(Close Window)
Topic: Cups & Balls
Message: Posted by: RudyC (Mar 28, 2013 12:15AM)
With the Cups & Balls being exposed many times on televison is it a good idea to just remove it from your performance?
Do any of you still perform it?
Message: Posted by: pepka (Mar 28, 2013 06:58AM)
Nope. Not once have I had someone comment that they had seen an exposure of it.
Message: Posted by: dader76 (Mar 28, 2013 07:07AM)
Never, never has anyone picked up on exposure...maybe it's a case of selective observation or, like with Penn and Teller's routine, still difficult to follow or so visual that it surprises even when you know what's going on. I observe myself in the mirror and still smile and I'm frankly quite lousy! I'll watch Vernon on the Mark Wilson show (youtube clips) or Ammar and still be amazed. So I think cups and balls remains as viable as ever and the final load sequences continue to impress people. Indeed when it comes to closeup in general I don't get the sense that any 'revealed' magic has been ruined by TV. I'll give you another example. The Svengali deck is, of course, well known, yet do something with the Magical Photography deck which is basically teh same concept and you'll amaze people. I simply think they see a trick revealed in a very narrow context but don't associate that when they see the same thing before their eyes. My take anyway.
Message: Posted by: cupsandballsmagic (Mar 28, 2013 08:45AM)
I think that a purely mechanical effect can be exposed, however classics don't really suffer that problem. The times I have picked up a plastic ball and vase, set of cups or magic set linking rings and fooled the socks of people with their own props has convinced me of that.

I honestly don't think there's anything to worry about.
Bri
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Mar 28, 2013 09:54AM)
[quote]
On 2013-03-28 08:07, dader76 wrote:
Indeed when it comes to closeup in general I don't get the sense that any 'revealed' magic has been ruined by TV.
[/quote]

I have some friends here in Augusta that I cannot do Color-Changing Silk or Charlie Justice's "Prohibition" (Cap In Bottle) due to YouTube/The Masked Moron. Two of the best, in my opinion.

Cups & Balls, yeah. No problem. Different kinda deal, that's all. You'll [i]never[/i] convince me that "revealed magic" hasn't hurt us in SOME way.

Doug
Message: Posted by: Payne (Mar 28, 2013 10:49AM)
Scott exposed the cups and balls in The Discoverie of Witchcraft back in 1584. It's been included in beginners magic sets since the Nineteenth Century. It's been exposed on the back of cereal boxes and in magazine articles for decades. Yet magician's keep amazing, amusing and yes, still fooling audiences with it all over the world.
Message: Posted by: magicians (Mar 28, 2013 10:59AM)
[quote]
On 2013-03-28 10:54, Dougini wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-03-28 08:07, dader76 wrote:
Indeed when it comes to closeup in general I don't get the sense that any 'revealed' magic has been ruined by TV.
[/quote]

I have some friends here in Augusta that I cannot do Color-Changing Silk or Charlie Justice's "Prohibition" (Cap In Bottle) due to YouTube/The Masked Moron. Two of the best, in my opinion.

Cups & Balls, yeah. No problem. Different kinda deal, that's all. You'll [i]never[/i] convince me that "revealed magic" hasn't hurt us in SOME way.

Doug
[/quote]
Back in the 80's New center 4 in New York revealed the thumb tip silk vanish in prime time. I discovered back then, there will be a few who will have seen the reveal but not really associate the effect with the gimmick. A reveal exposes the method and in the case of the masked moron, bores people to death with his performance. That exposure will also create a new found audience for magic and some of the revelations are pretty good tutorials.
Of course, they could have run across it in the public library as well. And then, there is the "dealer" who for a few pieces of silver will expose anything for his price and give you the props for free.
Message: Posted by: mitchgamble (Mar 28, 2013 11:30AM)
Hi RudyC,

I still use Cups and Balls as my main attraction - I do tonnes of other close up stuff (card magic, coin magic etc) but, Cups and Balls is always the one that gets the audience going and what I really love about it is the fact that it's so visual; it can be performed anywhere in the world and still get the same incredible reaction.

With regards to Penn & Teller, I think the way that they "revealed" the trick was not meant to "offend" any magicians or anything like that - they actually made a very entertaining performance from it.

I have performed C&B for years now and still, when I watch a perfectly executed routine, I am amazed...I think it's about the performance and the "banter"...not the mechanics behind it!

