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Topic: Aesthetics of final loads
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 22, 2004 08:35AM)
I've briefly discussed this with another magician and we thought it might be a topic for here. We want to know your thoughts on the selection of final loads for cups and balls. Let's consider this for routines with any number of cups. Some people prefer to use objects that are all alike, like all baseballs, or all oranges, etc. Some use similar objects, but with differing colors. Others use various objects, such as a lemon, a turnip and a tomato (just an example). Gazzo uses all oranges from the cups and a melon from his hat.

Also, the number of loads can range from a single load, to one per cup, to more loads than there are cups.

Tell us what you use, and why.
Message: Posted by: Bob Johnston (Dec 22, 2004 09:24AM)
I go with pee-wee baseballs, as I use small baseballs (Mike Rogers) for the working balls. But if time permits, I like to stop at the produce store for some mixed fruit and a potato.

There is no doubt in my mind that 4 different kinds of food showing up under the cups is a great finish.

I use four loads because the forth one is so simple to add when the shock of the third is getting all the attention. If I am doing a kids close-up show, and they are young enough, I will do six loads working from my lap.

Bob
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 22, 2004 09:43AM)
I use three larger balls, all the same color (usually red). The balls are the right size to stay loaded in the top of the cups until needed. I like the idea of fruit but am always afraid of variations in size of real fruit, and didn't care for the rubber stuff.

Then I finish with a "D"-size battery for the fourth and final load. This lets me use the line, "Oh, I guess the battery's dead!" when a supposed ball-through-cup transfer doesn't work. This always gets a good laugh and provides a logical end to the routine.

No claim to originality here; I believe Al Cohen used the same line and "battery load" in another context. SETH
Message: Posted by: geemack (Dec 22, 2004 10:47AM)
Good question. For the standard Cups & Balls routine I prefer three matching loads. I use tennis balls in most cups, baseballs in the larger ones. My main routine is fairly short and quick, with a sort of "linear" presentation... "You see there is a little ball in this cup, and this cup, and this cup". The action is fairly balanced across the three cups, and I bring the final loads into view pretty much all at once... boom boom boom. I see it as a single climax of three large balls appearing from three cups. Matching loads seem to suit that aesthetic objective.

For dice stacking I load regulation pool balls, first an 8-ball, then as a final kicker a 5-ball. They are obviously different colors. My comment to the spectators is about how the lights aren't very bright in here and I could have sneaked this black ball in while you weren't looking (even if in the most brightly lit setting). I follow with a line about how it would be much more difficult to do that with a bright orange ball... like this 5-ball! In this case there are two separate climaxes, with two similar but differently colored loads.

I don't think the loads have to be justifiable or "make sense", but I do think they should be appropriate from an aesthetic point of view. A hodgepodge of final loads might just be a bit overwhelming for many routines, yet may be quite humorous for others. Michael mentioned Gazzo's finale with oranges. He produces obviously more oranges than could have fit in the cups. I think that is strong stuff, and wouldn't be any stronger if he used six different fruits and veggies. But, with the right kind of timing and perhaps the appropriate comedy lines it could play just as well with a variety of items.

For the most part I believe the fact that we have produced some very large things is enough to carry its own weight. Matching (or very similar) loads is probably about as good as it gets. The spectators don't need to be bogged down with details and specifics. "Wow, where did THOSE come from?!", is enough. But depending on the presentation style of the performer and the timing, pace, etc. of the routine, a variety of load items may be the right way to go.

