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Topic: Cups & Balls Advice
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 6, 2003 12:46PM)
Greetings and Salutations,

I have some Christmas cash burning a hole in my pocket, and after having played with my Morrisey combo cups (a fine product by the way), I have determined that I want a heavier set, with a more Renaissance-era look and feel (as I do RenFests and am putting together a street set for performing at various fairs, on the streets and other venues).

I am currently stuck between the Phoenix and new Johnson sets. I've been able to play, to a certain extent, with the Phoenix cups and balls, but there are no Johnsons available locally.

The cost would be nearly identical, and I could support a local brick-and-mortar store with the Phoenix purchase, but I've read some good things about the Johnson cups, which are based on the Paul Fox-style cups.

I realize, Danny and Koz, that you're going to advise me to get the Gazzo cups, but after picking up his book and video, I'm going to have to cut a corner somewhere until my coffers have refilled. And the Johnson cups are based on the Paul Fox' which Gazzo talks about in his book.

So my question is, what are your views on the Phoenix and Johnson cups and balls, as well as the other sets out there that I may not be considering in the $200 (plus/or minus) range.


Joe in KC

Live a great adventure,
choose an interesting life!
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jan 6, 2003 01:22PM)
Without knowing your routine it is difficult to recommend which of these two sets (or any set for that matter) to use.

The Phoenix Cups are copies of the Ross Bertram/Miller cups. They do nave a nice antique appearance, tarnish well, and have a solid feel and heft to them. However, they don’t nest as well as they originals (there is a slight wobble and they nest lower on the bead than they should) and will not hold three 1-inch balls in the attic (between two nested cups). However if your routine does not call for more than one ball to be held out between the two cups then they will suffice.

The Johnson cups are more the Danny Drew/Paul Fox pattern. They are beautiful, nest well, stack solidly, and hold three 1-inch balls between two nested cups. Like the Phoenix Cups they have a nice feel and heft to them. They need to be kept polished, as they do not tarnish as well as a copper cup.

If you have used the Morrissey Combo cup, are used to it, and like the feel of it, then why not look at the Morrissey Copper Cups. They nest well, will hold three 7/8-inch balls between them, and tarnish well for that antique look. Their only drawback is that they are much lighter than the Phoenix or Johnson cups. But then they cost 2/3 less!
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 6, 2003 02:32PM)
Greetings and Salutations Harry,

Thanks for the post, as a former or still "rennie," I was hoping you would weigh in on this one.

My current routine is pretty simple, with just a single ball nested in the cups at any one time, but that doesn't mean that someday I may not want to do more.

I want functional, but "look-and-feel" are important -- at one faire in particular, they tend to get hardcore on "period, period." If you follow me?

I like the idea of the Johnson cups, and I think I was reading somewhere else what you indicated about both sets, but can't determine if the Johnson cups are copper or brass. They claim to be brass and so should tarnish up nicely, and still have the ability to be cleaned up nicely if needed, but your "copper" comment and not tarnishing well are scaring me off.

I would go with the copper Morriseys, but they're pretty light for my tastes (and big mitts), and I worry about banging them up, and I'm having a tough time finding lemons that will fit in them for a final load. Of course, if I could find them cheaply enough I could consider some alternatives.

Thanks for your input.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 6, 2003 03:03PM)
The Phoenix cups, I just don't like. The Johnson cups, very sexy. The new (bigger) Gazzo cups are awesome (and very expensive).

The best value? For street performance nothing beats Pete Biro's Gali-Gali cups. They are thinner and will dent but they will hold a HUGE load full orange, look very nice, nest well, will hold 3 1 inch balls, and I beat the heck out of mine and they are still ticking. They also cost under $200 (or just $200) if memory serves.

If you must buy the Phoenix cups look on ebay. They sell the 'seconds' for under $100 and for 70 or 80 bucks they are not a bad deal. They are poorly shaped but heavy as all get out. So at that price they are a decent cup. But, I agree with Harry (as usual) and his thoughts on the cups.

For the record, the phoenix or johnson cups are not 'period' The Cellini cups which are also very nice have the classic middle ages conical shape. Anything short and squat is not going to be from the period you describe although, not many people could tell the difference. I wouldn't know the difference if I had not seen some old lithos and read some of Bob Read's stuff. For the record Bob Read is the cups and balls guru of all time in MHO as far as history and knowledge goes. He also has a brilliant routine himself.


Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 6, 2003 03:15PM)
If you are going to be doing a Ren Faire then may I suggest the Bosco Cups from Harries Magic. These are a very large and relatively inexpensive (around $80.00 US)cup which is also the perfect flower pot shape that was used in period.
I just got a set last month and am anxious to start using them.
you can see and order them here
Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Jan 6, 2003 04:09PM)
I just started working with my new set of Harries copper cups. They clocked in at about $95 by the time the new price and postage were figured in. I like 'em alot. They're big and they're the shape I was looking for(the "flower pot" shape mentioned above.Until I make enough dough to afford those Cellini silver cups I saw the other day I'll just have to make these do...

- Bill
Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Jan 6, 2003 07:31PM)
I'll second Danny's advice on buying the Phoenix cups on ebay. I got mine for about $50. For $50 - $70 you won't cringe as much when you drop them on a sidewalk. :bg:
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Jan 6, 2003 08:34PM)
I know a cups and balls routine....but I don't perform it on the streets.....first of all....it's what everyone does....so I'm a little different...I do a chop cup routine thats pretty good I think....now I would be doing the cups and balls routine except I haven't finished the chop cup routine.....someday when I think its done...and it's really, really good....I'm gonna sell it.....and likely do what every other street performer under the sun does...the cups and balls....by the way...I have only one set of cups....dont know who made them....cellini gave them to me as a gift....I like them just fine....

Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jan 6, 2003 09:07PM)
Doesn't anybody use the 3 1/2 inch Rose Flower pots? They are clay and cost about .59 each at Craft or garden stores. And have some nice heft to them. The regular flower pots have a narrow rim whereas the "rose pots" have about a much wider "step" that supports the nesting cups.

Just wondering if these might work on the Ren fair circuit, and you could even do some kind of "smash the cup with a hammer at the end" to prove the mystery?

Just a thought. I have Phoenix cups, Morrisey Cups, and another bigger set. But these Rose Pots handle better due to the weight and clay surface, and they stack at least as well as Phoenix, and they have a nice capacity for a top load of 2 -3 balls.

If I am ever out of town and want to do the cups and balls without my equipment, I will jsut pick some of these up at a garden or craft shop.

Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 6, 2003 09:31PM)

Don't these cups have a hole in the bottom???
How do you deal with that?
Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jan 6, 2003 10:21PM)
A round sticker on the inside would allow you to mark it black on the outside, but not be able to see through the hole. It would still look pretty innocent.

And now that you mention it, I think that would add to the innocence of the cups themselves. But you could also put the label on outside bottom of the cup and use a marker to letter the cups or number them, or use different colored labels as a means to identify the cups to the audience.

But worse case, the hole isn't that big and unless the ball under the cup ended up directly under the hole, it would not be visible.

Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jan 6, 2003 10:34PM)
I perform with a set of Johnson cups and really enjoy them. I started with a Morrisey set to develop the routine, but they were too light for my taste.

I just got an e-mail from Hocus Pocus. If you are one of their on-line members, they are running a sale through Friday to purchase a new Phoenix set of Cups and Balls with wand, case, etc. for $99.95.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 7, 2003 02:06PM)
Greetings and Salutations One & All,

And many thanks for the thoughtful responses.

OK, they're not as period as I'd like, but at $100, I got to go with Phoenix Cups and Balls at Hocus Pocus. Thanks for the tip Michael.

Thanks again, Buskers, for all the advise. See you on the streets.

Now after I make my first $300 on the streets, I'm going to have to decide between Cellini's and Gazzo's. Any comments?

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 7, 2003 02:26PM)
Both are nice cups. The Gazzo Cups hold a MUCH bigger load. A full orange plays for a bigger crowd than a small lemon.

You can get the Phoenix cups direct from Tom Frank for under $100 on EBAY! Tom is the guy who makes the cups! Look there before you plunk down a C-Note. They are tiny and not well made. If you are not going to use them as a collectors item but a work tool who cares about the box and the stick. Also, it is NOT a Lignum Vite (Iron wood) wand.
Really big guy, save yourself a couple of bucks. The box they come in is cheap too.

For a $100 I would probably go with the Bosco cups payne mentioned. They look sweet and will tarnish quick and look and feel like a period cup. The Phoenix cups are not period cups at all. Payne knows his ren faires, I'd trust his advice.


Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Jan 7, 2003 03:10PM)
I'm going to try the flower pot Idea!
I think my goal is going to be to have All my sets of C&Bs to add up to be under the price of one of these fancy sets.
I have seen a guy wow them with 3 paper coffe cups and papper balls, price free!
I'm not saying that the cups mentiond are not nice cups, just that I am more into the show than the cup. I cruise the doller stores, yard sales, ect. looking for cups that might work. I think I spent $35 or $40 on my good set.

Some one help me understand why some of these cups cost what thay do?
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 7, 2003 03:17PM)
Greetings and Salutations Danny,

I must be insane, listening to some guy named Danny Hustle and his pal, Payne, but in a complete reversal of fortunes, I just ordered the Bosco cups from Harris. You gotta trust somebody, right, and a street busker and a rennie works for me.

Hey, with the money I'm saving, I'm going to pick up M. Ammar's complete cups and balls project (book and videos), and compare and contrast it with Gazzo's stuff. Besides, I like the way Ammar teaches.

To ease my weary brain, does anyone have any ideas on how much Harris charges for shipping and about how long I'm going to have to sit by my mailbox.

I want to do some in-depth history with my street act, and Sheridan's book is great on history of street performing. You guys have any ideas on books where I can get more history on the cups and the Chinese rings?

Thanks. Now go play in the street.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 7, 2003 04:02PM)
Pokie Poke:

Getting cups made is an expensive proposition. The original design has to be created by an artist/magician who knows and understands the requirements of the design--something rarer than you would suppose--and then the cups have to be machined or spun.

Many sets of expensive cups are poorly designed, and don't stack properly, or are too susceptible to dents, or don't have sufficient space for the balls between the cups, etc., so good design is paramount, and is an initial expense.

The copper, pewter, brass, or other metal is expensive, and the heavier the cup, the more expensive. You have to front enough money to make a lot of sets to begin with, and the market is crowded with many different kinds and grades of cups so it is difficult to know how many you can sell and how long it will take to sell them.

Street Cups are necessarily bigger than cups used in most other performing situations. This is because they must play bigger for larger crowds than a close-up worker, and also because the street performer most often works with a giberciere or poachers pouch which enables him to use bigger loads than would fit in a close-up worker's pockets.

The School for Scoundrels has the Gazzo cups made in England, and the cost of manufacture and shipping is so high that we can not wholesale the item. We would have to charge $600 retail in order to wholesale them at a profit. We did not feel there was much of a market at that high a price. Therefore we only sell them off our website at retail and do not wholesale the item.

The price of other cups depends on the weight of the cup, the method of manufacture (machined, spun, hand-spun) and other considerations. But most of the cups out there are not over-priced. They are priced at what they need to be priced in order to make a profit.

Machined cups, like Joe Porper's, are the most expensive. Hand Spun cups (Gazzo Cups)are probably the next expensive, but that is the only way to spin heavy cups and the there are very few people left in the US or in England that can or will do this kind of work. The machine spun cups are usually much lighter in weight.

I just have to say that apart from all the other considerations mentioned here, well-made metal cups are a joy to perform with. I have used many different cups over the years, and the aesthetics of appearance, sound, balance, weight and feel of a good set of metal cups just can't be touched by plastic, styrofoam, or pottery. You can do the linking ropes instead of the rings, and entertain and fool just as many people, but it just isn't as exciting for the audience--it lacks the noise, the shine, and the solidity of the metal rings.

Good metal cups are just the most practical, most appealing to the audience, and most pleasurable way from the performer's standpooint to do this ancient trick. This is just my view, but I know it is shared by most of the pros who make their livings with the cups and balls.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 7, 2003 04:47PM)
Greetings and Salutations Whit,

Thanks for sharing so much of what you have done, the rings, the ropes, and your "Street Magic," which got me into this little adventure.

And more thanks on sharing why magic and props cost what they do. I'm aware of the why's and wherefore's of the whole process, but you said it in as few words as I've run across. If you don't mind, I'm going to bookmark your response so I can "share" it with others who don't always add up the why's and wherefore's.

