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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » We double dare you! » » Cups and Balls (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Tom Cutts
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There have been many great routines for C&B, but presentation typically runs the standard of eye candy adventures in the performers hands to mix a metaphore cocktail.



Throw out some ideas for cups and balls presentations that are off the beaten path.



How about...It is so obvious I bet someone would have done one before.



The Three Little Pigs. Each cup a different house. The Magi is the wolf. But those darn pigs always escape...darnit!! Smile



So, yeah, this goes well with the plastic, cheapo cups being different colors and all.



Spin me some spoof, knit me a yarn...



Have at it.



Cheers,



Tom Cutts
Michael Peterson
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I had a chop cup routine I used to mess around with where I would explain that I had got ripped off on a great deal for a set of cups & balls.



I would tell them that all I recieved was one cup, one ball & a badly printed set of instructions.



As I went through the routine I would explain all the things the instructions said to do, which were impossible with one cup & ball.



But as I did them, it did work, which was a surprise to me & them. From there it was a pretty standard routine with the final revelation of a sponge ball.



I haven't messed with it in a while, maybe I will blow the dust off & give it a try.







Smile
JaquaiGul
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The main reason I do not do Cups and Balls is that the effective presentation must be more a juggling, fast-paced act than any thoughtful magic. Turning it into a story jeopardizes the impact of the trick, namely, "Wow, those balls appear and disappear all over the place!" It would be akin to naming the linking rings for the Seven dwarfs and Snow White.



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Tom Cutts
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"...naming the linking rings for the Seven dwarfs and Snow White."



EXACTLY!



Thinking it can't be done I disagree with. Is it possible someone, somewhere, could pull it off quite spectacularly?



Tom Cutts
Big Daddy Cool
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It could be entirely possible Tom!



I do a gambling "lesson" with a one cup & ball routine that I usually do with a jiggernaut set-up, but can be done with any cup & ball/final load set-up.



-BDC
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Robin Parker
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Of course this is relative, but I see the C&B as one of the main symbols of a magician; it is one of the most often seen pieces of equipment which has been with the art and the artist. The effects possible with C&B we are all familiar with and they are simplicity at it's best; one of the most charming features of the routine. I think that the best way to present this routine is simply to show it for what it is, a presentation of magic, of the impossible with very simple items. There is dignity in the simple & the elegant. I hope one day to possess the requisite skill so as to make such a presentation.
Scott F. Guinn
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I tend to agree with Robin Parker. I think there is a growing trend that every effect or routine has to have a story for a presentation--that magic is not strong enough to stand on its own.



I’m gonna get lambasted for this, but that’s why I dislike most bizarre magic. I remember at a magic convention sitting through a 25 minute (no exaggeration) story to get to a coin having changed from silver to copper! By the time it finally happened, no one cared, much less remembered that the coin was silver when the "trick" started!



I am one of the world’s biggest proponents of presentation. But presentation is much more than patter. I think, like Robin, that C&B is a beautiful routine when done well, and in most cases a story will only muddle the clarity of the effect.



I’ve heard many decry the C&B and the rings as "not being ordinary" or easily adaptable to story patter. Guess what? They’re the two oldest effects in magic for a reason, and they are two of the strongest pieces in my performances.



I’m sorry--I know I’m ranting, and I’m not trying to put anyone down here. I just feel very strongly about this (like you couldn’t tell!).



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Tom Cutts
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Don't get me wrong. I agree that not every routine needs a story. Texture in a show is very important.



That is one of the failings of much of bizarre magic. It is different in presentation from classic magic but it too is repetitious in style.



Too much of even a good thing can kill you.



I will just repeat Scott because it is an important point. Presentation is more than stories or "patter".
Bengi
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Using your imagination, cups and balls can do amazing things. Over the years I have developed a "Shrinking Cups & Balls" routine. It starts out with regular sized cups and balls, which gradually get smaller and smaller, until each cup is only 1" tall.

The spectators never know where the other cups go.

Do something different in your C & B's and you will be sure to be noticed!



Bengi
Steve Brooks
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Wow Bengi, shrinking cups eh? Sounds pretty cool, I would love to see it! Smile
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
Robin Parker
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Shrinking Cups? That sounds like a very cool twist!
Peter Marucci
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While every effect does not NEED a story line, it certainly helps.

And, if the trick seems to bog down in the story (i.e., if it take 20 minutes to vanish a coin), then blame the performer, not the concept.

Bizarre magic -- which, coincidentally, is the title of my current lecture -- does not have to be weighted down with lengthy yarns.

J.B. Bobo said, some years back, that if you are telling a story, don’t make it a harangue; you are an entertainer, not a teacher.

But, as for the cups and balls, if ever a trick called for a story line, that is it. Just what are those things supposed to be?

Five hundred years ago, they were wine/vinegar cups (acetabulari) but, to the average audience member today, they are just a magician’s props.

And that isn’t good!

Maybe some "outside the box" thinking is needed here, rather than doing the trick because everybody else does it and/or it always has been done.

cheers,

Peter Marucci

showtimecol@aol.com
Chad Sanborn
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Quote:

On 2001-10-21 11:57, Ichazod wrote:

I had a chop cup routine I used to mess around with where I would explain that I had got ripped off on a great deal for a set of cups & balls.



I would tell them that all I recieved was one cup, one ball & a badly printed set of instructions.



As I went through the routine I would explain all the things the instructions said to do, which were impossible with one cup & ball.



But as I did them, it did work, which was a surprise to me & them. From there it was a pretty standard routine with the final revelation of a sponge ball.



I haven’t messed with it in a while, maybe I will blow the dust off & give it a try.







Smile





just my 2 cents worth here, but, it seems that if your "set was missing cups" that your final load would be the ’missing cups’??



maybe not



Chad Smile
Bengi
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Good idea, ChadMagic!! Work on that one!!!



Bengi Smile
cataquet
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I have a few versions of C&Bs. The grand set (3 cups and 3 balls with 4 jumbo loads) is simply motivated "as the oldest trick in magic. In fact Houdini once said that you can’t really consider yourself a magician unless you did the C&B" The audience sees this as a performance piece (like card manips where balls vanish and disappear). It should be done at a relatively quick pace, but not so quick as to confuse the audience.



At the other extreme, my NYC routine is one cup and two balls (one white and one black) with three jumbo loads. I motivate this one with psuedo-philosophy. "Within every one of us there is a dark side (black ball) and a light side (white ball)" There are color changes and transpositions with almost religious intonations. For example, "Some of us hide the dark side deep within us (black ball under cup), and show the world only our light side (show white ball). But, sooner or later, temptation and greed gets the better of us and our dark side comes out (Spellbound to reveal black ball) and our light side goes into hiding (white ball under cup)."



The "story" works well, and finishes when I say, "but no one is truly good or truly evil, within all of us there is always a bit of both" and reveal a jumbo half-white, half-black ball.



Bye for now



Harold
Harold Cataquet
Tom Stevens
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The first time I performed cups and balls I was in Pirate costume and told a story about three pirate brothers that were searching for their older brother and kept getting captured by the towns that they had to go through ( the cups ). They always managed to ecsape, and they finally found their big brother (final load).

It seemed to work, but the result was lower key than the reactions that I was used to, namely making the kids roll on the floor laughing.
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