Greg
Message: Posted by: what (Dec 22, 2004 10:52AM)
I have tried all kinds of final loads, as have most of you, I suppose. I tried fruit, raquet balls, fuzzy toy animals, sponge balls, relaxation smiliey balls, and more.
I finally settled on 3 goofy face smiley balls and 1 lemon. Somehow it just fits me and my act (I don't think I an explain why, It just does).
I came up with tag tag line, "And the votes are in, 3 happy faces to one sour face [as I reveal, then drop the final lemon load]. The smiles win by a mile!"
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Dec 22, 2004 11:40AM)
I love the wooden egg. I buy them a little big for my cups then slowly and painstakingly shave them down with my dremel tool until they are JUST small enough that the cup doesn't wobble when I load it. Then I load them vertically. When the egg is horizontal it is wider than the mouth of the cup. It looks absolutely impossible.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 22, 2004 12:16PM)
[quote] On 2004-12-22 11:47, geemack wrote:
For dice stacking I load regulation pool balls, first an 8-ball, then as a final kicker a 5-ball. . . . My comment to the spectators is about how the lights aren't very bright in here and I could have sneaked this black ball in while you weren't looking (even if in the most brightly lit setting). I follow with a line about how it would be much more difficult to do that with a bright orange ball... like this 5-ball! [/quote]

Geemack, I love the idea of the pool ball loads. I assume they don't talk because you're using leather cups for dice stacking?

My only comment concerns the patter. Why mention that you "could have sneaked this ball in while you weren't looking," even if it happens to be true? To my mind, this unnecessarily points the way to the answer. I know that some C&B workers, especially Gazzo, challenge the specs to catch him loading the cups, but for mere mortals such as me, I'm content to let them think they were in the cups to begin with, or Lord knows what else.

My other thought is that this patter implies the specs are not intelligent, not attentive enough, or are dumb enough to miss what should be obvious. I think that's a dangerous path to tread, but I guess it depends on your presentation. I believe it is much easier to mystify people (entertain them) than fool them, which many people resent. SETH
Message: Posted by: BerkleyJL (Dec 22, 2004 01:18PM)
Currently my final loads are four different colored lacrosse balls. They look huge compared to my cups but they will just fit. I'm looking for something to switch to, as I cannot adjust the position of my cups once the finals are loaded...the balls rub the edges too tightly.

I don't want to use fruit/potato, because they need to be replenished for each show. Michael Ammar sells fab-fruit, but it's a little expensive for my tastes, even though they look so realistic. Oh well, the quest continues.
Message: Posted by: geemack (Dec 22, 2004 01:19PM)
Seth,

Very valid comments, and I really do agree. I'm fully with you on the importance of entertaining them, as opposed to fooling them.

Regarding the pool ball loads, my actual line gives the spectators credit for intelligence rather than diminishing it. [i]"I know what you're thinking... you're thinking with this dim lighting it would be easy for me to sneak this ball under there while you weren't looking."[/i] And, by the time I mention that, the 5-ball has already been loaded, so there's not a challenge involved or an opportunity for them to "watch closer". With due consideration for the reasoning behind the rules, in this case I give the rules a good hard bend. ;)

As for preventing the pool balls talking... I set the cup down with a bit of a slide letting the pool ball gently roll off my fingers while at the same moment my other hand is knocking over the stack of dice! This makes quite a clattering sound and covers the little clack of the ball making contact with the table. Then I pick up the 8-ball and drop it from about 3 or 4 inches above the table. That loud whack more than covers the little sound made while setting down the cup containing the second load.

Ooops, I've strayed from the original topic, which is the aesthetics of using a variety of load items vs. similar/same load items. The main point in this case is these load items lend to the continuity while providing visual variety and some patter that keeps it more or less connected.

Greg
Message: Posted by: drwilson (Dec 22, 2004 01:23PM)
I use four oranges. I reveal the one in the middle and reload (that first orange really knocks them). I put the orange on top of the middle cup. Then I simultaneously reveal the two on either side, setting the cups down behind where the middle one is and topping each of them with the oranges. Then I reveal the one in the middle, bringing the cup with its orange on top behind the final orange, putting it in line with the other two cups.

I like this because the final picture is so nice. You can't even see one of the cups because there is an orange in front of it. The Gazzo cups in copper, which I use, look like they couldn't possibly hold an orange when you set it on top of the cup. The copper looks great with the oranges.

