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Topic: Cups and Balls Loads
Message: Posted by: m@t (Jul 24, 2003 06:13AM)
I'm bored of using the 'oranges' final loads ala Gazzo and would like to have final loads that are different from most performers.

Do you have any good ideas for final loads?

Here were a few of mine:

- Each cup ends up full of sand.

- Small lemon under cup 1, kiwi under cup 2 and a large apple under cup 3. Then a melon under the hat.

- Action figures

- Small models of London tourist sites(Big Ben, the London eye etc)

Any ideas would be great,

Message: Posted by: kid iowa (Jul 24, 2003 06:22AM)
How about having 3 solid cups? You'd have to get a set gaffed, but sounds like it would play big...I think Paul Harris had something like this (Beenie Weenies?).
Message: Posted by: m@t (Jul 24, 2003 07:36AM)
Yeah, I was thinking of producing a solid wooden fill that was the exact size of the interior of the cups that I could load and show they were solid. I would have to paint the base copper colour.

I was also thinking about loading a stuffed childrens cuddly bear under each cup and then having a empty bowl under the hat and make a joke about Goldielocks having just run away with the porridge. What do you think.

Mat :)
Message: Posted by: Rich Cowley (Jul 24, 2003 12:40PM)
Check out Alex Elmsley's C&B routine as well; I read it in a Pallbearer's Review years ago, but I think he's also included it on his recent video/DVD set.

For a majority of the time, the cups are *mouth-up*; the final load turns out to be a cup (or cup*s*, I can't remember) full of salt!

The whole trick is done on a newspaper, to keep things tidy; after the trick is over, he lifts the newspaper off the table to pour the salt back in to the cups, but *there's more salt than three cups can hold*! :wow:

Even if you don't use his routine as is, it's a great base for thinking Outside The Cup, as it were.
Message: Posted by: m@t (Jul 24, 2003 01:28PM)
Cheers Rich,

I considered using that kinda routine a little while ago but I figure that small particles, sand, salt or sugar could blow in the wind etc.

Thanks for the suggestion Rich.

Matthew :)
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jul 24, 2003 01:37PM)
Probably having different fruit, rather than all oranges, increases the surprise. I think sand sounds great, but I wouldn't do it because it's not so practical. I always thought a glass of wine was very magical. But I've never done it.

Message: Posted by: Frank Tougas (Jul 24, 2003 01:47PM)
Multiple items are always a surprise. Depending on your audience you can use M&M's for kids, Flowers for the ladies, other items might be ball bearings (lots of small ones) For a large single load those horns used on kids bikes and trikes with the rubber bulb if you can find a small squat type in the party stores.

One of our local magicians has a final load after the standard balls, of a cascade of "diamonds" - very impressive.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jul 24, 2003 02:29PM)
I guess my question would be who are you performing for? There are many things I do in my act that I get sick of. But, my audience never having seen it before really loves it.

Oranges are highly visible, too big to have been concealed in the hand (apparently), heavy enough not to blow around, portable enough to lug around, and tough enough to stand up to several days worth of shows.

They are a great final load and 99.9% of the people who see your show will have never seen a table act before. You will be memorable to them, very memorable.

I say stick with the oranges. They work a treat on the street.


Message: Posted by: m@t (Jul 24, 2003 02:29PM)
Sounds very magical. I was thinking about doing 2 oranges then just when the audience are expecting the 3rd produce something completly random such as a potato.
I would then do a few hat lines before showing the melon.

Hows it sound?

Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jul 24, 2003 04:46PM)
It's an interesting idea to not reveal your hat load till your hat line. I would say "a few" hat lines might be stretching it. Timing at this point in your show is critical. I think it may be the most critical timing of the entire show (if you want to maximise your money). I read about one guy who finished his show, then added another comedy bit, and everyone just wandered away because the show was already over. He killed his hat. Watch the timing.

Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jul 24, 2003 05:00PM)

Sometimes an unexpected surprise can kill a multiple climax. Two oranges and then a potato might not be as good as three oranges. People have to stop and think for a half a second, and that can sometimes kill the mounting anticipation and it's release.

Listen to Danny. Changing something that works well just for the sake of being different is usually not a good idea.

