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Topic: Cups & Balls – Does it Have A Place in Today’s Modern Magic Repertoire?
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (May 20, 2011 12:05PM)
Blog post by a friend and fellow magician JC Sum, who is also a Café member.
Just thought I'd share it..

http://backstagebusiness.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/cups-balls-does-it-have-a-place-in-todays-modern-magic-repertoire/
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (May 20, 2011 01:36PM)
The guy undermines his own line of thinking somewhat by saying that we should get away introducing the cups and balls as "a classic in magic" or "the oldest trick in the world", and then offers six of his favourite routines... which open with variations on that line of patter.

I'm also unconvinced that the Caper routine is going to be remembered all that differently from many other street routines. Probably the two phases that make it stand out are the ball under glass phase, and the glass under hat phase, but both of those are quickly lost in a sea of final loads that mirror what most everybody else is doing (fruit under cups and a melon under the hat). Basically, the guy's saying that commercial magicians need to be different (a point which could be argued) but the example he offers up as being a true step forward lacks this.
Message: Posted by: djkuttdecks (May 21, 2011 08:40PM)
We all say it's "a classic in magic" (myself included). But it's not... it's quite literally the start of magic. That's like saying "the wheel is a classic in transportation". Now, the classic variations, that is a different story, but to ask if it has a place at all seems a bit limiting. You might as well be asking "Does magic have a place in today's modern world" (which is an aptly legitimate question actually). That answer IMO is yes, but it depends on the presentation, location, and purpose.

-Lee
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (May 21, 2011 11:49PM)
As far as performing in the real world I rate the cups and balls trick (chop cup, stones under bowls... - basic effect here) a number one go-to item for closeup magic.
Where cards will blow away, stick or get dirty - where coins will get grabbed, fall or roll away, not be visible to all attending - the cups will set where you set them and the heavier or sandbag balls will be easily visible and less vulnerable to the environment.

OMHO they were, are and likely will remain in a very special place of honor in magic.
Message: Posted by: Lord Anacho (May 22, 2011 12:25PM)
Should we stop mounting a production of Beethoven's 9th because it is a classic? I don't think so.

As it happens, today I performed my very first C&B before an audience. My number two grandson' birthday was celebrated today and out of the blue his mom (who knows that I don't really perform) asked me to mount a little show for the guy. Four hours notice, of which three hours were needed with cooking and tending to the guests. It's tough being a granddad. But I put something together.

Included was a basic C & B routine. Actually, I did an extended version of Michael Ammar's super simple routine from his C & B DVD's. There are a few vanishes and appearances and I end up with a single final load. I followed Tommy Wonder's great advice to not bring the cup to the load, but to bring the load to the cup. I considered it very daring since it relies almost totally on misdirection instead of on sleights. But all hail to the Master. It worked like a charm. There was some time misdirection also before the final load is produced, and there were gasps galore!

I am sold to the Cups and Balls !

Ciao for now

Erik
Message: Posted by: Rainboguy (May 22, 2011 01:16PM)
Yes.
Message: Posted by: rklew64 (May 22, 2011 01:46PM)
Pull head out of ....
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 22, 2011 06:44PM)
I really hate questions like this, primarily because it shows the intense shallowness of people who
a) do not understand the classics
b) are not really very good entertainers
c) have put themselves on a pedestal above their audiences.

Any competent, entertaining magician can take ANY trick, no matter how old or how hackneyed, and figure out a way to make it work, if he really wants to. No magician anywhere has the right to question anything I do to entertain an audience--or anything any other professional magician does to entertain an audience either, for that matter.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Woolery (May 22, 2011 11:30PM)
While I totally agree with Bill Palmer above, I do think the article has a good point or two. Many routines, no matter how good they are, do look a lot alike to a lay audience. There are nuances that make them special for magicians, but we know what to expect from the trick and we appreciate the subleties.

One of my favorite moments from Penn and Teller's Magic and Mystery Tour is the bit in Egypt where a magician is doing the cups and balls for Teller. He does obvious sleights, Teller looks bored, he asks where the balls are, Teller plays along and indicates one under each cup. Now, what he was doing was being nice and playing layman while this Egyptian magician does a routine, right? Only he thought he'd seen each ball being put under the center cup and was sure all three were there. When the performer revealed one ball under each cup, it surprised Teller into a very animated and delighted response.

That was a trick performed by a magician for another magician. It was tailoring the performance to the audience.

Kent Gunn's routine is amazing to me because I never see him do the sleights I expect to get the results he gets. But I think of this as another performance that has more effect on the magicians than on the laymen.

What makes one cup and ball performance really any different from another in the eyes of a non-magical audience? I think that's a question that the article raises, though not in the same words.

But I agree with posters here that cups and balls is not only a classic but is perhaps the quintessential magic trick. It has everything, including enough potential to keep anyone busy refining and innovating within the idiom for a lifetime. I'm in love with my cups.

-Patrick
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 23, 2011 12:17AM)
This is fairly much correct. Sometimes magicians don't bother to really think about the effect of the trick upon the audience. Let's use the baroque expression "affect" for the way the trick affects the audience. They think that mimicking the "classical" version of, say, the cut and restored rope as performed by George Sands is very clever (and it is) so they perform it for an audience without clearly transmitting the real purpose of the trick.

So, when they are working for a major magic club that has a layman for an owner, and the layman happens to be a businessman more than an appreciative audience member, said layman may tell the "super duper champion magician" to entertain the people who are waiting in line. When the SDCM says, "I don't have anything that's good for that," the bossman says: "Do the rope thing." There are multiple levels of failure here.
Message: Posted by: ade (May 23, 2011 09:22AM)
I enjoyed this article a lot, and it's not because I know J C Sum. I think many are missing the point if you think that J C is trying to bash the effect, or to undermine what everyone calls a classic. The main point I feel, that he is trying to bring across is that we should be thinking about why and how we are presenting a classic effect, which seemingly every magician presents... to almost exactly the same way. What is the relevance of your effect to the lay audience, especially if they have seen magicians who seem to do the same things?

