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Topic: Chop Cup w/Hat Load
Message: Posted by: augiemagic (Jun 6, 2014 09:55AM)
So when I started out in busking, I was on the wharf in SF and doing a simple chop cup routine with a hat load. The routine was bits and pieces I recalled from seeing a couple lecturers, without much structure, and pretty awful progression. One person, Jerry Salazar, was kind enough to tell me how awful it was, and recommended Kozmo's DVD. I bought it and absolutely loved it. I also liked the idea of it: a street show that almost anyone could learn, to get flight time on the streets as quickly as possible, without creating a show from scratch. In fact, it's almost always my first recommendation to anyone wanting to get started as a busker.

For awhile, I was doing his show pretty much as is, but eventally branched out. I no longer do the middle trick he does, and instead subbed out a cig vanish routine involving a kid (It gathers people like flies on you-know-what. Something about the promise/threat of sticking a burning cig into a kids hand I think). I still do some of the coin work, but less and less. And almost never the full routine. Usually instead I do a series of other small close up tricks to build. Occasionally I add Don Driver's Building a Tip Bally (Highly recommended). I've just recently started doing a bill change sometimes, and a couple other things. Large parts of the show are still changing/evolving constantly. That said, I feel like I've got a pretty solid handle on the beginning/middle.

I think the one thing that is causing problems for me right now is the finale. I love the chop cup/hat load, but I've never been able to get the pacing to play well for me. Something about the transition from using the cup to the hat, I just seem to lose people, and then the cup load never plays very well. I've tried speeding up, slowing down, using a volunteer, and a whole host of other things and just can't quite get the sequence to work for me. I feel this is currently the weakest part of my show.

Unfortunately, I can't think of any good ways to bring in the hat and draw attention to it, and its emptiness and misdirect strong enough for the load, so I'm looking for ideas and resources for routines that involve both a chop cup and a hat load. Anyone got any ideas?
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jun 6, 2014 03:44PM)
First, is this a problem that is merely YOUR perception of pace? What's the crowd's faces, expressions, words, at that time - do they comment adversely?
You could get a friend to make a couple of video's of your doing that move while on the street. One video should be of you making the move. Another video should be of the faces of the crowd at that specific move. Another way to find their reaction is to ask people - maybe get a friend to do that for you immediately after the show.
Another way; get a fellow magician to comment on the move; as it currently is, how it might be improved.

What you need to know is what the CROWD thinks of the move. It's the crowd that you are there to mystify and please, not yourself or a fellow magician.
Have you considered Gazzo's approach of showing your hat empty, then using the hat to cover a ball, play with the folk's idea of how many balls under the hat NOW, and use that time to load the hat?

Take a look at the end of Gazzo's street shows on YOu Tube if you don't have his "Street Cups and Balls" DVD. His DVD goes over his moves, and shows two learners working on his moves. It's well worth the money! If you're buying it, see if you can get his accompanying book also.

Otherwise, how about doing a side-trip using your hat that gets it ready to load, like Jimmy's arm into hat?