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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Face it - The Cups and Balls are .. BORING (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Payne
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Quote:
On 2012-04-10 00:55, fortasse wrote:
We all use the word "short" (as in routine) but seldom translate it into minutes. Short for me would be, say, 3 to 4 minutes or even less. I suspect that most audiences will start getting bored beyond that time unless, of course, you cast a spell over them to keep it going.


Or you could use the words scenes, acts or movements. A longer routine can be broken up into smaller segments each leading or building into another. A good routine is a series of related events strung together in a common theme that moves the plot ever forward. The trick, as with most, isn't entertaining by itself. It's the presentation and interaction that keeps the audience engaged and entertained.
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pepka
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I'm with Pete. It's not the song, it's the singer. I think there are very few tricks in the world that are boring no matter who performs them. I know this will put a price on my head, but for me at the top of the list is Out of this World. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2012-04-10 01:12, Payne wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-04-10 00:55, fortasse wrote:
We all use the word "short" (as in routine) but seldom translate it into minutes. Short for me would be, say, 3 to 4 minutes or even less. I suspect that most audiences will start getting bored beyond that time unless, of course, you cast a spell over them to keep it going.


Or you could use the words scenes, acts or movements. A longer routine can be broken up into smaller segments each leading or building into another. A good routine is a series of related events strung together in a common theme that moves the plot ever forward. The trick, as with most, isn't entertaining by itself. It's the presentation and interaction that keeps the audience engaged and entertained.


This is solid. Eugene Burger had a great definition for showmanship as being the elimination of non-moments. We don't necessarily need every moment to be a "magic moment", but we do want each moment to have some sort of entertainment-based purpose.
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M for Magic
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One of the best,simple Cups and Balls routines I have seen and use often is Al Schneider's Quick Cups routine from Volume 1 of his Al Schneider Technique DVD Set.
Short, Simple, Lots of room to create your own patter (I do it fo Kid's)
And a good kicker/final load that is not awkward or telegraphed and can be customized.
Extremely well thought out for such a short routine.
And it gives plenty of food for thought as to how you might modify it.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2012-04-10 03:57, The Burnaby Kid wrote:

This is solid. Eugene Burger had a great definition for showmanship as being the elimination of non-moments. We don't necessarily need every moment to be a "magic moment", but we do want each moment to have some sort of entertainment-based purpose.

That is a very good way to think about it.
So, we all know now (or before) that we need entertaining presentations and a lack of non-moments.

Unfortunately, we are magicians, and because we are magicians, "moments" for too many of us means... "Last time I made the ball go down, and this time I'm going to make the ball go UP. AWESOME!!!"

-or-

I'm going to start with Ammar's opening, followed up by my own variation of Al's middler, then go to a 2 cup scenario so I can use Williamson's dish-dash-do-dah move, then to a one cup Don Alan thingy, then back to 3 cups for a Gazzo finish. 2 minutes of pure magic jam-packed into an hour and a half, with fun-filled puns, great for the entire family.
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kentfgunn
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Quote:
I'm going to start with Ammar's opening, followed up by my own variation of Al's middler, then go to a 2 cup scenario so I can use Williamson's dish-dash-do-dah move, then to a one cup Don Alan thingy, then back to 3 cups for a Gazzo finish. 2 minutes of pure magic jam-packed into an hour and a half, with fun-filled puns, great for the entire family.


Ah . . . you've seen my routine!
rmendez
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What do you guys think about the chop cup coupled with classic cups and balls sleight of hand? Some believe a single cup is not interesting enough but I beg to differ. You can perform French Drop vanishes, the Charlie Miller move, and David Williamson's Striking Vanish before finishing with final loads. It is a single point of focus and is simple enough for drunk people to follow. It also takes up a fraction of the space in your close-up bag as well as the performance area.
fortasse
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The word "short" (as in routine) keeps popping up. What's short? Two, three, four minutes, longer, shorter? Unless you're a spellbinder, I'm sure the attention span of most audiences will max out after just a few minutes.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Unless you're entertaining I'd bet that 2 minutes is about as much as an audience can handle.
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padre rich
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I just took some cough medicine so I might regret writing this. Guys, HAVE FUN! Fun is contagious. Laymen don't care if you use a false transfer or if you use a machine that does the work for you on your right arm. Entertain! Entertain!Entertain! There are some FISM level routines that are BORING to laymen. I entertain laymen - I have an original routine that's complicated and it fools magicians- NOT PRACTICAL! What I use professionally is a my version of Scotty Yorks' one cup routine. It works for me- do what works for you and ENTERTAIN!
God's grace rocks! It makes a good cups and balls routine look pretty boring in comparison.
Pete Biro
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Bless you, Padre... YOU KNOW.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
rmendez
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Quote:
On 2012-04-10 22:11, padre rich wrote:
I just took some cough medicine so I might regret writing this. Guys, HAVE FUN! Fun is contagious. Laymen don't care if you use a false transfer or if you use a machine that does the work for you on your right arm. Entertain! Entertain!Entertain! There are some FISM level routines that are BORING to laymen. I entertain laymen - I have an original routine that's complicated and it fools magicians- NOT PRACTICAL! What I use professionally is a my version of Scotty Yorks' one cup routine. It works for me- do what works for you and ENTERTAIN!