This article prompted me to think not just about Cups and Balls (which I love too) but also about my linking rings routine. I do a pretty standard routine but what exactly is the relevance to the people who are watching? Is there any other way of presenting this routine? Is there some way where I can present it different from the seemingly "SAME" of everyone else? If you're doing magic commercially, and you want to be able to stand out, to be able to sell your routines, then I think this article brings across some very valid points.
Message: Posted by: puggo (May 23, 2011 09:42AM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-22 19:44, Bill Palmer wrote:
....Any competent, entertaining magician can take ANY trick, no matter how old or how hackneyed, and figure out a way to make it work, if he really wants to....
[/quote]
I totally agree. One of my favorite entertainers is Jeff Hobson - look at his work with a hopping half set or the egg bag. Hi routines are obviously character drivem, but still proves Bill's point.

Charlie
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 23, 2011 12:56PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-23 10:22, ade wrote:
I enjoyed this article a lot, and it's not because I know J C Sum. I think many are missing the point if you think that J C is trying to bash the effect, or to undermine what everyone calls a classic. The main point I feel, that he is trying to bring across is that we should be thinking about why and how we are presenting a classic effect, which seemingly every magician presents... to almost exactly the same way. What is the relevance of your effect to the lay audience, especially if they have seen magicians who seem to do the same things?

This article prompted me to think not just about Cups and Balls (which I love too) but also about my linking rings routine. I do a pretty standard routine but what exactly is the relevance to the people who are watching? Is there any other way of presenting this routine? Is there some way where I can present it different from the seemingly "SAME" of everyone else? If you're doing magic commercially, and you want to be able to stand out, to be able to sell your routines, then I think this article brings across some very valid points.
[/quote]

Here's a question for you. How many people have you performed for who have actually SEEN the cups and balls before?

I'm not trying to defend the trick or bash J.C. Sum. I'm simply trying to point out that magician audiences and lay audiences are different.

And I will now officially BASH the use of the word "bash." Be more precise in your use of the language. Not every criticism, including J.C. Sum's, is "bashing." What an inane, imprecise word. If I say that I don't really like hamburgers, am I "bashing" hamburgers?
Message: Posted by: SimonG-97 (May 23, 2011 02:51PM)
Short answer yes, my good friend Adam recently did a cups and balls on a variety show in a londons west end theatre ,, there was gasps from a ball vanishing , almost screams for the first, second , third , and fourth final loads! and there was a pin dropping silence when he took a ten pound note out of the lemon which a small piece had been torn from and when it matched ... well you can imagine the applause...............

so simply does the cups and balls have a place in the modern magicians repoirtere ,, UHHHHHH YES! I do a chop cup routine , although sometimes with just a normal cup but normally a chop cup And I love it! there arent many routines I can genuinely say I love doing , you know the ones that give you a warm pleasant feeling; but this is one! I ve seen magicians perform ambitious card , which may be considered a modern classic, with faces like they couldn't care less hwat happens! You need the whole Doug Henning Smile when you perform , he seemed as much amazed by the magic as the audience! and he was on the bad side!

my second answer , which people may relate to; is that if you like doing a routine you should do it , whether it be n Egg bag , linkng rings or anything. Ultimately the only way you can get across and get the audience to enjoy a routine , is if you do yourself! if every routine in your show, or close-up repoirtere you love,,, you will have made your magic that much more meaningful and long lasting..



Simon
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 23, 2011 06:12PM)
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause: :applause:
:applause: :applause:
:applause:
Message: Posted by: ade (May 23, 2011 11:04PM)
[quote]
And I will now officially BASH the use of the word "bash." Be more precise in your use of the language. Not every criticism, including J.C. Sum's, is "bashing." What an inane, imprecise word. If I say that I don't really like hamburgers, am I "bashing" hamburgers?
[/quote]
Right.. I guess it was a wrong use of words. I meant to say that he was never putting down the effect.

And of my own opinion, I still think many are missing the point. The whole view point of the essay was from a commercial magician point of view, to examine how, why many seem to be presenting a classic magic in almost exactly the same way without a thought as to how the audience is perceiving or relating to the effects. I may not have watched many performances, but I have watched some (in Singapore or otherwise), and each one of the presentation starts with "let me show you a classic piece of magic..". That's not to say this presentation is wrong, or in anyway bad (i'm so guilty of this too), but when the audience has heard it many times, and seen similar and (to them) indistinguishable effects that look the same, as a commercial magician you will want to be different and to make something more relevant to YOUR audience.

That's the only point I wanted to raise... and now, I'm going back to considering what I can do for my own linking rings routine.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (May 23, 2011 11:36PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-24 00:04, ade wrote:
And of my own opinion, I still think many are missing the point. The whole view point of the essay was from a commercial magician point of view, to examine how, why many seem to be presenting a classic magic in almost exactly the same way without a thought as to how the audience is perceiving or relating to the effects. I may not have watched many performances, but I have watched some (in Singapore or otherwise), and each one of the presentation starts with "let me show you a classic piece of magic..". That's not to say this presentation is wrong, or in anyway bad (i'm so guilty of this too), but when the audience has heard it many times, and seen similar and (to them) indistinguishable effects that look the same, as a commercial magician you will want to be different and to make something more relevant to YOUR audience.
[/quote]
Again, I want to point out that the first six of JC Sum's examples of good cups and balls routines start with the same basic patter line. There's a disconnect here. Either he's chosen bad examples, or the patter line isn't as terrible as you'd think. As Bill rightly pointed out, most of our audiences are seeing the trick for the first time. Best to make sure you've got that routine down cold before seeking to be original for the sake of originality.

And even if we assume that our audiences may have seen the trick before, consider that some tricks are strong enough that they don't suffer from repetition. If people always wanted to hear new things, then Las Vegas lounge singers wouldn't be expected to sing standards, bands on tour wouldn't be expected to play favourites from previous albums, and cover bands wouldn't even exist.

In my mind, this article of Whit Haydn's is required reading.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=43500&forum=117&27

Maybe JC Sum is speaking for a more advanced magician, I don't know. It might be nice to see the guy's own routines so that we can get an idea of what he means by taking the plot forward.
Message: Posted by: jcsum (May 24, 2011 12:53AM)
Hi guys,

Thanks for the comments and healthy debate!

Just thought I would chime in and say actually I think it is possible the point of the article has been missed if read at face value. The Cups & Balls was just an example and you could substitute it for "The Egg Bag", "The Linking Rings" or just about any time-tested proven classic in magic.

