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QuailCreek
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I’ve searched the archives of the Café’ but didn’t find the complete answer so I’m posting this one. I have also looked through the cups and balls museum.

I want to start working with cups and balls so I would appreciate some help/suggestions. I believe I want a set of standard size combo cups in bright copper. Other than that I’m looking for help. I would like to get a leg-up on making my choice rather than ending up buying three or four sets of cups to determine which ones I like best. I’m looking to pick up an entire package cups, balls and wand as well as some DVDs.

I realize that the selection is almost totally a matter of personal preference but with all the experience on the Café’ especially where cups and balls are concerned, I would very much appreciate everyones opinion. (And I’m sure I’ll get it!) I’m not a street performer so they would be more for close-up and parlor use. I have been around magic for quite some time and I’m not as concerned about the cost as I am in getting what I pay for.

If there is a set of cups that might take some searching to acquire I’m open to that too. Although I agree with Bill Palmer, I don’t think a set of cups is an investment either.

I would prefer bright copper cups and I thing a combo set would give me a little more versatility. If someone has a suggestion on a four cup set that includes a chop cup, that would be good too. As far a the shape I’m thinking the Paul Fox style as apposed to the traditional shape.

Also, as I learn better from a DVD than from reading, the whole left brain right brain thing I guess. I would also appreciate suggestions for some DVDs. I have the Ammar 2 DVDs set already which teach the basics so I would be looking for suggestions on routines.

Thanks,
Tom
Regards,
Silverthorne
Tim Dowd
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Hi Tom,

I had the same question until I started actually performing the cups and balls for real people...

The routine is most important, I started out with the classic from Stars of Magic, Vernon routine. this was an impromptu version using glasses covered in paper ( I even wrote A,B,C on them until I realized this was for demonstration purposes only)

These are the questions I asked myself:

Decide which final loads you want to produce before you buy any cups...

Decide if you want to use a chop cup as part of your cups and balls routine or if you want to do it as a separate effect...

Look in the mirror... is your character a bright copper sort of guy or are you into antique brass, or even plastic?

What will precede and follow the routine? Can you use the props in another setting?

Finally, if you're like most of us here it won't stop with one set Smile so it doesn't really matter...

have fun...

Tim
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Bill Palmer
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According to that eminent authority on psychology, Jamy Ian Swiss, the whole left brain / right brain thing has been discredited. See the latest issue of Genii for full details.

You can learn from books. You just have to want to. However, the Ammar DVD's are an excellent start.

Regarding cup sets, remember you can always use combo sets as regular cups.
"The Swatter"

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Dale Houck
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The size of manipulation balls you want to use would also be crucial in making a decision. Some will nest three 1 1/8" balls; some will only do that with 1" or smaller; some will only take 7/8". Mini cups might take even smaller balls.
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Donnie Buckley
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Quote:
On 2010-08-22 18:56, Tim Dowd wrote:

I started out with the classic from Stars of Magic, Vernon routine. this was an impromptu version using glasses covered in paper ( I even wrote A,B,C on them until I realized this was for demonstration purposes only)


That's very funny!
dmueller
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Quote:
On 2010-08-22 19:24, Bill Palmer wrote:
According to that eminent authority on psychology, Jamy Ian Swiss, the whole left brain / right brain thing has been discredited. See the latest issue of Genii for full details.



As a dyslexic I must humbly disagree with you on this. While the whole "left brain/ right brain" thing may have been discredited, there are still those of us who struggle with learning from reading a book. I have a very high level of reading comprehension unless I am reading instructions. Then I almost always have to have a visual reference. I can not get the signals between my brain and my hands to coordinate when I try learning something from reading it. But with an instructional video, often times I have the mechanics down pat at the end of the first viewing, providing I am watching with my props in front of me.
pabloinus
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Bazar de magia in copper are very good and not so expensive, the penguin cups are ok as well
RNT2 are all very good, any of their cups, the problem is to choose one the selection is huge. Mendoza, Foxy 3, PF, you pick
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2010-08-22 20:09, dmueller wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-08-22 19:24, Bill Palmer wrote:
According to that eminent authority on psychology, Jamy Ian Swiss, the whole left brain / right brain thing has been discredited. See the latest issue of Genii for full details.



