Arcade Dreams

Discuss your favorite books, authors, and tricks from Kaufman and Company.

Postby Robert Kane » 10/20/01 05:04 AM

I have been playing with/studying Marlo's Cups & Ball routines in Jon Racherbaumer's neat book titled Arcade Dreams. It's funny that I have had this book sitting around for quite a while and had not paid much attention to it. What a loss for me.

After sitting down with this book for a long while I have come to love the approach (Marlo's killer enhancements of magic store standards a la Color Vision), the Joseph K. Schmidt illustrations and the whole retro cool feel of the book.

Anyway, I have been studying the several Marlo Cups & Ball routines included in Arcade Dreams. In these routines sponge balls are used instead of regulation hard/crochet/cork or similar type balls for C&B's.

I have videos of Johnny Paul and Tom Mullica using sponge balls for their C&B routines. Each of their routines are magical as well as comical as befitting their style.

Which leads to my question on what are Genii members using for their C&B routines?

I am intrigued by the Marlo routines, but have a mental block against sponge balls which I find inherently goofy. That's just my own issue and not a criticism of sponge balls or sponge ball routines, which I enjoy watching, but don't do myself. Frankly, I tend to follow the Eugene Burger approach/concern on Sponge balls. I believe Eugene has gone back and forth on this issue. He has a great routine, but use of sponge balls does not really fit his sophisticated performing style (i.e. there is something clown like - clown nose about sponge balls). I can't claim to be as fine a performer as Eugene, but my style tends to be more elegant rather than comical.

On the other hand, it would be neat to use a ball material that not every Tom, Dick and Harry uses. Plus, sponge balls allow for some neat "tricks" that are not possible with normal hard C&B balls. Can I use sponge balls and not look like a goof ball? Should I stop worrying about this stuff and get a life?

Appreciate any comments. Also, I would love to hear if any one uses sponge balls with their C&B routine and/or what routines they use.

Thanks, Robert :)
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 10/20/01 02:13 PM

Well, you know there is something inherently odd about being a magician or doing magic tricks. That's all there is to it! So, using spongeballs is strange, but probably not stranger than doing magic tricks in the first place. The compressible nature of sponge always steered me away from taking that kind of approach in a cups and balls routine seriously. However, when you watch Mullica or Johnny Paul perform their cups and balls routines using spongeballs, they work great!
It's one of those really personal issues. I don't think that there are many people using spongeballs today for cups and balls.
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Postby Guest » 10/20/01 10:14 PM

Also, the great Fred Kaps used sponge balls. Marlo, Kaps, Mullica, Johnny Paul, am I missing something? Beautiful effects can be created with sponges without looking clownish or unsophisacated.
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And yes, Arcade Dreams is a wonderful, wonderful book for all the reasons you mentioned.

[ October 20, 2001: Message edited by: ChrisDavid ]
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