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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Cups and Balls: sharing the sleights with the audience (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Zombie Magic
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Does anyone know why that is done in most routines? Does it 'lull' them into "oh, that's how it's done" so that they get a bigger surprise on the final loads?

I used to do it 30 years ago. Then I stopped and I didn't notice any difference in their surprise of the final loads.

Was just curious if there was an actual reason or did just become "that's they way we've always done it".
Lawrence O
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I'm afraid that "that's they way we've always done it" is the answer owing to the fact that it was initiated by The Professor himself.
Now the Vernon routine moves were all published in 1902 by Jean Caroly but without this "sharing". I agree with you that it doesn't add anything (and suppressing this doesn't reduce the impact of the large loads appearance) and I've always felt uneasy about this part of the routine.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
professorwhut
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I choose not to do it. Although some here on the Café are deeply offended by such actions.
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
Lawrence O
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We don't perform for café members but for audiences... who do not have the same bench marks as we do.
Our guess is as good as the one of the respectable people who disagree with us, as long as the result remains entertaining and magical
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Herr Brian Tabor
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In my opinion, it's exposure, and unnecessary so I don't do it.
Zombie Magic
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I did it as a teenager, because Vernon did it. But I think it's like showing someone how a trick is done: it's always a let down for them.
Payne
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I use it because It give me a nice laugh line and the timing of it has always just felt right for me. It seems to be missing a beat if I take it out.
"America's Foremost Satirical Magician" -- Jeff McBride.
Vayron
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I use it but I've changed the patter. Instead of saying "look I do like this" I say " SOME PEOPLE think that I don't really put the ball in my pocket" . I think it's more elegant, at least for me.
Nutz4Tutz
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I used to use it, but have cut it out of the routine. Just because I felt it degraded the performance prior to that ball. Never really thought of it until I had a spectator say in response to me doing that "oooh so that's how all those other balls came back". Not saying it's a wrong way to do it, but from a personal experience, I cut it out.
Donnie Buckley
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It is my understanding that Vernon threw the explanation portion of his routine in there as a quick and dirty way of getting to the loads. He was forced to forego use of a pouch due to his formal attire requirement and this was part of the solution.

I've always thought it was the one weakness the Vernon routine has. It's entertaining for an audience sure, but it's like a con-game expose' presentation.
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
Zombie Magic
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Can you imagine seeing a magician doing a card routine where they tip the DL, in order to blow them away with the pass? Card guys would scream bloody murder.

A sleight is a sleight. I just don't see the benefit of tipping the fake take. I'm not against it just as 'exposure'. I deeply feel it lends nothing to the routine and even may hurt it. I think they are amazed at the final loads and that's all they'll really remember. I feel the 'hurt' is that it's a let down of "oh, that's how it's done".
Pete Biro
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I don't do it.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
pepka
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I perform essentially, the Vernon routine however I have left out any exposure. I don't care for it at all. The one exception is in Ricky Jay's masterpiece routine. He is talking about another performer and demonstrates a completely hideous French drop type of move that looks like NOTHING in his routine. Of course, it also helps that there is a LOT more going on in that routine, even though he uses Vernon's exact tip over loading method and vanish.
Donnie Buckley
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You are supposed to be doing a hideous French Drop in Vernon's routine too. It's not supposed to be a real sleight.
Done properly, the sequence does what it was designed to do. If the audience actually watched your movements up to the explanation, they know you are not telling the truth, because the hideous French Drop doesn't actually look like anything you did during the routine. So their minds are busy thinking about how clever they are for not believing your baloney explanation and they are trying to intepret the lie... meanwhile it's all working against them in the end.
It has the potential to be the "audience participation" part of a cups and balls routine, or at least that dangerous moment when the audience will blurt out things that you better be prepared for. For the right "character", this segment could be hilarious and provide more than you need to bring the trick home.
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
pepka
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You're right Donnie. I've seen a few clips of Vernon (and others) where they actually do a decent false transfer or French drop. But yes, I think if you do it, it should look completely hideous.
professorwhut
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I have heard this move referred to as the fake explanation. It is not a fake explanation, it is the real explanation.
How many other tricks do we preform where we expose the actual method as part of the routine.

But, the bottom line is really that the laymen audience don't give a hoot about this either way, It is only a magician issue.
I know Gazzo uses this ploy, I think he pulls it off rather well.

This has got me thinking however.
What about an explanation that truly is fake. One that could open up possibilities for further deception.
After much soul searching about a signature, I decided not to have one.

TG Pop [aka ProfessorWhut]
JordanB
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I have to say that I agree with Bob White, Roberto Giobbi, and others and say that the Vernon loading sequence is one of the best pieces of his thinking and frankly, the hallmark, of the Vernon routine. There are other routines that use less cups, gimmicks, unusual loads (salt, coins, etc), and other assorted novelties and in those routines this might not be a good fit, but in a standard cup and ball routine I think this is the nuts.

Bob White has postulated that Vernon got the loading sequence straight out of Erdnase, and I think he may be right.

You have to understand that to the Professor and many of his students the loads are the trick….not the little balls. By the time you get to the loading sequence the spectators know you are lying some of the time when you say you are (or are not) putting a ball in a cup. The explanation is to ease that mental tension….take a little pressure off the valve while you get ready to sock them in the jaw with the loads. It’s a brilliant piece of misdirection.

The Vernon routine is really the Vernon loading sequence. All the rest is just pieces from other sources….Malini, Charles Bertram, Hoffman, Al Baker, and almost certainly Pops Krieger (among others). If you don’t do the explanation/loading sequence then you can’t really say you are doing the Vernon routine.

I’m not saying it’s the only way, just offering some thoughts on that particular sequence.

For detailed work on the subject see Bob White’s DVD. Jared Kopf talks about it briefly in his lecture notes, and within the year or two in Genii Roberto Giobbi has a nice analysis of the loading sequence (in theoretical terms).
Donnie Buckley
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Very well put Jordan. Great post.
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
Motley Mage
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I am by far no expert in the cups and balls, though I aspire to be, but my biggest complaint with the Vernon routine has always been the "Now, of course what I'm doing here is. . ." portion, closely followed by the kindred, "That's too complicated--let's just do this" segment. In both cases, I think we are too close to tipping the actual work. And I would be the last person--truly--to disagree with Mater Payne, but I feel both bits of business can be worked around from a timing standpoint. (Not that I've got the timing worked out, mind you; I just BELIEVE these bits can be avoided . . .)
cirrus
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I don't like the vernon load sequence, at this moment I don't even use final loads.
I have performed my cup routine a few hundred times and I was never asked about the final loads, so they don't care. That, too, is a magician's thing.

It's not because Giobbi and others (Giobbi is primarely a card guy)have said that it is Vernon's best work, that it is. I don't like Vernon's routine. To much clutter (in my opinion). I reduced the cup routine to 2 cups.

Exposition is exposition. Clear and simple. I don't like it because it is awkward. You could as well show them the 4th ball and be done with it.
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