The blog entry was written for/ and from the narrow but significant point of view of the commercial creative artist (in our case magician) who is looking for mainstream relevance. So, the article does not apply to everyone. One reason is that the definition of "mainstream" may be interpreted differently and can mean different things to different people. For myself, "mainstream" goes beyond the casual lay audience that I'm performing for but also includes the critical mainstream media, commercial international show bookers, influential social bloggers etc. Often, the latter groups, have more influence than the reactions of the actual lay audience we perform for because they determine the content that is booked, makes TV, mainstream media etc. Not ideal for the artists in us, but a reality any (and only if you are) commercial artist needs to bear in mind. We are talking about the same mainstream audience who would help put Justin Bieber in 3rd place of Forbes Most Powerful Celebrities Lists this year. Who of us listen to Justin Bieber??? :-D Obviously multi-millions worldwide.

Hence, I happened to use "Cups & Balls" as an example and if it was not clear, I think it is a perfect routine even for today's audience. However, the way it is traditionally and generally performed while is highly effective and a hit with the lay audience, does not have the necessary appeal to the overall "mainstream" for a commercial magician to be a huge success.

Charlie Caper was used as an example because his routine made a mainstream platform (ie was deemed commercial by TV producers to showcase on mainstream TV) and subsequently resonated with the casual internet audience (also now part of our mainstream). I personally think he would not have had that much success if he did a standard routine. I'm not saying his routine is artistically or technically superior to another routine but it was different (in a positive way) which was necessary for his to resonate with the mainstream audience.

The singular point I'm making (and again only relevant to magicians looking for mainstream relevance) is that there is a need be different in a good way. And if you do a classic/ common act, it has to be "perceived" as moving forward or away from the masses by the mainstream audiences; even if from a purist magician's point of view it might not be or might just be an idiosyncratic variant.

So, the article is not really about the "Cups & Balls" :)

Peace!

J C
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 24, 2011 01:25AM)
How much did the "mainstream" audience pay you last year?

This may appear to be irrelevant, but if you are a "commercial" magician, the bottom line is, in fact, the bottom line.

This is true of music, magic, graphic arts, dance and a whole lot of other idioms as well.

Example -- One of my friends, long since dead now, was Jethro Burns, of Homer and Jethro. Jethro was an extremely good mandolin player, although it was basically not all that important to the act. The act was, after all, a comedy act, so (according to many of their contemporaries) technique and skill were not nearly as important as comedic timing.

On the other hand, both Homer and Jethro were excellent technicians on their respective instruments. In fact, Chet Atkins stated in an interview with one of the trade magazines that if he could choose from all of the rhythm guitar players in the world to back him up on an album, his first choice would be Homer Haynes.

So, after a concert, a lady came up to Jethro (in the green room) and said, "My son is the world's best mandolin player."

Jethro asked, "Really? How much did he make last year?" She left.

Granted, if you are trying to make contact with the same people who put Justin Bieber into his particular level of stardom, you shouldn't be starting any of your magic with "This is a classic of magic." In fact, you shouldn't do that in the first place.

However, if you want to achieve what Justin Bieber has done, you shouldn't even consider magic as the art form you want to exhibit, because record producers aren't going to hire you in the first place.
Message: Posted by: jcsum (May 24, 2011 01:41AM)
@ Bill, I'm not sure if you were making a general statement or asking me specifically. But, yes my mainstream makes up a significant portion of revenue. But, that is not important as it is for each individual to decide how their want to approach their own commercial careers. The great thing is that individuals who aren't sure can read the exchanges and see what is relevant to them. There is no one way.

I completely, agree, at this point in time, it seems impossible to attain that Bieber level of success in magic or many other art forms. But, there is no reason not to use it as a benchmark to push ourselves and our art forward. If more magicians were to push forward, collectively, we raise the art. Of course, it might be a pipe dream but it is the non-movement that has kept magic from going more mainstream than it is. We are the most resilient art and luckily we have made good headway in the last one and half decades.

But, I whole-heartedly agree this approach is not for everyone and am not advocating it for everyone. It is just my opinion and I have personally seen how the perception of magic has changed in the mainstream in this part of the world due to it. It has helped the industry as a whole, commercial magicians as a whole get more work, glass ceilings for fees are broken and magic as a whole is taken a wee bit more seriously by the mainstream and hence rest of the markets that follow.

Respectfully,

J C
Message: Posted by: magicalaurie (May 24, 2011 03:59PM)
[quote]
On 2011-05-24 01:53, jcsum wrote:
...So, the article is not really about the "Cups & Balls" :)

Peace!

J C
[/quote]
Got that, J C, and advising performers to think outside the box and bring themselves authentically to interesting, memorable magic is a [i]good[/i] thing.

Laurie
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (May 30, 2011 02:05PM)
If you want to understand why magic will never be as "mainstream" as music when it comes to the performing arts, read Bev Bergeron's material about perform for USO tours in his Willard the Wizard book.

You may think that USO tours and "mainstream entertainment" are miles apart, but they really aren't.

Here's a hint: who owns the broadcast media in the US?
Message: Posted by: Woland (May 30, 2011 03:57PM)
Was magic in its heyday as mainstream as music? Who owned the vaudeville circuits?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 2, 2011 02:16AM)
Magic was, indeed, quite mainstream. Before the advent of sound systems, you could troupe a magic show that consisted of only about 35 people, including the "orchestra," which was quite small, perhaps a dozen musicians, if that many. A symphonic group, on the other hand, had about 50 players.

The vaudeville circuits were owned by several chains of theatre owners Orpheum was one. The Keith circuit was another. Keith and Albee eventually absorbed the Orpheum circuit -- these people became the owners of the major motion picture theatre chains. This is essentially why movies killed vaudeville. Imagine that you could see several major movie stars on the screen. You didn't have to pay the stars. You just had to pay the film rental. The film rental would be far less than the cost of a full evening show.

When the films came in, and then the recording industry, the whole thing changed.

There are some really good articles on line about the whole thing.

The broadcast media are owned by the old recording companies. If you can put out CD's of an act, you get more $$$ out of it than if all you can do is view it on the toob.
Message: Posted by: Woland (Jun 2, 2011 06:13AM)
Thank you, Mr. Palmer. I suppose the fact that "our magic" is best as a live performance, and does not lend itself to mechanical reproduction, is limiting. The "illusions" or "alternate realities" that can be created in a motion picture are for audiences altogether different.
Message: Posted by: Bill Wood (Jun 2, 2011 06:50AM)
Cups and Balls as a Sacred Cow.