As a dyslexic I must humbly disagree with you on this. While the whole "left brain/ right brain" thing may have been discredited, there are still those of us who struggle with learning from reading a book. I have a very high level of reading comprehension unless I am reading instructions. Then I almost always have to have a visual reference. I can not get the signals between my brain and my hands to coordinate when I try learning something from reading it. But with an instructional video, often times I have the mechanics down pat at the end of the first viewing, providing I am watching with my props in front of me.


Dyslexia is not a foreign subject to me. I have what could best be termed "adult onset dyslexia." I had eye surgery about 25 years ago that causes my right eye and left eye to get the signals mixed up quite frequently. As a result, I have to spend an inordinate amount of time correcting things that I post before I hit the button, etc.

For more information about this, read this thread -- ALL of it -- it will do you a lot of good.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......m=171&10

Finally, regarding the last post in that thread, the Psychiatric times has published several articles since 2007 echoing exactly what I posted in that very post.

Note: Because of my visual impairment, I had to make 15 corrections in this post before I hit the button. Make that 17.
"The Swatter"

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dcjames
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Hello Tom -

Welcome to the fascinating world of cups and balls!

So, you've already decided on the material and finish you like as well the style of cup you prefer. You also know that you would like a combo set. You're off to a great start.

I have to agree with the advice posted by Tim Dowd & Dale Houck concerning the need to understand what size balls you prefer to use.

For final load balls I think the key is determining what size ball (or other item) you can comfortably & invisibly manipulate.

A good way to understand what size working ball that you can most effectively manage is to learn some routines using small, hard balls like those used for C&B work. Learning a ‘two in the hand - one in the pocket’ routine as well as the 3-ball routine would be a great start. (There are some really nice things published on these effects by David Roth, Danny Orleans, Scott Guinn, John Luka, Johnny Thompson, etc. Also, L&L’s “World’s Greatest Magic - The Fabulous Three Ball Routine” is an excellent DVD on this topic.) Once you have a couple of these routines perfected you will have mastered some of the fundamentals for adequately performing cups and balls before ever having picked up a cup.

After you figure out what size balls are best for you, RNT2 (www.rnt2.com) has a wonderful website that lists the recommended balls to use with each of their cups. The choices are many and I have yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve bought from RNT2. Besides that, Donnie is an awesome guy!

Finally, handle all the cups you can before making a decision. If you know anyone who collects cups in your area, ask if you can play with some of their sets. It’s really disappointing to buy a set of cups only to find that you just don't connect with them for whatever reason. I assure you that unless you are 100% happy with the cups you purchase, you will not use them and your search will continue.

Best of luck in your hunt for your first set of cups.

Doug
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kentfgunn
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Bill,

I've given up telling people that the good stuff is all in print. If they want to learn from DVDs . . . it's their choice. I applaud your efforts, nonetheless. Someone not willing to try to extend their sources of information to the written word will only limit themselves. Whatever restrictions they feel exist are very real to them. Luckily for all of us the Ammar Cups and Balls DVDs are quite good.

Quick Quail

I can't think of a better source of information on the Vernon routine and it's progeny than the Ammar DVDs. They really are quite good. The explanation of several complete routines are in there. You've four or five full routines to choose from. They get progressively more complex.

The cups you choose do not matter. There, I've said it. Neither does the wand. They do not matter one whit. You know you want a combo set in shiny copper. RNT2 is the place for you. Here's the combo cup page.

http://www.rnt2.com/index.php?target=cat......y_id=172

I have a set of the Mendoza cups. I had a set in Aluminum as well. That's a really long story . . . I'd recommend these even more highly than the one's at RNT2. If you want a combo set, you'll have to pay considerably more though!

http://www.sherwoodmagic.com/

I happen to use Mr. Sherwood's cups. I bought them first and got used to them.

For combo routines your choice of Video instruction is severely limited. I'd recommend Charlie Frye's Eccentricks DVDs. You can see this master of all things entertaining here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvc68cKILxg&feature=related

I don't own Mr. John Mendoza's DVDs. I will say he certainly has one of the earliest combo routines in print though!

Good luck in your acquisitions. Don't forget to learn a cups and balls routine when you're through acquiring new toys!

KG
Bill Palmer
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Most people tend to forget that Herb Morrissey INVENTED the combo cup. John Mendoza definitely has the first combo cup routine in print.

