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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Combo cups vs. Regular cups (24 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ColtonRaelund
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COLTON ZOROASTER RAELUND
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From what I gather about the combo cup sets, they are more versitile than thr regular sets. So far I like the look of the RNT mendoza combo cups. But is it safe to let people handle the chopped cup? Can you do a regular routine without the chopped balls, and handle the cups normally?
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On Jan 12, 2016, ColtonRaelund wrote:
But is it safe to let people handle the chopped cup?


If it is a well made cup, yes. You may not want to let them examine one of each at the same time, as they might spot a discrepancy.

Quote:
Can you do a regular routine without the chopped balls, and handle the cups normally?


Absolutely! Using the chopped ball (there is typically one per set of four), you'll need to keep up with where it is. You can also use the same set without taking advantage of the chopped feature, still keeping up with which ball is where so as to avoid the chopped nature. You can also use a completely different, non-chopped set, as long as they fit.

You can also use the chopped cup by itself for a typical chop cup routine.

If you want the versatility, even if not now but possibly for other routines down the road, a combo set may be your best choice. If you don't think you will ever use that feature, just get a regular set and save a few bucks.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
ColtonRaelund
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COLTON ZOROASTER RAELUND
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I will definitly be using the chopped feature, but I also don't want to be helpless when it comes to using reagular cups. As for well made cups, does anybody have experience with the RNT cups?
Bill Palmer
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The cups made by RnT II are among the best that you can get. The prices of their products are quite reasonable with respect to the current market prices.

The Mendoza combo cups are really good.

The only question I have about your original statement is why you pass your props for examination. It is unnecessary, and it brings your show to a screeching halt.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Dick Oslund
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Read Bill's third paragraph AGAIN! --and AGAIN!

I'll PM you about Talent, Topical, Timing, Time, and T E M P O!!!
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Al Schneider
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I am a bit confused by all of this.

My perspective is that the biggest problem with combo cups is that you feel a need to use the gimmick because it is there. In working with it and standard moves, the gimmick does not match the power of standard moves. I believe a magic routine should always flow forward in a logical way. The use of the gimmick seems to stop that smooth forward flow. I understand it is a clever device and it has a certain power. It doesn't seem to work well.

I also feel the same about using a magic wand with cups and balls. Reaching for the wand, picking it up, and putting it back uses three motions. Where is the magic during that time. And you use those moves again and again.

I just don't feel the gimmick is up the value of achieving the magic the audience wants to see. The gimmick does not support the simple act of a ball disappearing or jumping from cup to cup. You kind of need to hammer it into place with a hammer for it to work.

I know this is not popular but after years of hearing how great it is I had to share my two cents.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
HarryB
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Colton,
I struggled with this in my decision to buy a set. Donnie at RnT2 was not manufacturing the Foxy 3 cups in a chopped set at the time I was ready to purchase. I started looking at videos that had chopped routines and saw a very interesting thing. When the magician set the wrong ball on top of the wrong cup (bottom up of course) it took on a life of it's own, only for and instant of course, but it was painfully obvious. It was very clear to me then that a chopped set didn't offer me any benefit, especially considering a pain it would be to keep up with the gimmicks. I am no expert but have read that the chopped set offers less than a handful of moves that is not possible with the regular set. I bought the regular RnT2 Foxy 3 cups and couldn't be happier.
ColtonRaelund
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COLTON ZOROASTER RAELUND
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I do not intend to pass the cups for examination. To me, it is the same as a deck of cards. If I say 'would anyone like to shuffle this deck of cards?', and someone does so, it makes them realize that the order of the deck is uninportant (arent muggles clever?). But if someone says 'let me shuffle that deck', and he shuffles the same deck for the same trick (saying no would ruin the effect), the audience sees that I have overcome a challenge. I never intend to pass the cups out for examination, but if someone says 'let me see those cups' I would have no choice. Now that I think about it, who would really want to examine a set of cups and balls?
My thoughts on the combo cups were that if I could do the standard routines as well as chopped ones, why not get a combo set? After reading these posts I am now wondering about the value in a combo set. I appreciate the above suggestions; I saw the valid points in each, and am now recomputing. Sometimes it is hard to beat the old ways...
Rainboguy
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I have several thoughts on this:

1. Don't run if you're not being chased.
2. The Mendoza Combo Cups are, in my opinion, OUTSTANDING Cups, both as a chopped set and a regular set.
3. I agree with Al Schneider's comments, above......BUT......not all cup routines can be done with a regular, un-chopped set, and a perfect example is "The Two Goblets" by Camirand Academy. It's a BEAUTIFUL Routine that NEEDS a good chopped cup and a regular cup, and it also uses sleight of hand as well as great misdirection.
kentfgunn
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I believe all of the objections to using chop cups have a measure of merit, but . . .

Careful practice will prevent revealing the ferrous nature of some of the balls.

The mighty Al Schneider's comments are also avoidable. Careful and judicious use of the feature can add a lot to a cups routine.

