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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » * * Seeking Advice from veteran Cups and Balls Practitioners * * (6 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Corbett
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I have only been studying the cups and balls for a few years, but have reached a road block when it comes to the concealing of the final loads, throughout the routine. For example, I do the routine standing, and I do my final loads from my outside jacket pockets. But I am bothered by the fact that the size and weight of the loads, makes my jacket look "unsightly." There is an obvious visual bulge at the pockets, and a person would have to be blind to not notice that there is something large and heavy in that guy's pockets.

For those of you that do the routine standing, how have you overcome this problem?

I have experimented with ball clips hung inside the jacket, or hung from the inside edge of the table. But ultimately, this does not seem to work with the process of my eliminating the small balls, while retrieving the loads, etc..

Looking for suggestions and guidance on this one.
Al Kazam the Magic Man
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I have a great busking pouch I got from Frank Starsini. I use that, and have a few funnylines that I use for a false explanation of why I need to use it. I only wear it for the cups and balls routine. Works great for me and franks work is very good.
Al Kazam --> Magic guy in Perth Australia
Corbett
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Thanks Al, unfortunately, a busking pouch is just not my style, though I know it works well for others. I perform in jacket and tie.

Regarding Frank's work, I have some of his other products, and know first hand, he does in fact have very high quality items.
tomsk192
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Some of my jackets are better suited than others, pardon the pun, in terms of the outer pockets. Also, if your jacket is unbuttoned, the bulge will be less obvious. A good tailor would be able to do some jiggery pokery with the pockets, too, which would slightly reduce the bulge.

As a matter of interest, have you been called out on it? Or is it a nagging concern on your part?

Tom
Corbett
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Tom, it's more of a nagging concern of my own. I've not been called out directly, but most audiences don't call-out stuff like that. They stay quiet and polite. But like I said, it's not difficult to notice.
tomsk192
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I know what you mean! But, genuinely, when I watch a good C&B performance, when the loads are well timed, my eyes don't take in the peripheral stuff. And by the time the loads are being revealed, the bulges have gone. I guess when you're stealing the loads, your hand is filling the pocket at the time their eyes will be focused in that area. Still, I know what you mean, from one perfectionist to another.
Corbett
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It's not during the loading that bothers me, it's all the time prior to this, while standing there, with large bulging pockets.
tomsk192
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I understand that. But I'm not sure that the human brain, when processing information in the foreground, is capable of scrutinising and analysing background information, unless there is actual movement, which diverts attention. What I'm saying is, it might not be politeness, more a case of 'not seeing'?

As an example, I was showing my eldest son, who is painful to try things out on, a chop routine with baseballs as final loads: one in each pocket. I was fully expecting to be called out on the ludicrous bulges, but he nearly fell over when the baseballs were produced. It gave me pause for thought...
Nate The Magician
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On the matter of bulges- if you have some loose fitting dark dress pants on and position the balls- two on top of one another slanted like / in the pocket- then the eye tends to not see the balls at all- the slightly vertical positioning of the balls tricks the eye into believing that the balls are just a part of the leg and the dark pants disguise any evidence otherwise.
I personally tie a string to the back of my belt and attach a baseball to the end of the string with duct tape so my jacket covers the baseball easily- then I steal the ball for the final-final load by ripping the baseball from the tape. The advantage to this is that from the front, the baseball is invisible. The disadvantage is that it's not good for sitting.
Just my two cents.
Mr. Woolery
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Michael Ammar talks about this in his cups and balls book. He loads from the back pockets of his trousers. Tommy Wonder used loads that were already on the table for exactly the reason you mention - bulges in suit pockets.

- Patrick
Corbett
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I have all of Ammar's materials on this.
BrianMillerMagic
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In the cups and balls I use sponge balls for the final loads and then one hard piece of fruit from the back pants pocket for grand final load. In the chop cup I load two hard pieces of fruit from the back pants pockets. I don't even work with a jacket, and refuse to use a busker's pouch just for one trick.

There are videos floating around my YouTube page of both the chop cup and cups and balls I believe.
Christopher Moro
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Corbett, you have a very valid point. While one spectator might not notice the bulge, another just might. And 99% of people are polite and say nothing about it.

Michael Ammar gave me the tip of having the side pockets pleated in such a way that they open inward towards the body. A normal pocket would open uniformly outward as well as inward when something big is placed in it. This alteration would encourage the load to project inward only.

Finally, Bill Palmer called my attention to Jerry Mentzer's "Effective Cups and Balls." You'll find a good potential solution in this little book.
Corbett
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I attempted to have my tailor alter my jacket with larger "inside" pockets. In other words, I would enter the pocket from the same place, but the pocket itself would lead into a larger area inside the jacket. The bulge was eleviated a bit, but the weight of the loads, still caused a noticable "pull" on the jacket and the way it wore.

Alas, I think perhaps I am overthinking this dilemma a bit, and just need to consider a different type of load; definitely lighter in weight and probably smaller as well. But this issue has definitely been a thorn to me. I'll get over it. Smile
Christopher Moro
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I think you'll like Jerry Mentzer's solution. I really dug it. I also don't want to discuss certain things over an open forum. I'll PM you.
tomsk192
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Quote:
On 2013-12-11 14:02, Corbett wrote:
I attempted to have my tailor alter my jacket with larger "inside" pockets. In other words, I would enter the pocket from the same place, but the pocket itself would lead into a larger area inside the jacket. The bulge was eleviated a bit, but the weight of the loads, still caused a noticable "pull" on the jacket and the way it wore.

Alas, I think perhaps I am overthinking this dilemma a bit, and just need to consider a different type of load; definitely lighter in weight and probably smaller as well. But this issue has definitely been a thorn to me. I'll get over it. Smile


I think it's one we can all relate to. My cups can take a tennis ball, but due to the Battle of the Bulge, I use citrus fruits, which look great, and are pleasingly incongruous if you aren't a jaded old git like me!
Payne
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Look into Cellini's work on this as well as Kent Gunn's. Or you could work on some sort of ball dropper that hangs from your vest or belt. Or a pouch that attach's to your waist that you can reach though your jacket to access. this last method would need to have openings cut through the jacket where the pockets are to facilitate this. A modified Topit might also work.

But I wouldn't bee too worried about it. I use a huge poachers pouch in my routine and yet still have people ask me where all the loads came from at the end. Even if they can see that your packing large amounts of "something" in your pockets it doesn't detract from the trick. The cups and balls is a demonstration of skill. you're showing off your ability to sneak balls under the cups unseen, not magically materializing them with supernatural powers.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Bill Palmer
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Check this -- http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......&start=0

Read the whole thread. It shows how I got past pouches and overcame the bulging problem.

Also look into Geoffrey Buckingham's system of holders.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
malaki
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I realize that this is a reply to an old post, but the problem persists throughout time.

Check in some of the older tomes such as Our Magic and Greater Magic to find out how the magicians who started wearing suits in which to perform solved this issue. One would be a ball hold-out. A single heavy wire is bent with a loop on either end, often the center being bent into a small loop for a safety pin or sewing thread. The hold out is made so that the distance between the outer loops is slightly less than the diameter of the ball, creating a spring action that will hold the ball securely, but allow it to be removed easily with a tug from one hand. Mount it so that you can access the ball under the bottom edge of your jacket. No bulges showing and the load is literally at your fingertips.

I have often heard that the best way to keep a magical secret is to hide it in a book. The older books are a treasure trove of valuable information!
Doc Svengali
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Loading from oversized back pockets (e.g. "cargo pants" style pockets) make the bulges far less visible to spectators in front of you.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » * * Seeking Advice from veteran Cups and Balls Practitioners * * (6 Likes)
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