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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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Bill Palmer
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One of the things I miss about my wife was that she was the ideal audience for magic. If she liked a presentation, EVERYONE would like it. If she didn't, she would tell you so you could make it better.

She hated most linking ring routines, for example. But when she saw Vernon do his routine, she enjoyed it and told me so. That set the bar fairly high for me. I came up with a routine that she really liked. It was totally different from the Vernon routine. And it went over very well when I performed it at Renaissance festivals.

BTW, here's one hint about doing magic. If you do lines while you are doing your routine, make sure that they actually add something to your routine. If a line is supposed to be funny, and it doesn't get a laugh, get rid of it. Or work on the timing. Don't get "married" to your material. If you do, you will never be able to improve it when it needs improving.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Pete Biro
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Y'all will be able to study Master Palmer's ring routine in my book, "The Real Secret of the Chinese Linking Rings." Should be ready to deliver mid-May. PM me for details.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2012-04-20 00:52, kentfgunn wrote:
Frank,
etc. etc. .... your thoughts and absence of moves into practice.

KG


I don't have an absence of moves. I just don't use them to entertain an audience.
I don't think I have any footage of my cups routine yet. When I do, I'll let you know.

I'm also now writing all this because I've figured everything out or because I think my routine is better than average.
I'm just expressing my thought and sharing what I've learned from experience.
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cupsandballsmagic
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I believe that a performer has to differentiate and dissociate "caring" on different levels.

I think it's entirely appropriate for a performer to care about details like ball visibility, the apparent absense of any sleights, the quality of the props used, the weight of the balls, working surface and take all of this into account in order to make it the best performance in a technical sense... but to believe that the audience cars at all about these tings is very naive at best.

The real challenge is creating a performance that people are engaged in and hopefully entertained while making all the technical aspects (that as a performer you obsessed about) fade into the background. It's also important to make it congruent to the environment such a street, dinner party, impromptu etc. 99% of routines people perform at magic clubs would die a terrible death on the street.

As for the sequences, nope the audience (in most cases) don't care about either. It's all about the final loads.

I would be highly dissapointed if nobody spoke about the final loads and walked away saying; "Well, he had a ball in each cup and then they went to the middel, after that the ball in the middle went to the end..."
Filip VR
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Thinking about the balls...I think there is one routine in which I cared about the balls. It's Paul Gertners steel balls routine. But Frank is right: I cared for the surprise (that they might jump without being noticed.)
Pete Biro
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It is not just about the final loads. As Ken Brooke used to preach, "It's the journey through your act, or routine, that makes it."
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
gdw
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Quote:
On 2012-04-20 11:11, Pete Biro wrote:
It is not just about the final loads. As Ken Brooke used to preach, "It's the journey through your act, or routine, that makes it."


:thumbsup:

I keep wanting to point to Tommy Wonder's routine for this, although you could argue it is also still about the "final" loads, they just aren't exclusively at the "finale."
However, he structured it such that the routine those loads, and the rest of the routine, accentuate each other so well, such that the load IS (part of) the routine, but not that the routine is just ABOUT the load, if that makes sense.

I like to think my routine is about more than the final loads, but then I imagine many of us like to think that. Mine is largely based off of Wonder's brilliant routine, I have a similar "surprise" in the middle, but it's not the final load, and it progresses the routine in such a way that helps make it, IMHO, something that is memorable beyond just the final loads.
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.
TheAmbitiousCard
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I think surprises are a key to modern entertainment as far as magic goes.
I mostly do a comedy stand-up act and I try to have a lot of unexpected surprises along the way.

I find the impact and reactions are as powerful as a great "magic moment".

Speaking of Tommy Wonder and surprises, I love his "appearing egg" on the table.

Wonderful stuff.
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Donnie Buckley
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TW's Appearing Egg is wonderful because he asks, "Did YOU lay the egg?"
It's not just an unexpected surprise. It's a loaded question, full of weirdness - the implications of the question are bizarre and puts the poor spectator-that-has-been-asked-the-question's mind into a tail spin. For everyone else seeing the rapport - it's hilarious.
It's one of those situations where the spectator's response has all the potential to be entertainment gold.
Learn the form, but seek the formless. Learn it all, then forget it all. Learn the way, then find your own way. Rings-N-Things
Bill Palmer
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I'm not sure where I read this. It might have been in <i>Our Magic</i>, or perhaps in one of the Fitzkee books.

Surprises must be somehow related to what we are doing. For example, if we are doing a cups and balls routine, and one of the final loads is a rotten banana, there must be a way of tying it in to what we have been doing. There is basically a "range of acceptable surprises."
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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Payne
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Quote:
On 2012-04-22 18:16, Bill Palmer wrote:

"There is basically a "range of acceptable surprises."



As anyone who has ever given their wife a vacuum for an anniversary present can attest Smile
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Michael Baker
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Quote:
On 2012-04-22 18:16, Bill Palmer wrote:

Surprises must be somehow related to what we are doing.


Precisely! In simplest terms, relevance is key.

The finale, final loads, climax, or whatever we choose to call it, is relevant to the preceding action. Think of it as an exclamation point at the end of a statement. It signifies the end, but in a stronger way than, say just a period. The action doesn't just end, it ends with a statement about itself. The climax is an augmentation to the statement.

But, to think "it's all about the final loads", is the same as saying the exclamation point itself is the whole point of the statement. This is naive to the extreme.
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Josh the Superfluous
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Just reposting because it touched me. And the Café doesn't have a like button.

Quote:
...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.... do what works for you and ENTERTAIN!
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The Burnaby Kid
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Quote:
On 2012-04-22 21:40, Michael Baker wrote:
But, to think "it's all about the final loads", is the same as saying the exclamation point itself is the whole point of the statement. This is naive to the extreme.


Well, one of the reasons why some of us say "It's all about the final loads" is because that's the memory of the effect as a whole. I'd say it's wishing thinking for a magician to expect that a spectator is going to remember the nuances of a gathering phase or a penetration phase as much as they're going to remember "...and then there was all this fruit that came out of nowhere!"

Obviously, in order to get the most out of the final loads, you've got to properly leverage the specific aspects of the preliminary phases so that at the moment they're being performed, they're sufficiently engaging and entertaining.
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Andrew Zuber
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Quote:
On 2012-04-22 21:21, Payne wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-04-22 18:16, Bill Palmer wrote:

"There is basically a "range of acceptable surprises."



As anyone who has ever given their wife a vacuum for an anniversary present can attest Smile

That sucks.
"I'm sorry - if you were right, I would agree with you." -Robin Williams, Awakenings
cupsandballsmagic
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Quote:
But, to think "it's all about the final loads", is the same as saying the exclamation point itself is the whole point of the statement. This is naive to the extreme.


That seems to have negated everything I said previous to that. Perhaps I worded it incorrecltly?

In terms of what the audience talks about afterwards, the biggest impact is the final loads, of course the journey is just as important.

My poor choice of wording "it's all about the final loads" didn't help, however a little slack and reading between the lines might have been appropriate after the words that preceeded those!
billappleton
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Quote:
On 2012-04-23 05:22, cupsandballsmagic wrote:
the biggest impact is the final loads, of course the journey is just as important.


That's a problem I have with the c & b. sometimes "the journey" is a confusing jumble of balls moving around. people need to be sure the journey is BUILDING to the final loads. the somewhat simplified presentation of the benson bowl is a little easier to follow in terms of building.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Without the initial phases, the final loads have no meaning or surprise.
The size difference gives the surprise. The change to fruit is absurd, adding comedy.

Building during the initial phases can be done but no matter what you do, I suspect most layman are:
a. trying to figure it out
b. seeing it as a juggling expose

Presentation help create the "journey", however I fear that still many of us still think an audience is going to be entertained during the
initial phases with lines like...

"Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I wonder if he can..."
"Wouldn't it be great if I could get ball "A" over to ...."
"The ball went down last time. I wonder if I can ..."

Entertaining to anyone????

How are you going to entertain a room of 300 people with lines like that?
You're not.
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Pete Biro
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300 people? All at once? Do the linking Rings and Egg Bag (classics).
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
cupsandballsmagic
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Isn't that true of any form or entertainment (let alone trick) though Frank? You've got to breathe soul into it.
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