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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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Welshwizard
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Quote:
On 2004-01-01 10:39, Harry Murphy wrote:

The longer version has a vanish or two (including the Malini wand spin vanish) and a spectator choosing a cup for the balls to appear under sequence that is not found in the impromptu version.


Harry, I am interested why you credit Max Malini with the wand spin vanish. On the Ammar cups and balls tapes the wand spin vanish is credited to Silent Mora who used a fan to effect the vanish in a billiard ball manipulation routine. Vernon is credited for adding the spin. Where does Malini come into the equation?

Secondly, I think that the Vernon routine is a great place to start learning the cups and balls. All of the standard moves are included in the routine, along with some of the most popular sequences for three cups. IMO Vernon's routine remains a classic, despite new advances like only using two cups and new sequences.

Smile
Harry Murphy
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You are absolutely right! Malini DOES NOT come into the equation at all! I miss-typed. That BIG mistake was the result of me typing on two threads at the same time (I was into an egg bag discussion on an AIM chat). Lame excuse I know! I should simply say that I made a very stupid mistake. The reference should have been Silent Mora NOT Malini wand spin. Sorry, just goes to prove that I can be very wrong! Smile
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Darren Roberts
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Thanks for the advice from everyone!

I think I will learn the impromptu routine first - just to get started! As soon as I'm comfortable with that, I'll pick up Vernon's full routine.

As I do that, I will save money for a nice set of cups that I will want to keep forever.

Plus, if I do a good cups and balls routine using "impromptu" materials, I will better be able to convince my wife that a nice cups and balls set is a worthwhile investment Smile

Thanks again!
KirkG
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Darren,

Noooo! Don't let her see that you can do it perfectly well without those ridiclously expensive cups! Been there, done that.

Repeat after me, " You need those cups, you need those cups.

Seriously, a cheap ($15.00) set of cups will be a good back up and let you practice all the moves and when you get the "good" set you can use these in those neighborhoods you wouldn't want to take anything nice. Plus they are nice to loan to your magic friends who want to get started.

As far as a wand, while it may be used to help conceal items, it really is there to dress up the act and point up the magic moment. As such, it should fit the bill. Using a pen or knife, is kind of like wearing tennis shoes with a tuxedo. No one really thinks is adds anyting to the look in the way of improvment, just different, and nowadays, not all that different.

Stick to respecting the old ways, and don't even mention illusionist when discussing "real" magicians. Smile

I am glad someone else brought up the Malini comment as I didn't want to appear to disagree with everything he said.

Happy New Year to all!

Kirk Grodske
Jonathan Townsend
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Till someone can drink from those 'cups'... they are way out of bounds for me. They are almost dribble glasses, the thick rims make it very tough to drink from and pour from.

If you can learn the first sequence where the balls on top of the cups are vanished... you have the key to a great cups routine. Anyone using a pen instead of a wand for the spin vanish? Any suggestions for what to load under coffee cups at a diner?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Harry Murphy
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You mean that one doesn’t wear Chuck Taylor’s with a tux?!?

Feel free to disagree with everything I write. As we have noted here, I can be wrong! And when it comes to opinions mine is clearly no more valuable or important than any other person’s. In fact I have actually changed my opinion on a thing or two just reading a counter argument here!
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Mr. Muggle
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Love this post-

But if we really stuck to the old ways, magic would probably be passed down from generation to generation.

It wouldn't be available as easy as it is today. I know guys who killed to get basic knowledge years ago on the wand spin, yet after a few minutes today, any Joe can find something relating to it.

The old ways kept secrets secrets- the magicians of old weren't worried about #'s of people in assemblies or which ring they belonged to, and they did not make an extra $25K (or more) a year selling secrets, marketing effects, publishing web sites, or designing TV specials on the secrets.

So although I agree with you, I disagree-

IMO costume is good, but a wand is to help conceal and look natural first, costume second. IMO a magician's wand isn't to him what a crown is supposed to be to a king.

.........and good point about the illusionist's. Smile

just my .02!

MM
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
Jonathan Townsend
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About the wand...

think about that cook on TV, Emeril... with that box of spices he uses to 'take the flavor up a notch' ... he takes a pinch onto the food and goes... BAMM!

now imagine using a wand in much the same way. you set up the situation with the props, pick up the wand and ...
...to all the coins I've dropped here
KirkG
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Mr. Murphy,

I disagree . . . that your opinion has no more merit than anothers. I have ready many of your posts and you have a strong background and creative mind. I am happy to discuss any topic with you as I am sure it will be learning experience each time.

Same to you Mr. Muggle(see above to Mr. Murphy),

Although I will still beg to differ on the wand. Although it is a great assistance to concealment, it doesn't take that much work or effort or respect for the art, to take that next step of costuming. Because, one of the reasons it works as a costume is because it is appropriate to the costume of the performer. Otherwise why is he holding that spoon? It is not a "real" magic wand. Let's look for the reason.

If you are in a venue where you don't "have the proper props" just do another routine. Respect the art to wait until the proper time to do the best job. Use the right tool at the right moment. Be the best you can be!

Also there is quite a bit of magic just being passed one to another just to avoid the proliferation of the market.

Kirk
Pete Biro
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One of Charlie Miller's favorite items to use as a wand was the tube of white cardboard you get from the hangar your trousers come back from the cleaners on.
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Mr. Muggle
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Thanks for the words Kirk.

Alright regarding wands- yes if you don't have the correct tools don't do the routine.

However IMO to use an item to further take away from the spectator's mind that you are 'dirty' during a routine does strengthen the effect. It should be used both when you are dirty, and when you aren't to further strengthen thoughts that it is a prop and has no significance (magical or not- but that's another topic) in your spectator's mind.

The wand's utilization could even allow the placement of an item under a non-congruent thing such as a napkin, plate, or cup if working at a dinner table. (although I know most of this discussion isn't on restaurant magic).

I agree that the wand does add class and completes the magician. But what is it's primary use, and is it limited just to that spectrum of thought?

If the magician doesn't use the wand for anything than IMO the atmosphere is incomplete. It would be like a fire man always carrying a hose or ladder- it's only needed when its needed. (Otherwise illusionist's would have one).

With that being said, for my "A" material routines I actually produce the wand in the routine, then use it with prop management after its use to enhance the effect- (e.g.) placing it at the close-up mat's right edge to stop the balls from rolling off to the weak side, etc.

I try to not handle my items to much, but every action should be deliberate and justified. (Building up reasons an item was used in the spectators mind when they re think what they saw later).

Getting back to your post about items such as knives etc., I view things differently. I try to use the appropriate item in the appropriate time frame, but it has to be congruent.

What about medicine men, or an Indian witch doctor, they both use wands, but of a different type. I have a school professor character where he lives by his ruler, and that is his "wand". Not that the item has magic properties, but he will use it to help look clean when he's dirty. He uses it constantly, and because of that, it's a part of him.

I hope I'm not rambling on here, just wanted to give another take into my thought process. Your correct with respect, and if my performing character at any given time was the traditional magician performing the cups as a stage effect like Vernon did, then I would have a wand.

In closing, that was good point about the balls over the head- you made me dig out my book on that one.

And as far as cups being expensive- buy a set of seconds. They aren't that bad- just look used. And its cheap for some quality.


MM
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
KirkG
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Mr. Muggle

I totally agree with using another item "in the set" as a cover for concealment. Whether it is another coin you gently wave a la EG or a silk a la Cone and Ball, any of these techniques are great. They don't replace a wand however. I am also not saying that everyone needs to use a wand in every routine. Trying to hold a wand plays havoc with my pass. If fact it is hard to think of many card tricks where you could use a wand. I think that is one reason they are relegated as "tricks."

I am also not saying a wand has to be a smooth black stick with white ends, although I prefer light ends to dark, to help show up the spin.

The use of a ruler is a good idea, but I can't help but think it could be enhanced by making the ruler slightly unusual or quirky. Perhaps a nicer wood, or older style? Perhaps a bit more slender? Maybe longer than 12 inches, etc.?

I remember teachers using a pointer in class. It was a maple stick with a black rubber point on one end and an eye hook on the other. It was used to direct attention by pointing or capture attention by slamming on a desk top.

Certain tricks benefit from the use of a wand and if you are going to need that benefit, us a real wand.

Kirk
Mr. Muggle
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I tried the longer pointer, but kids thought I was using a harry potter type of wand, and no one really understood what I was working with. Since it confuesd and didn't add to the character I decided to use an older ruler, which is more thin, and has 3 sides to it.

My teacher character doesn't do the cups either, but his wand does enhance his magic.

MM
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
Review King
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Is anyone familiar with Reed McClintock's new version?
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

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jimisolo
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Speaking of Vernon's Cups and Balls routine, did anyone around here learn his routine from his Revelations video? Maybe it was just me, but I found this to be quite frustrating.

Vernon and Ammar might have well been talking at the exact same time (and sometimes they did. Smile ). I'm sure with the DVD version it is slightly easier to navigate back and forth, but the actual explanation could be described as brisk and choppy.

I finally just sat down and wrote the dang thang out on a pad of paper from beginning to end. Don't pretend I'm the only one. Smile

I had initially learned a cups and balls routine from Tarbell's book 1, but felt like I really needed something more visual to catch some of the nuances that may have been lost in 'print'. Jumping into it from the Professor, himself, seemed like a mistake in the beginning. All the rewinding, the writing, the pausing, the watching it again from the beginning, erasing and re-writing...I thought I was going to go nuts.

After a few days of "deciding it was time to stop for now" Smile , and then going back over my notes and the video again and again - I found that it had really helped my understanding of the routine and the individual steps. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that if my initial "frustration" had not challenged me in the way that it did, that there is no way that I would have studied it as thoroughly as I had.

To sum up (I know this got lenthy. Smile ), I went on to Ammar's tapes and found them to be quite straightforward (no digressions, or interjections) and chock full of great stuff. I am now greatly interested in learning some of the 2 cup stuff that's out now, and maybe some chop cup stuff as well.

BTW-I still did the same thing with the Ammar tapes, but not because I found them confusing or frustrating. No, because it all had been so well worth it the first time. Smile
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Chop Cup- something I've played with, but never found "my routine". I have never been happy with the effect, and have never found any routines that I really liked.

Ammar's book & DVD set is good. Although I'd like to see him come out with Vol. 3 and add to Vol. 1 & 2, making the 3 book series the most complete documentation on the cups ever.

Think it will ever happen?

MM
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
Pete Biro
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Frenchman Ettiene Laurenceau (SP?) is working on a H U G E book covering every known thing about the cups and balls.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Mr. Muggle
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Really, Great- that will be a MUST for every magician's library. I would pay top dollar for a book of that nature.

Thanks for the word Pete, its something to look foward to.

MM
"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
MagiUlysses
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Greetings and Salutations Pete,

And Happy New Year!

Do you have any kind of details, sketchy though they may be, on the book? And speaking of books, I thought at one time you were working on a book on the cups and balls, or was it the linking rings, I think my mind must be slipping!

Anyway, how comes the progress on your book? Keep us posted.

Joe in KC

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Pete Biro
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My Histeric Linking Ring book is about 87% written and am just so lazy these days.... duh...
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
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