The movement when I lift the two outer cups shows that both my hands are empty. That fourth orange is a real surprise, but it is hinted at because the middle cup is out of line.

I think that fruit is much better than man-made objects as a final load when using the balls that I use (the little baseballs). I have done this with three or four incongruous pieces of produce, but I just don't like the chaos in the final picture. Having things be balanced and symmetric suggests to me that the chaotic forces of magic have been quelled. The rite is ended!

When I used smaller cups I really liked lemons as final loads. Since they are ellipsoidal rather than spherical, with cups that are about the size of lemons on the inside, you have to orient the lemon when loading it. Once it comes out, you can't even cover it with the cup. It looks like it grew out of the cup.

I also like stopping at four final loads. Besides being easy to do, there is the implication that you could keep going, but you didn't.

Yours,

Paul
Message: Posted by: thumbslinger (Dec 22, 2004 02:46PM)
I think the theme/storyline of the routine will help dictate good loads. In case no one has seen his routine, iI won't reveal but David Regal has a fun climax.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 22, 2004 02:53PM)
Curtis Kam has something great in his lecture on this subject.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 22, 2004 04:49PM)
I have a close-up routine using Morrissey minis with an olive theme that uses the arrangement of props seen here. The finish display has the configuration you see except for the small balls, which are gone by the end.

[img]http://www.themagiccompany.com/cups_olives.jpg[/img]

I am also working on a street C&B routine with yet undetermined final loads, and also a Victorian era routine with the loads seen next, which are made to resemble those from Hoffmann or similar period works.

[img]http://www.themagiccompany.com/6_loads.jpg[/img]

For me, the trick is an evolutionary process in a state of flux. Down the road, I will surely be doing something different, for different reasons.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 23, 2004 07:08AM)
Michael Ammar has a very good essay about types of final loads in his Cups & Balls book. I believe he argues that three different, incongruous loads are best, and he uses three different vegetables as final loads.

Now that I think about it, the main purpose of the final loads is to surprise the audience. So whatever you can do to increase the surprise value would be effort well spent.

A large final load fits the bill just because of the size. In addition to the question of how it got there in the first place, there is the additional question of how it managed to fit into and come out of the cup. Magicians have spent multo bucks designing cups that appear too small to hold the items in them, and we should make the most of them!

I also agree that three similar loads, followed by a fourth dissimilar load, is a good arrangement. The repetitive production of the second and third similar loads just increases the impact of the first load. Production of the fourth dissimilar load provides extra surprise value, while also providing a natural way to end the routine. SETH
Message: Posted by: BerkleyJL (Dec 23, 2004 07:52AM)
What about a bouquet of spring flowers as the 4th final? It will certainly look (and be) too large to fit in the cup after it is produced.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Dec 23, 2004 12:13PM)
Let me give you an example of the egg that I spoke of.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 23, 2004 12:35PM)
I really like the egg and lemon ideas, but imagine that some care would have to be used in loading.

For a "parlour" performance, you could use a table servante that would enable you to properly position these items prior to loading. Nowadays I work seated and generally load from my lap, never having had the guts to try it from my back pants pockets a' la Ammar. I just lean forward to emphasize some point, which covers my hands dropping below the table, which permits me to get the load ready to go.

One of these days I'll try a lemon and see how it works out. I guess it really wouldn't be much tougher than the "D" battery I use now, which also needs to go in vertically and not horizontally. If I pick it up properly, I should be able to get it loaded properly, too.

Thanks for the good idea -- it goes to show that there's always another way to beat what appears to be a dead horse. SETH
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Dec 23, 2004 12:48PM)
What appears to be a dead horse? LOL, cups and balls will never die. Good grief, how COULD they!

