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kammagic
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Well, you guys seem to have a different motivation for your opinions than I do. That's OK.
Bill Palmer
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What is your motivation? I like to present good magic with attractive props. I'm not a big one for bringing out a piece of basura that actually offends me by its very existence.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
kammagic
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Not sure what a piece of basura is. I like to take the credit for the magic I do. When I do use a prop, it is as normal looking as possible. To me, the flashy, abnormal-looking stuff is cheesy. Please don't take offence to this, it is just the way I look at magic. I perform as a normal guy who can do some cool stuff.
I had a set of RNT's "Bells of St. Mary's" cups for a long time. I performed Cups and Balls a lot when I was starting out, but soon found it not to fit my style. Sold the cups on eBay for almost $500; I originally paid $80. I remember them being very loud, and it made me think how the plastic cups would be great for quiet cocktail bars.
I love the creative part of magic, so when any new magic gimmick, or prop, or item comes out, I look at all its possibilities. There are no bad tricks, effects, gimmicks, or props, just ideas that haven't found a home yet.
walid ahumada
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I do believe you can find some good gags with the plastic cups, it is just a matter of creativeness.
However, I'd rather play with my heavy cups.
“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.” BEN OKRI quote
Howard Coberly
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Hi Bill,
Quote:
No, Howard. I'm saying that the audience reaction of FISM judges may or may not reflect the value of a routine that is done for a live audience.

I probably should mention that Johnny Ace Palmer won FISM a long time ago with basically the same routine he is doing now. He used a set of Ross Bertram cups, which cost him about $35 at the time.

When have you actually seen any of these people, other than Daniel Cros, perform for a lay audience? I don't think you actually have.

I've seen Gazzo work for a lay audience. I know the reaction he gets. A set of plastic Pepsi cups wouldn't last until the end of his routine.

And his comment, directly from his old web site, about cheap plastic cups is
"Professional magicians can't afford cheap props. Cheap cups are for looooozers!"

While I wouldn't go quite that far, I would say this. I worked for many years as a professional musician. I wouldn't have considered playing a plastic banjo, saxophone, or guitar for a paying audience, unless what I was doing was a joke.

The quality of your props, as well as the quality of your routine, is part of the respect you show your audience and the magic you are performing.

There are good reasons to use plastic cups, or other cups you find at hand, for the Cups and Balls. If you have visited the Cups and Balls Museum in the past, you would see that I have many sets of "found" cups -- some plastic, some metal -- all quite well suited for doing the Cups and Balls.

But I wouldn't perform with them under most circumstances, because they don't suit my style and I don't have to.



How are you, Bill?

To answer your first question, I have not seen Gazzo or Ammar perform for complete lay audiences (although, I have seen Ammar in the Parlor at the Castle several times) nor did I claim that I had. I simply pointed out that these two, along with other professionals, have said, themselves, that they have performed the Cups with paper/Styrofoam cups. (Gazzo makes the claim in his booklet on the Street Cups and Balls that came out several years ago).

You say that a set of plastic Pepsi cups wouldn't last in Gazzo's routine. I agree. But, then again, I never said they would. Gazzo made the claim that he has used Styrofoam cups in his routine, and I simply re-stated that claim to make the point that many of the top magicians out there have said that they have performed with paper cups.

As far as your musical instrument analogy goes, I have to agree within the context of a concert. The problem is that comparing musical instruments to cups and balls is not a viable comparison as one is not trying to fool anyone in a concert (although, many of the bands/singers out there these days are doing just that).
If a musician walks out on stage with a $5,000.00 Fender Special Edition guitar, nobody is going to claim after the concert that the guitar was gaffed somehow to allow him to play so well. This is not the case with the Cups, which, as I stated in my post above, many people might believe to be gaffed if they are too pretty.

I also made no claim that prettier props do not make for a more enjoyable, sophisticated-looking routine in the eyes of the spectators, as many people responded. Again, this is up to the performer's style and persona.

So, by Gazzo's claim (if he did indeed make the claim) that "cheap props are for losers", by implication he is saying that people like Cros, David Williamson (who performs a version with cups and grapes), and John Carney with his terrific cup and kumquat routine that I mentioned in my post are...losers. I would have to chalk this up to Gazzo's great sense of humor and necessity to propagate his reputation as one of the "bad boys of magic", as I know he would not make a blanket statement as ludicrous as this and feel it to be true.