Thanks again for sharing the magic.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Payne (Jan 7, 2003 09:46PM)
I just dug out my invoice and the shipping was 22.00 US and they took a couple of weeks to get here, but that was over the Xmas holidays so you should get them a bit sooner.
You won't regret getting these cups. for the price they are a excellent deal and a wonderful period style to boot.
As for additional material on the cups
"Hocus Pocus Jr" has a period routine with patter as does "The Whole Art of Legerdemain, both of which one can find in reprint editions.
If you are lucky enough to locate a copy of "The Oldest Deception" by Kurt Volkmann do so as it gas many marvelous period illustrsations of cups and ball workers.
"Legerdemain", a reprint of the Encyclopedia Brittanica article on conjuring from 1797 is a good resource as well.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 8, 2003 12:50AM)
Joe - I would second comments made by Whit Haydn and Danny Hustle.

If you buy the Phoenix cups you may be disappointed by the attic space. I had a set of Charlie Miller/Magic Inc cups (same as the Phoenix) and they were awful. Quality control was bad on these cups - though a FEW turned out ok. I found that nest/attic space was non-existent. If you placed a 1 inch ball in a cup and stacked a cup on top, the cup rested on the ball, NOT THE CUP. The good ones were all snapped up 20 years ago when Magic Inc sold them.

I have the Galli cups and they are excellent value. They will nest three large balls and have ample room for large final loads.

I also have the Cellini cups - excellent cups that ring like bells when you bash them with a wand (loudest I've ever come across and great for getting attention). They are also built like tanks so you would not be worried to drop them when working on the street. They don't nest as well as some cups but they are excellent quality and look fantastic. And a very good price - best value on the market.

The Johnson cups look nice and have a good feel, but Brass looks awful when it tarnishes, as opposed to copper. If they made them in copper I'd buy a set in a flash.

If you want a really nice Paul Fox set, check out http://www.JESmagic.com. Their copper sets are gorgeous, though you will need a smaller final load (such as a nectarine) and smaller balls if you want to do sequences where the three balls travel under a stacked cup. I would hate to bash these up, though... To work the street I think the Cellini cups would be great (can load an orange) or the Galli (a grapefruit!).

All the best
Andrew Wimhurst
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Jan 8, 2003 01:02AM)

Those cups are really cool. I happen to have a brass set of the "Sisti Cups." I couldn't ask for anything more.

I'd like to see your routine some day (and to catch you in your own audience as well).

Ron Giesecke
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 8, 2003 08:48AM)
Danny, Harry, Payne, George et al

Many thanks for all your posts. You are a wealth of information, and to share it so freely is a treasure. That's a hint to the new lurkers ... search this forum and site for some of the best info and opinions on the web!

Thanks for the tips on the cups, and the historic references. I think a set of Cellini cups are on my 2003 Christmas List.

Now to hit the bricks and share the magic.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Jan 8, 2003 01:10PM)
Whit, thanks for the info. I do not doubt the workmanship that is involved in making the cups. But as cups and balls are my lattest craze, I want to know all I can about them. I will be needing a larger set by summer if my plan is to work, but as I try to make all my props pay for them selves, I have to be careful as to not waste to mutch on props that I will later replace.
The flower pots struck my fancy as it is an every day thing, not a prop. People tend to look at shiny "Pro" stuff as if there must be a gimic and anyone could do it if thay had the gimic. I hate that.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 8, 2003 02:58PM)

A tarnished set of copper cups doesn't look anything like a fancy magic prop. To my mind they look like a classical item - an icon of magic straight out of the middle ages. I think audiences see them as props - but not in the way they would some fancy box covered in stars. They see the cups the balls, the wand and it strikes a chord in a lot of people. It just looks right - even if they think, hmmm, con game.

Most good street workers would hand each cup out for inspection at the beginning anway. Once a handful of spectators gets to see the cups are plain steel cups - they'll stop thinking they're odd (if they ever did).

Ron - my cups and balls routine is nothing special. Just a 'cut to the chase' version of the Vernon routine with some bits from Benatar and Thompson. I'm sure yours is way better than mine - I'm more of a card guy.

I love street magic but have only done it a couple of times (at venues like our National Museum, working their pre-launch open day) so I'm not qualified to give advice in the way that guys like Danny Hustle are!

Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 8, 2003 04:38PM)
I really love this forum. There is so much good thought and helpful sharing here. Danny, Harry and the rest have been most informative.

And I agree thoroughly with my friend Andrew. The copper cups especially look ancient and have a "classic" feel to the spectators. The tarnished cup is the best in my opinion, not only for the "old" look, but because they contrast better with the balls (which I think should be bright--yellow or white).

The cups should not draw the eye as much as the ball--the balls are the stars of the trick. When the cups are too shiny, I think that they detract from the effect. One reason that I do not like the brass cups, is that they don't look good tarnished, and that if they are lacquer-coated, the coating will scratch and wear badly eventually. Keeping them polished is a pain in the butt, and when they are shined, they seem too shiny for my taste, and the balls don't show up well against them.

The School for Scoundrels is going to be putting out a new set of Gazzo Street cups soon. These are identical to the large copper sets we have now, but will be made of silver-pewter.

This is a unique pewter which shines with a rich silverlike gleam, but never tarnishes. These are not as shiny as steel or chrome cups, but have a good expensive lustre which I like a lot. Gazzo raves ecstatic about them.

These should be coming out within a couple of months. We will have a booth at World Magic Seminar next week where you can see the copper Gazzo Street Cups, which I think are among the finest available, as well as the Gazzo giberciere and street table.

There is no one set of cups that is the best. So much depends on the individual tastes and needs of the performer. I have a large collection of cups, myself, and use different sets for different situations.

I would like to point out to all of you, that the market now is full of wonderful sets of cups that are each unique and have different things going for them.

Over the past forty years I have spent in magic this has never been the case. Soon, I fear they will all be gone again, and they will probably all be collector's items.

It is the recent resurgence in street magic, the popularity of Cellini and Gazzo's recent puplished work, the rise of the internet that enables producers to get in touch with this limited market, and the general popularity of magic that has made this possible.

But the expense of this kind of craftsmanship and the price of metal has become much higher, and will probably go higher still in the future. There are very few people left who can handspin heavy metal. The cost of machining cups like Joe Porper's has also gone up with the cost of metal.

So I would like to point out to the wise, that it is the best time in the last forty years to purchase a set of great cups. I am so glad that twenty years ago I spent $40 at Magic, Inc for a beautiful set of hand spun Bertram/Miller cups. At the time I thought they were really expensive.

Now you have a wide choice of great cups available at what I think are really fair prices. Twenty years from now these prices will seem like a steal, and there probably will not be a similar flux of new cups available at that future time.

You guys will be fighting over these same items, and paying a fortune for them, and the collectors will be upset that you are scratching up these beautiful "collectible" pieces using them for actual performances.

Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Jan 8, 2003 05:34PM)
I agree with you Whit. I have personally gleaned more from this Street Performing area than any other to date (Danny Hustle has given me ideas that, had I learned them from a book, would be "worth the price of it alone")

I only perform street a few times a year, although not for hat, but for a local business association that puts on street festivals. I really do love it, despite the occasional, figurative bruise.

Since the people in this arena really do contend with the "human element," devoid of any artifical posturing, I believe the best advice is thus delivered. While not all street handlings are translatable to the close-up table, there is a subtext of understanding [i]people,[/i] and their ebbs and flows that could vastly improve the indoor constituency's outlook on performance.

Andrew, thanks for that cup link. I want a set of those, and I'm saving my money even now.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 8, 2003 06:17PM)
Those cups are beautiful, Andrew, but I think way too small for the street.

I suppose you are thinking of them for your regular close-up act?
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Jan 8, 2003 10:27PM)
I suppose you are thinking of them for your regular close-up act?

Absolutely, Whit. Sorry I didn't differenciate. I have a two track-mind.

Like I said earlier, I have the Sisti cups, and they work fine for my work, and get me by on these street-ish things, but I can really see the value of the larger cups and a gib, especially after seeing the Gazzo tape.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 9, 2003 01:01AM)
Hi Whit and Ron

You're right - this is a great forum. (And for some reason the street forum seems to attract more people who are actually performing! At least that's the sense I get.)

You're right, those JES cups are way too small for the street. I would also be paranoid about dropping them as although each cup is quite hefty, copper dings and scratches when you drop it on ashphalt. I would have no qualms about using the Cellinis (really tough build ) and the Galli's - the latter are just PF stage/chick cups and look just like the ones in Gazzo's booklet. These cups look even better when they tarnish and get a few dents in them (check out Gazzos!) so I'm always thumping them with my brass-tipped wand, LOL. (Whit knows all of this so I'm just thinking out loud).

I use the JES cups for formal close up and they are really elegant. They have a perfect heft and feel and have tarnished to a buttery golden brown colour. But the loads need to be limes or nectarines - fine for a parlour but on the small side for a street crowd. The other problem is that while they will nest three standard cork balls, the balls will fall off when you lift the upper cup - no good for the sequence where you vanish each ball and show them appearing one at a time under the bottom stacked cup.

When I use them I skip that sequence - especially as my favourite balls are a largish set that were made for Dai Vernon. They are about an inch with a golden thread covering that has gold metallic streaks in it, covering a super ball. I agree with Whit! Yellow balls are the best! (Better than white, IMO, which can look a bit gray after handling them awhile - yellow seems to cover some of that tardiness).

Ron - you'll love those cups. I only wish you could get a combo set...

The Cellini's won't hold three balls on top (two at most) unless you use slightly smaller ones - but they do allow for a big final load - an orange or baseball. And as I said they ring like church bells when you whack them.

On a final note - hate to give a gratuitous plug for anything other than my own material (joking!) but Whit's published books are some of the best ever. His booklet on the Chicago Opener not only has a great handling (or two) for the effect but has some of the finest theory in print today. I wish Whit would put out a big book on performing with some tricks in it too (hey, I'm greedy) - it would certainly be on a par with books like Our Magic and Strong Magic.

All the best
Message: Posted by: Hernan (Jan 9, 2003 02:42AM)
There is an American small factory metal miller out there. His name is James Riser his website http://www.jamesriser.com/Cups/SelectingCups.html

This particular page reviews a few differant cup designs. As of october 2002 he was unaware of the Gazzo cups.
This page also tips the craft of making cups.

This year he is coming out with a traditional style.
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 9, 2003 11:07AM)
Thanks for the plug, Andrew. You are absolutely right about everything, imho.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 9, 2003 11:05PM)
Great discussion, everyone. I hadn't realized I would need a new set of cups for street work. My normal cups are only 2 3/4 in diameter and 3.25 tall. Unlike the original question, I'm not looking for a period cup, but just something big enough for street work. After reading around, I guess that a cup with a squat shape helps with the illusion, making the final loads seem that much bigger.
So with that in mind, what does everyone think of the above mentioned Johnson cups at a price of $170? I'm told they are heavy and copper. Are they big enough for the street? Thanks.

PS: I couldn't find Gali Gali cups last night. I'll do more searching...
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 10, 2003 03:15AM)

The Johnson cups are brass (eugh!) not copper. You can get the Galli's from Pete Biro at: pete@petebiro.com. Tell him I sent you! And make sure you get copper as they tarnish nicely.


PS. Whit - you can buy me a beer next time I work the Castle...
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 10, 2003 08:49AM)
Thanks, Andrew. I thought they might be brass, but the vendor told me copper. I specifically asked him. Hm? I'll have to call him on that. Material aside, do you know if they're big enough for street work? They look smaller than Gazzo cups.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 10, 2003 10:14AM)

The Johnson cups are much smaller than the Gazzo cups. As a matter of fact, I think you could use the Johnson cups as a final load in the Gazzo cups (The new Gazzo cups, the older ones were smaller).

I use Pete Biro’s cups and they along with Gazzo’s routine are the best magical purchases I have ever made, period. They have both paid for themselves at least 20 times over in the two months I used them last summer in Harvard Square.

Biro’s cups are beautiful to look at and get even nicer with age. The do not look beat up and tarnished when you have used them hard but more weathered with a beautiful patina <Grin>. A lot of cups do not take abuse well, when they get beat up they look it. When these cups get beat up they look magical. It’s nice. They are thinner than both the Gazzo and the Cellini cups and will dent. But they look good dented! At some point I will pick up a set of the big Gazzo cups, but I will not throw away my Biro’s. If you ask me all three sets of these cups are beautiful. But for a circle show where you are going to have or hope to someday have 100 or more people watching you the bigger cups will be a necessity. People will just not be able to see a small lemon coming out from under a small cup.

To go off topic for a second I’d like to point something else out if you’ll bear with me. A lot of people think the bigger load is more effective to the reaction of the audience. I believe that is not the case. The reaction comes from the change from a ball to a lemon or another fruit. You have changed not one but three or six things at the same time to your audience. That is what is impressive. It is not a vanish and an appearance. It is a transformation to them. That is cool when you think about it. Cellini does a doorway size act most of the time, as he prefers the intimacy he can obtain when his audience is close and just a few people. For years he used very small Bertram cups and produced small lemons, limes, peaches, or whatever. When he does the cups and balls it is every bit as stunning and amazing to his audience when the small fruit comes out as it is when a gigantic orange comes out of a big cup. The only difference is really in the size of the audience that you can play it to.

