Cups and balls a real mystery

Addresses new and interesting links to other sites (not listed on the Genii website) that merit attention.

Postby John McDonald » 03/11/07 02:32 AM

Check out Tim Ellis's blog and look at the video for the cups and balls - a genuine mystery - watch the ball in the right cup - made me lol when you dsee his reaction

http://magicunlimited.typepad.com/magic ... index.html
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Postby Guest » 03/11/07 07:36 PM

The guy in the video is a friend of mine named Kevin Thompson. Kevin was one of my assistants for several years. He now a video producer in the Houston area.

He was practicing the cups and balls, and the mistake was absolutely genuine. He told me that he was going to send it in to see if they would run it on America's Funniest Home Videos.

It's still kicking around.
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Postby Guest » 03/12/07 01:39 AM

If only the C&B's were presented with such skilled acting ability.... An invaluable lession to be learned for any magician and routine. THAT is conviction.

There's your hook.....Thus entertainment.
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Postby Guest » 03/12/07 09:18 PM

There is no acting on this video. Kevin genuinely screwed up the trick. He had no idea the ball had come out from underneath the cup and landed in his lap.
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Postby Guest » 03/12/07 10:10 PM

There is no acting on this video. Kevin genuinely screwed up the trick. He had no idea the ball had come out from underneath the cup and landed in his lap.
Exactly my point. This single performance of this mistake is immeasurably more entertaining than the majority of standard performances of C&B's. If more magicians learned 'real' acting, we'd be much better entertainers.

What I'm trying to write is that the sincerity of this mistake... the timing...the appearance of confusion....the internal conflict...are all some of the core elements of great drama.

This performance is a complete routine in my mind. Not too much, not too little. I have gained valuable insight on method acting.
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Postby Guest » 03/13/07 10:45 AM

Except the ball didn't end up in his lap -- it bounced off his chest and ended up under the other cup. Is that not what happened? Even more amazing that way.
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Postby Guest » 03/13/07 02:10 PM

The problem with analyzing this is that the guy isn't acting. The ball accidently rolled into the middle cup without him seeing it. He's simply reacting to the surprise of not finding the ball where he knows it should be.

The reason he looks and sounds so natural is because he is. This is real, not pretend.
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Postby Guest » 03/13/07 03:38 PM

The reason he looks and sounds so natural is because he is. This is real, not pretend.
(sigh)

once again I've failed to communicate my thoughts....I realize his performance was an unanticipated event.....
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Postby Guest » 03/13/07 03:51 PM

Some folks are not so keen to learn from other people's mistakes.

Anyone up for doing this with a red magnetic ball and three yellow balls?
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/13/07 04:27 PM

audiouslave wrote:
once again I've failed to communicate my thoughts
No, I don't think you failed in pointing out that this kind of "reality" is desireable in our own performances.
However, it is far from clear how to utilize what the clip shows. As David Alexander says, there is no acting technique at work in the clip, and without a technique to assist us, how can we duplicate that "real" feeling? (And that, I guess, is an invitation to bring Stanislavsky into the discussion).
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Postby Guest » 03/13/07 05:05 PM

That is GREAT!

Want to see something VERY funny along those lines...

Click here - http://www.mallofmagic.com/Videos/Sturk02.wmv

to see footage of my good friend John Sturk @ Abbotts doing the cups and balls!

Mr. Stickley
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Postby Guest » 03/13/07 06:06 PM

Do we always wish to be surprised by magical things happening with our props?

That is no small feat to make the method apparent to the audience and have the audience watch a befuddled and inattentive performer who believes real magic is happening. This is also very close to what Jerry Deutsch has been offering in his "perverse magic" posts.

Imagining the clip as a "you can't lose" three shell game demonstration... gone wrong one can explore the acting/character demands this sort of performance requires.

Thanks for posting the clip. Much to consider there.
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Postby Guest » 03/13/07 08:56 PM

I'm not at all writing to say that all routines should be performed as a surprise. That is just one example. What I am suggesting is that more of our other emotions should be exhibited in our performances.

What else? Anger, happiness, sadness, fear, shock, surprise, hatred, apathy, blah, blah, blah.

This exhibition of "surprise" is genuine, sincere and very strong IMO. Now, running on this same plane of thought - apply this strength of emotion to other emotions.

Most all magic I've seen is done with no or contrived emotion. Why? Yes it is more difficult, but I've seen more energy and commentary put into perfection of an Invisible Pass. Why does it LOOK like our routines have been performed thousands of times before? Why is there little freshness of performances? David Williamson...Jeff Hobson...Greg Wilson....THEY understand....

