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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricks & Effects » » Defiance II-A review of Reed McClintock's Cups and Balls. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ron Giesecke
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Defiance II:The Cups and Balls

One of my primary motivations for buying Reed McClintock's Cups and balls routine was his 11th-hour admission that he hated the trick for the most part, and would not perform it until he fixed some things he felt were inherently wrong with the trick. I was also insanely curious as to how a man known for his prodigious skill with coins was going to approach the world's oldest formal effect. I knew instinctively that someone who routinely produces thirteen coins from out of nowhere would somehow bring an "odd" perspective to the cups and balls.

I like things created from that perspective. And he did not disappoint.

Right off the bat, Reed has dispensed with the increasingly-debated "false-transfer" explanation that pervades the Vernon-esque strain of routines. This is one of the manifest features. But there are other features that I like even more.

Fitzkee's famous bromide about repetition requiring compounded astonishment is not something adhered to by Vernon's routine (at least during the elimination sequence), and it is apparent that this awareness is what informs Reed's routine. Every sequence builds upon another. First, there is the introduction of empty cups. Then the appearance of one ball. Then this ball is shown to be one of three, but done so in a manner that subtlety implies the magician could be passing one ball as three--this makes the simultaneous revelation of three balls a sweet moment. And this is all accomplished through a series of vanishes, all nicely motivated against the backdrop of body language, and natural readjustment.

Sequentially, Reed's routine enters a classic phase: A ball is placed under each cup, and they all congregate in the middle cup. The work behind this sequence is not typical, however. While many cups and balls routines employ beautifully-choreographed moves that give a professional image of the magician having spent a lot of time with the cups, Reed McClintock's routine uses beautifully choreographed moves that parrot what a non-magician might do when asked to gather the balls from under the cups. A ball is placed under each cup, with the middle cup pushed toward the spectator (who gets to put their finger on it). As an afterthought, the two outside balls are taken back out from under their respective cups. They are vanished (very nicely, by the way), and when the spectator lifts their cup, all three are found to be residing there (nice moment, and a genuine false climax).

The next time those cups are lifted, three limes now appear out of nowhere. Done correctly, there is no sensory memory of the magician making a pilgrimage to the pockets, as the pockets are never introduced as a part of the effect. I will not reveal the misdirective principle employed by the creator, but please keep this in mind: it will require some degree of acting. It will also require putting a little glory on the participating spectator. So those firmly entrenched in the "I'm a demi-god" school of magic will not find this workable. Those working for the money for real people will.

My favorite part of the whole routine is the heretofore mentioned way in which the balls are gathered in one hand, and then vanished. The sequence, which looks more "normal and unrehearsed" also provides the interesting framework which makes the whole thing tick: You start out three ahead. Later, you're two behind. Even later, you're one behind, and then whammo: The limes. David Regal frequently refers to these kinds of devious constructs as "satisfying." I agree. Very clever indeed.

I am looking forward to seeing Reed perform this one day. Those looking for a cups and balls routine devoid of the Vernon French drop or an elimination sequence, look no further. But be prepared to work. Give this piece the practice it deserves, and you will be set with a routine that will become a part of your reputation.

Ron Giesecke
leondo
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Nice review Ron.
Thanks for taking the time to write it.
Ted (Leondo)
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Wow Ron
Thank you for the Great write up, I honestly did not think people would get the subtleties in the construction. Not that I thought people were stupid by any means, I just figured I am so odd in my thinking that I, well lets face it I am a freak of nature. LOL. No comments please pertaining to that last comment I made about myself. I am still having a hard time accepting that. LOL

I am glad you like it pleases me a great deal. When I create something someone else can use for their own act I feel I am giving back to the magic communities what it has given me. What is that you might ask a way out of where I was a career, and a living? Now I am getting all mushy sorry I will stop.

I spent a very long time honing to be just right for me. The parts of the routine that really excite me when I think about it And get ready to do is the loading sequence and the beginning of the routine, I also love the “true false ending” This Routine has a lot of moments in it. This way they will remember the trick not that you just produced limes or what ever your final loads are. Because let’s face when you watch cups and balls people will talk about the loads and not the trick itself. Well at least that was my experience.

