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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » How long must a chop cup routine be? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Sergey Smirnov
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I've recently started doing a chop cup (also working on c&b). My routine is pretty short: 2 transformations of the ball from a hand to under the cup, then the ball goes to the pocket followed by 2 loads of big balls. I use the chop cup feature only once, BTW.

Here's the question: can you make it longer but still entertaining with one cup, or to have a long routine you really need more cups and one cup routine should be short and to the point - to the cup, in the pocket, oh, what's that? it'g big... and this one is even bigger?
DWmagic
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Hi,
You can make a resonably long and entertaining Chop Cup routine, but you have to work at it. Paul Daniels has a hilarious Chop Cup routine which goes on for quite a while, and is one of the most entertaining Chop Cup routines I have ever seen.

I think the Secret to creating a good routine at a resonable length is you have to explore all of the Chop Cup's capabilities. There is a lot you can do with a Chop Cup, but you have to think outside the box a little.

Hope this Helps,
Matt
Yours,
Matt Wood
Bill Palmer
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I would disagree with this a bit. If you are performing in front of a live audience, you have to keep them interested and you have to keep them entertained. If you spend a lot of time "exploring all of the Chop Cup's capabilities," you run the risk of doing neither.

I never liked the Jennings routine (for example), for two reasons.
1) It required that you be seated.
2) It was too long for the amount of entertainment generated.

Paul Daniels' routine works, because Paul is a very funny man. Essentially, it is not an extremely involved routine. Everyone can follow what is going on. That's crucial.

I did the chop cup for large audiences for about 20 years. The routine I use is an expansion of the Don Alan routine, with a triple load sequence and lots of lines that work. But it has punch at the end, and that's what you really need.

Part of the reason for the success of the chop cup is that it is a simple item. Complicating it makes it more likely that it will be boring.

Think about this. Have you ever seen a cups and balls routine by someone who didn't know how to entertain?

I know guys who think that the cups and balls is about doing every move in the Garcia book or the Ammar book. It isn't. Once you have made the balls move about and penetrate, you need to get to those loads.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Ron Giesecke
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I agree with Bill on this.

Exploring every possibility is far different fron using every possibility.

It is possible to discover some unorthodox application of the chop cup, and perhaps use only that. That might be a cool routine, in and of itself.

The sheer singularity of the item screams simplicity--and really--becomes more challenging to make astonishing.

Good luck on this.
DWmagic
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Sorry, I don't think I explained myself enough.

Lots of people don't use the Chop Cup to its full potential. I'm just suggesting that while developing your Chop Cup routine, you should explore all of what the Chop Cup can do. That way you can make your Chop Cup routine last longer.

You do of cource need to keep the Audience entertained. That is the most essential part of any routine.
Yours,
Matt Wood
Bill Palmer
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You explained yourself perfectly.

My point is that the Chop Cup routine probably doesn't need to last longer by adding any moves.

Don Alan's routine, which is to the Chop Cup as the Dai Vernon routine is to the cups and balls, took about 2 minutes to perform. The best source to learn it is the Ron Bauer book, which has not only all of the lines and bits of business, it has when you place the balls into position and the reasoning behind every move.

This is really the best starting point for learning a chop cup routine.

Don even tells you what color close-up pad to use, and why.

This said, consider Gazzo's cups and balls routine. It is basically an extension of the Vernon routine, with extra material added in the lines. He doesn't do the Galloping Post, the Elevator Move or any other extraneous rubbish. He does a phase, does lines, gathers more people, does another phase, does more lines, gathers people, he continues until he is ready for the loads. Then he hits them, produces the melon and passes the hat.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
DWmagic
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I believe that you can add more moves to a Chop Cup routine if you wish. Paul Daniels may be a very funny man, but I think that his routine shows that it is possible to have a resonably lengthy routine. Paul Daniels himself says that most people don't know the full Capabilities of the Chop Cup.

Most of the time it is important that everyone can follow what is going on. But adding more fazes doesn't have to effect that. If you keep it clear and add variaty, I think you can add fazes to a Chop Cup routine. I say most of the time because, going back to the Paul Daniels routine, not even the most critical observer couldn't follow exactly what happens in the first faze of his routine!

I'm not saying that you should make your Chop Cup routine longer by adding fazes, I'm simply saying you can. I think it is essential though that if you do lengthen your routine, that you do so with patter as well as fazes. (Unless you do a Chop Cup routine silently to music)
Yours,
Matt Wood
TheAmbitiousCard
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We all know what abarham lincoln's answer to this question would be ...

"long enough to reach the end"


it should be uncomplicated, no challenging patter unless you can pull it off,
and never visually put the ball in your pocket and have it appear back under the cup.
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doug brewer
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Never say never, Frank Smile
Leppy
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Has anyone ever did a few moves with the ball to chop cup, then instead of making it a full routine,use it as a running type effect that you keep going back and so on. This way, it could be entertaining as well as a longer routine. I only ask this as it popped into my head when I read the question. I have not thought out any possibilities or problems with the effect at this point. Any ideas on this one though?

Thanks again,

Patrick
Michael Baker
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Frank, you really caught me off guard. First, you make a brilliant analogy with the Lincoln paraphrase, which goes to the core of a "no boundaries" approach... and then you follow it up with a "rule" (pocket/cup) that is sure to have as many reasons to break it, as there are magicians analyzing why they can.