I'd like to thank JC and Bill for both making very interesting and contextually accurate points.

As the curator of the cups and balls museum it makes sense that Mr. Palmer would defend of his favourite effect, and I think he has every right to do so. Cups and balls is definitely a classic in magic for many reasons, it has many levels of magic and meaning to be appreciated. For me the myth of birth and the womb like nature of the cups is one reason this effect chimes deeply with an audience. Of course you don't have to talk about a womb to poetically and obliquely reference this important symbol.

I do disagree with Mr. Palmer when he rhetorically asks "how many people have seen a cups and balls routine". I think in this day and age, with the Internet and with the shear number of people who do a cups routine, that yes almost everyone has seen a cups and balls routine. Heck almost every magic kit comes with a set, so people are very familiar (almost dangerously familiar) with the basic routine.

I think the best point that JC made in his blog post has been missed by this thread, the weakest part of any cups and balls routine is the "in my pocket? Nope" section. I believe that as soon as a magician puts his hand in his pocket the audience becomes suspicious. Unless your hand can be very cleanly shown empty they don't 100% believe your being above board. I think JC is very correct in saying that the weakest part of most routines comes right before the strongest part, the large final loads.

I have the same opinion of "buskers pouches" they aren't organic, the pouch didn't come first and someone thought "oh I'll just innocently pop this ball into the pouch that I'm always wearing". Most magicians put the pouch on right before they do the cups and balls, suspicious much? Why is it such a big pouch if it only needs to hold three tiny white balls? We needed a place to keep our produce department and someone designed a nice looking leather pouch with a huge easy access top. This to me reads as suspicious.

For my money Tommy Wonder's two cup routine deals with the final load in an incredibly deceptive and organic way.

I hope no one is to offended by what I've said. These are my opinions and the only thing I know to be true is that nothing is really true. And who am I to disparage an act that isn't mine? The things I've said only really apply to me and my audiences.
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Jun 2, 2011 09:26AM)
Bill Wood,

As you waxed poetic about the myth of birth and wombs you nearly lost me. No . . . you lost me.

I think you're mistaken about the number of people who've seen a cups and balls routine. The profundity of routines on youtube related to the cups and balls (3970, I just checked, no I'm serious), doesn't mean anyone is watching them. I realize Penn and Teller's routine has nearly a million hits, but that's a tiny percentage of the world's population.

As for the pouch being too obvious, many performers do an entire show from the pouch, pulling the cups themselves from it to start. I've seen some magicians that make the entire Gibeciere motif very organic.

Not every cups and balls routine loads from a pocket or the pouch. Many guys/gals are schlepping in the produce from their laps.

I think the variations are endless. I think both you and J.C. have objections to how some people do the trick. If either of you don't like those features, why not make your own handling better or simply not perform the effect. To cast a pall over the trick because you don't like some people's choices seems narrow-minded to me.

The Cups and Balls are doing just fine. Some magicians do wonderful routines that engage and amaze their audiences. Most magicians do the routine abysmally and parrot the sequences of others. I'd pick on that side of cups and balls magic if I had to pick something about the trick I didn't like.


KG
Message: Posted by: Bill Wood (Jun 2, 2011 10:28AM)
Hi KG

Sorry my poetic waxing fell flat. In my defense I believe magic is poetry with props meant to dig deep into the subconscious.

I'm sorry if you saw my comments as 'Pall' casting, that was not my intention.

I think you're right, I ultimately disagree with poor and parroted versions of the cups and balls. Like any trick when it's done well it is a symphony but when done badly it's torture.

Here's to polite discourse and pushing our bounds as magicians.


Bill
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Jun 2, 2011 11:02AM)
Bill,

This is Kent Gunn. I'm not being obscure with the signature, just terse. I'm all for poetic turns of phrase. I'm just not literate enough to catch most of them slung my way.

I do so love the cups and balls. I could never use a pouch because I have a huge gut there already. Most guys loading from their lap are patently obvious.

Now this guy needs to work on his patter, but I have hope for him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t__UnSXmjvc

KG
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jun 2, 2011 11:27AM)
I guess you could call it a VARIATION of C&Bs, but last night I did a routine at a dinner party with a plain waterglass, 3(visible) Walnuts, a handkerchief (to cover the glass) and a Fab-Tomato. And it really knocked 'em dead.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 2, 2011 01:34PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-02 07:50, Bill Wood wrote:
Cups and Balls as a Sacred Cow.

I'd like to thank JC and Bill for both making very interesting and contextually accurate points.

As the curator of the cups and balls museum it makes sense that Mr. Palmer would defend of his favourite effect, and I think he has every right to do so. Cups and balls is definitely a classic in magic for many reasons, it has many levels of magic and meaning to be appreciated. For me the myth of birth and the womb like nature of the cups is one reason this effect chimes deeply with an audience. Of course you don't have to talk about a womb to poetically and obliquely reference this important symbol.

I do disagree with Mr. Palmer when he rhetorically asks "how many people have seen a cups and balls routine". I think in this day and age, with the Internet and with the shear number of people who do a cups routine, that yes almost everyone has seen a cups and balls routine. Heck almost every magic kit comes with a set, so people are very familiar (almost dangerously familiar) with the basic routine.

I think the best point that JC made in his blog post has been missed by this thread, the weakest part of any cups and balls routine is the "in my pocket? Nope" section. I believe that as soon as a magician puts his hand in his pocket the audience becomes suspicious. Unless your hand can be very cleanly shown empty they don't 100% believe your being above board. I think JC is very correct in saying that the weakest part of most routines comes right before the strongest part, the large final loads.

I have the same opinion of "buskers pouches" they aren't organic, the pouch didn't come first and someone thought "oh I'll just innocently pop this ball into the pouch that I'm always wearing". Most magicians put the pouch on right before they do the cups and balls, suspicious much? Why is it such a big pouch if it only needs to hold three tiny white balls? We needed a place to keep our produce department and someone designed a nice looking leather pouch with a huge easy access top. This to me reads as suspicious.

For my money Tommy Wonder's two cup routine deals with the final load in an incredibly deceptive and organic way.

