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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Cups and Balls Final Load "Congruence" (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Denis Bastible
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In Michael Ammar's cups and balls dvd, he discusses Bob Read's belief that using incongruent final loads , as opposed to congruent final loads (eg: use of small baseballs in routine and large baseballs as final loads ), offers a "50%" greater surprise factor when the final loads are revealed. Thus, the use of vegetables as final loads would have a much greater wow factor. Also, Mr. Read recommended different individual final loads as opposed to loads which were all the same. I like theory discussions and was wondering what anyone's thoughts were. Thanks
Bill Palmer
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Pete Biro discusses this quite often in various posts in this section of the forum. He agrees with Bob Read.

Here is a thread about techniques
http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=115

I realize that doesn't address what you are exploring.

I think that statements such as "using incongruent final loads , as opposed to congruent final loads (eg: use of small baseballs in routine and large baseballs as final loads ), offers a "50%" greater surprise factor when the final loads are revealed" are ill-advised, because there is no way to measure the response accurately.

How would you do it? Would you take an audience of laymen, have someone perform a cups and balls routine for them that ends with congruent loads, and then perform a routine with incongruent final loads for the same audience? It would make no sense. The audience would be prepared for the big loads.

If you use different audiences, then the difference in repsonse could be due to the audience rather than the performer. I know what Bob was trying to say, and I agree with him that it is a greater surprise factor, but 50% may be an overstatement or an understatement.
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HerbLarry
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I think if you could steal their watch while handing and retrieving a cup for inspection then load it for the ending it would get approximately 150% greater response than the most non congruent load. Smile
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Dale Houck
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Quote:
On 2010-12-21 18:22, Bill Palmer wrote:


How would you do it? Would you take an audience of laymen, have someone perform a cups and balls routine for them that ends with congruent loads, and then perform a routine with incongruent final loads for the same audience? It would make no sense. The audience would be prepared for the big loads.



I suppose they are "actors" of sorts rather than true "laymen," but I've noticed the same people in the audience on many of the L&L videos featuring cups and balls. Maybe they aren't as "surprised" as they appear to be on the DVDs, but it would be interesting to hear what some of them think after seeing the variety of routines that they have seen. They are definitely prepared for final loads, but you can know something is coming and still be surprised at the "what" and be dumbfounded at seeing so many routines and still be clueless as to the "how." If those audience members really were lay people I'm sure some bought the DVDs to try and get some closure for their experiences.
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Denis Bastible
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I found the "50%" statement humorous and wondered exactly what the formula was to compute that percentage, or what the test conditions were for the experiment. My cynical lawyer background made me think it might be a means for Michael to realize the sale of 50% more Fab Fruit loads.
Bill Palmer
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On 2010-12-21 18:28, HerbLarry wrote:
I think if you could steal their watch while handing and retrieving a cup for inspection then load it for the ending it would get approximately 150% greater response than the most non congruent load. Smile


1) Loading a spectator's watch into the cup has been done.
2) That particular timing may not be the best. It would be better to steal it right at the beginning of the show or at the beginning of another trick, while their attention is very narrowly focused.
3) Unless you are using watches in place of the balls, this would still be an incongruent load.
4) And you are going to measure the difference in reaction with what -- an applause meter?
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Gary Kosnitzky
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Why does it have to be one or the other?
As I recall Harry Anderson's Cups and Balls routine on his second TV special used very congruent loads.
Great routine, great entertainer.It definitely worked for him.
So maybe congruent and incongruent can both be good.
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The Burnaby Kid
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I think that the desire to use congruent loads is to somehow justify the preceding phases, which presumably use smaller versions of the final loads. Arguably, though, if you believe that the trick is all about the final loads, then the differences between congruent and incongruent loads start to become clearer. In describing the trick after the fact, would you rather a spectator say "He made large red balls appear from empty cups!" or "He made onions and potatoes appear from empty cups!"

All other things being equal (deceptiveness, competence of the magician, good presentation, etc.) you'll probably want to heighten the "WTF!?!" factor as much as possible. Incongruence helps there, but other things can help as well. You can have things that are thematically consistent and yet still have the feeling of incongruence -- going from strawberries to pouring out a strawberry milkshake, or doing a one-cup routine with a toy mouse and then producing dozens of them all at once, or else starting with a toy baby chick and then producing a live one.

There are also side benefits as well to using good incongruent loads -- they combat the suspicion that you're just using tricky props. "He had these small red balls and then these big red balls!" allows for the possibility that you've got magic-store red balls that can increase in size, or that can be hidden within some secret chamber in the cup. "He had these small red balls and then these apples!" pretty much nips those suspicions in the bud.
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Pete Biro
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See my version of final loads at http://www.petebiro.com Click on "pete on TV" then scroll down to cups and balls.
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Jacques
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I’m not sure that congruent or incongruent loads make much of a difference. Visually, colors, contrast and sizes would be more important than identity of the loads. If we are aiming at surprise, then, the way that the final objects are loaded into the cups would be more important. There are too many routines where it is quite easy to see the loading moments and predict the final effect.
If we consider Ricky Jay’s cups & balls routine, one of the best I have ever seen, his final loads are incongruent. The fruit from the left cup is dark, the potato is a bit more visible, but it’s on the lime in the center that you get a flashy appearance. Most important, the moments when he loads the objects are undistinguishable. You have to view the routine several times to detect them. So, who cares about the similarities of the loads if we see you coming?
As for the 50%? Too many variables, not measurable. It must be a figure of speech.
kentfgunn
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Being a congruent kinda guy, I think it's all personal preference. Bill covered the concept that stating some specific percentage greater effect for potatoes and turnips is probably unfounded.