If you do want to do something other than oranges, make it three different things--turnip, potato, fruit--that way there is not created a false expectation that is turned over by a gratuitous surprise that causes the spectators to stop and mentally "stumble" thereby losing the momentum of the multiple climaxes.
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jul 24, 2003 05:28PM)
Great point Whit!

It is like telling a joke and then stepping on the punch line. You deliver the punch line, and the audience is starting to react, and before they fully "get it" and respond, WHAM, you start off another one.

Flow and Timing is everything.

And changing something because you are tired of it, is certainly your right. After all, it is your act. But frankly, I prefer to let the audience tell me when to change it up.

I also fully agree with Danny as the Oranges are big and visible and seem too big to be "hidden". So they remain a great prop. And if you do a double load with oranges like Gazzo, then you really are rolling. My jaw dropped when I saw the second set of orange loads in his perfromance. One set was good, the second was flat out amazing. As a perfromer, he set the bar, then raised the bar, and then with the hat and melon, he really dropped the boom!

If you have a reason to change, then change. Or, if you always perrrom before the same people, maybe that is a reason to change it up ocassionally.

But I say, if it aint broke, don't fix it.

Message: Posted by: m@t (Jul 25, 2003 09:13AM)
There are some really good points here. I completly understand what Whit has said about the unexpected surprise killing a multiple climax.

I will probably try a few things out to see which works best in my act. Im not confident enough to do the double set of loads although this looks amazing the times I have seen it done.

Thank you all for the great suggestions,

Matthew :)
Message: Posted by: RandomEffects (Jul 27, 2003 10:41AM)
Try to find a theme with your loads. I am always a big fan of my magic "Making Sense" (if such a thing could be said.). I usually do my street act work for a Major League Baseball team, so my cups and balls routine uses the 1/2" mini baseballs for most of the routine. for the final cups loads I produce six 2 1/2" Baseballs from the cups ala gazzo's oragnes and for the final load a 1' Jumbo baseball from the hat.
Originally i used the melon as the final load but it did not have the same effect that the Jumbo ball does. Like whit said:
"Sometimes an unexpected surprise can kill a multiple climax. Two oranges and then a potato might not be as good as three oranges"
While the melon worked, keeping a good theme works well and will amaze them ten times more.

BTW M@T- The second set of loads is the easiest load in the world. They are so amazed by the firt three that I could load a pygmy elephant into a cup without them noticing.

Message: Posted by: m@t (Jul 27, 2003 11:09AM)
LOL- I guess so. I have just never had the guts to try the 2nd set! I will work on a theme and tell you how it goes. :)
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Jul 28, 2003 04:43PM)
Gee, I've been using three large rubber balls with metalic finishes on them (get them at Toys R Us for about $1.95 per.

Many people in the audience actually think they ARE ball bearings and really lose it, especially when I do a fast 3-ball juggle (1 pass only, I'm a lousy juggler)!

The ones I use are Silver, Red and Purple and look just like ball bearings, only bigger - they barely fit into the cups!

Then, while they are boggling at them, I load the BAG into the center cup, do the Cardini rollup move (cover of Magic a few years ago), do the juggle, put them down and go into the revelation of the BAG under the middle cup.

Plays REALLY well, if I do say so, myself.

With thanks to Jos Bema for the bag idea, even though we have never met.

Lee Darrow, C.Ht.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Jul 28, 2003 07:26PM)
I use Gazzo's cups and instead of oranges use baseballs.

4 baseballs and a large softball.
However I'm switching over to a 'small' soccer ball with the final lines...

"Audience, watch the magic happen. (reveals) But if baseballs not your game, maybe you'll like (hat reveal) soccer."

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: Ryan Anthony (Sep 11, 2003 02:28AM)
I've been using different color rubberband balls. You can custom make them to barely fit in your cup.

Take care,
Message: Posted by: Patrick McKeever (Sep 11, 2003 04:52PM)
I won't argue with either the oranges or baseball loads. They have been the favorites for greater magi than I.

Well...maybe I will. This is just my thing, but I always thought there was just a bit of monotony generated by the same loads.

I use three different loads as others have suggested, here. Lime, turnip and potato. I think there is opportunity for building comedy as a different surprise is produced from under each cup. This may seem like a small point, but, to me it adds to the effect. Occasionally, for a kicker, I will produce an orange that is too large for my cups (my cups are smaller than Gazzo's). Your fingers cover the orange as it is held against the bottom as you pound the bottom of the cup with your open hand. The orange appears to be forced out of the cup. If you have never tried this, it gets a great reaction.