As has been said so many times, it ain't the trick, it's the magician. Now that I have a topit in both sides of my duster as well as pockets directly over other pockets (double pockets in each side) I'm beginning to look at the cups and balls a little differently.

Maybe I can do something with that raven too.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 23, 2004 01:27PM)
Not a dead horse. Wonderful and most basic effect. Been with us for thousands of years. A great trick to explore.
Message: Posted by: sethb (Dec 23, 2004 02:15PM)
Ah, that's the trouble with e-mail -- sometimes your message doesn't come through the way you meant it.

When I referred to the C & B as "something that appears to be a dead horse," I meant that even though the C & B is an ancient trick, there is always something new that can be done with it. It was intended as a compliment, not a disparaging remark. I find it ironic that many magicians are always on the lookout for "what's new," when they haven't ever fully explored "what's old" yet.

Sorry if I inadvertantly raised anyone's blood pressure! <grin> SETH
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Dec 23, 2004 03:52PM)
Seth, I understood you and was laughing WITH what you said. I'm serious about the Raven and my coat of many pockets.

I have a duster. Picture this, a knee length coat. There are side pockets with the opening of the pocket pointing back to rear. ON TOP of those pockets is another pair of pockets with the opening towards the top!

Now put a Topit behind each of those double pockets and you have something. I think it will expand my cups and balls tremendously when I figure out how to work all that into my routine.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Dec 23, 2004 06:26PM)
I LOVE this kind of topic. I have 2 routines currently. My mini routine, with my Riser mini-cups finishes with small rubber billard balls, usually 8 balls. I ask, now how many balls in the middle cup? Would you believe 8?!? This idea also occured to John Bannon and I believe is in one of his books.
My standard routine, which I use only at formal close-up/parlor; and I call "The Oldest Trick in the Book", is based on the Vernon routine, and finishes with 3 pieces of fruit, and the cups get stacked. I let them Applaud and let them think I'm done. I finish with this line. "Thank you so much. When you go to work tomorrow, tell everyone about the great time you had here tonight, and you too, were fooled by the oldes trick in the book." I tip the cups back and reveal a large ball, that matches the kind I used in the beginning, i.e. baseball, crocheted ball etc. I like to bring it all back together by using a similar ball as the 4th load. I also like Ammar's poing about leaving the cups either mouth up, or lying on their side to indicate you are done. This is because every time you lift a cup there is something new under it.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Dec 23, 2004 06:56PM)
Just this last year I rediscoverd something I saw in print long ago that makes for an AMAZING routine. If I get the props together... watch out! Very cute idea. And it's in print from thousands of years ago. The joy of reading!
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 23, 2004 10:18PM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-23 15:15, sethb wrote:
I find it ironic that many magicians are always on the lookout for "what's new," when they haven't ever fully explored "what's old" yet.
[/quote]

Bull's eye, Seth! The quest for the magic bullet is the rut of many a magician. After collecting books for over 40 years, I have begun selling off all the new stuff; the books that contain the routines of others. I read 'em, but I don't need 'em. I can think for myself. What I am keeping are the books that teach the basics. In fact, on my desk, there is no book less than a hundred years old, and that's for precisely the reason you touched on.

From the time I first started to learn sleight of hand, I have always enjoyed the purity of manipulating a ball. It just seems "right". Without even realizing it, the audience can relate to the perfection of the object, too. To produce or vanish that object serves only to establish a state being, or not being. But cover it, and you have created a sense of the unknown, and with that...SUSPENSE!

