image=dscn1383nt9.jpg
[/quote]

This looks great to me: they don't roll all over the place and will not look out of place in a Bosco or fair's magician type of routine. They only need to be worked with to gain a bit of patina. Have you tried wetting them (they tighten) and then oiling them lightly
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 3, 2008 06:39PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-03 04:57, Lawrence O wrote:
The last part of your post was mean. Kent is very modest as a person: it's the incredible quality of his routine that impressed all of us. Your line however demonstrates that when someone is sharing great magic rather than pushing his ego (and everybody has one), he gets recognition and fame. How many magicians try and "sell" themselves and remain in the shade...? Isn't there a lesson here?
One honor himself to give credit where credit is due: do you think that I'm not a bit jaleous as well not to have come with a routine as good as Kent's when I worked along the same path but for 50 years?
Let's praise him rather than trying to discretly scratch him.
[/quote]

I didn't mean to be mean. I just meant my routine is a pretty basic routine with nothing really unseen or amazing. While Kent's has many elements that fooled me (a fellow magician and cupper), and I loved his routine for it! It was simply a small joke, but if anyone was offended I apologize. My apologies to Kent as well.
Message: Posted by: bobn3 (Nov 4, 2008 09:19AM)
Frank Starsinic has some nice ones on his site.

http://www.theambitiouscard.com

Bob Phillips
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Nov 4, 2008 12:20PM)
Positive: You have most of the technical aspects down very well, and Mameh seemed to really enjoy the routine.

Negative: Bill Palmer is spot on when he mentions the redundancies in your patter, but you also need to eliminate the non sequiturs and nonsense. The way you kept changing the justification for "eliminating" the balls [near the end] was particularly cringe-worthy. You've spent plenty of time practicing the sleights - now go spend some time writing a coherent script. If you take a moment to watch Dai Vernon here:
[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpC4fvrdiUk&feature=related]Classic Dai Vernon C&C[/url]
You will see that the verbal part of his performance was nearly perfect. He understood what to say and when to say it; even [i]some[/i] of his "stumbles" are intentional, sending the spectators minds in the direction he wants them to go.

One last thing I would say about your patter is this: try to eliminate the word "now" from your speech altogether. You won't be able to - even Vernon used the word a bit too much - but if you make the effort you will at least reduce it to a palatable frequency. Currently you seem to use it to fill space, much like an "um". A few years ago when I was directing a young magician's rehearsals for an international magic competition I tried several different ways to eliminate "now" from his patter. The one that finally worked was for me to yell out "WHEN?" every time he said "now". It worked, and became ingrained in both of us (apparently), because as I watched your video I found myself constantly wanting to yell "WHEN?" at the screen.

My one other critique would be this: I was also surprised when you revealed a large load in the middle of the routine. The fact that it is surprising, however, does not necessarily make it a good thing. The most important thing about the Cups & Balls is the final loads. Prior to that point the magic is interesting, but not startling - since the cups are big and the balls are small enough to easily hide in your hand(s). The reveal of the three large balls is the natural climax of the routine, and the fourth ball (if used) is the "kicker".

Anything you do to warn them in advance of the ending can only be seen as a "spoiler". When you produce the one over-sized ball part way through the routine - but then revert to using small balls for several more sequences - you do two things wrong. First, you've weakened the subsequent small-ball sequences because they just saw a larger ball appear out of nowhere, and [i]that[/i] magic eclipses any small-ball moves you've got left. Second, you've weakened the big finish by giving them a poorly-timed preview of things to come.

In the above linked performance Vernon says: "They used to judge the skill of a magician by how well he performed this trick", and he was right about that. Perfecting the moves and sleights of the Cups & Balls is only a small part of the battle, and there is a lot more education about the art of magic to be learned from this time-honored "trick" than just how to load and steal balls.

TW
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Nov 4, 2008 03:51PM)
Mr Wayne,

Thank you for your post.
It has given me a lot to think about.

Tom
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Nov 4, 2008 05:00PM)
Uriel,

I commented on youtube, on your routine. I have little to add to the comments given here. You have a sequence you can call your own. That alone would please this old man. You've practiced mightily, we can all see that.

I too struggle with saying too many words. Write a script. Put it on cue cards and have a family member change them for you. Alternatively, there are many teleprompter programs you can download from the internet.

