The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » What's wrong with the Cups and Balls? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4 [Next]
kentfgunn
View Profile
Inner circle
Merritt Island FL
1639 Posts

Profile of kentfgunn
Wow,

Not doing final loads, I don't get it. To each their own though.

I disagree mightily with the concepts most hold on misdirection. I've never used a top change because I don't do it well. I think if one is using a sleight or "move" that requires lots of misdirection to affect, it's probably not the best choice, for me.

Why not hone your sequences to the point where subtlety and clever construction preclude the use of bold, in your face, moves?

There's not a bucket full of misdirection that one can pour over badly rehearsed or thought out sequences. I think really effective misdirection is best explified by careful blocking and sequencing so moments when you're doing the work your hands have great reasons for the paths, delays and turns they take.

KG
Andrew Zuber
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles, CA
2653 Posts

Profile of Andrew Zuber
I would say, gauge audience reactions without the final loads, and then gauge their reactions WITH final loads (if you don't currently use final loads.) I'd be willing to bet that if your technique is good, they'll remember the strong finish to the trick. To me, the lack of a final load just leaves something to be desired...like the end of the routine is missing punctuation. Me, I prefer five or six exclamation points, and that's if I'm being lazy.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
Pete Biro
View Profile
1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

Profile of Pete Biro
This reminds me of a funny story.

Many years ago a well-known magician lectured at the Oakland Magic Circle. He did a cups and balls routine, but FLASHED TERRIBLY with all three final load balls.

The next monthly meeting, I said I had learned his cups and balls routine.... doing it and FLASHED TERRIBLY with loading the three balls...

But... secretly stole them out! When I lifted the cups and there wasn't anything there... it fried 'em.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
gdw
View Profile
Inner circle
4816 Posts

Profile of gdw
Quote:
On 2012-03-13 01:47, Pete Biro wrote:
This reminds me of a funny story.

Many years ago a well-known magician lectured at the Oakland Magic Circle. He did a cups and balls routine, but FLASHED TERRIBLY with all three final load balls.

The next monthly meeting, I said I had learned his cups and balls routine.... doing it and FLASHED TERRIBLY with loading the three balls...

But... secretly stole them out! When I lifted the cups and there wasn't anything there... it fried 'em.


Lol. Brilliant. Sometimes magic for magicians allows for such clever ideas, not just clever as in different/unique, but smart and, as I said, brilliant. It's almost depressing that they can't quite be used the same for "real" audiences.

Reminds me of the magician who showed Teller three balls under three cups, only to show him again three balls under three cups.
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.
Dougini
View Profile
Inner circle
The Beautiful State Of Maine
6752 Posts

Profile of Dougini
Quote:
On 2012-03-11 11:17, kentfgunn wrote:
...I personally learned what little I know about magic by coming up with my own routine and honing it these last seven years. I learned:

(2.) Video cameras, not mirrors will teach you more than you want to know about how bad you really are.

(7.) Look at the audience, not the cups.

(9.) Lay people are way smarter than the average guy with a set of Paul Foxes realizes.

(10.) Most routines are too long, confusing and performed too quickly. Slow down . . . slow down . . . slow down . . . smile . . . look up from the cups.


I don't think Kent realizes how RIGHT he is (in my case, anyway)! Smile

#2, became apparent right away. You guys'd be ashamed of me. No excuse. #7 is GREAT advice! And #10...yes, I have slowed down, and it seems to get a bit easier. Relaxed, and smiles...gets a person MILES ahead! Awesome post, Kent! Smile

And Larry's advice:

Quote:
On 2012-03-11 12:04, Larry Barnowsky wrote:
...don't look into a monitor while videoing yourself. Look in the direction of your audience. If you use the video monitor as a crutch you won't be reproducing what it will look like when you don't have it and you are in front of a real audience.

Larry


Wow! More awesome advice! Guilty! I'll turn the viewfinder around, and not use it. Glad I saw that! Thanks Larry! I'll get this. Just needed the right "tools"!