That being said, the other thing to consider when selecting cups is how big of a show do you want to build? The Johnson cups are beautiful as well as the Sisti cups. But they are smaller. If you are putting together a doorway act they might be a better choice than the Biro or Gazzo cups because they pack better and a doorway act is all about portability. It is just one more thing to consider.


Message: Posted by: Leland (Jan 10, 2003 11:38AM)
I had a great experience a few months ago, I went camping with the boyscouts and was asked to perform. I got three plastic cups and some aluminum foil for the balls. I surprised myself at what I was able to acomplish! Not the greatest show of my life but the cups and balls routine went great. I used some of the boys hotwheel cars for the final load. Goes to show you, use what you have! Your mind is the best prop you own!
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Jan 10, 2003 03:10PM)

The fact that mine are brass is the only drawback, although they have tarnished nicely nonetheless.

Copper or bust for me, from now on.

Message: Posted by: mslj (Jan 10, 2003 05:35PM)
The Johnson cups area joy to use. They are perfectly balanced, wonderful to hold and chime like a bell. I'm a great believer that sound must play a big part in any cups routine and the Johnsons acheive that easily. As Dan notes they are small but that is not in most cases a drawback (as Dan also notes. However, they are not for the big audience, a large circle. Also if a routine finishes with a melon and a hat I'd suggest that the Johnsons would not be the ideal choice. I think that the balls and final loads and thus the melon have to be congruent in size and the small balls used with the Johnsons along with the small(ish) lemons (for example) would really not match a melon production. Just sticking with the final lemon production, either three or four, is the stongest finish for the Johnsons.

Finally I keep my Johnsons highly polished. Just my opinion but that is their best presentation and when unpolished they look, well unpolished - it doesn't add anything.

On to the Gazzo cups. I have a set of the older model. Just holding these cups makes me feel like a street worker, I get a confidence just from their touch. Now I'm no expert or indeed experienced street magician but these are just a wonderful addition to my street persona. Yes alot of what we do is a reflection of our personality but there is an element of charecterisation. A tarnished set of Gazzo cups look like they belong on the street, people expect magic from them.

Going back to my earlier point the final melon load fits well with cups of this size because the melon and indeed the hat won't dwarf the cups or their final loads.


Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 10, 2003 09:46PM)
Thanks, Danny and Simon, re: Johnson and Biro's cups. Great point, Simon about the size of the cups needing to be proportional to the hat/mellon. Danny, thanks for helping me remember the audience's POV (point of view) that the final loads are transformations not a vanish/appearance. Funny idea actually to use smaller cups as the final loads, which then would have final loads within them too! Though I think that would play best to other magicians. Maybe not? Anyone done that before?

PS: should the balls themselves be larger to go along with these larger cups? My one inch red balls are okay or too small also?
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 10, 2003 10:04PM)

A 1" ball is perfect size if you ask me. I use Mike Rogers (I miss that guy.) 1" baseballs covered in tinfoil. I only use the tinfoil because it is part of my shtick. Just a plain 1 inch is fine.

Whit is also right about the color. It should be brilliant! The only caveat is you need to be dead sure of your moves. A flash with a bright yellow ball would turn a great trick into an exposition. Although, Some say (and I tend to agree) that it makes the final loads even more powerful if the catch you a bit and think they know what is going on. You lead them down the garden path and then jump out of the bushes at them!

Gazzo even exposes the fourth ball on purpose! I wish I had a buck for every post I’ve seen by some snooty magic guy that goes something like this, “I saw that Gazzo guy, he STINKS! He dropped the fourth ball on the table three shows in a row. What a hack! The man doesn’t know anything about the cups and balls.”

Some folks just do not get it.


Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 10, 2003 10:53PM)
Jim David Regal in his recent videos I believe vol 2 performs a beatiful variation of the cups and balls. He starts with the cheapest plastic set that you can imagine as he tell a story that suits the presentation. Then he moves to a set of professional cups, and at the end of the routine the final loads are the plastic cups of the beggining, and if I remember well they carry a load as well.

Very nice, specially for magic friends.

Also I have herad only good things about the Johnson set. The only bad thing I've heard so far is the tarnish thing. On top of that Johnson have just released a matching chop cup that can be added to this set along with a wand that matches the cups and is gimmicked at the same time.

If you want to get the whole set talk to Howard of Magic warehouse and he'll put together a nice price for the set.

Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 11, 2003 12:40AM)
I think that a 1" ball will work fine, though it might look a little small on top of a large cup. Gazzo uses a 1 3/8" white silicone ball, and that is what comes with the Gazzo Street Cups.

My personal feeling about the Gazzo Cups, and that may be biased since my company produces them, is that they have a magic feel, a specialness about them. They just feel magical.

I think Simon was talking about that feeling. They look mythic, and feel as if they came from some long ago story. You feel like you are touching something from the ancient past, you some how feel a part of that tradition. It is hard to explain.

I think part of it is that Gary Animal is a sculptor with an eye for design, and Gazzo is an artist as well--quite good at line drawing. They both had loads of experience with the cups and knew what they had to have.

Part of it is that the cups are hand-turned by an artisan, and they have a completely different look and feel from a machine-produced cup. They are a much heavier copper than you can get machine spun.

I think that the copper cups look best when they are shiny but deeply tarnished. That rich milk chocolate color is gorgeous. Plus the balls stand out so much better against the dark cups.

The balls are the star of the show, not the cups. Really bright, shiny cups seem to detract from the performance. They make the balls hard to see and thus confuse the eye.

BTW, we may soon be coming out with a new version of the Gazzo cups made of silver-pewter. These will have a dark silver sheen that never tarnishes.

Oh, and we now have the Gazzo Poacher's Pouch in stock and ready to ship. They are really nice. We'll have them up at WMS.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 11, 2003 07:31AM)
Whit is right about the balls. I just held one of my supposed 1” balls next to a 1” knit cork ball and my baseball is bigger. I’ve held the soccer balls that Gazzo uses and they are the same size as my baseballs. That would makes them a bit bigger than 1”. Whit’s also right about the big Gazzo cups. They scream magic. They are awesome.

Hey Whit are the new pouches leather? I’m sure you are going to sell a zillion of them!


Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 11, 2003 03:48PM)
On 2003-01-10 18:35, mslj wrote:
Also if a routine finishes with a melon and a hat I'd suggest that the Johnsons would not be the ideal choice. I think that the balls and final loads and thus the melon have to be congruent in size and the small balls used with the Johnsons along with the small(ish) lemons (for example) would really not match a melon production. Just sticking with the final lemon production, either three or four, is the stongest finish for the Johnsons.



I have to disagree with you on this point. The idea is not to produce final loads that are congruent in size - the idea is to produce a series of climaxes that tops the earlier climax. Thus the audience are shocked when you reveal a bunch of lemons (after doing a series of passes with the small balls) and blown away when you reveal a huge melon. The melon has to top the lemons. It's the old dramatic idea of build, build, build...

This reminds me of the story Pete Biro tells of Ken Brooke arguing with Ricky Jay over whether it's the size of the final load that mattered or merely the change. Brooke takes Biro and Jay to a pub and does the cups and balls with some very small limes as final loads and the audience are blown away. Brooke says to Jay, "See: it's the change".

I agree that it is the change that creates the shock value. But any analysis must conclude that an audience are going to be more impressed if you produce larger incongruous objects rather than slightly larger objects. In the case of the latter it's only a small leap for the audience to say, well they weren't that much bigger and he is fast with his hands (or whatever) so he must have just slipped them in. But with HUGE lemons or grapefruits, while the audience MUST always conclude that you are skillful - they will be struck by the immense difficulty in sneaking a huge, brightly coloured object under a cup they believe they have been watching intensely. Laymen appreciate conditions - so why not maximise the impact by producing objects that they know intellectually must be difficult to sneak past a wary audience?

The problem with Brooke's 'proof' is that it can't be tested against the same audience. You can't say, "okay now - that was the small limes. Now I'm going to do the trick again with lemons!" It would also be difficult to do a controlled survey of audiences. How do you measure amazement? Not applause. Some people will applaud - but some people will gasp and others will become stony silent when their brains go into freefall. I think, though, that if you were to overhear two lay audiences discussing shows that occurred simultaneously, and one member described the cups and balls and to show how amazing it was pulled a lime out of his pocket (a souvenir) and said, "Then he produced three of these from under the cup!" - I think that a member of the other audience would say, "That's nothing - the guy we saw produced six grapefruits fom under his cup and then had a melon under his hat."

In the end, magic isn't sports. But I think it pays to really consider the way a lay audience interprets an effect...

As a final note - I think that Johnsons would be fine for the street if you have good site lines. Even for a pretty big crowd. If they can follow the action they'll be impressed by you producing 3 or 4 or 6 lemons - then you'll slay them if you end with the melon.

Andrew Wimhurst

Boy you can't shut me up.

Just to add weight to my belief that it's okay to use smaller cups if you know what you're doing: you should consider the fact that monte crews occasionally pull larger crowds using very small props. Though they prefer to close out spectators and concentrate on a single mark, I've seen a crew outside Caesar's palace (the irony!) working with about 40 people standing in the round. (They were rough as guts, but they didn't care about the crowd - and everyone could see and was hooked on the action).

Given a choice though - I would prefer a heavy duty, solid and large set like the Gazzo's or Biro Galli cups because they allow you to produce a stunning large load sequence of oranges or grapefruits...

Which reminds me - Whit's point about the balls being the stars of the show is right on the money (and another reason why he should write that book). Worrying more about whether you have stunning looking, polished cups is a failure to recognise that fact. Indeed, if the audience have trouble following the balls you will have more trouble concealing the final loads, since the ball sequences in the cups and balls are designed to condition the audience to watch the space on the table where the cups rest (but not the cups themselves) so that you can load the fruit backstage...

Message: Posted by: mslj (Jan 12, 2003 04:14PM)
Hello Andrew

I agree with you regarding the notion of 'build, build, build' but don't think that each step has to be to something physically bigger. Putting the melon production aside some strong cups routines don't need an ending that depends on the revelation of a large object. The traditional 1-2-3-4 ending usually ends with a fourth production that is often of the same size as the other three. For me the final climax can be a dramatic change and not just a size difference.

In saying that the melon ending is the stongest I've seen and while I feel ok doing that with a large set of cups it just doesn't feel right for me as a performer if I'm using a smaller set like the Johnsons.

On the size of balls, I had some initial problems using the balls provided with the gazzo cups but stayed with them because they matched better both that set of cups and their larger loads the balls I was used to. One thing that really helped here was moving away from what was almost an obsession not to flash a ball. I saw Gazzo a couple of years ago and he exposed the fourth ball - the first time I'd seen that done. It took me a bit of time to get there but after soaking up the audiences reaction the lightbulb flickered on for me!

Message: Posted by: cmwalden (Jan 12, 2003 10:58PM)
Speaking to the original post:
I have a set of Johnson cups and I've been very happy with them. I'd set aside the cups and balls for a while, but this set was so beautiful that it refueled my enthusiasm.

The cups are brass and perfectly shaped for what I do. They are heavy in the hand and stay put. They look beautiful, feel beautiful and make me feel special when I use them. They are very pricey, but once you touch them, you may be hooked.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 13, 2003 01:23AM)
On 2003-01-12 17:14, mslj wrote:
Hello Andrew

I agree with you regarding the notion of 'build, build, build' but don't think that each step has to be to something physically bigger. Putting the melon production aside some strong cups routines don't need an ending that depends on the revelation of a large object. The traditional 1-2-3-4 ending usually ends with a fourth production that is often of the same size as the other three. For me the final climax can be a dramatic change and not just a size difference.

Hi Simon,

I have to say I disagree with what you're saying. It stands to reason that it's going to be more impressive if you produce a melon which dwarfs the final loads and the cups. Most magicians would agree with that - in fact it's a claimed feature of the Paul Fox design, that the cups are shaped so that if you place the final load on top of the cup it almosts looks too big to have come out of the cup in the first place.

To put this in perspective - imagine producing three grapfruits then waiting for the applause to start to die and then producing... a strawberry! Big deal, right?

By the way, I feel that the 1,2,3,4 ending is a distinct climax. The 4th load doesn't have to be bigger because it's all about incongruity - "where the heck* did those three no oh my gosh* FOUR potatos come from?" It's about battering the senses with rapid productions that are asymmetrical (where did the fourth load come from?!).

In any case it's okay to disagree - that's what the forum is all about.


* Translated from the original to avoid the ire of the trigger-happy and VERY conservative moderators. ;-)
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 13, 2003 06:41AM)

In my opinion size does not matter insofar as the cup goes. You should use the appropriate size load for your receptacle.

The giant street cups will produce no more of a reaction from a close up audience than the much smaller Bertram cups will with a smaller (but appropriate to the size of the cup) load. The difference is the bigger cup can play for a larger audience.

