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Topic: Charlie Miller cup penetration What do they think?
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 8, 2008 05:00PM)
****DISCLAIMER*****
I'm talking about the single penetration. Not the traveling down the stack move.
Yes, I know it's been a part of many effective presentations.
I understand the proper timing.
I know to keep the ball in motion, at the reveal.
Yes I am completely jaded, and understood the mechanics the first time I saw it.

Question:
Is the move magical for the spectators? I do it as a throw-away, in order to get at a hidden ball. But short of it's utility purpose, I don't think I'd use it. What do spectators think about it? I can't recall ever hearing gasps, or seeing jaws drop. Do they believe some supernatural powers cause solid to pass through solid? Or just that the ball is cleverly dropped behind the cup somehow?

I think part of the problem I'm having with it is if I were to pass a ball through a cup, I wouldn't do it any way resembling that move.

Are we fooling ourselves thinking it looks like magic?

-jaded in Detroit
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 8, 2008 05:28PM)
If you hve doubts, don't do it. However if it works as a transition within a routine use it.
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Nov 8, 2008 06:12PM)
I agree with Pete.
That being said I have never had a spectator question it and if they did I had the option to do it again with a different technique that shows the ball gone from the dirty hand. It is in David Williamson's book.
Utility move...What are you talking about was my first thought. I went through the move a few times and as a utility move it is not as good as other moves out there.
As a magical pentetration shown as it is for what it is ...it is fine.

All parts of the cup and balls are a means to an end and all of them have artistic value that may not be readily apperent during your routine or even during your practice sessions but can become apperent when you perform regularly.
The unexpected breeds quick thinking, experience forges a routine.
Mobius
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 8, 2008 06:16PM)
Maybe this is more a "Food for Thought" question.

I do find it useful. I don't [i]think[/i] that it detracts from the routine. I'm just wondering if anyone remembers it appearing magical, or just [i]tricky[/i].

NOTE: Written before Mobius' reply.
Message: Posted by: MagicByUriel (Nov 8, 2008 06:20PM)
Personally, I don't use it and don't like it either for the same reason you do.

But I do use the mechanics of what the hand does as a false transfer for my mini cups and balls routine.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 8, 2008 07:19PM)
[Okay. The kids are in bed. Now I can address Mobius]

[quote]
On 2008-11-08 19:12, Mobius303 wrote:
...I have never had a spectator question it...
[/quote]

I doubt that anyone has [b]ever[/b] had a spectator question it. It is usually done quickly, and incidentally. But in isolation, would it stand on it's own? I realize some are content just to play with their balls, as a set-up for the kicker. But, many phases can be magical.

[quote]
...a different technique...is in David Williamson's book.
[/quote]

I love Williamson. But to the spectator, the handling appears the same. I don't question if they think that a single ball and a solid cup are employed. My question asked if the spectator thinks "...that the ball is cleverly dropped behind the cup somehow?" So having a clean hand at the conclusion is of no matter.

[quote]
...as a utility move it is not as good as other moves out there...
[/quote]

Actually, what got me thinking of making this post was Ammar's written explanation of his opening sequence. His stated reason for doing the move was that he needed access to a hidden ball.

Michael is a very thought out performer. And his use of a penetration, right in the middle of a production sequence, made me think he didn't consider it to even be a distraction, much less a jaw dropping effect.

[quote]
As a magical pentetration shown as it is for what it is ...it is fine.
[/quote]

I agree. But, performed to perfection, would it ever be more than just fine?

[quote]
All parts of the cup and balls are a means to an end...
[/quote]

Ultimately they are a means to an end. But I prefer to have meaning before I get to that end.

Best,
-Josh
Message: Posted by: Terry Holley (Nov 8, 2008 07:41PM)
I have doubts about it and have never used it.

I raised a question about other parts of the routine one year ago at:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=228635&forum=115

Terry
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 8, 2008 07:59PM)
Very few moves of this type stand alone well. Do you think the wand spin vanish works well as a standalone item? Or do you think that it works better if you have it in the context of a routine?
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 8, 2008 08:36PM)
The wand spin is better in a routine, of course. But it is very magical in isolation. I have heard gasps when I do it. I seem to recall the Miller bit getting polite smiles.