Doug
leomagnus
View Profile
Veteran user
303 Posts

Profile of leomagnus
Quote:
On 2012-03-12 18:54, Ekuth wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-03-10 16:37, JESmagic wrote:
Leo,
Try this: develop a routine with no final loads and perform it. Get it so good that people are blown away. Then, add a final load sequence to the routine--and that can be anywhere in the routine. Then review the impact. Just something else to try.


This is EXACTLY what I did when I learned the C&B. I've always felt that the effect itself it strong enough that final loads aren't really needed.

And my audience has proved me right every time.


Gee I don't know. I think that the final loads while perhaps not NECESSARY, can only add to the routine.

-Leo
funsway
View Profile
Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
8826 Posts

Profile of funsway
Quote:
For those that have developed their routines without final loads, how did you finish your routine?


I have used approaches in which various "strange objects" are produced throughout the C&B that are then used in other effects.

If you consider an effect as a balance of Anticipation and Surprise, then a "Final" unexpected producion is no mor eimpactful than an earlier effect in which an unexpected result occured. Some standard C&B moves are validation of what the audience expects, while other result in something other than what is expected. When one's routine is mostly of the "expected type" then a great Final Load sequence cna be essentail. When the Routine is a mixture of "expected" and "cross-up" or "strange production" then a dramtic Final Load is not essential and may even be a let down.

Also, if the C&B Routine is the last effect you perform then a dramatic Final Load can end your act. If you follow-up with some other effect then transition may be more important than ending. My favorite from Medieval Camp-hopping days ws to do some Egg Effects first. During the later C&B Routine eggs kept appearing unexectedly as if there was some residual magic not completely under my control. Hard boiled eggs make a great "hand out" -- but be prepared when some later brings you a "magic egg" an expects an impromptu effect.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



ShareBooks at www.eversway.com * questions at funsway@eversway.com
JESmagic
View Profile
New user
Ann Arbor, MI
90 Posts

Profile of JESmagic
@ Funsway...cool idea. Comedians do this all the time when they keep a "running joke" going throughout the act, and bring the comedy circular.

I think Tommy Wonder's routine is a perfect example of "unexpected surprises" when the pom pom from the bag appears under the cup. I love the line "and this cup is obviously empty" as he lifts cup up and is "surprised" by the pom pom being there. His facial expression, pause, and body posture as he puts the pom pom back on the bag is great.

Anyone else have routines with "unexpected surprises" throughout?
Paul Jester
View Profile
Special user
UK
759 Posts

Profile of Paul Jester
I've done Cups and Balls with no final load. I used to have the job of selling the beginners cups and balls, in that routine after the standard penetration sequence I'd make a ball invisible with a bit of woofle dust, and make the invisible ball penetrate each of the three cups in the stack individually to build tension, then make it visible under the last cup to release the tension. Having the spectator turn over the last cup adds to the strength of the reveal. It worked.

I also perform the Chinese cups and balls, and, like some Chinese performers, I've done without final loads, again it works very well. I either end with the complete vanish of all the balls, or by making the audience convinced I can't get the ball from one cup to the other, and it traveling. Again it's anticipation/tension and release/reveal. Remember in the traditional Indian cups and balls there's no final load either, nor was there one in Benson's bowl routine.

But that's besides the point. The main point is about making the "rest" of the routine magical. You can change the sequences, but I don't believe that's the true answer to this goal, although it's important for other goals. I believe because of the magicians fore-knowledge, and belief that the audience only cares about the final loads, and they're trying to get there as quick as they can, they throw away the rest of the routine, and that's why it's not magical. If you were to perform the routine as if each effect were the most magical effect, really "sell" it, it will change the whole routine, and the Vernon routine is built to accommodate that.

Opening phase, vanish the three balls. Make those vanishes beautiful and make one build on the previous. You can get applause for each vanish as they get better and better, if that's the trick you're presenting. Now you can consider the reveal of them under the three cups as a strong effect in it's own right, because the trick was vanishing three balls.
Middle-phase, audience member picks a cup. Wow! Come on guy's! Not only can you make those balls vanish, but you can do it to order! Fully customised! Work it! Tell the audience how impressive it is. And try to get out of it gracefully with a different strong effect, such as the penetration, a whole new impossible thing they haven't seen!

