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Swami Bill
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Hi everyone - There is such a wealth of knowledge and experience here that I'd like to pursue a subject that I haven't yet seen. If I've missed this topic elsewhere, please direct me to the proper place.
I'm putting together a cups and balls street act. I have been working this winter to develope a routine that I hope will entertain folks. In these columns I have heard many cups and balls workers recount their first experiences busking and some have said things like "I started out doing so-and-so's routine".
I have tried to bring my own personality into the routine that I'm working on but I'm having a problem putting it all together.
My question is this: is it proper to use other routines on the street while I search for the "perfect" routine for me? I don't mean cop the whole act (lines, jokes and other bits of business, etc.) but to use the structure of someone else's routine to get started.
Where do I go from here? The answer may be as plain as the blemish on the tip of my nose but right now just sign me "stymied".

Thanks,

Bill
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Danny Hustle
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That's how we all started. As long as you get it from a book or video you own it is perfectly ok.

For the street I'd look at Dai Vernon's routine first and load from the front left pocket for the final loads.

As you progress you'll want to check out the work of Gazzo and Cellini.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
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ClodAppleleft
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You say that as long as you get it from a book or video, you own it... What about if you borrow a book from someone else? OR you see a standard routine that you know is from a book or video at a show, figure out how it's done, and then use your own patter? Is it still ethical to use it? A good example of what I'm talking about is cut and restored rope. You see a magician perform it on say TV. You have video taped it, and you watch it over and over again. You watch it frame by frame, and figure out how he has done it. You then practice it, and figure it out yourself. Is it still ethical to use it?

Sorry to be a demagogue on this, but I love ethical debates.
There are many different ways to cut an apple.
RandomEffects
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Quote:
....You watch it frame by frame, and figure out how he has done it. You then practice it, and figure it out yourself. Is it still ethical to use it?

Sorry to be a demagogue on this, but I love ethical debates.


NO

It's that simple if someone has put the time and effort into creating an effect than you need their permission to do it. Rather than retype this i am just going to paste me comment from an earlier thread o levitations.



Quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



As for reverse-engineering other people's effect, yes that can be done -- sometimes, even easily. However, CREATING such effect is the tough part. And I respect the effort from the originator.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



This is so very true, and something that so many of us forget. It is so asy for us to figure out how it is done after someone else did it. yet no-one figured it out before someone else did it. i.e,. i figured out bisection by andrew mayne, yet i still bought the booklet because without him i would never have thought of it.

As to levitation..... all the methods out there from Balducci to Corey King's King Rising to The Elevator (sorry peter i could not spell your last name) work great............IF you present them well!


It is all about the presentation people, I don't care if Copperfield himself designed your show, if you cannot make a good presentation than go home! The method of your levitation is only as good as the performer PERFORMING it.

Sorry if i sound mean but this is a big issue to me,

Mat
ClodAppleleft
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Ok... the frame by frame argument was a bad choice.

I guess my question is more about more well known effects like, cut and restored rope, cups and balls, Professor's nightmare, French drop, etc.

You watch a performance of cups and balls on the street. You go home, take a set of plastic cups, and some sponge balls, and figure out how it is done. With your own trials and tribulations, you figure out the secret. You show a friend of yours the trick and he goes, "Hey, That is the same routine from Mark Wilson's Cyclopedia of Magic" and shows you his copy of the book.

Without purchasing the whole book, is it ethical to perform this trick?

If the answer is no... Then you are saying that a magician has ever purchased a book, or a trick that incorporates a french drop, can never ever ethically perform the french drop. Correct?
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Swami Bill
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I see Sonny Holiday do a cool cups and balls routine on the Cellini DVD. I see him use the Charlie Miller Move, the Tip-over Load, the Vernon False Explaination... it's a demonstration only. In the Ammar Cups and Balls book, Ammar explains all those moves and . I, in turn, cobble together a routine using these techniques. It sounds like Mat is saying that if the presentation is good, it's OK to use. If the presentation is bad, then I've ripped someone off. Is this the case? Mat, can you clarify?

- Bill
That's MISTER Swami Bill to you.
Kozmo
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ok....there is nothing new under the sun....so with that said, if you own 10 videos and 10 books....and they all have cups routines in them...you have the right.,...because they sold you the right to do them line for line...move for move...they knew this would happen when they put it out there....in saying that...you might want to consider this....taking moves and lines from all of them and put together your own routine...if you look at the Ammar videos ...there are a ton of moves that you can use to create your own routine....the problewm with this...and most routines i see...is...there is so much stuff going on....x-tra stuff...to impress the magicians that are watching....mnost routines you buy are for magicians....vernons routine is too long...and has too much stuff in it....take gazzos routine...simple...to the point...great routine...cellinis...i love cellini...hes my friend...but lots of stuff in there...i wouldn't do his routine..i would simplify his routine..more like sunny holidays...its to the point...i like it much more...eric evans.....my favorite cups routine....powwerful....full of surprise...and it doesn't last an hour...its just magical...try to keep it simple....

koz
kasper777
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I would say that if someone published a book or video with their explinations and moves, then they are giving your permission to use their routine, moves, etc... E.G. Gazzo released his cups and balls routine. I would take it as it is his permission for you to use his routine. But of course, change the patter and other frame work to fit you.
ClodAppleleft
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But is it ethical to use Gazzo's routine without purchasing his book or his video?
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Peter Marucci
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ClodAppleleft writes: "I guess my question is more about more well known effects like, cut and restored rope, cups and balls, Professor's nightmare, French drop, etc."

Please don't put the Professor's Nightmare in the category of "generic" magic.

The cut and restored rope, French drop, cups and balls, etc. have, indeed, been around for a long time and there are multiple variations on them.

