The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » C&B not ready for Prime Time? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
NMaggio
View Profile
New user
Nick Maggio
100 Posts

Profile of NMaggio
It occurred to me after several months of practice and development that my Cups and Balls routine was no where near ready for Prime Time. Maybe the years were taking the edge off of my learning ability. Then I was reading an interview with Lance Burton in the May 15, 1999 issue of Genii. His statement, “Well, I worked very hard on the routine (C&Bs) for TWO OR THREE YEARS, practicing it, before I felt comfortable putting it in the show.” I felt vindicated.

How long did it take you to perfect your Cups and Balls routine?

Nick Maggio
Bill Palmer
View Profile
Eternal Order
Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
24279 Posts

Profile of Bill Palmer
Mine is still a work in progress. My chop cup routine, OTOH, took about six months.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11159 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
NMaggio - In defense of yourself, check to see that the one missing element isn't interaction with live bodies. Sometimes that is the catalyst.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
rikbrooks
View Profile
Inner circle
Olive Branch, Mississippi
1317 Posts

Profile of rikbrooks
Well, how much practice is 'several months'. Practicing 6 hours a day is different from 1 hour a day, 5 days a week.

No, don't tell me how many hours you've been practicing, it's also dependent on several other factors such as hand/eye coordination, etc.

Let me just put it this way, several months is not a long time. Not by anyone's definition.
NMaggio
View Profile
New user
Nick Maggio
100 Posts

Profile of NMaggio
Michael-

"Interaction with live bodies", I agree, is the finest and quickest learning tool. This applies to both audience "bodies" and accomplished "bodies".

Nick Maggio
KirkG
View Profile
Inner circle
1391 Posts

Profile of KirkG
This is why I say cups and balls is a study trick. You can learn a routine in a few months, but it will continue to grow the longer you practice and perform it.

I would say you aren't ready to perform it for lay audiences until you have shown it to a few magic buddies and then performed for a magic club so they can honestly tell you how the moves look. Once the moves are down you can concentrate on the fine points of your presentation. You will have absorbed some presentation by virtue of just practicing the moves.

That being said, it is much easier to learn a chop cup routine as you have the gimmick to replace some sleight of hand and a much shorter routine to practice and hold an audience's attention. Only one opening to load and the second load is a gimmie.

Strive for naturalness and flowing of movement. Any hesitation, or fumbling will detract. Most of the best guys handle the props very casually. Sometimes their confindence even makes it look like a flourish, when it is just a real familiarity with the props.

Kirk G
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27150 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Till you have a script, and at least a good reason for doing the thing beyind "it's a classic" please do keep it away from audiences. The thing can be magical and fun... after you get your character and the performance stuff together.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13417 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
There's no getting around the fact that hardly any effects are "ready to go" until you've actaully performed them in front of people.

Most effects require it in order to get the real feel for how your body reacts in performance. No matter how awesome it seems as you practice all night in your livingroom in your boxer shorts, there is still work to be done, and that is working thru performing it under fire.

Tension, nervousness, etc. all affect your timing and especially difficult slights that need to be carried off smoothly.

So you have to perform to perfect it, but you should not perform it until it is perfected.

Discusisng this Catch-22 could prove most intersting.

Johnathan, you start Smile
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Terry Holley
View Profile
Inner circle
1794 Posts

Profile of Terry Holley
Frank brings up a good point.

Our greatest strengths can be our greatest weaknesses. By that I mean that we want to perform it so well that we never perform it. At some point you have to decide to "put it on the road" and then continue to "perfect" it.

Terry
Co-author with illusionist Andre' Kole of "Astrology and Psychic Phenomena."
Pete Biro
View Profile
1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

Profile of Pete Biro
All tricks you practice CHANGE when someone is watching you.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27150 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Once you have a reason for doing a trick, and some outline of a script, you can begin the process of refining the peice. There is no catch 22. Till the trick has meaning TO YOU, you are not going to communicate that meaning to them.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Spydur
View Profile
Special user
PDX, now San Diego...back to PDX
966 Posts

Profile of Spydur
J.T.,

I guess I get to disagree with you. The fact that you are practicing the effect gives it meaning. The fact that you are spending time perfecting something that you want to show someone gives it meaning. What ever meaning you give it, gives it meaning.