As for the final loading sequence, it needs justification. The Indian routine would sometimes end with the continuous production of balls from the cups, similar to the Vernon loading sequence, but building the pace towards the finish, and a good trick in it's own right. Alternatively, Vernon took away the servante, perhaps you'd be better to bring it back? If you're not loading from the pockets, you don't need to put the ball in there. Look to the old ways to find the new, especially when the routine has been simplified.

It's about conviction, your's and the audiences. Have faith in what you're doing, and present it as if it were the best, and your audience will follow, after all, you're their only teacher! I learnt that from selling what I thought was poor magic, having to make it look good, and getting strong reactions from it.

My 2 pennies worth,
Paul
leomagnus
View Profile
Veteran user
303 Posts

Profile of leomagnus
Quote:
On 2012-03-14 21:12, Paul Jester wrote:
I've done Cups and Balls with no final load. I used to have the job of selling the beginners cups and balls, in that routine after the standard penetration sequence I'd make a ball invisible with a bit of woofle dust, and make the invisible ball penetrate each of the three cups in the stack individually to build tension, then make it visible under the last cup to release the tension. Having the spectator turn over the last cup adds to the strength of the reveal. It worked.

I also perform the Chinese cups and balls, and, like some Chinese performers, I've done without final loads, again it works very well. I either end with the complete vanish of all the balls, or by making the audience convinced I can't get the ball from one cup to the other, and it traveling. Again it's anticipation/tension and release/reveal. Remember in the traditional Indian cups and balls there's no final load either, nor was there one in Benson's bowl routine.

But that's besides the point. The main point is about making the "rest" of the routine magical. You can change the sequences, but I don't believe that's the true answer to this goal, although it's important for other goals. I believe because of the magicians fore-knowledge, and belief that the audience only cares about the final loads, and they're trying to get there as quick as they can, they throw away the rest of the routine, and that's why it's not magical. If you were to perform the routine as if each effect were the most magical effect, really "sell" it, it will change the whole routine, and the Vernon routine is built to accommodate that.

Opening phase, vanish the three balls. Make those vanishes beautiful and make one build on the previous. You can get applause for each vanish as they get better and better, if that's the trick you're presenting. Now you can consider the reveal of them under the three cups as a strong effect in it's own right, because the trick was vanishing three balls.
Middle-phase, audience member picks a cup. Wow! Come on guy's! Not only can you make those balls vanish, but you can do it to order! Fully customised! Work it! Tell the audience how impressive it is. And try to get out of it gracefully with a different strong effect, such as the penetration, a whole new impossible thing they haven't seen!

As for the final loading sequence, it needs justification. The Indian routine would sometimes end with the continuous production of balls from the cups, similar to the Vernon loading sequence, but building the pace towards the finish, and a good trick in it's own right. Alternatively, Vernon took away the servante, perhaps you'd be better to bring it back? If you're not loading from the pockets, you don't need to put the ball in there. Look to the old ways to find the new, especially when the routine has been simplified.

It's about conviction, your's and the audiences. Have faith in what you're doing, and present it as if it were the best, and your audience will follow, after all, you're their only teacher! I learnt that from selling what I thought was poor magic, having to make it look good, and getting strong reactions from it.

My 2 pennies worth,
Paul


That's worth more than two cents. Great ideas and observations construed from experience.
Thanks.

-Leo
cupsandballsmagic
View Profile
Inner circle
2706 Posts

Profile of cupsandballsmagic
This thread title makes me want to spit blood. There is nothing wrong with the cups and balls, there never was anything wrong with the cups and balls. All problems with cups and balls are to do with the people presenting them.
gdw
View Profile
Inner circle
4816 Posts

Profile of gdw
Quote:
On 2012-03-15 05:37, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
This thread title makes me want to spit blood. There is nothing wrong with the cups and balls, there never was anything wrong with the cups and balls. All problems with cups and balls are to do with the people presenting them.