Bill, does the Miller move seem 'magical' or 'tricky' to you?


Terry, That's funny. I didn't mean for this to turn into a Charlie Miller bashing party. I have quite a few C&B references, and have not run into the moves you questioned. So apparently they were either held tightly as a pet secret, or not thought to be that great.
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Nov 8, 2008 10:42PM)
Josh,

Real men use neither the Miller move nor hand-to-hand transfers in their routines. :)

Seriously though, if you don't like a particular move because you think it is obvious to even casual observers, DON'T use it.

If you don't believe in the efficacy of the tools you're using, your audience won't either.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 8, 2008 10:53PM)
The relative magical value to trickiness ratio of the Miller move depends on a lot of factors. I've seen people do it where it looked very magical. I've seen people do it where it looked exactly like what it was.

Kent is right. If you don't like a particular move, because you think it is obvious, don't use it.

You have to believe in EVERYTHING YOU DO when you are performing. That's part of acting.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 8, 2008 11:04PM)
I haven't used it in a while. I was just wondering if anyone recalled the first time seeing it. And if it appeared magical? I've been doing this stuff since I was 4, so a lot does seem obvious to me. I wasn't sure if I was too inside to see the magicality. I'd hate to discard a perfectly good move because of my honed perception. I wouldn't do a final load or a top change if that were the case.

I do use the hand to hand transfer when doing the Cups & Glowing Red Pieces of Coal. ;)
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Nov 8, 2008 11:18PM)
When I saw it the first time the mechanics was obvious. So I don't use it at all. I will only use moves I believe in and not because it is a transitional phase so I can steal or load a ball.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 8, 2008 11:29PM)
Thanks for the input everyone.

I don't think I'll use it as-is, again.

I think it would be funny if someone at a magic convention used a bottomless cup, to fool the pants off of those in-the-know.
Message: Posted by: JamesTong (Nov 9, 2008 01:20AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-09 00:29, Josh the Superfluous wrote:
I think it would be funny if someone at a magic convention used a bottomless cup, to fool the pants off of those in-the-know.
[/quote]

That is a good one. I would be fooled too.
Message: Posted by: dcjames (Nov 9, 2008 09:58AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-08 23:42, kentfgunn wrote:

If you don't believe in the efficacy of the tools you're using, your audience won't either.
[/quote]

Well said Mr. Gunn!

[quote]
On 2008-11-08 23:53, Bill Palmer wrote:

You have to believe in EVERYTHING YOU DO when you are performing. That's part of acting.
[/quote]

Right you are Mr. Palmer!

(Wish I'd have read this before replying to Gunn's comment... Could've answered both at once.)
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Nov 9, 2008 11:22AM)
Someone..whose name now escapes me ....used a half or 1/4 bottomless cup for their routine where they could still stack the cup with a ball on it and yet effect a penetration with or without cover. it was a very interesting routine. I just happened to be sitting in the right spot to see what what was going on.
Mobius
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 9, 2008 11:29AM)
I'd do the wand through cup gag, using the normal method, very poorly as a convincer.
Message: Posted by: ilmungo (Nov 9, 2008 11:36AM)
I started in magic at the ripe age of 30 (sigh...), 90% of what I do is cards, and therefore cups and balls routine, especially at the beginning, used to fool the pants off me. However, the Miller penetration was immediately transparent to me the first time I saw it. In fact, it provided proof that an extra ball was being used.

It doesn't really matter that it [i]looks[/i] magical: in the right hands it certainly does. But there is only one possible explanation for it to a reasonably smart spectator, and it happens to be the right one. Now, if one could show the "dirty" hand empty...

Cheers,
Luigi
Message: Posted by: sleightly (Nov 9, 2008 01:10PM)
This raises an interesting question: what is the best context for a move?

I have performed both the Miller penetration move and the wand through cup move in my one cup routine for almost nineteen years. I performed the routine as many times as eight to ten times a night at least three times a week for eleven years (two venues). You do the math...

That being said, I find both moves extremely convincing done on an off-beat with an appropriate sell. YMMV.