I'd rather use the three balls that match the small balls that I found at a toy store for a buck a pop because I'm a cheapskate. (Cheap?? Makes it hard to explain my choice of cups though) I leave the props out. People do not come up and examine the loads. I "bonk" them on top of the cups as I set them on top, silently letting the audience know they're solid. Perhaps because the small balls I use are different colors the congruent loads are a re-enforcement of that concept.

I'm certain I don't want to use fake fruit used by so many magicians. Why let some marketing guru define your entire routine? Toy stores are rife with magic props waiting to be used. There are an infinite number of possible routines. Find the one that's yours. The best routine for you isn't in anybody else's magic book. The best choice of final loads may be a set of doggie balls sitting at PetSmart. Congruent/Incongruent, who cares? Just don't blindly use what someone else tells you is best. Try the routine with different loads and see what works best for you.

Just because another magician uses something in his cups and balls routine is, for me, a good enough reason NOT to use it.

So . . . who wants to buy my routine and do it exactly the way I do it? Nobody! That's the right answer!

Kent
Josh the Superfluous
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I use vegetables. When I perform close-up for kids, they always check to see if they are real. This fact impresses them greatly.

Michael Ammar has a corny joke, that's suitable to his style. I have a line of patter, and a persona that give reason to the appearance of vegetables. Big balls are appropriate in Kent's routine. Upping the percentage of surprise is good (that 50% figure always made me smile). But giving the final load meaning is a consideration as well.
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Payne
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I really don't think it matters as long as the final loads are solid and too large to easily conceal in ones hand. I use both congruent and incongruent final loads and haven't noticed much of a difference in the audiences reaction between the two. The first ball is a large silver one followed by three red cricket balls that more or less match the red felt balls I've been using. This is then followed by a lemon and a wind up chick. There is also a money sack, a wand tip, a large felt ball and a small squash thrown in at various points of the routine as well. So all in all I've a wide array of things coming out of the cups.

I know most of you have seen my performance on YouTube already. But for those who are interested I've finally got the whole thing up in one video (instead of three) on Vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/17200188
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Bill Palmer
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It's really all in how YOU sell it.

There are certain types of statements I find amusing. For example, there is a mentalist who is selling a series of DVD's based upon the premise that his work is completely without odd-looking props or sleight of hand.

So, what constitutes an odd-looking prop? Anything in Mental Magic I suppose. But that's not the statement that bothers me. It's the one about sleight of hand.

If your sleight of hand is solid, and it is done well, it should not even be evident.
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RJ Hunt
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I had to Google "congruent" can we please stop using big words...LOL

I think the logic is, That if you use "congruent" objects for the final load you have only executed a 50% change(size)of the original objects. Whereas if you use "incongruent" objects at the end you have executed a 100% change(size,shape,color,texture,matter) of the original objects.

In another thread Pete Biro tells a story of Ken Brooke and final load size. Where Ken said, it's not the size of the load it's the "Change" that happens at the end...

So if we can make that change the most dramatic as possible then naturally the reaction is going to be more shocking then if we did not. Now weather it's 50% more shocking??? Like Bill Palmer said, that would be impossible to measure.

That's my 2 cents...

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pepka
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I use either 1 and 3 or 3 and 1. I mean that depending on what I can get my hands on, it differs slightly. If I'm using white balls, I would use 3 final whie load balls, and one very different one as the final load, like a tomato. I may also use 3 pieces of fruit or veggies, and one ball that matches. This is my favorite. The very last load sort of brings it all back together.
Andrew Zuber
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Quote:
On 2010-12-21 23:15, kentfgunn wrote:
So . . . who wants to buy my routine and do it exactly the way I do it? Nobody! That's the right answer!

Kent

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Sir Richard
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IMO it depends on the magician & their act. YOU should be the WOW factor, & if not you need to re-evaluate your performance. Look what Shawn Farqhquar does!

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rikbrooks
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Wow, talk about over-thinking! Somehow I feel like we've been chewing this particular cabbage just a bit too long. I've found that all that I need is surprise. That's a result of timing and audience management
HerbLarry
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Quote:
On 2010-12-21 20:15, Bill Palmer wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-12-21 18:28, HerbLarry wrote:
I think if you could steal their watch while handing and retrieving a cup for inspection then load it for the ending it would get approximately 150% greater response than the most non congruent load. Smile


1) Loading a spectator's watch into the cup has been done.
2) That particular timing may not be the best. It would be better to steal it right at the beginning of the show or at the beginning of another trick, while their attention is very narrowly focused.
3) Unless you are using watches in place of the balls, this would still be an incongruent load.
4) And you are going to measure the difference in reaction with what -- an applause meter?


1) Figured it had been done before, can only think of 1 thing that hasn't and I'm still working on it.
2) Much better idea than mine timing wise.
3) Got me there and perhaps I was joking.
4) I was definitely joking. Smile
You know why don't act naive.
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