For those who were lucky enough to have never seen this, I offer my take on how I chose to use the power.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wksAZSAccvQ
Bill Palmer
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Magician's guilt is a tough master. It always kills the show. I've heard (and seen) competent cups and balls workers explain the crocheted covers of the balls as "knit sweaters." I've heard them refer to the little baseballs as "little baseballs." My question is "Why?" Neither bit adds to the entertainment value of the routine. Just do the routine and entertain the audience. If a "muggle" (as you refer to them -- aren't magicians clever?) asks to examine the cups, you can ignore them, or you can say "later," and continue with your routine.

Watch the real workers.

Quote:
On Jan 13, 2016, ColtonRaelund wrote:
I do not intend to pass the cups for examination. To me, it is the same as a deck of cards. If I say 'would anyone like to shuffle this deck of cards?', and someone does so, it makes them realize that the order of the deck is uninportant (arent muggles clever?). But if someone says 'let me shuffle that deck', and he shuffles the same deck for the same trick (saying no would ruin the effect), the audience sees that I have overcome a challenge. I never intend to pass the cups out for examination, but if someone says 'let me see those cups' I would have no choice. Now that I think about it, who would really want to examine a set of cups and balls?
My thoughts on the combo cups were that if I could do the standard routines as well as chopped ones, why not get a combo set? After reading these posts I am now wondering about the value in a combo set. I appreciate the above suggestions; I saw the valid points in each, and am now recomputing. Sometimes it is hard to beat the old ways...
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Leo H
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I first saw the term "muggles" years ago from Jonathan Townshend. He utilized it in a post to refer to the audience.
Bill Palmer
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Maybe you should have read the Harry Potter books. In the Harry Potter books, it is roughly the equivalent of "goyim."
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Leo H
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Not a fan of the Harry Potter books but now understand what you meant from the Wiki definition:

In the Harry Potter book series a Muggle is a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into the magical world.

Usage in Harry Potter:

The term Muggle is sometimes used in a pejorative manner in the books. Since Muggle refers to a person who is a member of the non-magical community, muggles are simply ordinary human beings rather than witches and wizards.

Now I understand why Jonathan refers to audience members with that appellation. I like it.
Al Schneider
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Kent
Actually, you make my point.
You have set the tempo of that routine to take advantage of the gimmick.
I believe that I am not encumbered by that hang up and the following routine tears ahead.
I have performed the following routine many times at a coffee shop.
It is often repeated for the same customers as the idea is to work for anyone that stops by.
I don't even put the cups away.
They just lie on the table by a deck of cards and some coins.
The trick resets and I can do it in my birthday suit.

https://youtu.be/69Drr3nuN2U
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Bill Palmer
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Two things -- I was writing my post about magician's guilt before Kent made his point about his routine. I have said this before, and I will say it again -- I have seen Kent do this routine several times "live" and at possibly the most horrible angle imaginable, and I did not see a thing that was out of place or suspicious looking. He started with a goal in mind, figured out what it would take to accomplish it, put it together and worked it out. It is a flawless routine, in my opinion.

Second thing -- Kent has achieved this beauty through unrelenting practice and frequent live performance. This is what it takes to do the job well.

Al Schneider is one of my cups and balls heroes. He thinks carefully about what he is supposed to be doing, and he makes it look like magic. Not many magicians understand how relevant this is.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Al Schneider
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I am not saying the combo cups are bad or should not be used. I am saying that if you choose to use the set, be prepared to invest energy into making it work for you instead of you working to use the gimmick because it is cool.

It works great in the chop cup sequence. I would not hesitate to use that should the need arise.

Compare this to using gimmicked coins. The effects of them can be powerful. But, they must be used differently than straight. The coins sound different and bounce different when they hit the road. And if one is in your pocket when you sit down, you might find it no longer looks the same.

Personally, when I investigated the combo set, I felt it didn't fit what I was trying to accomplish. Kent felt different than I did and took a different path.

Perhaps what I am concerned about is the feeling that using the gimmick will replace the need to work on decent execution, timing, tempo, and good old audience communication. I think that is what I have observed in the past and it kinda haunts me.

We all march to the sound of a different drum.
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
funsway
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Reviewing the comments above from several notable C&B performers, I am caught between two concepts:

1) knowing what you are trying to accomplish,

2) knowing what the audience expects as to "entertainment" and "magical."

I find myself siding more with Al than the other views and have never mixed Chop Cup effects with C&B -- perhaps to my loss.

Does a muggle have a different expectation from a C&B routine than a Single Cup routine? Does combining them confuse in some way?

I used to think that most spectators had some familiarity with a C&B routine -- even to thinking they had some understanding of method (non-muggle). Is that true today?

Regardless of the possible impact of each approach, is there a danger in having the same appearing cup used in each?

Just musing ...
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst



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ZachDavenport
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I think that the best magic comes when you figure out the effect you want to create, then make it happen with the best method you can find. Depending on what you want to accomplish the combo set may or may not be best.
Reality is a real killjoy.
Charles Gaff
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I am new to the cups and balls, (less than 50 attempts) and have not tried on laymen yet. I only have regular cups. Since I am using the Gazzo routine however,I always hand out the cups. I "ring" them on my wand, and do the screw on gag. I thought this was normal, standard practice. I am doing a stand up, pouch routine. I don't see it as guilt, just another way to engage and entertain the audience.
I am learning ways of dealing with demanding specs, that's a different issue.
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