I hope no one is to offended by what I've said. These are my opinions and the only thing I know to be true is that nothing is really true. And who am I to disparage an act that isn't mine? The things I've said only really apply to me and my audiences.
[/quote]

1) You are assuming facts that are not really in evidence. The cups and balls is not my "favorite" effect. It's what I collect. I do like the cups and balls a lot. But there are more routines that I don't like than there are routines I like. There are cups in my collection that I have because they are fascinating pieces of apparatus. But I would NEVER perform with them.

2) What I gathered from the blog post was that the way the cups are introduced is by far the weakest part of a cup and ball routine. In fact, to my mind, the fellow who starts out with praising the cups as a classic, except when performing in a very specific kind of historical presentation, is setting up more traps than he can handle.

3) How can you disagree with a question? It's not actually rhetorical. I want an answer. A percentage would be enough. Do you think that 25% of your audience has seen the cups and balls? Thirty-five percent? Forty percent?

I performed for a living for nearly 40 years, and I can tell you from my own experience that less than 20% of the people I performed for could recall seeing the cups and balls in any form. Granted, my audiences were in many cases far more sophisticated than what you will run into in the average bar, pub or disco. But even the "great unwashed" at Renaissance Festivals had seen their first cups and balls routine at a Renaissance festival and not when their kid botched it for them.

Don't read things into my writing that are not actually there.

Note:

Historically speaking, the pouch came before people used it for cups and balls. It's a development of the workman's pouch. Carpenters, masons, stonecarvers, all used pouches to hold their tools. They were the pockets that people used before clothing had pockets. Buskers didn't invent the pouch.

However, most buskers don't know how to use a pouch effectively.

There are a number of modern performers who have tried to justify using a pouch when wearing a suit. That is so far out of context as to be laughable. It's not even necessary.

Working out of a pouch requires that the pouch or pouches be set up a certain way and that they be used a certain way [b]with effective misdirection[/b] And they must be contextually accurate.

I've written extensively on the subject. If you do a search in Secret Sessions for the word Load, you will eventually find a thread on final load logic that has some of my work on it.

When I wear a suit or a tuxedo, I have a completely different method which eliminates the necessity of a pouch.
Message: Posted by: Bill Wood (Jun 2, 2011 07:53PM)
Mr. Palmer, Thanks for the history on the busking pouch, interesting. I will be reading more from the secret sessions soon and plan on reading lots of what you have written.

Sorry for thinking the cups and balls was your "favorite effect", I think it's a forgivable offense since your avatar picture does show you wearing a cup as a hat.

We'll have to agree to disagree on our opinions of who known the cups and balls is in the real world.

Bill
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jun 2, 2011 08:21PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-02 20:53, Bill Wood wrote:
We'll have to agree to disagree on our opinions of who known the cups and balls is in the real world.
[/quote]
While it may be impossible to empirically arrive at a specific number, I think calling it an "opinion" is a bit dismissive of the point. I know that every single time I go out and work a venue, the majority of people have never seen a magician perform live before, and most of the magicians who've worked a lot have said the same thing. They might have seen it on television, but it's not like the cups and balls is getting much airtime there.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 2, 2011 08:33PM)
This is precisely what I mean. The only reason I would estimate that 20% of my audiences may have seen the cups and balls before, and by that, I mean in live performance, is that I got a lot of repeat business. My chop cup routine was a regular part of my renaissance festival act. I performed it specifically because it got the responses I wanted when and where I wanted them. But when you do ANY routine for as long as I did that one, you really gain a lot of control over what happens in your audience.

The main thing with all of this in ANY case is that it is the presentation (and the presenter), not the trick that makes the difference.

BTW, I just posted a more detailed description of how I am now doing the final loads. It's the last post in this thread.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=108360&forum=37&33

If you are having trouble doing loads, at least read the thread. It will show you several things. One of them is how I set up the pouches for use at the renaissance festivals. Another is the way that I evolved the method I have been using for the past year or so.
Message: Posted by: Bill Wood (Jun 3, 2011 04:48AM)
Well I think my lack of experience has been showing and I'm the last person to notice. I just read the link Mr. Palmer provided in his above post and have come to realize that my previous posts probably sound like I'm a precocious 14 year old who's only magical experience comes from youtube. Sorry for sticking my opinion oar into a lake I know very little about.

I think most people reading this thread don't need me to tell them to do good loads for their cups and balls finale. The people who need to hear that message aren't here, or at least they aren't in this conversation.

So I gracefully clam up and keep learning until I've got something useful to say.

Oh life.
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Jun 3, 2011 06:12AM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-03 05:48, Bill Wood wrote:
Well I think my lack of experience has been showing and I'm the last person to notice. I just read the link Mr. Palmer provided in his above post and have come to realize that my previous posts probably sound like I'm a precocious 14 year old who's only magical experience comes from youtube. Sorry for sticking my opinion oar into a lake I know very little about.

I think most people reading this thread don't need me to tell them to do good loads for their cups and balls finale. The people who need to hear that message aren't here, or at least they aren't in this conversation.

So I gracefully clam up and keep learning until I've got something useful to say.

Oh life.
[/quote]

Healthy discussion is always good. If not for your posts, I would have gotten to read Mr Palmer's insightful post..
Message: Posted by: euroillusion (Jun 3, 2011 10:00AM)
This really is a case of different views based on different fundamental beliefs and approaches to magic. All you need to do is look at the individual magicians, their background, audience and purpose of their magic and you can see that why each says what he or she says.

I do think some points that were made by JC have been missed by some especially since he established the context of his views.

I agree with someone earlier that it would be good to see JC's routine to see how he addresses the issues he raised. Judging by his ring routine, it should be interesting... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvrQMwmRjjc
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 3, 2011 12:31PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-03 05:48, Bill Wood wrote:
Well I think my lack of experience has been showing and I'm the last person to notice. I just read the link Mr. Palmer provided in his above post and have come to realize that my previous posts probably sound like I'm a precocious 14 year old who's only magical experience comes from youtube. Sorry for sticking my opinion oar into a lake I know very little about.

I think most people reading this thread don't need me to tell them to do good loads for their cups and balls finale. The people who need to hear that message aren't here, or at least they aren't in this conversation.

So I gracefully clam up and keep learning until I've got something useful to say.

Oh life.
[/quote]

Not to worry. If you hadn't posted your responses and opinion, I wouldn't have taken the time to update the material on the loads.