BTW, Learning from a book is a completely different process than learning from a DVD. I am posting something here to help serve as a guide:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=37&0
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
yin_howe
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All are excelent and relevant advice.

Quote:
On 2010-08-22 21:57, dcjames wrote:

I have to agree with the advice posted by Tim Dowd & Dale Houck concerning the need to understand what size balls you prefer to use.

For final load balls I think the key is determining what size ball (or other item) you can comfortably & invisibly manipulate.


One thing I would like to add to the above is the question: 'Will you be performing standing or sitting?' Which is also a consideration for load sizes.
"Talent without passion is talent wasted.."
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QuailCreek
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Thanks Doug,
This is some very good information. I appreciate the reply very much.

Tom

Quote:
On 2010-08-22 21:57, dcjames wrote:
Hello Tom -

Welcome to the fascinating world of cups and balls!

So, you've already decided on the material and finish you like as well the style of cup you prefer. You also know that you would like a combo set. You're off to a great start.

I have to agree with the advice posted by Tim Dowd & Dale Houck concerning the need to understand what size balls you prefer to use.

For final load balls I think the key is determining what size ball (or other item) you can comfortably & invisibly manipulate.

A good way to understand what size working ball that you can most effectively manage is to learn some routines using small, hard balls like those used for C&B work. Learning a ‘two in the hand - one in the pocket’ routine as well as the 3-ball routine would be a great start. (There are some really nice things published on these effects by David Roth, Danny Orleans, Scott Guinn, John Luka, Johnny Thompson, etc. Also, L&L’s “World’s Greatest Magic - The Fabulous Three Ball Routine” is an excellent DVD on this topic.) Once you have a couple of these routines perfected you will have mastered some of the fundamentals for adequately performing cups and balls before ever having picked up a cup.

After you figure out what size balls are best for you, RNT2 (www.rnt2.com) has a wonderful website that lists the recommended balls to use with each of their cups. The choices are many and I have yet to be disappointed with anything I’ve bought from RNT2. Besides that, Donnie is an awesome guy!

Finally, handle all the cups you can before making a decision. If you know anyone who collects cups in your area, ask if you can play with some of their sets. It’s really disappointing to buy a set of cups only to find that you just don't connect with them for whatever reason. I assure you that unless you are 100% happy with the cups you purchase, you will not use them and your search will continue.

Best of luck in your hunt for your first set of cups.

Doug


Thank you very much, Tim. I agree, sometimes getting started and leaning as you go is the best way.

Tom


Quote:
On 2010-08-22 18:56, Tim Dowd wrote:
Hi Tom,

I had the same question until I started actually performing the cups and balls for real people...

The routine is most important, I started out with the classic from Stars of Magic, Vernon routine. this was an impromptu version using glasses covered in paper ( I even wrote A,B,C on them until I realized this was for demonstration purposes only)

These are the questions I asked myself:

Decide which final loads you want to produce before you buy any cups...

Decide if you want to use a chop cup as part of your cups and balls routine or if you want to do it as a separate effect...

Look in the mirror... is your character a bright copper sort of guy or are you into antique brass, or even plastic?

What will precede and follow the routine? Can you use the props in another setting?

Finally, if you're like most of us here it won't stop with one set Smile so it doesn't really matter...

have fun...

Tim


Posted: Aug 23, 2010 3:18pm
I find it interesting that my brain (left or right) seems to be more of a topic of conversation that my original questions. Funny how that works.

Thanks Bill for you venerable insight. I will do my best to learn from the written word. All great information from everybody and I appreciate it.

Regards,
Tom
Regards,
Silverthorne
MagicBrent
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Is there no other kit on the market similar to the Andy Comic cups as far as having the cups, balls, final loads, wand and case...hard to find but I like the idea of it all being together versus ala cart
Bill Palmer
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Not in that price range, at least. Remember Andy Comic basically put that together as a budget way to get into a set of busking cups. These cups are no longer made.

Cups are a very personal thing.

BTW, that wasn't actually a case. It was a busking pouch. Okay, it was a fanny pack, but if you think it's a case, you are missing the purpose of it.

Getting back to the cups, though. You can order a set of cups, balls and loads from RnT II. They even have wands. So all you would be missing is the pouch.

