John Ramsay's Cups and Balls Routine

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/05/02 04:03 PM

Hello folks

Has anyone played with this routine? Just the mid-air ball vanish has eluded me for a long time.

Also asking to seek out a set up cups that were made for this trick in metal. They were offered once a LONG time ago, and I missed the opportunity. While the new Haggen Dazs mini icecream cups are nice, I would like to explore up-scaling the routine.

Cork Balls? Tomatoes? I do hope I don't have to take a job in an organic food shop to do this trick for folks.
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/05/02 10:31 PM

Jonathan;
I might be able to make the cups you need; but I need to see exactly what they look like and know the sizes involved.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/06/02 10:53 AM

I have a set of custom made cups for the Ramsay Routine.

Sir Riser... will email you a picture tomorrow. Meanwhile I will go get the aforementioned ice cream cup.

Ramsay used ice cream cups painted silver.

I have debated marketing cups for the routine and was not sure of the quantity (you know how much the first cup costs!)

B in tuch email :cool:
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/06/02 03:22 PM

Pete;
FYI - instead of mere silver paint on your plactic cups, you could use chrome paint for a "classier" look :D

Yup, first cup's cost is a real killer :eek:

If you spread the cost of the chrome spray paint over twelve cups, the first cup's cost will not seem quite as bad. That would give you a few backups.

I eagerly await the jpg. Thanks, Pete.
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/06/02 11:09 PM

YO JIM.... first I gotta eat the ice cream out of the cups... and I found some "gold epoxy" spray paint...hmmmm "gold cups" has a nice ring to it. :p
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/07/02 12:06 AM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
...first I gotta eat the ice cream out of the cups...
Are you having fun with the Haggen Dazs cups too? I saw them in the local deli and got the bug to do the trick ever since.

Metal cups may prove a challenge as the drop load does kind of work with the weight of the cup and the weight of the ball being close. Same for dropping the cups on the tabletop WITHOUT a closeup pad. JR had some good ideas. Wondering if worth making magnetic so can do extra feint and some chop cup sequences.

Any thoughts on loading icecream back into the cups? that might make a cute finale... giving a couple of kids something to be distracted by instead of pulling on your sleeves. :D
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/07/02 12:11 AM

Jonathan;
I received a jpg of the spun Ramsay cup from Pete. It is beautifully spun; but ugly as sin. The design needs work. I've got to try to locate a copy of the Ramsay routine/book soon. I want to see the requirements of the cup before trying to work with the design. The cup Pete has really looks "unnatural". I think this can be improved upon - possibly by using a cup that is only partially spun and with an inserted bottom. It really has to look like something that might just possibly be real. Perhaps all it needs is an ice cream label on the side.

Pete's new "gold cups" might be the next fad in cups! If he buys up all the gold epoxy paint in the country, he can corner the market.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/07/02 12:29 AM

Originally posted by Jim Riser:
. It really has to look like something that might just possibly be real. Perhaps all it needs is an ice cream label on the side.
I appreciate the effort and thought you folks are putting into the cups. From experience doing the routine with cork balls and cardboard cups it seems that weight could be a problem. That load move works very well onto a tabletop when the props are light. On the minus side, the small hand cut cork balls look cheap and the cups get crushed so easily.

Here is the image I'm looking for: At end of the routine instead of paper streamers... mylar streamers pour out and the cups are gone.

maybe something that looks like a medical supply?
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/07/02 01:44 PM

Being a purist ??? :p ???

Perhaps bringing out the ice cream cups, au natural, would be the best.

They could be exact copies of the cardboard cups, spun in aluminum and painted a flat white epoxy, even glue on labels?

Have a plaster (or some other material) load made in the shape of the ice cream.

You could put them in as final loads and show the cups FULL... you don't need to prove it is ice cream...

Use fake cherrys instead of cork balls?

Use spell checker?

Uh, what else?

Ideas?

