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Regular user
grand rapids, MI
142 Posts

Profile of philipi56
hey, there are always cotton balls
Paul Jester
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Special user
759 Posts

Profile of Paul Jester
Do they even have to be balls? I think you could do a nice routine with say, tea bags and tea cups! It certainly would make a nice change! Just something to get you thinking... Smile
Jester Smile
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Just outside parts unknown.
713 Posts

Profile of Magicman0323
Telemus is right, Penn and Teller have an amazing routine involving CLEAR plastic cups and aluminum balls, the final load being a lime. If your able to view this sometime, be sure to set your VCR this is really cool looking. I'm surprised nobody mentioned Paul Gertner's steel cups and balls routine. He uses metal cups and steel ball bearings. This was on the Worlds Greatest Magic 2 special. Smile

Look around your home and see what you can find to use, I've seen a lot of good ideas to start already in this thread. Be creative! Smile
You'll wonder when I'm coming, you'll wonder even more when I'm gone. - Max Malini
Ron Giesecke
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Redding, Ca.
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Profile of Ron Giesecke

Magicman mentions Paul Gertner's metal ball routine, but ironically, in the same book, he has a chop cup routine called "Tea party" in which he uses a tea bag, tea cup, and a huge pile of loose tea leaves for the finale.

How? well it's in the book "Steel and Silver", and all can be constructed at home.

--Ron Smile
Paul Jester
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Profile of Paul Jester
Hey cool, sounds like it might be worth buying the book, I've been thinking about getting a book for a little while now, and I think I know which one I'm gonna try to track down.
Then maybe I can adapt it and do a coffee routine...final production a biscuit I think...no wait, a donut! Smile
Thanks, I feel I'm gonna have a lot of fun!
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Regular user
111 Posts

Profile of G-Diddy
aluminum foil or cotton balls work for makeshift balls.
I would recommend buying a set of plastic adams cups and balls- I saw them for a few dollars.
Then buy the metal or chop cup set later.
Philemon Vanderbeck
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Inner circle
Seattle, WA
4484 Posts

Profile of Philemon Vanderbeck
There's several moves that can't be done with the plastic cups.

So I recommend that a serious beginner go ahead and start with a simple metal set (which run about $35-40).

Of course, there's no need to start with a "Professional" $300 set (which I would be hesitant to use for normal working conditions, anyway).

Professor Philemon Vanderbeck
That Creepy Magician
"I use my sixth sense to create the illusion of possessing the other five."
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Loyal user
267 Posts

Profile of Beetroot
I'm probably re-iterating what others have already said, but in my introduction in the newbie area I mentioned that it was an impromptu cup and ball demo that I did in KFC that got me back into magic.

I performed it with 3 Coca Cola cups (pretty large) and some rolled up napkins. It was a pretty simple routine but very successful. The last time I had performed it (to family and friends) was about 15 years earlier.

Basically, if it does the job - use it! I think the thing that impressed my audience (loud nephews and some nearby customers) was the fact that I'd obviously just grabbed what was available and used it. Must have seemed like real magic...
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Inner circle
2134 Posts

Profile of KingStardog

Philemon is giving you very wise advice. You can get some aluminum cups for about $20 on the web. $25 will get you a chopped set where one is a chop cup. If you are really interested E-mail the magic warehouse and explain your problem. I think he can order a cheaper set of copper than what he has on the web. Daytona magic has good prices on copper or brass as well.

You can get a set of four stainless steel shot glasses for $15 if you want a smaller set. Small craft store pom poms make great balls and compress well if you dont have much between space. 35mm superballs are good final loads. Get a black cloth bag and a very small closeup wand and it all fits in your pocket and goes anywhere.
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Tolga Ozuygur
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New user
Istanbul / Turkey
60 Posts

Profile of Tolga Ozuygur
I personally like to use plastic ordinary cups-the ones for using at picnics. And as for the balls I recommend small sponge pieces or cotton balls. I think the cost will be around 2 dollars. Smile Smile Smile
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183 Posts

Profile of zeroG
Hey Beetroot,
That's good. When I first started reading your post I thought that you were going to say you did the cups & balls with 3 buckets and a hush puppie!
Victor Brisbin
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Elite user
Washington, DC / NOVA
432 Posts

Profile of Victor Brisbin
LOL. That was funny, zeroG. Here in Idaho, they grow sugar beets to make processed sugar. I think my use of the term
"Beetroot," as in "the beetroot factory" is a little different than the way our friends in the Southern US use it. I just like saying, "beet-root." Smile

Just a thought on the cups, by another fan of cups and balls: I don't care for plastic drinking cups, because they are light weight. I want my cup to stay where I put it, and not inadvertantly tip it over. It doesn't have to be a magician's cup, but any opaque cups with some "heft" to them are preferred. Someone mentioned that you don't have to use round balls. Malini used to cut up a wine cork into the requisite number of
"balls," but because they weren't round they did not travel far.

I hope these two thoughts added slightly to this discussion. Best wishes with your routine! Smile
"It is better to practice a little than talk a lot." - Muso Kokushi
Tom Gaddis
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Regular user
141 Posts

Profile of Tom Gaddis
If you're looking for an extremley baffling and funny script for the cups and balls, check out "Dixie", number 7 in the Ron Bauer Private Studies Series. Started performing it behind the bar and it never fails to get a tremendous reaction.
"The dumber people think you are. The more surprised they'll be when you kill them."
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Regular user
San Francisco
126 Posts

Profile of Hernan
M. Ammar published the definitive video's and book on C&B. You can begin and end your education with this set.

The person that single handedly regenerated interest in the Cups and Balls, could be Gazzo. His final load is a melon.

I agree with the person that suggested buying the 25$ cups. There is a lot of moves that cannot be done with plastic cups.
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Special user
Lehi, UT, USA
643 Posts

Profile of what
The first cups & balls routine I learned was the simple one from Mark Wilsons Magic Course. I use the routine often because it is easy, it works out of your pockets, I get alot of audience interaction, and people love it. I do it with 3 plastic cups ($.59 each) that I bought at the local grocery store, 3 tiny pom-pom balls with 3 sponge balls for a final load. The entire setup cost less than $5.00.

I picked up a combination Chop Cups & balls set last year and have been working the "Mendoza cups & balls." it is much more impressive, however, I don't use it as often, because it requires that I sit down to do the routine. I will have to adapt it to good standing (Work out of pockets) conditions.

Magic is fun!!!
Lord Anacho
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Regular user
Kessel-Lo, Belgium
157 Posts

Profile of Lord Anacho
Michael Ammar teaches an impromptu cups and balls routine on his DVD using coffee cups and grapes ending with fruit as a final load. No stacking though

Ciao for now

"The secret impresses no one. The trick you use it for is everything" (Alfred Borden in The Prestige)
Andy the cardician
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Inner circle
A street named after my dad
3370 Posts

Profile of Andy the cardician
WOW, this thread is really old. I wonder how far the original poster is today in his quest to master the cups . . .
Cards never lie
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Inner circle
Agent of Chaos
3250 Posts

Profile of gaddy
On 2008-03-12 17:40, Andy the cardician wrote:
WOW, this thread is really old. I wonder how far the original poster is today in his quest to master the cups . . .

looks like he bailed on the Café a long time ago...

I guess we'll never know Smile
*due to The Magic Cafe's editorial policies, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
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