Once again, I don't believe, and obviously neither do many of the worlds greatest magicians, that the props make the magician. A good routine performed by a good showman using inexpensive props will entertain just as much as a routine using expensive props. Ask the three people mentioned above why they choose not to use pricey props for these routines. Note please, Bill, that I didn't say that I have asked them myself.

As far as FISM and whether it is a good test of the entertainment value of a routine on lay audiences, I have to apologize for not letting you clarify your point before making my assertions, and you do make a formidable argument, but it wouldn't have changed any of my assertions.

Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


On 2007-02-23 10:30, Bill Palmer wrote:
How many cups do I need to damage by use before I can convince you that they are crap?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------





Is damaging cups a part of your routine?? Because I really don't see any way one could damage a plastic cup during a routine, unless it was an intentional part of said routine to do so.

Howard
"Our town used to be more fortunate...not a single winter passed without the visit of some star.
There used to be famous actors and singers, while today, God only knows! Nobody visits except magicians and organ-grinders. No esthetic satisfaction."
ed rhodes
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The website didn't come up, so I have no idea how much these plastic cups cost. But if I were going to use plastic cups, I would use the ones I used before I got my no-name aluminum cups. Three plastic drinking cups from iParty. Total cost, between $3 and $5!
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Bill Palmer
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Well, I made the sacrifice. I decided to put two chrome-plated plastic cups, both standard sized, to the test. One was a cup from the new Magic Makers set, the other a cup from a similar set by Empire. I had purchased the extra Magic Makers set with the idea of finding out the kind of stresses the cups could take. The Empire set was one that I won at the Lone Star Magic Auction.

Before I started the tests, I examined the MM cups closely. For some reason, there is a spot in the center of the bottom of the cup, which is covered on the outside with a circular piece of chrome tape about 1/2 inch in diameter. After the testing was concluded, I removed this piece of tape and found that it concealed a hollow spot in the bottom of the cup, which would make it suitable for gaffing like a chop cup. The spot in the bottom of the cup is almost like a plug, and it provides a rather interesting weak point in the cup. If this point is struck from the inside of the cup with even a modicum of force, as one might do when executing the depth illusion sequence, this plug serves as a wedge. It will cause the cup to split. As I mentioned, it requires only a modicum of force to do this. A person accustomed to doing this with even a set of Uday copper cups would ruin these MM cups very quickly.

The wand I used was a simple piece of maple with rounded ends. A MM metal-tipped wand would have made extremely fast work of these cups. A tap or two on the saddle of the cups would produce similar results.

These are things most cup workers do. So if anyone has a set of these cups and wants to keep them from splitting, avoid tapping on them with your wand, either from the outside or the inside. Likewise, using any kind of larger balls would probably be a bad idea. Stick with the ones that are furnished with the set.

The chrome plating on these cups is not very durable at all. Of course, we don't expect chrome on plastic to be a very permanent finish.

I was surprised at the Empire cups. I gave the test cup several fairly decent whacks from the inside and the outside. I did have a few nicks in the finish, but none like the ones inside the MM cups. The bottoms of these cups do not have a plug like the MM cups. They withstood all of my attempts to crack them.

So, I would have to recommend that if you want to work with chrome-plated plastic cups, the Empire cups would probably last you longer.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Howard Coberly
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Quote:
"How many cups do I need to damage by use before I can convince you that they are crap"?...Bill Palmer


Hi Bill,

So where exactly am I reading into this statement? Considering there is no other context leading to your claim to have damaged these cups, one can only assume that you meant during a routine. Unless, of course, you're shooting them off tree limbs for target practice or making cup-of-soup in them. (Or hats.)

Once again, you didn't see the question marks at the end of the sentence, signifying that it was, in fact, a request for clarification. Your counter-statement proves nothing. You claim that there are many ways to damage cups during a routine. I guess if you want to call minor scratches in plastic cups damage, I would have to agree. I'll concede your point on that count, but you didn't clarify the type of damage you were referring to, nor the type of cup. From this, I also have to assume that you were generalising and meant that all cups can be damaged during a routine. I would challenge you to prove this.

As I said in an earlier post, obviously the heavier cups are better for some peripheral moves (juggling and tossing them around) due to their weight, but I firmly believe that I can duplicate most, if not all, C/B moves that can be done with the heavy cups with a standard plastic cup of the same dimensions. If I cannot, well, then, I'm wrong. It won't be the first time.