The cups and the Balls... the oldest trick in the world, and it's still the best.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 23, 2004 10:58PM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-23 08:52, BerkleyJL wrote:
What about a bouquet of spring flowers as the 4th final? It will certainly look (and be) too large to fit in the cup after it is produced.
[/quote]

My only feeling about that is that most spring flowers look like folded up pieces of tissue paper. Consider that the spring flower was originally conceived to be used at stage distances under gas light. Also, DeKolta used a ratio of about 5 to 1 green "flowers" to colored ones, so it looked like he was producing a bush with flowers on it.
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Dec 24, 2004 12:01AM)
First, the Bannon routine mentioned by Pepkin is in Bannon's book, 'Impossibilia'. Currently out of print but procured for me by one of the fine frequenters of this forum. You didn't quite remember it the way that he wrote about it though. It was more like (three cups sitting in a triangle, mouth down), "I don't use just one ball, I don't use 3. I use 8". Then he procedes to produce the three from one cup, then a final load from another cup, another final load from another, this he repeats until he has 8 balls on the table. Of course he has to produce final loads from cups that have already produced final loads.

It's a good routine and heavily influenced mine. It's very fresh.

Now Mr. Baker brought up a point. I was rolling a ball around in my hand while watching a video on sponge ball magic. The magician was demonstrating a detail of the retaining pass and said that this came from his coin routines. I glanced down at the ball and tried it. Suddenly my retaining pass for cups and balls improved. I used a concept taken from a sponge ball routine that was taken from a coin routine.
Message: Posted by: ursusminor (Dec 24, 2004 06:56PM)
Great topic!

There is NO feeling comparable to the one you have when the finals are loaded, the dirty work is done, and in a few seconds the jaws are going to hit the table-edge! (Well perhaps one other feeling...)
A few years ago I found some wind-up chicks in a toy-store, and immediatly bought four. Finally I could be Gally-Gally, without having to buy new chicken every week! They fit nicely under my cups, and because the cups were heavy, they didn't move until I lifted the cup.
They need some sort of "holder" though, or they tend to "run out of steam" before I can load them. I haven't quite cracked that problem yet...

[quote]
On 2004-12-22 11:47, geemack wrote:
For dice stacking I load regulation pool balls, first an 8-ball, then as a final kicker a 5-ball. They are obviously different colors. My comment to the spectators is about how the lights aren't very bright in here and I could have sneaked this black ball in while you weren't looking (even if in the most brightly lit setting). I follow with a line about how it would be much more difficult to do that with a bright orange ball... like this 5-ball! In this case there are two separate climaxes, with two similar but differently colored loads.
[/quote]

Great!
I have been experimenting along those lines myself. My Current Climax is exactly that, loading an 8-ball! If I'm in the mood I follow with a 9-ball, that's yellow, same effect as the 5-ball.
I do this with brass-cups, though... I finally found a way to avoid any "talking", I spent a month in the hospital and had PLENTY of time on my hands!

Bjørn
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 24, 2004 07:18PM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-23 19:26, pepka wrote:
I LOVE this kind of topic. I have 2 routines currently. My mini routine, with my Riser mini-cups finishes with small rubber billard balls, usually 8 balls. I ask, now how many balls in the middle cup? Would you believe 8?!? This idea also occured to John Bannon and I believe is in one of his books.
[/quote]