Riser, me amigo, will see if I have a pic of Ramsay's actual cups... I know I own one of his real, original, thimbles. :cool:
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/08/02 07:18 PM

John Ramsay's Cups and Balls by Victor Farelli has just been put up on ebay. You can see what the cups look like (poor image, tho) in the listing photos.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/08/02 07:39 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
John Ramsay's Cups and Balls by Victor Farelli has just been put up on ebay. You can see what the cups look like (poor image, tho) in the listing photos.
Funny, apropos and somehow sad. I still recall Charlie Kalish giving me the cylinder and coins manuscript in mint coindition. I wouldn't accept the wand or set of thimbles as I didn't use thimbles and the wand was thicker than my thumb. JR had thick hands.

Is the Galloway book still in print? I had to go to Lincoln Center to see that book. They really were paper cups painted with silver paint.
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/08/02 08:32 PM

Pete and Jonathan;
I also saw the book on ebay and noticed the cups. I've put out a "feeler" for a clean copy of the book. If nothing comes of it, I may bid. Anyway I see what the cups look like. I have an idea for making a set of metal cups to the original design. I'll sit on it until I see about the book. I want to study the routine to determine the requirements of the cups - not just what they looked like. They are doable in metal though.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/08/02 08:39 PM

Originally posted by Jim Riser:
... I'll sit on it until I see about the book. I want to study the routine to determine the requirements of the cups...
Thanks. It makes so much more sense to start figuring out the specs after one has learned to physically get the moves to work (load and simple handling) for you. The payoff here is it makes a cherry or olive and a dixie cup a good target for doing a chop cup routine.

The load of cork balls under the paper cups is what makes this routine work. it's an odd load that involves dropping both the cup and ball under the cup. so it's weight and gravity finding a balance.
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Postby sleightly » 12/08/02 09:07 PM

How much difference is there between Farelli's account and Andrew Galloway's? I know that Galloway goes into great detail in John Ransay's Classics, but haven't seen the Farelli to compare....

I love using the off-the-shelf prop as it keeps it thematic, but would be interested in creating a faux cup for durability...

How bout aluminum with a painted of printed exterior? Was in the process of adapting the "Don Alan" Egg Can from a painted tomato can when the industry dropped painted cans and went to wrapped paper... The two cans I have I cut with a cheap side-can cutter (thought it was a good bevel cutter) and destroyed. Went back for more and they had all changed...

Anyone have any old painted whole tomato cans in a closet they want to get rid of?

Bueller? Bueller?

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Postby Jonathan Levey » 12/08/02 11:45 PM

09 December 2002

Jonathan and Pete,
Besides the cups, is there anything special that sets this routine apart from others? (ie: any particular vanish, loads, wand moves, etc etc??)
Thanks,
Jonathan
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/08/02 11:46 PM

I'm pleased to be able to tell you that when Genii does its special issue on John Ramsay later this year, we will be reprinting, in its entirety, his cups and balls routine written by Victor Farrelli with the original photos of Ramsay performing it. Permission has been granted by the copyright owner of the book, Martin Breese.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/09/02 12:06 AM

Originally posted by Jonathan Rubel:
... is there anything special that sets this routine apart from others?
Where to begin...
Well since the routine will be reprinted in an upcomming issue, I'm not going to spoil any of it for you.

Almost any effect using similar sized props could be 'kicked up a notch' by applying what can be found in this routine.

So you could bid for that book on ebay, or just enjoy the anticipation of the special issue. I suggest the latter. Feel free to stock up on those Haggen Dazs 4.23 Oz containers in the mean time... :D
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Postby Jim Riser » 12/09/02 01:01 AM

Well, it looks like we will not have to wait too long for that upcoming issue of Genii - Richard wrote "later this year" :D

There are only a few weeks left. Perfect timing!
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Postby John Pezzullo » 12/09/02 02:39 AM

International Magic have recently released two videos, Andrew Galloway's "The Magic of John Ramsay".

Details regarding the first volume can be found at:

http://www.internationalmagic.com/cgi-b ... search=yes
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/09/02 02:01 PM

ramsay's routine employs many of his subtle palming and passes.. some IMHO are olde fashioned and can be done your best way and get the same result...

many of the sequences are done with both cups at the same time, with both hands...

it is a very strong routine... very different... loads are, as you would expect from ramsay, unexpected, not difficult skill wise, as the timing and misdirection are fantastic.

his finish features a load that blows you away and is NOT bulky in your pocket...

when the cups come out get 'em... you will be a leader of the pack.