Mitch
Message: Posted by: tomsk192 (Mar 28, 2013 11:37AM)
Yes. Weirdly, it is the trick that my wife will sit and watch me practice. She really likes it, and even though she has seen many of the moves involved, it still fools her. She generally misses the final loads, despite looking for them like a hawk. You gotta love the cups and balls.

:cups:
Message: Posted by: Andrew Zuber (Mar 28, 2013 02:36PM)
It's a staple of my act. I wouldn't even dream of removing it.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Mar 28, 2013 03:30PM)
I am with Payne on this. While I still cringe at deliberate exposure, it's nothing new and does in fact get a lot of people INTERESTED in magic. And as any magician will tell you, there is nothing more pleasurable than KNOWING how a trick is done and still being fooled by someone who does it well. In fact, more than a few tricks rely on this principle--show 'em the method (sort of, maybe) then fool 'em all the same. A lot of times . . . and I know this has been said many times . . . people will come up and say, "I had that trick when I was a kid, but you must be doing it differently because you lost me right after the first ball went through."
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Mar 28, 2013 04:04PM)
Ball & Vase. Another classic everyone "knows". Ha! Watch Mike Gallo! :)

Doug
Message: Posted by: tomsk192 (Mar 28, 2013 04:52PM)
[quote]
On 2013-03-28 16:30, Motley Mage wrote:
I am with Payne on this. While I still cringe at deliberate exposure, it's nothing new and does in fact get a lot of people INTERESTED in magic. And as any magician will tell you, there is nothing more pleasurable than KNOWING how a trick is done and still being fooled by someone who does it well. In fact, more than a few tricks rely on this principle--show 'em the method (sort of, maybe) then fool 'em all the same. A lot of times . . . and I know this has been said many times . . . people will come up and say, "I had that trick when I was a kid, but you must be doing it differently because you lost me right after the first ball went through."
[/quote]

Exactomundo, geezer. :thumbsup:
Message: Posted by: Josh the Superfluous (Mar 28, 2013 06:29PM)
I did a 4 ring routine today, and someone commented "I used to know how that worked".
Message: Posted by: sadhu (Mar 29, 2013 09:50AM)
Rene Lavand had a routine with a cup and bread crumbs called
"Three Bread Crumbs" and it was one of the most simple yet
magical cups and balls routine that will never go out of style
in my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Mar 29, 2013 10:00AM)
[quote]
On 2013-03-28 01:15, RudyC wrote:
With the Cups & Balls being exposed many times on televison is it a good idea to just remove it from your performance?
Do any of you still perform it?
[/quote]

A 'few' years ago, I was helping out at MAGIC INC. on a Saturday afternoon, when a young lad asked to see the (ED DRANE 4" linking rings) I did a few bits with those 'itty bitty' rings. Another youngster, standing nearby, remarked, "I have a set of those rings at home, but, mine don't work like that!"

It's the performer, not the prop!

Almost every trick in my act, has been exposed in various media (and by poor performances by inept "magicians") but, I've learned how to present them so that they ENTERTAIN a paying audience. --and that is what counts!
Message: Posted by: Zombie Magic (Mar 30, 2013 01:46PM)
:applause: :applause: :applause: Dick Oslund
Message: Posted by: RudyC (Mar 30, 2013 04:30PM)
Thank you all for your replies. I'll definitely keep it in my show.
Message: Posted by: Motley Mage (Mar 30, 2013 10:44PM)
Geezer!?!

I Take that as a compliment . . .

The best tricks stand the test of time because they fool us all, even when we KNOW he secrets.
Message: Posted by: Lanny (Apr 24, 2013 11:07AM)
Looking for a Gibson / nu-pro close up mat. Having a hard time finding one. I'm stuck on the purple color. :)
Message: Posted by: afinemesh (Apr 26, 2013 12:43AM)
[quote]
On 2013-03-28 11:49, Payne wrote:
Scott exposed the cups and balls in The Discoverie of Witchcraft back in 1584. It's been included in beginners magic sets since the Nineteenth Century. It's been exposed on the back of cereal boxes and in magazine articles for decades. Yet magician's keep amazing, amusing and yes, still fooling audiences with it all over the world.
[/quote]

Exactly!
Message: Posted by: fortasse (Apr 26, 2013 03:38AM)
.....and then there routines - like's Vernon's - that even incorporate exposure of how the trick works ......well, not really but the audience thinks so and is therefore doubly duped. it's a case of turning exposure on its head and using it to good effect, as a misdirection tool.
Message: Posted by: CJRichard (Apr 26, 2013 08:15AM)
Someone just posted exactly the same question, except about linking rings. The answer is the same. A good routine is magical to watch even if the effect has been around for centuries. Maybe that's WHY they've been around for centuries.
Message: Posted by: kentfgunn (Apr 27, 2013 11:09AM)
The cups and balls actually cannot be exposed. Singular routines can be tipped, one at a time.

