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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Help! How to Perform Close-Up for More Than One? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

stilson
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I've been back into magic for about 9 months and I decided to tackle the cups and balls. I read the books, watched the video's, learned the moves and then practiced as much as I could. I performed the trick for about 6-7 people at the office, all one at a time. Each was amazed and impressed, they said it looked like real magic and I felt great and had a tremendous feeling of accomplishment for my hard work invested. Yesterday I performed the trick for two kids and one adult at the same time and I crashed and burned. I could not hold the attention of all three at the same time, it seemed like as I looked to one child, the other two immediately dropped their eyes to my hands and were not at all locked into my routine.But it gets worse, I was repeatedly busted because of the angles. It turns out that my fake loads and other slights were detected from the people sitting at "2 o'clock" and "10 o'clock" , angles do matter. I realize magic is an art that takes time and practice, but today I feel frustrated and defeated. I would love to get some advice on how to hold multiple peopl's attention at the same time, plus any advise on making routines more angle proof, while still doing everything naturally. Any other words of encouragement or advice would also be appreciated.
TheAmbitiousCard
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When you lift a cup to reveal a ball, it's almost impossible for a person not to look at the ball.

Obviously that's when you grab your load ball but there are still tons of things to talk about such as where is your hand just before you reveal the ball, while you lift the cup, which hand moves first, where are you looking when this happens ,etc.

When you were looking at one child what was happening during the routine? Specifically?

You probably need to work on timing. I would suggest you video yourself performing the effect.

Make sure you're looking at the items on the table yourself that you're trying to draw attention to.

Besides, 2 kids can be a pain. If they're 10-13 yrs. old they are probably just trying to catch you and have no real interest in being entertained, per se.
To them, it's just a challenge.

I wouldn't beat yourself up about it.
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Bill Palmer
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Here are a couple of tips that work for me. When you see a kid looking in the wrong place, call him by name. His reflexes will cause him to look at you.

Also, remember what Max Malini said when they asked him how long to wait if a spectator was burning his hands -- "Vait a veek!"

I have to disagree with Frank Starsini though. ONE kid is a pain. TWO kids are a major disaster.
"The Swatter"

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Mr. Muggle
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Also try to set up a three fold mirror or use 3 video inputs into your TV.

I use this to work on eye contact with the WHOLE audience while watching all of my angles. The mirror will get you used to "working the room" so to speak. I also used the mirror to re work my routine and make it evenly done across the full spectrum of my close up pad.

I see a lot of people start from right and move to the left (like the Vernon routine). I found by rearranging my routine I had an easier time of controlling the audience if I broke up that sequence. In my own routine now I do the sides first, then the center last. It works for me, perhaps it will for you.

Like Bill and Frank said, kids are a hard sell. I'd just avoid them until you are totally confident and know how to handle them.

MM
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KirkG
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My guess is that you haven't had enough practice and are probably doing some of the move wrong. Of course, none of us can see what you are doing, so these are just guesses. My guess is based on your comment that you have "been back in magic for 9 months and have decided to tackle the cups and balls." This leads me to believe you haven't had the time necessary to practice and learn the routine.

All the suggestions given above are excellant, but one I would add first to the list, is to find a local magician who performs this well and ask him/her to watch your routine and give you a critique based on actually seeing it. Tell them before hand you want them to be brutally honest.

If someone is trying to bust you, they probably will unless you really have a strong personality and command of misdirection. Even still, under those conditions they will probably be able to back track and figure it out. Here is where a chop cup can come in handy.

The actual cup and ball routine requires several months of dedicated practice and evaluation to master. I would think most magicians would take about a year to be totally comfortable with it, with the last three months devoted to performance practice to hone the timing. In addition to bullet proof sleights, meaning no flashes, awkward grips or tells, you need the correct rhythm to pull the eyes along and don't give them a lot of time to backtrack.

Kirk G
Dave V
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What videos are you watching? Look for more performance based videos rather than the teaching videos. Watch what works in the "real world."

Two of my favorites right now are Cellini's "The Art of Street Performing" and "Gazzo, Uncensored"

Cellini's DVD shows an example of a street performance by Sonny Holliday that includes Cups and Balls.

Gazzo's performance at the Magic Castle is okay, but they were an "audience" who were there specifically to see him. What's even better is his street performance where he controls a large crowd with only his personality and a few simple tricks. Seeing him control a hundred strangers for a half an hour who were really not planning to watch a show that day is a near-religious experience.

Both deal with performance only, but teach a LOT if you know what to look for.

Gazzo's cup loads are nearly angle-proof. (except from the back, but he says they don't tip anyway, so don't worry about them)
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TheAmbitiousCard
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I notice that Gazzo is about on the verge of abusive with some of the spectators but then makes sure, at thet last minute, that he gives them a handshake and a smile.

Quite a balancing act.

I thought it was hilarious when he asked the girl... "Are Those Real?" but now I cannot remember what he was actually referring to. I know what he was pretending to refer to. Gazzo fans, please remind me so I can have a mid-day chuckle.

Frank
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Dave V
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He was asking about her fingernails as she clutched the cup to her chest.
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Alan Munro
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Practice and rehearse with a video camera at all of the bad angles. This will force you to adapt. I've even seen well known pros botch the angles, when they get into the habit of performing one on one.
Pete Biro
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Perhaps you were rushing to get through alive? I find that interaction and working slower helps a lot. Take the routine one phase at a time...

If you appear confident that helps too.

And, IMHO, if the kids are a bad audience, cut it short. No sense in dying.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
rickmagic1
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I completely agree with Pete. If I was working for someone that I could tell was going to be a pain, I'd quickly finish up, thank them and move on.

Rick
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2004-07-14 21:06, Dave VanVranken wrote:
He was asking about her fingernails as she clutched the cup to her chest.

Right! Ha! The Gazz-meister at his best!

I also think getting out from behind the table after a phase for a moment and having a little joke with a spectator can really help in you seeming friendly, confident. It can be very disarming. You seem more human and likeable. Also, make sure you maintain tons of eye contact throughout your routine.
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Bill Palmer
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The reason Vernon works from right to left is that in the West, we read from left to right, so the right end of the stage is the one that most easily attracts attention.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
TheAmbitiousCard
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Really? That is probably a good idea.
I do it the other way around.

Can I blame it on being left handed?
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