My reasoning behind this is I do sometimes 20 or 30 shows per day. Depending on the place I am working I bring the appropriate size cup. My smaller cups get a huge reaction; my larger cups get the same reaction from more people. The trick in and of itself is not any more impressive.

As far as the melon goes, it is not so much that it is big as it is the appropriate for the size of a hat. Bob Read does it with two hats and a loaf of bread. It is a stunner! But it plays for a smaller crowd. If you did it with a shoe and produced a can of coke from it, it would floor people. I have done this close up with Bertram cups and a shoe basically doing the Gazzo routine. It kills a close up audience.

Even Gazzo when he works in a close up venue not congruent his big routine will drop the melon and the reaction is no less fantastic.

I have also found that three final loads and not the now standard 1-2-3-4 plays just as big. This is also something Gazzo taught me and after trying it, it’s true.

This is another thing about street performing that I love. If I have thoughts like this I have the opportunity to go out and test it on hundreds of real people almost immediately. I have spent a lot of time on just this topic and these have been my findings. They also coincide with what my teacher taught me. I think Ken Brookes was right. :)


Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 13, 2003 08:03AM)
Quote "I have also found that three final loads and not the now standard 1-2-3-4 plays just as big. This is also something Gazzo taught me and after trying it, it’s true."

I've seen this work both ways. When the performer reveals the 4 loads in a succesion manner it does get the same reaction as the 3 loads as stated by Dan, I think the audience does not have the time to register the amount of loads, reference the amount of cups. But I've seen a few permormes that do the 3 loads revelation leaving the 4th one under the cup, letting the audience register what just happened an putiing each cup behind the loads. This picture registers in the mind of the audience, of 3 equals 3. Then when the reaction is dying PUM!!!! another one. In this scenario the performer also finish with 4 loads but the reaction of the audience is a lot stronger.

Once again like almost everything else in Magic and life, it boils down to timing.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 13, 2003 10:06AM)

That is a great point. I can see that being a real stunner. Thanks for sharing that Carlos. I'm glad you decided to check this site out. You have had a lot of great input!



For a little experiment I went out and did 4 shows in the subway on my lunch hour. I did a routine with 4 final loads using the 1-2-3-pause-pause-4 method you describe. It tore the roof off the place. It is so interesting how such a very simple change can completely change the dynamic of a trick. I also used a different type load for the fourth revelation. I wonder if that adds to the impact. I’ll have to try it again later in the week with 4 loads the same. What a great tip Carlos. Thanks again.


Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 13, 2003 03:28PM)
Hi Danny,

As to agreeing with Brooke - here's what I wrote earlier:

"I agree that it is the change that creates the shock value. But any analysis must conclude that an audience are going to be more impressed if you produce larger incongruous objects rather than slightly larger objects."

Thus I see what he is saying, but I can't agree that size (of the loads doesn't matter). I also agree with you that smaller cups produce an equally good reaction depending on the audience, see above.

In regard to the change - I can't imagine why he would think that it's ONLY the change and that size doesn't matter. On your next lunch hour, why not do a routine where you produce three objects smaller than the balls you use - say three peas? Actually a better way to disprove the theory would be to produce three cork balls that have a different crochete colour. Say red to blue? I personally think audiences may react, but there's no way they'll react as well as if you produce three or four baseballs (or whatever).

Okay so I'm being tongue in cheek about all this, but I think Ken was wrong - about size anyway.

Hate to disagree with Brooke (his egg bag routine is the best) but there it is.

Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 13, 2003 03:59PM)
Hey Dan,

I am pretty happy that everything worked out for you. Not bad tip after all, from a guy who doesn't even perform the cups and balls.(yet) Send me a cut of the hat. :rotf:

I am learning lots of things and I am taking lots of notes, since I am only in the development of my street act. Just picking out the repertorie and trying to define the character.

Thank you guys for sharing.

Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 13, 2003 04:05PM)

Ahhh... Yeah, see, I misunderstood completely. You are saying the final load has to be bigger than the balls you start with. Not necessarily the bigger the cup and load the better. No, I don’t think I’ll be trying the peas anytime soon thanks. :) I usually like to make money when I’m out there. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

Speaking of Mr. Brookes and his egg bag routine do you remember what book that routine is in?


Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jan 13, 2003 05:25PM)
Danny, The Ken Brooke Malini Egg Bag routine can be found in the book “Ken Brooke’s Magic Place” by Anthony Brahams.

The routine can be found in manuscript form as “Ken Brooks and Friends on the Malini Egg Bag”.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 13, 2003 05:54PM)
My current cups and balls routine also ends the way Carlos described and it gets a great reaction. I produce three racquetballs as the final loads, and, as I lift the cups, I stack them in preparation for the fourth racquetball (sometimes I use a fruit for the fourth final load). I like to stack the cups to the left and a little in front of where the three cups had been arranged. After revealing the "final" three loads, I let the audience react and take that in. Before their surprise completely dies down, I speak up over their mumuring (I have to speak up to be heard!) and I say, "I just noticed that my magic wand still has a little magic left in it. And you never want to leave a magic wand loaded!" (That gets a good laugh, especially from the girls) I tap the stack of cups and there's the fourth final load. What do you guys think?
Message: Posted by: JamesR (Jan 13, 2003 07:26PM)
I'm working on developing a cups on balls routine, and I have been studying as many resources as I can. I see that some routines call for a wand, and some do not. I was wondering what people thought about the use of a wand for the cups and balls, and for the rest of the show.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 14, 2003 12:46AM)
Thanks Harry for the info.

Danny - I have the little yellow booklet, "Ken Brooke and Friends on the Malini Egg Bag". Many pros use this as the basis for their routines but some also add different climaxes. The booklet is available from Denny Haney - Denny does the Brooke routine BEAUTIFULLY.

Anyway, enough on the eggs - don't want to hijack what has been a pretty interesting thread...

Message: Posted by: kasper777 (Jan 14, 2003 08:35AM)
Is there anything wrong with going out and doing cups and balls with coffee cups or plastic cups, using foil as balls and something bigger for the final loads on the street?
Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 15, 2003 08:28PM)

Try revealing the 4th load without staking the 3 cups, see if you get a different reaction.

Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 16, 2003 12:08AM)
Which cup would you suggest I try putting the fourth load in? The first one I reveal, second, or third? Thanks.

By the way, does anyone know what size/type of cups Sonny Holliday was using in the Cellini tape? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 16, 2003 06:31AM)
I will do the production of the first 3 loads leaving each cup behind its load, and loading the 4th one in the middle cup, to keep the simetry of the overall picture.

I think that producing the 4th from a stacked cup, diminishes the imposibility of the production. You know what I mean, an orange coming out of a cup looks better than an orange coming out of 3 cups.

Maybe it's just me, I don't know.
Message: Posted by: mslj (Jan 16, 2003 07:17AM)
Hello Jim

I'd also go for the single cup rather than the stacked cups and also produce the fourth object from the middle cup.

How you get that fourth there depends alot on your final loading sequence. I usually load the fourth follwing the revelation of the first fruit/ball under the middle cup. By doing this the surprise of the first revelation takes the heat off the final fourth load.
Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Jan 16, 2003 12:44PM)
I like the stacking idea better, leaving the other cups out now leaves the audience looking for load #5, #6....etc.
By stacking the cups like you are finished, the 4th load is a shock finish.
Message: Posted by: ASW (Jan 16, 2003 03:21PM)
The cups are (I believe) the Cellini cups sold by Zauberladen in Switzerland. Do a search on Google for 'Cellini King of Street'.
Message: Posted by: mslj (Jan 16, 2003 04:57PM)
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 16, 2003 05:29PM)
Sonny was in fact using the Cellini cups. Very nice cups.

Thanks to all who pointed out where I could get the Ken Brooke's egg bag info. It is a great little book.


Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 17, 2003 04:58AM)
Thank you Andrew, mslj, and Danny. (AND GEORGE! sorry)
I really like the Cellini cups that Sonny Holiday was using. I think they look and sound great. They look well balanced too, judging by how Mr. Holliday handled them. But I went and bought a set of Biro's Gali Gali cups. They are beautiful but they are also HUGE. My 1 inch knit balls look out of proportion on top of them. Can anyone recommend what type(s) of balls to use with these Biro cups and where to get them?
The other thing that I now realize is where am I going to get my larger final loads from now? They will have to be so much bigger. Two choices I can think of because normal pockets are now out of the question: a pouch or a topit. I have no experience with either.

I'm not sure what size venue I'm going to start with, but probably more of a doorway show. If I do a doorway show, perhaps I would be better with my small aluminum cups, which are just big enough to hold a raquetball as the final loads? Or maybe I should get an inbetween size set like the Johnson or the Cellini? All thoughts are welcome. (By the way, how much do the Cellini cost (can't figure out the Euro conversion) and are there any look alikes to the Cellinis, that are the same size, but cost less?

Carlos, mslj, and Pokie-Poke:
Very interesting discussion and ideas. One thing that bothered me about stacking the cups was that I liked having each cup right behind each final load after it was revealed, usually lying mouth open to the final load after having been tipped over by my wand. Stacking the cups takes away the chance of seeing the cups behind each final load. I think that's a nice image that helps the effect somehow. It reinforces that these big things came from under this that and the other cup, and, perhaps seeing the cups behind the loads reinforces how big the final load is compared to the cups. It barely fits in there! However, ultimately, I think I agree with Pokie-Poke's point that stacking the cups doesn't give the audience any false expectations that would prove unclear and anticlimatic, and, as I said previously, it is how I do my routine to date.
Two ideas though: 1) Perhaps make the fourth final load different and more special than the other first three final loads and thus deserving of a stack of three cups to produce? In my case, I do three rubber balls that completely fill my cups and then usually a fruit.
2) Perhaps a way to not stack the cups and avoid Pokie-Poke's insightful problem: tip the cups to reveal the final loads. Leave two of the cups tipped over, mouth to audience, showing them empty, and only put one cup down upright. And that's the one that has the fourth final load. With the other two cups tipped over and showing empty, we avoid the expectation of any more loads.
What do you guys think?
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Jan 17, 2003 06:16AM)
Hey James, try http://www.oanda.com/converter/classic?user=Babel

for money conversions.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 17, 2003 09:02AM)
Greetings and Salutations One & All,

You all slay me! This one thread is worth its weight in gold! The thoughts, opinions and outlines on the cups and balls found here is as good a primer as I've run across, and I've been doing some homework on the subject. Many, many thanks to all who have shared their thoughts.

On the Cellini cups, Hocus Pocus, http://www.hocus-pocus.com, claims to be an official US distributor of the cups, and lists them for $295, depending on the conversion rate and shipping, it could save you a couple of bucks.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 17, 2003 09:03AM)

The Biro cups are huge but don’t be discouraged! Gazzo uses small soccer balls that he picked up at a craft store. They are just bigger than an inch. You can find them at any craft store. They usually have small baseballs and basketballs as well. They are about five bucks for a set of four. You will know them as soon as you see them.

These cups work best with a final load the size of a full size orange. If you are only doing 4 final loads and not a melon go to any restaurant supply store and pick up a waiters/bartenders apron. They are black and will hold a ton of stuff and cost about 10 bucks. Once you get the apron you will see that it has three front pockets. You can easily pull the seams from the pockets and you should do this so that it is one open pouch. Then you should sew one dart dead center on the top lip of the apron to attach the lip to the back fabric. This will keep the pouch from falling too far open while you are wearing it loaded. Also, if you have big hands like I do fill the pouch full and see how much room your hand needs to go into the pouch. You may need to move the dart just right of center if you load with your left hand. That is what I did and it worked a treat!

If you want to get fancy this pouch is big enough to do three final loads and a grapefruit, small coconut, or softball. This is exactly how I did the routine before Gazzo gave me one of his old pouches (yes, he is a saint!).

Whatever you do James, do not give up those cups. These are cups that can play a doorway or a 200 plus crowd. Cups of this size are so versatile it is mind-boggling. Next to the new large Gazzo cups these are probably the best cups of this size out there and by far the best deal dollar wise in magic.

If you want to work the bigger load (Grapefruit, etc.) as a kicker look at the Gazzo tape and think about how you could rework it to use only three oranges and the kicker. If you need help shoot me a PM and I’ll be more than happy to give you any finer points that I can as that was how I did my routine for several months. If you do not wear a hat don’t even worry about it and just stick with the 1-2-3-pause-pause-4 finish. You own a real set of honest to goodness worker’s cups. They are a perfect size for the street, cabaret, or trade show. These are the size cups you should use when working for real people. Pete Biro is one of the greatest magicians living today and is a real worker. I don’t think the man knows how to put out a product that is less than stellar. The stuff that he does put out has been tried and trued and used by many of magic’s real workers.


Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Jan 17, 2003 03:56PM)
An addendum to Dan's notes on the apron.

