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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Routining for the Cups and Balls (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Buster
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Virginia
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Does anyone have any tips for routining for the cups and balls? What is a good way to judge details like the correct length of the routine or the impact of a certain vanish or revelation without actually performing the act in front of an audience and using their reaction as a guide. I don't want to bore the audience, nor do I want to leave anything out that would better my performance of the effect.
RandyWakeman
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Plainfield, ILLINOIS
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Quote:
What is a good way to judge details like the correct length of the routine or the impact of a certain vanish or revelation without actually performing the act in front of an audience and using their reaction as a guide.


There are several routines out there, already well-established.

There are no shortcuts, performing it is the only way to fine tune most any routine.
Jeff Dial
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Kent, WA
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As one who is finally getting around to learn the cups and balls, the best advice I was given was to find your persona first. It is directing me into the type of routine I can do that will be entertaining.
"Think our brains must be too highly trained, Majikthise" HHGG
Magic Tim
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I'm also "finally getting around to" taking this effect seriously, and have been reading Michael Ammar's Complete Cups & Balls book.

It may not be everybody's favorite, but it sure is packed with excellent instructional coverage of "the moves" (progressing from simple to difficult), along with multiple accompanying sample routines.

As with most any magic book, one of the hardest things to grasp is timing, which still is best learned by practice and experience.

I recommend the book -- it's an enjoyable read for a serious student.

Tim :->
http://www.timwallacemagic.com

“I find your lack of faith disturbing.” -- Darth Vader
Masimax
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Italy
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I agree with Tim!
I'm studying Michael Ammar's complete cup and ball book.
I've also studied other sources for a more complete vision of the routine.

I've a couple of questions:
Someone of you use the Cup & Ball when perform for real people?
It could be performed in every "situation" or it used only on stage?


I've used small cups & balls and my final load was a sponge ball, useful to continue with sponges.
But with small cups I've to use small balls and if they are easy to hide, they are not so visible and a lot of sleight cannot be used.

What do you think about?

thanks
Masimax
KingStardog
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The most important thing is to get a set that works for you. I have a couple of sets, and if they dont feel natural in your hands the moves are more difficult and akward to do. The best set I have and the only one I use is one I put together myself from four very heavy stainless steel shot glasses from th 50's. Three are for the cups and balls and the fourth for a chop cup/chop balls. Since I never do both in the same set, I don't carry the extra ones with me. These little cups are very heavy and spin in mid air very nicely. The balls are 3/8" pom poms to get 3 under one cup, with finals being walnuts. If you are just starting out look for a multi-phase beginners routine, and perfect each phase before going on. Ammar and Gazzo books and vids are tops once you get the hang of your first routine.

Mark Wilson has a great beginners routine in his "Cyclopedia of Magic" and the same one is reprinted in his "Complete Course of Magic".

As always, a camcorder doesn't lie and tell you you are doing fine when you are not.
Also find a friend that does the same types of effects, so they can tip you off,if you are a little sloppy.

There are a few very old and not so good routines being passed off as fresh, so spend the couple bucks extra and get an Ammar or Gazzo instructional when you are ready.

Maby some of the other board members know of others good ones? Smile
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
BillParky
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Atherton,Manchester,U.K.
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Hi Kingstardog (where did you get that name?!)

I'm not a cups and balls man myself but your posting sounds like great advice to me and I might just be tempted to give it a whirl.

Every magician worth his salt seems to have a cups and balls routine so maybe I'm missing out here.

Bill Smile
Payne
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Seattle
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Quote:
Maybe some of the other board members know of others good ones? Smile


Penultimate Cups And Balls by Read is an interesting routine that I plucked a couple of interesting moves out of for my routine
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
KingStardog
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Is there a post started for how we got our names yet?

I think they work so well because they are so heavy. I suppose they are really about 1
and 3/4 oz cups so maby slightly bigger than the small steel shot glasses that I described. Remember they work by stacking so make sure if you get a set that they stack right, like the big cups do.