First, the wand through cup. Incredibly visual and nonsensical. Most performances end with audiences recovering from the load and then diving for the wand and cup (even though it happened three minutes before). It consistently gets a "I get how you might have sneaked those limes in without me noticing, but how the hell..." reaction. Analysis: blown away by loads, but appreciate the deeper mystery of the penetration.

Speaking of penetrations, I use the Miller penetration after the revelation of the first load (and before revelation of the second). "How did this get there? The trap door. I told you about that right? See, if you drop the lime, it goes right through..." I do the move, reloading the top lime under the cup. I then place "the lime" on top of the inverted cup and wait for the invariable, "it's not going through". Then comes the "that's because this one is getting in the way".

There are two basic premises ("premii?") in my routine, that there is a trapdoor in the cup and that anything placed inside becomes invisible. The whole routine is about proving that those concepts are valid, and both pieces are used in a very direct, visual and magical manner that reinforce the argument...

If an audience is engaged in a reasonable "dialogue", method "doping" is put on the backburner, and audiences are engaged in play that is satisfying on visceral and emotional levels (and don't forget just plain fun).

Don't overplay the magical "importance" of the moves, use it to reinforce your presentational hooks and it might surprise you how much audiences react (then again, I think that too often we take, and present, what we do way too seriously).

BTW: my routine was based on several performer's work: Danny Tong, David Roth (yup, that David Roth) and to a lesser extent Steve Dacri. I published it in my limited edition booklet "The Shared Experience" available from me and also from H & R Magic books (only 2 left as of this posting).

Fun discussion!

Andrew Pinard
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Nov 9, 2008 01:25PM)
I've used the ball penetration move, but modified it to make it look how I thought it should look. I essentially did a retention vanish to the top of the cup, lifting the cup for the reveal, a split second later. I tried it at the magic shop, doing a demo of a cheap set of cups for mostly laymen. It resulted in a few four letter words and exclamations, so I must have been on the right track.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Nov 9, 2008 01:48PM)
All opinions expressed are my own...

I hate the move, but then again, I'm not a huge fan of cups and balls penetrations. It's a harder sell than it is other magic genres, since in the cups and balls, it's just as likely that you're doing whatever it is you're doing to make them vanish and reappear under the cup, except that you're just taking distance away from the equation. To put it another way, if you're capable of making a ball disappear from your hand and then reappear underneath the cup, why bother with pretending that it's penetrating just because you touch the cup?

I do think there's potential in stack sequences, but I feel the major strength of them isn't selling the idea of the penetration effect per se, but instead highlighting the fact that the ball appears to move from one cup to another with the magician apparently never having a chance to handle it in the process.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 9, 2008 03:38PM)
Alan, I'm going to play with that on video. That's what I was talking about when I indicated the handling wasn't the way I'd naturally do it.
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Nov 9, 2008 04:23PM)
Josh, I worked to make the move look as if the ball was shoved through the top of the cup with my index finger. Apparently, the illusion looks pretty good when I perform it. The timing of the lifting of the cup is critical - lift at the moment the ball would hit the mat, if it did go through.

When done this way, depth perception is necessary to prove the ball didn't just fall in back of the cup. That's why I think this modification of the move is only suitable for close-up.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 9, 2008 07:16PM)
Many moons ago a very nice move was taught to me by Senor Mardo. Ball is on top of inverted cup. Very rapidly, right hand palm down open flat slams down onto ball, classic P***ing it. Hand comes up slightly so left hand can now slam down onto cup (flat palm) and while left hand is still flat on cup right fist slams down onto back of left hand. Lift left hand ball is gone. This reads cold, but in practice it is a great link move in a routine.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 9, 2008 07:56PM)
Okay, I just tried 3 moves:

Senor Mardo's - Amazingly easy to classic off of a cup. The moves are out of character for me, but I like to know options, especially for a jam. Very stylized, but believable with no practice. I could see someone like Rannie working it in. Thanks for passing it along Pete.

Alan's - Totaly workable. Fits my style. I definitely want to spend some time with this. Thanks Alan.

