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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Magicians can't make magic shows anymore, because of the cups? (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Docc Hilford
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Anywhooo... I hate Cups & Balls. It’s juggling! That’s why if you read The Memoirs of Robert Houdin, (not that 98% of you would) you’ll discover the street performers doing said trick were known as JUGGLERS!
It’s not magical.
No one I’ve ever known thought that the ball disappeared and re-appeared under a cup. They all wondered how the juggler “snuck” the ball under without being seen.
Want to show off your covert juggling skills?
Do Three Shells. At least it makes sense!

As Jimmy originally stated, most of these street Monkeys aren’t magicians. They don’t want an act; they want the applause they saw some other act get!
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Written in 1800s France the "Memoirs" were referring to Jongleurs. While this French word translates to "juggler" in English, it really meant a street performer in general. Jongleurs were magicians, jugglers, minstrels, etc.

While I couldn't find a passage associating the cups and ball with mere juggling, he does write, when noticing his act no longer hand the same impact it once had, "Precisely because I had made no change, the public had begun to grow indifferent; as an author has observed, very justly, 'the artist who does not rise, descends;' and this was peculiarly applicable to my position: while civilization had been progressing, I remained stationary hence, I was going down. When this truth struck me, I made a complete reform in my programme. The card tricks no longer possessing the charm of novelty, as the meanest jugglers could do them, were nearly all suppressed, and I substituted other experiments."

It was card tricks he removed from his act because "the meanest jugglers could do them". So, are we going to quit doing card tricks?

Do people believe any of a magician's tricks are real magic? No, people know the magician accomplished the feat by some sort of trickery.

I wish instead of finding reasons to "hate" tricks and other magicians' work, we could find reasons to love and support them. I appreciate the worst street magician who is out there doing their best, taking a risk with their lives and self-esteem to perform the tricks they enjoy. In fact, I hope to one day count myself among these street Monekeys.

For those interested in The Memoirs of Robert Houdin, it is in the public domain: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/42916/42916-h/42916-h.htm.
For those who do like the cups and balls, keep working.
For those that have found a way to hate a magic trick, do not watch or perform it.
ed rhodes
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Rhode Island
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My wife bought me; "The Secret History of Magic" "(The True Story of the Deceptive Art)" by Peter Lamont and Jim Steinmeyer.


Took a little of the air out of the Robert-Houdin "mystique" and from the "Memoirs."
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
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Agent of Chaos
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I'm currently putting together a new busking act, optimistically thinking that the COVID crisis will abate someday...

I'm possibly going to include the C&Bs as an option, but it's going to be something more akin to the Johnny Paul routine rather than the Dai Vernon clones we usually see on the street. I just need a way to focus this routine upwards and outwards rather than the downward "table focus" that it sorta defaults to...

Also, I've never been a huge fan of using sponge balls on the streets for obvious reasons. 🌬️ Smile
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Josh Riel
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of hell
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It's only good magic if every spectator believes it's real magic, with no possible subterfuge? That's a hell of a standard!
You kind of have to pick your spectators carefully. It's tough even finding a few people who could believe in real magic.

I really enjoy watching the Cups and Balls, and I know for a FACT that it's not real magic. I could say the same for most close-up or Cabaret type tricks I've seen.
Magic is doing improbable things with odd items that, under normal circumstances, would be unnessecary and quite often undesirable.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Magicians can't make magic shows anymore, because of the cups? (14 Likes)
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