:coffee:
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Victor Brisbin
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Washington, DC
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There are so many fine routines in print, including some in the general market books on magic. The best advice I was given on routining the cups and balls was to keep it simple. Especially in the beginning, it is unwise to fill your routine with too many difficult sleights or complicated maneuvers. More sophisticated segments can be added to the basic routine as you go. I don't particularly care for routines that go on forever with relatively minor effects with the balls. I think it is also important to pay attention to the techniques for the final loads.

Just my humble two cents. It's an important effect to practice and study, even if you don't choose to perform it publicly. Smile
"It is better to practice a little than talk a lot." - Muso Kokushi
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I do a two-cup routine loosely based on Gary Ouellet's "The Two Goblets." Howver, my routine eliminates the lapping and so can be done seated or standing.

It's in my book, Great Scott! It's More Magic!
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
My Lybrary Page
Buster
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Virginia
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Thanks for all the great advice. One of the reasons I started this thread is that ever since Penn and Teller came to the TV station where I work and performed their cups and balls routine on air, everyone has been asking me to perform a version. A challenge indeed, considering the audience already has some idea of how the effect works, never mind the fact that Penn and Teller are two of the best out there. I'm going to keep practicing for now but the advice I got here sure will help.
Croft
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Toronto, Canada
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When I decided to take up the cups and balls, I purchased volume 1 of the Ammar cups and ball video (although my fmd said I should buy the book if I wanted to learn the right way to do it). I found the routine on that video nice introduction and it went over very well with both adults and children. I then studied the Vernon routine in the Dai Vernon Book of Magic and the Ammar routine in The Magic of Michael Ammar. While I am not a big fan of videos usually (I prefer books), I found the video very helpful.
Ron Giesecke
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Redding, Ca.
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Man, do I wish I could've written an essay in Ammar's book. . .is that cloying enough?

Michael Ammar has a fabulous routine. I do not work in environments that preclude the spectators from peeking inside the cups that are placed aside for a part of the routine, so I jettisoned any attempt at his long ago.

My advice is: try to get your hands on as many performances of the trick. Lance Burton performed it on television, using coffee mugs, and a live mouse as one of his three jumbo loads (the other two were lemons). This was truly, one of the more organic presentations I have ever seen.

Paul Gertner, while using Paul Fox cups and steel ball bearings, fully explains his routine in his book, "Steel and Silver." It is worth reading if only for the thinking behind the trick alone.

Aldo Colombini has two routines. One is a complicated but beautiful one, and the other is extremely pleasing to laymen. This is called his "Mamma Mia Cups and Balls" and can be found on his "Lasting Impressions" video series. Aldo uses the kinetic energy from a standard kid's routine, adds some different colored balls (this makes the thing incredibly easy to watch), and still manages to end with final loads.

I had the pleasure of meeting Aldo recently, and he performed this for us per my request--it was not even a part of the lecture. The best part was he used my cups. What an honor from such a truly nice guy.

The following link is an Adobe acrobat file of my review of this lecture, along with other things.

http://www.grandillusions.com/en-us/news_jul02.pdf

--Ron Giesecke Smile
The Pianoman
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Lliving in Scotland.
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David Williamson does a two cup version with some great gags, stunts etc.
It is on the video "David Williamsons fantastic lecture" filmed in a London Hotel.

He produces three final loads using the two cups, I thought it was great.

Regards Alan
Ron Giesecke
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Cool picture, Pianoman! I'm in a tux as well, except that pixel limitations keep me from showing the whole picture--me standing in the Sacramento river with a fly rod. It was a column photo that graced a piece I used to write for a local newpaper.

You're right about the Williamson routine. It is also on "Sleight of Dave," which I just dispensed of on Ebay a few weeks ago.

Williamson's routine was developed because he lost one of his cups. he has a couple of moves that really fooled my eyes the first time I saw it.

I have been dying to see Tommy Wonder perform his, I have read it in print hastily, and would like to see it just for its reputable nature alone.

--Ron Smile
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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The Wonder routine, especially in his hands, is a thing of sheer beauty.
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
My Lybrary Page
Ron Giesecke
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Redding, Ca.
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Scott,

Are you aware of any available recorded performance of that routine? I have a feeling that if anybody in this forum would know, it would be you.

--Ron Smile
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