Just curious if you read the a trial thread, or just the title?
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.
cupsandballsmagic
View Profile
Inner circle
2706 Posts

Profile of cupsandballsmagic
The answer to your curiosity lies within my post, no need to be curious gdw.
gdw
View Profile
Inner circle
4816 Posts

Profile of gdw
So just the thread title then?
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.
Donnie Buckley
View Profile
V.I.P.
Cleveland, Ohio
1123 Posts

Profile of Donnie Buckley
Quote:
On 2012-03-15 05:37, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
This thread title makes me want to spit blood. There is nothing wrong with the cups and balls, there never was anything wrong with the cups and balls. All problems with cups and balls are to do with the people presenting them.

LOL! I'm a little curious-ish. Does that imply that I have to stop blaming the refrigerator for the weight gain? or the car for the speeding ticket?
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
Pete Biro
View Profile
1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

Profile of Pete Biro
Hehehehe.... hey Donnie, see you at IMX.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
cupsandballsmagic
View Profile
Inner circle
2706 Posts

Profile of cupsandballsmagic
@ Donnie... Ha! Yes, exactly it's all about responsibility. You create beautifully functional cups and it's up to the individual what they do with them. As far as the fridge goes, I say that the first time I see a jogger smiling, I'll consider it Smile

Bri
BeThePlunk
View Profile
Special user
West of Boston, East of Eden
895 Posts

Profile of BeThePlunk
Hi, All - I'm new to the Forum, and this is my first post, but I love the cups and balls and have an observation/question with respect to original CNB routines. What do folks think of Kate Medvedeva, a Russian magician? She's not very smooth, but she uses the cups to produce bells, little bell towers and a toy cannon. It's inventive and suggests that we could replace the usual ball ideas for new objects and themes that would refresh the whole routine.
kentfgunn
View Profile
Inner circle
Merritt Island FL
1639 Posts

Profile of kentfgunn
Quote:
On 2013-08-09 08:00, BeThePlunk wrote:
Hi, All - I'm new to the Forum, and this is my first post, but I love the cups and balls and have an observation/question with respect to original CNB routines. What do folks think of Kate Medvedeva, a Russian magician? She's not very smooth, but she uses the cups to produce bells, little bell towers and a toy cannon. It's inventive and suggests that we could replace the usual ball ideas for new objects and themes that would refresh the whole routine.


Not very smooth? Wow your standards are awfully high. Michael Ammar thought enough of her and her routine to include commentary by her in The Complete Cups and Balls. I think her routine transcends smooth.

It's her routine. The bells and loads make sense for her. Unlike most of us, she does an original, well thought out routine. She's made a classic into her classic. I like the conventional props. I have neither her charm nor astonishing good looks. I suspect she could use snails and mold-slime for the balls and final loads and it would be wonderful.

Many performers have used whimsical final loads. Fruit, in general, makes for some fine whimsy. Live chicks for final loads has been done. Mike Rogers and many others have used little baseballs for the small balls. Lots of paths to go.

I don't believe the trick needs refreshed by anything. Seeing people do Vernon's routine well is all the magic I need some days. (Doesn't happen very often though Smile

KG
jcrabtree2007
View Profile
Special user
625 Posts

Profile of jcrabtree2007
Great Post. There is a reason Harry Houdini said that no man can consider himself a magician unless he can adequately perform the cups and balls.
Having studied many different versions of cups and balls, I learned all kinds of loading, stealing, wand loving moves and I can say that the biggest mistake (or one of them) is to try and incorporate all those moves into your act. Its good to know how to do several (gives you an out) but from an audience's perspective- a ball is gone, a ball is back, a ball went thru the cup, the ball changed into ... they don't care if you are a move monkey. Gazzo entertains and fools with just the simpliest of moves and misdirection (his jokes). I've cut way back on the unnessary moves and my routine is the better for it.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » What's wrong with the Cups and Balls? (0 Likes)
 Go to page [Previous]  1~2~3~4 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.53 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL