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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Step right up! » » Best cups for worms? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Frosty
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Ok, I'm about to add the worm pitch in the near future. I have about 100 of them sitting in my garage and I think it's time to take em out for a walk...! I really need to start practicing but wanted to know which cup works best for y'all? Is glass better or plastic cups? any advice or tips is appreciated.. Thanks in advance!
LeoH
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Frosty:

Definitely not glass. Glass shards around your joint will take too much time to clean up, plus liability if someone gets cut. I use the heavy duty clear plastic cups that McDonald" milkshakes are served in. They are sturdy, and do not break when dropped.

Epoxy some heavy washers in the cup on the bottom. The weight will keep the cups from blowing over when the breeze starts to blow.

Hope this helps.

LeoH
Dick Oslund
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Good point, Leo!

I love it when I can "get" a "prop" at any McDonald's, or Wal Mart, when I'm on the road!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Phil Ainsworth
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Agreed, definitely use clear plastic. Weight it down too, I’ve been caught out by that before.

The move where you put the worm in the tumbler, and then bend forward so he can kiss your cheek is absolute gold dust, I’m convinced that’s the part where they decide to buy.

Interested to hear what price you guys can get for them, over your side of the pond? I knock them out at £3 each, or 2 for £5 (that’s near enough $4 each, 2 for just-under $7).

Can you get more for them in the US?
LeoH
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Most of the time. I do a "package" of the worm, Sven deck, with 2 card monte as the "kicker". I do the package for $10.
sethb
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In my experience, any large (16 ounces or bigger) cup should be fine. I used a pair of 32 ounce soda pop cups, and was very happy with them.

A few thoughts: The cup should be plastic and it should also be transparent. Also, look for a cup with a rolled or rounded smooth lip, which makes it much easier to work the gimmick, and much less likely that it will break, especially if you are using IT (highly recommended) in your pitch demo. The rigid plastic glasses you can find in the supermarket or party stores might appear to be a good choice at first glance, but they usually have a square and unpolished edge on the lip, and are not suitable for this kind of work. They will also crack or shatter if you drop them, unlike the softer plastic cups. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Riley
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When I lived in Spain I used this type for a few years. Worked well for me.


http://images.zesco.com/pimages/277/277-d-171-blue.jpg
Frosty
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Just wanted to say right quick thanks to Leo, Phil, Seth And Riley for all the great tips and advice... and also good to hear from you Dick! Got a little busy but I'll post some more on this once I get a chance as I was able to try out the worm this weekend... Anyways thanks again to all!
Frosty
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Last week I tried pitching them critters and have to say I really admire and respect all magic thread workers now, it's not as easy as I thought.. lol!

I was pitching a slum package but soon ran out of stock and was only left with Svengali decks so I had no choice but to pull out the worms to pitch the deck and use the worm as kickers..

Got a say it's an amazing combination that works great!

But..

I must admit I did it all wrong on my side... but learned a lot and at the same time had lots of fun.. and yet I still sold some!
I did use plastic cups but having a bright solid red table cover, the thread was too visible so I kept the worm and cups on my hands as I demonstrated it..
I didn't use invisible thread so I got called out a few times.. I usually use 3 lights above my joint (one on each corner and a smaller one in the center clipped on my tent) so I think the string was a lot more visible with all that light hitting it.. but really don't know. Later I did get smarter as I remembered the classic magic trick of making a pencil rise from inside a bottle which I learned as a kid from a magic book in the library.. and thought if I just keep the worm close to my body and keep the string running down behind my hand (similar to the pencil trick) for cover they wouldn't be able to see it. Well guess what? IT WORKED!

Some still asked if it was a string or magnets, so I usually looked at them with a serious face as I starred at them straight in the eyes and responded "It's Magic!" And just laughed afterwards as I explained it was a super simple trick and once they open the package they would see the secret as it's so simple how it's done.. but your getting it for free so don't complain... (I stole, I mean borrowed that line of don't complain from Mark Lewis jokes on his pitch DVDs) and that was enough!

Ok, I know I still need lots of work and need to practice more to be able to do many of them fancy moves but I did learn a lot while having fun and again just wanna say Thanks to all!
sethb
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Frosty --- Here's two tips for you.

