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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Vernon's Cups and Balls Routine (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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cardguy
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I have just started to get serious about learning the Cups and Balls, and decided a great place to start is Vernon's Routine as taught in Ammar's C&B book. I think it's a beautiful routine, and can easily perform it for the rest of my life. However, as Ammar points out, Vernon developed this routine in his younger years, and it is full of extraneous moves and motions. Even though it is a very effective routine, it is not as efficient as other Vernon works. In his older years Vernon stressed efficiency, and this routine is clearly not efficient.

Has anyone tried to modify this routine to make it more "Vernonesque"? I haven't even thought of modifying it yet because I haven't mastered it yet. Therefore I don't fully understand how and why it was structured the way it was.

What are your thoughts on this? Smile
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
WandSpin
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It's a classic, but it's old and outdated. There are more modern versions. Tommy Wonder's 2 cup routine is beautiful and full of mystery. David Williamson's is also a 2 cup routine that is classic Williamson.

Charlie Fry (as well as the late Johnny Paul) has a 3 cup version with one of them being a chop cup.

It's fun to watch a video of the professor performing, but I wouldn't learn his only to have to discard some of the moves.
Larry Barnowsky
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I love Tommy Wonder's magic but his cup and ball routine was not among my favorites. Aldo Colombini does a rapid fire routine which is incredible but more confusing than magical. Lance Burton did a nice version of Vernon's routine and I thought it was very good. Ammars' cup and ball routine is very smooth and his patter quite entertaining. Smile
WandSpin
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I think Tommy's works for him, for sure. Aldo's I think loses the magic of it. Ammar's is breathtaking. So well orchestrated.

David Williamson's is priceless and, it plays for anyone, not just for Dave.
Jim Snack
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I think the key to making the routine "Vernonesque" is to be relaxed and natural.

Eliminate any extraneous "moves" so it looks the same whether you are putting a ball under a cup or only pretending to do so.

Both Vernon and Fred Kaps (two of my idols) stressed that the real secret is to be natural. What was natural for Vernon, however, would not necessarily be natural for you.

The only way to make your routine more "Vernonesque" then, is to make it more "Frank G."
Jim Snack

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DwightPA
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Cardguy,

I think you would benefit by acquiring both of the Ammar cups and balls tapes. By studying the various sequences he teaches you can develop a routine that is your own and one that would flow for you. I personally feel that the tapes help tremendously.

Other tapes on the cups and balls will give you other ideas that you may decide to work in, and in time you'll develop a routine that is uniquely yours. To me, besides watching the flow of Vernon's routine, is to appreciate that one of the prime elements is the rhythm that he displays. Also the timing is such that it doesn't give the observer time enough to "get ahead" of him, but delivers timely satisfaction in the discovery.

Dwight Powell
JamesinLA
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This also begs discussion of an issue that was also raised in the Ammar dvd on the cups and balls. Namely, whether to do the "false" french drop explanation. Personally, I don't use it and my routine and final loading works fine, I believe, without it. I use another piece of business to help misdirect the final loading, but even before I did, it worked fine. I am not comfortable, as Ammar pointed out, revealing the french drop, even though it's a "fake" french drop. I have seen explanations that aren't so fake by the way! I'm very interested in what people think about this.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Pete Biro
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Learn the basic Vernon routine until you can do it without thinking... then study other versions. One of the best (because it is simple) is the Stevens Magic tape on the cups and balls.

Then get the Gazzo material to see another approach to the basic vernon routine.

Then IT IS ALL YOU... once you have the basics.

You might also want to check Indian Cups and the Johnny Paul cups and routine. Also the Fred Kaps routine and Clark Crandall's, which is in an old Tarbell.

There is much to learn.

It takes time.

Get it down so you can do the feints and moves without effort or thought.

Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations All,

I'm with Pete and James, for the same reasons.

Cardguy, learn Vernon's routine, then another (Gazzo's is a good choice), then blend what you like into a routine that's you. (I've seen and heard that a great many routines are indeed based on Vernon's routine.)

James, I also don't use a "fake" explanation. Both Vernon and Cellini do a similar feint with the "fake" explanation, but it's just not for me. I don't set up the routine saying that I'm going to show how it's done, but say I'm going to show the world's oldest magic trick, with cups that were handed down from an old master, "Gazzo" (true, I usually use his cups), and a trick told to me by another master, "Cellini" (also true as my routine is based on his routine from the London lecture tape).

Regardless, have fun with the cups, and a routine will come to you.

Joe in KC

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cardguy
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Hey guys thanks for your remarks!

