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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Appeal of the Chop Cup (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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kentfgunn
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Andrew,

You forgot that Sony had Betamax out first. Did it come out in '76 as well?

KG
BCS
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I don’t think it was until 1977 that we first started selling Sony Betamax machines on the retail floor to the masses… if I remember correctly they were around $999.00 to $1400.00 complete with simulated wood side panels. We were paid a $10.00 spiff for every one sold plus commission.
There were very few movies to demo with; we would record the “Tonight Show” every night to play the next day. Pioneer then came out with a box that would take the sound and simulate a stereo signal to feed into your stereo system … it and a 27” TV was the start of home theater.

Bruce
Andrew Zuber
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Beta ruined my life for a short period when I was younger. When I was little we used to visit a place called Pop and Go Video, where we would rent a VCR and pick out movies. Well half the time I'd see something I wanted to watch (let's say in this instance that it would be The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai starring Peter Weller and John Lithgow) and I would flip the tape over, only to discover that evil orange "BETA" sticker on the back - meaning I couldn't rent it.

That said, I ain't gonna acknowledge that Beta garbage in my research.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Pete Biro
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I have a stack of Beta tapes. Had some converted to DVD but is too $$$$ dangit.
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kentfgunn
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From Wikipedia:

Betamax (sometimes called Beta) (ベータマックス bēta makkusu) is a home videocassette tape recording format developed by Sony, released on May 10, 1975. The cassettes contain 1/2-inch (12.7mm)-wide videotape in a design similar to the earlier, professional 3/4-inch (19.05mm) U-matic format. The format is generally considered obsolete, though it is still used in specialist applications by a small minority of people.
Bill Palmer
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And, as usual, Wikipedia doesn't really have it completely right. Beta is still used by a number of television stations for remote videotaping, and in some cases, for editing, although digital is the preferred format now. The recorders are not impossible to find, either. In fact, if I had a big stack of Beta tapes, I would rent or purchase a Beta unit (think pawn shop here) and port them over to a DVD burner.
"The Swatter"

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Andrew Zuber
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That's correct...as a broadcast journalism major in Los Angeles, we still saw quite a lot of Beta being used, both in our professionally built studio, and at NBC where I interned with the news. You could build a skyscraper with the amount of Beta tapes they had lying around.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
fortasse
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Interesting how this thread (which I started) has evolved.....3 cups vs. chop cup.....Don Alan.....beta format...we have a real stream-of-consciousness thing going on here! Good stuff........but going back to the beginning, do any of you feel that the Chop cup (and single cup routines) will end up eclipsing the standard 3 cups in popularity? Does it seem to you that that is where things are headed?

Fortasse
HerbLarry
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Quote:
do any of you feel that the Chop cup (and single cup routines) will end up eclipsing the standard 3 cups in popularity? Does it seem to you that that is where things are headed?


In popularity with Magicians perhaps due to less props to port & cost. With the public I doubt one over the other done well would eclipse the other. I do both what I modestly consider well and see no sizable difference in likeability in the publics eyes. I 1 cup when space for 3 is lacking or I don't want to port a table.
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Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2011-02-17 19:07, fortasse wrote:
Interesting how this thread (which I started) has evolved.....3 cups vs. chop cup.....Don Alan.....beta format...we have a real stream-of-consciousness thing going on here! Good stuff........but going back to the beginning, do any of you feel that the Chop cup (and single cup routines) will end up eclipsing the standard 3 cups in popularity? Does it seem to you that that is where things are headed?

Fortasse


Even though there are a lot of people doing the chop cup or other single cup routines, single cup routines have been around for a very long time. These single cup routines have had plenty of time to eclipse the three cup routine and they haven't done so yet. So it's really hard to say.
"The Swatter"

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BCS
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Here are my thoughts as to the questions asked, “Generally speaking, do you find that Chop cup routines are easier for your audience to follow, compared with 3 cup routines?”

Yes, I find that generally I get a better response with the Chop Cup verses a 3 Cup routine. Now that being said, here is what I find…

I am by no means a working Pro or what I would consider an amateur (one who performs regularly), I would consider myself a serious hobbyist and Cup Collector. When I perform, it’s when the moment is right usually in a social situation… dinner with friends or business associates. I never force a performance on anyone and when I do perform its 3 or 4 quick tricks of coins and cards finishing with a Chop Cup. I believe that nothing should be drawn out and you should always leave them wanting more. The closing Chop Cup routine is either the standard… is it here or in my pocket, by-play, final load (I feel that this plays better when there are youngsters around or that time wise I am better to hit them with several quick miracles) or a Chop Cup routine that is more structured like a 3 Cup routine, multiple balls, penetration, 2 final loads (used if I feel those watching are more into it and time permits).

