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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Cups and Balls vs. Chop cup (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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cupsandballsmagic
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Magicians practice until they can do something, musicians practice until they cannot get it wrong.
funsway
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In one of my Houdini memories, Beatrice descibed how Harry would take of his shoes during a concert or play and practice tying knots with his toes. He would also run an elastic band up and down his arms under his sleeves by muscle flexing. That's why I believe he was talking about discipline.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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plungerman
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By way of completeness, this is from Frank Brady's "Citizen Welles".
When he was five Orson Welles met Houdini. To encourage Welles to improve on the performance of the trick he had just taught him Houdini said sternly that he should never perform a trick until he had practiced it a thousand times. Several weeks later when Welles again visited Houdini they were met by Carl Bremer who had brought his new vanishing lamp. Houdini said he would use it that night. From the context, it seems that Houdini might have just been trying to buck up Mr. Bremer.

Houdini must have been good with cards since he worked with Dr. Elliott comparing and contrasting techniques at length. But as far as Will Goldston in "Great Magician's Tricks" was concerned (page 22); "Houdini as a magician, pure and simple, was indescribably bad. It was as a showman that he excelled, and it was as a showman that the world remembers him."

P
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2009-05-31 10:08, mindyourmagic wrote:
Magicians practice until they can do something, musicians practice until they cannot get it wrong.



Not quite. BAD magicians practice until they can barely do something. Artists practice until what they do appears to be as natural as breathing.

I've played with too many musicians who couldn't have played a C major scale on a piano.

Quote:
On 2009-05-28 19:42, marty.sasaki wrote:
I believe that the cup became known as the Chop cup because Al Wheatley would say "chop chop" after an effect as sort of a punctuation mark on the effect and maybe do a chopping motion. I get this from Ray Goulet, as a story he tells descriping the chop cup in his collection that was Wheatley's.


Actually, it is more likely that the name came from the fact that Al Wheatley performed as "Chop Chop."
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Pete Biro
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OR... it could be the fact that the first magnetic cups Mr. Wheatley made were by "chopping" pieces of bamboo??? Smile
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dbolan
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Jay Noblezada has a modern take on the Chop Cup here that I quite like:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/945
"I didn't want him to feel that he could drive the lane with impunity."

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Donnie Buckley
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I'm not sure what makes that a "modern take"... It's fairly rudimentary, like a magic shop demo.
I don't think I've really seen what I would call a "modern take" on the chop cup since Bruno Copin released "Crazy Ball".
Here's a short clip of Bruno's chop cup application: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ0GwT893qQ
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
Ray Haining
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Maybe Houdini knew, instinctively and through study, that the cups and balls is the greatest trick in magic (I think most of us cups and balls lovers would agree with that). Maybe he felt that anybody who would call himself a magician would therefpre be able to perform that trick. And maybe he was a bit insecure about his own qualifications, because he, himself, did not perform the trick.

As the above quote notes, he was a showman--a phenomenon, actually.

But he did start his career as "The King of Cards." And then there was Metamorphosis, his trunk substitution effect, which had to wow people when they saw it.

His name is still probably the most associated with "magician" than any other, I believe.
Andrew Zuber
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Quote:
On 2013-02-28 12:50, Donnie Buckley wrote:
I'm not sure what makes that a "modern take"... It's fairly rudimentary, like a magic shop demo.
I don't think I've really seen what I would call a "modern take" on the chop cup since Bruno Copin released "Crazy Ball".
Here's a short clip of Bruno's chop cup application: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZ0GwT893qQ

Well done! I too didn't see the difference between Jay's demo and most routines I see. I liked the final load but aside from that it was pretty standard.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
dbolan
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Quote:
On 2013-02-28 12:50, Donnie Buckley wrote:
I'm not sure what makes that a "modern take"...


Thanks Donnie. I would say it is a modern take in that it makes it seems doable, presentable and convincable (to make up words) for this hobbyist. When scoping out tricks, sometimes the pronted instructions and classic videos by the best, if dated, do not get me to where I can pull this out when Joe from the next office drops by and I have a minute to do some magic.
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Donnie Buckley
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I meant no disrespect to you dbolan. I've worked behind the counter at a magic shop. That routine just looks like the kind of thing you do when your audience can't see over the counter into a servante. You get away with murder!

The chop cup is absolutely a trick that can be presented just about anywhere you can set the cup down - IMO it is one of the greatest tricks ever invented. It's totally different from card tricks, coin tricks, or anything else that is close up or pocket magic. There is always room for a chop cup in a close up magicians repertoire. It can get as elaborate as you want, or be as simple and direct as Jay's routine.
BTW, this in no way takes away from the immense value of learning a pure sleight-of-hand cups and balls routine. This whole thread is comparing apples to oranges. It's like asking, "thumbtip vs dye tube, which one should I get?" When they really do two different things - that only look similar in a uni-directional way.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
dbolan
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Thanks Donnie.

And no disrespect taken, you continue to be one of the most well-written and thought-out posters on the MC.

Dave
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Ray Haining
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Well, wait. A cup is a cup. A thumbtip is not a dyetube. Chop cup routines use one cup. Cups and balls three (sometimes two). There are also one-cup routines that don't use the special chop-cup feature. And there are also cups and balls routines that do (using a so-called combo set).