I also tried Andrew Pinard's use of Miller's move, with a final load. For those of us who find the move obvious, doing it on a larger scale seems more than blatant. He does claim to do the move on an off beat, and not to get caught up in it's importance. So from that perspective I can see where he may be coming from. However, I prefer my tricky bits on the off beat, and my effects on the beat and somewhat important. I'd have to see it in his context, but any approach I could come up with is not for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Andrew. Either you are incredibly talented or delusional. :)
Message: Posted by: sleightly (Nov 9, 2008 11:22PM)
Probably a bit of both... ;O)

ajp

Posted: Nov 10, 2008 1:00am
BTW: Josh, did you try it for laypeople or just for your mirror?

Different strokes for different folks, but you should try it under fire one thousand times before you completely dismiss the reaction... I will admit it's not for everyone (thank goodness...)

Also, I use this routine most frequently as an opener, as it establishes that some wonderful things are going to happen, the most important being that we're all going to have a great time...

ajp
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 10, 2008 12:21AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-09 14:10, sleightly wrote:
This raises an interesting question: what is the best context for a move?

I have performed both the Miller penetration move and the wand through cup move in my one cup routine for almost nineteen years. I performed the routine as many times as eight to ten times a night at least three times a week for eleven years (two venues). You do the math...

That being said, I find both moves extremely convincing done on an off-beat with an appropriate sell. YMMV.

First, the wand through cup. Incredibly visual and nonsensical. Most performances end with audiences recovering from the load and then diving for the wand and cup (even though it happened three minutes before). It consistently gets a "I get how you might have sneaked those limes in without me noticing, but how the hell..." reaction. Analysis: blown away by loads, but appreciate the deeper mystery of the penetration.

Speaking of penetrations, I use the Miller penetration after the revelation of the first load (and before revelation of the second). "How did this get there? The trap door. I told you about that right? See, if you drop the lime, it goes right through..." I do the move, reloading the top lime under the cup. I then place "the lime" on top of the inverted cup and wait for the invariable, "it's not going through". Then comes the "that's because this one is getting in the way".

There are two basic premises ("premii?") in my routine, that there is a trapdoor in the cup and that anything placed inside becomes invisible. The whole routine is about proving that those concepts are valid, and both pieces are used in a very direct, visual and magical manner that reinforce the argument...

If an audience is engaged in a reasonable "dialogue", method "doping" is put on the backburner, and audiences are engaged in play that is satisfying on visceral and emotional levels (and don't forget just plain fun).

Don't overplay the magical "importance" of the moves, use it to reinforce your presentational hooks and it might surprise you how much audiences react (then again, I think that too often we take, and present, what we do way too seriously).

BTW: my routine was based on several performer's work: Danny Tong, David Roth (yup, that David Roth) and to a lesser extent Steve Dacri. I published it in my limited edition booklet "The Shared Experience" available from me and also from H & R Magic books (only 2 left as of this posting).

Fun discussion!

Andrew Pinard
[/quote]

That reads a lot like Johnny Thompson's load sequence.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Nov 10, 2008 12:30AM)
My favorite thing to do is the Miller move and making the ball "grow" as it passes through. It looks pretty cool, but I have yet to figure out a way to incorporate it in my regular routine. Since I have 4 final loads, the first 3 are fruit and I always wait before the last one, and sometimes do this, just as the applause is starting to die down
Message: Posted by: sleightly (Nov 10, 2008 07:51AM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-10 01:21, Bill Palmer wrote:
That reads a lot like Johnny Thompson's load sequence.
[/quote]

High praise indeed.... Now I have to chase Johnny down to get his reactions (you fans of Reel Magic Magazine may recollect my two-part interview with Johnny. We spent three hours together, it felt like twenty minutes... I could spend weeks, months, years soaking up the wisdom).

For those who would like to see the context, I have collected a pastiche of video clips from various venues that illustrate the way I use the Miller move. Some are better than others (video and audio quality), but I think it will give a good sense of how audiences react. Note: the clips range from close-up for a few to parlour settings to theater performances for more than 200 people. Watch the faces and body language of the audience members and you will get a sense of how strong this can play. Granted, I have a different presentational style than most and corresponding goals for the material.

http://www.absomagic.com/videotest/video/millermove.html

It's a shame you won't be at the Yankee Magic Gathering this year Bill... We'll miss you and Carol!

ajp
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 10, 2008 10:12AM)
I wish I could make it. This thing with my brother has got me completely "submerged."
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 10, 2008 11:25AM)
I love "The Bond over the Wall!"
Message: Posted by: Mobius303 (Nov 10, 2008 02:56PM)
Awesome Andrew.
I enjoyed watching your take on it and enjoyed the presentations.
Mobius
Message: Posted by: dcjames (Nov 10, 2008 06:12PM)
Wow! Good stuff Andrew.

Nice to see your application of this move. Your timing is impeccable.

Really impressed by the way you casually prepared the bag for loading while you were pattering about the ball. Shows your experience under fire.

Impressive indeed.

dc
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 10, 2008 08:23PM)
[quote]
On 2008-11-10 01:00, sleightly wrote:
BTW: Josh, did you try it for laypeople or just for your mirror?

Different strokes for different folks, but you should try it under fire one thousand times before you completely dismiss the reaction... I will admit it's not for everyone (thank goodness...)

[/quote]

Andrew, I've done the Miller move with the little ball only a few times for a lay audience. It's not in my current presentation. And before that I did Wilson's or Vernon's routines. And it's not in their's. I only did it with the large loads 2 times for a video camera.

I would never dismiss anything for everyone. I'm just selective for myself.

I've watched your videos, and you are a very good entertainer and magician (The mispronunciation during, and the time delay following the wand spin are very clever). But I don't believe many people fell for the Miller part of the effect. You have so many things going for you, your patter covers it very well, and people are distracted by the lime on the table so they don't follow the second loading. But, I saw some reactions that appeared [b]to me[/b] that they didn't believe the penetration. Some of them appeared to be reaching for the cup to expose the second lime. If I didn't know the secrets, I wouldn't know where the loads came from, and how they get under the cup, but the Miller move would still be very obvious to me.

Re-reading your initial post, I see where you are coming from. In the story context, and your playful presentation it works. My question was, is it magical or just tricky. I feel you present it tricky, but it's fine in the context of the whole.

Thank you so much for posting that video. A lot can be learned regarding scripting, and working under varied conditions. But I'm still not buying that move.

Best,
-Josh
Message: Posted by: sleightly (Nov 10, 2008 09:50PM)
Pete, Mobius, DC and Josh:

Thanks for the kind words... Makes me want to share more of my work with the community (I probably won't though...)

Josh:

I applaud your journey and your desire to be selective. I appreciate the sincere desire you have to explore this topic, and I hope many will reflect on the thread and use the information to help them answer their own questions to improve their performances. I did not mean to be glib when I referred to 1000 performances, I only speak from my personal perspective.

This discussion is really interesting and I think touches on the choices one makes when designing a routine. I think the more choices a performer makes, the better--more refined--the piece. I don't anticipate changing your perspective, nor do I want to. I am, however, very interested in the discussion and sincere effort to find what is "right" for each performer. Not all clothes fit all people, but most performance routines cannot be qualified by only a few trials. I think specifically of one piece in my repertoire which I was certain that I didn't want to do and "could not" do with any amount of personal conviction. After actively avoiding it, I put it into my "working" repertoire for six months. It took a full six months to move into my "finished" repertoire but has become perhaps the strongest piece I do (both magically and "relationally"). Six months is a relatively short time for me... Sometimes I will work on a piece for years before either abandoning a piece (or it abandons me by drifting out of my repertoire).

Some pieces are too "strong" for me to present in anything other than a playful manner. If not properly placed within the larger framework of a performance they can ask too much of audiences such that they are taken out of the "circle of fun" (thanks Don Alan) having a net negative impact on the experience I am trying to sculpt.

I think you raised an interesting question which will have no quantifiable answer. The broader discussion might best be framed as the distinction between "minor" and "major" magic along with a discussion of the performance styles and circumstances needed to reinforce (or engineer) the appropriate response(s).

But, we did start with a specific question (albeit absent context) so...

You make some points which are a matter of interpretation. I would probably agree with you that the move (in and of itself) is not a major mystery. That is one of the reasons I don't (and couldn't) recommend performing only this phase with any expectation of severe "conviction". That being said, I do believe that in the context of a routine it looks very magical. Timed properly, it can be a very strong optical illusion and, reinforced by clean hands and decent technique (coupled with a delay prior to the reveal of the second load), creates a reasonable amount of conviction when reinforced by the verbal suggestion. Most lay audience members cannot and do not interpret the reality (that through the use of two identical objects, a performer can create the illusion of one object penetrating a cup). If audiences are successful at doping that aspect of the trick, then they are fully aware of the method used throughout and can therefore dismiss the entire experience.

One can reasonably argue that cups and balls belongs in both minor and major categories depending on the intent of the performer; personally, I undersell the effect. Perhaps I lack the qualities to make it fall in the major category, perhaps I make the choice to undersell to elicit stronger reactions. This fact reinforces for me the notion that it is not "what" you do, but "how" you do it that is important.

That being said, let's look at conviction and the reactions in the video clips that you cite. I posted the videos so we could have something concrete to discuss. I typically don't share much with other performers in this manner, preferring to keep my work to myself (I give back in other ways). I posted the video clips to provide specific examples for discussion and I'm glad that you took the time to review them.

In my performances, after the "penetration", the hands are clean and as you indicate, the second loading becomes psychologically invisible (my words). I deliberately did not post my entire routine as we were specifically discussing the Miller penetration. If some reach for the cup, my interpretation (reinforced by literally hundreds of discussions with audiences after my performance) is that they are looking for the "trapdoor", not seeking the other lime. This is a cumulative reaction outlined initially by wand through the cup and further reinforced by lime through the cup. In the video clips, people are fairly stunned by the revelation of the second lime. If they "doped" out the penetration, then they would not react in such a manner to the revelation. I also think that, when gobsmacked, most people will literally "grasp for straws", enlisting another sense--touch--to help them eliminate their cognitive dissonance.

I found it interesting how you phrased "distracted by the lime on the table so they don't follow the second loading". In my experience, given no reason for suspicion, most accept what their eyes see and their brain interprets (thank goodness or we'd never be able to do what we do). My first job is to put them at ease so they can experience what is about to come in a non-combative way. This is my style and it prepares audiences to experience a richer, deeper sensation than possible if I set up lots of barriers by challenging them (through excessive claims) to interpret a series of puzzles. I want them to enjoy the "buzz" not "shackle" it.

Do I really want audiences to "believe" that the lime really penetrates the cup? Nope. I don't want audiences to "fall" for anything, but I do want them to enjoy the "play". Do 100% believe that the penetration is legitimate? Nope. Do I care? Nope. When I establish the premises (there he goes again), I plant a suggestion that keeps them engaged throughout and uses the visual "magic" to reinforce the suggestions.

Fundamentally, I strive to create a story in which we all play a part. I am not in control of the story, merely a catalyst. I cannot convince my audiences of anything, only they can convince themselves. The more fully my audiences commit to the story, the more they participate in the experience and we all walk away with an amazing experience that we can share with others.

And that, ladies and germs, is how I pay the mortgage.

Vernon once suggested that audiences are far too polite. He might well have been referring to this move.

As I mentioned before, your mileage might vary.

Andrew

Posted: Nov 10, 2008 11:21pm
Besides, a shared fantasy can be very pleasurable (if you know what I mean, and I think you do).

ajp
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 10, 2008 10:47PM)
Well said, Andrew.
Message: Posted by: Mitch Schneiter (Nov 10, 2008 11:03PM)
Wow. Thank you Andrew for sharing both the clips and your thoughts. A lot to think about. I think the looks of astonishment, and enjoyment, during the penetration move show that it can amaze. Will it amaze all. No. But that can be said for a lot of magic.
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Nov 10, 2008 11:19PM)
Andrew,

It's a good thing that your goal in life is not to sell me on the Charlie Miller move. I doubt based on this thread that David Blaine, Uri Gellar, or Darwin Ortiz will be adding it to their acts as well. But you have brought me some enlightenment on being an entertaining performer. Your thoughts and examples will help shape the way I approach my magic going forward (code for "I'm stealing your patter." ;))

I sincerely thank you,
-Josh
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Nov 11, 2008 10:37AM)
Andrew,

It was a genuine pleasure watching a pro with the chop cup. To see you in repeated performances only served to stress how polished your magic is. I really only get to do my schtick for magicians or their families. To see a real magician knockin' back audiences on their heels with a well-thought-out sequence, practiced and rehearsed to the nth degree: well . . . it made my day!

Sharing those clips rises above the norm. I wish only to approach your level of panache.

Bravo!
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Nov 11, 2008 12:41PM)
Andrew,

Thank you for sharing some of your work with us.
It was a pleasure to watch.

Your clips have made me more appreciative of just how entertaining a well thought out and performed cup routine can be.
Seeing the astonishment on the faces of your audiences has almost proved something that I've thought for a while now.
Although we, as magicians, think of the cups and balls as commonplace, many, many non-magicians have never seen it performed although they may have heard of it.

Once again, Bravo!
Message: Posted by: sleightly (Nov 12, 2008 06:37AM)
Thanks for the kind words, gentlemen...

ajp
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Nov 13, 2008 04:25PM)
Andrew,

Excellent routine! It's rare when I enjoy watching a routine over and over.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Nov 14, 2008 10:32AM)
A few things.

First, for the magicians who are not as deep into the C&Bs as Pete Biro, Bill Palmer or Kent Gunn inter alia, the cup through cup sequence should not be confused with the Charlie Miller move.

The cup through cup is a sequence which exists in the earliest books on the C&Bs and wasn't meant to really be an effect but was a misdirection to conceal that one of the cups was already containing a ball. In modern times, only an early Raphael Benatar routine (not the one translated in English) has been using it for its real purpose. This is probably the reason why there are comments about the context, but such a context for this common visual illusion is rarely established.

Regarding Pete Biro's tip on Senor Mardo's move (published as "the Pounding"), it refers to a very smart move for the ball to get through the bottom of a mouth down cup non covered by another cup. I did many years ago some work on this move and made a variant (without a name) where the ball was also stolen along the way by the (upper at the end of the move) hand which is not closed as a fist but placed flat (with the ball in classic palm) on the other one resting on the bottom of the cup. Both hands are pressed down and briefly stretched, and then the upper hand which was suppposed just helping pressing down, moves away for the other hand (supposed to have pressed the ball through the bottom of the cup) moves up revealing the vanish of the ball.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 14, 2008 11:38AM)
I like that last bit... will try it when I get home and have some cups to use (early next week). Leaving in a few minutes for a weekend trip to Carmel to work on our retirement home!

Posted: Nov 14, 2008 12:38pm
I don't have the video handy, but didn't Johnny Paul also do the cup thru cup to conceal the extra ball?
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Nov 14, 2008 12:35PM)
Pete,
The idea behind this variant of Senor Mardo's move is to have a less violent gesture than the hammering by the right fist over the left hand supposedly covering the ball.
The ball is resting on the bottom of the mouth down cup (a ball secretly under the cup). The open hands get in front of the cup and start moving up slightly arching (allegedly to cover the ball) and with the right fingers overlapping the left ones. The inner side of the left hand at the base of the first finger (about at the level of the second phalanx of the thumb) pushes the ball now screened by the hands almost into right classic palm. Both hands are now heavily arched over the bottom of the cup (the arched left hand is under the right, supposedly covering the ball), the ball is under the right palm but not yet fully inn classic palm position. Both hands flatten wiht fingers spread as for pressing the ball through the bottom of the cup. The upper right hand is tilted forward in order to conceal the diameter of the ball, and the left lays flat, fingers stretched, over the bottom of the cup.
The right hand moves up classic palming the ball for the left to be able to move up and be turned palm up displaying that the ball has gone through the bottom of the cup (flashing its palm) as the right tkes the cup by the side and lifts it up to reveal the ball which was previously under it.
As usual the move must be one fluent and brief unhurried gesture with only a short pause before the flattening of the hands over the bottom of the cup.

I hope that this explanation is clear. I know it looks very different from Senor Mardo's move (and more gentle), but I'm sure that you will recognize the lineage.