Words of wisdom sir. Words of wisdom. Your magic should truly be merely an extension of your personality. If it appears to your audience that you are having fun then they will too. One of the best examples I've ever seen is Bill Malone, Daryl, and Gregory Wilson. I could watch them all day never really paying any attention to the magic that they are performing because they are so *** charismatic and fun.
TheAmbitiousCard
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So...

Raise your hand. Smile
Is your cups and balls routine good enough to take out to a street corner and actually entertain an audience.

Or are you better off at a magic club meeting Smile
getting polite applause after each phase Smile
a friendly chuckle at your puns Smile
and a subdued but appropriate response at your ending Smile
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Pete Biro
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See my TV performance at http://www.petebiro.com and you decide. (clik on PETE ON TV)
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Payne
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Quote:
On 2012-04-11 13:50, Frank Starsini wrote:

. . .are you better off at a magic club meeting

getting polite applause after each phase

a friendly chuckle at your puns

and a subdued but appropriate response at your ending

So why should the performance of the cups and balls be any different than most presentations of magic? They too generally only recieve polite applause and subdued responses. Smile
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Ekuth
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Quote:
On 2012-04-11 13:50, Frank Starsini wrote:
So...

Raise your hand. Smile
Is your cups and balls routine good enough to take out to a street corner and actually entertain an audience.

Being that I do exactly that at least twice a week, consider this a hand raised.
There are times I don't even use a final load, either.

I've always felt just the basic routine is strong enough WHEN PRESENTED IN AN INTERACTIVE, FUN WAY to stand on its own without foo-foo loads like baseballs, oranges, lemons, limes, fake dog turds or potatoes.

Little yellow ducks are another matter.

Ducks make everything better.
"All you need is in Fitzkee."
The Burnaby Kid
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Frank,

When I was doing my one cup routine on the street, I actually opened with it. I wanted something where people could show up at any time before the climax and still witness something interesting, rather than a trick where they need to be there from the beginning in order to appreciate the whole thing. I also took a pointer (from Cosmo?) that I didn't want to get big applause moments too early because people might take that as permission to leave. As such, I didn't foster or encourage anything more than a basic OMG reaction, before moving into the next routine.

Did it entertain them? They usually stuck around for the closer.
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Bill Palmer
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One of the biggest mistakes a beginning magician makes is to assume that anyone who is watching him is as captivated and entertained by the mere "presence" of magic. So they spend the entire time entertaining themselves.

Part of our job, if you wish to call it that, is to get the audience to appreciate the entertainment value of what we are doing. Unfortunately, there are a lot of magicians whose magic has no entertainment value whatsoever.

I saw one on television this morning. I won't say where. He had so many stupid mistakes in his presentation that it made me want to hurl. He was basically a DB/Theory11/DG clone without any of the real magic. Inane repititious patter, nonsensical requests made to spectators, lack of proper preparation. It all added up to a very flat performance.
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2012-04-12 11:47, Bill Palmer wrote:
One of the biggest mistakes a beginning magician makes is to assume that anyone who is watching him is captivated and entertained by the mere "presence" of magic. So they spend the entire time entertaining themselves.

Good point, Bill.
And if that were the case, I'm sure everyone would be a magician. Obviously very few are. You are correct and your statement needs repeating...
Quote:
One of the biggest mistakes a beginning magician makes is to assume that anyone who is watching him is captivated and entertained by the mere "presence" of magic.

Given that, how many phases of "juggling the balls around the cups" can the average spectator stand before the final loads are needed?
Very very few.
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EVILDAN
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I learned Gazzo's routine from a master class of his. Worked on it and modified it before I took it out to the streets.

Once on the streets, my wife told me that there is one phase (2-0-2) where I lost some of the crowd. I took it out. That phase was slower paced than the rest of the routine and didn't fit. Now the routine flows better and gets better reactions because there's more people to react to it at the end. By the way, a good barometer of how well your magic is working is to take it to the streets and if people stay, it's working. If people leave, you need to rework your routine.

I work for a company and my boss shut down our CT office a few weeks ago. He just couldn't find the right people to staff it. When he broke the news to us he explained his decision: "I have a friend in the restaurant business. Whenever I talk to him he'll tell me he now has 5 restaurants, 7 restaurants, 4 restaurants,etc. The number constantly changes. So I asked why he's always opening and closing restaurants. He said that if he sees a potential good location, he opens a restaurant. If it works out, that's great. If it's not making money, he sells it. He doesn't want dead weight. Now there are some guys that will hang on to restaurants that are losing money out of pride. Those are the guys that eventually go broke in the restaurant business."

The same idea can be applied to your magic. Are you keeping stuff in your act just because you spent the time learning it and YOU like it?
by EVILDAN....
"The Coin Board Book" - moves and routines with the coin panel board. - http://www.lybrary.com/the-coin-board-book-p-827955.html
"SLASHER - A Horror Whodunnit" - a bizarre close-up routine based on Bob Neale's "Sole Survivor."
PM me for more info.
"Zombie Town" - a packet effect about how a small town turned into zombies. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nzJhcoJtyOM
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