It's actually a very old line. Jugglers have used it as well as magicians.
Message: Posted by: Laird (Dec 25, 2004 01:31AM)
Every time I read anything Bill or the rest of you post, I always want to run to my magic table and keep practicing!
OK, How about this one-- I use the Mike Rogers balls, when it comes time to final load, my patter states "Now I know some people might think that I use an extra ball, or I have a ball hidden somewhere, but actually I use three vegetables" at this point I show the rubber veggies.
My fourth and final load is a small baseball sized soccerball, and then state "well actually I do use an extra ball" and show the fourth load.
I've seen jaws drop!!!
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 25, 2004 02:38AM)
That's good!!!
Message: Posted by: whoton (Dec 25, 2004 04:17AM)
I use 3 big lemons followed by a mini shot glass of liquid, which I toast the audience, and drink...CHEERS!
Message: Posted by: Whitewolfny (Dec 25, 2004 01:55PM)
I'm working on a routine that will use the three standard crochet balls, and final load to consist of four balls (actually chew toys for small dogs). The final load is a mini baseball, soccer ball and two basketballs, one standard color and one blue.) I also want to throw in two cats (stuffed not real). My idea for presentation is to produce one of the mini balls, then comment that if I were in Las Vegas you (the audience) might expect to see the big cats produced (at which time I reveal the cute little stuffed cats). Then I explain that I'm just a backroad country magician so all I can do is use the basic four ball routine. At this time I produce the reamianing three balls that are just the right size for my Johnson cups. The table is now full with four balls that look like they couldn't fit in the cups plus two little stuffed cats. Is this too much of a production for the finale?
Message: Posted by: rikbrooks (Dec 25, 2004 09:12PM)
Too much? At the end of my routine I have eight balls on the table. No, it's not too much, as long as you can think of a reason for them all to be there. In other words, if your patter supports it.
Message: Posted by: Laird (Dec 26, 2004 12:56AM)
Thank you Bill. I will say this- when reading about people arguing their different magic routines, at times it sounds like beating a dead horse. I just haven't seen that with Cups and Balls. Each idea always seems approachable.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 26, 2004 01:58AM)
As long as the applause builds, produce stuff. That's a good rule of thumb.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 26, 2004 11:48AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-26 02:58, Bill Palmer wrote:
As long as the applause builds, produce stuff. That's a good rule of thumb.
[/quote]

Precisely! If it hits a plateau, back off one and try again.

Whitewolfny - I like the cats among the final loads. Your patter seems to make it gel. It also has a nice rhythm.... BOOM!... BOOM-BOOM!!... BOOM-BOOM-BOOM!!!

Laird - I like the pattern of yours, also. I really like the idea of tossing out a logical explanation and then living up to that, but with a twist. Let me sidetrack a second... I use a similar thing with Matrix. I use 4 English Pennies, then comment afterward about an extra coin. "...except I could only find 4 English Pennies, so I had to use an American Penny. I was afraid you'd see the difference in size..."

Then, I produce a 3" jumbo American Penny.

What I like most about yours is the reversal of thought. whoton finishes with 3 lemons, then a shot glass. This is good. The pattern is that of a well-rounded conclusion, and then a big tweak at the end. In yours, the tweak is shoved in their face first, and then you soften it by delivering on the expectation, without dulling the edge. Nice.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 26, 2004 09:41PM)
I use whatever is available. Usuall lemons or limes (I don't do jumbos). Sometimes just big sponge balls and go into sponge routine.

Last night with Cockktail Surprise, a lime followed by a shot glass and poured a drink from the cup.
Message: Posted by: Ron Giesecke (Dec 27, 2004 10:14AM)
Here's something that may get someone thinking . . . I know it made me again re-explore the subtleties that are so important.

I was performing a beer and wine festival, on block away from one of our hospital helipads. I was halfway through my cups and balls routine, when the medi-copter buzzed the event on its way to a situation.

Of course, the [i]entire[/i] crowd looked up at the whole cacophany--then looked at me to resume my cadence when the noise faded. I sponatneously said "by the way, while you were looking at that helicopter, I stuck a plum, a turnip and a lemon under the cups." They laughed. I hadn't, and finished my sequences with the small balls, confirming this was a "joke" in their minds as they saw my cups were empty. I had no idea how powerful this setup was going to be.

So there I was; cups deftly loaded, no one the wiser, and the lingering depth charge of a "goofy passing statement" ready to explode.

I thanked them for coming out. I then said "I'll need to thank that helicopter too." as I lifted the cups to reveal the fruit.

The sound was incredible.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 27, 2004 02:16PM)
Sometimes it is worth cutting a routine short, just to get to a really knocked-out final load sequence.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 27, 2004 04:17PM)
Wonder how bad hiring that helicopter every show would affect your bottom line?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Dec 27, 2004 04:19PM)
Depends on the size of your bottom.