There's an infinite number of ways to do the trick. If you ever worry the routine you're doing is, in any way, in any portion of the public's knowledge; pick a better routine.

I suspect the sequence I learned from the instructions in my first magic set, is fairly well known. I wouldn't perform that sequence for a paying audience. If you work for magicians, busting out Vernon's routine, in any of it's incarnations is probably not the best idea, unless you're freaking great at it.

Really good magic can't be exposed, especially if you have some level of originality.

See Master Payne's routine for a fine example.

KG
Message: Posted by: Gary Kosnitzky (Apr 27, 2013 05:32PM)
[quote]
On 2013-03-28 01:15, RudyC wrote:
With the Cups & Balls being exposed many times on televison is it a good idea to just remove it from your performance?
Do any of you still perform it?
[/quote]
Your question is a highly personal and artistic one.
Michael Skinner gave up doing the Linking Rings in his
close-up act at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas after
it was exposed on television.
So your question is a very valid and important one.
But one that only you can answer, nobody else.
If you take advice from someone else you're just listening to
someone tell you how to be exactly like themself.
Follow your own path.
Message: Posted by: afinemesh (Apr 29, 2013 11:33PM)
[quote]
On 2013-04-27 18:32, Gary Kosnitzky wrote:
[quote]
On 2013-03-28 01:15, RudyC wrote:
With the Cups & Balls being exposed many times on televison is it a good idea to just remove it from your performance?
Do any of you still perform it?
[/quote]
Your question is a highly personal and artistic one.
Michael Skinner gave up doing the Linking Rings in his
close-up act at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas after
it was exposed on television.
So your question is a very valid and important one.
But one that only you can answer, nobody else.
If you take advice from someone else you're just listening to
someone tell you how to be exactly like themself.
Follow your own path.
[/quote]

What a great idea, Gary. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: KIDDMAGIC (May 2, 2013 12:43AM)
Magicians sometimes forget how much of a niche magic really is. Even with all the exposure, it mostly only reaches those who seek it. I do magic for kids and new ones come along each year. lol
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (May 2, 2013 10:14AM)
This is just my opinion but I really don't think people care how a trick is done, so long as they are being entertained. In fact, if the entertainment value is strong enough, people are often willing to forget they know the secret.

Having said that, I have performed the cups and balls for many years. The Jamaican Cups and Balls routine that I created was actually awarded a Gold medal in 2007. The actual moves were not overly unique, but having a Chinese Canadadian dressed in Jamaican garb (complete with dregs), singing a song with a Jamaican accent, while performing the cups and balls, was so different that it caught the judge's attention. Since then, the Jamaican Cups and Balls has become a staple in many of my smaller corporate shows.

Kent
Message: Posted by: Gary Kosnitzky (May 2, 2013 11:31AM)
If The spec knows how it is done it might
be entertaining but it is definitely not Magic.
You might as well be a dancing and singing transvestite,
that can also be entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Kent Wong (May 2, 2013 12:03PM)
Hmmm ... I've never actually seen a dancing and singing transvestite. Guess I'll just have to take your word for it! (Sorry, I couldn't resist. :) )

Kent
Message: Posted by: Bill Wilson (May 2, 2013 12:51PM)
The Cups & Balls is quite often part of magic sets commonly found in toy stores. I don't believe this is exposure anyone should worry about. And if someone says "Oh that's in my son's (or daugher's) magic set, then explain that it shows them the BARE essentials of the trick and is intended mainly to get the youngster interested in magic.
Message: Posted by: scottjenkins (May 2, 2013 12:56PM)
[quote]
On 2013-05-02 12:31, Gary Kosnitzky wrote:
If The spec knows how it is done it might
be entertaining but it is definitely not Magic.
You might as well be a dancing and singing transvestite,
that can also be entertaining.
[/quote]
It's true. I know how dancing and singing transvestites work (a combination of clothing and adjustments), but they're still entertaining! Depends on the performer!
Message: Posted by: bishthemagish (May 2, 2013 01:00PM)
I close every formal close up show and every walk around show with the cups and balls. I don't care about if it was exposed in so and so book or TV or on youtube.

Cheers!