So again I thank you ever so much
Cheers
Reed
Smile Smile Smile Smile
"Stuff is anything, but magic is everything"



Reed McClintock 2003







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nalu_magic
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Very nicely written, Ron. Your review clearly outlines the phases of Reed's original routine.

Congrtualtions, Reed! Your routine for this classic trick sounds like a winner. Definitely on my short list of things to get.
Reed McClintock
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Nalu
Thank you very much. I aimed high for this piece of magic. I did a ton of research and spent a lot of money on books videos manuscripts DVD’s, etc. I studied all of the routines thoroughly and performed most of them for real people, not magicians to get a feel for why each artist did what he did in the routine and to see the audience reaction. My discovery first and foremost was that as I mentioned above was that the audience always remembers the loads. SO my first thought was how to get into the cups and balls logically and build as most routines do. I wish I had thought of the Elmsley count with the cups, but I didn’t, I did however add to the cup counting which allows for you to get so far ahead of the audience they don’t expect. Most every thing else in there is my own variation of moves. I am really excited about my one handed Sylvester pitch idea for getting a ball back underneath the cup. This routine is chock full of subtleties, super strong misdirection boldness, and magic. And they remember the trick with the cups and balls, along with the loads. I am really proud of that loading sequence. If my brother had not been visiting I may have discovered it.

All in all I am especially psyched about the concept Pete Biro Mentioned in a different thread about my routine, that I have new work on the oldest trick in magic. Not only is it flattering, but also it truly made me feel as if I am pretty good at what I do. Man I love magic

Cheers
Reed
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"Stuff is anything, but magic is everything"



Reed McClintock 2003







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Darren Roberts
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Would this routine be a good supplement for someone just getting into the cups and balls? I plan on buying a cups and balls set in the near future along with Ammars book on the subject. Should I pick Reed's routine up at the same time or wait until I'm more proficient?

Thanks for your help!
Ron Giesecke
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I think the routine is commensorate with the abilities required to accomplish any of the outstanding routines in print.

My answer would be yes, I think it's worth getting. Do not do this to the exclusion of the other material, because Reed's is written with the assumption that the reader knows the fundamental sleights.

Sylvester's Pitch makes an interesting cameo with a mask as well . . .probably the most enjoyable "status quo" move (thanks to John Bannon for the phraseology)one can perform.
kid iowa
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Reed, have your ever thought of making a short, informal cd clip of your routine and putting it on your website for download or packaging it with your book? For me, it helps to actually SEE the pace, choreography, and the manner in which the routine flows. Don't know how labor intensive or cost effective it would be, but just thought I'd ask. Can't wait for my copy to arrive. Jim
Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile...can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, "I served in the United States Navy." J.F.K.
Reed McClintock
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I will in about two or three years. WE have big plans to shoot the Defiance line when they have all been written, and released in Book form.
cheers
Reed Smile
"Stuff is anything, but magic is everything"



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nalu_magic
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Defiance line?....Tell me more, tell me more! Do you plan on researching classic tricks other than the cups and balls and putting a spin on them? That would be a brilliant idea. 2 or 3 years in the works? This must be big!

I can see it now..."A compilation of McClintock routines that is anything but ordinary."

Please elaborate, my friend. Sounds extremely exciting...that is of course unless you plan on releasing the good old effects everyone's Uncle does such as "Defiance II 52 Card Pick Up", or "Defiance II Pulling off your Finger (using your bent thumb)" Smile LOL! I'd buy those from you too.

In all seriousness, Reed, please tell us more about the Defiance line.
Reed McClintock
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Well the Defiance line is just as you said; these are my takes on the classic routines.
Some of the ones that I have planned are my Egg bag routine; rope routine, the new and improved ring routine, three cards Monte. The three-card Monte routine, which I hope, will be the next step for new endings of this type of magic. I am so excited about this one. I have been in the process of getting it all copy write protected, it really is that good I am paying for the legal stuff.
I have shown and told a select few about this and they have all agreed that I should not release it and that we be the only ones in the world who know it. But I don’t feel magic would progress if I held it back. I assure you this is an ending to any three-card routine, gambling routine, anything dealing that particular genre of magic. I am trying to find a source to get them printed on Bicycle cards for a reasonable price. When I do it will be available. This one is currently my main focus at the moment, I come up with literally twenty new things I can do with this card everyday Not bad for one playing card, now that I have gotten Defiance II and Kb 4 done.

Five and six of Knuckle Busters are written but not going to be released until I finish the European lecture tour. I am told I will be doing between fifteen and twenty countries. This is going to be a lot of fun. Please do look for Defiance III in the future if you like card magic or not this is a killer. You’ll know when I found a printer because I will let the name slip.

Thank all of you, who are getting the Defiance II from me directly it is my privilege to serve you, and thank you
Cheers
Reed
Smile
"Stuff is anything, but magic is everything"



Reed McClintock 2003







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afknight
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I too am anxiously awaiting my copy of Reed's routine. One question for those who have it, is it equally suitable for performing standing vs. sitting? Thanks

Alton
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The Routine works well with some minor changes to the routine. The only thing is the opening sequence will have to be reworked for a seated performance. Smile
"Stuff is anything, but magic is everything"



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Curtis Kam
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Nalu,

Defiance 3 will be "The 21 card trick". Reed's saving "Pull my Finger" for Defiance 4. Smile
Is THAT a PALMS OF STEEL 5 Banner I see? YARRRRGH! Please visit The Magic Bakery
Reed McClintock
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LOLOL Smile
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nalu_magic
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LOL! Smile

Hey, Curtis - I'll be coming at the end of December and would love to get together with the gang. Can you set something up?
Reed McClintock
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Soon these will be arriving at your favorite magic Dealers. I sent an order to Murphys so I Imagine you will start seeing them very soon. Smile
cheers
Reed
"Stuff is anything, but magic is everything"



Reed McClintock 2003







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MacGyver
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A beginner's Review:

Ok, I have never done the cups and balls before, and I just recieved my DefianceII routine, my 16 dollar wand and my 13 dollar alum. cups(complete with burs, and a un-closed lip at the bottom) in the mail in the past week. I've only been doing magic for about 1 year this last thanksgiving, so I thought it was about time to take a look at the old classic Cups and Balls.

Reed's routine really got me into it fast, structurely it was an amazing thing just as Ron said. None of the moves were overly difficult and there is proper misdirection throughout. There is just a BAM BAM BAM of magic and then there are 3 final loads out of NOWHERE!!! Hopefully in the next few months I can make it look decent, because this routine really deserves a lot of practice. Not only is the misdirection and DIRECTION of the routine strong, but it is very elegantly laid out, especially the ending where everything has its own spot instead of thinks haphazardly placed.

The first phase with the little balls, which in some routines is very hard to follow and goes on forever, is very short and sweet in Reed's routine. Balls keep disappearing and appearing, and the part where they go under a spectators hand is amazing, then BOOM limes!

I really think this is worth the money and a great read!!!!

Now the downsides(sorry Mr. McClintock):

1. You need cups with a lot of attic space or small balls, because the ones I bought couldn't hold enough for the routine(granted I bought a 13 dollar set, but it is an issue with some more expensive sets too I believe). So just make sure you have room or some smaller balls... I'll be ordering some smaller balls after I find someone that makes them Smile

2. There are two moves which aren't explained, the Vernon/Mora Wandspin Vanish, and the Bertram Utility drop. Not a big deal because you can learn them easily other places, but having a quick explanation would have been nice to make the routine self-sufficent.

3. The actual layout of the book, First off it is stapled which for me wouldnt stay open without some heavy paperweights or some hardcore creasing of the book, when you are suppose to have all your hands and your armpits full of stuff, kind of hard to keep that book open... and also a small number of the pictures were explaining moves that were explained on other pages... which again caused you to fumble to another page while both your hands are full. Still pretty easy to learn from but I think a different binding and some better placed pictures might have helped it.(Sorry, but its true!)

Well those were my only gripes and they were MINOR compared to the great routine that Reed is offering.

Also included is a great effect with a wand and a ring, reminds me a lot of Sankey's effect with a spoon and a ring, great stuff!!!

Does anyone know where to buy Red Crotcheted Ball of differnt sizes?!?
Glenn Watson
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MacGyver, James riser sells 3/4 inch,7/8 inch and 1 1/8 inch crochet covered balls.
http://www.jamesriser.com
oblique
This is my 17th year on being a member of the cafe.
MacGyver
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Thanks!!!! I think I'm gunna try my hand and making some rope balls though after I found a how-to guide Smile
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