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Topic: Cups and Sponge Balls Question
Message: Posted by: bobrains (Apr 1, 2009 11:09AM)
I am in the process of teaching my 10 year old daughter a simple cups and balls routine. She is fairly adept with sponge balls so I thought it might be a good idea for her to use sponge balls in her cups and balls routine instead of the normal crocheted balls.

In my 25 years of doing magic, I'd never tried to do a cup and ball routine with sponge balls and I immediately upon trying it myself found that it was not going to be as simple as I thought.

The problem seems to be that the sponge balls have a tendency to grip both the sides of the cups and the close up mat as the cups are moved. I'm just curious if anyone out there does cups and balls with sponge balls and how you contend with this issue.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 1, 2009 11:22AM)
I like hard balls for the reason you state, plus it makes it look that much more "impossible" if the balls aren't compressable.

You might want to check out Carl Andrew's "Table Hopping Cups and Balls" DVD as he uses sponge balls in his routine.

In most routines, there's very little need to move the cups around. Are you doing something like a "shell game" move and shuffling the cups around? That can work to your advantage with sponge balls as you probably already learned, the balls tend to "squish" out the back of the cup and if positioned properly, right into your hand. It maybe a bit too tough for a 10 year old so you might just be better off with the standard "one ahead" stuff.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 1, 2009 11:47AM)
There are a number of routines using sponge balls. Fred Kaps, Johnny Paul, Laurie Ireland and others. But they are specialized in handling. It would make more sense to learn with the crochet or baseball style balls. This would give here two different routines. One a cup and ball routine, and a different routine with the sponge balls.
Message: Posted by: Billgussen (Apr 1, 2009 08:30PM)
Have you considered a benson bowl routine instead? It uses many of the same concepts of Cups and Balls, but it's made for sponge balls. Check out Pat Page's sponge ball DVD for the basic routine.

Bill
Message: Posted by: FunTimeAl (Apr 1, 2009 08:36PM)
You may enjoy watching Dante work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR3XHPKQ57Y
Message: Posted by: lint (Apr 2, 2009 12:29AM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-01 12:09, bobrains wrote:
The problem seems to be that the sponge balls have a tendency to grip both the sides of the cups and the close up mat as the cups are moved. I'm just curious if anyone out there does cups and balls with sponge balls and how you contend with this issue.
[/quote]

Welcome.
Both of these problems you are having with your sponge balls in a cup routine are considered a wonderful advantage to some workers. Checkout the reading material others have posted.

-todd
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 2, 2009 02:40AM)
There are some DVDs on the cups and balls that are part of the Greater Magic video library. One of these features Johnny Paul, who took advantage of this particular characteristic of the sponge balls. He learned to manage it.
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Apr 2, 2009 07:37AM)
It seems that Joe Berg, according to certain sources, might have been the first one to introduce the sponge balls into the C&Bs. There is however debate over this statement from the book written about Joe Berg. Bill probably knows better.

Dick Biow also has a very solid routine with sponge balls which is aside from all the beaten paths
In fact I think that his routine is the most original starting point to build a personal routine (with or without sponge balls.)

Possibly both Pete and Bill would agree with me that Antonio Romero's routine is one of the most achieved C&Bs routine ever designed with sponge balls.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 2, 2009 11:29AM)
It's really hard to say about Joe Berg's statement. Unfortunately, Joe passed away before I had a chance to discuss this aspect of his book with him. However, he was, at least, an early pioneer of sponge ball work of all types, as was Laurie Ireland.

Laurie Ireland's book on cups and balls, which is still available from Magic, Inc. has a wealth of good material on working with sponge balls and cups. The third routine, which according to the book [i]Ireland's Original Cups and Balls Routines[/i] was published in 1937, is one of the earliest published cups and sponge balls routines.

Even at the advanced age of 72, it's a viable routine!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 2, 2009 11:37AM)
Anatonio Romero's routine is unquestionably way ahead of any others. I have been studying his DVD on the subject and he really has some advanced thinking in his routine.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 2, 2009 12:14PM)
That is absolutely true.
Message: Posted by: lint (Apr 2, 2009 01:03PM)
Is there a video anywhere of Antonio's cups routine? I have yet to see it but keep hearing how wonderful it is.

-Todd
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 2, 2009 02:43PM)
There is a DVD. He had them at WMS and I believe he gave some to http://www.stevensmagic.com to sell.

Posted: Apr 2, 2009 3:50pm
Stevens doesn't list it. But email 'em and ask. Otherwise get hold of Rafael Benatar. I tried a google on Romero but there seems to be a musician in Spain with same name.

Believe me... it is a MUST SEE.
Message: Posted by: pabloinus (Apr 2, 2009 02:53PM)
Carl Andrew uses sponge balls with his 2 cups routines and he thinks it has an advantage versus the regular balls.
He has a DVD that is inexpensive and the routine is very nice. At the end he has a sponge ball routine that could also be of interested for your daughter.
Message: Posted by: lint (Apr 2, 2009 04:22PM)
Thanks Pete, is it an instructional DVD or performance only? My understanding is it is a clear cup routine right?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 2, 2009 04:33PM)
Romero uses a single clear glass with paper cover and one ball. Suddenly there are two balls, and a snap of his fingers and a 2nd cup flies up off the floor and he catches it and now does a 2 cup 2 ball routine. A 3rd ball appears and again another cup flies up off the floor to give him 3 cups. Some nice transpositions color changes of balls etc. and a really off-beat fooler of 3 final loads.

I GOTTA GO IN AND WATCH THIS AGAIN. I GOT MYSELF EXCITED JUST THINKING ABOUT IT.

Yes it shows performance and EXPLANATIONS and even earlier performances to show you how the routine changed over the years.

A MUST FOR ANYONE EVEN MODERATELY INTERESTED IN CUPS AND BALLS.
Message: Posted by: lint (Apr 2, 2009 04:44PM)
Wow.....that sounds astounding.
Message: Posted by: Rafael Benatar (Apr 5, 2009 07:28AM)
Here you are:
http://www.themagicworkshop.com/
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Apr 5, 2009 08:00AM)
There's also a "freebie" here which might giveyou a few pointers bobrains.
http://www.cupsandballsmagic.com/Articles.html

Bri
Message: Posted by: Bapu (Feb 7, 2012 02:51PM)
[quote]
On 2009-04-01 12:09, bobrains wrote:

The problem seems to be that the sponge balls have a tendency to grip both the sides of the cups and the close up mat as the cups are moved. I'm just curious if anyone out there does cups and balls with sponge balls and how you contend with this issue.
[/quote]

If, perchance, some soul stumbles across this old thread in search of a response to the original question, the simple answer is...

Do not use a close up mat with sponge balls. Use a smooth hard surface like a wooden table. It works for me. No kidding.

A close up mat helps prevent balls or loads from "talking" beneath "empty" cups.

Sponge balls do not "talk". They don't even whisper. Hence, no need for a close up mat. You can perform almost anywhere without the need of a special mat. Not recommended for outdoor performances though!

Using 1 1/2" or 2" sponge balls lets you transition back and forth from regular sponge ball manipulation, to cups & balls, to multiplying sponge balls.

Quite versatile really.

Plus, sponges in these sizes are quite showy.

True, the compressibility of sponge may seem suspect...but frankly...so what? Everything we do is suspect.

Knock 'em dead with your presentation and final loads and let 'em explain that!