Pouches are even more personal than cups.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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QuailCreek
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So... Bill. I read your post. When are you going to write a book on cups and balls? I want the first copy. Maybe an old dog can learn some new trix.

Tom

Quote:
On 2010-08-22 23:55, Bill Palmer wrote:
Most people tend to forget that Herb Morrissey INVENTED the combo cup. John Mendoza definitely has the first combo cup routine in print.

BTW, Learning from a book is a completely different process than learning from a DVD. I am posting something here to help serve as a guide:
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......rum=37&0
Regards,
Silverthorne
Pete Biro
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START SIMPLE... Learn the basic ways to handle the props. Get comfortable with them.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Palmer
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I'm working on the book now. It will take about three years for me to finish it.

BTW, there have been several threads about selecting cups, and one of the common ideas in them is that you should start by figuring out what your loads will be. That determines the size of the cups. Then figure out what you will be wearing and what your performing surface will be. That determines the color of the balls.

Now look at several sets that meet your criteria. See what size ball works best with them. Up to a point, larger is better, because it is easier to see.

Remember, color contrast is important. Yellow shows up better against black than any other color. Black shows up against yellow with about the same amount of ease. This is one reason school buses are painted yellow and black.

White and black are your next set of really strong contrasts.

There is a table of color contrasts on the net somewhere.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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sethb
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In my experience, the size of your hands determines the size of the balls that you should use. Many C&B sets come with 1" balls, which I found slightly too big for my hands. Most magic shops also carry 7/8" balls, which work better for me, and even 3/4" ones.

Whatever size balls you get, buy a spare set so that when one rolls under the refrigerator or is destroyed by your cat, it's not the end of your act. The Morrissey brand knt balls from Canada are inexpensive, yet well made with a thick wool that helps to prevent the balls from "talking" at the wrong times.

I have had good luck with the Bazar DeMagia cups, which are available in aluminum, brass and copper. I started with aluminum and graduated to brass, which are much heavier and have a nice ring when hit with a plastic wand. They will also take a good-sized final load. These cups are well made, durable, and at about $75, won't cost you an arm and a leg. If you order a straight set and a combo set, you will be able to try routines with and without the chopped cup, and will also have two spares in case of loss or damage. In my opinion, the chopped cup is more trouble than it's worth, but there are others who will disagree.

Many folks subscribe to the "bigger is better" theory for final loads. Just remember that the bigger the load, the tougher it is to load it unseen into the cup. In my experience, a better principle is "the odder the better," meaning a non-congruent final load like a lemon, potato, or even a stack of coins. When I'm pitching the small plastic Royal Magic C&B sets from FUN, Inc., I use a "D" battery as a final load. This lets me end the routine with the gag line "Oh, the battery's dead, sorry, no more magic today!" I have also used a golf ball as a final load, but the battery always gets the bigger and better response.

For DVD teaching, you can't do better than the Ammar 2-disc set. As you know, Ammar emphasizes learning the different moves so that you can construct your own routine. For further study, I'd suggest Bob White's excellent DVD, "A Practical Approach to the Cups & Balls," click HERE for more info. Bob is from the Dai Vernon school of thought, and he emphasizes naturalness in his sleights and moves.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Cups & Balls, and don't be overly concerned about what sort of cups you get. The trick is about you and your presentation, not the cups! SETH

Posted: Aug 24, 2010 11:21am
One more thought. Most C&B balls now come in either white or red, which is great for visibility. However, such bright colors also make a careless flash of a palmed ball much more visible as well.

Before knit balls were the rage, many C&B balls were simply colored black. As Bob White points out on his DVD, this would still be very visible on a white or light-colored background, but would also help to minimize any flashing. In fact, a black ball would be very visible against even a vibrant red background.

I believe RNT offers black C&B balls, and I wish some of the other manufacturers, such as Morrissey, would consider doing the same. Failing that, I imagine you could probably also dye a white knit ball black, but it would probably be a somewhat messy process. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
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Pete Biro
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After you have learned the basics, consider BEING DIFFERENT... Check out things like Johnny Paul's routine or Fred Kaps' using sponge balls. And John Ramsay's two cup routine using ice cream cups and/or "Indian style cups".

The list goes on.

BUT FIRST learn and get comfortable with false transfers, cup loads (small and large) and just picking up props with confidence and style.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
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