What's New? they cry, what is new is old (stuff). :cool:
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Postby Doug Brewer » 12/09/02 03:07 PM

Richard: I think I'm going to cry. I thought I would have to hunt around for that routine for a long, long time. Can't wait to see it.

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Postby thecardman » 12/09/02 03:31 PM

Doug

You may be interested to know that Volume 1 of "The Magic Of John Ramsay" released by International Magic in London contains the Cups and Balls routine being discussed. I suggest that, along with reading the description that will be printed in Genii, you get this video (along with Volume 2) so you can see the proper TIMING and MISDIRECTION involved in it.

In fact, I shall go so far as to say that you should buy the videos - period!

By the way, Richard, it was good to meet up with you in London once again at the International Convention. Wasn't a bad convention, was it? Glad to see you made it home safely.

Peter
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 12/09/02 04:33 PM

Originally posted by thecardman:
get this video (along with Volume 2) so you can see the proper TIMING and MISDIRECTION involved in it.
Do they have a version (DVD or VHS) for here in the US? And does Mr. Galloway teach the ball vanish? Do they take paypal?
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/09/02 05:17 PM

I have emailed Ron MacMillan to find out if the Ramsay video is available here in the US.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 12/09/02 06:17 PM

Here is the link to the first tape on the International magic site:
http://www.internationalmagic.com/cgi-b ... search=yes
1) The tapes ARE available in NTSC format, which is what we want in America.
2) There are two tapes and they're about $40 each.
3) I have a set and will give you all a heads up on them in a day or two.
I expect great things! I remember fondly beating quite badly beaten up when watching Andy Galloway perform "Ramsay's Triple Restoration" on a Ramsay tape (demonstrations only) that he made about 15 years ago.
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Postby Kevin Baker » 12/11/02 02:27 PM

Actually, without much fanfare and at far too low a price, International Magic has released two of the most valuable video tapes I have ever watched.

Until recently my most valued video tape had been Andrew Galloway's performance only recording made (I think) in the 1980's. The release of the recent International Magic videos supasses this earlier effort. Not only does Mr Galloway smile slightly more often (!) but he also performs and explains effects that until now one had no choice but to read and imagine.

Mr Galloway performs and explains legendary Ramsay effects such as Coins in the Hat, Cylinder and Coins, Triple Restoration and the wonderful cards to pocket routine. However he also demonstrates several smaller but beautifully constructed routines such as Switch is Which and the Ramsay spellbound sequence.

While many of the routines are complex and slow paced, they leave one with a profound sense of mystery and, often, complete amazement. Strangely enough the explanations are just as amazing. This is not to say that the techniques are cutting edge or revolutionary but rather the construction of the effects that is fascinating. However what I found most amazing was the degree to which Mr Galloway disguised his technique. It is incredible to watch the explanation of the Cylinder and Coins, for example, and realise just how much work is going on and just how well hidden it is.

While Mr Galloway's performance style will not appeal to all, I found his dry humour quite amusing and his focus on the effect very powerful. From the smattering of clips of Mr Ramsay performing his magic I drew the impression that his style was impish and mischievous. Mr Galloway is very different. Nonetheless his attention to the Ramsay philosophy on performance and direction of attention are highly evident and make his own performances quite compelling and magical. The coins in glass effect, for example, is a fascinating lesson in how the gaze of the performer can substantially enhance the impact of a simple sequence of sleights.

Galloway also takes the time to discuss the basics of John Ramsay's approach to misdirection and to provide some examples of how these might be implemented.

As you may surmise, I am enthusiastic about these tapes. John Ramsay died having had few students and having passed on much of his knowledge to Andrew Galloway. Although Galloway wrote much of this in his books on Ramsay's magic, these tapes represent a rare opportunity to watch and learn the Ramsay approach to magic from the man Ramsay chose as his pupil and apprentice.

Overlook my gushing, do yourselves a favour, and buy these videos.

