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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Charlie Miller cup penetration • What do they think? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Josh the Superfluous
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****DISCLAIMER*****
I'm talking about the single penetration. Not the traveling down the stack move.
Yes, I know it's been a part of many effective presentations.
I understand the proper timing.
I know to keep the ball in motion, at the reveal.
Yes I am completely jaded, and understood the mechanics the first time I saw it.

Question:
Is the move magical for the spectators? I do it as a throw-away, in order to get at a hidden ball. But short of it's utility purpose, I don't think I'd use it. What do spectators think about it? I can't recall ever hearing gasps, or seeing jaws drop. Do they believe some supernatural powers cause solid to pass through solid? Or just that the ball is cleverly dropped behind the cup somehow?

I think part of the problem I'm having with it is if I were to pass a ball through a cup, I wouldn't do it any way resembling that move.

Are we fooling ourselves thinking it looks like magic?

-jaded in Detroit
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Pete Biro
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If you hve doubts, don't do it. However if it works as a transition within a routine use it.
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Mobius303
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I agree with Pete.
That being said I have never had a spectator question it and if they did I had the option to do it again with a different technique that shows the ball gone from the dirty hand. It is in David Williamson's book.
Utility move...What are you talking about was my first thought. I went through the move a few times and as a utility move it is not as good as other moves out there.
As a magical pentetration shown as it is for what it is ...it is fine.

All parts of the cup and balls are a means to an end and all of them have artistic value that may not be readily apperent during your routine or even during your practice sessions but can become apperent when you perform regularly.
The unexpected breeds quick thinking, experience forges a routine.
Mobius
Josh the Superfluous
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Maybe this is more a "Food for Thought" question.

I do find it useful. I don't think that it detracts from the routine. I'm just wondering if anyone remembers it appearing magical, or just tricky.

NOTE: Written before Mobius' reply.
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MagicByUriel
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Personally, I don't use it and don't like it either for the same reason you do.

But I do use the mechanics of what the hand does as a false transfer for my mini cups and balls routine.
"Magic is the only art that the audience wants the performer to screw up" - Daniel Garcia
Josh the Superfluous
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[Okay. The kids are in bed. Now I can address Mobius]

Quote:
On 2008-11-08 19:12, Mobius303 wrote:
...I have never had a spectator question it...


I doubt that anyone has ever had a spectator question it. It is usually done quickly, and incidentally. But in isolation, would it stand on it's own? I realize some are content just to play with their balls, as a set-up for the kicker. But, many phases can be magical.

Quote:
...a different technique...is in David Williamson's book.


I love Williamson. But to the spectator, the handling appears the same. I don't question if they think that a single ball and a solid cup are employed. My question asked if the spectator thinks "...that the ball is cleverly dropped behind the cup somehow?" So having a clean hand at the conclusion is of no matter.

Quote:
...as a utility move it is not as good as other moves out there...


Actually, what got me thinking of making this post was Ammar's written explanation of his opening sequence. His stated reason for doing the move was that he needed access to a hidden ball.

Michael is a very thought out performer. And his use of a penetration, right in the middle of a production sequence, made me think he didn't consider it to even be a distraction, much less a jaw dropping effect.

Quote:
As a magical pentetration shown as it is for what it is ...it is fine.


I agree. But, performed to perfection, would it ever be more than just fine?

Quote:
All parts of the cup and balls are a means to an end...


Ultimately they are a means to an end. But I prefer to have meaning before I get to that end.

Best,
-Josh
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
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Terry Holley
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I have doubts about it and have never used it.

I raised a question about other parts of the routine one year ago at:

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......orum=115

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Bill Palmer
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Very few moves of this type stand alone well. Do you think the wand spin vanish works well as a standalone item? Or do you think that it works better if you have it in the context of a routine?
"The Swatter"

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Josh the Superfluous
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The wand spin is better in a routine, of course. But it is very magical in isolation. I have heard gasps when I do it. I seem to recall the Miller bit getting polite smiles.

Bill, does the Miller move seem 'magical' or 'tricky' to you?


Terry, That's funny. I didn't mean for this to turn into a Charlie Miller bashing party. I have quite a few C&B references, and have not run into the moves you questioned. So apparently they were either held tightly as a pet secret, or not thought to be that great.
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kentfgunn
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Josh,

Real men use neither the Miller move nor hand-to-hand transfers in their routines. Smile

Seriously though, if you don't like a particular move because you think it is obvious to even casual observers, DON'T use it.

If you don't believe in the efficacy of the tools you're using, your audience won't either.
Bill Palmer
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The relative magical value to trickiness ratio of the Miller move depends on a lot of factors. I've seen people do it where it looked very magical. I've seen people do it where it looked exactly like what it was.

Kent is right. If you don't like a particular move, because you think it is obvious, don't use it.

You have to believe in EVERYTHING YOU DO when you are performing. That's part of acting.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Josh the Superfluous
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I haven't used it in a while. I was just wondering if anyone recalled the first time seeing it. And if it appeared magical? I've been doing this stuff since I was 4, so a lot does seem obvious to me. I wasn't sure if I was too inside to see the magicality. I'd hate to discard a perfectly good move because of my honed perception. I wouldn't do a final load or a top change if that were the case.

I do use the hand to hand transfer when doing the Cups & Glowing Red Pieces of Coal. Smile
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"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
JamesTong
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When I saw it the first time the mechanics was obvious. So I don't use it at all. I will only use moves I believe in and not because it is a transitional phase so I can steal or load a ball.
Josh the Superfluous
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Thanks for the input everyone.

I don't think I'll use it as-is, again.

I think it would be funny if someone at a magic convention used a bottomless cup, to fool the pants off of those in-the-know.
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JamesTong
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Quote:
On 2008-11-09 00:29, Josh the Superfluous wrote:
I think it would be funny if someone at a magic convention used a bottomless cup, to fool the pants off of those in-the-know.


That is a good one. I would be fooled too.
dcjames
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Quote:
On 2008-11-08 23:42, kentfgunn wrote:

If you don't believe in the efficacy of the tools you're using, your audience won't either.


Well said Mr. Gunn!

Quote:
On 2008-11-08 23:53, Bill Palmer wrote:

You have to believe in EVERYTHING YOU DO when you are performing. That's part of acting.


Right you are Mr. Palmer!

(Wish I'd have read this before replying to Gunn's comment... Could've answered both at once.)
“Magic is very easy to do - poorly.”

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Mobius303
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Someone..whose name now escapes me ....used a half or 1/4 bottomless cup for their routine where they could still stack the cup with a ball on it and yet effect a penetration with or without cover. it was a very interesting routine. I just happened to be sitting in the right spot to see what what was going on.
Mobius
Josh the Superfluous
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I'd do the wand through cup gag, using the normal method, very poorly as a convincer.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
"I hate it, I hate my ironic lovechild. I didn't even have anything to do with it" Josh #2
ilmungo
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I started in magic at the ripe age of 30 (sigh...), 90% of what I do is cards, and therefore cups and balls routine, especially at the beginning, used to fool the pants off me. However, the Miller penetration was immediately transparent to me the first time I saw it. In fact, it provided proof that an extra ball was being used.

It doesn't really matter that it looks magical: in the right hands it certainly does. But there is only one possible explanation for it to a reasonably smart spectator, and it happens to be the right one. Now, if one could show the "dirty" hand empty...

Cheers,
Luigi
sleightly
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This raises an interesting question: what is the best context for a move?

I have performed both the Miller penetration move and the wand through cup move in my one cup routine for almost nineteen years. I performed the routine as many times as eight to ten times a night at least three times a week for eleven years (two venues). You do the math...

That being said, I find both moves extremely convincing done on an off-beat with an appropriate sell. YMMV.

First, the wand through cup. Incredibly visual and nonsensical. Most performances end with audiences recovering from the load and then diving for the wand and cup (even though it happened three minutes before). It consistently gets a "I get how you might have sneaked those limes in without me noticing, but how the hell..." reaction. Analysis: blown away by loads, but appreciate the deeper mystery of the penetration.

Speaking of penetrations, I use the Miller penetration after the revelation of the first load (and before revelation of the second). "How did this get there? The trap door. I told you about that right? See, if you drop the lime, it goes right through..." I do the move, reloading the top lime under the cup. I then place "the lime" on top of the inverted cup and wait for the invariable, "it's not going through". Then comes the "that's because this one is getting in the way".

There are two basic premises ("premii?") in my routine, that there is a trapdoor in the cup and that anything placed inside becomes invisible. The whole routine is about proving that those concepts are valid, and both pieces are used in a very direct, visual and magical manner that reinforce the argument...

If an audience is engaged in a reasonable "dialogue", method "doping" is put on the backburner, and audiences are engaged in play that is satisfying on visceral and emotional levels (and don't forget just plain fun).

Don't overplay the magical "importance" of the moves, use it to reinforce your presentational hooks and it might surprise you how much audiences react (then again, I think that too often we take, and present, what we do way too seriously).

BTW: my routine was based on several performer's work: Danny Tong, David Roth (yup, that David Roth) and to a lesser extent Steve Dacri. I published it in my limited edition booklet "The Shared Experience" available from me and also from H & R Magic books (only 2 left as of this posting).

Fun discussion!

Andrew Pinard
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