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Topic: Appeal of the Chop Cup
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Feb 8, 2011 10:34AM)
Generally speaking, do you find that Chop cup routines are easier for your audience to follow, compared with 3 cup routines? I realize that a lot depends on the clarity of the routine itself but I'm wondering whether a single cup and a single ball (?) have a way of concentrating the mind and vision in a way that is more difficult to achieve in most three cup routines. I don't perform with Chop cups at all so I don't have any personal perspective on this question.

......And just why do some of you prefer the chop Cup over the more conventional 3 cups setup? Is it for the reason suggested above, or is it because of other things like portability; better for tight performing spaces; better control over your props, etc. ?

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 8, 2011 10:53AM)
Paul Daniels and Don Alan certainly thought so. My preference is a BOWL routine, over the chop cup... I get more fun reactions with it.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 8, 2011 03:15PM)
I like it because I can incorporate other things (like the shot glass and silk that Ron Wilson used) whereas I feel doing that with a three cup routine would muddy the effect and make it more complicated...unless of course it was routined properly. I wouldn't necessarily say that the concentration is better with the chop cup - it just allows me to focus the concentration on different aspects while still using the cup and ball.

I know a lot of restaurant workers use chop cups (my good friend Mike being one of them) because of the portability and the small amount of room it takes up on a table.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 8, 2011 04:50PM)
I like a chop cup routine, because it gets to the punch line quickly.
Message: Posted by: Eddie Torres (Feb 8, 2011 09:13PM)
Agreed! With three cups it's just like "okay... I get the point, the balls move around a lot magically. What else ya got? Oh... more balls moving around... thanks". With the chop cup its more like "Okay... I get the point, the balls move around a lo--- whoa! where'd that big ball come from!?".
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 8, 2011 09:24PM)
Don't discount the three cups routines. They have a place. [b]HOWEVER... keep them easy to follow and understand. That is one of the reasons the Vernon routine has lived so long.[/b]
When the routine gets complicated, you lose your audience... and me. :cups:
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 8, 2011 10:17PM)
Absolutely true.
Message: Posted by: J.Warrens (Feb 8, 2011 10:57PM)
I like the clarity achieved with just 1 ball and 1 cup. As has been mentioned already, it does pack lighter and gets to the payoff a lot quicker.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Feb 8, 2011 11:51PM)
Right now, I'm using a variation of the Scotty York cup routine. 1 ungimmicked cup, 3 balls. All moves are very similar to C&B workers, the only thing I'm doing differently is I use a wand for the vanishes. Gets great reactions.

Pete, I had to go back and read your post a few times. I thought you said that the 3 cup routine was one of the reasons VERNON lived so long. LOL!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 8, 2011 11:55PM)
Probably was.
Message: Posted by: Donnie Buckley (Feb 9, 2011 08:59AM)
IMO, I don't consider the two tricks equivalent anymore than an Invisible Deck routine is the same as a Brainwave Deck routine. They are two different effects.
One cup, with one ball that inexplicable travels back to the cup, is not the same as three balls moving between and thru the cups. It's just not the same trick.
Regarding the merits of each, I like a chop cup routine because it moves faster to the punchline, BUT a good cups and balls routine can move pretty quick too and is just as magical, and probably even more unexplainable, because it's THREE times the surprise. I can't say I prefer a chop cup routine over a cups and balls routine.
Cups and balls routines get a bad rap for being dragged out too long because there is such a wealth of material the performer can choose from, so it benefits a magician to learn a good cups and balls routine, study the sleights required and design a routine that is clean and magical, but not repetitive. Some of what you will learn is applicable to the Chop Cup, but not all.
And mini cups travel just as well as chop cups do and a good mini cup routine, with a deceptive loading technique, is very, very magical to an audience.
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Feb 9, 2011 10:38AM)
Agreed that cups and balls, chop cup and bowl routines are all different effects with similarities within the routine. As far as whether the chop is easier to follow, depends upon the routine. All your magic routines should be easy for the audience to follow or impact is lost or diminished. A more complicated routine is made easy to follow and packs more of a wallop through "pointing."

Personally, I like the chop cup because it cuts to the chase, is magical, involves spectators and finishes with loads creating surprise and grand magical effect.

Also love presenting a bowl routine and cups n balls. They all have their place.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 9, 2011 07:08PM)
Don Alan did the Chop Cup, a Bowl routine and "The Darker Shade of Malini" (big load of coal under a hat) [b]ALL IN THE SAME SHOW[/b]
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 9, 2011 09:45PM)
Then there are pieces like Mendoza's three cup routine that lasts what, 30 seconds? Brilliant timing and those final loads hit you almost as soon as the trick starts. That right there is proof that the length of a routine isn't in the props, it's in the routine itself.
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Feb 10, 2011 05:44PM)
Nothing wrong with thinking like Don Alan!
Message: Posted by: pepka (Feb 11, 2011 12:42AM)
Just watched Don on Youtube from the 80's doing chop cup on That's Incredible. Quick, to the point, easy to follow, and big surprises. The perfect magic trick
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 11, 2011 01:32AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-10 18:44, inhumaninferno wrote:
Nothing wrong with thinking like Don Alan!
[/quote]

You just have to stop at the point where you are pinching other people's material and calling it your own.
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Feb 11, 2011 07:35PM)
Mr. Palmer you speak an obvious truth that is too often sadly overlooked. Claiming originality for a copied effect is pitiful.

Don Alan's chop cup opener was a picture of economy and effect.

Frank Everhart Sr. performed both a chop cup routine and a bowl routine in his bar sets that finished with large loads.

Two fantastic performers with very different styles that killed with their versions of these effects.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 12, 2011 10:05AM)
I just revisited the Don Alan routine again...I love the moment at which the female spectator picks up the cup at the end to reveal the second load. I don't know if that was how it was intended to play (perhaps someone else can speak to that) but it's a wonderful ending.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Magic (Feb 12, 2011 10:11AM)
Don Alan ia gone. Does it matter if you do his routine?
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 12, 2011 10:14AM)
Is that a serious question?
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 12, 2011 10:22AM)
I like to open with the chop dice cup - because it is faster and draws the audience in. Then close with the cups and balls.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 12, 2011 10:26AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-12 11:11, Dr. Magic wrote:
Don Alan ia gone. Does it matter if you do his routine?
[/quote]

It that's a serious question, perhaps you should explain what you mean by it.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 12, 2011 11:11AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-12 11:22, bishthemagish wrote:
I like to open with the chop dice cup - because it is faster and draws the audience in. Then close with the cups and balls.
[/quote]
I've thought about doing something like this but wasn't sure...do you ever find that it's overkill to have two separate routines with cups in the same set? Or perhaps using the dice provides enough difference?
I'd like to do something with a leather chop cup for an opener as well, but I don't know how I'd feel about sacrificing my cups and balls routine to do the chop cup instead.