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Postby Pete Biro » 12/11/02 02:37 PM

Not only do I have the olde one, but ordered the two new ones... with baited breath! :rolleyes:
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Postby Pete Biro » 12/11/02 04:28 PM

OK, there are 3 Ramsay tapes. The older one (which I have) and the two new ones from the site Richard posted. They only list Vol. 1, but have Vol. 2 now... so if you use their order blank, in the "notes" area tell Martin you want both volumes. I think the US shipping for the two is 9 Quid.
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Postby Richard Evans » 01/14/06 10:31 AM

When was the John Ramsay 'Special Edition' of Genii published?

I've had a look through the back issues for 2002/03, but can't see it there. A pointer in the right direction would be much appreciated.

Jonathan, Jim or Pete: what was the outcome of your discussions on the Ramsay cups - was a metal prototype ever made?

Thanks in anticipation!
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/14/06 12:39 PM

I have a metal prototype set but I don't like it... as it was a modified Monti Cup (flattened top).

If, and I say IF there was a market I would make some sets EXACT shape as Ransay's Ice Cream cups.
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Postby Richard Evans » 01/14/06 03:00 PM

Thanks Pete. Way back when this thread started, there was some question whether metal cups would be too heavy for some of the moves in Ramsay's routine. Do you have to modify the handling?

The cups market looks pretty healthy right now. Maybe it's a good time ;)
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Postby Jim Riser » 01/14/06 03:32 PM

Originally posted by Pete Biro:
If, and I say IF there was a market I would make some sets EXACT shape as Ransay's Ice Cream cups.
Pete;
I already have these in the works. They will be in spun aluminum (to keep weight down), look like real ice cream containers, outside will be white powder coated for handling durability, and featuring an "ice cream" label on them.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 01/14/06 03:43 PM

Originally posted by Jim Riser:
...They will be in spun aluminum (to keep weight down), look like real ice cream containers, outside will be white powder coated for handling durability, and featuring an "ice cream" label on them.
WOW Been a tough road to find good cups. John V. Hope made a set of three in metal, and they are a bit heavy for that nice load move... goes CLUNK on the table... so I had to settle for paper. Metal cups of suitable weight would be a amazing.
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Postby Richard Evans » 01/14/06 04:24 PM

Originally posted by Jim Riser:
Pete; I already have these in the works.
Jim, that's great news.

Does anyone know if/when the special 'Ramsey edition' of Genii (mentioned by Richard Kaufman, above) was published?
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Postby Terry » 01/15/06 08:41 AM

I reviewed all of the copies I have from 2002 to 2005 and cannot find an issue with Ramsay on the cover.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/15/06 09:28 AM

No, it hasn't come out yet. I think I'm going to fold it into the special Scottish issue that Peter Duffie is working on for me.
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Postby Richard Evans » 01/15/06 10:27 AM

Thanks, Richard.

I've got the Andrew Galloway tapes showing the routine - but to do it justice I really need to sit down with the written version and go through it in detail. The Ramsay book is a devil to get hold of - I missed-out on the last one that came up on eBay.

I'll look forward to that Genii special.
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Postby MitchSchneiter » 01/15/06 10:51 AM

Originally posted by Jim Riser:
Originally posted by Pete Biro:
[b] If, and I say IF there was a market I would make some sets EXACT shape as Ransay's Ice Cream cups.
Pete;
I already have these in the works. They will be in spun aluminum (to keep weight down), look like real ice cream containers, outside will be white powder coated for handling durability, and featuring an "ice cream" label on them.
Jim [/b]
This is exciting news. You know if Jim is making them they are going to be great. I know I'll be wanting a set. Are you going to be taking orders any time soon Jim?
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Postby Pete Biro » 01/15/06 01:43 PM

Bowing to our friend Jim Riser, Porper and I will "hold off" on making the Ramsay cups.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/15/06 02:38 PM

Ramsay painted the cardboard ice cream containers silver: they weren't white and didn't have a label visible!
If you want to do the routine the way Ramsay did, go out and buy a few of the small Hagen-Daz ice cream cups--the are almost exactly the right size and shape. Clean them out, spray paint them, and you're done. No odd-looking metal cups that the spectators have never seen before. Just cardboard and skill. That's what Ramsay's routine is about.
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