I agree that having a script makes the effet more enjoyable to watch, or does it? Blaine has very little script and he is very entertaining to the people on his special. They may be spectator # 347 but they were amazed and thus somewhat entertained.

Just my thoughts.
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27150 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
I agree about practicing offering a fertile ground for finding meaning. There still needs to be a seed in that soil we can grow into something that we perform. The trick is not quite a Kata we are demonstrating for our teachers. The trick has simpler and sometimes deeper layers of meaning. If you will, permit me a counter example to the argument offered above: We tie our shoes in the morning. As such, the activity has meaning to us. Even so, most of us don't show others how we tie our shoes.

Keep thinking, and if you find any meaning... perhaps it can grow into significance.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Werner G. Seitz
View Profile
Inner circle
3131 Posts

Profile of Werner G. Seitz
Very interesting discussion, as we are talking about *performing* before a life audience and not soley about the C&Bs.
The biggest mistake one can make is NOT going out and *do* it..anything..any routine.
It goes without saying, one first should do so, after one is confident and *thinks* one can do a proper job, BUT, one never is finished with anything, one has to pull oneselves together and simply DO it..go out and do it..in the real world!

One might flop, one might expose, BUT there is NO way to do it differently.

With each and every *real* performance on does -or rather should, mostly will- learn something..and this finally will add to a smooth and routined performance without any flops.

In this case I have to disagree with Jonathan, because if one one day simply doesn't jump on it, one NEVER gets a good perfomance out of anything.

One has to take the risk to flop, the risk to expose and being looked at as being a fool.
Unfortunately there is no other way.

As mentioned, one should practise the thing, make up a script, but one can't go on forever re this..one day one has to jump at at and probably will flop the very first time at least..

One will drop the coins, one will do other silly stuff and forget the great and scripted patter due to the things happening.

BUT..it still will be a step forward to future and better performances..

Good luck..it's all about having the guts..

There are ppl who don't think, never doubt their own ability, they always think they do well, they even can't se when they flop..
It is a good thing to be able to se ones own faults and doubt ones abilities even after practising for a long time..

Just go out and do it.. AFTER proper rehearsal ! Smile
And don't start the very first public performance of a new routine on TV !
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27150 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Quote:
On 2004-12-27 07:50, Werner G. Seitz wrote:...In this case I have to disagree with Jonathan, because if one one day simply doesn't jump on it, one NEVER gets a good perfomance out of anything....


Werner, folks

I am arguing that until the trick has a MEANING FOR YOU BEYOND LOOK AT ME, THE CLEVER MAGICIAN DOING A CLASSIC OF MAGIC, all you are offering the audience is a rote performance of something without signicicance. You could do just as well by producting rocks from your shoes.

Once you have a feeling for what is special about the trick for you, by all means, go see how others react to it. If you have the listening skills as well, you might find some seeds of meaning offered by your audience.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Werner G. Seitz
View Profile
Inner circle
3131 Posts

Profile of Werner G. Seitz
Quote:
On 2004-12-27 07:59, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Werner, folks

I am arguing that until the trick has a MEANING FOR YOU BEYOND LOOK AT ME, THE CLEVER MAGICIAN DOING A CLASSIC OF MAGIC, all you are offering the audience is a rote performance of something without signicicance.
That's something else and one can't ENTIRELY disagree..

Any perfomance/stuff one does, should have some of ones own *soul* in it..

OTOH, what about the pros making their living from this stuff?
They have to do what the audience likes -what gets the money, which not always might be what they like themselves? Smile
Learn a few things well.....this life is not long enough to do everything.....

( Words of wisdom from Albert Goshman ...it paid off for him - it might
as well for YOU!!!- My own magic is styled after that motto... Smile )
drwilson
View Profile
Inner circle
Bar Harbor, ME
2191 Posts

Profile of drwilson
An interesting question, how long to "perfect" the Cups and Balls. I'd say years!

This Mount Everest of Magic has always represented a great challenge for me. There are those quotes from the great magicians about aspiring conjurors proving themselves with this feat.

