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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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True.
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cupsandballsmagic
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Of course, it's also the hardest part!
TheAmbitiousCard
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I used "the cups and balls" in the title just to get more attention than the thread deserved.
But this has to do with all magic and not just the cups and balls.

I think my core thought on the subject of all this is...
What magicians find interesting and what is actually entertaining are often/usually 2 separate things.

Which might be what Max Maven meant when he let us know that ...

To become a good magician you have to overcome why you became a magician in the first place


But what do I know.
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Bill Palmer
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Even those cliched old lines can be of value if they are delivered with sincerity. This is a case of picking the correct wording for YOUR way of addressing an audience. I would not direct those lines to the whole audience. I might say a variation of one of those lines to a spectator who was on stage "monitoring" what I was doing.
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Bill Palmer
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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


One Christmas, my wife asked me to give her an electric lawnmower. She used to imagine that each blade of grass was one of the insurance agents she worked with, and she was decapitating them with the mower. She had a delicious sense of humor.

So I went over to Home Depot and got her a really nice mower. The lady in the garden center was helping me wrestle the thing into my van. I said, "My wife is really going to LOVE this Christmas present!"

The lady said "You're really NOT going to give her this for Christmas, are you?"

"Why not? She loved the drill press I got her last year!"
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Zombie Magic
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Here's a some thoughts I have.

Years ago my brother, who does no magic, knows no magic, etc. entertained a group of kids with a coin routine. One of the asked him for a quarter and he went into this nonsense routine and that was just confusion magic. It was what he thought was magic. The kids laughed so hard! I've seen gifted sleight of hand guys bore people to death with their coin(s)

Gazzo is brilliant doing the cups and balls. Yet, I've seen magicians do his routine, word for word and no one cared.

It's fun to practice, hone, develop, any piece(s) of magic. But it's the personality that sells it.
Dougini
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Quote:
On 2012-04-26 03:10, Zombie Magic wrote:
...Years ago my brother, who does no magic, knows no magic, etc. entertained a group of kids with a coin routine. One of the asked him for a quarter and he went into this nonsense routine and that was just confusion magic. It was what he thought was magic. The kids laughed so hard! I've seen gifted sleight of hand guys bore people to death with their coin(s)

Gazzo is brilliant doing the cups and balls. Yet, I've seen magicians do his routine, word for word and no one cared.

It's fun to practice, hone, develop, any piece(s) of magic. But it's the personality that sells it.


Great example! Here is something I posted elsewhere, but it fits here too:

What if you had a gig you had to travel to, and you get off the plane, in your t-shirt and cut-off jeans, and find your baggage has been lost. Your gig is in 15 minutes...you are caught in the rain and are soaking wet by the time you get to your gig, and you hear the announcer call your name! YOU'RE ON!

Your stage show is 20 minutes long. What are you going to do? Can you keep them entertained? Will they think they got their money's worth? That is the test of a true performer.

That, by the way is a paraphrasing from the book, Tales Of Enchantment: The Art Of Magic by Walt Anthony.

http://www.leapinglizardsmagic.com/tales_of_enchantment.htm

I think the idea is BE ENTERTAINING first! Be a likeable, charismatic performer! The "props" and routine are secondary.

Doug
TheAmbitiousCard
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That nearly happened to me. I was booked to do strolling for 500 people. Drove 2 hrs to get there with my strolling stuff.
Showed up and they told me "500 people are gonna walk thru those doors in 10 minutes. Strolling isn't going to work."

The agent that booked me was also there and looked at me sheepishly and said.. "sorry. is there anything I can do?"
As I walked back out to my car I told him, "just find me a roll of toilet paper".

There was a hint of panic in me but looking at my available props I realized I could just do the stuff I use when busking, and then it all seemed very normal and do-able.

I returned with a few props that would play big, they put a lapel mic on me and handed me the TP and said, "you're on".
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Bill Palmer
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I've been in a similar bind before. I was doing a trade show in Vegas. My carry on stayed with me, but my PA, my wardrobe and some of my bigger props were delayed 18 hours while a group of thieves went picking through them. (These were the same guys who stole Clayton Moore's Colt .45's!) I went on, unamplified, did the few things I could do with the items I'd brought with me, and when my props, costume and PA arrived, I set up quickly and finished the trade show successfully.

I got rebooked the next year, because I could think on my feet.
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Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2012-04-09 11:24, Frank Starsini wrote:
Someone emailed me how tips on the Cups and Balls.
I replied...

The cups and balls is boring. Period.
The cups and balls needs to be entertaining. You can do it!
DO NOT try to incorporate tons of your favorite moves/slights into the routine.
DO NOT make it long.
DO NOT make it complicated.

Most routines are way too long. because magicians like tons of moves and want them all in their routine.
Your audience is NOT a room full of magicians.

You should watch Tommy Wonder's version.
Chris SD
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If you find the cups boring, you're either jaded and watch way too much magic on youtube, or you just don't like magic. The only problem with the cups and balls is that every person who feels like they need to be creative or put their own spin on something decides to take it in some weird direction or copy an idiosyncratic presentation that doesn't work for them. The cups is one of the only things in magic that has been done for so long and has been so carefully studied that there is almost definitively a right and wrong way to do it. There is absolutely a right and wrong way to do the cups and balls.

I've seen Bob White and Jared Kopf do the Vernon routine with a few adjustments live many, many times and it's never been boring, not once. I've seen David Williamson's routine both live and on video more times than I can count; that routine has never bored me, ever. The cups is the finest piece of close-up magic that is within the reach of most magicians. It incorporates every effect in magic, has a built-in and seductive presentation and history, features completely examinable and interesting props, and teaches the student something about almost every area of magic, from misdirection to timing to getting away with incredibly bold slight of hand.
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2012-04-27 00:59, Chris SD wrote:..
The cups is the finest piece of close-up magic that is within the reach of most magicians. It incorporates every effect in magic, has a built-in and seductive presentation and history, features completely examinable and interesting props, and teaches the student something about almost every area of magic, from misdirection to timing to getting away with incredibly bold slight of hand.


from the magician's perspective. I'm not sure spectators like a cups routine for any of these reasons at all.
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Josh the Superfluous
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Quote:
On 2012-04-27 00:59, Chris SD wrote:

It incorporates every effect in magic...


Chris, is this true?
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Octopus Sun
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Quote:
On 2012-04-27 09:55, Josh the Superfluous wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-04-27 00:59, Chris SD wrote:

It incorporates every effect in magic...


Chris, is this true?


You are either being facetious, or you are truly uninformed.
Yes, C/B has it all.


C/B Boring to layperson's...MHO...it's you the performer.
Josh the Superfluous
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No, I think you could incorporate everything into it, if pressed. But most routines don't have a levitation, telekinesis, spirit voices, mind reading, divination by the spectator, or even a color change for that matter.

(I realize Vernon said it did. But he also encouraged us to continue thinking.)
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2012-04-27 10:57, Octopus Sun wrote:

C/B Boring to layperson's...MHO...it's you the performer.


Of course it is. We all know that. But why?

I personally think it's because most magicians try to entertain spectators as if they are magicians using the "entertaining" properties
that Chris (above) spelled out to do the entertaining.

Not one non-magician spectator in the world is going to think...
"Wow, he just used every magical element in that last sequence alone. This next phase is going to be great.
I wonder if he's going to do a riff on the classic 2-0-2 or perhaps the little known JoshTS color-change".
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Bill Palmer
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If you really don't understand why it's the performer and not the trick that makes the difference, listen to a 15 year old white boy from Fort Worth perform "The Thrill is Gone." Then listen to B.B. King perform it. Even if the kid gets all the notes and sings all the words, he will not, in any conceivable case, be able to sell the song like B.B. King.

It's the same with the cups and balls.

As much as I enjoyed watching the Professor perform his routine, I enjoyed Bob Read's interpretation of it even more.
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CardC
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I gotta chime in.

Magic is magic. And the cups and balls are a really direct simple effect. When I was first getting into magic, I was aroudn 14. I did it with sugar packets and coffee paper cups. I preformed it for these little girls, and I only did the penetration sequence, and they were sitting with cups and sugar packets for about half an hour afterward trying to get the sugar packet to penetrate the cup.

I think magicians are de-sensitized.
be happy
Chris SD
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Quote:
On 2012-04-27 03:26, Frank Starsini wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-04-27 00:59, Chris SD wrote:..
The cups is the finest piece of close-up magic that is within the reach of most magicians. It incorporates every effect in magic, has a built-in and seductive presentation and history, features completely examinable and interesting props, and teaches the student something about almost every area of magic, from misdirection to timing to getting away with incredibly bold slight of hand.


from the magician's perspective. I'm not sure spectators like a cups routine for any of these reasons at all.


So what you're saying is that spectators don't enjoy seeing a variety of effects rather than the same effect over and over, they don't enjoy interesting presentations that happen to be true, they're not interested in history, and they have no interest in or desire to examine the magician's props.

If you honestly believe what you wrote, do magic a favor and take up pool.
Bill Palmer
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How long have you been a professional magician, Chris?

How many times a week do you perform for paying audiences?

I'm just trying to get a perspective on your point of view.
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