I will eventually acquire a couple of tapes to help me out, but for now all I want to do is learn Vernon's routine, and then maybe Ammar's. I like the way Ammar starts with 3 cups and then eliminates them one at a time to make the effect clearer. And I definitely want to check out the "master" Gazzo's routine. Over the months and years I will probably acquire as much C&B material as I can.

Also, Jim Snack, you are very right.

It's funny how the cups lend themselves to so much variety, almost (but not quite) like a deck of cards. They have recently become sort of like an obsession for me. Why just last night I spent 2 hours practicing just one phase of the Vernon routine. This is all new to me. Unlike a pack of cards or even coins, the cups require so much more attention to misdirection (or direction) and timing. It is both challenging and fun to master.
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
what
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If you have a chop cup combo set, you might want to check out "The Mendoza Cups & Balls" by John Mendoza. It explained in a small booklet, but I believe there is a video of it somewhere as well. It is different in that you never go to your pockets, and you never execute a false transfer. He also uses the concept of eliminating one cup at a time to make the routine more clear.

Best of Luck,

Mike
Magic is fun!!!
Pete Biro
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I don't do the "false" explanation... I just don't like it... but I do like my Hindu routine as I do not speak any language that ANYONE understands, I do it all in DOUBLE TALK, as an impression of a Hindu Fakir...

I am the Fakir.... You are the Fakee (c) Smile

OOOPS... I originally forgot to put (c) Pete Biro on the Fakir Fakee line. It is not for use by others, thank you. Smile
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cardguy
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As far as the french drop explanation is concerned, I don't like it either. Instead, I've been playing with the idea of explaining a sleight that doesn't really exist. Something that seems very difficult to pull off. That way it would make my talents as a "sleight of hand master" seem even more impressive. I'm still wondering if I should say this in a "tongue-in-cheek" manner or be serious about it.
Frank G. a.k.a. Cardguy
Andrew
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I believe Lance Burton does a fake sleight in his cups and balls routine as he 'explains' how the trick is done. I use a similar fake sleight in my routine. I would not, as others have stated, explain the french drop to an audience. (Especially since I use a french drop in the routine!)

Andrew
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WandSpin
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Quote:
On 2003-09-30 12:52, cardguy wrote:
As far as the french drop explanation is concerned, I don't like it either. Instead, I've been playing with the idea of explaining a sleight that doesn't really exist. Something that seems very difficult to pull off. That way it would make my talents as a "sleight of hand master" seem even more impressive. I'm still wondering if I should say this in a "tongue-in-cheek" manner or be serious about it.


I like that idea. I do that with cards and add math and false cuts as if I'm moving there card around.

Nice work, cardboy!!!
JamesinLA
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Well, I'm glad I brought up the "false" explaination part of the Vernon routine. I actually thought it was going to be more controversial to raise the issue. Glad I didn't have my head handed to me.
Pete's routine sounds like a riot.
Take care,
Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Pete Biro
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James... Riot? Well, almost... you will see it when we can hook up... When does the Gazmeister hit town?
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shanla
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Also I don't like the french drop explanation.
Usually I perform a multi-phase comeback of the ball, like "The Free and Unlimited Coinage of Silver." The balls rapidly come back three or four times, even after one of the final loads has accomplished. (Of course I use my pinky finger to hold the lemon in place when I show the ball came back.)

Another point I think about the cups and balls routine is the introduction of the balls. In classic Vernon routine, the magician just takes three balls from his pocket. But I like an idea in which the balls are produced by magic. The production sequence of balls makes the entire routine rather long, but I like this approach. As some examples of such approach, the routines of Michael Ammar, Fred Kaps, Ross Bertram and John Carney came to my mind.

Also let's not forget Larry Jennings' Single Cup and Balls routine. The performer begins with no props. He shows a large scarf and produces a cup from it, then performs a beautiful cup and balls routine. At the conclusion of the routine, he vanishes the big fruit, then also vanishes the cup. He can end the routine with no props in his hand, as with the opening of the routine. Although it is not for everyone, I think it is a very magical routine.

Tomoo
Pete Biro
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I think producing the balls might make the spekie think you maybe produced another one secretly. Bringing out one ball per cup makes more sense TO ME. Smile
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Kaliix
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If you have the Ammar tapes on the cups and balls, there is a video clip at the end of the second tape that shows Vernon performing the cups and balls on Mark Wilson's TV show.

This footage is of Vernon when he was in his late 60's or perhaps early 70's (don't know I'm guessing). I wonder if this version of his cups and balls, being that it was performed much later in Vernon's life, was a more streamlined version of his routine that elimated some of the extraneous movements.

This is only a theory, as I don't know if this is true. Has anyone, who is familiar with Vernon's routine, seen that particular segment and if so, can you comment on how streamlined that particular performance is?
The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance; it is the illusion of knowledge.
~Daniel J. Boorstin
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