Fortunately for me, I was doing a Svengali pitch at a fair and had some plastic Cups and Balls sets for sale. I worked out an easy routine that makes these look good. In this setting, I felt that I didn't have the ghosts of Houdini, Kellar, Thurston, Blackstone, Malini et al. looking over my shoulder. The stakes were lower for me because I was just pitching $5 plastic cups from Adams.

Then an odd thing happened. Doing this routine over and over in front of people for five days made it very smooth. When I revealed the final loads (walnuts, brussel sprouts, strawberries), people were stunned. In addition to the expected cries of surprise, there were a few people who stood there frozen, speechless. I learned quickly to just let them hang there for a while until they could work themselves out of catatonia and not spoil it with a stupid remark asking for their approval or their $5.

The next year I brought out my Gazzo cups and started with the same easy routine. I have since added some more touches to it, but because I performed it in front of lay people, I know exactly where the work is needed. I don't think I would be nearly as far along if I had just practiced it at home.

I will also have to disagree about trying it in front of a group of magicians to ask for their views. There are some people here at the Café that I would be glad to take a critique from, but back when I used to go to magic club meetings, we didn't have a group that would have been of much value to this work in progress.

It is an entirely different matter if you intend to use the Cups and Balls in a paid performance rather than a street show or a pitch act. In a paid performance, you owe the people that booked you, or the folks who paid to get in the show, work that is ready for that setting. I have done a Chop Cup routine in that setting but not yet the Cups and Balls. I continue to work on the routine, presenting it in my volunteer performances at a hospital.

So many ways up the mountain...

Yours,

Paul
Michael Baker
View Profile
Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
11159 Posts

Profile of Michael Baker
Nick's original post mentioned nothing about the level of soul or meaning that was instilled within his routine, so let's assume that it's a given that that routine, or in fact ANY routine, must have that.

The question, at least to me, seemed to ask if he was right or wrong in delaying when to put that routine into his show. He seemed to question how much practice is enough, and how does one know when it is.

"Live bodies" obviously does pertain to both types, as Nick mentioned (if not more). My intended definition was "the layman audience".

Many of us would agree that magic is not on a stage or within the props or even within the magician, but rather an occurance that happens within the spectators' collective mind. In light of this, it is essential that the spectator be involved before the magic is complete.

But it is also an ingredient to the completion of the rehearsal process. Oddly, that in itself is never complete, because no two shows, or the responses, or the emotions will ever be exactly the same.

Therefore, the magician must first prepare himself at home with the necessary weapons; the props, the script, the knowledge, the goal, the dedication of time and the execution of the practice. This is a different length of time in every instance. He must then make the decision to leave the research and development phases, leave the prototyping stage, and take this thing out and become his own test pilot.

Calculated risk? Definitely... Crash and burn? Maybe... Log a successful flight? Hopefully... Do it again and again, better each time? Ideally!
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27150 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
For the nth time... go out there and get some feedback!

If you are lucky, maybe someday you will have a routine that is perfect for you. In the mean time it is up to you to present the thing in its present form and NOTICE AUDIENCE REACTIONS so you can refine it for its next performance.

DO!
...to all the coins I've dropped here
TheAmbitiousCard
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13417 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
I'll toss this in for your consideration and feedback:


If you can do the routine to your satisfaction 10 times without a mistake, and you do can do this every day for a week, you're ready to hit the streets with it.

That calculates to 70 times with out a "mistake".


And a mistake would be defined as anything a spectator would catch you at, flashing, dropping, forgetting key lines of patter, having to re-start,
lifting the wrong cup at the wrong time, having awkward pauses, or prop transers, looking up and saying... "umm......, uh....wait.... (repositioning cups) yikes!!


Now, a responsible magician always has things they want to work on.

So, little tiny nit-picky stuff could still be there. Things a spectator wouldn't notice or remember. Those are the things that don't detract from the routine per se, but are things you would like to work on, such as exact cup placement, how to reveal the balls, wand spins, more effective vanishes, should you set the wand down or put it under your arm, final load placement, do I drop the hat load from above, or set it on the table, should I tap the hat with the wand or just lift it to reveal the hat load, how long do I pause before revealing a hat load, do final loads go on top of the cups or in front, etc.


And some items such as putting in "pauses" you will NEVER know until you try it out for real people.
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » C&B not ready for Prime Time? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.23 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL