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critter
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The best C&B I ever saw had more to do with psychology than moves.
Oh, the moves were there, and they were flawlessly executed, but the interaction with the two volunteers is what really made it special.
He put them completely at ease while he danced around their brains.
The highlight of the routine was not the flashiest move in it, but the performer simply distracted his audience with a very passive movement while he performed an incredibly simple vanish.
"The fool is one who doesn't know what you have just found out."
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gdw
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Quote:
On 2009-06-17 14:52, critter wrote:
The best C&B I ever saw had more to do with psychology than moves.
Oh, the moves were there, and they were flawlessly executed, but the interaction with the two volunteers is what really made it special.
He put them completely at ease while he danced around their brains.
The highlight of the routine was not the flashiest move in it, but the performer simply distracted his audience with a very passive movement while he performed an incredibly simple vanish.


I think all of this could be said of my favourite C&B routine of all time. You'd be hard pressed to find one who disagrees with me here, Tommy Wonder's Two Cup routine.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Ethan Orr
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I feel like I find myself saying this all the time, but Tommy Wonder is my magic idol for his rapport and grace and naturalness with a crowd as much as his skills as a magician. His two cup routine got me interested in C&B, and it still remains my favorite.

Early on, my girlfriend thought all magicians I liked were incredibly dorky. But when I showed her Tommy Wonder videos she was just like a little kid.
Bill Hallahan
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As usual, I think Pete Biro's answer is best, (not that I am qualified to either corroborate or refute anything he writes, but I will agree anyway - I do have opinions!).

When I saw Dai Vernon perform his Cups and Balls routine on on of Mark Wilson's magic specials, I was never bored even for an instant. My interest increased with every phase of his routine.

I wish I had gotten to see him perform live.

I saw Lance Burton's cups and balls routine on television when I was very young. I had no idea who he was then, but he also held my attention the entire time. His routine was also many phases.

Both of Vernon and Burton performed at a steady pace that was more rapid than I see some other magicians perform the cups and balls. They did not appear to be hurrying; they just left no dead time for my attention to wander.

Lance Burton's routine made the biggest impression on me of the two, because I had never seen the cups and balls before, so the appearance of the final loads really surprised me, however, the routine had smaller surprises all along.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
cupsandballsmagic
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Quote:
On 2009-06-16 01:52, mindyourmagic wrote:
The cups and balls (IMHO) only feels too long when we perform for ourselves and not for the audience.


You know I believe that perhaps I could have explained what I meant by this a little better.

I was trying to say when we try to stroke our ego and fit in as much of our "clever stuff" as we can then often it fails, however when we are in touch of who we are actually performing for (the paying public) and cater for them, care about what they want to see then it doesn't get boring.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Not only are most cups and balls routines too long. Most close-up tricks I've seen are way too long unless they are extremely professionally done, meaning they've been stripped down to their essence.

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gdw
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Quote:
On 2009-06-25 18:35, Bill Hallahan wrote:
As usual, I think Pete Biro's answer is best, (not that I am qualified to either corroborate or refute anything he writes, but I will agree anyway - I do have opinions!).

When I saw Dai Vernon perform his Cups and Balls routine on on of Mark Wilson's magic specials, I was never bored even for an instant. My interest increased with every phase of his routine.

I wish I had gotten to see him perform live.

I saw Lance Burton's cups and balls routine on television when I was very young. I had no idea who he was then, but he also held my attention the entire time. His routine was also many phases.

Both of Vernon and Burton performed at a steady pace that was more rapid than I see some other magicians perform the cups and balls. They did not appear to be hurrying; they just left no dead time for my attention to wander.

Lance Burton's routine made the biggest impression on me of the two, because I had never seen the cups and balls before, so the appearance of the final loads really surprised me, however, the routine had smaller surprises all along.


I would have to say, as far as a "classic" C&B routine, Burton's is pretty much perfect. I have only seen the one with the coffee mugs and Petty.

It is more or less the Vernon routine, minus the stacked penetration phase, mind you, the mugs don't stack well.

Of course, like I said, it is not so much the actual TIME length, as it is the length it feels. This can be the result of the performer making it boring, or feel repetitive, or the inclusion of too many phases. I've seen magicians rush through "longer" routines that Burton's, taking less time, but feeling twice as long.

Vernon's performance on Wilson's show is classic, but, still, too me, feels to long.

Usually it is the "putting the balls away, and they return" expository phase at which point most routines feel too long, too me. Partially because it is a repetitive phase by its nature, and partially because it is not really any sort of build, or progression over the previous phases.

The best I've seen it done is by Williamson, who makes it like the effect is almost out of control, and the flurry of balls becomes comedic.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Bill Palmer
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The true purpose of a cups and balls routine is to see how many people in the room are true magic enthusiasts. In order to do this, you must start by performing the entire Ozanam routine, verbatim. Then perform the Guyot routine verbatim, translating both into English to keep the spectators' attention.

