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Topic: Alex Hecklau - Just a Cup
Message: Posted by: griz326 (Apr 15, 2021 11:01PM)
Alex Hecklau - Just a Cup

I watched a glowing online review, but in watching the trailers, I didn't get it. With the exception of the spectator feeling the arrival of the die in their hands (really special), the trailers didn't show anything else worth raving about.

Am I missing a special feature that's worth dying for?

BTW - It ain't cheap with shipping to the USA.
Message: Posted by: Michael Daniels (Apr 16, 2021 01:05AM)
There are some very deceptive moves and handling that you can't do with other methods. You can also let the spectator handle and inspect the cup and die - it's 'just a cup'.

Also a die and dice cup is more organic than cup and ball.

Mike
Message: Posted by: griz326 (Apr 16, 2021 10:18AM)
I've never thought of a dice cup being "organic" ;)

I watched all of the trailers again and finally got it. The trailers just show it can do this and it can do that without the usual razzle-dazzle.

I've always wanted to do a one-cup routine but the routines that I've used have left me cold and I've been unimpressed with the quality of the apparatus (ball release).
Message: Posted by: Kaliix (Apr 16, 2021 02:24PM)
I had started a response to your question when the voice in my head went, check what you've already written. So I did and found this... Axel tells it better than I ever could.

[youtube]5BMDiZICYa8[/youtube]

[quote]On Apr 16, 2021, griz326 wrote:
Alex Hecklau - Just a Cup

I watched a glowing online review, but in watching the trailers, I didn't get it. With the exception of the spectator feeling the arrival of the die in their hands (really special), the trailers didn't show anything else worth raving about.

Am I missing a special feature that's worth dying for?

BTW - It ain't cheap with shipping to the USA. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: griz326 (Apr 16, 2021 11:30PM)
Indeed. I had watched that trailer many times before my original post. The spectator's reactions are priceless, however, the sales pitch didn't show a routine. Because I don't have a one cup routine that I really love, the trailer left me cold. I did buy Pipo Vallanuevo's routine to study, but it is a different animal.

Without the opportunity to perform regularly, vetting magic for your persona is difficult.
Message: Posted by: Kaliix (Apr 17, 2021 04:35AM)
If you watched that trailer several times before the original post then I do not understand your question? You had all the relevant information available to you. Just a Cup can do so much more than a regular chop and Axel explained all the advantages in his video. The girl's genuine reaction you see at the end is her reaction to the same basic routine Axel uses when he performs just a cup. If you watched his Magic Castle performance then you've seen basically the same routine the girl on the video did.


[quote]On Apr 17, 2021, griz326 wrote:
Indeed. I had watched that trailer many times before my original post. The spectator's reactions are priceless, however, the sales pitch didn't show a routine. Because I don't have a one cup routine that I really love, the trailer left me cold. I did buy Pipo Vallanuevo's routine to study, but it is a different animal.

Without the opportunity to perform regularly, vetting magic for your persona is difficult. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Thomas Walter (Apr 17, 2021 12:24PM)
Differences and/or similarities to Presti Cup by Edouard Boulanger??
Message: Posted by: Kaliix (Apr 17, 2021 04:26PM)
No idea of the routine, but it is obvious to magicians where the gimmick is when a wand seems to be involved in every move that requires the ball to be magically retained. If my supposition is correct, then the gimmicks are different. If that is the case, there is more freedom allowed by Just a Cup's gimmick versus Presti cups.

[quote]On Apr 17, 2021, Thomas Walter wrote:
Differences and/or similarities to Presti Cup by Edouard Boulanger?? [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Thomas Walter (Apr 17, 2021 05:05PM)
[quote]On Apr 17, 2021, Kaliix wrote:
No idea of the routine, but it is obvious to magicians where the gimmick is when a wand seems to be involved in every move that requires the ball to be magically retained. If my supposition is correct, then the gimmicks are different. If that is the case, there is more freedom allowed by Just a Cup's gimmick versus Presti cups.