Although I retired from performing almost a decade ago, I still do a few performances, and I'm always trying to perfect the material I perform.

BTW, my setup may not work for everyone. I don't expect it to. Mine is a personal solution based upon the way I present myself in public when I go to various and sundry restaurants, parties, etc., as a guest or as the occasional performer. If I dressed differently, I'd come up with different solutions. There's a parallel here. Tommy Wonder's two cup routine and its loading sequence were based around the clothing that was popular in the 1970's and 1980's. He worked out a loading sequence based upon the restrictions of the clothing he performed in.

Vernon's method was based upon the way he worked the routine out. I was fortunate enough to see Vernon do the routine live on a number of occasions, the first being at the TAOM convention in Abilene TX in 1972. He had been doing the routine for about 3 or 4 decades by the time I saw him perform. That amount of live performance takes all the rough edges off a routine. The performer knows from a gut level exactly why, when and where everything happens, and he doesn't have to think about any of it.

This is why I believe that the Vernon routine is not the best place for a beginner to start learning the cups and balls. It's like starting to learn the piano by playing Rachmaninoff's Second Piano Concerto before you know the scales, chords and theory that give you an inner understanding of how music works, in general. The notes may all be there, but the music won't be. Likewise, if you just parrot the Vernon routine, the moves may be there, but the magic won't.

I think Michael Ammar's approach to learning the cups and balls, as expressed on his two-disc set, is really good, because it gives the student a chance to learn how the cups and balls work together, how to pace the routine, how to get into and out of the various phases, without having to worry about the mechanics of everything at the same time.

Michael's own routine is growing. I've known Michael since he had hair. ;) He was good then. He is great now. And the best part of it is that he is still learning and growing.

============================================================

I mentioned earlier that the cups and balls isn't my favorite trick. This seems to have been surprising. Let me explain some of this.

As a working pro for almost four decades, I couldn't afford myself the luxury of having a "favorite" trick. For a working magician, tricks are like songs to a singer, tunes to an instrumentalist, tools to a carpenter. Of course, we have tools we like to use more often than others, but it's primarily because we know what the effect on the audience will be. We even develop "signature pieces."

Liberace was famous for his interpretation of the Warsaw Concerto. Elvis was famous for several of his songs, but Hound Dog had to be one of those that he performed more than just about any other. These performers did those songs for us, not for themselves.

Although I retired almost a decade ago, I still keep my signature pieces in shape. It took too long to learn them to allow them to fade into oblivion. Very few of them have ever been recorded.

This was one of my more recent performances of the Anderson Newspaper Tear. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70C65b5EUKg

I actually had two different versions of this, depending on the venue, etc. It was one of my signature pieces. I did it for more than 30 years.

The venue in this case was a wedding party, and the performances were basically somewhat informal.

One of the tricks I used for years as an opener was the Vanishing Bird Cage. I did it for about 20 years, but had to quit using it because of a torn rotator cuff. Once that goes, the cage won't. Even years of therapy didn't bring the shoulder back into condition.

I did it at a TV studio once. They put it on their instant replay disc and slowed it down to a frame by frame display. The cage was there one frame and gone the next. That's magic!

=============================================================

Regarding my personal cups and balls routine -- I usually do the chop cup, but I do have a three cup routine that is nearly ready for the real world. It goes back to the French style, and is apparently impromptu.

I'll show it when it's ready.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (Jun 3, 2011 04:30PM)
I bet that I am not the only one who is looking forward to seeing that routine of Bill's.
Message: Posted by: The Burnaby Kid (Jun 3, 2011 08:28PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-03 11:00, euroillusion wrote:
I do think some points that were made by JC have been missed by some especially since he established the context of his views.
[/quote]
Is there any chance you could make a list of the points that we've missed? I thought the important bits had already been commented on, but perhaps I was mistaken, and it'd be helpful to know what needs to be talked about.

Posted: Jun 11, 2011 5:50am
JC's got a video up on youtube showing a performance with Magic Babe Ning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvrQMwmRjjc

The magic does seem to be pretty good here, but I'm not entirely sure that the performance really fits the arguments made in JC Sum's post. Setting aside the linking finger rings (as I'm not a connoisseur), the first ring effect doesn't really distinguish itself from anybody else's performance of Garrett Thomas's Branded that I've seen, and the hand-through-table effect is going to look familiar to anybody who saw Lu Chen's coins-through-table video when it went viral last year, or when Cyril did it with the salt-shaker before than that. The major obvious difference would be the fact that there's a duo here, but I think that ultimately works against the latter effect because it could be seen that one partner is helping the other somehow.

The other major difference here is the linking of four effects into one longer routine, but again, I don't know that the long-term memory of the experience is going to factor that in. Usually you're really lucky to get a spectator leaving a magic set with one strong, vivid memory of what happened, and in order to avoid that problem, it's usually a good idea to make sure that the memory of the effects can't blend together, that one effect doesn't overpower the others, and that the effects offer different things (eg: a routine with a strong visual element, a routine with a deeper mystery, a routine which has more audience participation, a routine where everything is driven by the spectator, etc.).

That said, even though it feels to me inconsistent with the thesis in the blog post, I think that this isn't a bad way to approach the effects. It's a nice set all themed around a specific item, and when the effects are really strong, sometimes the best idea is to just get out of the way of the effect and let it happen. The major risk, of course, is that all you need is more than one magician taking this approach to the effect and you'll get cookie-cutter-magician syndrome. However, I think that's still a minor risk -- chances are pretty good that in JC's market not many others (if any) can do the hand-through-table effect, that Branded won't be everywhere yet as it's a recent item, and that the linking finger rings might be an uncommon piece (as opposed to various card tricks).
Ye Olde Magick Blogge :: The Annotated Royal Road to Card Magic :: February 2010 was Cups and Balls Month!

Posted: Jun 11, 2011 5:50am
JC's got a video up on youtube showing a performance with Magic Babe Ning.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvrQMwmRjjc

The magic does seem to be pretty good here, but I'm not entirely sure that the performance really fits the arguments made in JC Sum's post. Setting aside the linking finger rings (as I'm not a connoisseur), the first ring effect doesn't really distinguish itself from anybody else's performance of Garrett Thomas's Branded that I've seen, and the hand-through-table effect is going to look familiar to anybody who saw Lu Chen's coins-through-table video when it went viral last year, or when Cyril did it with the salt-shaker before than that. The major obvious difference would be the fact that there's a duo here, but I think that ultimately works against the latter effect because it could be seen that one partner is helping the other somehow.