Line.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Dec 28, 2004 01:15PM)
Once (for a magician audience) I 'flashed' the final loads, but stole 'em out perfectly and when I lifted the cups and THERE WAS NOTHING... it killed!
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 28, 2004 01:55PM)
I love that, Pete!!! I had a guy kill me with a bunch of flashing and then he asked me to critique his routine. When I did, he pushed the cup toward me and said, "Show me."

The cup was a solid chunk of wood. My brain only felt like it.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Dec 28, 2004 01:57PM)
Ron, that's a very cool story. I can imagine the reaction!
Mmmm, makes me think to induce a "look away-moment" just to experience this...
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 31, 2004 08:43AM)
I have found that the extremely soft eggs that Hank Lee sells, called simply "The Egg" allow me to end the cups and balls with the appearance of three eggs, with the advantage that they take little to no space in my pockets, and they are of course, completely silent when loading. They have a ZERO "talk index", to coin a phrase. And from a normal viewing distance, their verisimilitude is outstanding.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 31, 2004 09:32AM)
[quote]
On 2004-12-31 09:43, daffydoug wrote:
I have found that the extremely soft eggs that Hank Lee sells, called simply "The Egg" allow me to end the cups and balls with the appearance of three eggs, with the advantage that they take little to no space in my pockets, and they are of course, completely silent when loading. They have a ZERO "talk index", to coin a phrase. And from a normal viewing distance, their verisimilitude is outstanding.
[/quote]

I can see the obvious advantages, including the one you didn't mention that rikbrooks poined out concerning the length v. height factor. Are these eggs collapsible, and if so, I am curious how would you handle the thoughts and/or reaction of the spectator who has the opportunity to squeeze one?
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 31, 2004 09:46AM)
Actually, they are EXTREMELY soft sponge like material, with an outer skin of eggshell white color. The skin is also extremely thin. From a few feet away, they are perfect. They can be finger palmed easily, or they can be compacted into a small enough space that they can be neatly "thumb palmed"

I haven't had the problem of a spectator handling them , since I always strike the props as soon as the effect is completed. They usually go under my nightclub table, and end up being wheeled off behind my backdrop. Out of sight, out of mind. Yes, if a spectator did squeeze one, they would immediately know what is going on. But, as I said, for the venues I employ this in, stage, night club, etc., they never are allowed the "fun" of touching my props.

Close-up wouldn't work with this, of course.

And a couple more things. The price on these eggs keeps going up! They are not cheap! (If Hank still carries them) The disadvantage is this: I have to handle them with "kid gloves" to keep them clean, undamaged, and looking like what they are supposed to be. When they wear out or get discolored, I have the expense of purchasing another set, or the other option is to change my routine, and I don't want to do that, since I worked extremely hard getting it to it's current stste. So, that's the downside.

Amazingly, I also found in Wallmart a plastic "apple" that is so close to real that it is astounding. The color is perfect, and it is complete with all the little "flecks" of coloration that a real apple has. It is as close perfect as I have ever seen. So I pack it in my case and use that as one of my loads and it saves me a trip to the grocery store every time I have to perform the cups and balls. I think I was very lucky to find it, and don't know if another one is available.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 31, 2004 12:00PM)
Not sure what size apple you refer to, but WalMart, in their craft dept., carries a whole line of artificial fruits and veggies that would even fool a chef or a farmer.

Apparently, you have dealt with the problem of the squeezers, but I was just thinking about this other thread when I asked.

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=85519&forum=6&20
Message: Posted by: tabman (Jan 1, 2005 10:25AM)
Gotta love Walmart!!! They sell some paint that we've been using for years on some props. I'll have to check out those apples.

-=tabman
Message: Posted by: BlackShadow (Jan 1, 2005 03:36PM)
I don't think the loads matter too much as long as they are big and colourful.

And it's always worth a fourth load as you have natural misdirection. (Use two loads when working a single cup like a chop)