[quote]On Apr 17, 2021, Thomas Walter wrote:
Differences and/or similarities to Presti Cup by Edouard Boulanger?? [/quote] [/quote]

Yes, of course, it is noticeable.
Earlier I did not find any longer presentation of the Presti Cup routine at first.
Axel's wand-less version, is, as you Kallix pointed out, in my opinion too, is better!
And after searching my mind and hard drives I found Axel's Penguin Lecture where he very generously goes through this routine.
I ordered it immediately from him, and when this Covid plague, hopefully, is over in a couple of weeks/months, (got my first shot) it will go right into my repertoire!
Message: Posted by: Yannou (Apr 22, 2021 04:27AM)
There is a great routine with it when you buy this from Axel. Last time I performed it was at a festival, before the plague broke out, in a sort of busking setting, and people where coming over asking me about the routine because they had heard some people screamed when a die appeared in their hand out of nowhere. This is possible with this gimmick and sets it miles apart from normal chopcup routines, IMO and experience. I think Axel keeps the price at a level that's above what dabblers or people who only want to know the secret would pay for it, but if you perform, it's totally worth it.
Message: Posted by: griz326 (Apr 25, 2021 01:11PM)
I bought Axel's lecture and have since purchased the cup. I've got my fingers crossed.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Apr 30, 2021 06:53AM)
I love this! I have "other" uses for this unique principle...

Doug
Message: Posted by: griz326 (May 19, 2021 01:22AM)
I don't know that there are any unique principles involved with the effect, but it is a clever bit of thinking. There is one "move" some might consider a principle... If there are any principles to be found, I think it is in the area of routining and audience management.

The hardware for the effect is very nicely made. I'm happy that I took the plunge and bought this.

Now to learning the routine and making it mine :)
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 19, 2021 09:39AM)
The two things I like are, one, you do not have to "slam" the cup down like you do a Chop Cup. Set it down as gently as you like. You have FULL control over whether the die appears or not. I've done this on a wooden table! No noise! The other is, you can clearly toss the die in the cup, set the cup down holding it from above, sit back and let them look in the cup! It has vanished! No cup gimmicks! I love this! Alex Hecklau is like the mad scientist of Magic! The man is a pure GENIUS!

Doug
Message: Posted by: videoman (May 19, 2021 12:25PM)
Just the fact that you can do this routine standing with a spectator brings it up off the table and IMO makes a whole different effect out of it.
Moving the gimmick out of the cup isnít just a small difference it makes a night and day difference.

Then add to that further layers of mystery such as a leather cup and plastic die making the method seem even more impossible regardless if they examine them or not.

If you were to have a layperson sit at a table and watch your chop cup routine they would almost certainly be fooled and amazed. But perform Just a Cup TO them (and not just AT them) and they will go beyond that and feel that childlike sense of wonder.

Thatís the big difference between the this and similar effects.
Message: Posted by: Kaliix (May 19, 2021 12:25PM)
Having the spectator FEEL the die hit their hand is my one. Two is perhaps dropping the die in the cup and then immediately pulling it out the bottom.

[quote]On May 19, 2021, Dougini wrote:
The two things I like are, one, you do not have to "slam" the cup down like you do a Chop Cup. Set it down as gently as you like. You have FULL control over whether the die appears or not. I've done this on a wooden table! No noise! The other is, you can clearly toss the die in the cup, set the cup down holding it from above, sit back and let them look in the cup! It has vanished! No cup gimmicks! I love this! Alex Hecklau is like the mad scientist of Magic! The man is a pure GENIUS!

Doug [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (May 19, 2021 12:38PM)
Silent Assistant works very well for this type of routine. A bit of double-sided carpet tape assures no 'woops' moments. This kind of thinking allows one to use virtually any cup, and some moves not possible with other cups.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 20, 2021 09:17AM)
[quote]On May 19, 2021, Chessmann wrote:
Silent Assistant works very well for this type of routine. [/quote]

Oh my, YES!
Message: Posted by: Michael Daniels (May 21, 2021 12:28AM)
[quote]On May 20, 2021, Dougini wrote:
[quote]On May 19, 2021, Chessmann wrote:
Silent Assistant works very well for this type of routine. [/quote]

Oh my, YES! [/quote]

I don't have Silent Assistant, but I suspect that it will not work effectively with Just a Cup. Axel has clearly put a lot of R&D into the gimmicks and materials supplied. For example, the leather cup is vital for smooth and reliable operation. I did try a collapsible silicone cup, which I thought might be ideal for walkaround, but sadly that didn't allow certain key moves.

Mike
Message: Posted by: Kaliix (May 21, 2021 04:43AM)
Silent Assistant would work well for chop cup-type routines.

Silent Assistant could work with just a cup but would NOT work as well or be as capable as the supplied gimmick. Using it would be to regress, not progress.

[quote]On May 19, 2021, Chessmann wrote:
Silent Assistant works very well for this type of routine. A bit of double-sided carpet tape assures no 'woops' moments. This kind of thinking allows one to use virtually any cup, and some moves not possible with other cups. [/quote]
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 22, 2021 06:26AM)
[quote]On May 21, 2021, Michael Daniels wrote:

I don't have Silent Assistant, but I suspect that it will not work effectively with Just a Cup. [/quote]


Correct! But the SA (with double-sided carpet tape) works WELL [b][i] with this type of routine.[/b][/i]

Doug
Message: Posted by: Brian Tanner (May 22, 2021 05:23PM)
[quote]On May 19, 2021, Chessmann wrote:
Silent Assistant works very well for this type of routine. A bit of double-sided carpet tape assures no 'woops' moments. This kind of thinking allows one to use virtually any cup, and some moves not possible with other cups. [/quote]

I bought Silent Assistant strictly to use with Just A Cup! It took a little getting used to, but it works very well. As Kalix stated, itís not quite as strong as the supplied gimmick, but itís worth the extra practice, to be able to subtly show your hand empty, at certain parts of the routine.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Walter (May 22, 2021 06:26PM)
I do not get it! Why tape the gimmick to a fixed position? Why use something so stupid as a Sansmind toy!

Watch Alex instruction and try to understand why he is saying that the gimmick should be "loose".
No rings, no tapes unless in practice, not in performance!
Have you never heard of the term "holding out"?
And the need for practice.

You are missing the subtle points in this routining!

And yes, you can show your hands empty at certain stages in the routine. Watch the instructions. Alex shows it!

This so called improvements is the same reasoning as the so called magicians who try to find the, in their mind, perfect, closing, locking, magnetic, or whatever, so called "invisible" opening in their key ring in the linking rings. (Mine has, and for about 50 years, had a wide gap of almost 2 inches, with no trouble.)

Don't destroy this routine with stupid shortcuts! Practice!
Please!
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (May 22, 2021 09:18PM)
Edit
Message: Posted by: videoman (May 22, 2021 11:31PM)
Can we at least show enough respect to get his name right, it is Axel.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Walter (May 23, 2021 12:47AM)
[quote]On May 22, 2021, videoman wrote:
Can we at least show enough respect to get his name right, it is Axel. [/quote]
You are absolutely right, videoman! Personally I apologize!

Undschuldigung, Herr Hecklau!

And another way to show respect is not to simplify and tamper with Axel's creation!
Message: Posted by: Dougini (May 23, 2021 11:18AM)
[quote]On May 23, 2021, Thomas Walter wrote:
[quote]On May 22, 2021, videoman wrote:
Can we at least show enough respect to get his name right, it is Axel. [/quote]
You are absolutely right, videoman! Personally I apologize!

Undschuldigung, Herr Hecklau!

And another way to show respect is not to simplify and tamper with Axel's creation! [/quote]

I agree. It works best as is. I do like the ideas I have developed playing with it though. My Magic has improved because of Axel.

Doug
Message: Posted by: Thomas Walter (May 23, 2021 12:21PM)
[quote]On May 23, 2021, Dougini wrote:
[quote]On May 23, 2021, Thomas Walter wrote:
[quote]On May 22, 2021, videoman wrote:
Can we at least show enough respect to get his name right, it is Axel. [/quote]
You are absolutely right, videoman! Personally I apologize!

Undschuldigung, Herr Hecklau!

And another way to show respect is not to simplify and tamper with Axel's creation! [/quote]

I agree. It works best as is. I do like the ideas I have developed playing with it though. My Magic has improved because of Axel.

Doug [/quote]

Absolutely, Doug! Being influenced by ideas and developing your own things is an other matter. that's the way to go.
Message: Posted by: griz326 (Jun 5, 2021 04:50PM)
I'm writing up a review of a number of products that use magnets to mechanically "create the magic."

The review will include: PK Ring, Event Horizon, Silent Assistant, and Blista.

