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Topic: My cups & balls video
Message: Posted by: Darth Ewok (May 14, 2007 06:37AM)
Just finished a video of me basically doing a version of Michael Ammar's cup and balls set. The video quality isn't that great (nor is the skill) but thought I'd see what you guys think. Could use any advice to improve.


I'm hoping to make a better quality video soon.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (May 14, 2007 11:02AM)
Not bad, your stooping with your loads and looking at them are tipping them a bit, watched it once with sound and once without sound to see if there was any difference, really didn't see much. You seem to be just "talking" to no one, talk to the audience, engage them, it helps with the misdirection. Try to make your load moves more natural, slow down a bit , that should help, you don't have to do it fast, and your patter should be engaging the audience and your gaze at them when you are doing your loads.
Message: Posted by: Amon (May 14, 2007 01:27PM)
Hey, nice job dude, I can tell you've worked on it. Only thing I would say is maybe work on when your palming the red ball just try to keep your hand more natural. There was a couple of times where it looked like you were holding something (not huge deal..just some constructive criticism). I don't think most laymen would've noticed.
Message: Posted by: Darth Ewok (May 14, 2007 08:46PM)
Thanks for taking the time to respond. I know my patter is very dry. I'm planing to do a new vid with me performing for some friends. My loads need work and the whole thing needs polishing big time (i'm my own worst critic).
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (May 14, 2007 09:38PM)
I noticed once you had a ball in your right hand, and your right thumb was tucked in toward your palm a little, and moving - as is you were changing the position of the ball.

One of the best things you can do would be to watch that tape 5-10 times at one sitting. You'll spot a lot, and you will remember your errors better!

It is a good start. Keep working and don't stop! The polish will come. Tape yourself in 2 weeks and compare.
Message: Posted by: Pete McEwen (May 15, 2007 07:08AM)
Not bad, it looked pretty good but there are some little things you can do to make it better. If you want my humble opinion feel free to PM me and I can throw in my 2 cents.

Message: Posted by: Will-Ace (May 15, 2007 10:15AM)
You are right--Basically, you are doing a version of Michael Ammar's Cups and Balls.

...Patter and All...:nose:

Message: Posted by: Bob Gerdes (May 15, 2007 12:51PM)
Just PM'd you with some comments.

Message: Posted by: Darth Ewok (May 15, 2007 08:26PM)
I'm writing new patter for it, and I plan on changing some things around, just wanted to get the moves down before I start customizing things.
Message: Posted by: graywolf (May 16, 2007 06:05AM)
Good work..Howard
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (May 16, 2007 12:26PM)
What's missing is interaction with an audience. This is where you will develop the TIMING and the sell points. Technically it's getting there except for GETTING the final load items. You must take no longer to get a load than when you merely put a ball away. So... that said you need to CHANGE the holder, bag, or whatever it is you are using so there is MORE ROOM to get the job done.
Message: Posted by: magic777 (May 19, 2007 10:38AM)
Good job Darth. I don't think Mr Ammar's patter suits everyone though. Sometime I don't even think it suits him, but that is maybe because I am not from the USA and don't quite get the jokes. You are right to work on your own patter. Thanks for sharing your video.
Message: Posted by: Tom Fenton (May 19, 2007 02:00PM)
Nice job, thanks for sharing this. If I may offer one small criticism, towards the end you are talking to the cups rather than your audience (in this case, the camera), try to look at the audience more.
Thanks once more.
Message: Posted by: Bob Johnston (May 19, 2007 06:35PM)
Darth, your vanishes look very good, and all the posts above are on target.

You may want to try what I did when I was developing my timing and patter. Find some kids to do your routine for. Engage them as you move through your routine. Take notice to when they seem to drift off a bit, You will learn more from this than a mirror can teach you.

Many magicians think that the cups and balls are not good for children, In the case of some routines I think that is true. But the C&B's can be slowed down and still be a wonderful looking routine. You do seem to be going a bit too fast.

If you get it running so that kids can follow it, you are (IMHO) doing it right.

Message: Posted by: Terry Owens (May 22, 2007 04:27PM)
I concur with Bob, Cups and Balls were a standard in my programs for kids. They always seemed to enjoy it.

And Darth, I enjoy watching your routine...keep working at it.
Message: Posted by: Wayne Whiting (Jun 2, 2007 05:49AM)
I think you are well on your way to having a good routine for the C&B. I hate being fooled by the appearance of the third ball. Gets me every time! I would agree with making the routine more "engaging" as mentioned above, but this comes with repetition of performance and confidence as you do the routine over, and over and over...

Message: Posted by: WoodRat (Jun 3, 2007 01:36AM)
Great start!

I would echo some of the comments above, especially, avoid the stooping. Look at the audience more and your props less. Of course, when you need to direct attention, let your eyes and your words work for you, but don't stare at your table.

Also, drill getting your loads, make that motion as smooth and fluid as possible. There shouldn't be any difference between putting away a ball and grabbing a load to tip the audience.

Great job!
Message: Posted by: Darth Ewok (Aug 6, 2007 06:42AM)
Almost a dead post but I just did a new video of me using my new cups


any feedback is welcome
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Aug 6, 2007 11:33AM)
Well when you "load" a ball under the center cup, it is pretty obvious it is being stolen.

Please do yourself a favor. Stop telling people "Phase one" and such. It really is not engaging for laymen.

Also when you grab the cups instead of using your arms as arms, you move your whole body to grab the cups. Not natural looking at all and kind of distracting. Maybe raise the level of the table which you are working so this movement is not necessary.

When you do the large steals it almost looks as if your right hand develops polio very quickly. It stops moving and is all contorted and just hangs at the side of your body. Don't grab the load that soon if you can't avoid that look.

A tip on the display at the end just for my taste. I would let the 3 cups not be stacked. I would absolutly let them see 3 cups and 4 balls. An impossible situation. Let them drink that in. It takes up more room, it is a better visual display for what goes on.

You have done 90% of the work, and now the other 90% of it is the toughest. Making it look natural, making it flow and be visually pleasant. Keep up the good work!