It's very simple. From a strict routine point of view, plastic cups will work just as well as the expensive heavy cups. Being a collector, and having handled the more expensive, heavier cups, you will obviously prefer them. This doesn't mean that a routine will suffer because a performer uses plastic cups instead of metal. Again, I point to my previous allusions to Carney, Cros, and many other "world class" magicians who use very simple props instead of the more expensive ones.
If you have a great routine, and you have practiced it well, the type of cup will not affect the routine at all.

As far as your assertion that I have not performed the cups enough to know that they can be damaged during use is concerned (the patent cry of the many self-proclaimed arbiters of all that is magic on this forum, even though performers much more well known and technically proficient than they are regularly prove their theories wrong through their actions). I have said many times in my posts that I am not, nor do I claim to be, a professional magician. I do shows when I can get them (more often than not, unpaid). This has nothing to do with my belief that cups are not as easily damaged as you are claiming in order to support your preference for the more expensive cups. Again, I would challenge you to prove this.

I am not afraid to be proven wrong. I am a firm believer that "the proper penalty of all ignorance is that those who don't know should learn from those who do."
If you would like to test your assertions against mine (wait a minute, that would mean coming out from behind the screen into the real world and proving my points to a complete nobody who has challenged them), PM me when you're out Southern California way, and I'll buy a set of these plastic cups, we'll go to the 3rd St promenade, the premiere street-performing venue in Southern California (where I did the cups with a cheesy set of Johnson $20.00 aluminum cups for several summers), and we'll test our theories.

I make this offer to anyone whose theories I have challenged on this forum (the list is very long, but yet, no takers, even from those who I know are at the Castle regularly). Talk is cheap, gentlemen (and ladies), and as I said before, I am not afraid to be proven wrong, nor to admit when I have been proven wrong.

As far as the routine goes, the cups makes no difference.
"Our town used to be more fortunate...not a single winter passed without the visit of some star.
There used to be famous actors and singers, while today, God only knows! Nobody visits except magicians and organ-grinders. No esthetic satisfaction."
Richard Evans
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Quote:
On 2007-02-22 18:55, lint wrote:
On another topic, I read these cups come with some sort of no-bounce rubber balls that look like crocheted balls? That actually sounds pretty neat to me. Any comments on those balls?
-todd


Todd - the balls are awful. They're cheap rubber, moulded to look like crocheted balls.

I have a set of these cups. There is no reason why you can't do a reasonable routine with them, but there are far more 'cons' than 'pros'.

I don't really understand the motivation of those who are defending these cups. Whichever way you look at it, they're not going to last as long as a metal set, and they're not as pleasant to work with. For beginners buying these plastic cups, it's going to be very difficult to get moves done smoothly; some basic moves won't be effective at all (e.g. cup-through-cup).

If the argument is for using plastic cups because they might be perceived by an audience as being more 'normal', then why not just use the Adams set - that's about as plain and innocent a plastic set of cups can be. Why would you want to use a plastic cup that looks like metal?
I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I only lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three. Elayne Boosler
ed rhodes
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Or, as I said a few posts up, go to iParty and pick up the party drinking cups. They look normal because they are normal.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
Richard Evans
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Quote:
On 2007-03-04 12:18, mandrake01 wrote:
Or, as I said a few posts up, go to iParty and pick up the party drinking cups. They look normal because they are normal.



Exactly
I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I only lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three. Elayne Boosler
Howard Coberly
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Quote:
On 2007-03-04 02:50, Bill Palmer wrote:
Well, I made the sacrifice. I decided to put two chrome-plated plastic cups, both standard sized, to the test. One was a cup from the new Magic Makers set, the other a cup from a similar set by Empire. I had purchased the extra Magic Makers set with the idea of finding out the kind of stresses the cups could take. The Empire set was one that I won at the Lone Star Magic Auction.

Before I started the tests, I examined the MM cups closely. For some reason, there is a spot in the center of the bottom of the cup, which is covered on the outside with a circular piece of chrome tape about 1/2 inch in diameter. After the testing was concluded, I removed this piece of tape and found that it concealed a hollow spot in the bottom of the cup, which would make it suitable for gaffing like a chop cup. The spot in the bottom of the cup is almost like a plug, and it provides a rather interesting weak point in the cup. If this point is struck from the inside of the cup with even a modicum of force, as one might do when executing the depth illusion sequence, this plug serves as a wedge. It will cause the cup to split. As I mentioned, it requires only a modicum of force to do this. A person accustomed to doing this with even a set of Uday copper cups would ruin these MM cups very quickly.