Bill - just tell me what to do. I'm tired of having to think on my own. Grad school makes me do enough of that already.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Feb 12, 2011 11:22AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-12 11:11, Dr. Magic wrote:
Don Alan ia gone. Does it matter if you do his routine?
[/quote]

The term "Magic Vulture" comes to mind if I read you correctly.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 12, 2011 11:42AM)
There is no more wrong with doing Don Alan's routine than there is with doing the Vernon cups and balls routine, the Symphony of the Rings, a routine with a Svengali deck, or anything else that was invented, published, sold or used by any magician who has passed away.

If anyone has such a ridiculous idea, then apply it to music. It would be wrong to play anything by Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, John Philip Sousa or any other dead composer or artist.

Is the proximity of our art to fantasy causing brain damage in some of our performers?

Inquiring minds want to know.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 12, 2011 12:00PM)
The Don Alan routine was marketed. So, buy a version.

What bothers me is around 40 years ago I purchased Harold Sterling's Short and Long Rope and do it to this day. But there are hundreds that saw someone do it, never bought it, and do it.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Magic (Feb 12, 2011 12:08PM)
Elvis is dead, but he didn't write his own material ( his name appears on one song ). Anyone can do material he performed ( Bill Palmer, your Texas brothers, ZZ Top, did Viva Las Vegas ).

Big Momma Thornton did Hound Dog before Elvis. Does that mean he shouldn't have recored it? Was he a 'vulture'?

My question about the Alan routine was a serious one. What's wrong with using it since he's gone?
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Feb 12, 2011 12:57PM)
On a different level, for some, using other people's ideas is wrong. Are we breaking any laws? No we're not. Are we dishonoring the memory of great magicians, who have moved on to that close-up room in the sky? I don't think so.

By copying the works of another we limit our own performances. You can buy the Racherbaumer book on Don Alan; "In a Class by Himself". Jon Racherbaumer breaks down most of Don Alan's best known performances. He does a detailed analysis on how and why Don did every move. The level, to which, the Alan routines are broken down is astonishing. If you were a dedicated copyist you could undoubtedly mimic everything Don Alan did down to the smallest detail. You'd have a large selection of great magic tricks to astound any lay audience.

These tricks don't belong to you, just because you bought the book from some other guy on the Café for twenty bucks. Don Alan spent his life honing and perfecting these tricks. Much of what worked for Don Alan won't work well for you. Your personality and your very self is a different person. You'll end up a jaded hack, unable to find the real magic that's inside of you.

Slydini's magic has also been copied interminably. Slydini's students who put their own unmistakable stamp on his ideas and thoughts are some of the strongest magicians out there. Bill Wisch instantly comes to mind. Bill (who I saw lecture when I was a kid and who I got to hang out with, 'cause I know his kid, is as good as anyone!), takes Slydini's approach and has created his own signature effects and style.

When starting out in magic, studying and learning classic effects, like the chop cup, as done by the masters is a great step. Once you've done that, to truly progress I feel you need to add your own touches and ideas to the skeletons left us by the greats.

You've every right, legal and otherwise to perform effects published. It doesn't make what you're doing right for magic. We don't need a bunch of people emulating Gazzo with his routine. They're out there by the dozens. Gazzo probably doesn't give a rat's behind. I don't care either. It's simply limiting those performers who can only see magic as the result of the work of other people. Memorizing patter, mocking the movements is a beginner's path. If you've been using someone else's routine for twenty years and you haven't appreciably changed the moments, patter and timing, I think you're robbing yourself and your audiences of the greatest thing you have to offer; yourself.

So, to those who are trying to become Don Alan, Dai Vernon or Gazzo; carry on. Make a living off the backs of the greats. No one will remember you when you're gone because you have not added to the art. You've sucked some of the life out of it instead.

KG
Message: Posted by: Dr. Magic (Feb 12, 2011 01:01PM)
Gazzo DOES care about people using his material, even the marketed ones.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Feb 12, 2011 01:06PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-12 13:08, Dr. Magic wrote:
Elvis is dead, but he didn't write his own material ( his name appears on one song ). Anyone can do material he performed ( Bill Palmer, your Texas brothers, ZZ Top, did Viva Las Vegas ).

Big Momma Thornton did Hound Dog before Elvis. Does that mean he shouldn't have recored it? Was he a 'vulture'?

My question about the Alan routine was a serious one. What's wrong with using it since he's gone?
[/quote]

These performers paid royalties when they covered others songs. It's different from lifting someone else's routine because you are being lazy.

I think that Bill might be the wrong person to argue with relating to copyright, royalties and the music business....

As for coyping Gazzo, I have seen people doing his stuff line for line. It stinks because they are not Gazzo and you will be able to perform your own material better than anybody else ever will.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 12, 2011 02:12PM)
This is why I treat the patter included with a trick in the same way I treat a set of IKEA directions - a quick glance and then I set it aside. Not to say that you can't learn some interesting things and be inspired by what someone else wrote, but why use the same script? Why do the exact same routine? How does that advance anything? This is why seeing the Vernon routine for the hundredth time does nothing for me, and the thousands of magicians doing his routine ruined it for me by the time I actually saw VERNON do it. When I was first starting out, I didn't know who Dai Vernon was so that wasn't the first place I went to look for material. By the time I got around to it, I was no longer impressed, and sadly to this day, I don't think the Vernon routine is anything spectacular. Sue me for thinking it, but unlike many, I don't list it among my favorites. Had I seen it when I was first starting out, perhaps it would be different. I know that historically it's important. I know it has inspired many to do great things. I wouldn't dare take that away from it, and I would give anything to see it done live by Vernon himself. I don't, however, care to see a hundred different regurgitations (is that a word?) of the same thing.

I think if you're doing what Tom Mullica does with his Red Skelton show - a genuine tribute to one of your heroes, that's one thing. He has the blessing of Red's family and he does it to honor Red. If you're doing a routine as an honor to someone you look up to, I think that's fantastic. I'm working on something like that at the moment; it's a fun project. But if you're doing it because someone has already done all of the work for you, you're just running in place. You're not taking the art anywhere and frankly, it's boring. At least come up with your own patter, change a move or two, use a different final load...do something to cater it to YOU rather than doing what's already been done (and done better.)
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 12, 2011 02:43PM)
It's interesting how people can speak the same language, say basically the same things, and still apparently be arguing with one another.

My remark about "thinking like Don Alan stopping short at the point where you are pinching other people's material and calling it your own" was not about people who perform the Don Alan routine.

You need to understand the background and sources of Don Alan's material to really understand that remark.

Don Alan was to magic as Elvis Presley was to music. He was a stylist, not an originator. The difference was that Elvis' "cover versions" generated income for the people who wrote the original material. Carl Perkins wrote Blue Suede Shoes. He loved Elvis, because Elvis sold more copies of that song in a month than Carl sold in his whole lifetime. And Carl got paid for it. But the material that Don used did not generate income for the originators of the tricks he used, with few exceptions, such as the chop cup, itself.

He pinched "Don Alan's Great Put-on" from Billy McComb. That will give you an idea of what I'm referring to.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Magic (Feb 12, 2011 03:47PM)
Don Allan would go nuts over people using his material, but he took material from others. Just ask Johnny Thompson. Like Mr. Palmer, you have to know the REAL history of some performers.

I write my own material, I just raised the question because many people use the material of others. Think "Dr, Bob" and you'll see someone that takes an entire act from someone.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Feb 12, 2011 05:45PM)
I meant no offence Mr. Magic. When I read your post I saw a vision of Magicians waiting for X to pass so they could steal his act, thus the "if I read you correctly".
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 12, 2011 06:17PM)
Bill: What was "The Great Put On?"
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 12, 2011 07:33PM)
That was the McCombical Prediction. Don called it Don Alan's Great Put-On.

You a volunteer up from the audience. You have six blue cards and six red cards. You show the six blue cards that are all different, and explain that one card will be a prediction of the card the spectators will select from the other group. You show one of these six cards and place it somewhere that the spectators can keep an eye on it, such as a stand, or in the hands of another spectator.

Then you explain that the six red cards are all different. You show them to the audience -- the six cards are all actually duplicates of the prediction card. You miscall them as you show them to the audience. Then you have the spectator select one. You show the card to the audience, and naturally it's a match. You give it to the spectator. Now you ask the spectator to name the card he has "freely selected." He calls the wrong card. After a lot of bickering, you look at the card, and it has, indeed, changed. Then you magically change the prediction to match the card.

It's also done with record album covers, photographs, postcards and paintings.
Message: Posted by: Dr. Magic (Feb 12, 2011 10:05PM)
Billy was a great inventor of magic and illusions. He was funny, kind and generous.

Don was....an angry, paranoid, curmudgeon.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 12, 2011 11:19PM)
I knew both of them. I really liked Billy McComb. The last time I saw him was at the Magic Circle Centenary.

Don was really strange. He would show you a trick and say, "Use this! It's great! Go ahead, use it." Then when you did, he would bite your head off.

Roger Crabtree wanted more than anything to be a great magician. He equated winning close-up trophies with being great. He didn't know where to begin, though. So at one of the TAOM conventions, he went up to Don and asked him what he should do to win the close-up trophy.

Don decided to pull his leg. He told him to work out a certain card trick, and in the middle of it, to have a mouse pop out of a hole in a Derby he was wearing, run around the brim of the hat and duck back into the hole. He didn't figure on Roger's determination. So Roger worked on it for a year. He entered the TAOM convention close-up contest and won the trophy.

Don got his knickers in a twist over the whole matter. "HE WON THE TROPHY WITH [i]MY[/i] MATERIAL!!!" Don was LIVID!
Message: Posted by: 55Hudson (Feb 13, 2011 09:09AM)
Bill - with all due respect to those that have passed - that is a funny story! I am also an active member of a small, but international, car club (MOCNA), and I can't help but see similarities in the passion and depth of opinion with the two organizations. Most interesting are the right/wrong and good/bad discussions. There could be a soap opera or sitcom somewhere in this ....

Hudson
Message: Posted by: Dr. Magic (Feb 13, 2011 10:53AM)
What an incredible story. My wife cam in the room and asked what I was laughing at. Mr. Palmer, thanks for taking the time to share it with us.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 13, 2011 11:22AM)
And just where did the Billy McComb half dyed hank routine come from? I remember listening to the Ken Brooke audio tape and the answer might surprise some. Don't get me wrong I liked Billy McComb, and have great respect for Billy McComb and Don Alan.

My dads act was ripped off by many magicians over the years word for word. A lot of my stuff has been pinched. Jack Gwynne's stuff was pinched by dealers.

It seems that if the magicians is out there performing - they get copied. Some say Don Alan was the most copied magician of his generation.

Just a few thoughts and opinion.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 13, 2011 11:59AM)
I'd heard that about Don Alan before. Interesting stuff...

Looks like more people need to write these things down then. I'd like to go on record right now as saying I invented Triumph in 1998.

That settles that.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Feb 13, 2011 12:15PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-13 12:22, bishthemagish wrote:
And just where did the Billy McComb half dyed hank routine come from? I remember listening to the Ken Brooke audio tape and the answer might surprise some. Don't get me wrong I liked Billy McComb, and have great respect for Billy McComb and Don Alan.

My dads act was ripped off by many magicians over the years word for word. A lot of my stuff has been pinched. Jack Gwynne's stuff was pinched by dealers.

It seems that if the magicians is out there performing - they get copied. Some say Don Alan was the most copied magician of his generation.

Just a few thoughts and opinion.
[/quote]

Sadly Bish, that seems to be the way magicians are, and there are people right here in this very forum who will take your work, work out a deal with and then steal it from under you nose without so much as giving you a mention, and they are thought of so highly too. No, I am not talking about anybody posting to this thread, just a low life with morals lower than a snakes belly, in fact I shouldn't say that, it's insulting to snakes, they are pretty nice creatures.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 13, 2011 12:24PM)
Sadly that's the risk in sharing ideas or performing publicly. It's amazing that some people will steal the work of others like that. Stealing a wallet is one thing - you keep it a secret and don't tell anyone you took it. You just spend the money. Stealing a performance, however, is the lowest of the low. Not only do you take it, but you proceed to go on stage and display it in front of people. It's like walking up to a group of strangers, pulling out the stolen wallet, and proclaiming that it's yours. And to make matters worse, those strangers might even be paying you to see a wallet which you shouldn't have to begin with. Pretty gutsy if you ask me.

And for the record, I didn't ACTUALLY invent Triumph in 1998.
It was '96.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Feb 13, 2011 12:27PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-13 13:24, Andrewzuber wrote:
And for the record, I didn't ACTUALLY invent Triumph in 1998.
It was '96.
[/quote]

That's the last time I perform my card stuff in front of you! :rotf: :rotf: :rotf:
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 13, 2011 01:42PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-13 12:22, bishthemagish wrote:
And just where did the Billy McComb half dyed hank routine come from? I remember listening to the Ken Brooke audio tape and the answer might surprise some. Don't get me wrong I liked Billy McComb, and have great respect for Billy McComb and Don Alan.

