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kentfgunn
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SethB,

Everyone seems to think Michael Ammar's book is the answer for all cups and balls practitioners. I tend to disagree.

Vernon's routine is seminal, so is Ammar's. I actually prefer to see Michael Ammar do his routine above any other cup and ball worker. He kills me!!

I tried to start with the Vernon routine as a kid. I learned the sequence. I was not then magician enough to support all that routine. (I may not be magician enough now!!!)

Ammar's routine is more complex than the Vernon routine.

Please, let's tell the folks beginning about Ron Bauer's pamphlet on the C&B. The Bruce Elliot routine in 'Classic Secrets of Magic' is another FANTASTIC introductory book. I don't want to see another beginner (or maven) butcher these two routines (Vernon and Ammar's). They're NOT the place to START.

Just because you can put the sequence into memory and make your hands go through the motions doesn't mean you should do the routine.

Just because you've watched everyone else's routine on video doesn't mean you have those abilities either!!! The magic of the cups and balls is inherent in its structure. Acquit yourself well with the small balls, don't flash your loads or telegraph them with poor posture, and you can entertain lay people.

As an aside to the C&B mavens out there... If you haven't discovered 'Scripting Magic' by McCabe...go find a copy and read it now!!! (Thanks, Joe Pon!!!)

Kent Gunn
sethb
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Thanks, Kent, for your comments. I agree that both the Vernon and Ammar routines are not for beginners. Indeed, there are probably plenty of accomplished magicians who couldn't perform them well either, including me!

But I never suggested that a beginner learn Ammar's routine, and neither does Ammar. As he makes clear in his book, the book's purpose is not to teach you a specific routine, but to teach basic moves and show you how to put your own routine together.

I have seen the Bauer routine and, frankly, I'm not so sure that's the best place for someone to start either. If I remember correctly, you need to start and stay at least either two or three balls ahead. It's cute, but perhaps a bit much at the outset. Additionally, it's a routine, not a textbook that teaches basic moves, if I recall correctly. In my own humble opinion, most folks need to begin with a plain vanilla inertia move and work up from there with passes and loads.

No question that having the right tools helps to get the job done. I struggled for years with only Tom Osborne's "Cups & Balls" booklet, which was outdated even when it was new in the 1940s. The simple Cups & Balls DVD put out by Royal Magic (FUN, Inc.) with Troy Hooser showing the tip-over move, among others, rekindled my interest. But it wasn't until I saw the Ammar DVDs that I felt someone had done justice to collecting the various moves and demonstrating and explaining them in a clear and helpful way.

So based on my own experience, that was my suggestion. It has worked well for me, but as they say in the car ads, "your mileage may vary." SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
kentfgunn
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Seth,

You are wise beyond measure.

Bauer's booklet is not for beginners. I stand corrected.

The main thing is to start. If I had Ammar's book when I started, it would have been much easier to learn Vernon's routine.

For 99 out of 100 magicians, I am certain that Michael Ammar's book is the very best. For that 1 out of 100 magicians that prefer another, they still need to have digested "The Complete Cups and Balls".

Kent Gunn
JordanB
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Quote:
On 2008-01-25 00:53, Bill Palmer wrote:
There is a tendency for cups and balls workers to over-complicate matters sometimes.


Bill...you just hit the nail on the head. I can't help but think of the Vernon quote: "The means of expression can become so exquisite the effect is lost."
Bill Palmer
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There is a fellow who shall remain nameless -- most of the folks on this forum wouldn't know him, anyway -- who knows every cups and balls move known to man or beast. He has a tendency to call people up and spend an extended amount of time with them discussing the intricate details of various versions of such things as The Elevator Move. I know that he can and will do a routine that lasts 30 minutes, without much patter and/or entertainment. This kind of routine is what can kill the cups and balls for the lay public faster than you can say "boo!"

The chief value of the Ammar material is in its simple approach and its basic build. He gets the reader into a simple, but effective, routine almost immediately. Then, he builds on that.

Actually, there is nothing wrong with the basic routine that comes with a very cheap set of cups and balls. Add a final load to it, and you will fool almost anyone except another magician. If you do it well, you might fool him, too.

But that is not mastery of the cups and balls.

If you want to learn the cups and balls for a real world audience, learn a good chop cup routine with multiple final loads. Then, branch out into a three cup routine.

Start with the Ron Bauer book called Don Alan's Complete Chop Cup Routine.
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kentfgunn
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Bill,

I must recant!

Your recommendation of the Bauer booklet is a fantastic place to start. It has THE signature Chop Cup routine as explained by one of magic's finest writers and magicians, Ron Bauer. If every beginning magician were to only have his pamphlets and learn the routines, the world would be a far more magical place.