If your apron has square corners at the bottom (it probably will), by turning the one big pocket you made inside out and sewing a curve into each of the bottom corners (trimming the excess material off when sewn), your loads and balls will be concentrated in the center of the apron and not get lost in the corners.

This is an idea from Cellini's lecture and notes.

Must agree with Joe in KC -- a great thread on the C&B.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 17, 2003 05:56PM)
Oops, I forgot that! Thanks Jeff. I agree as well, a great thread on one of the greatest tricks in magic!


Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 17, 2003 08:28PM)

I like option 2 the best, it will give a balance picture and it will look great avoiding the exposed problems.
Try it both ways and see the result, but don't forget the pause. :bg:
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 20, 2003 01:36PM)

how are you making out with those cups?


Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 20, 2003 02:19PM)
Carlos, thank you and I will definately give option number two a try and see how it plays and get back to everyone with the results.

What can I say, man. Thanks for the great encouragement. I will certainly keep the gali gali cups, and will in time get used to them I'm sure. (I'm sending one cup back because it got a small dent in the shipping and Pete was great about it; he really stands behind his product!)
I was looking in "Michaels" yesterday for those little baseballs you mentioned. I really like that suggestion of yours of using little baseballs for the balls. Didn't find any at Michaels but will keep checking out other craft-type stores.
Danny, I wonder if those gali gali cups could hold a softball or did you mean the softball would be for a gazzo hat-type production? Baseballs are a little too small for final loads, doesn't fill the cups quite enough. But really like the idea of softballs if they would fit.
Jeff and Danny, also thanks for the great advice on the pouch. When Cellini does the cups and balls, do you know if he uses a pouch or the toppit he showed on his tape?

I finally got my Gazzo cups and balls tape and really liked it and liked getting a glimpse of Danny and Koz. And Cellini's there too!
I was thinking of getting the other Gazzo tape. The Gazzo uncensored. Does anyone know if he show his whole act on that one?
PS: started staking out my future performance area yesterday (Sunday).
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 20, 2003 04:31PM)

The softball was for the final hat load. On the street I think oranges are better than baseballs for the cup load. I’ve done both and found oranges to just play better. I really don’t know why for sure but I have a couple of theories.

In Cellini’s book he describes his cup and ball routine and it uses a pouch. In his lecture he uses the topit. The timing for this final load is very different from Gazzo’s. Cellini loads when the trick is over and he is taking a bow.

Mike Rogers made beautiful leather covered baseballs for cup and ball work. I believe Denny Haney still sells them at Dennymagic.com . I do not know if he made them bigger than 1” I have a set that he made for me that are a bit bigger than an inch but they might not be what he normally sold. Gazzo uses little rubber soccer balls that he got at


Message: Posted by: mslj (Jan 20, 2003 05:48PM)
Little story about my weekend experience. I was booked at a party on Saturday night and wanted to use the cups. I always have a fresh set of oranges for practice but these had been bashed around abit.

So off I goes to my local supermarket. From past experience I know that I am lousy at judgeing the size of the orange and can guarentee that it'll either be too big or too small. So off I went with one of the gazzo cups. Spent about 10 minutes with my 6 year old son finding the perfect oranges. This process involves testing each orange to see if it'll fit into the cups and getting the right mixture of shapes.

Towards the end of this I felt a tap on the should and turned to see the security guy who asked me to 'could you please explain what you are doing with oranges?' To which my son replies 'he's going to do magic with them'.

Guess I won't be going back there for a while!
Message: Posted by: Whit Haydn (Jan 20, 2003 06:13PM)
Gazzo Uncensored contains a full 40 minute show at the Magic Castle, a complete Ren Faire show with the "underwater escape," and the full street show at Quincy Market, Boston that is shown in part on the Gazzo on the Cups and Balls tape, and snippets on the Cellini tape.
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Jan 20, 2003 09:56PM)

Last night at the casino, I lit up a large group with the cups and balls. I used a tangerine, a lime, and a plum. Without exception, someone will grab them and inquire if they are real. They realize very quickly that they are.

But this ponts up the fact that phony loads are the first theory. If I were using Fab fruit (which look great, by the way), the inquiry would then never be punctuated and resolved, and my finale would forever be diminished in a grey area of "trick fruit" suspicion.

I have a feeling that baseballs could have the same effect, or at least a lesser impact, as they are man-made, and the fruit is an organic item that is, at least in the mind of the layman, inalterable.

The ending is just so suprising and impossible, and since the cups themselves are usually a curiosity of their own momentum, that it pays to end the thing with something completely understood by the audience, and leave the rest to conjecture.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 21, 2003 08:54AM)

Right on! That is my thought as well. The people ALWAYS want to touch and when they feel something is "real" to them it is more stunning.


Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 21, 2003 04:06PM)
I do remember seeing David Williamson in the past using cherrys instead of the regular cups.
BTW the gag where you make the ball disspaera in your mouth made sense and was funny, specially after he spited out the seed.

I guess you can go fruit all the way and use cherrys or grapes instead of the balls. There are a type of cherry which is between yellow and orange color and is big in size. I think that this can play great specially with the bigger fruits at the end.

All right who is going to publish the next book on ideas with the cups and balls? It can come out of here.

Next questions, I know that there have been several magicians through history and this days Johny Ace Palmer, using live stock as a final load. Also in some other post we got form Dann's wisdom that is not a good practice to take live stock with you to the streets, reference temperature and another issues. But for close up situations I think that there is no way you can top the impact this thing is going to produce in your audience.

I was wonder if any of you have experimented with this and can give any pointers as far as loaders, loading techniques, types of creatures etc...

Thanks to all. Anybody wants to donate a good set of cups to a good house???? I promise I'll take good care of them. ;)
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 21, 2003 11:06PM)
Greetings and Salutations,

Danny and Payne, thanks for the Bosco cups advise. They just came in, and you were right on target, there is no comparison with the Phoenix cups, the Boscos win hands down! They look great, they sound great, and they have a nice feel, not as heavy as I imagined, but they feel very solid.

Now I'm waiting for a set of Galli Galli cups to arrive in the next day or so. After reading all of Danny's comments on Pete Biro's cups, and not being able to find a link on the web to see what they looked like, I contacted Pete directly. He sent me a photo showing his cups compared to a number of others, offered me a good deal on a set of his cups, and couldn't turn it down.

My magic budget is about half-shot for the year, and it's only January but as I've got a direction, a set to put together, and much scripting to do, for the next three months I need to spend magic time and not magic money.

I'm looking forward to comparing the two sets.

This thread has taken some interesting turns, all of it usefull. Thanks for all the help. Have fun playing in the streets.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 22, 2003 02:46PM)
Couldn't find the soccer balls at any craft store in my area. But I did find them on the web. They are Fooseballs! Here is the website: http://www.foosballstore.com. They also have just plain balls of different colors including white. They have cork balls, and plastic, and in sizes from 1", 1 1/4", and 1 3/8". Hope that is of help.
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Jan 22, 2003 07:05PM)
I would think that Foosball balls would be too hard and "noisy" in the Cups. You can find some great balls in the hardware store. they are decorative balls for Pull Chains on ceiling fans.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 23, 2003 03:44AM)
Thanks for the tip, Mars. I actually went to Home Depot tonight and found those pull chain balls for light fixtures. They actually have mini baseballs and basketballs. Bought the baseballs. They look great! Real leather and real stiching. They cost $3.50 each. They are a little big--closer to 1.5 inches rather than 1 3/8--but they look so good had to get 'em. However, I do think Gazzo uses those fooseballs, whether they are plastic ones or cork or rubber. Maybe performing outside on the street makes it impossible to hear any talking of the balls?

I'm about to build a street performing table (a cups and balls table!) and was wondering if anyone could recommend the length and width dimensions for the table top. I was thinking the table top should be about 30 inches by 18 inches. How does that sound? Anyone know what size Gazzo's table is? Thanks everyone.
Message: Posted by: kasper777 (Jan 23, 2003 08:06AM)
Jim, I recently builty my own table top. Not that hard. I went to Lowes and they had pre-cut 16x36 wood for about $6.00. They also had thinner and wider pieces, too. I then glued a terry cloth towel on top of the wood and trimmed it. Then I pulled a green sheet over top and glued and tacked it into the bottom and trimmed the extra off. It look nice. I'm thinking about using apolstory nail for a nicer look. I thought about adding a frame but I lack the tools to do that. The only I have left to do now is to get a stand. Anyone with ideas on building one. I know I can buy a tray stand or keyboard stand for about $30, but I would like to build one if cheaper.

Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 23, 2003 08:48AM)
Greetings and Salutations,

I think Gazzo gives the dimensions for his table, and how he constructed it, in either his book or video, or both, but the dimensions escape me at the moment.

You may find 16 inches to be a bit narrow. I didn't measure twice before I cut once, and the table top I made ended up being 17 inches wide. It works OK for my practice table, but the next one I build will be wider, and I'm going to add the frame as well.

Contact a restaurant supply store for a tray jack/tray stand. I'm sure that's what Cellini recommended using because they were relatively inexpensive and hold up reasonably well. I got my last stand for about $17 -- it was slightly damaged. Actually, it had a chip gouged out of a corner, and I repaired it with the same wood stain I had used to make up some wands out of dowel rods.

The stands hold up reasonably well, particularly if you're doing mostly stationary work. I dragged my last stand around for about 20 weekends doing four or five shows a day, and I didn't treat it gently. A prop box is sitting on it in my magic room right now. I got the second stand because I wanted to modify it to hold the table top, ie, adding hooks and straps, and I didn't want to modify the stand that had made me and my partners money doing exactly what I had wanted it to do.

Have fun playing in the street!

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 24, 2003 04:46PM)
On 2003-01-20 19:13, whithaydn wrote:
Gazzo Uncensored contains a full 40 minute show at the Magic Castle, a complete Ren Faire show with the "underwater escape," and the full street show at Quincy Market, Boston that is shown in part on the Gazzo on the Cups and Balls tape, and snippets on the Cellini tape.

Thanks for the info. This sounds like an incredable tape because you get to see Gazzo's entire act, including seeing him drawing the crowd, keeping the crowd, etc. He truly is a master at working the crowd in every way and it sounds like this tape will show this. I'm not sure what you meant about about snippets on the Cellini tape, however. But I'm going to get this tape. Seeing him work the crowd was a whole nother bonus of the cups and balls routine, besides the routine itself.

Thanks, Nolan and Joe re: the street table. Joe, do you think the 30 inch dimension is long enough or would you go longer as Nolan recommends?
I was going to build the stand part myself, but if I can get one for less than 20 bucks it's worth it to just buy one. Thanks for the tip.
Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 24, 2003 06:00PM)

I just bough a stand last week. Mine was $34 and change but it was also damaged and I got it for $25. I sent you a PM with a link. Did you get it?

Message: Posted by: BroDavid (Jan 24, 2003 10:58PM)

Another bonus of the gazzo unleashed tape is that even though he is always Gazzo, you get to see him work several different kinds of audiences, and at the Magic Castle, I think he even wears a tie! But in spite of the different venues and style of dress, and choices of material - he is still Gazzo!

And as Whit said, you get to see Gazzo's famous "Underwater escape", which is a genuine treasure of a performance.

I just saw one of these tapes for sale on eBay for about 1/2 of what I paid. But I still got more than my money's worth. I think you will get a lot out of it!

Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 27, 2003 09:17AM)
Greetings and Salutations James,

Glad I could be of assistance. Got the Galli Galli cups Friday, but I only had about an hour to play with them this weekend. Looking forward to some practice time this week.

On the table. Like everything else in this business, it's trial-and-error. Go with the long table top, but don't finish it, or you'll end up with a practice table like mine. ;)

Make a "rough draft" longer table top, pay attention to how much of it you need and are using, then finish the top once you've determined your needs.

As for the Gazzo and Cellini tapes, I'll have to reveiw Cellini to see where Gazzo is on it. But on Gazzo Uncensored, you can see him drawing a crowd at both a renfair an on the streets, which is priceless reinforcement for the Cellini video, if you follow me. Like BroDavid said, they're a bargain full price, if you can pick them up on e-Bay, so much the better.

Back to the cups. The Biro's are heavier than the Bosco's, which makes sense because the Biro's are bigger. The sound is similar. The top is deeper, more rounded (?) on the Biro cups, so the ball(s) aren't as likely to roll off. Some additional research has shown that the Bosco cups are very authentic to the renaissance era (Many thanks to Danny and Payne for making this abundantly clear), and as I perform as several Renfests in the Midwest, this is very important to me. The Biro cups will give me some load and flourish options, tip-over to upright, multiple balls in the attic, etc., that make them usefull to me as well. So I'll be using both sets, at different times, depending on the venue.

Hope this helps. Of course, YMMV. Have fun playing in the street.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 27, 2003 11:14AM)
Thanks everyone for the table advice and feedback on the Gazzo uncensored tape.
Joe, What size/type of balls are you using with your new, larger cups? I found that my 1 inch knit balls looked too small on the gali gali cups.
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 27, 2003 12:20PM)
Greetings and Salutations James,

I've got some big white crochetted balls, either 1 3/4 inch or 2 inches, that work with the Galli cups (filling well the top nest), but they are too big to nest in the attic of the Bosco cups.