The wand I used was a simple piece of maple with rounded ends. A MM metal-tipped wand would have made extremely fast work of these cups. A tap or two on the saddle of the cups would produce similar results.

These are things most cup workers do. So if anyone has a set of these cups and wants to keep them from splitting, avoid tapping on them with your wand, either from the outside or the inside. Likewise, using any kind of larger balls would probably be a bad idea. Stick with the ones that are furnished with the set.

The chrome plating on these cups is not very durable at all. Of course, we don't expect chrome on plastic to be a very permanent finish.

I was surprised at the Empire cups. I gave the test cup several fairly decent whacks from the inside and the outside. I did have a few nicks in the finish, but none like the ones inside the MM cups. The bottoms of these cups do not have a plug like the MM cups. They withstood all of my attempts to crack them.

So, I would have to recommend that if you want to work with chrome-plated plastic cups, the Empire cups would probably last you longer.







I don't understand the point of this "test", Bill. Are you simply trying to prove that if one is determined enough to break a cheap, plastic cup that one can do just that????? (Note: question marks)

If you are trying to prove that the plastic cups won't hold up as well to rough handling as the metal cups will, well, that's pretty much a given. Pretty much basic science that a metal item will be stronger than a plastic one. You could have saved yourself a few dollars and asked any 6 year old.

If you don't mind, I'd like to relate this to my other posts in order to keep my response within the theme of this thread. You have been arguing throughout this entire thread about the quality of the cups, and that some performers are so rough during their routines that they can and do damage cups. I will agree that scrapes and scratches and even minor dents will occur during normal usage, and that this damage will show more on plastic cups than metal cups. But verifying that one can push a wand through the bottom of a plastic does nothing to show how this affects the cups during a performance. Are you really going to tell me that, even with metal cups, you slam that wand into the cup so hard during the depth illusion as to break the bottom of a plastic cup???? (Note: question marks) The point of this being????

The depth illusion with the cups does not in any way require an extreme amount of force to be convincing/entertaining. Maybe all the Gazzo clones out there might do it to keep up with the prevailing wisdom among street performers that they have to be rough and tough to keep up the persona of the "tough, street-performing, anarchic, chaotic magician", but it's just not true. I would be willing to bet that Gazzo himself would say that it is not necessary (and no, I don't know him) to shove your wand into the cup with that much force during the depth illusion, even with metal cups.

In any argument about the plastic cups, one must stay within the parameters created by the medium. Obviously, if you are dealing with plastic cups, you cannot be as rough as with the metal cups (although I did the promenade with plastic many times, and even after being dropped and struck with a wand, time after time, they still worked fine with the routine).

Bill, I would really love to see your routine wherein you claim that you can and have, without intentionality and during the normal course of which, damaged a cup, plastic or metal. Would you consider videotaping this routine and sending it to me? I give you my word that nobody else will see it, and that I will not take any part of your routine. I'll even send you the videotape and PayPal you enough money to return it to me if you tell me what kind your camera uses. I really am serious here.

If you want to look at it from the point of view of intentionality, as in your example of pushing the wand through the top of the cup, I can take your heaviest, strongest, metal cup and easily devise a routine wherein I can greatly damage it. E.g., ball peen hammer for a magic wand and beat the crap out of the cup as part of a comedy routine, or attach a heavy duty vice to the side of my table and crush the cups beyond use as part of a comedy routine...blow-torch as a magic wand...fill them with Los Angeles tap water and let them set for 20 seconds...I can go on with this forever. (You read these ideas here first.)

You're trying to prove the poor quality of an object by placing it under conditions that I just don't think it would ever see in actual normal use.
"Our town used to be more fortunate...not a single winter passed without the visit of some star.
There used to be famous actors and singers, while today, God only knows! Nobody visits except magicians and organ-grinders. No esthetic satisfaction."
Mad Jake
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[quote]On 2007-03-04 13:45, Howard Coberly wrote:
[quote]On 2007-03-04 02:50, Bill Palmer wrote:

I don't understand the point of this "test", Bill. Are you simply trying to prove that if one is determined enough to break a cheap, plastic cup that one can do just that????? (Note: question marks)

If you are trying to prove that the plastic cups won't hold up as well to rough handling as the metal cups will, well, that's pretty much a given. Pretty much basic science that a metal item will be stronger than a plastic one. You could have saved yourself a few dollars and asked any 6 year old.