The other major difference here is the linking of four effects into one longer routine, but again, I don't know that the long-term memory of the experience is going to factor that in. Usually you're really lucky to get a spectator leaving a magic set with one strong, vivid memory of what happened, and in order to avoid that problem, it's usually a good idea to make sure that the memory of the effects can't blend together, that one effect doesn't overpower the others, and that the effects offer different things (eg: a routine with a strong visual element, a routine with a deeper mystery, a routine which has more audience participation, a routine where everything is driven by the spectator, etc.).

That said, even though it feels to me inconsistent with the thesis in the blog post, I think that this isn't a bad way to approach the effects. It's a nice set all themed around a specific item, and when the effects are really strong, sometimes the best idea is to just get out of the way of the effect and let it happen. The major risk, of course, is that all you need is more than one magician taking this approach to the effect and you'll get cookie-cutter-magician syndrome. However, I think that's still a minor risk -- chances are pretty good that in JC's market not many others (if any) can do the hand-through-table effect, that Branded won't be everywhere yet as it's a recent item, and that the linking finger rings might be an uncommon piece (as opposed to various card tricks).
Message: Posted by: Stapper (Jun 11, 2011 05:40AM)
Cups & Balls – Does it Have A Place in Today’s Modern Magic Repertoire? Yes, sure!!!!!!!!!!!

- This week, Shawn Farquhar (a well known world champion) fooled us badly with his variation of the Cops & Balls!

- A week ago, a boy of 16 (!) years old (Rube van Tienen) won the first price Parlor Magic on the Dutch open Championships,
. yes, with a total surprising verion of the cups and balls !!!
. He dit it with McDonald Cups, they were invisible jumping! His humor,
. his handling, his routine, it was all great to see (16 years !!!)
. And at the end ... no, that's someting to see, not to reveal .......... pffff ..... 16 yeas ......

http://www.nmucongres.nl/index.php/wedstrijd-uitslagen.html
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 13, 2011 08:35PM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-02 07:50, Bill Wood wrote:
Cups and Balls as a Sacred Cow.
*
[/quote]

I don't know what you mean by Sacred Cow.
I learned the term in Social Studies class in high school.
And also learned other aspects to the term when "you are what you eat" finally sunk in about social truths.

So what do you mean by the term?
Message: Posted by: maxnew40 (Jun 14, 2011 11:11AM)
I am thinking that the Cups and Balls is perfect for a renaissance/medieval show. :)

-Max
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jun 14, 2011 12:51PM)
Speaking from a few years' experience in that particular field, I can say that there is no way that renaissance faires can be considered "mainstream" entertainment.
Message: Posted by: MysticJohn (Dec 13, 2011 01:48AM)
My audience loves Cups and Balls and I perform it in many different settings, modern what does that really mean???
There is no are barrier either, kids to adults love this age old classic of magic. Learn it well and you'll use it all your life.

Cups and Balls will never get old, just us guys who perform it, lol
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Dec 13, 2011 09:00AM)
I believe a GOOD and WELL-PACED performance of the cups and balls is always in order.

I know that a brief YouTube sojourn is a painful thing in most cases. For as old as it is, it is the one routine where weaknesses leave one incredibly naked and exposed as a performer. I've seen people perform it at 100 MPH with (I presume) perfect hypersonic vanishes, rat-tat-tat patter and an audience suffering the frustration of Rain Man getting his baseball cards rearranged.

I've seen technically-perfect flushtration vetting of the cups at the introductory phase.

Yet, I'd immediately advise the one I've seen do these to leave the routine out of their act--because the synergy just isn't there.

The proliferate availability of the cups and balls seems to carry the assumption that, just because it rarely carries any new technological breakthrough, that it can simply be learned by rote means and then delievered in kind.

Seems to me the Houdini bromide still holds. No other routine really carries the kind of debate about its place, performance, permutations and anachronistic value as the cups and balls.
Message: Posted by: MysticJohn (Dec 13, 2011 01:02PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-13 10:00, Ron Giesecke wrote:
I believe a GOOD and WELL-PACED performance of the cups and balls is always in order.

I know that a brief YouTube sojourn is a painful thing in most cases. For as old as it is, it is the one routine where weaknesses leave one incredibly naked and exposed as a performer. I've seen people perform it at 100 MPH with (I presume) perfect hypersonic vanishes, rat-tat-tat patter and an audience suffering the frustration of Rain Man getting his baseball cards rearranged.

I've seen technically-perfect flushtration vetting of the cups at the introductory phase.

Yet, I'd immediately advise the one I've seen do these to leave the routine out of their act--because the synergy just isn't there.

The proliferate availability of the cups and balls seems to carry the assumption that, just because it rarely carries any new technological breakthrough, that it can simply be learned by rote means and then delievered in kind.

Seems to me the Houdini bromide still holds. No other routine really carries the kind of debate about its place, performance, permutations and anachronistic value as the cups and balls.
[/quote]




Ron, LOL

"A hundred mile per hour", I know a guy that performed so fast and noisy, it was hilarious!

Not only did you not catch him, you didn't see what the hell was going on, lol
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 15, 2011 01:09PM)
You should watch John Mendoza's superfast routine sometime.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 15, 2011 04:13PM)
If the cups does not go over well...[b]IT IS THE PERFORMER AT FAULT![/b]
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Dec 15, 2011 08:11PM)
Please, please, please stay away from the classics. Perform all the new stuff and leave the classics alone!!!!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 17, 2011 12:33AM)
It's interesting that many tyros look at the classics as very simplistic and easy to perform. Yet these very classics, as easy as they may be to flub through, are some of the most difficult tricks to perform well.

It's like playing a guitar. Almost anyone can learn to inflict a few chords on his/her neighbor in a few weeks. But it takes years of practice, as well as some talent, to actually play the guitar well. Sometimes it's a matter of attitude. A person who approaches a musical instrument as one would approach a weapon will almost never master the instrument. The instrument will master him, instead. But a person who approaches a musical instrument as a means of self-expression and pleasure will usually reach that goal within a decade or so. Even the results of the first few years will sound better than those of the vicious player.

Watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2dBuslkHgQ

Or the version filmed in the television studio: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPJF9t45SkY&feature=related

This is truly happy music.