Before you go into the final load sequence, you must perform all of the new moves, such as the elevator move (in as many variants as possible) and all the different variations on the Charlie Miller move.

At this point, you go into the first of the final load sequences, producing a series of balls that are 1/4 inch larger than the balls you have been working with. Then you increase the size of the load balls by 1/4 inch, until you have produced at least sixteen balls.

Turn to the person who is left and invite him to join the local magic club. He has successfully passed the screening. Smile
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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gdw
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LOL, I'll have to try that some time Mr Palmer.

Posted: Jun 25, 2009 11:21pm
Mind you, speaking of Vernon's Vernon's routine, Ammar's performance of it on his tapes is an example of a good "length" routine. Vernon's performance on Wilson's show was "longer" performance including the stacked penetration phase, and was, overall, IMHO, too "long."
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Bill Palmer
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I was lucky. I got to see Vernon do that routine live a couple of times. The mere presence of Vernon with the cups was what made it work.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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marty.sasaki
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You can't separate the effect from the presentation. Magicians do this, but to the lay audience they are inseparable. Sometimes you can get away with minimal presentation, and sometimes it requires more. Depends on the performer and the audience.

It's the chop cup, but I really like Kosmo's final loads. He does his chop cup routine, does a sponge ball bit with a hat, then reveals the load (a lemon) under the cup, then another, then the melon under the hat. The delay maybe diminishes the chop cup a bit, but it punches up the combination quite a bit.
Marty Sasaki
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Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
Bill Palmer
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In the final analysis, Kozmo's cup routine isn't about the cup. It's about the melon.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
gdw
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Though, it is hard, nearly impossible, to develop a C&B routine without any final loads, I never want my audience to have no idea what they saw before the final loads,

The routine in itself should be a nice piece to remember. Not necessarily every step, just at least that it was something magical.

It's not just about the destination, but the journey, as the saying goes.

A C&B routine that is forgotten as soon as the final loads appear, is like a dove act that is forgotten after the cage is vanished (or changed into a snake, or a woman, or a big bird appears, etc) at the end.

At the end of The Usual Suspects, sure you walk away talking about who Kaiser Soze was, but you don't forget the rest ofo the movie.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Bill Palmer
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Remember, whatever comes out of your cup last is, by definition, a final load.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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ringmaster
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When Vernon performed for normal people, his routine was short. Three or four passes and the final loads.
One of the last living 10-in-one performers. I wanted to be in show business the worst way, and that was it.
funsway
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Quote:
On 2009-06-26 18:51, Bill Palmer wrote:
Remember, whatever comes out of your cup last is, by definition, a final load.


Well, if you start with no balls, produce them as you go along and wind up with 'nothing' but a cup -- it is a final, but hardly a load.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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Bill Palmer
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That kind of thinking nearly cost Gazzo a set of Paul Fox Chick Cups. Smile
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Mr. Mystoffelees
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When I am working on "tightening" a routine, I like to practice it to music. I pick something with a good beat, pace and length. I find doing this forces me to develop a short, moving routine with rhythm and sync, which, if I practice enough, stays with me when I am using patter rather than music...
Also known, when doing rope magic, as "Cordini"
Lawrence O
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Dominique Duvivier has a handling which makes one additional cup magically appear on to the table. He does this within his large loads sequence but it could be done with the small balls and the additional cup could be presented as a sucker explanation: the magic is possible thanks to the invisible cup which the performer now makes visible. That would probably be a workable solution. I think that the incredibly deceptive moves for introducing the cup in full view without anyone noticing it are described in English in Michael Ammar's great DVDs.

It's not what I would recommend (my personal taste makes the large loads an essential part of the C&Bs), but it is a possibility that could be explored and developed by one of us. A very good script could possibly make this as interesting as the pompom and the bag in Tommy Wonder's routine (which compensated for his absence of large loads).

Posted: Jul 7, 2009 5:28am
Now speaking of duration of the routines, it should be remembered that from Jacques Ozanam and until Hoffman, the routines were much longer than they are now. Robert Houdin was an exception there.

So if you take the trouble in timing the videos of the Professor's performances on Youtube, you will notice that the introductory patter covers up to one third of the performance duration. This brings water to the mill of the ones amongst us (I'm one of them) who place the spotlight on presentation, script and acting opening a proper communication with the audience.

Are we demonstrating the cups and balls or are we performing magic (using the C&Bs as supporting props): our art is about splitting hair but this hair splitting is what makes the difference.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Bill Palmer
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This is an excellent point. There are several different viewpoints from which to present a cups and balls routine. Some of them are:

1) This is a very old sleight of hand trick. Even when I move slowly, you can't catch me.
2) These cups are very special. When I use them, strange things happen.
3) These balls are very special. When I use them strange things happen.
4) These cups and these balls have unusual characteristics. By themselves, they are nothing, but when they get together, strange things happen.
5) This is real magic.

None of these is inherently better than the other. And this is by no means a complete list of possibilities.

What other possibilities can you think of?
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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