So to answer the initiator of this thread...

Get a chop cup. Get Bauer's pamphlet, FROM RON!!!
Read the pamphlet very carefully and do what Mr. Bauer tells you to do.

KG
matt kemp
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I would start with Ron Bauer's book, and if you have some extra cash, get the WGMWGM chop cup DVD (it only costs about $20). I really like this DVD, and it shows you a bunch of great magicians performing and explaining their routines. They show several ways to load a cup, various sequences, and some more cool chop cup moves like vanishing the ball with a shot glass and handkerchief. It also teaches a two cup routine. Good stuff.
shaunproof
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Quote:
On 2008-01-25 00:53, Bill Palmer wrote:

You must walk before you can crawl.


That's a new one...
NurseRob
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So we are recommending Chop cup first, then C&B? or can I do both? I am working on the basic routine in MWCC. I have so many pots on burners now. If I time this right I might become a well rounded amature magician and still have some years left to enjoy it before I die.
Ut imago est animi voltus sic indices oculi ~
The face is a picture of the mind as the eyes are its interpreter ~Cicero
dpe666
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The problem with Ammar's DVDs is that he kinda assumes that you are fairly familiar with the sleights and moves involved with the C&B. I use Aldo Colombini's Mama Mia Cups and Balls. It was a FISM winning routine yet it is very easy to do. Smile
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2008-01-20 10:47, Lantiere wrote:
Although I love Michael Ammar's C&B book & videos, I think Gazzo's C&B video(s) & book(s) are much more entertaining and practical in the real world. You can't always perform in ideal conditions. You can use parts of his routines as a guide and adjust your patter to fit your own character. Some of his remarks can be rather biting, but they work for HIM.


I agree with this. Ammar's C&B encyclopedia is a fine resource... However, Gazzo's DVD teaches C&B DRILLS, not just moves or routines. The DVD is very slick and is produced with PRACTICE in mind (the angles feature alone is worth it's weight in gold the WHOLE ROUTINE in a repeating LOOP that you can watch from the spec's viewpoint or the Worker's viewpoint-awesome!)

You gotta practice the cups A LOT and Gazzo really hammers things home in a way more akin to a rough 4th grade spelling teacher that a glib magic video magician.

You'll come out of it knowing Gazzo's routine (which is really just a simplified handling of Vernon's) and from there, you can make it your own.
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
clarissa35f
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When I started Cups and Balls, I Bought Ammar's Cups and Balls Vol 1 and Vol 2. And I think when he called it Complete he meant it. While I would not recommend HIS routine ( which he teaches in Vol 2, and alone is worth the price of the DVD) He does start witha super simple routine after teaching the concepts behind the routine, and a few sleights.

He then goes to teach a few more advanced sleights, and as he goes along he teaches more advanced routines. So at no time did I feel the material being taught was too much over my head. Whe I reached more advanced material than I was ready, I could stop, and there would be a routine I could perform at THAT level.

He also includes footage of Dai Vernon on Mark Wilson's Television show... as well as teach Dai Vernon's Cups and Balls Routine. He discusses Misdirection and acting, he discusses How to construct a routine... he gives 6 or 7 openings, middle, and endings... so you can mix and match, and why you would perform certain effects certain ways.

he goes over nuances of whether you are sitting or standing, and how that might affect your presentation. How to select the best final load etc...

Volume 2 also has a segment on Wand flourishes, vanishes and subtleties. So get a wand Smile I recommend buying both at once so you can use the wand Vanishes right away.

Ammar as has been said is an awesome teacher. Not only teaches the sleights, but gives us the benefit of his years of experience with them. 10/10 Smile
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
clarissa35f
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Quote:
On 2008-01-25 11:56, kentfgunn wrote:
SethB,

Everyone seems to think Michael Ammar's book is the answer for all cups and balls practitioners. I tend to disagree.

Vernon's routine is seminal, so is Ammar's. I actually prefer to see Michael Ammar do his routine above any other cup and ball worker. He kills me!!

I tried to start with the Vernon routine as a kid. I learned the sequence. I was not then magician enough to support all that routine. (I may not be magician enough now!!!)

Ammar's routine is more complex than the Vernon routine.

Please, let's tell the folks beginning about Ron Bauer's pamphlet on the C&B. The Bruce Elliot routine in 'Classic Secrets of Magic' is another FANTASTIC introductory book. I don't want to see another beginner (or maven) butcher these two routines (Vernon and Ammar's). They're NOT the place to START.

Just because you can put the sequence into memory and make your hands go through the motions doesn't mean you should do the routine.

