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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Ammar shows a new way to begin the cups (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Ray Haining
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Hot Springs, AR
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I've often used the cups and balls as a closer, myself.
Curtis Kam
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same as you, plus 3 and enough to make
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I also like Roland's analysis. "Suspense plus surprise" is an especially nice way to put it. It does take some of the mystery out of the appearance of the other large balls, though, since the logical conclusion is that they must have come from the pockets, too. Or wherever you put the ball you showed at the beginning--that's an idea, you put the ball at the beginning into the box or bag that the cups arrived in. You never approach that box again until the cups are already loaded, and then you show the box empty. This sets up the suspense part of the ending.

BTW, Tom Mullica used to start his Cups and Balls routine by juggling the final load balls, and then putting them back behind the bar without much comment. He would then take out the cups and do the routine. Also a bit of suspense/surprise, but less overt.
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wnewhouse
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My very first post, so my apologies up front if this is the wrong thread, or I make some other error. No argument with Mr. Ammar's choice of loads and routine. But for those of you who dislike his choice of final load(s), have any of you tried this: Assembling a diminishing silks ball for bare hand production and using that silk ball for the final load? (I have read pages and pages of c&b/chop cup commentary in the forum and seen nothing along this line.) I have done that several times in my chop cup routine and gotten consistently excellent reactions to it. It is a totally different material, texture, shape and color, and takes the audience a moment to register WHAT IT MIGHT BE after the initial recognition of what it definitely ISN'T. While they are making that brief transition, I snatch it up and jump straight into the diminishing silks routine as if it had been in my hand all along. To me, it seems like a perfect segue between routines. I have also experimented a couple of times with a color-changing silk streamer rolled into a hand-production ball as the final chop cup load. Same positive audience response that gives me entree to the silks. Thoughts?
Bill Newhouse
'A reasonably remarkable presenter of extraordinarily mundane miracles.'
wnewhouse
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One other possibility I forgot to include in my first post. I have begun experimenting with a small silk fountain as the final load for the chop cup. Still working out the details, but it feels like it has potential.
Bill Newhouse
'A reasonably remarkable presenter of extraordinarily mundane miracles.'
Lawrence O
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The choice of load is an old debate between us magicians.
I'm of the onions, tangerine, portobello mushroom school. But this discussion has nothing to do with what's most original and interesting (IMHO) with Dick William's idea and what Michael Ammar made of it.

Every seasoned magician knows that tricks with audience participation are perceived as more magical and result in more gigs and better paid bookings. "Magic" as a cause is always better accepted than the "superiority" of a sleight of hand artist which is generally received by spectators (sometimes much brighter than the performer) as a challenge if not offensive. As the professor used to say when there is challenge there is no magic (the competition is between people instead of being magic and the laws of nature)

So what is educational (still IMHO) is what Michael Ammar does with that idea of the spectator performing the C&Bs. There are several subtleties and the large load at the beginning is not there by lack of thinking. It is guided the style and the character chosen by Michael Ammar. He leads the spectator to perform sleight of hand without even realizing it. This is probably why the Shell and pea is referred to initially. This is also why Michael Ammar performs the routine (in every video of that approach) with a T-Shirt and short wide sleeves, why his gesture is even more deliberate than in the past. All aims at indicating that the spectator performs feats of skill that he doesn't understand but successfully. In this logic, even though I'm in favor of the potatoe, tangering onion finale, I fully understand why the large load is chosen at the end, why the bag, as in Tommy Wonder's routine, supplies the climax, and why (when it is really anti-climatic) the spectator is requested to pack up evereything (conveying that he has "acquired" the skill).

When Dick Williams came up with his idea of the performing magician, it hit me as strongly as it did Michael Ammar. But I went in a totally different direction. First I was explaining that in the archive of the Vatican, there are confessions concerning the fact that the C&Bs, before the inquisition, were not always performed by sleight of hands (naturally this is BS). Sleight of hands only took over because the Inquisition by torturing and burning C&Bs performers. Now the ancient purely magical feats have fallen into oblivion. But are we that sure that the religious fanatic were naive enough to confuse magic and sleight of hands and cruel enough to burn, dismember or tear apart innocent jugglers? Well the chief exorcist (my character after the introduction) of the Vatican proved to me that maybe we are the ones prejudiced against magic rather than the bishops of the time against poor showmen. Then I'm asking a spectator to play the part that I actually had with the Vatican's chief exorcist and share the conviction that I had so reluctantly acquired. Now it is not stated that the Exorcist knows how these devilish deeds actually work but he can make put them at work: he knows by heart the blood covered documents that tell what to do. (and I like in this approach the very consistent three loads of a different nature: tangering, -too fragile to be manipulated- portobello mushroom, and juicy peach)

The theme becomes pure Magic without sleight of hands of any kind and cognitive dissonance. The purpose then is no longer the same as in Michael Ammar's approach. This is not to say that mine is superior in any way. It is to express that this "performing spectator" approach is in infancy. It's not just a different idea. I see it as a revolutionary opening to new avenues in the C&Bs and magic.

We should be grateful to Michael Ammar, who had nothing to prove to anyone concerning the C&Bs or magic, to have seen what Dick Williams had unearthed and to have dared putting aside his own extremely elaborate traditional routine to lead our community on this new route.

The biggest travel starts with just one step.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
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