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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Difference in cups (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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I think that it's really a subjective choice. Lance Burton uses 3 different colored coffee cups, Skinner used fancy tea cups. On the tube there is everything from paper cups, plastic cups, stackable and unstackable cups. In my mind, in my mind, there is something special about performing with a fine prop, like wearing a fine watch.
Leo H
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Skinner also used the Connie Hayden cups, and the copper Magic Inc. Charlie Miller cups for his performances at the Lillie Langtree restaurant in Vegas.
Mad Jake
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All the voices in my head helped me make
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Check out some new Generation II cups.....

Got my set for Christmas, they are wonderful!

They're limited runs to 100 and less than 50 left.
For quality Paul Fox Cups spun on Danny Dew's Paul Fox tooling visit us at
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The tale of my cup collecting will serve as a lesson. What I know now could save you a step or two.

When quite young I started with the smaller Ireland cups that are like the Paul Fox but shorter, mid-size. Perhaps they were Morrisey since they are aluminum. If aluminum are all you have tried you don't know the difference and won't mind.

Back then I read Aldo Columbini's routine, and remember him now. I got hooked on finding a set of cups to allow the Tip Over move that looks so good. I could not manage it with these cups and the size of balls they allowed. Over time I had gained many moves but not made a complete routine. Each cup had pros and cons but the next set would really do the trick.

After amassing lots of great sets, usually great deals and much fun, Columbini came to Magic Inc. to lecture. As a favor he went back to his earliest work and gave a shot at his cup and ball routine. He had brought no cups and so the shop searched for something he could use. He ended up with the same set I had given up on, aluminum short Ireland/Morrisey! His skill and the practice let him do the Tip Over move without a hitch. The trick was not in the cup but in the skill of the operator. A lesson for me, I can tell you. He could probably have done it with Adam's cups.

I did manage to get a routine together based on Bob Read's ideas (also remembered) using bits and pieces of my collection. This won me Chicago's IBM close up in 2006 to my very extreme astonishment [See Picture at Left].
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Profile of plungerman
The list from The Ambitious, is quite complete. Here is a way to step through it.

You will do well to start by finding the best size ball for you, your hands to do slights; ease in finger palming (forget about classic palming balls in a cup routine), weight, visibility etc.

From there; do you like routines where two or three balls show up on top of a cup? If so then you will need cups that can hold three of those balls on top and inside the attic. There is a balance of having the most visible, larger balls using the smallest, more easily carried cups. Assuming you do; Sherwood's are great in that they have a tiny extra lip that seats larger balls than a cup of otherwise similar size.

If you don't mind or prefer larger cups this will not be an issue unless you like even bigger balls. Gazzo cups or Chick cups require Gazzo size hands or strength. Their pedigree will get you nothing if your routine or hands are not up for it. Also cup size reflects how many are expected to watch and from how far away; cocktail table-top or Time's Square. Beautiful cocobolo wood cups are invisible indoors.

Do you prefer baseball or tennis ball loads or will fresh fruit do the job? Does the apparently impossible size of the final load ball impress as much as the simple surprise of a turnip or radish in the cup. Doing the routine a few dozen times in front of people will tell you. I love the ball falling from a Paul Fox cup but I'm not the one being entertained.

These considerations get you to the size of the cups. From there it goes more to aesthetics of beads, how many, or no beads. The weight of metal cups make them comfortable and more fun to play with than paper cups or coconut shells. This also tells your audience you are some kind of pro, not a vagrant NTTAWWT!.

There should be a medium price above which you can expect nested cups to sit properly and not rattle or stick together. This may be the only reason to get a professional set vs one adapted from Bed Bath and Beyond.

The final consideration, if you can afford anything, is to spend a little more than you wanted/expected. If you get the best you can possibly manage you will have jumped to the end of the process, with no need to creep from good to better and still better sets. I could not have popped for Sherwood's long before they were around, but I can tell you there is nothing like them. I'm still hooked on my engraved silvers. I do recommend RnT II if for no other reason than they have so much expertise and choices and will work with you to make you happy. Apart from that, brick and mortar shops live to serve you.

In any case, each time I walk up to new set of cups it's clear to me that I am walking into a playground. I get to try each move, sequence and somersault with a different weight, balance and rhythm. Such fun.

So shop, collect or play with particular goals in mind and let us know what you find along the way.
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