But the Professor's Nightmare is an effect by Bob Carver, based on a two-rope idea by Hen Fetsch, and the original patter was written by Gene Gordon.
The rights to Professor's Nightmare are currently owned by Magic Inc. of Chicago, I believe (formerly Ireland Magic).
It has the rather dubious distinction of being the "most ripped-off trick in magic".
ClodAppleleft
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I never said that the Professor's Nightmare is generic, I just said it is well known. I apologize for any confusion.

<snip>
But the Professor's Nightmare is an effect by Bob Carver, based on a two-rope idea by Hen Fetsch, and the original patter was written by Gene Gordon.
The rights to Professor's Nightmare are currently owned by Magic Inc. of Chicago, I believe (formerly Ireland Magic).
It has the rather dubious distinction of being the "most ripped-off trick in magic".
<end snip>

If I remember correctly, and I might be completely off base, but isn't the Professor's Nightmare similar to Mark Wilson's "Equal/Unequal Ropes" from his Cyclopedia of Magic?
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Kozmo
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no its not ok to use gazzos cups routine....it would be stealing to use it.....with out buyiong the video...its his lifes work..its unlike any other cups routine.....its his....he built it on the street for the last 20 years....so if you like...then spend the what ever it is and pay him for the routine..he deserves the money.....

koz
ClodAppleleft
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Before I continue down this thread, that I hope people don't think that I'm trying to say that it is ok to Rip off of other peoples ideas and tricks. I'm just trying to get at the heart of the ethical issue:

When does a move, trick, or routine become public domain?

Example: French Drop. If I figure out the "French Drop" and have never bought a trick or a book that contains it. Is it ethical for me to perform it?
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Danny Hustle
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Ethics is great but on the street the stakes are a little higher and the rules a little more interesting.

Some guys could care less if you hack stuff out of their show. They are also usually guys who stole it themselves.

Then there are guys who have spent years developing original material. If they catch you hacking their act they will burn your playhouse down.

I have seen fistfights over stolen lines never mind whole routines. On the street it doesn’t have as much to do with ethics as it does immediate and often quite harsh punishment.

Some stage magicians are the same way. There is a rather well known story about Johnny Thompson, a Vegas show room, a copycat, and a baseball bat. It made me admire Mr. T. even more than I already did.

If you see my act please do not steal anything from it. It makes me rather upset.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
ClodAppleleft
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Hey Danny,

What if you give the credit to the magician you saw the routine from?

Using you as an example with the next scenario:

A magician sees your show, and really likes X routine of yours. He figures it out, and in another part of the country, you are there on vacation, and you see this guy performing and before he does a part of his show he says, "A couple of years ago, I was walking through Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, and I saw this magician, Danny Hustle, perform this amazing trick. If you ever go to the Boston area, be sure to check out his show." And then procedes to perform the same trick.

As I stated before, I'm not promoting any of this, just trying to get a feel for what other magicians thoughts are on the matter.
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Kozmo
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you can steal anything you want from mine...its not that good!!!! Smile

well i would appreciate it if no one steals anything from mine...because its pretty much original...at least the magic is....i use some stuff...lines form other guys...but i bought them....video books...but they have all been changed some to fit me...i tell ya what...you can try to steal gazzos stuff...but it wont work in your show....only gazzo can do that stuff....

i got an idea from john carney....his cup routine...chop cup....and took it to another level....i'm years into this routine now...and its strong...very strong....builds from start to finish....it doesn't look like carneys routine anymore...its completely different...but i got the idea from john....and i will thank him now.....

koz
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2003-02-12 16:20, ClodAppleleft wrote:
Hey Danny,

What if you give the credit to the magician you saw the routine from?

Using you as an example with the next scenario:

A magician sees your show, and really likes X routine of yours. He figures it out, and in another part of the country, you are there on vacation, and you see this guy performing and before he does a part of his show he says, "A couple of years ago, I was walking through Harvard Square in Cambridge, MA, and I saw this magician, Danny Hustle, perform this amazing trick. If you ever go to the Boston area, be sure to check out his show." And then procedes to perform the same trick.

As I stated before, I'm not promoting any of this, just trying to get a feel for what other magicians thoughts are on the matter.




If he didn't have my permission to do a routine of mine he would be in a quandry.

It would be the same as if he stole my TV and told people at his super bowl party that they had Danny Hustle to thank for the widescreen.
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Pete Biro
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The basic moves have been with us for centuries... my suggestion is to just start Jazzing with the cups and see what works for you... it will take time.

DO NOT DO SOMEONE ELSE. I don't mean the trick, but their style, talk, special sequence, etc.

The more you practice, the more you perform, the more it will become you.

If you are still doing someone else... work harder to be you.

Generally speaking, if it is in print it is fair game. But, should you learn from a borrowed book, try to buy the book. If it is out of print... the author didn't print enough... tsk tsk...
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
ClodAppleleft
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<snip>It would be the same as if he stole my TV and told people at his super bowl party that they had Danny Hustle to thank for the widescreen
<end snip>

I understand you wanting to give permission, but I disagree with your analogy. He is not in competition with you, and he is even encouraging people to go to your show, so he is in essence, putting money back in your pocket.

It's almost like if he stole your TV, and then had everyone at his Super Bowl party pool money together, which amounted to more then the value of the TV, and then sent you that money.

At least that is another way of looking at it.
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Larry Barnowsky
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Let's not mince words. However you acquire material from another performer (purchased or not), if you perform the exact routine word for word, gesture for gesture, you are being unethical as well as lazy. In school, they call it copying. In the real world its called plagiarism. It's theft of ideas. Use for example Dai Vernon's routine as a template to build one of your one. Get ideas from different sources. Magic is a creative art. Don't be a clone. Be original and you'll be proud of what you do and so will your audience.
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