My intention is to measure the gauss power of each device with a gauss meter that I had in my recording studio. The reason I'm posting here is that I'm wondering if including the JAC apparatus would be exposing the method. I lean toward YES. However, knowing the magnetic power of these devices might be useful to JAC owners. It also might be useful in determining "how much is enough." ...limitations...
Message: Posted by: Kaliix (Jun 8, 2021 07:32PM)
I think that one could review the product without using pictures while describing it accurately enough that magicians would know how it works but without revealing exactly what the gimmick is.

Personally, I would be interested in the strength of the magnet as I would like to make a second gimmick without having to tear apart the old one.

[quote]On Jun 5, 2021, griz326 wrote:
I'm writing up a review of a number of products that use magnets to mechanically "create the magic."

The review will include: PK Ring, Event Horizon, Silent Assistant, and Blista.

My intention is to measure the gauss power of each device with a gauss meter that I had in my recording studio. The reason I'm posting here is that I'm wondering if including the JAC apparatus would be exposing the method. I lean toward YES. However, knowing the magnetic power of these devices might be useful to JAC owners. It also might be useful in determining "how much is enough." ...limitations... [/quote]
Message: Posted by: griz326 (Jun 12, 2021 09:14AM)
Life got in the way ;)

Still going to do the write up, but there are some things I must do first.
Message: Posted by: Brian Tanner (Jun 28, 2021 10:44AM)
[quote]On May 22, 2021, Thomas Walter wrote:
I do not get it! Why tape the gimmick to a fixed position? Why use something so stupid as a Sansmind toy!

Watch Alex instruction and try to understand why he is saying that the gimmick should be "loose".
No rings, no tapes unless in practice, not in performance!
Have you never heard of the term "holding out"?
And the need for practice.

You are missing the subtle points in this routining!

And yes, you can show your hands empty at certain stages in the routine. Watch the instructions. Alex shows it!

This so called improvements is the same reasoning as the so called magicians who try to find the, in their mind, perfect, closing, locking, magnetic, or whatever, so called "invisible" opening in their key ring in the linking rings. (Mine has, and for about 50 years, had a wide gap of almost 2 inches, with no trouble.)

Don't destroy this routine with stupid shortcuts! Practice!
Please! [/quote]

My, arenít we just a breath of Spring?
I donít see where changing part of the gimmick hurts or ruins the routine. Silent Assistant is not a ďtoyĒ, especially when used properly. I use it not only to show my hand empty, which by the way I do so subtly, but because the gimmick supplied causes irritation to the skin under my finger. I realize that this is probably unique in my case, however itís a fact.
Message: Posted by: Chessmann (Jun 28, 2021 11:18AM)
[quote]On Jun 28, 2021, Brian Tanner wrote:
My, arenít we just a breath of Spring?
I donít see where changing part of the gimmick hurts or ruins the routine. Silent Assistant is not a ďtoyĒ, especially when used properly. I use it not only to show my hand empty, which by the way I do so subtly, but because the gimmick supplied causes irritation to the skin under my finger. I realize that this is probably unique in my case, however itís a fact. [/quote]

Very well put. Greg Wilson put his name on, and presented, a device very similar to SA. Of course, neither are toys. I believe the part about the tape was referring to a comment I made. Double-sided carpet tape is an excellent tool. In this case, just a small piece insures that there are no accidents with the SA gimmick, yet it is not so secure that it interferes with ditching. Personally, I do not own "Just a Cup," nor am I trying to do Alex's routine, but am sympathetic to the notion of not deviating until one is certain (after sufficient practice) that the creator's intent is problematic - or as in Brian's case, painful - in one's own particular case.

As Harry Lorayne says (to paraphrase), "Do it the way I teach it - only then make any changes you need to make it work for YOU."
Message: Posted by: TomB (Jul 19, 2021 09:02PM)
The ubiquitous band aid works perfectly for this type of deception.

The full performance has been shown in several videos.

If you buy it, you will be rewarded. He teaches how to drop the die in the opening of the cup, then have the die come out of the bottom, and yes, you can show the cup empty.

He teaches having the cup with the opening on the participants hand. Then the die drop thru the top and onto the spectators hand.

I love how he cracks his knuckles guaranteed to make people cringe.

All his little moves are pure gold.

I personally think a die and cup routine makes more sense then a cup and ball.

Will you like it? Do you like chop cup routines? This is a chop cup routine without a special cup, it's just a cup.