PLEASE REVISIT SCIENCE/ENGINEERING 101. I CAN PLACE A MASS OF 650+ POUNDS ON 1 DELRIN CUP OF THE SAME SIZE AND MASS AS ANY SMALL METAL CUP AND THE DELRIN WILL NOT COLLAPSE, THERE GOES THE METAL OVER PLASTIC THEORY.


YOU MISSED THE MARK ON THIS ONE AND READ MORE INTO THE PARAGRAPH, MISSED IT COMPLETELY.

The depth illusion with the cups does not in any way require an extreme amount of force to be convincing/entertaining. Maybe all the Gazzo clones out there might do it to keep up with the prevailing wisdom among street performers that they have to be rough and tough to keep up the persona of the "tough, street-performing, anarchic, chaotic magician", but it's just not true. I would be willing to bet that Gazzo himself would say that it is not necessary (and no, I don't know him) to shove your wand into the cup with that much force during the depth illusion, even with metal cups.

NOT ALL STREET HUSTLERS OR PERSONA OF SUCH ARE ROUGH AND TOUGH, LOOK AT WIT AND EVEN HARRY ANDERSON. THE OL' SWINDLERS, LOVE THAT PERSONA. GAZZO IS ROUGH ON THE PROPS BE HE DOES IT FOR ATTENTION, HE IS NOT OVERLY AGGRESSIVE, I'VE SEEN STREET ACTS THAT I'VE WALKED AWAY FROM BECAUSE THE PERFORMER WAS WELL GROSSLY OBNOXIOUS.


You're trying to prove the poor quality of an object by placing it under conditions that I just don't think it would ever see in actual normal use.

WELL THIS IS THE MANUFACTURERS ADVERTISING DEPARTMENTS FAULT. WHY WOULD YOU PUT OUT SOMETHING CHEAPER AND OF LESSER QUALITY OF A CHU'S SET OF COLORED PLASTIC CUPS AND WAIT, ONE MOMENT PLEASE I HAVE TO STOP GIGGLING, CALL THEM "PROFESSIONAL" OR CHOICE OF THE PRO'S? IF YOU ADVERTISE THESE AS SUCH THEY SURE AS HELL BETTER HANDLE LIKE PROFESSIONAL CUPS.

Bill's point I believe, no I know for a fact is to educate the up and coming people who buy routines and see all these neat symphonic moves with cups that these cups will NOT do the trick <no pun>.

There are too many young up and coming magicians that botch cups & balls because of shoddy props or the cups don't handle correctly for certain moves. These young magicians like all of us bust their backsides to earn cash to buy their props only to be disappointed with the items they recieve.

There is one auction vendor now that is running a Michael Ammar video link from youtube of Michael doing his routine with copper cups. Insinuating that Michael is sponsoring this crap, I doubt this, no I know he's not. Not to mention, the clip is a dvd compressed video rip, which means as with a lot of magic on youboob there are copyright violations.

So between items that are made poorly and advertised as Pro items, I'm sure you will see Bill and myself and others continue to buy these, review them for what they are and continue to keep the magic community informed. There is no arguement you can possibly offer up in these discussions that will support false advertising, over priced shoddy equipment and assigning video clips of performers who don't use or even know they're being used to support a horrible product. The only one's that would object to this are the resellers, wholesalers and manufacturers.

This raises the question, who are you exactly anyways?

-J
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at www.airshipmagic.com
Bill Palmer
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Evidently, he is a fellow who feels that I cannot see his excessive question marks. He is wrong. I saw all of them.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Mad Jake
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Oh is that what all those excessive symbols are? I thought my dysgraphia was setting in and he was a big Blue Oyster Cult fan Smile
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at www.airshipmagic.com
Mad Jake
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Quote:
On 2007-02-24 11:21, walid ahumada wrote:
I do believe you can find some good gags with the plastic cups, it is just a matter of creativeness.
However, I'd rather play with my heavy cups.


Present them on a stainless tray with specimen labels on them perhaps?
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at www.airshipmagic.com
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