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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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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2012-04-16 10:24, EVILDAN wrote:
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.

Watching an old video of Gazzo's, it's apparent that his routine was also quite a bit longer than it is today.
Probably because he's stripped it to its purest form.

Quote:
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.

I started with Cellini's routine and the same thing happened to me and I started to prune and snip and change and add
entertaining bits along the way, until that stopped happening.

Unless someone is paying to come watch you do magic (like the magic castle, a magic theater or a lecture), I don't think any "phases" are entertaining to anyone except the final loads, unless you add some sort of entertaining factors into that particular phase. IMO, a stupid pun or an old tired joke is not an entertaining factor.

You know when you have an entertaining factor when everyone reacts together loudly as a group.
A few scattered chuckles ain't cutting it.
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WhoDeanie
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Quote:
On 2012-04-11 13:54, Pete Biro wrote:
See my TV performance at http://www.petebiro.com and you decide. (clik on PETE ON TV)

Hi pete,

Well I thought your cups and balls were very entertaining and looks like she enjoyed it as well. didn't see all of your final load work due to the camera angle, but what I did see I thought was very nice. The camera angle on actually focuses on top and down thru your hand a little and I still didn't detect the load, so you obviously handle it not too near the top. Very nice.

Btw, cups and balls, rope, etc. I can see them hundreds of times and if the performer is good it isn't boring at all...which is sort of amazing in itself. Sorta like some movies I guess...those lines are classic because of that great performance...
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Rainboguy
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Frank:

Boring magicians are boring.

And anyway, I still stand by my quote about the "Emerald Green 1 1/8 inch Monkey Fist balls that you made for my Mendoza Combo Cups" that you so graciously put on your Website here:

http://www.theambitiouscard.com/aitem.cfm?itemid=75

They, the cups, and the Mendoza routine, are definately NOT boring.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Thanks for the kudos.
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cupsandballsmagic
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Quote:
On 2012-04-16 22:15, Rainboguy wrote:
Boring magicians are boring.

Totally agree. That's like saying the ambitious card trick is boring... no wait... it is!

As for the green monkey fist balls, they are lovely, I use those with my Mendozas too!
EVILDAN
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I took out my cups and balls last night and set it up on a table.
I took a seat in my favorite chair and watched.
I lasted about 13 minutes before I dozed off.
Conclusion: The cups and balls ARE boring.
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
Kent Wong
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This is a great thread! If you’ll allow me to indulge a little bit, I’d like to share my experiences with the cups and balls. I started learning the cups and balls over 30 years ago and, only recently, did I develop a routine that was entertaining enough to perform. Just like many magicians, I read the books, watched the videos and learnt many of the moves needed to bore an audience to death. And, just like many magicians, what I really lacked was presentation.

In 2007, that changed. I signed up for a McBride Master Class and performed the cups and balls as a work in progress. It was terrible! I had the moves down, but the presentation was filled with “blue” humor that was downright painful to watch.

Later that summer, I was driving down the freeway when a song popped into my head. It was a Christmas carol sung by Boney M. – “Mary’s Boy Child”. Suddenly I was struck with inspiration. I spent the next two weeks rewriting the lyrics to the song (with a Jamaican accent) to fit my cups and balls routine. Then I spent another two weeks memorizing the song and rehearsing with the props in hand. Finally, I costumed and staged the entire presentation with a Jamaican theme. The props were carried in a beach bag. The close up mat was replaced with a beach towel. I even had a Jamaican shirt, hat and wig to complete the look. So here we had a Chinese Canadian, dressed in Jamaican garb, singing a song with a Jamaican accent, while performing the cups and balls.

I premiered the routine at the 2007 PCAM convention and I was privileged to be awarded a Gold medal for my efforts. The Jamaican Cups and Balls was born!

Two years later, I had the opportunity to perform the routine again for Jeff McBride. He realized how much work I had put into it and admitted that it was a tremendous improvement from what he had previously seen. However, even with the admitted success of the routine, Jeff still had two key suggestions. With his assistance, I eliminated a verse which allowed me to get to the final loads a little bit faster. I also wrote a chorus that actively involved the audience by inviting them to sing along with it.

The routine has become an absolute hit! I’ve performed it at banquet acts throughout North America and the feedback has been tremendous. A shorter act that’s fun and entertaining made all the difference.

Kent
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gdw
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I started with the routine in The Mark Wilson book. I honestly don't remember it to specifically now, but it served me well, and got me familiarized with the cups and balls. I don't remember it being too complicated either, for a starting point.
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
Pete Biro
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My most fun with cups is to talk about my great, great, great, great uncle, who was a mountebank in Hungary... from Budapest... from the PEST-SIDE... (bada boom)... I then talk in fake Hungarian (double talk). Saying, with heavy accent, things like: "Moowako tanwiko san forbus can dozeeka..." etc.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
WhoDeanie
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Quote:
On 2012-04-17 19:23, Pete Biro wrote:
My most fun with cups is to talk about my great, great, great, great uncle, who was a mountebank in Hungary... from Budapest... from the PEST-SIDE... (bada boom)... I then talk in fake Hungarian (double talk). Saying, with heavy accent, things like: "Moowako tanwiko san forbus can dozeeka..." etc.

oh, that old act....seen it a million times.....boooorimg.<g>
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
TheAmbitiousCard
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"How many phases of my routine are just "filler" and how many have real impact?"

I think that's a good question to ask ourselves.

If the impact is that "the balls did something unexpected" or "the balls did something magical"... I'm not sure I'd call that REAL IMPACT.

In fact, if the impact starts with.. "THE BALLS ...." I'd say you've got some thinking to do. Spectators don't care about little red balls.

they don't buy them.
they don't photograph them.
they don't brag about them on internet forums.
they don't really care about little red balls at all.
they don't wonder how they look on a black surface compared to a blue surface.
they don't care how many fit between two cups.
they don't care that they can go from one place to the other.
they just don't care.
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Bill Palmer
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One of the keys to effective card magic is to make the spectator CARE about the cards. If you have a way of making the cards special to the spectator, then they will care about them. This is why, for example, that Anniversary Waltz is a very effective routine.

So, how would you go about making the spectators care about the balls?
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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TheAmbitiousCard
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Exactly Bill,
That's why I have all the ladies sign my balls.
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Bill Palmer
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Doesn't that itch after a while?
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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WhoDeanie
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Quote:
On 2012-04-18 20:06, Bill Palmer wrote:
One of the keys to effective card magic is to make the spectator CARE about the cards. If you have a way of making the cards special to the spectator, then they will care about them. This is why, for example, that Anniversary Waltz is a very effective routine.

So, how would you go about making the spectators care about the balls?


Hmmm....maybe that's the question we should ask in every single routine...how do I make the spectator care about it? And as Frank was alluding to with the cups and balls...maybe we should even ask ourselves on every single move....why should the spectator care about this move/phase? Should we go that far?
Magically yours,

Dean Burgess
Bill Palmer
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I don't think I would go so far as to say that you need to make the spectator CARE about every move. Quite the opposite. There are some moves, etc., that we would want them to simply accept as a natural occurrence. In fact, if we make them care about every move, then we are taking their attention away from the balls.

Everything must be in context. And the context must not be obvious.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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TheAmbitiousCard
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The point is... spectators aren't going to care about moves. We can't make them. Magicians care about moves.
We have to get past that way of thinking. Spectators care about other things.

And spectators want to be entertained.

Remember the youtube clip some guy posted on the Café where he "completely blew himself away" because the ball accidentally rolled under a cup and he didn't notice and he had no idea where it went?
I cared because he made a mistake and it was funny watching him recover.
Remember Ammar's appearance of the 3rd ball. Magical and surprising.
I cared because how could I miss that happen.
Remember Carl Andrew's phase where the ball ended back on top of the cup?
I cared because it happened right before my eyes with no cover.
Remember Nick Nicholas testing a spectator's memory?
I cared because I wanted to answer correctly.
Remember those unexpected occurrences that you loved about certain phases of various routines?
What do you really remember of Ricky Jay's wonderful routine?
A re-appearnace under a bell; a surprising location.
What about Tim Ellis's routine
Milkshake from the cup. Missing and appearing sunglasses. I don't remember how the balls went from A to B. I didn't care then. I don't care now.

What can you really remember of any routine? I remember the final loads I suppose, the genuinely funny moments, the surprises, the out-of-the-box thinking.

Those phases are the ones I analyze and ponder and appreciate.

All the other phases of all the other routines just sort of blend together and are quite forgettable.
I want memorable phases and a great finish.

Otherwise, for a given phase in the routine, if there's no meaning, no real reason, nothing memorable, why do it at all?
Phases are just a big blur to the audience unless you jolt them with something, as described in some routines above.

I think we can all agree now that "showing what the balls can do" is not a good enough reason to perform the cups and balls.

I don't even consider Vernon's routine entertaining. It was, however, a gift to us; a home base and a place for us to start thinking.

Standard phases do provide structure otherwise these alternative ideas wouldn't be as strong and that is reason enough to do 1 or 2, to set the tone but after that?

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the cups and balls.
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gdw
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Quote:
On 2012-04-19 20:04, Frank Starsini wrote:
The point is... spectators aren't going to care about moves. We can't make them. Magicians care about moves.
We have to get past that way of thinking. Spectators care about other things.

And spectators want to be entertained.

Remember the youtube clip some guy posted on the Café where he "completely blew himself away" because the ball accidentally rolled under a cup and he didn't notice and he had no idea where it went?
I cared because he made a mistake and it was funny watching him recover.
Remember Ammar's appearance of the 3rd ball. Magical and surprising.
I cared because how could I miss that happen.
Remember Carl Andrew's phase where the ball ended back on top of the cup?
I cared because it happened right before my eyes with no cover.
Remember Nick Nicholas testing a spectator's memory?
I cared because I wanted to answer correctly.
Remember those unexpected occurrences that you loved about certain phases of various routines?
What do you really remember of Ricky Jay's wonderful routine?
A re-appearnace under a bell; a surprising location.
What about Tim Ellis's routine
Milkshake from the cup. Missing and appearing sunglasses. I don't remember how the balls went from A to B. I didn't care then. I don't care now.

What can you really remember of any routine? I remember the final loads I suppose, the genuinely funny moments, the surprises, the out-of-the-box thinking.

Those phases are the ones I analyze and ponder and appreciate.

All the other phases of all the other routines just sort of blend together and are quite forgettable.
I want memorable phases and a great finish.

Otherwise, for a given phase in the routine, if there's no meaning, no real reason, nothing memorable, why do it at all?
Phases are just a big blur to the audience unless you jolt them with something, as described in some routines above.

I think we can all agree now that "showing what the balls can do" is not a good enough reason to perform the cups and balls.

I don't even consider Vernon's routine entertaining. It was, however, a gift to us; a home base and a place for us to start thinking.

Standard phases do provide structure otherwise these alternative ideas wouldn't be as strong and that is reason enough to do 1 or 2, to set the tone but after that?

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the cups and balls.


+1
It's amazing, people will criticize you for "biting the hand that feeds you," while they're busy praising the hand that beats them.

"You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."

I won't forget you Robert.
bishthemagish
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I guess it depends on who is doing it. I have seen a lot of people that do Vernon's routine and I have been boared - However I have seen Vernon do it at his lecture and I was entertained by him doing his routine. I have seen a lot of cups and ball routines and shell game routines performed by different magicians and many times they almost put me to sleep.

However I do the shell game and the cups and balls - and from my audience reaction - I would say they are highlights of my act and have been so for years.

Me I love the cups and balls and the shell game however there are few magicians that I would stop to watch if they were performing these classics. Simply because few - entertain anyone other than themselves when doing them.

Just my opinion.
Glenn Bishop Cardician

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kentfgunn
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Frank,

If you ever get a clip of yourself doing your cups and balls routine, I'd really like to see it.

I've seen Glenn's, it's still posted on his site. Pete posted his up, we all knew he is a past master at many versions.

I'd like to see how you put your thoughts and absence of moves into practice.

KG
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