Working close to the body as you do is always helpful in obscuring the gimmick. But if you are using IT, and even if you're using the standard thicker gimmick, I also suggest that you wear a loud, plaid shirt. The bright patterned design will help to obscure the gimmick. Some folks think that a white background or a black background would be good, but any solid color, even the red you were using, only helps to make the gimmick more noticeable. Go to K-Mart or Sears and pick up a few really loud plaid shirts, and your troubles will be lessened. Ditto on possibly getting a loud, red checkered plaid tablecloth for your pitch table, although I always just worked with a bare table (one less thing to carry around and have to deal with on a windy day!). Since the worm was in my hands about 95% of the time, I didn't really have to worry about the tabletop.

If you are using artificial lighting, I would also suggest using only lighting from the side when pitching the worms. I believe that lighting from the side will tend to reflect less light off of the gimmick (which can be shiny even if it's black), because the side light will run mostly parallel with the gimmick. With your center overhead light, I think you were just asking for trouble, it probably just highlighted the gimmick, being perpendicular to it most of the time.

Anyway, lots of luck to you with your worms! In addition to being a fine pitch item that's equal to the Svengali Deck, they are great for pulling a tip. When that worm starts crawling all over your hands or jumping from one cup to another, you don't have to say a thing, it will draw people to your joint like moths to a flame! And when you turn the tip, the teenage boys will go for the Svengali Decks, but the teenage girls and the younger ones will want the worms. So keep plenty of both items in stock! SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Frosty
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Loud plaid shirt... got it! Thanks for the tip. I was using .004 nilon smoked clear thread but am now thinking of using one with Invisible thread as a worker..

I stopped pitching the worm for now as I need to get more practice with using invisible thread..

Also do you recommend using Kevlar IT for the worker or is regular IT fine? I think IT will really help to keep the gimmick from being seen.. And is there a brand preferred for the IT? Thanks again!
sethb
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I never worked with Kevlar, so I can't say one way or the other. But the Kevlar may be OK if it's not too shiny and reflective.

Regular IT is fine -- IF -- it's not very hot. Once your hands get sweaty, the IT also gets wet, then tends to stick and finally break. You can slow that process down a bit by dusting your hands lightly with cornstarch, which will help to make the skin smooth and drier. But too much heat, sweat and too much cornstarch just creates another sticky mess. I had to close down a joint at one summer sidewalk fair because it was just too hot, damp and humid to work the worms, the decks or anything else. And make sure you get cornstarch, NOT talcum powder, which they say isn't safe to use. A little cornstarch is also good even if you don't have a heat problem, as it will make the skin smoother and drier, which makes it easier to work the gimmick.

But if you are doing a spring or fall outside pitch, or an indoor pitch, IT shouldn't be a problem. Just have about six other worms tied up and ready to go in case you do have a problem and need to bring in a replacement. A small fishing tackle/fly box is great for storing your "pinch hitters."

I got my IT from The Magic Warehouse for about $5, in an unstripped 8-foot length with many individual strands, which is probably enough IT for two lifetimes. I see they also sell the Kevlar IT, for about $12 a packet. It's all cheap enough that you should probably give both kinds a try.

The only issue I had with using an IT worker is that of course it doesn't match the gimmick that you sell. I thought about trying to sell an IT gimmick but eventually decided against it, since most kids will not have the patience or the delicate touch needed to use it. And in selling thousands of worms, I only got one complaint that the kid's worm didn't match mine (I gave the mother of the kid her money back; who needs an argument or someone badmouthing your pitch to the event organizer or other patrons?) But no question, an IT worker looks spectacular and is quite mystifying, even for people who know or think they know the worm's secret. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Frosty
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Hello Seth, thanks for all your great tips.. really appreciate it! Yup! It really does get hot and sticky here in Texas. Right now we have great weather but it'll soon change.. I'll practice some more though It's kinda hard for me to find spare time right now...
Riley
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Hi Frosty...I second everything Seth has said about wearing a plaid shirt. And, in Spain (and back here in the UK) I have ALWAYS used the.004 smoke thread. My working surface is green baize ( ex pool table) and the thread is invisible against this - even in bright sunshine.

I don't use any artificial lighting. The .004 thread is also good for the self folding bill (I used a 20€ bill in Spain) printed at home on ordinary copy paper. These sold well to the parents of the youngsters who bought the worm. I find magician's IT too limiting for the worm and self-folding bill.
Frosty
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Hey Riley, I'm glad to know your using the same .004 smoked thread and works good for you. When I tried it at home it was practically invisible but on the joint it was a little reflective to my lights...

Even with the lights on many asked if it was a thread or... I think they still weren't sure..

Thanks for your tips!
Frosty
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BTW... Great idea on the self folding dollar bill! Actually Genius..!
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