They are champion level classical guitarists.
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Dec 17, 2011 12:36AM)
[quote]
On 2011-06-02 14:34, Bill Palmer wrote:

There are a number of modern performers who have tried to justify using a pouch when wearing a suit. That is so far out of context as to be laughable. It's not even necessary.


[/quote]

Hi Bill,

I think it must seem that I disagree with you a lot, as that is the only time we seem to have any exchange here. Needless to say, that is not the case.

Considering your point above though, I guess we do. Disagree that is.

Whereas I see no need for a performer to justify the use of a pouch with a suit, it seems to me that it would be a historically accurate thing to do.

As I'm sure you know, performers throughout time -- almost without exception -- used a pouch well after the invention of pochettes, profundes, and finally pockets. In formal evening dress no less. With that in mind, I would contend that a performer dressed in a tuxedo while wearing a gibeciere would be the most historically accurate way to present the cups and balls.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 17, 2011 08:53AM)
Absolutely not. The pouch is an analogue of the workman's apron. Would you perform at a formal gathering with a toilet plunger stuck into the waistband of your tuxedo, or a brickmason's hammer stuck in your pocket? I doubt it. The sole exception I could think of would be a gathering of freemasons.

Besides, most modern performances are NOT historical re-creations. When you present yourself at a formal gathering, if your clothing isn't up to snuff, you don't get rehired.

BTW, you have the order of invention of pockets, pochettes, etc. out of sequence. Pockets were in trousers before pochettes were in tails.
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Dec 17, 2011 09:16AM)
That's my point Bill. Your equating the pouch with the workman's apron doesn't fit. Long after pockets had been in common use, both hung from belts and then finally sewn on pants, the gibeciere was still commonly used by prominent performers in full, formal evening dress.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 17, 2011 11:50AM)
Name some of them. And name the functions where they appeared.

Performances in auditoriums where the performer was the "star of the show" would not count, because they are not formal functions.

Some have said that Pop Krieger used a pouch; however, his family seemed to think that he performed from a servante. And the photographs I have of him do not indicate the use of a pouch. His family were impressed with Vernon, because he did not use a servante.

My context is not 19th century performers or performers who are busking. It's also not performers who are doing historical re-creations, Renaissance festivals or Fringe shows. My context is contemporary performers working in formal attire at formal or semi-formal functions.

If you want a definitive answer on this, don't go by what I'm saying, go to a place that sells formal wear and ask them what they would recommend. Or go to a booking agent and ask them how they feel about busker's pouches on formal attire.
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Dec 17, 2011 12:59PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-17 12:50, Bill Palmer wrote:
Name some of them. And name the functions where they appeared.

Performances in auditoriums where the performer was the "star of the show" would not count, because they are not formal functions.

Some have said that Pop Krieger used a pouch; however, his family seemed to think that he performed from a servante. And the photographs I have of him do not indicate the use of a pouch. His family were impressed with Vernon, because he did not use a servante.

My context is not 19th century performers or performers who are busking. It's also not performers who are doing historical re-creations, Renaissance festivals or Fringe shows. My context is contemporary performers working in formal attire at formal or semi-formal functions.

If you want a definitive answer on this, don't go by what I'm saying, go to a place that sells formal wear and ask them what they would recommend. Or go to a booking agent and ask them how they feel about busker's pouches on formal attire.
[/quote]

Vernon used his pocket perhaps only because he had seen Malini do it first. I always thought it funny how Stars of Magic played up Vernon's approach after mentioning that Malini had preceded him. Another case in the same publication was Vernon's Impromtu Routine. Somehow it seemed to escape the "learned" publishers that Malini performed his cup and ball routine precisely the way that Vernon was expounding upon his own "impromptu Cups and Balls".

I'm not sure that I understand the first part of your post, "Performances in auditoriums where the performer was the "star of the show" would not count, because they are not formal functions". What do you mean? An auditorium could well exhibit black tie affairs couldn't it?

On the other hand this part, "Name some of them." Is clear enough. As to asking for a Booking Agents advise, that just seems silly. A booking agent will book someone regardless of how they dress, as long as the act is a great one.

Once again, I guess you well know that it is difficult to tell from the flourishy titles, what exactly performers of old did exactly. But for a few engravings or lithographs, we might not know otherwise. With that in mind, because you asked so nicely, I'll name two performers that wore gibeciere's well after the invention of Pockets, and were documented doing so by artwork, not necessarily by the content of their known programs.

The first would be Bartolomeo Bosco. That may come as no surprise to you, as it is my understanding that he started on the street. Still he performed formal evening shows for high society. But the second, may be a surprise. Cellini pointed him out to me several years ago, looking through an illustrated history of magic, he pointed to a lithograph of Robert Houdin, with the question, "isn't he regarded as the Father of Modern Conjuring?" And there before me was an engraving of Robert Houdin using a gib., performing the cups and balls. Surely, Robert Houdin performed in formal dress, no?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 17, 2011 01:20PM)
Eric:

You surprise me. You can't even spell Robert-Houdin. The fact is that you really haven't answered what I have said.

Robert-Houdin was a contemporary of Bartolomeo Bosco. He performed almost exclusively in auditorium shows. Anything he wore would have been considered "costume," not necessarily evening dress.

Still, you apparently haven't read anything I have said. Again, I reiterate, I am NOT referring to 19th century performers. I am referring to modern performers.

Until you understand ALL of my assertion completely, don't bother to answer.
Message: Posted by: Eric Evans (Dec 17, 2011 01:28PM)
It seems you have moved the bar.

I guess this is the last time we will disagree, openly anyway.
Message: Posted by: gdw (Mar 1, 2012 12:03PM)
Yes.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Mar 5, 2012 11:42PM)
I don't know how in the world I've been missing this topic. In one word, YES! Just like Beethoven's 5th, The Mona Lisa and the Watusi.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 7, 2012 04:00PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-17 14:28, Eric Evans wrote:
It seems you have moved the bar.

I guess this is the last time we will disagree, openly anyway.
[/quote]

I did not "move the bar." You ignored the bar and substituted your own.

As usual, you either did not read what I wrote, you misunderstood what I wrote, or you answered what you thought I wrote.

You certainly ignored what I wrote.

So don't take me to task when you don't read and/or comprehend what you are disagreeing with.