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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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Bill Palmer
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My advice would be very simple. Get a set of four balls, so all of them match in appearance and weight, and learn a standard three cup routine. Don't learn the Vernon routine right off the bat. Learn one of the simpler ones, instead. Get to the ending quickly. Learn the timing of the final load sequences.

Then learn the chop cup.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2013-03-01 06:37, dbolan wrote:
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.


I'm not sure why you would want to waste all the time and effort involved in learning something as complex as a cup and ball or chop cup routine just to perform a couple of minutes of magic for the guy in the next office.

Did you ever stop to think that if you mess this trick up for your buddy, that you have also messed it up for all of the people who do this routine for a living?
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
thirdeye3
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I found several books on lybrary for different routines. Does a performance consist of just one routine followed by something else? or can the whole performance just be a c&b routine?
funsway
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Your latest questions have an entirely different "flavor" that your first ones. The focus on a choice between learning C&B or Chop Cup is about how to prepare yourself to properly present an effect or short magic routine. Whether or not to perform either is in there also.

The larger questions of how to engage an audience, and sustain that engagement during a show leads to issues of setting, "knowing your audience," character development and time limitations. Thus, the choice of C&B or Chop may have little do do with how well you perform either. Obviously, neither should be presented until practiced to automaticity. Just because you have "mastered" an effect does not mean you have to perform it in any given show. Just because someone wishes to see a particular effect does not mandate that you perform it.

So, practice both C&B and Chop Cup (or other single cup routine) in preparation for planning a show or entertaining a particular audience at some future time. The skills learned in C&B will apply to many other magic effects even if you never perform it in public. A Chop Cup can always be with you but require different presentation skills. The ideal result is that you will eventual be able to pick up any cup and any small object and perform an exciting and astonishing effect.

Welcome to the journey in which the larger questions should always be "Why Magic?" "Why me?" "Why right now?"
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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Dave V
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It's probably all been said somewhere before, but I'll add my 2 cents anyway:

You don't want to look bad, and by extension affect his perception of subsequent performances by screwing it up in front of your friends. You don't need to be at a "professional" level if you're just entertaining a few friends. Magic is both a hobby and a business, and there's room for both.

Buy a set of four ungaffed balls and find an easy routine (Jay's dealer demo, or something similar) and practice it until you feel confident enough to show a few friends. You WILL screw it up when the audience is factored into the equation. Trust me, it WILL HAPPEN. Get past it and keep going until you feel good about performing for friends, then you can move up to the random coworker.

Combo sets are usually for more advanced, "specialized" routines and I wouldn't even go there until you have the basics under your belt. I don't feel that the "chop" cup of a combo set is a real "chop cup" as the shape just isn't the same. I prefer to think of a combo set as a C&B set with a gaffed cup (that just happens to use the same gaff).

A performance is far different than a "routine." Not even Gazzo does just C&B in performance. It's framed with audience builders, a middle show, some comedy interaction, culminating with his C&B routine. I suppose you can do C&B only as a "performance" but only do one. Just because you learn five different routines for C&B doesn't mean you must perform any more than one in a performance.

Okay, I'm done. Most of this has been said already. Just pick something, stick with it, and have fun!
No trees were killed in the making of this message, but a large number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.
Bill Palmer
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Quote:
On 2013-08-27 02:21, thirdeye3 wrote:
I found several books on lybrary for different routines. Does a performance consist of just one routine followed by something else? or can the whole performance just be a c&b routine?


Dave has answered this very well. He knows what he is talking about. He has been in the business for a long time.

It would be very difficult for almost anyone I know to hold a lay audience with JUST a cups and balls routine. There are some exceptions, but generally, a "performance" is going to consist of more than just a few minutes of material. It would take a really strong entertainer and technician to perform a cups and balls routine that lasted, say, 30 minutes without boredom or repetition creeping in.

Johnny Thompson does a routine that moves very quickly in which he does impressions of several different cups and balls performers. It lasts about 10 minutes or so. But it has a really strong ending as well as Johnny's incredible personality to propel it to the end. There are few entertainers in our business who have his abilities.

Learn a simple routine with a strong ending, and develop that into something that is yours.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
malaki
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I have been performing magic for over 40 years. I have, for decades, performed both the C&Bs and the Chop Cup, separately, depending upon the circumstances.
Both are great effects. Both require a LOT of practice - not just of the moves, but of scripting, blocking, misdirection, audience handling and acting. There is a long learning curve attached to both of these effects. The secret to making them work is to create a routine that works for your performing persona, practice until your fingers bleed, then practice some more. Even if you decide not to perform these effects, the slights you will learn in the process will help you in countless ways with your other magic.

Only in the last six months have I tried combining the C&Bs with the Chop Cup. I have chopped all three cups of my C&B set. This enables me to do some things that I only dreamed about doing with either the C&Bs or the Chop Cup. By gaffing all three cups, I no longer have to worry about which cup is which. By making use of this combination of effects, I can start my routine with the stacked cups mouth down, serving from the top of the stack, set a ball on the middle cup and cover it with another cup. I can then remove the upper cup to show that the ball is gone, and lift the lower cup to show it has "actually penetrated" the cup. This looks to the audience like real magic, for you do what they wish to see - a VERY fair handling of the cups that "proves" that the ball went through the cup. Used in combination, the routine can take on quite a convincing tone.

If you are trying to see if you want to perform either of these effects, get the cheap plastic set of C&Bs - that's what I started with. An investment of less than $10 is a great way to see if you like working with the C&Bs, without making a major investment. The cheap set works the same way as the $1000 set, it's just smaller, and made of plastic. You can always upgrade to metal cups if you decide that you like performing it.

Warning:
Cups and Balls are addictive!
Some folks spend nearly every waking moment practicing these effects.
The more costly addiction is that which hits those who collect C&B sets.
Just ask Bill Palmer!
While you are at it, check out his C&B museum to see just how many different styles there are available, and how far this addiction can take you! ; )
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