I'm going to look for something a little smaller for the Bosco cups, but the big balls should work with my routine with the Galli cups, and long as I can get used to working with balls that size. (Is it just me, or does that sound like part of a conversation you couldn't repeat in mixed company! LOL)

As with all things magical; I've discovered that it's a trial-and-error journey.

Hope this helps.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 27, 2003 04:21PM)
Like there were not enough options a friend of mine gave me this link. http://www.cupsandballs.nl The cups there look beatiful, maybe we can get Mr Riser opinion on this one. well.... the rolls royce of cups.

Keep cuping people. :wow:
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 27, 2003 06:19PM)
In another post I said I found some 1.5 inch real leather stitched baseballs at Home Depot. They're in the lighting department and they are sports light pulls. All you have to do is unscrew a little brass wire out of them and viola! You've got perfect little baseballs. At the risk of repeating your mixed company concerns, at 2 inches, your balls sound too big for me. I'm really going to have to relearn my moves with these 1.5 inch ones. Especially considering the prospect of working surrounded!
Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 27, 2003 09:51PM)
Greetings and Salutations James,

In Gazzo's book he notes using Paul Fox style platform cups made by Danny Dew, with one-inch hard silicone "Superball"-like balls, and in the photos, the balls look to pretty much fill the nest in the top of the cups.

This would be a great place for Danny to fill in the pieces if he is around, to compare the sizes of the Galli cups, the cups Gazzo has in the book and the video. Danny, help, por favour?

And, track down the Lowe's or Home Depot with the pre-cut 16-inch by 36-inch plywood, that somebody mentioned. That's the size he mentions in the book. This is where I'm going to have to go my own way. I'm going to make mine wider, because the 17-inch top I'm using now is narrower that the top of my stand. Of course, Gazzo does say about 16 x 36, so I think that may be a good start and then build to suit yourself.

Thanks for the tip on the sports pulls at Home Depot, I'll check it out.

Have fun playing in the streets.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 28, 2003 07:17AM)
The cups Gazzo uses.

The new $$ cups are very similar in size to the biro and Fox cups. They are heavier and obviously designed with the street in mind. They are in a word, sexy. They are also expensive. When I can afford a set, be sure I will get them and I will use them until one of us wears out.

For a difference of over $200 I am currently using the Pete Biro Galli – Galli cups. These cups are just about the exact same size and dimensions and QUALITY as the Denny Dew Paul Fox stage cups. For the record before the new $$ cups came in Gazzo used the Biro cups and he liked them just fine. The Biro cups are not “foolin’ around” cups. These are cups a real hard working professional would use. They are a bit light duty for heavy street work (8 hours a day 6 days a week 10 shows per day) but Gazzo and I used them all summer last year and ended with the same set we started with. I have a dent or two and so does Gazzo but they still nest and handle like new. I am already on my way to getting a second year out of them and I beat these cups like they stole something.

Truth be told, as a street performer I think your cups should look old and you should use this in your show. “This is the oldest trick in the world and the cups are handed down through generations of magicians passing the skill and the magic across time, etc…” This tells people you have been doing this trick for years and you learned it from a master, who learned it from a master, etc. If you are doing a routine like Gazzo’s you have learned it from a master, who learned it from a master (Vernon), who learned it from a master (Malini). A lot of us do not think of the incredibly rich and powerful history behind this powerful trick. I do a comedy show but when I do the cups and balls between the laughs the audience knows they are seeing something that takes years to master and something that is very powerful. I think that’s important to the art, my credibility as a performer, and most importantly the amount of money that will go into my hat :) , that I get this point across in a powerful way.

For size and quality all three of these cups measure up against each other almost identically. Handling and execution is the same as well as the size load. The Biro cups can hold a slightly larger load than the $$ cups but the $$ cups are more heavy duty.

Now for the table, I have at great length examined Gazzo’s table and have spent much time talking with him about it. His stand is the exact size and dimensions as a tray stand. The only reason he built it himself was quality. Gazzo is a perfectionist and a quality freak. His stand is built from the hardest of non-brittle hard woods and put together with the best hardware. It has lasted him over 10 years and still looks new. But, it is the exact size and dimensions as a waiters tray stand. That is what I use and It has lasted me quite nicely. One tip I will give you is if you go with a tray stand do not screw or bold the straps to the stand. Make straps or buy a leather guitar strap and tie or loop the ends of the straps around the wood. I made the mistake of putting screw eyes into the sides of the stand and the first time I dropped it, it cracked. The second time I dropped it one of the screw eyes blew out.

The tabletop is just 1/4“plywood. Lay down a thin layer of padding and don’t use dense foam. Use something like air conditioner filter and pull the fabric (auto upholstery fabric NOT FELT) and stretch it tight. Then buy 1/2“ molding and frame the thing in. You now have an edge that will keep the balls from rolling off.

I hope this helps.


Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jan 28, 2003 08:17AM)
Greetings and Salutations Danny,

You ROCK! Your tips and insight are incredibly helpful!

The patter about the C&B is great. I'm working on something similar, talking about the history of the C&B being performed for Kings and Pharoahs, etc., etc. May I have your permission to incorporate part of your patter in my routine?

Thanks, and have fun playing in the streets.

Joe in KC
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Jan 28, 2003 08:34AM)
Feel free to use it Joe.


Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Jan 28, 2003 05:15PM)
Thanks for the table info, Danny, it did help! Also thanks for your thoughts and historical perspective on the cups and balls. In my normal act, I've always liked explaining about the history of the cups and have been working on a story approach to the trick in light of its history. However, in the street act I am writing, I was thinking my character would unforunately preclude the history of the cups. But now that you've reinforced the historical aspects of this "Oldest Trick in the world," I think I can see a way to work some historical patter into this new character of mine too. Thanks for the inspiration!
PS: Regarding my earlier post about seeing Gazzo's act and bits of business. I did find his interaction with the audience as enlightning as his cups and balls routine itself. However, I want to say that it is seeing his spectator interaction and his ability to involve his audience into the routine that is useful and making me rethink my own routine. It gives me a sense of what is possible which I am going to use as a point of departure. But that I don't want to lift any of his particular bits of business. Rather I want to find my own "business" that fits with my own character that I am developing. (Though I really love the squeaky toy and the three boys and three dollars and pretty girl bits!)
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 30, 2003 06:35PM)
Holy Mackerel... been offline awhile and stumbled in here to see one of the GREAT CUPS & BALLS threads of all time.

As the dude that spent the big bucks to make the Galli Galli cups, I can only say thanks to those of you (D. Hustle in particular) for your unsolicited comments.

I probably have 100 different makes of cups in my humble collection, and in fact was involved in the design of the Johnson Cups as well.

Also, if you are doing bar/close up, check out the Johnny Paul cups especially made to work with sponge balls. They pick up a 2-inch ball like a chop cup and the ball is released when you place the cup down "smartly"--you MUST get the Stevens Magic Video on Cups and Balls.

Mike Rogers, on that video, shows a way of doing the final loads with the Jumbo Paul Fox Chick cups (1/8-inch smaller than the Galli's) WITHOUT using pockets or a pouch.

Matter of fact, if money is no object, at the recent World Magic Seminar, Nick Ruggerio (formerly of Collector's Workshop) had on display a special table top made just for the Galli Cups to mechanically put in the final loads (elevators and star traps in table).

Anyway, am OUT of the Copper Cups, have nickle plated ones left--order thru Stevens Magic.

Stay tooned... p biro :cups:
Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Jan 30, 2003 08:28PM)

I am hoping that you will get more coppers in soon right? I am saving my Pennies.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Jay (Feb 2, 2003 08:56PM)
Just for your information... A set of Phoenix Cups -SECONDS- sold yesterday on ebay for $122 plus shipping! Not even a first quality set. This is almost as much as a brand new set of Johnson Cups at auction. Hocus Pocus has the complete first quality set of Phoenix Cups with box and accessories for $100.

I spend way too much time on the internet!

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 2, 2003 09:22PM)
Going back through the messages here I note that Andrew Wimhurst, from Down Under, also gave high marks to my Galli Galli cups.

A belated "THINKS MITE" -- and I do not hold you responsible for Kangaroo Jack (the movie). :kermit:
Message: Posted by: ASW (Feb 3, 2003 01:29AM)
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Mar 2, 2003 09:33AM)
What a terrific discussion on the Cups & Balls from some experienced and very knowledgeable performers. Since this great classic has been a staple in my repertoire for more than forty years – the last thirty as a full time professional, I guess I should add my two cents worth.

I used the Paul Fox and Ross Bertram design cups for years until they became collector’s pieces. Come to think of it, maybe I’m becoming a collector’s item myself! :)
I also used the Rings ‘N Things steel cups for a time. I just couldn’t see myself carting those valuable pieces around, so recently I have been using the Johnson cups for close-up table hopping venues and the Cellini cups for street/festival work.

I used some large, beat up Bosco cups in the past for street/festival work, but I now really like the Cellini cups. They are heavy and will take the beating they get from street/festival work. I use balls about 1.25 inches in diameter - the cups nest perfectly. I do not use more than one ball at a time on top of a cup, so they work fine in that respect. The Cellini cups are large enough for most any load that you would want to carry around in your pouch or pockets. I have also used them in close-up table work. They may be a little large for that situation, but they still work just fine. They do wobble a little when nested, but that doesn’t really bother me. I think the Cellini cups are a good choice - they are just under $300 a set.

I’m sure the Galli Galli, Gazzo & other cups discussed here are great. I just haven’t had experience with them. There are so many good choices!

I hope this information helps. . .just one ol' geezer's opinions.

All the best,

Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Mar 2, 2003 01:40PM)
What type of 1 1/4 inch balls are you using and where did you get them? Also, what final loads to you like to use with the Cellini cups? Do you work from a pouch? Lastly, can the Cellini's hold an orange? Thanks for your imput!
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Mar 2, 2003 06:55PM)
Years ago, in a moment of insanity, I learned to make the crocheted balls. If you want to make your own, tell the ladies in one of the sewing/hobby shops what you are trying to do. They will be happy to help you select the right crochet hook & the yarn. They can also help you to learn the proper stitch.

After you’ve made two or three sets, you begin to learn how to make the stitches uniform, smooth, tight and even. I’ve made balls using other methods, but I always got the best results with the crocheted balls. But believe me, there is a better way to spend your life than crocheting those balls.

Eric Evans, a fellow Texan and great performer, makes a beautiful, unique set of balls from leather. They are indeed a work of art. You might want to check on those with some of the dealers.

For final loads, I’ve used all kinds of weird things in the past, but these days, I use lemons, oranges, turnips or similar sized fruit. For me, bright yellow large lemons are best. I carry a set of tennis balls for the final loads when I don’t have time to find a super market. Sometimes you can find apples that are the right size. But I really prefer the lemons or oranges.

Yes, I use a pouch of my own design and making.

The Cellini cups are about 3 inches inside diameter at the mouth. They will easily hold an orange that is a little smaller than a regulation baseball. A baseball is just slightly too large to use with my set of Cellini cups.

I hope this information helps! Your time pursuing perfection with this terrific classic is well spent.

Warmest regards,

Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 3, 2003 03:13PM)
On 2003-01-27 12:14, JamesinLA wrote:
Thanks everyone for the table advice and feedback on the Gazzo uncensored tape.
Joe, What size/type of balls are you using with your new, larger cups? I found that my 1 inch knit balls looked too small on the gali gali cups.


I just got off the phone with Gazzo and he wanted me to tell you that he is using soccer balls that came from key chains. You can probably get them on line and you just cut the little plastic hoop off. He says they are the best things. He says Fooze balls are too hard. He also said the Galli-Galli cups are great for a worker.


Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Mar 3, 2003 06:09PM)
Eh, what does Gazzo Know about cups!! ?? Heheheh...

Next thing you know he will produce a full size real socker ball from under his hat!

Why not?

I just got, via airmail from Sweden... a photo of Galli Galli himelf, with cups and baby chicks all over the table... also a lemon with a bill sticking out...(Publicity type photo, not an action shot).

I think Cellini's bill in lemon looks more than promising...

Galli Galli didn't mess around. He had an ungaffed envelope, and as he put the rolled bill in, he just poked a hole in envelope with his finger and palmed the bill. Reached in bag for a lemon and stuck it straight into it (pre cut). How easy is that? :realnerdy:
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Mar 3, 2003 07:38PM)
You can find large balls that work real well for the Cups and Balls at the hardware store (Lowes, Home Depot) they come on ceiling fan pull chains. They have basket balls, Baseballs, etc., ad nauseum.
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Mar 3, 2003 08:30PM)
I finally have a couple minutes to join this thread. Carlos, I have not yet handled as set of the cups shown at:

They do look nice :)

Several of you were discussing table stands. If you do not need a wooden table for authenticity, a light weight keyboard stand is excellent for making a folding table stand. They run as cheap as $30 or so.