When I am home and can control my surroundings (load placements in the table cloth or wearing a sports coat), I will do a 3 Cup routine mostly based on Vernon’s and Mark Wilson’s routines. As I am trying to get more into story telling with my C&B routine; I present it at the end of several tricks as a closer under the premise of wanting to show them some real magic, and I have a story around the Cups, how I acquired them and the magic I have found them to process. I am lucky in that I have many styles of Cups and presentation boxes that I have made for them. When I do this, it is that I am mostly performing for adults or young adults that will listen to the story.

As to the other question, “Do any of you feel that the Chop cup (and single cup routines) will end up eclipsing the standard 3 cups in popularity?” I do not think so, each has its place and used correctly has a purpose to an end. History has a way of repeating itself and I believe that Cups could go out of popularity for a time like they have before.

By this, I kind of see magic happening much like it did in the 70’s (and I hope that I make sense in what I am about to write). In the 70’s magic went through a phase of casualness with the influence of Doug Henning and his clones. Now I see a trend of magic being presented as freakiness and pow, here is a trick along the lines of Chris Angel and David Blaine (not that there is anything wrong with this)… just another form of casualness getting away from classic standards and the use of standard props. Even around the time of the publishing of the book Greater Magic, Cups had seemed to fall out of favor… at least for a while.

I do believe that as younger magicians progress or as young hobbyist stay with magic, that they will eventually discover the Cups and Balls... when one is into something passionately, it seems that one will always investigate its roots. In my industry, I see this all the time with those younger than me showing interest in jazz, classical music, tube amps and turntables as they get older (I am in the consumer electronics industry).

Thanks for letting me ramble,
Bruce
Pete Biro
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Well said.
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HerbLarry
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Quote:
I do believe that as younger magicians progress or as young hobbyist stay with magic, that they will eventually discover the Cups and Balls


Never thought of it that way. For me they, the Cups, were at the beginning.
You know why don't act naive.
kentfgunn
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I did a chop cup routine I learned as a kid. Pretty standard stuff.

I never got as good a reaction from it as when I did the cups and balls. It probably wasn't the chop cup's fault!

I've always been entranced with those pictures in the Dai Vernon Book of Magic. That white-haired guy with those three beautiful cups. The storied history of the trick, brought out so well by Ricky Jay, still brings a tear to my eye, every time I watch it. Seeing Paul Gertner show his love for his home town by ringing the routine so well is real magic to me. Watching the suave and sophisticated Michael Vincent tell his tale is simply amazing.

Even watching Don Alan do his routine simply doesn't do it for me on the same level.

Three cups good, one cup . . .

KG
Richard Evans
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Recognizing that there are exceptions to every rule and that generalizations are dangerous:

I think that a 3-cup cups & balls routine is a fantastic piece of entertainment for a group. The opportunities for interactions with a group are second to none. However, a 3 cup routine plays less well with a very small group - but this is where a Chop cup routine comes into it's own. With a handful of people, a Chop cup routine is extremely powerful. Of course, for strolling magicians, the ability to carry a small number of props is a huge advantage and single cup routines are much easier done in the hands than multi-cup ones.

Richard
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BCS
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Pete… Thanks.

Herb… I am probably generation or so behind you, so I can relate to your beginnings… the youngsters I was writing about are some of the newer generations that are into the gimmicky cards with bizarre artwork, who try to work their MOB Phones and Red Bull cans into their presentations… the quick shock magic (and some can be entertaining).

Kent… I am with you; I would rather watch a 3 Cup routine. All those that you mentioned made the C&B routines their own (you included). I have not gotten there yet, that’s why I am better at the Chop Cup, I found a presentation that works for me with it.

As to Don Alan’s routine, I can appreciate it for what it is… though I find his persona/show character kind of showoff-ish… no offence meant for DA fans.

Richard… you have given me something to think about… I have never performed the Cups for a larger group.

Thanks,
Bruce
bishthemagish
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As I said - I like doing both - the chop cup as an opener - and cups and balls as a closer. This has worked well for me for years and years!

Cheers.
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Andrew Zuber
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Glenn - about how long is your set? How many routines do you do between the chop and the cups and balls?
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Lawrence O
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The chop cup seems more adapted to restaurant magic. The three cups routines are great for corporate venues, trade shows or parlour magic situations
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Pete Biro
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Funny, I once did a corporate show for a bunch of engineers. Afterward, at the bar, the one that hired me said, "That cup had to be magnetic."
After that I stopped doing the Chop cup and leaned toward the Bowl routine and the three cups.
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