"long enough to reach the end", is so impeccably true. Not only is it true for the Chop Cup, it is true for all magic. It perfectly defines the length of a routine without giving it boundaries.

This is an issue that can be given many different answers, if a physical length of time were being sought. While many of those answers may be wrong, many of them would be right.

To take just the time needed to reach the end, is saying no more and no less than is needed. This is when clarity is most likely to be at it's peak, and when entertainment value has not yet worn out it's welcome. The path of the trick is taken to a point that commands that the end of the trick come when it does. It just makes sense!

Bravo!

~michael
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Bill Palmer
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What he said.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2006-03-13 18:20, Michael Baker wrote:
... and then you follow it up with a "rule" (pocket/cup) that is sure to have as many reasons to break it, as there are magicians analyzing why they can.


Yes you and Doug both caught me.
Those are my rules..... currently.

Also, my last rule was posted to generate discussion.
I assumed that, since this is actually how the routine works, that people might wonder why I would have a rule that goes agianst exactly how most routines operate.
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Sergey Smirnov
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That's what I was afraid of - there'll be no consensus. Smile But thank you anyway.

I'll stick to my short routine for the time being, until I come up with something better.
rikbrooks
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Wait a minute, Frank, never visually put the ball back in your pocket and have it appear under the cup? That's precisely what Don Allen did right at the start of his routine. He showed the ball, put it in his pocket, said, "Let's start again" and showed it appear under the cup.

I do it several times in my routine. You have me wondering though. Does that weaken the magic? I don't think so but I'm open to discussing it.

My routine can go 3 minutes. I've had it go as much as 5 or so but I got to joking around with the spectator about cups and balls and how cups can 'protect' balls (references to athletic cups) but this ball doesn't need protecting, besides, this little leather cup wouldn't protect much... etc. etc.

I also have had the ball vanish from a spectator's hand (using a raven) and reappear under the cup. I only did that once. I found it not worth the effort for the setup.

I've also had it run as short as about a minute when the guy guessed the gimmick. It was clear that he guessed it or knew it already since I hadn't even done the first phase. So I ONLY did the final load. The ball vanished, I showed him the cup empty. Then I told him that he really should keep his eye on the ball and lifted the cup to show the eyeball. No routine at all.

So how long should it go? I watch the spectator to tell. My routine is designed so that I can get into the final load at any time. If you are attentive you can tell when your spectator is starting to wander, starting to think for himself and not be led by your patter. That tells you that you've already gone too long - get to it!
whizzomagic
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I personally like a short routine. I have a set of combo cups and follow up my cups and balls routine with a short chop cup routine. With the chop cup I think that less is better. I go through a 3 or 4 phase "ball to the pocket now it's back under the cup" routine and then I finish with a double-final load of a lemon then an orange.
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2006-03-14 06:16, rikbrooks wrote:
I also have had the ball vanish from a spectator's hand (using a raven) and reappear under the cup. I only did that once. I found it not worth the effort for the setup.


Wow!

Maybe I have never heard of this application before (is it original?), but what a great idea!

If you also do one-shot shows, instead of just strolling, and you don't bother to do this, I think you're cheating yourself. I'd bet it would completely kill!

Most antics with the little ball fade to the background once the final load appears, but this would surely stay on my mind if I was the spectator!

Wow!

~michael
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Rik,
I think something has to come between the 2 events OR there must be some possible slight-of-hand that has happened. Sort of the too perfect theory, I suppose.

That is why I like the idea of Bannon's gag loads in between
Frank
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rikbrooks
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Michael, I do the raven vanish if it is a one shot thing or if it's walk around but I'm close to a break (so I can retrieve the ball). Yup, it kills. Hint. You need a fairly loose sleeve since the ball is round it becomes disengaged easily. Adjust that raven carefully.

I came up with it on my own but I'm sure others have done it, don't you think?

Frank, this is not common, but I completely disagree with you. When I'm doing the routine with my full size Johnson cup I do it at a table. I like to drop the ball in my pocket and flip over the cup as quickly as possible - the very moment the ball leaves the vision of the spectator - BANG - it's under the cup. Then I pull the pocket out and do the "top of the pocket" dodge. Then I put the pocket back in and drop the ball in the cup at the same time. Steal the ball from the pocket and palm it while "dumping out" the gaffed ball into my right palm. Then put that ball BACK in my pocket and lift the cup to show it back AGAIN.

It's about that time that I say something like "Slippery little buggers, ain't they?"

But this is on my new routine - it's not completely done yet. I'm still testing it and improving. This routine starts off with me playing with the ungaffed ball and the cup. "When I was a kid I used to play Yahtzee, but I kept losing the dice. Now that I'm an all growed up magician I invented a trick where I CAN'T lose the dice... OK, I use a ball instead of the dice... and I use just one instead of the five... and it's a smaller cup... well, I reckon it ain't a lot like Yahtzee after all - but I never lose the dice! So it works pretty good!"
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2006-03-13 13:54, DWmagic wrote:
Sorry, I don't think I explained myself enough.

Lots of people don't use the Chop Cup to its full potential. ...


What specifically motivates your presentation? How long do you need to present your premise and express the theme(s) you have in mind?

Any hack can fuss with a ball and cup and get the loads under there before the audience gets bored with the basic "look at the ball under the cup again" thing, say about two minutes. Beyond that it probably helps to have some sort of aesthetic and thematic premises to work from.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
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