The two routines differ, most chop cup routines (based on Don Alan's) being presented as a sort of game and cups and balls a display of sleight of hand. But they all (well, most) end with large loads.
cupsandballsmagic
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Just watched the clip in question. It looked to me like a dealer dem to camera with really bad handling. As for flashing final loads (badly) yes it does matter, even with misdirection.
Donnie Buckley
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Quote:
On 2013-03-01 23:53, Ray Haining wrote:
Well, wait. A cup is a cup. A thumbtip is not a dyetube. Chop cup routines use one cup. Cups and balls three (sometimes two). There are also one-cup routines that don't use the special chop-cup feature. And there are also cups and balls routines that do (using a so-called combo set).

The two routines differ, most chop cup routines (based on Don Alan's) being presented as a sort of game and cups and balls a display of sleight of hand. But they all (well, most) end with large loads.

That's true enough Ray, a TT is not a dye tube, but a Chop Cup is not Cups and Balls either.

From a mechanic's point of view, Chop Cups and Cups and Balls are similar in execution, which is very much like a TT and dye tube are similar from a mechanics point of view - both are gimmicks, hidden, in the hand, on the fingers, that facilitate a change.
One point I can't agree on is that "a cup is a cup". From a mechanics point of view, that is just not true. Individual cups have properties that make them unique - whether they are gimmicked or not. Consider the extreme differences between a paper coffee cup and a Paul Fox Cup.

I don't know. Maybe it's a weak comparison, but like a TT, C&B just seem more versatile (to me), while, like a dye tube, a chop cup has more or less a single purpose. Additionally, you can in fact, use a TT as a dye tube, but you can't use a dye tube as a TT. You can use one cup from a set of C&B for a single Chop Cup routine, but you can't use a single Chop Cup for a full C&B routine.

From the audience point of view, do the two tricks looks similar? Maybe. It depends on how you present it. The same can be true for a TT and dye tube - but it doesn't have to be that way. Consider a close up magic show that includes a Benson Bowl routine, a Chop Cup routine and the Cups and Balls. Compare that to a close up show that includes MacDonald's Aces, Vernon's Twisting The Aces, and Ambitious Card. We commonly accept 3 or more card tricks (or coin tricks) as "not the same trick", why not tricks with balls and vessels?
Also, Cups and Balls certainly CAN be presented as a game, and a Chop Cup DOESN'T necessarily need to be presented as a game. In fact, it's arguable that Cups and Balls BEGAN as a game of chance. See my history of Cups and Balls.
Regarding final loads, the Chop Cup can end with a large piece of fruit or baseballs under the cup (ala Danny Korem), the Cups and Balls can end with the balls growing in size to very large balls. In the audiences mind, those are two different endings. It reminds me of Johnny Ace Palmer's excellent cups and balls ending where he declares that the "balls TURN INTO potatoes". Using the words "turn into" psychologically changes the finale.

Basically, I think they are two different tricks that are similar in the mechanics mind because they use similar techniques, but they don't have to appear similar to an audience.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
thirdeye3
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Instead of starting a new, let me ask this. I have a combo set and a dvd on just cups and balls. Now, should I get 4 regular balls or direct me to how to use the special ball with a regular set of cups? Thanks
seraph127
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Quote:
On 2013-08-26 04:07, thirdeye3 wrote:
Instead of starting a new, let me ask this. I have a combo set and a dvd on just cups and balls. Now, should I get 4 regular balls or direct me to how to use the special ball with a regular set of cups? Thanks


Your combo set should have come with a chopped ball. You might consider acquiring an extra, ungaffed ball to practice Vernon's routine. If you want a routine for the combo cups, try John Mendoza's routine.
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
thirdeye3
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Yes, it came with a chopped ball. If I buy an extra ball, just plain, then I can use the set both ways. Which way do people start with:
chop or cups&balls?
seraph127
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Most people start with "rehular" C&B, I think. No need to worry about which ball is where.
There are many tricks, and many effects, but rarely a Grand Effect. There are many entertainers, but few real magicians. Many technicians, but few artists who use their art to explore their vision. - Derren Brown, Absolute Magic
Harry Murphy
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I think that most people start with the routine that attracts them and they can visualize themselves doing. I performed a Chop Cup routine in public well before I ever tried to perform a full Cups and Balls routine. I liked the elegance and seemingly simplicity of a one-cup routine. But then I was performing a one-cup routine before I ever got my hands on a Chop Cup. Don Bowles gave me and taught me a Chop Cup Routine in exchange for me teaching him my little one-cup routine. I always felt that I got the better of the deal.

Years later when I lived in Chicago I got to see Don Allen perform his Chop Cup routine live and in person (at the Playboy Club - remember those?). While I can and do perform a Cups and Balls routine (no not Dia Vernon's or Gazzo's take on the Vernon routine) I still tend to perform the Chop Cup more often.

Just to muddy the water a bit you can learn and perform a two-cup routine (there are several out there some exploiting the a Chop Cup feature some using two non-gimmicked cups). You can learn one of the four cup routines (dominique Duvivier's comes to mind). You can explore the one-cup (non Chop Cup) routines (Wonder's, Wilson's 'Kiss-off', Berlands, or Takagi's brilliant routine). You can look at nonconventional Chop Cup routines (Chop Cups that arn't really Chop Cups) such as published by William Zavis and later re-invented (without credit) by Craig Petty.

As Donnie says above it is really two different tricks. Which one do you really see yourself performing? Which one "speaks" to you? That's the one to start with, master, and wow an audience with.
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