Pete's Galli Galli Cups are an excellent street size. Cups any larger are very difficult to hold and use. I really like his Johnny Paul Cups. They look classy and are a nice size for close-up work. Even thou8gh Johhy Paul used sponge balls, they do not need to be done with sponge balls. Other balls work fine for some routines.

With a little lead time. my "crochet mistress" can cover balls of about any size. And in a few weeks, we will be announcing our leather covered balls.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Mar 4, 2003 03:38AM)
Thank again, Gerald. I am doing some sewing for my props but I don't see any crochet work in my future. I admire you for making your own.

Thank you again, Dan. I can't say how great it is that you asked Gazzo for me! The fooze balls did turn out too hard. They're like rocks. I will look for the soccer keychains.

I did find some 1.25 inch superballs that are printed with baseball and soccer ball patterns. If anyone is interested in them, let me know and I'll post the website. Just got them today.

I believe the keychain balls that Gazzo uses are 1 3/8 inches, right? I think that's a good size. So far, a quick search has found some soccer keychains at 1.5 inches. Very close and sometimes they misquote the size a bit, but I will keep looking a bit more for the 1 3/8 inch size.

Mars, thanks for the home depot tip. Someone actually suggested that and I did buy a set of the light pull leather baseballs. They are beautiful but perhaps a little big at 1.5 inches. Pete, saw them. Remember them, Pete?

Jim Riser, please keep us updated on your leather balls. And those baseball sized cups.

BTW, Dan, I am delighted with Pete's gali gali cups. They really are beautiful and I've gotten used to handling them. Now my old cups feel small, not the other way around. I've got a cool character I'm working on that is rather original and am putting the whole thing together, including my tray stand table per Danny's and others directions. I went ahead and make the tray stand as well as the table top. Used Poplar and stained it a dark color. Thanks for the continued help to everyone.
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Mar 4, 2003 06:08AM)
I don't blame you. You are a very wise fellow! I make them only when I must.
Best wishes,
Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Mar 4, 2003 09:00AM)

I agree with you about the balls from home depot.

I got a set of the baseball set but they are to big for me.

I found another balls in a key chain that you guys can acquire in this page and although they are not made as well as the one from home depot they have a perfect size (at least for my hand) you can find them here
http://www.orientaltrading.com look under novelties, then key chains and them go to page 7 right top corner, the key chains come with a baseball bat. You can also find many other different balls.


Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Mar 4, 2003 01:35PM)
If you check out the Stevens Magic video on the Cups and Balls, you will see Mike Rogers doing a routine with the Paul Fox Jumbo Chick Cups... (1/8-inch different in size from the Galli Galli cups)... that does not require a pouch.

He uses a table with a shelf on the back to hold the large load balls.

I think with a little imagination and not too much work, you could make one up that HIDES the loads... perhaps with a cloth cover open at the back -- you put the cup down over it, the cloth gives way and you slide it back and the load squeezes out the rear.

I'm going to put my thinking cap on and see what I can devise.


Brief Description of EFFECT seen by audience.

Magician borrows 2 finger rings, drops into brandy snifter and starts to swirl... saying, "I will melt them down and they will become solidly linked"... keep swirling, let someone look into glass (RIGHT UNDER THEIR NOSE) and suddenly... the rings are now ON THE STEM of the glass... and can be looked at RIGHT UNDER THEIR NOSE.


You then take a small hammer to break the glass and return the rings. Rings are legitimately borrowed.

DO NOT ASK WHEN.... :pepper:
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 4, 2003 02:53PM)
I would just like to second Pete’s thoughts on Mr. Rogers’ routine. Mike Rogers was the real deal and that routine was Sooooo smooth. The loading was elegant and the final loads really seemed to come from nowhere.

There is a briefcase type table that would just work a treat for loading this way on the street. The top comes off the bottom and there is a screen that goes in between the top and bottom so that you can store props underneath. If you were to hang a pouch from the back of the table instead of around your waist it would be perfect.

The only downside is one of the most interesting things I have noticed is that the people often think my loads come from the table even though I am wearing a big Gazzo size pouch. This being said I often lift the table top up with all the loads on it and show there is nothing under it but air. This gets a good reaction.

It does baffle me that many people would much rather design a Rube Goldberg type device to have me load the balls in a mechanical way than to actually think they are coming from the bag around my waist.

It is all about the construction of the routine I guess. I know I liked Mr. Rogers’ routine very much. Mike Rogers was also a very generous man and loved to help people out. I think he would have gotten a big kick out of our forum here. He and Mr. Biro were very active on the old Gemini BBS that Steven’s magic ran. I learned a lot of great stuff there.

Mike Rogers’ book “The Complete Mike Rogers” was also a very good book filled with no nonsense straightforward magic.

In my bartending days I used the gimmick for Mike’s coins through hand and the clip for the bunny routine gleened from this book nightly. Not to mention in my single days I ate quite a few Mike Roger’s famous tacos made from the recipe included in the book, soy sauce in a taco whodathunkit.

I miss Mike, he was a real good guy and a fine magician.


Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Mar 4, 2003 03:02PM)
I think the shelf Idea is in Osborne's cups and balls booklet. The same one i'm pretty sure, has them hanging under the table on a thread ready to grab and load. In the end there is nothing under the table.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 4, 2003 03:10PM)
That's nice, I like that idea.
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Mar 6, 2003 04:19PM)
I also noticed the different final load hiding places in Osborne's book as well as the section in Ammar's cups and balls book. I would like to use body loads however to be able to show the table is clean, per what Dan said above. Therefore...

Question: Ammar loads from his jacket pocket. I used to load from my jacket pocket. What's to keep me from loading from my jacket pocket if I'm working on the street?

1) Have to watch the angles because I probably will be surrounded. (Answer: so bring the cup right up to the top of the jacket pocket when I transfer the cup to the other hand in the same way Gazzo brings the cup right to the mouth of the pouch.)

2) You're not loading little racquet balls anymore, Jim. Those are gonna be big ole' oranges. (Answer: bigger jacket pockets, jacket pocket/toppit combo, load from both pockets instead of one to spread the load, and bring the cup to the pocket per above to ensure no flashes.)

I would do 3 or 4 final loads of oranges this way. What do you guys think? Suggestions? Fesability debate?

Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 6, 2003 08:17PM)

I've loaded from a jacket pocket and it is a stone witch!

With the big load there will be a tell as the movement of the bottom edge of the jacket buckles when you are pulling out a loaded fist.

Jacket pockets were designed to hold thin flat items as to not ruin the break of the suit. This being said a fist coming out would hike up the side of the coat like nobody’s business.

This is not to say it can't be done it will just take a lot of engineering on your part.

I know when carrying a firearm under a coat (don't ask just trust me it was legal) I used to have to either have the jackets built while wearing my rig or buy a jacket two sizes two big and have it altered.

Orange loads would be the same way even with one to a pocket. Coming out of a topit would alleviate some of that but you would need an excuse to be going to the pocket every time.

When I do a show where I need to wear a coat I do a different routine with smaller cups.

My oh my, the headaches this routine can cause. I guess that is why when it looks good and is done right everybody appreciates it.


Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Mar 6, 2003 09:13PM)
This is just what I'm dealing with now. I tried the pocket approach and it ain't workin' for my street act. I'm now using a pouch of my own design (and my wife's expert construction!) and I'm convinced that this is the way for me.

Even so, pulling my fist out of a pouch with a basball-sized object is problematic. The cloth pouch rides up if the hand catches on one side or another and seems to draw way too much attention to what my hand is doing down there.

I like the look and versatility of a jacket. It just seems like it would take a lot of alteration, along with the inclusion of a topit, to make it viable.

Go James! Keep working on it and I'm sure you'll find a way that is right for you. Especially with all the help and experience from Danny and the other great people here.
Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Mar 6, 2003 10:17PM)
Mr. Swami Bill,

When I made my pouch I sewed the ties about 1" from the right and left edge seam. This allowed the top to fall farther open due to the force of gravity. This might help you solve the catching problem on the final loads.
Message: Posted by: Gerald (Mar 7, 2003 09:07PM)
The front panel of the pouch should be wider than the back panel, maybe 5 or 6 inches. When it is sewn together, this extra space and "give" allows for easy removal of the hand with the load objects. Experiment with your hand and your load objects to find out how much extra width the front panel needs.

A jacket setup is great, but outdoors in the summer, it is just too hot for me. I work with the pouch.

Danny is right. It takes some "doin'" to get all this right and find what is best for the way you work. But the results are worth the time and effort.

I hope this helps!

Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Mar 7, 2003 10:39PM)
Jeff and Gerald - Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try the ties and see if they work. Gerald, I had thought, in my initial design, that the front should be wider but somehow it only came out wider by an inch or two. I see now that your suggestion is better. Looks like we'll be cranking out another one this weekend to incorporate the changes. My wife will roll her eyes when she hears about this...undefined
Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Mar 8, 2003 03:46PM)
I mentioned leather covered balls the other day for doing the cups in outdoor situations. Such balls may be seen here:
Message: Posted by: Carlos Hampton (Mar 9, 2003 10:30AM)

they are nice....but can you make them 1"1/4 ?
What kind of core are you using, rubber, steel(I am thinking perfect hold out here) or marble?


Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Mar 9, 2003 12:45PM)
Hi Carlos;
The core on the balls shown is a marble. I could do them in 1 1/4" with a steel ball bearing core. I'd hate to think of the shipping costs involved, though. If interested, PM me.
Message: Posted by: Swami Bill (Mar 9, 2003 11:04PM)
I have a set of Eric Evans' leather monkey fists and they are superb! These look nice, too.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 10, 2003 08:44AM)
I just wanted to add to my previous thoughts on the orange loads from the jacket pocket Jim was talking about. Do you think it might go better from the front pants pockets? I was thinking that with an orange size load (because to me this is really the problem. An orange that will fill the Galli – Galli cups is just so big.) The bulge in the pocket is going to be tremendous on a jacket.

What I was thinking was with pants you could enlarge the pants pockets because suit pants are bigger anyway and spread the bulge over a greater distance. The Cellini method of adding a Gib to the front of the pants might work as well.

The big problem in my thinking is coming out of the pocket with a load that big it would seem like it is going to flash no matter what.

I know when I go to the pouch the cup actually goes into the pouch on the off moment of the load. I do not pull the orange out and place it in the cup. I bring the cup over the orange under cover.

I know in Mike Rogers’ routine he went to the edge of the table and loaded from below as well. I’ve just been trying to wrap my head around a way to get a load this big to come from any pocket without the flash.

I guess the topit would work okay going from the outside and loading from the inside. I had a cups routine that worked that way and it was okay but I was using smaller loads.


How are you making out with it Jim? It is certainly an interesting problem.


Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Mar 10, 2003 09:16AM)
I have made a couple of Bags that hang from my belt. They are sort of a cross between a pocket and a Giberciere (the idea was stolen, er…borrowed, from a couple of old Billiard Ball Manipulator friends, that used similar holdouts).

I wear them toward the rear of the front pants pocket but not all the way back to the rear. They are covered by my jacket (or Hawaiian shirt). Thus, the Jacket (shirt) hands correctly, no extra tailoring is needed with my trousers (al la’ Cellini) and no pocket budge is seen.

The loads are fairly easy to conceal. The jacket does the work.

I have been playing with Pete’s Galli-Galli cups and am experiencing the same problem with flashing my large loads. I think that I will be forced to keep using my Giberciere for this set of cups, or adapt an under the table load technique similar the one I used to use (and right out of the old Blackstone Sr. “Book of Magic”).
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Mar 11, 2003 03:02AM)
First, I wanted to say that I agree with Carlos re: the size of balls for street-sized cups. 1 1/4 is a good size. Gazzo's soccer balls are, I believe, 1 3/8. I have a number of superballs that are 1 1/4 and they look good ontop of my gali gali cups (by Pete Biro). Maybe Jim Riser could use 1 inch superballs to cover in leather rather than heavy ball bearings?

Dan & Harry,
Thanks for the further thoughts and suggestions about loading large final loads from body loads. The two problems as you defined it (I think correctly) are a bulge showing, and flashing while the actual extraction and loading takes place. Also, Dan mentioned previous about the pocket movement during the extraction of the large load being a give away as well.

If we're trying to use the jacket pocket, it's got to be engineered for the larger size. Then the flashing problem. How about if the hand lifts the orange *palm up* as it starts out of the pocket, and just *before* or *as* the left hand clears the pocket, the cup meets it at the edge of the pocket. The fruit is loaded, the left hand swivels up to hold the cup, while the left pinky finger assumes the duty of holding the fruit in the cup. The right hand swings back to the misdirection of the move, per your routine, while the left hand with its now-loaded cup, returns to the table at a more leasurely pace. I am going to try this move to see how the angles are.

