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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » C & B penetrations - weak? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Robert Kohler
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Is it just me or do you think that penetrations thru cups - especially repeated ones - are the weakest (least entertaining) moves of the many possible that make C&B the classic effect that it is?
We judge ourselves by our intentions - others judge us by our actions.....
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Bill Palmer
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Which cup penetrations are you referring to? Are you referring to the cup through cup or the ball through cup penentrations?
"The Swatter"

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walid ahumada
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I use cup through cup as a gag with good reaction.
the ball through cup I think is a must, the penetration that I don't like and I don't use are the miller penetrations. (if you wonder why I don't like them, I don't know)
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sethb
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I agree, the cup-thru-cup penetration is good for a gag, and sometimes people even say "Hey, wait a minute, what was THAT?"

At least in my opinion, the ball-thru-cup penetrations are good if not overdone and are placed in the middle or near the end of the routine, because by then people are watching pretty closely and these penetrations don't require any sleight of hand.

The one penetration I don't do and don't like is the wand-thru-cup business. It's too angly and chancy for me, but I will admit that done well, it does look pretty good.

I also agree that, in my experience, the most entertaining part of C/B work is having the balls move magically from cup to cup or from hand to cup. And there's my two cents, for what it's worth! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
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lint
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Maybe he means wand through cup?
"There's many a slip 'twixt the cup and the lip..." -English Proverb
Josh Riel
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It seems whenever I see a Cups and balls act it starts with a cup through cup, wand through cup, using wand to show inside of cup deeper than outside.

The first time I saw it I thought it was cool. Now it is too predictable.

As you aren't showing it to me, your probably fine. In fact I think it was cool to see the first time.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
walid ahumada
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It seems whenever I see a Cups and balls act it ends with a ball too big under the cups.

The first time I saw it I thought it was cool. Now it is too predictable.


As you aren't showing it to me, your probably fine. In fact I think it was cool to see the first time.
“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.” BEN OKRI quote
Michael Baker
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Good point. What we as magicians find trite, mundane, or predictable, should be of no consequence. I do the Cups & Balls often, and although most everyone (lay audience) claims to know of the trick, rarely do they fail to show surprise at things we take for granted.

I agree that perhaps the opening sequence described by Josh is overworked. This seems to less indicates that the audience may be forced to endure yet "one more performance" of the same moves, as much as it shows a disheartening lack of imagination from those who practice an art supposedly made for creativity.

Regarding penetrations, doing anything once only is probably ok. Doing something twice only, shows that the magician cannot pull himself from redundancy. Doing something 3 times is much better, provided the third time offers a twist. In this case, the first time establishes premise, the second time sets up the gag.

In one of my routines, I produce all 3 balls from my wand singly at the beginning. As each is produced, it is vanished and appears under a cup, then placed atop a cup. Although the presentation is not standard, I allude to the fact that the balls are penetrating a solid cup. The third ball does not come from the wand, but appears atop the final cup, where it is assumed it will ultimately end up anyway. As I restate the premise of balls penetrating the cups, I do the "through the fist" penetration. Then while reinforcing the impossibility of solid through solid, the wand, "accidentally" penetrates the cup.

I don't do cup through cup, or the standard stacked penetration, but I see no harm in either, as they are good effects in my opinion. It would be nice though, to see a little creativity used when incorporating them. Although I don't care myself to see cookie-cutter routines with anything, I am not the lay audience who will be hopefully watching, and with the Cups & Balls, a certain reverence for the tradition and history of the trick is certainly not out of order. Being different for the sake of it, is not always the best answer.

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Mr. Muggle
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I see one problem with most of the comments in this thread...just about everyone (I know, broad brush) is thinking like a magician and not a lay person. To the trained eye, just about everything is predictable. Use this to your advantage and create something different in your routine! You may start surprising your audience as well as fellow magicians.

Cup penetrations are extremely effective when spaced out through a routine and used sparingly to achieve a desired effect. Should you do a series of cup penetrations (of any type) at once in a succession? I would say no¡ Kit would be better IMO to use them here and there to highlight the fact that magically at any time the magic can happen. Think of these moves as a seasoning¡ K a little can go a long way.

Back to Roberts original question:

Quote:
Is it just me or do you think that penetrations thru cups - especially repeated ones - are the weakest (least entertaining) moves of the many possible


I would say yes if we were discussing the Galloping Post. From what I have seen this move is usually done with little entertainment value by skilled performers and overdone by performers new to the cups and balls to the point of (IMO) boredom. (There, I included myself in that broad brush).

(IMO) The days of Frank Garcia and Charlie Miller are long gone. No longer can we do multiple repetitive motions in routines and keep an audience at our table. We have to stay ahead of our spectator’s limited attention span and change things up.

Disclaimer: My opinion may be jaded due to seeing the Galloping Post performed more than any other cup and ball sequence by cup and ball performers. This doesn't mean that I feel this move is unworthy of a place in a cups and balls routine only that it should be used on a limited basis and differently than I have seen it used.
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
Bill Palmer
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The Galloping Post is not a penetration, per se, but a vanish. I wouldn't overdo it in any case.

But we really should wait for Robert to respond to the initial question I asked him.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Robert Kohler
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Sorry - I should have been clear - the stacked ball through cup penetrations.........
We judge ourselves by our intentions - others judge us by our actions.....
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<BR>B. Wilson
Bill Palmer
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I think it really depends on how much time you dwell on it, and whether you do it vanilla or with something like the Mendoza move or the Charlie Miller move. Those tend to spice the penetrations up.

You really need to avoid overdoing any one particular aspect of the cups and balls.

So, I go back to my original thought. It depends on how you sell it.

And it's good to remember, as several others have pointed out, the laymen don't really know what we are going to do. They haven't seen the big loads or the other stuff. The big loads, if done with decent timing, are very surprising, even if you are working with relatively small cups. When I do my hospital shows, I always do the pocket chop cup routine with the big smiley face balls as the ending. This never fails to get big looks of surprise from the kids.

So, in that regard, it goes back to something else that I believe firmly. You must practice your magic until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful. Imagine how many times Slydini must have watched himself to the paper balls over the head.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations,

The ball through stacked-cups is in the late-middle of my routine, and without going too deeply into it, I "sell" it as the most dangerous part of my routine. Unlike my "soft metal cups," the hard wooden surface of my table offers no "give" and the ball could, "potentially" fly right through the ball -- this is the third table I've had to build this week!

Pure hocum? Of course! Does it get a laugh? Indeed!

Works for me. Just my $.02 (USD) worth. YMMV

Joe Zeman aka
The Mage Ulysses
WoodRat
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I love this quote, Bill.

Quote:
Bill Palmer said, "You must practice your magic until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful."


Is it an original? Just wanna know how to cite it in my next (well Ok, first) book =D
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Pete Biro
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The penetration sequence is just one segment that "sets up" the next... all is part of a complete act with the props... variations keep interest.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2007-03-21 21:41, WoodRat wrote:
I love this quote, Bill.

Quote:
Bill Palmer said, "You must practice your magic until it becomes boring, then practice it until it becomes beautiful."


Is it an original? Just wanna know how to cite it in my next (well Ok, first) book =D


I don't know. I wish I could say that I originated it, but I'm really not sure.

You can quote me on that! Smile
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Robert Kohler
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A single penetration accompanied by a tip over or Mendoza Move can hold the interest, I guess, but the transpo moves ala Al Schneider are just downright boggling - and he doesn't use much embellishment of patter to support his technique. I guess this is what Bill would call "beautiful"?
We judge ourselves by our intentions - others judge us by our actions.....
<BR>
<BR>B. Wilson
Bill Palmer
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I think this is one good example. Another is Dai Vernon performing the cups and balls. He had that down to muscle memory on the level of breathing.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Mr. Muggle
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I think Dai had all his magic down to muscle memory on the level of breathing Smile
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
Josh Riel
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Quote:
On 2007-03-20 20:39, Josh Riel wrote:

As you aren't showing it to me, your probably fine. In fact I think it was cool to see the first time.


It seems I was a tad misunderstood.

Let me rephrase it thusly: If you aren't showing it to a magician (I.E.: Me), you're probably fine (Doing it like everyone else).
I enjoyed watching it myself until it was repeated so often that I found it painfully predictable (As a magician).

Anyway, if you see something done a million times as is a magicians wont. Everything can seem overdone and boring.


Having seen a clip of Dai Vernon doing the cups and balls I realized that most of the C&B's that I have seen were nearly exact replicas of his.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
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