I have a balls to hat routine in which I produce a coconut. It just seems so incongruous that it has a strong comedic effect. If, after draining the milk from the coconut, you let the meat inside dry out, you can then scrape it out from the drain hole. Now the coconut becomes very light in weight.

P.S. Michael Ammar has some great rubber fruit. Very realistic. Saves a lot of trips to the market.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Sep 11, 2003 07:19PM)

The only problem with the Fab Fruit by Michael Ammar is it's designed to be used with JP Cups (or similar sized cups).

Using FF in the Gazzo Cups just isn't a consistent size.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: Patrick McKeever (Sep 12, 2003 10:23AM)

You are right about the fruit being fitted to the smaller cups. I will probably eventually buy a set of the Gazzo-size cups for the street but frankly, my smaller set has proven effective in the street.

The bulk of my work is private and corporate parties and hospitality suites where I load from my pockets. The smaller fruit works better when working from pockets.

As I said before, I prefer a different surprise under each cup along with the comedy lines that accompany them.

Just my thinking on the subject.

Having said this, there is still a lot to be said for the shear size of those oranges.

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 12, 2003 12:38PM)
Hey it is your act, you can load anything you want... whatever works.
Message: Posted by: Patrick McKeever (Sep 12, 2003 02:11PM)

I'd load alligators if I could get them in the cups.

I'm surprised nobody has mentioned baby chicks.

I used to load a bowl of goldfish during a balls and hat routine, when I had the luxury of doing a sitdown act. It was a real pain. Now I use a coconut, which I have adapted to the street. The coconut ain't as strong but it takes little caring for and is a lot more practical.

By the way, what do you use for loads with your Hindu cups?

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 12, 2003 06:56PM)
With the Hindu cups, believe it or not, two-inch sponge balls...because I segue into the sponge balls in hands of speckies.

Speaking of "loads," the how and when is key. Today I saw a whole new time and way to load cups at the Magic Castle. A great routine too that was done by Reed McClintock.


And his small linking (some call 'em Ninja) ring routine is DIFFERENT and awesome. I told him, "You gotta put that in print or on a DVD." He agreed.
Message: Posted by: Reed McClintock (Sep 21, 2003 09:03PM)
Hi Pete,

Thank you. They seemed to get a great reaction from everyone.

I have just finished typing up the routine and will be selling it very soon. I also included the ring on wand routine in the manuscript.

It was great to have been able to spend some time with you in Hollywood.

Reed :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Sep 21, 2003 11:23PM)
Likewise Reed...Sorry I couldn't slide over to the Coinvention. I hope you nailed a few of the locals. :spinningcoin:
Message: Posted by: Twisted_Reality (Sep 27, 2003 03:52PM)
The potato production is one ala Penn and Teller and I must say I have used it and received a big reaction, however, the one I have used and found works for an ending is the production of three small phones being produced.

I patter about the cups calling and end to the show and then re-produce the original three balls and pack them away.
Message: Posted by: m@t (Sep 28, 2003 06:06AM)
Three small phones? I have never heard of that been done. Do you mean cell phones or (mobile phones in the UK)?
Message: Posted by: Twisted_Reality (Sep 28, 2003 01:34PM)
Yes, small phonesólittle flip phones, I currently use broken Motorollas but whatever will fit in your cups will work great.
Message: Posted by: m@t (Sep 29, 2003 05:48AM)
He he, may give that a try.

How about producing the three phones then putting them back under the cups and one starts to ring? You try to find which one is ringing, however, it turns out that they have all disappeared. :)
Message: Posted by: nick nickolas (Nov 25, 2003 07:38AM)
As far as I know I am the only guy on the planet using tennis balls. They are lighter and do not go mouldy in your pouch...Nick
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Nov 25, 2003 11:48AM)
Owens new cups are made to take a tennis ball, so I would guess you may NOT be the only dude on the planet using them...


OOOPS, that's golf.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Nov 25, 2003 12:21PM)
I practiced with tennis balls a bit, but the dogs liked 'em too much, and they would turn up wet and slimey from time to time so I got some hand-sewn bean bag soccer balls that are the same size.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Nov 28, 2003 11:49PM)
On 2003-11-25 08:38, nick nickolas wrote:
As far as I know I am the only guy on the planet using tennis balls. They are lighter and do not go mouldy in your pouch...Nick [/quote]
Maybe the only guy in Australia, but not by any means the only guy on the planet. My final load for the Stubby cups was tennis balls. I still have a couple dozen of them.

BTW, Wal Mart has a special box full of two dozen "smiley face" tennis balls for a very low priceóless than 10 bucks, if I recall correctly.

Also, any cup that will take a baseball will usually take a cricket ball.
Message: Posted by: Tantrik (Dec 1, 2003 03:28PM)
I faced the problem of the three loads in a different way. Specifically, how do you make each revelation bigger (in impact) that the previous one?

The first can simply be something different. A larger ball works fine.

The second item can be a much large object, something that fills the cup.

The third one was a problem. What I ended up doing is this: while people are looking at the second revelation, I lift the third cup with one hand and put it on top of my other hand which is palming a ball so big it won't fit in the cup. With misdirection, I make it appear that this ball has fallen out of the cup. Then I say, "My only question is, how did that ball get in their in the first place?" and I put the cup on top of the ball, showing that the ball can't fit.

It's been a great conclusion and I've never had anybody "figure out" how the larger ball fits into the cup. You should see them trying to press that ball in or look for ways to make it compress!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 3, 2003 10:33PM)
These are all very creative. There is much good thought here.

I'm not mentioning the following as a substitute for any of these, but I thought I needed to post this discovery somewhere, and this is as good a place as any.

I was in a store that sells linens, etc., and other home supplies. Among their offerings were some balls for dogs to play with. These look like tennis balls, but are made of solid rubber. They are also quite colorful. If weight is not a problem, they might make good loads.
Message: Posted by: nick nickolas (Dec 4, 2003 09:21PM)
OK, not on the planet...I meant on the street...

Also, I have done a pint of beer as the hat load but got messy a couple of times so sometimes I just do the big glass and say, "If you saw me do this in a pub, you'd buy me a drink wouldn't you? Well here's my glass!"
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 4, 2003 10:21PM)
That's a great hat load. Robert Hummer used to do a foaming glass of "beer" from a hat at the end of his busking routine in bars. The beer was not actually real beer. It was a mixture of vinegar with a bit of soda to produce the "head."

In a very un-Hummer-like attempt to prove that it was real beer, he would drink the whole thing down. It may have been what caused his death. He died of a stomach ailment, according to Crandall, who was one of his close friends.
Message: Posted by: nick nickolas (Dec 7, 2003 06:16PM)
Also a theory I had was if I produced a full glass of beer, why would they give me money for a drink when I already had one in front of me? So empty glass was in...

Also, I used real beer and would start to get quite ***** after a few shows.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 8, 2003 02:37PM)
On 2003-12-07 19:16, nick nickolas wrote:
Also a theory I had was if I produced a full glass of beer, why would they give me money for a drink when I already had one in front of me? So empty glass was in...

Also, I used real beer and would start to get quite ***** after a few shows.


That was the same reason that I dropped the Miser's Dream from my Renaissance Festival act after the first day that I used it. Why should they put money in my hat if I could pull it out of the air?
Message: Posted by: DwightPA (Dec 8, 2003 05:24PM)
As a final load in my pocket chop cup routine I use a yellow "smiley" ball, and was following it with a second one commenting how much more magical it was to get both those balls in the cup and then stacking one on the other in the cup. I have lately used a ball obviously too large for the cup as the second final load and have found that by focusing the attention on the smiley sitting on the bottom of the cup, I am able to easily cover the large ball with the hand holding the cup.

Dwight Powell
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 19, 2003 04:13PM)
Just the other day I found a baseball the size of a cantaloupe in one of our local sporting goods shops. This cries out to be a hat load.
Message: Posted by: Yogibear0925 (Jan 15, 2004 09:06PM)
If your cups and balls routine is the end and you are performing for tips you might consider this idea.
Make your final load a small money bag, and then take the money bag and demonstrate with a smile how to put money in the hat. Hope it helps. :magicrabbit:
Message: Posted by: rannie (Jan 24, 2004 11:35AM)
My final load is a shot glass. Then I switch my cup for one that has liquid in it, while all eyes are on the shot glass. When applause subsides I stare at the shot glass, look at the audience then pour whatever liquid I have in my cup.