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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Sponge Balls vs Cups and Balls (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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snilsson
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Stockholm, Sweden
186 Posts

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Can someone explain to me why Sponges are generally thought of as an easy beginner's trick while the Cups and Balls is considered to be advanced magic. In my opinion they are very similiar and it's at least as difficult to put together a good sponge ball routine; you have no table top, no cups to use for cover, difficult angles, complicated spectator management and so on.
Mistro
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Canada
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IMO, The Sponge Balls because they are everything you want them to be.
Dan LeFay
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Inner circle
Holland
1371 Posts

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Considering there are an awful lot of magicians who can do a DECEPTIVE spongeball routine and just a few who can do a deceptive cups and balls, I'd say that the former is easier.

There are so many objects in play with C&B that it takes some good routining to keep everything crystal clear. And the tendancy to go on and on with the cups and balls is also a danger. (I realise this tendancy also exists with certain spongeball-freaks, but I have seen quite some performances where adults were standing in a row saying: "now do it in my hand, now do it in my hand!")
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that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes,
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Jonathan Townsend
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Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
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The sponge ball routines that come with the Kozak (sp) book are fairly simple. Most people do routines that amount to 'produce... two in hand+one in pocket... one final load'.

I'll even confess that my routine is quite brief, has the balls produced from the mat as lint, has two bits where the balls aggrigate under a hand, then the balls get put back into the mat. Eye candy... yes... though again very short routine

the truly antique cups and balls routines are also fairly simple. HOWEVER, around the 1950s, Ross Bertram and Dai Vernon (and of course John Ramsay) took the trick to a new level, with some very clever and somewhat involved routines. The opening sequence in Vernon's cups and balls using his take on the Silent Mora ball vanish alone is more difficult than most sponge ball routines. Then... along came Tommy Wonder's cups routine.... no comparison to most sponge ball routines any more.

I guess this amounts to an invitation for someone to release some killer sponge ball material.

Go for it Smile
...to all the coins I've dropped here
marko
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Inner circle
2110 Posts

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The Cups & Balls requires more coordination. But like all things, it depends on which version or routine you're performing.
Thought: Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage.
Andini
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Columbus, OH
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Both are absolutely amazing effects if done right. I happen to like sponge balls better mainly because I'm more comfortable with handling them and there seem to be more possibilites. Also, the sponge balls are more personal and interactivce and that's important for me and my performance.

Also, I can't quite develop a solid (no pun intended) Cups and Balls routine.
Hideo Kato
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Tokyo
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I think the main difference between SB and C&B is that the latter needs a proper setting. The former can be used anytime and anywhere. So SB is more suitable for beginners who don't have chances of performing in good setting.

Hideo Kato
DamienKeen
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Southampton, England
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The Cups and Balls happens to be my favourite effect, and indeed is a theatre piece as pointed out to me a little while ago.

Absolutely, definitely better than any sponge ball routine. Well, that's as long as final loads are involved Smile

As said several times above, cups and balls is a hard effect to get down well, and routining is vitaly important. When the routine flows smoothly and naturally, and the final load sequence is executed with ease///the cups and balls looks like REAL magic.
David Le
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USA
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Quote:
Well, that's as long as final loads are involved


Ditto Smile It combines the magicians skill of misdirection and utilizing the element of surprise which pretty much make up the barometer of his skill.

sponge balls don't let the magician "do much" but are just as amazing.

:)

just my 2 cents.
Mr. Muggle
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Cups and balls have a lot of the basic effects in magic all wrapped up into one trick, and to be successful you have to do many more things perfectly during your 3-5 minutes of performance.

Appearances, disappearances, transportations, penetrations, holding out, and transformations all happen while working with timing, misdirection, and audience control (to name a few).

Most sponge ball routines don't go into as much depth as the cups do, while supposedly showing a natural honesty of not cheating.

Due to the depth of the cups for even a basic routine, most consider it advanced, although it is normally recommended to be the first effect learned in magic for the serious student.

In any case I like various routines for both, but prefer the cups by far.


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)
Leeman
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Hollywood, CA
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I think that the reason that the cups and balls is looked upon as a more advanced trick then the spongeballs is because of the tradition. The cups and balls have been around for a long time and are considered to be a classic magic trick, like the linking rings. For this reason magicians have used the cups to test a magician and his skill. Since the cups have become somewhat of a test-piece of magicians they have to be looked to as an advanced piece of magic. Personally I think that another reason that the cups are considered more advanced is because a lot of the new cups and balls routines are designed to fool magicians and show off the skill of the performer and the sponges are and have always been more about entertaining the audience and getting the participants involved.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
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The best of both worlds.

Johnny Paul's routine with the cups and balls USES sponge balls. It is a killer routine.

First get the cups and balls video from http://www.stevensmagic.com and you will see why it is so good.

Then order the custom made cups for the routine.

You will then have the best of both worlds.
Smile
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
DrDale
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I have to agree that sponge balls are much easier. They took little time to do a good routine with, whereas the cups and balls took months to get a decent routine down.
Mr. Muggle
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I like sponges, but I don't care for the lack of color changes and the limitation of sleights with them. You have more options with coins, etc. to enhance the effect.

I understand that this is due to the nature of the sponge. But I think that this is one reason people shy away from serious sponge effects. They feel it's limited to kiddy shows, or sponge over the head.

IMO for that reason, no new sleights and really colorful routines have been produced. Could this be a new topic? "Effects in magic that have barely been improved (or grown) in magic and why?"

I've been working on a Technicolor sponge sequence, but so far, I'm limited to fooling that of a young child.

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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Sponge balls are easier because they are. They are more easy to palm, the routine is short and to the point, and their compressiblity aids their concealability.

Cups and balls offers smaller objects that are harder to palm convincingly. A longer routine is harder to present entertainingly. The final loads have to be kept ready and loaded with precision. The passes used to vanish are harder to perform convincingly, etc., etc.

Watch the people around you and see if I am not right. The simplest sponge bunny routine still kills.

Kirk
BlackShadow
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London UK
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Sponges are easier, undoubtably. There is much more to a C&B routine and more directions in which you can go to build a sequence some of which may lead to a poor routine. But I wouldn't decry sponges for all that. They're very immediate and magical effect espec if the spectator participation is used. And you still need good misdirection and timing to bring off the best in them.
what
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Lehi, UT, USA
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I enjoy doing do both Sponge Balls and Cups & Balls. I have to agree, however that it is easier to put together an entertaining sponge ball routine than a Cups & Balls routine. They play diferently to an audience. I use sponge balls as an audience participation routine in the middle of my show, and prefer to use the Cups & Balls to close.
Magic is fun!!!
WalterZ
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I personally prefer the cups and balls over sponge balls, and yet surprisingly I prefer billiard ball routines over both! I don't understand my own logic, but remembering back to when I was an ignorant spectator watching magic for the first time, I've adopted the tricks into my repertoire that have fooled me the worst when I wasn't a magician... a good 7 or so years ago.

Honestly, I think the best cups and balls routine every constructed is Tommy Wonder's rendition. It is absolutely perfect. He structured the whole routine around psychology rather than physical phases and he literally brings all his theoretical essays to life during his performance: paying attention to every single point he mentions in his two volume book. It was just wonderful to watch. If you get to see Tommy perform his routine, you'll understand why the cups and balls is far more advanced than sponge balls can ever be.
~WalterZ~

Themystifier.com
Steve Dela
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U.K. London
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I unfortunatly have never seen a good sponge ball routine.
but I have seen some pretty amazing cups and balls!

In Magic
Steve Dela
P.S I would like to see a good sponge routine!
http://stevedela.com
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Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

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Get the Goshman tape and see a great sponge ball routine.

Or...buy some sponges and develop a great sponge ball routine.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
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