I also wanted to ask you to clarify this paragraph for me. I'm not getting it; too dense on my part:

<<I guess the topit would work okay going from the outside and loading from the inside. I had a cups routine that worked that way and it was okay but I was using smaller loads. >>

I think Harry's idea is great of using a belt-mounted pouch of sorts. I had sketched out an idea along that line, but I'm glad to see that someone has actually done it. (I must say at this point, as a digression, that the field and traditions of magic are so extensive, that I always feel myself standing on the shoulders of what others have already done.)

Harry, when you stole final loads from this "belt pouch," were you miming as if your hand was going to your front pants pocket? That was where I got hung up with my ideas along these lines. If I had a pouch at the waist and hidden under the jacket, where was my hand supposed to be going?

In my routine, my hand is going to a (jacket) pocket with a small ball (supposedly) as an excuse to secure the final loads. Could I say, "Now, I will put this ball way into my back pants pocket, and yet, bingo! here it is back under the cup." (By the way, that is not my patter! Just wanted to convey the idea.)

If the logic of where my hand is supposed to be going when it reaches under the jacket could be worked out, I think loading inside the jacket is a great way to go, because it gives great protection against flashing during the loading, because the loading would happen, as Harry said, under protection of the jacket. The hand and the cup could both meet just before the edge of the jacket. The jacket would certainly cover any angles, hence handling the surrounded angles.

That's where my thinking is so far. Would love to keep at this as the imput is helping clarify things.

Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 11, 2003 08:27AM)
On 2003-03-11 04:02, JamesinLA wrote:
If we're trying to use the jacket pocket, it's got to be engineered for the larger size. Then the flashing problem. How about if the hand lifts the orange *palm up* as it starts out of the pocket, and just *before* or *as* the left hand clears the pocket, the cup meets it at the edge of the pocket. The fruit is loaded, the left hand swivels up to hold the cup, while the left pinky finger assumes the duty of holding the fruit in the cup. The right hand swings back to the misdirection of the move, per your routine, while the left hand with its now-loaded cup, returns to the table at a more leasurely pace.

This sounds like it might go over well. If the pocket opening were enlarged enough to allow good clearance for the mouth of the cup to actually enter the pocket a bit it would help the flash as well. As a side thought, if the pocket had a thick piping stitched around it as some coats do it would help hide the actual size of the pocket opening like a thin model sawing. Obviously no pocket flaps just the piping. Also, if you had a stiffener added to the construction of the pockets like interfacing it could be used to help hold the pocket open very much like a pouch. The trick would be to get the weight to hang inside the jacket so it would not bulge. The interfacing could help in this as well by the stiffness pushing the loads toward the body.

I also wanted to ask you to clarify this paragraph for me. I'm not getting it; too dense on my part:

<<I guess the topit would work okay going from the outside and loading from the inside. I had a cups routine that worked that way and it was okay but I was using smaller loads. >>


In the routine I had I used two Ammar style topits one on each side. As the LH would go to the L pocket with the small ball the RH holding the cup would go to the L edge of the coat to apparently hold the coat to ease the LH going to the pocket.

To clarify, you are grabbing any small object out of a jacket pocket. One hand goes to the pocket as the other hand holds the edge of the coat so that you are not flapping around. It is very natural. The hand holding the edge of the coat in this case is holding a cup. The cup mouth is actually inside the edge of the coat.

This being said it is a simple matter for the LH to reach into the topit from the outside of the pocket as it is dropping a ball and to grab a load from the topit and feed it into the mouth of the cup in the RH. The RH pinky holds the load in and goes to the table as the LH comes out of the pocket. Behind the bar I used to floor people with it and I used a vest with topits not a coat.

It was a very slick way of loading BUT when I tried it on the street I got a big flash from the right side people who could see inside the jacket. This is why I now use a pouch. The pouch is really angle proof. Also behind the bar I was using Bertram size cups and loading small limes or lemons. This is one case where size does matter :)

This is really a great thread and brainstorming with such a big group should give us all some interesting stuff to think about.

Thanks guys.


Message: Posted by: kasper777 (Mar 11, 2003 08:40AM)
I recently had pockets put into the front of a pair of pants (via Cellini) and it makes doing my loads very, very easy. I use Pheonix cups and use small oranges. I hold 4 oranges in the right side pocket and no one has said anything. The reason I had the pouches sewen in rather than using a pouch is because I do a card from zipper and didn't want the pouch in the way. And I didn't like the idea of putting the pouch on towards the end like Gazzo. If anyone is interested in having pouches sewen in to the front, PM me and I'll give you my deminsions.
Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Mar 11, 2003 03:35PM)
Hey long time reader, first time poster. I just got a set of The Old World Cups featured in the Joe Steven's Catalog, and they are BEAUTIFUL! Pewter with gold accents modeled after the Paul Fox/Danny Dew cups, they may be too small for street but for anything else... :yippee:
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Mar 11, 2003 05:05PM)
James, when I use the belt pouches I do mime going to the front trouser pocket the pouch is dark colored and my pants are dark (black and black usually, but I wear Jeans also and have pouches that are made of denim also). I also tend to let my shoulder pull my body to the side and away from the audience to give just a tad bit more additional shade.

My motivation (in my head) is that I am putting a ball in my trousers pocket. My patter doesn’t mention pocket, it’s more of “put this ball away” kind of thing. It is purposefully ambiguous.

The big loads are a pain in the Royal Irish *ss! I take a page of Gazzo’s notebook. I don’t worry about who sees it. I heard him once say that he didn’t worry about the odd guy that spotted a bit of flash; he carried on with his routine uninterrupted. He said that on the street there was always a bad angle. Don’t sweat it!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Mar 18, 2003 12:37PM)
Been toying with the idea of a mechanical way to load big cups, ala Galli Galli size. Basic idea is a dropper at bottom edge of jacket that "drops" load into a cup on left as right hand is doing something with the other cup, like tossing it up in the air or handing it to someone?
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Mar 18, 2003 02:41PM)
On 2003-03-18 13:37, Pete Biro wrote:
Been toying with the idea of a mechanical way to load big cups, ala Galli Galli size. Basic idea is a dropper at bottom edge of jacket that "drops" load into a cup on left as right hand is doing something with the other cup, like tossing it up in the air or handing it to someone?

Wow is that good.


Message: Posted by: RiserMagic (Mar 18, 2003 03:52PM)
While working on cup routine ideas a few years ago, I came up with about 15-20 (?)different ideas for places to conceal the load balls that do not use the pockets. I dislike getting loads from pockets. If I can still find the sheet with the ideas, would anyone be interested in seeing them? I may not be able to find it quickly, though.
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Mar 18, 2003 04:58PM)
Jim, I love to see your thinking on this problem!
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Mar 18, 2003 06:22PM)
I second that, Jim!

Pete's idea sounds like a giant billiard ball holder. (Pete, are you back in town? I saw and met Whit Haydn at the castle Saturday night. Don't want to say too much till I have time to do the great experience justice. In short, he killed us!)

Also really like Dan's idea of holding the edge of the jacket with the right hand, while it is also holding the cup. I have never heard of that "move" before. I think that's yours, Dan. We should name it the "Danny Hustle." That way, you don't transfer the cup from right to left. The cup stays in the right hand the whole time.

Also really like Harry's idea of the belt pouch, which the jacket would cover. Actually, the belt pouch could work well with Dan's move.
Still thinking,
Message: Posted by: Alex W. (Mar 29, 2003 04:07PM)
In an attempt to keep this wonderful topic going:

Where can I learn about these pouches everyone seems to use?
Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Mar 30, 2003 12:01AM)
I believe Eric Evans makes them, you could try PMing him, there is a Gazzo style on The School for Scoundrels website made by Joe Porper if I am remembering correctly and an outfit in Switzerland, Zauberladen I think, that's selling a "Cellini" version.
Message: Posted by: Alex W. (Mar 30, 2003 12:42PM)
The School for Scoundrels website won't let me in for some reason. I've been trying to get in for a few weeks, but it keeps timing out. I'll keep trying, though.
Message: Posted by: Cunningham (Mar 30, 2003 01:04PM)
Huh, I've never had that problem, I just tried it and all was well. Keep tryin cause they've got really cool stuff!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Mar 31, 2003 02:12AM)
Just spent a day with a dude working with a pouch he got from Joe Porper... B u tee full.

He does his complete act out of it.
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Apr 7, 2003 05:42PM)
I've been stuck on occasion and found myself doing a pocket load in the wrong situation - the thing that worked for me was to use the spectators to cover the loads - think about it...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Apr 7, 2003 05:50PM)
That is a great idea! Use a spectator to cover your final loading. The spectator is up close and personal to watch and make sure everything is on the up and up. And, at the same time, they are blocking your left side. I like that idea a lot. It, of course, is ripe with the potential for comedy interaction with this person. "You didn't see that? Maybe you should wear these." Hand them a silly pair of glasses, etc.

Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Apr 7, 2003 06:05PM)
You've got it, Jim! I've been using that particular technique in tough situations for about 30 years now and it has never failed me - by the way, the occasionally savvy spectator actually cooperates and blocks for you - they like being "in on it", although I've had to cue them a couple of times...

Best, PSC

And, Oh yeah, Uh, I forgot to mention....

Saw Charlie Miller load out of his back pocket MANY times - though I have to say that Charlie never worked the street - Vernon also used a back pocket load - in fact you can see it in Stars of Magic, I think. Remember, clothes were cut quite a bit differently years ago, and I swear Charlie had the suits he bought in 1941! Still...

I had the back pocket altered on a suit for a back pocket load (depth shortened and an accordion type pleat on the sides) to hold three small fruits (I was using the original Magic Inc., Bertram cups), lemon, lime and kiwi - worked fine...

This was a two pocket loading sequence of Charlie's that overcame the exposition phase of the Vernon routine, and still allowed you to load all three cups in the process of going to your pockets - very sneaky...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 8, 2003 12:12PM)
I talked to a guy that was NAILED by a guy doing a load he couldn't figure.

The guy didn't load in conventional way. He THREW the load in as the hand came forward and didn't stop at the cup, continuing on to pick something up on the table. :die:
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Apr 8, 2003 12:30PM)
Pete! Shame on you ! That's Don Alans' Chop Cup load technique - perhaps slightly modified, but I sat with Don at his house, at 3am, with Ron Bauer, who talked Don into teaching it to me, and he did it almost all his life - picked up the cup to reveal, brought it back to the edge of the table and banged it down, threw the ball into the cup as his loading hand went to the table to pick up the small ball - did the same thing for the second load... I'm not surprised though - there's hardly a close-up guy working who doesn't owe something to Don Alan, even if they don't know it...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 8, 2003 05:25PM)
Wrong Paul... totally different... I know Don's handling (He taught to me). :subtrunk:
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Apr 8, 2003 07:54PM)
OK, now I AM curious! What's the difference? Can you describe the load sequence, break down the steps? 'Cause, on the surface, it really does SOUND LIKE a take off on the DA loads... Come on Biro, GIVE!

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 8, 2003 11:05PM)
It is too good to tip... HONEST. :cuteangel:

Check your email tomorrow after they find out who's in the big pile of rubble in Irak. :angelbear:
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Apr 9, 2003 07:02PM)
The guy didn't load in conventional way. He THREW the load in as the hand came forward and didn't stop at the cup, continuing on to pick something up on the table

that sounds alot like Tommy Wonders method of loading the Pom Pom from the bag.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Apr 10, 2003 12:38PM)
Wonder's load is much like the Fred Kaps "dropping" ball into cup as he reached over it... which came, in Fred's case, from Crandall's load (in a Tarbell course).

I believe this is quite different. :cucumber:
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Apr 10, 2003 07:05PM)
I very well may have learned The Wonder move wrong... But when I do it it isn't dropped into the cup, it is released into the cup (kind of like a line drive) as I reach forward to catch a ball. The cup's mouth is at a ninety degree angle to the table. Very deceptive.

Message: Posted by: MagiUlysses (Jun 24, 2003 03:10PM)
Greetings and Salutations All,

This seems to be the most logical place to ask this question.

I have Pete's Gali-Gali cups ... great cups that are mucho fun to play with. And I have a set of Bosco cups from Harries which suit my renfest style to a T.

However, there is a great deal on Gazzo and Animal cups going on until July 4. Does anyone have first hand, working knowledge of the weight and feel of these cups?

Like I said, I like Pete's cups, and Pete, feel free to chime in, but I'm interested in something a little heavier ... are the Gazzo/Animal cups appreciably heavier and able to stand up to more abuse, or do I get them and support Gazzo/Animal enterprises?

Thanks for your input.

Joe in KC

Live a great adventure, make magic happen!
Message: Posted by: Kaliix (Jun 24, 2003 08:36PM)
I have a set on order (the medium size cups).

I'll do a full review of the cups when I receive them.