Please keep us posted. I, for one, expect great things from you!

I was joyous to see a magician wear a kippah!

KG
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 4, 2008 06:52PM)
Uriel:

Here's a hint. Record your script. Then practice along with the recording. By the time you have done it about 2 dozen times, it will be very smooth. By 100 performances, it will be as slick as deer guts on a doorknob.
Message: Posted by: Eddie Torres (Nov 4, 2008 07:00PM)
Deer guts on a doorknob? Yuck! I just recently did production of Godot which is massive lines and that's how I learned'em. Recorded every word. It works!

Eddie
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 4, 2008 08:06PM)
I did the same thing with Taming of the Shrew.
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 4, 2008 08:07PM)
Thank you Thomas for that very informative post!

And thanks to anyone else who took the time out to watch my routine and give me all the valuable advice.
Message: Posted by: MiketheMagicDude (Nov 5, 2008 12:53AM)
I may be being crass here...
but what exactly is new and improved about this?

this is about as generic a c&b routine as they come.
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Nov 5, 2008 01:08AM)
Mike,

Yup, you're being crass. It's OK though!

Uriel himself says,

"I just meant my routine is a pretty basic routine with nothing really unseen or amazing."

He's doing a sequence he found, on his own. The moves may seem generic to you. I think many magicians become jaded. It is easy to be jaded about tricks like the cups and balls. Tricks that have volumes of material written about them are especially difficult to come up with truly original material.

Uriel showed up here, asking for advice. Some darned knowledgeable guys gave him solid feedback. This is good stuff.

Originality is great, rare but great. Solid, well-rehearsed material will kick originality square in the arse 9 times out of 10.

Uriel is probably still in his teens. He posted a routine comprised of elements he probably learned, on his own, with the help of videos and books. This, in the days of magicians, his age, posting youtube videos of pure unadulterated crud magic, is itself noteworthy.

So . . . new and improved, his routine is not.

Relegating his efforts to being, "about a generic c&b routine as they come" was a little crass.

I like crass. I just think Uriel deserved exactly what he got here: Some honest feedback. I, for one, liked what I saw very much. I see promise!
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Nov 5, 2008 09:51AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-05 01:53, MiketheMagicDude wrote:
I may be being crass here...
but what exactly is new and improved about this?

this is about as generic a c&b routine as they come.
[/quote]
This is Uriel's second video attempt. It may not be "new" to you, but it's definitely "improved" for him.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 5, 2008 09:54AM)
Mike:

You came in "in the middle of the movie." Maybe Uriel will send you a link to his first routine.
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Nov 5, 2008 11:21AM)
I am new to C&B and reading all the replies to this post is scaring me off.

Patter is a rather difficult thing for me because of my deafness, therefore it is going to take a lot of time for me to find something that works.

It would help me a lot if I knew what other C&Ballers were saying, this would give me helpful ideas to create my own patter. I feel like I am sitting in the darkness without knowing what is going on.

Oh well life goes on.
Have fun folks!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 5, 2008 11:24AM)
That must be difficult. On the other hand, there is nothing that says you can't perform it silently. Teller did in his original Renaissance festival act.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Nov 5, 2008 12:05PM)
Tommy Wonder had a beautiful (silent-to-music)- though brief - C&B-type routine that sometimes
preceded his Orange, Lemon, Egg and Canary performances. While not a complete C&B by any means,
it might be a great piece from which to draw inspiration.

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFqLvPaQOsQ]Tommy Wonder[/url]

And here is another favorite silent-to-music C&B from Jason Latimer:

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9ie6Tfa_zI]Jason Latimer[/url]

TW
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Nov 5, 2008 12:32PM)
Arthur Trace has created a routine with bells and clappers where the "sound" moves as well as the balls. He frames it as a psychological ploy to mess with our senses, and as such he wears ear muffs to protect himself from being deceived.

I can imagine something similar (not too similar, after all it is [i]his[/i] routine) maybe where the audience is similarly misdirected by noises they hear that you don't.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 5, 2008 01:42PM)
TW... nice to see you back posting...
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 5, 2008 06:41PM)
To MiketheMagicDude, as Dave said this is my second video of my routine that I put together. The first one can be found here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQl9gT4R2BI

And to Kent, that you for those words of encouragement...