[censored]. may be I'm totally off base here. anyone else reciprocate my sentiment? anyone?
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Postby Guest » 03/14/07 10:06 AM

audioslave wrote:
anyone else reciprocate my sentiment? anyone?
Yes, completely, but I may be considered another San Francisco liberal.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 01:30 PM

Oh Slave To All That Is Aural:

You do NOT need a reality check. You have stumbled upon the rub. The rub-a-dub-dub that keeps most of these guys in the tub.

ACTING IS DOING...don't believe me...check out Uta Hagen or Sanford Meisner...what do I know?

It ain't about ACTING it is about RE-acting.

David Alexander wrote:
The reason he looks and sounds so natural is because he is. This is real, not pretend.
And THAT is the secret to great acting. Anybody that wants to argue that point doesn't know how to act...and please let's not start another "Let's Hypothesize About Acting" thread...(To borrow an idea from Steve Martin.)...Writing about acting is like hang-gliding for tax reformation.

Acting is living TRUTHFULLY...FOR REAL...NOT pretend...under imaginary circumstances.

Yes this happened for real...and YES a good actor could duplicate it and yes that is the point.

Don't think about it...don't pretend...just do it!

God above where is David Mamet or William H. Macey when you need them?
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Postby John McDonald » 03/15/07 01:41 PM

"The magician is an actor playing the part of a magician." Where have I heard that before?
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 01:55 PM

Hmmm...sounds familiar.

The problem is that few of us really know what acting is about. I really believe that EVERYBODY to some extent has the ability to act. The secret is to do it...for REAL. Yeah I know it get's into a Zenny Koanny kind of territory...but that is acting. Being open to possibilities and being willing to react to them.

This guy in the clip didn't have to keep the camera rolling. He could have stopped it at any moment. But he didn't...he allowed himself to react to the circumstances presented him, GOOD MAN!

I LOVE this clip.

p.s. and by "these guys" I mean any of us who think we are acting and are NOT. It happens to all of us.
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Postby Tom Stone » 03/15/07 02:16 PM

John McDonald wrote:
"The magician is an actor playing the part of a magician."
That's a myth that means nothing.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 02:28 PM

Another great clip is Fred Kaps doing his Homing Card Routine.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ6veWZQ9Hw

This is an early version from Ed Sullivan this is a good version but I have seen a version later in his career, where I swear to god it is impossible to tell if he is ACTING or not.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 04:26 PM

"The magician is an actor playing the part of a magician." Where have I heard that before?
From someone who likes to quote Robert-Houdin out of context.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 08:03 PM

P.T. Murphy wrote
The problem is that few of us really know what acting is about. I really believe that EVERYBODY to some extent has the ability to act. The secret is to do it...for REAL. Yeah I know it get's into a Zenny Koanny kind of territory...but that is acting. Being open to possibilities and being willing to react to them.

This guy in the clip didn't have to keep the camera rolling. He could have stopped it at any moment. But he didn't...he allowed himself to react to the circumstances presented him, GOOD MAN!

I LOVE this clip.
Finally! Yes - You seem to understand....! You've mentioned valuable names - Mamet, Macy, Hagen, Meisner. These are greats to study. YES! KAPS!!! True brilliance!

Yes, he kept the camera rolling and reacted. Another idea I wanted to emphasize but didn't. Thank you.

May be I need to study under you, Mr. Murphy....I'll try contacting you.
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Postby Guest » 03/15/07 09:25 PM

You are much too kind. But Mr. Alexander is the one who put it out there. The guy in the clip is for real! Be for real!
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Postby Brad Henderson » 03/15/07 11:00 PM

A quote I always found interesting, and perhaps worthy of inclusion in this thread:

"The actor does not need to 'become' the character. The phrase, in fact, has no meaning. There is no character. There are only lines upon a page. They are lines of dialogue meant to be said by the actor. When he or she says them simply, in an attempt to achieve an object more or less like that suggested by the author, the audience sees an illusion of a character upon the stage.

"To create this illusion the actor has to undergo nothing whatever. He or she is as free of the necessity of "feeling" as the magician is free of the necessity of actually summoning supernatural powers. The magician creates an illusion in the mind of the audience. So does the actor."
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Postby Guest » 03/16/07 01:06 AM

This whole thread reminds me of Peter Sellers in "The Gardener."
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Postby Frank Dudgeon » 03/16/07 03:54 AM

Mr. Palmer: I think you're referring to the movie Being There. If so, it's an easy mistake to make, as Peter Sellers' character is "Chance the Gardener." Great movie!

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Postby Guest » 03/16/07 09:29 AM

That's it, Being There.

You got it!
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