My dads act was ripped off by many magicians over the years word for word. A lot of my stuff has been pinched. Jack Gwynne's stuff was pinched by dealers.

It seems that if the magicians is out there performing - they get copied. Some say Don Alan was the most copied magician of his generation.

Just a few thoughts and opinion.
[/quote]

Read Billy's book, and you will know EXACTLY where it came from -- [i]25 Years the Wiser[/i].

The difference between Billy and Don was that when Billy used material that came from someone else, he let you know. Don believed that once he did a trick, it was HIS and nobody else had the right to use it.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 13, 2011 01:56PM)
The more I read about it, the less appealing Don Alan seems to me.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Feb 13, 2011 02:04PM)
[quote]
Read Billy's book, and you will know EXACTLY where it came from -- [i]25 Years the Wiser[/i].

[/quote]

There's a few hidden gems in that book (I have never been able to find the fishing reels he mentions though...)
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 13, 2011 03:03PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-13 14:42, Bill Palmer wrote:
Read Billy's book, and you will know EXACTLY where it came from -- [i]25 Years the Wiser[/i].

The difference between Billy and Don was that when Billy used material that came from someone else, he let you know. Don believed that once he did a trick, it was HIS and nobody else had the right to use it.
[/quote]
I have read it - Listen to the Ken Brooke audio tape and I think it tells a different story.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 13, 2011 04:47PM)
I won't bother looking it up, but trust me. I did a variant of the half-dyed silk waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay before I heard of Billy's version IT IS IN THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SILK MAGIC, credited to Loyd Enochs. I still have the special dye tube Enochs sold with it. Then took it out and revived the routine when McComb published his version. Dyed my own silks, and on one trip to Japan found a silk merchant with solid red, solid white and half red/white and bought a dozen sets. When McComb lost his I gave him a couple of these sets.

I don't recall the Ken Brooke tape (I have it somewhere) but I recall sucker silk being a Frank Lane idea. Ken and Pat Page had great routines with it.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Feb 13, 2011 05:00PM)
I have the Ken Brooke version, the tubes are really small but they work beautifully.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 13, 2011 05:36PM)
Is it half dyed or just the sucker silk version?
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Feb 13, 2011 06:05PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-13 14:56, Andrewzuber wrote:
The more I read about it, the less appealing Don Alan seems to me.
[/quote]

There are a great many magicians whom will disappoint you when you learn more about what they're like in real life. It can be really frustrating. It doesn't get much better if you know them in real life, and they're sweethearts, and their magic stinks.

Just focus on their roles in magic. Bill's analysis of Alan being a stylist is insightful. There's a lot to be learned in studying him through that filter.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Feb 13, 2011 06:25PM)
Sucker Silk Pete.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 13, 2011 07:15PM)
I hear you, Andrew. Pete Biro is a nightmare to be around. ;)

In all seriousness, I've been lucky to meet some very impressive, VERY friendly people in magic (including Pete.) It's one of the things I like about this that bugs me about working comedy clubs. A lot of the comics I've met (and usually the NOT so famous ones) are horrible, obnoxious people to be around. On the other hand, you'll be hard pressed to find a friendlier place in town than Dean Dill's shop on a Wednesday afternoon.

That's why I've decided to work on being a horrible, obnoxious magician. Not just passive aggressive, but flat out mean. I think it'll suit me well.
Message: Posted by: inhumaninferno (Feb 14, 2011 04:18AM)
This thread has morphed into something else...

Regarding "...pinching other's material and calling it your own", there are two operative phrases at work. "Calling it your own" is a lie. "Pinching other's material" is theft. If I rightly purchase a publication of the routine or am taught the routine by the originator, then I have a right to do it-no theft there. "Calling it my own" is still a lie. The lay audience does not care about either of these...they just want to have fun.

As previously mentioned, if you continue to do someone else's routine (that you have rightly acquired) without replacing anything that is "you" then you are doing a disservice to yourself and to the art.

A tribute is a different story. Both Frank Everhart, Jr. and myself here in Key West present "Sam, The Bellhop" pretty much as taught to us by Sr. and present it as a tribute. Though Sr. made "Sam" famous and his name was on it even when the effect was marketed...Sr. was the first to admit he did not invent it. Sr. bought it-for a drink-yet, he made it his own and gained fame within the world of magic for that effect.

Staying on topic, I stand by my likes for presenting the chop cup and bowl routine as previously mentioned.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 14, 2011 07:23AM)
If I remember right - the Ken Brooke audio tape talked about the trick - I think it was called Circus silk - or something like that.

When I started doing close up my closer was the chop cup. Then I added the cups and balls and the cups and balls became my closer - and I started doing chop cup with a dice cup. And the dice cup became my opening trick and it has been this way for about thirty years.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 14, 2011 11:00AM)
The Northern accent may have sounded like "CIRCUS" but what Ken did was "SUCKER SILK". Bish, your PM is not "ON" can you PM me with who Ken mentioned as the creator? I can't find my audio tapes.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 14, 2011 11:07AM)
Glenn - that's exactly the info I was looking for (in terms of doing a chop cup and a cups and balls routine in the same set.) Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 14, 2011 11:26AM)
It's very difficult, if not impossible to discuss the chop cup without mentioning Don Alan. And once Don comes up, so does the rest of his baggage.

Regarding pinching other people's material, my opening line was pinched by a number of magicians, some famous, some infamous, some with no fame at all. That's why I trademarked it.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 14, 2011 11:43AM)
Wait, you're telling me I can't say "Hi everybody, I'm Bill Palmer" at the beginning of my routine???
Back to the drawing board....
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Feb 14, 2011 12:00PM)
Smart move that Bill.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 14, 2011 05:44PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-14 12:00, Pete Biro wrote:
The Northern accent may have sounded like "CIRCUS" but what Ken did was "SUCKER SILK". Bish, your PM is not "ON" can you PM me with who Ken mentioned as the creator? I can't find my audio tapes.
[/quote]
Ken mentions him in the Ken Brooke book to - if I remember right. I think I sent my audio Brooke tape to David Charvet a few years ago. Now that you mention it I think it was sucker silk.

Cheers.

Posted: Feb 14, 2011 11:46pm
As I have said many - many times I knew Don Alan for many years. He was my Dads (Billy Bishop) friend for many years and later he became my friend. Over the years I have heard many stories about him not all of them good. As many are and were very jealous and envious of the success Don Alan had on television and in the business world as a performer.

In my opinion Don Alan added to just about every trick he performed. His adding to the chop cup was his style his routine - and in my opinion he took what was a stand up trick at the time and performed it at the close up table. I am not at all saying that he invented this idea. But he sure did it on TV in this way - on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to the Merv Griffin show, That’s incredible, Bozo's Circus and many more. And then there was also Don Alan's Magic Ranch.

No I do not think that Don Alan hung the moon. However lots of people say that so and so pinched some material or a line. And from my own experience some pinch much more. I have to say Don Alan never pinched anything from me - I have sessioned with him and he did like and want to use my ideas for the DieNamic Diamonds and my stack of coins. And I did make him up the sets and gave them to him back in the 80's.

As a side story on the Ken Brooke tape there is a story I think that Ken Brooke had about saying that the Chop cup would make a great cabaret trick. And how a lot of magicians laughed at him. Then he said that Paul Daniels was doing it in a show that night as a cabaret trick in his act.

I found that interesting because my dad - years ago told me that Chop Chop did it in his act "as a stand up trick".

Just a few more thoughts and perhaps opinion.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 15, 2011 02:48AM)
Actually, Don did the chop cup standing up when he worked trade shows. He had a method for getting the loads that was quite simple. I saw him do it at least a half dozen times at the Offshore Technology Conference.

One of the problems tracing what Don did or didn't do is that the chronicling of his life in [i]In a Class by Himself[/i] has a lot of misstatements in it. Some of this was complicated by Don's Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's was the one thing Don feared most. His father had it, and Don watched him turn into a raging madman. Don told me that his father attacked him with a knife one time. That's bad news.

One of these days, I'll put the real story of "Clyde" on the forum here. It's interesting, and it involves a bunch of Don's friends. It is NOTHING like what is in the above mentioned book. I know this one for certain, because I'm the guy who showed him the trick, and I made the deck he used on "That's Incredible!"
Message: Posted by: David French (Feb 15, 2011 05:55AM)
Hi Bill,

Seems this thread has turned into a Don Alan one. Very interesting stuff. May I ask a question? I would imagine when Don Alan did his chop cup standing his loads came from his table. I see that he used a "box on a tripod" from the Stevens tape.

If you are at liberty, can you confirm this? I ask as I do the same thing...again stealing from the master.

thanks,

David
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 15, 2011 08:10AM)
Actually, Don Alan did the chop cup sitting down at a table - at more shows that I can remember - seeing him do it when he performed, as I was there. He may have performed standing up at a trade show for small groups - but performing standing up at a trade show close up - is "very" different than performing it "stand up" as an encore trick in a night club as my dad saw Chop Chop do many years ago.

I have performed my chop cup standing up for most of my life - malls - street magic - trade shows - restaurants - however I have only used it in my stand up act a few times.

Just a few thoughts and opinion.
Message: Posted by: David French (Feb 15, 2011 08:33AM)
Bish,

Exactly. I was refereing to trade show work. I noticed on the Stevens tape that he is working a trade show with a "box on a tripod" I imagine that is where he kept his loads. On the same tape is a picture of him on the Ed Sullivan show, working behind a podium of sorts. Again, I imagine, his loads were in the podium.

Just curious about this.

Thanks for the thoughts, I love these stories.

David
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 15, 2011 09:09AM)
Yes I remember the "box on a tripod" well. Don Alan was a pro so he worked it out where he could still do a lot of his material standing up with a crowd around him. When doing a trade show I think that it is better and easier to gather the crowd (barking) if the performer is standing. Standing performers are more visible to the audience.

On occasion he did use the "box on a tripod" at hospitality room shows (sort of like trade shows) but most often he would sit at a card table like table and do magic. Don Alan did not like to "walk around and do walk around magic". I remember doing a show with him on the boat the "Star of Chicago" with Terry Veckey. I walked around - he sat down at a table like card table and let the audience come to him.

He liked to load from the lap and the box - not his pockets. When he sat down he carried the loads and bowl and hat in a small black bag (like a Doctors bag) and set it between his legs so he could bring the load to his lap when he reached for the props - under cover.

His lump of coal - later the big nut - ball barring were way to bulky and heavy for pocket loading. And I talked about this with him at great length - he also did not like the bulky feeling of the loads in the pockets and thought that it made many performers look like their suit did not fit right.

When I was working on the timing of loading for my first cups and balls routine - He helped me work out the timing.

By the way my dad saw Chop Chop do the chop cup in a "Night Club" as an encore to his night club act.

Just a few more thoughts as I remember them.

Cheers!

Posted: Feb 15, 2011 10:29am
By the way the Ed Sullivan show was a vaudeville style show. My dad was on it when it was called toast of the town. According to the story I was told they did not know about close up magic or how to tape or film or broadcast close up magic. If I remember right the "sitting down" performer doing magic while sitting at a table - and staging it that way came a few years later - if I remember right.

These were the years the older magicians called "club television" and shows like Playboy after dark were on.

I remember talking to Don Alan and my Dad and Jay Marshall about how the staging of magic changed over the years for close up magic on television as television became more intimate. Jay Marshall talked about Al Goshman appearing on the "Tonight show" with Steve Alan.

It is interesting how the staging changed in those years.

Cheers.
Message: Posted by: David French (Feb 15, 2011 09:42AM)
THANKS Bish...great stuff.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Feb 15, 2011 09:45AM)
Thanks for sharing all the DA background stories… I find it very interesting… it’s kind of like the History Channel for Magic.

Bruce
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Feb 15, 2011 10:14AM)
History Channel for Magic, there's a good idea.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 15, 2011 10:56AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-15 10:42, David French wrote:
THANKS Bish...great stuff.
[/quote]
Your welcome. My dad did two spots on the Sullivan show called Toast of the town. Marlo Lewis was the producer of that show. His first appearance was doing the rope tie escape (his trademark trick) with the boxer called "raging bull" (they made a movie about him years ago - the boxer Jake LaMotta I think - the movie was called raging bull) and some tennis pro - that tied him up and covered his hands with a sport coat.

The second he did the dove pan as a lead in to the closing dance routine performed by the Radio city music hall dancers - he produced a cake - it was the Toast of the town anniversary show - the camera cut to the cake close up - then they cut to anther camera - bigger cake - but it looked the same because of the close up - then the dancers jumped out one by one and did a closing number.

This was all done "live" as it was live TV in those days.

My dad came up with most of this as a bit - I remember he talked about this in a meeting he had with Sullivan and Marlo Lewis. After the meeting he went out to Tannens to buy a dove pan for the show that night. The magician behind the magic counter that sold him that dove pan was a very young - I kid you not - Frank Garcia.

My family and I have been trying to get tape of this for years.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: David French (Feb 15, 2011 11:56AM)
Thanks again,

Speaking of tapes. I have all (that I know of) tape and DVD of Don Alan.

any ideas where to get footage of his Merv Griffin and Tonight show apperances?
\
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 16, 2011 07:43AM)
Maybe a magician somewhere made a copy when it was on TV at the time. These things are hard to find.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 16, 2011 10:59AM)
Andrew Solt, in Los Angeles, a production company, owns all the Ed Sullivan shows.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 16, 2011 05:27PM)
About 10 years ago the Solt production company contaced our family for permission to use my dads footage he did on this first aniversary show. However nothing became of it - I have contacted them about getting a copy just for personal reasons however - One day we hope to get footage of his two appearances on that program.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Feb 16, 2011 10:56PM)
Don't know when Don Alan was on the various TV shows. If it was prior to 1975, nobody had VCRs. (Could be off of the dates, that's when I remember first seeing one.) Would've been hard to copy what was going on, onscreen back then.

KG
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 16, 2011 11:51PM)
Some of the guys got hold of kinescopes of the shows, but that was a rare occurrence. Others simply memorized what they saw him do or taped the audio segments.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 17, 2011 08:38AM)
JVC released the VCR in 1976. By 1982 there were 80 million homes with televisions in the U.S., yet only 26.6 percent of those homes had VCRs at the time. In the UK, 100,000 homes had VCRS, thought 70% of them were only renting the units. Part of my dissertation research. See Kent? I TOLD you I was being productive...I didn't even have to Google that.
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Feb 17, 2011 08:50AM)
Andrew,

You forgot that Sony had Betamax out first. Did it come out in '76 as well?

KG
Message: Posted by: BCS (Feb 17, 2011 09:28AM)
I don’t think it was until 1977 that we first started selling Sony Betamax machines on the retail floor to the masses… if I remember correctly they were around $999.00 to $1400.00 complete with simulated wood side panels. We were paid a $10.00 spiff for every one sold plus commission.
There were very few movies to demo with; we would record the “Tonight Show” every night to play the next day. Pioneer then came out with a box that would take the sound and simulate a stereo signal to feed into your stereo system … it and a 27” TV was the start of home theater.

Bruce
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 17, 2011 09:55AM)
Beta ruined my life for a short period when I was younger. When I was little we used to visit a place called Pop and Go Video, where we would rent a VCR and pick out movies. Well half the time I'd see something I wanted to watch (let's say in this instance that it would be The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai starring Peter Weller and John Lithgow) and I would flip the tape over, only to discover that evil orange "BETA" sticker on the back - meaning I couldn't rent it.

That said, I ain't gonna acknowledge that Beta garbage in my research.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 17, 2011 11:00AM)
I have a stack of Beta tapes. Had some converted to DVD but is too $$$$ dangit.
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Feb 17, 2011 11:24AM)
From Wikipedia:

Betamax (sometimes called Beta) (ベータマックス bēta makkusu) is a home videocassette tape recording format developed by Sony, released on May 10, 1975. The cassettes contain 1/2-inch (12.7mm)-wide videotape in a design similar to the earlier, professional 3/4-inch (19.05mm) U-matic format. The format is generally considered obsolete, though it is still used in specialist applications by a small minority of people.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 17, 2011 01:07PM)
And, as usual, Wikipedia doesn't really have it completely right. Beta is still used by a number of television stations for remote videotaping, and in some cases, for editing, although digital is the preferred format now. The recorders are not impossible to find, either. In fact, if I had a big stack of Beta tapes, I would rent or purchase a Beta unit (think pawn shop here) and port them over to a DVD burner.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 17, 2011 01:25PM)
That's correct...as a broadcast journalism major in Los Angeles, we still saw quite a lot of Beta being used, both in our professionally built studio, and at NBC where I interned with the news. You could build a skyscraper with the amount of Beta tapes they had lying around.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Feb 17, 2011 06:07PM)
Interesting how this thread (which I started) has evolved.....3 cups vs. chop cup.....Don Alan.....beta format...we have a real stream-of-consciousness thing going on here! Good stuff........but going back to the beginning, do any of you feel that the Chop cup (and single cup routines) will end up eclipsing the standard 3 cups in popularity? Does it seem to you that that is where things are headed?

Fortasse
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Feb 17, 2011 06:44PM)
[quote]
do any of you feel that the Chop cup (and single cup routines) will end up eclipsing the standard 3 cups in popularity? Does it seem to you that that is where things are headed?[/quote]

In popularity with Magicians perhaps due to less props to port & cost. With the public I doubt one over the other done well would eclipse the other. I do both what I modestly consider well and see no sizable difference in likeability in the publics eyes. I 1 cup when space for 3 is lacking or I don't want to port a table.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 17, 2011 07:41PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-17 19:07, fortasse wrote:
Interesting how this thread (which I started) has evolved.....3 cups vs. chop cup.....Don Alan.....beta format...we have a real stream-of-consciousness thing going on here! Good stuff........but going back to the beginning, do any of you feel that the Chop cup (and single cup routines) will end up eclipsing the standard 3 cups in popularity? Does it seem to you that that is where things are headed?

Fortasse
[/quote]

Even though there are a lot of people doing the chop cup or other single cup routines, single cup routines have been around for a very long time. These single cup routines have had plenty of time to eclipse the three cup routine and they haven't done so yet. So it's really hard to say.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Feb 18, 2011 10:07AM)
Here are my thoughts as to the questions asked, “Generally speaking, do you find that Chop cup routines are easier for your audience to follow, compared with 3 cup routines?”

Yes, I find that generally I get a better response with the Chop Cup verses a 3 Cup routine. Now that being said, here is what I find…

I am by no means a working Pro or what I would consider an amateur (one who performs regularly), I would consider myself a serious hobbyist and Cup Collector. When I perform, it’s when the moment is right usually in a social situation… dinner with friends or business associates. I never force a performance on anyone and when I do perform its 3 or 4 quick tricks of coins and cards finishing with a Chop Cup. I believe that nothing should be drawn out and you should always leave them wanting more. The closing Chop Cup routine is either the standard… is it here or in my pocket, by-play, final load (I feel that this plays better when there are youngsters around or that time wise I am better to hit them with several quick miracles) or a Chop Cup routine that is more structured like a 3 Cup routine, multiple balls, penetration, 2 final loads (used if I feel those watching are more into it and time permits).

When I am home and can control my surroundings (load placements in the table cloth or wearing a sports coat), I will do a 3 Cup routine mostly based on Vernon’s and Mark Wilson’s routines. As I am trying to get more into story telling with my C&B routine; I present it at the end of several tricks as a closer under the premise of wanting to show them some real magic, and I have a story around the Cups, how I acquired them and the magic I have found them to process. I am lucky in that I have many styles of Cups and presentation boxes that I have made for them. When I do this, it is that I am mostly performing for adults or young adults that will listen to the story.

As to the other question, “Do any of you feel that the Chop cup (and single cup routines) will end up eclipsing the standard 3 cups in popularity?” I do not think so, each has its place and used correctly has a purpose to an end. History has a way of repeating itself and I believe that Cups could go out of popularity for a time like they have before.

By this, I kind of see magic happening much like it did in the 70’s (and I hope that I make sense in what I am about to write). In the 70’s magic went through a phase of casualness with the influence of Doug Henning and his clones. Now I see a trend of magic being presented as freakiness and pow, here is a trick along the lines of Chris Angel and David Blaine (not that there is anything wrong with this)… just another form of casualness getting away from classic standards and the use of standard props. Even around the time of the publishing of the book Greater Magic, Cups had seemed to fall out of favor… at least for a while.

I do believe that as younger magicians progress or as young hobbyist stay with magic, that they will eventually discover the Cups and Balls... when one is into something passionately, it seems that one will always investigate its roots. In my industry, I see this all the time with those younger than me showing interest in jazz, classical music, tube amps and turntables as they get older (I am in the consumer electronics industry).

Thanks for letting me ramble,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 18, 2011 12:17PM)
Well said.
Message: Posted by: HerbLarry (Feb 18, 2011 12:49PM)
[quote]
I do believe that as younger magicians progress or as young hobbyist stay with magic, that they will eventually discover the Cups and Balls[/quote]

Never thought of it that way. For me they, the Cups, were at the beginning.
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Feb 18, 2011 01:43PM)
I did a chop cup routine I learned as a kid. Pretty standard stuff.

I never got as good a reaction from it as when I did the cups and balls. It probably wasn't the chop cup's fault!

I've always been entranced with those pictures in the Dai Vernon Book of Magic. That white-haired guy with those three beautiful cups. The storied history of the trick, brought out so well by Ricky Jay, still brings a tear to my eye, every time I watch it. Seeing Paul Gertner show his love for his home town by ringing the routine so well is real magic to me. Watching the suave and sophisticated Michael Vincent tell his tale is simply amazing.

Even watching Don Alan do his routine simply doesn't do it for me on the same level.

Three cups good, one cup . . .

KG
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Feb 18, 2011 02:39PM)
Recognizing that there are exceptions to every rule and that generalizations are dangerous:

I think that a 3-cup cups & balls routine is a fantastic piece of entertainment for a group. The opportunities for interactions with a group are second to none. However, a 3 cup routine plays less well with a very small group - but this is where a Chop cup routine comes into it's own. With a handful of people, a Chop cup routine is extremely powerful. Of course, for strolling magicians, the ability to carry a small number of props is a huge advantage and single cup routines are much easier done in the hands than multi-cup ones.

Richard
Message: Posted by: BCS (Feb 18, 2011 02:57PM)
Pete… Thanks.

Herb… I am probably generation or so behind you, so I can relate to your beginnings… the youngsters I was writing about are some of the newer generations that are into the gimmicky cards with bizarre artwork, who try to work their MOB Phones and Red Bull cans into their presentations… the quick shock magic (and some can be entertaining).

Kent… I am with you; I would rather watch a 3 Cup routine. All those that you mentioned made the C&B routines their own (you included). I have not gotten there yet, that’s why I am better at the Chop Cup, I found a presentation that works for me with it.

As to Don Alan’s routine, I can appreciate it for what it is… though I find his persona/show character kind of showoff-ish… no offence meant for DA fans.

Richard… you have given me something to think about… I have never performed the Cups for a larger group.

Thanks,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Feb 19, 2011 10:47AM)
As I said - I like doing both - the chop cup as an opener - and cups and balls as a closer. This has worked well for me for years and years!

Cheers.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Feb 19, 2011 11:56AM)
Glenn - about how long is your set? How many routines do you do between the chop and the cups and balls?
Message: Posted by: Lawrence O (Feb 24, 2011 08:26PM)
The chop cup seems more adapted to restaurant magic. The three cups routines are great for corporate venues, trade shows or parlour magic situations
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 24, 2011 10:48PM)
Funny, I once did a corporate show for a bunch of engineers. Afterward, at the bar, the one that hired me said, "That cup had to be magnetic."
After that I stopped doing the Chop cup and leaned toward the Bowl routine and the three cups.
Message: Posted by: Keith Mitchell (Feb 25, 2011 10:41AM)
What I have learned in the past few years from observing people perform C&Bs Vs. Chop cup all depends on how good a story teller they are!

I wish I had the ability to tell a good story.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Feb 25, 2011 01:31PM)
Hey Keith… Having read about your hearing issues, maybe you could study pantomime to convey a story or actions. Another thought might be coordinating your routine with a partner who can tell a story along with your Cups.

Every time I watch a C&B video I think of your reaction to it… not being able to hear what is being said… I promise if I ever produce a professional video of a performance that I will add subtitles.

I am glad that you are posting again, take care,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: Steven Conner (Mar 2, 2011 09:34PM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-12 12:42, Bill Palmer wrote:
There is no more wrong with doing Don Alan's routine than there is with doing the Vernon cups and balls routine, the Symphony of the Rings, a routine with a Svengali deck, or anything else that was invented, published, sold or used by any magician who has passed away.

If anyone has such a ridiculous idea, then apply it to music. It would be wrong to play anything by Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, John Philip Sousa or any other dead composer or artist.

Is the proximity of our art to fantasy causing brain damage in some of our performers?

Inquiring minds want to know.
[/quote]

If I'm not mistaken, if you are playing in a public facility and charge for the show utilizing commercial music, you must pay fees for the use of the music.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Mar 2, 2011 09:56PM)
If that's true then I know about a thousand magicians who are in some serious trouble.
Message: Posted by: jazzy snazzy (Mar 3, 2011 05:37AM)
Yes, that is true.
ASCAP and BMI have people who regularly visit clubs to be sure that proper royalties are paid.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Mar 3, 2011 08:59AM)
They will also go after stores and phone systems that have background music… even playing a radio in the background has consequences. At work we use on our phone systems some horrible contemporary jazz, recorded special for that purpose as to not have royalty issues… most of this music is recorded in Scandinavian countries special for this use and Muzak.

Thanks,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Mar 3, 2011 09:50AM)
[quote]
On 2011-02-19 12:56, Andrew Zuber wrote:
Glenn - about how long is your set? How many routines do you do between the chop and the cups and balls?
[/quote]
Here is my table to table routine I used to do in restaurants.

Chop dice cup - two or three pick a card tricks using the classic force - matrix (cards and coins) then I would close with the cups and balls.

For a formal close up show it went like this - Chop cup - Card routines (5 0r 6 depending on the audience) Matrix - Ring on a stick - shellgame - Gambling expo and my punch deck routine - Three card monte - cups and balls.

If I need to do more time for the formal show I add - professors nightmare - dienamic diamonds and my anvil coins and hat routine.

I hope this helps.

Cheers.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Mar 3, 2011 05:02PM)
Thanks for the layout, Glenn! Always nice to see what effects people are doing and how the lay out the show. Much appreciated!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 4, 2011 03:24AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-03 06:37, jazzy snazzy wrote:
Yes, that is true.
ASCAP and BMI have people who regularly visit clubs to be sure that proper royalties are paid.
[/quote]
This is generally more often the case with ASCAP. I've been a member of ASCAP since 1996. My dad was a member before that. I remember the night that the ASCAP rep came into the restaurant where I was working and told the manager he would have to pay a fee. The manager asked me "What should I do?"

I said, "Well, you have two choices. You can pay him, and we can do the material the customers want to hear, or you can have us do material that is in the public domain.

He thought ASCAP was something like the Mafia.

[quote]
On 2011-03-02 22:34, Steven Conner wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-02-12 12:42, Bill Palmer wrote:
There is no more wrong with doing Don Alan's routine than there is with doing the Vernon cups and balls routine, the Symphony of the Rings, a routine with a Svengali deck, or anything else that was invented, published, sold or used by any magician who has passed away.

If anyone has such a ridiculous idea, then apply it to music. It would be wrong to play anything by Bach, Chopin, Beethoven, Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, John Philip Sousa or any other dead composer or artist.

Is the proximity of our art to fantasy causing brain damage in some of our performers?

Inquiring minds want to know.
[/quote]
If I'm not mistaken, if you are playing in a public facility and charge for the show utilizing commercial music, you must pay fees for the use of the music.
[/quote]
It's not that cut and dried. Here's the situation.

If you are performing in a school or church, no performance fee needs to be paid for the music.

If you are performing in a restaurant, a night club or other similar facility where music is normally played, your performance is covered by their license. Example -- bands don't pay a royalty or performance fee for the music they play in night clubs. That's covered by the night club. This has been a long-standing arrangement between the musicians' union and the licensing companies.

The exception comes when you perform at a convention center, trade show facility or other public venue that does NOT have an ASCAP or BMI license.

Usually this is handled by ASCAP.

[quote]
On 2011-03-03 09:59, BCS wrote:
They will also go after stores and phone systems that have background music… even playing a radio in the background has consequences. At work we use on our phone systems some horrible contemporary jazz, recorded special for that purpose as to not have royalty issues… most of this music is recorded in Scandinavian countries special for this use and Muzak.

Thanks,
Bruce
[/quote]
Muzak is not recorded in Scandinavian countries. That's part of an old gag. "What do they call Muzak in Sweden? -- The sound of music."

Muzak is owned by Taft Broadcasting. They pay the licensning fee for the music. It doesn't matter where the music is recorded. It is where it is listened to that is covered by the law.

Taft broadcasts Muzak from a group of special facilities in various cities in the US.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Mar 4, 2011 09:08AM)
Bill… thanks for clearing that up… I am embarrassed to have believed that story. How old is that joke… did it come out shortly after the play or movie?

Besides Cups, I have learned a lot from you on other things… I get a kick while watching Antiques Road Show when they say something about a banjo… I think what would Bill say regarding this.

Thanks,
Bruce
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Mar 4, 2011 10:38AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-03 18:02, Andrew Zuber wrote:
Thanks for the layout, Glenn! Always nice to see what effects people are doing and how the lay out the show. Much appreciated!
[/quote]
The show has a basic structure - Chop cup - card effects - matrix then cups and balls. Then I add to it depending on the time I need to do and the venue.

I hope this helps.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Mar 4, 2011 12:15PM)
Typically, how long would the whole show last?
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Mar 4, 2011 04:03PM)
I do formal close up shows that last 30 minutes - 45 minutes and 60 minutes.

When I performed in the close up gallery at the magic castle they wanted three - twenty minute shows per evening for 7 days.

Often it depends on the gig if it is a privet party - or a venue like a night club or a restaurant. When I performed my hypnotic show at the night club restaurant called Blueberry Hill. I did walk around - a hypnoic show on the stage - and then an after show that was a formal close up show for about 30 minutes.

It depends on the gig.

I hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Mar 4, 2011 04:13PM)
Sure does. Thanks, Glenn.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Mar 5, 2011 12:02PM)
Your welcome,

This may help as it was suggested to me by Don Alan. He said to me to get a solid short act with a strong beginning - a good middle - and a strong end. Then with that as a basic routine I can add to it if I need to fill in more time.

So my basic sort act became Chop cup a strong short beginning that draws them (the audience in) then a strong middle - card tricks and then matrix - cards and coins to bring them from cards to other props. Then the strong closer the cups and balls with three large loads.

Then if I need to do more time I add tricks like the ring on a stick - DieNamic Diamonds - coins to glass and other routines. And I also can add more card tricks like card to wallet - street swindles - card sharp routines - sponge ball or rope tricks if I need to fill more time.

I look at building an act or a show like stringing a handful of beads. Each trick or routine is a bead and you and your personality is the string. I also like the act to have texture. A strong classic magic trick - comedy and humor - a serious routine that may involve gambling.

I remember reading in the Leipzig book how Nate Leipzig had an act for each different performing situation. A club act for clubs - a vaudeville act - and a set he did as an impromptu performer. I consider this still to this day as great advice.

I hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Mar 5, 2011 07:36PM)
Excellent thoughts Glenn! I'm always interested in the way a performer sets up a show. It's been nice to hear your take on it.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Mar 5, 2011 07:42PM)
In one of Billy McComb's books, he explains a great system using 3x5 cards. In upper left corner he has a one inch square that he writes the running time of an effect. To the right, name of effect.

I think he notes if it is an opener or closer.

Below, list of all items needed and set up requirements. And he adds Key Patter lines. You can lay these out to build a show of a desired length.

I have used this for years.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Mar 6, 2011 01:34PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-05 20:37, Andrew Zuber wrote:
Excellent thoughts Glenn! I'm always interested in the way a performer sets up a show. It's been nice to hear your take on it.
[/quote]
Thanks for the kind words.

I also let the audience help in choosing the order of the routine. I can tell by the audience reactions and I often use a strong routine to come after a funny routine that might have a lot of humor.

What has worked for me over the yeas is a set act - then add or take away depending on time. Also add and take away depending on how the venue is set up. I like doing a formal close up show in a drawing (living) room style. Getting two people up to sit down at a card table.

To this I can add some stage magic like - professors nightmare - or the sympathetic silks and even do the linking rings - depending on time and the performing situation. But I always open with the chop dice cup and close with the cups and balls.

I hope this helps.

Cheers!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Mar 6, 2011 02:25PM)
Pete/Glenn :

Some great, practical advice you've given there.
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (Mar 6, 2011 04:01PM)
Your welcome...

Good luck!