Just because you've watched everyone else's routine on video doesn't mean you have those abilities either!!! The magic of the cups and balls is inherent in its structure. Acquit yourself well with the small balls, don't flash your loads or telegraph them with poor posture, and you can entertain lay people.

As an aside to the C&B mavens out there... If you haven't discovered 'Scripting Magic' by McCabe...go find a copy and read it now!!! (Thanks, Joe Pon!!!)

Kent Gunn


I beg to differ. When I started Cups and balls I had no previous experience with them. See, Ammar does not start by teaching his routine, and the moves behind his routine. He does not get to that until Vol 2. He starts by teaching basics, such as the Inertia Move and false loading, etc... then goes to false passes... and teaches a really simple but still hard hitting Cups and Balls routine.

I get the impression you are not familiar with The DVD you criticize. If he had started by teaching HIS routine, or Vernon's routine first, I would not be using it, and I would not be recommending it.

He calls it Complete, and as far as I am concerned it is Complete, since it teaches moves that will serve beginner, and expert alike, and takes you from beginner to expert.

Does it include every possible sleight? of course not. But you do not need to know every possible sleight. You just need to know sleights that will get what you want done, ...done. He is a student of Vernon's therfore he stresses a minimalist approach to the sleight of hand. Do what you need to, and only what you need to, without superfluous moves etc...

if your fear is, that all anyone will see on the DVD's is either Ammar's or Vernon's Handling...or material suited to that level of expertise, your fear is unfounded.

PS I will have to Look into getting gazzo's DVD... always nice to have multiple resources.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
marty.sasaki
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A different, but mystifying routine is Tomy Wonder's. It's discussed in the "Ever So Slightly" section. It's different than the other routines...
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
magic_man_jim
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I agree Tommy Wonders version is incredible it take some extra practice to get the timing down but hey its what we do as magicians is practice!!! Anyway I use his routine constantly and it never lets me down. Another routine worth looking at is Carl Andrews table hopping cups and balls if you do walk around work! Just my 2 cents.
Magic is not to fool...but allows you to believe!

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clarissa35f
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I LOVE Tommy Wonder's routine because he not only uses the Cups and Balls, he even uses the SOCK that they come in...lol... the first time I saw it I was Like.." wtf?"

A lot of magic with just 2 Cups, Balls...and a Sock.

I also love how he uses Misdirection. Just shows that when your skill is as good as his, there is no limit to what you can get under that cup... He could probably get an elephant under that cup.
“Amateurs practice until they get it right.
Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.” <Anonymous>
"There is no such thing as magic, there is no other way that could have been done" <Whit Haydn>
what
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I think that the place to start with the Cups & Balls is the Mark Wilson Routine from the "Mark Wilsons Complete Course in Magic". It is easy to learn the routine from the diagrams in the book and the routine is a nice performance piece as is, but you can modify the routine easily with ideas form other sources.

Once you can perform that, there is so much material to draw technique and inspiration from. I really enjoyed the Stevens Teach In video, Michael Ammars material, John Mendoza's Combo routine, Tommy Wonders routine, and Tim Ellis.
Magic is fun!!!
jgoldsney
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I would have to agree with What's reccomendation for Mark Wilsons routine. This is the first routine that I learned.

I must also reccomend Gazzo's book....his routine is my favorite by far
-----------------------

There are 10 types of people in the world...Those who understand Binary and those who don't Smile
Dave V
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What's nice (also what's wrong) about Gazzo's DVD is that it teaches one routine. Completely. In depth. Nothing left out. What's wrong with that you ask? You don't get the variety of choices necessary to create your own routine. Michael Ammar's is the best source for that. Although he demonstrates his routine and covers the basics of Vernon's, the main focus is to give you the components necessary to build a routine of your own. That's what's missing in Gazzo's. I have them both and I'm glad I do.

If you're a total beginner, I'd suggest the Mark Wilson book not just for the C&B, but for everything else it covers as well. After that, I'd go for Ammar's and then decide from there whether you need additional help on a specific routine. For me that was Gazzo. For others it might be someone else. But at least you'll have a firm grasp of the basics and can go from there.
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Kipee
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I remember seeing somewhere another debate on this, the general concensus seemed to suggest that the gazzo DVD is great, but likely to create lots of 'gazzo clones' teaching only one routine "as is", whereas the Ammar DVDs do teach the vernon routine etc, but is aimed at promoting and teaching the building blocks to a good cups and balls routine.

For me, being fairly new to all this, if you combine Mark Wilsons book, with the Ammar DVDs, you have ALL the components you'd need to get going (slights, cup flourishes, wand spins, routines and routine ideas, loads and loading ideas etc).
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