Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
Pete McCabe
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Pete McCabe » February 3rd, 2019, 1:44 am

I have always felt that this was the most important part of the discussion from Carneycopia:

The action of transferring an object to the other hand is a trivial one, which should be viewed as incidental to the demonstration, registering only on the mental periphery. This is where "retention of vision" vanishes fail us. In performing them we put a secret maneuver on display, drawing attention to something that should be taken for granted.

And I have always tried to follow this advice:

4. Execute the sleight in a non-demonstrative manner. This dictum would effectively eliminate the majority of moves in print.

Al Schneider
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Al Schneider » February 3rd, 2019, 5:41 am

I agree with the above. And we can continue that with more operational data. One thing I like to add is that the transfer should somehow be imprinted on the mind of the spectator so they realize the object was transferred into the other hand. (Ergo, I try to keep the attention of the spectator on the transfer.) Achieving that, we then must somehow get the spectator to disassociate the transfer with the resulting disappearance of the object. This is achieved by establishing a rewind point for the spectator. That is, before the object is shown gone, something should be done to imply magic has happened so the spectator, when rewinding the event, mentally moves back from the object being shown gone to a point after the transfer was executed.

And I appreciate the comment, "This dictum would effectively eliminate the majority of moves in print." Expressing this opinion has caused many in the magic world to accuse me of being out dated and old fashioned.

Is this to much babble?
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 3rd, 2019, 7:47 am

I have learned far more from laymen about what is convincing and what actually works and what does not work on a practical (not theoretical) level, than from all the magicians I've met, those whose writings I've read, and all the people who are deified by magicians as luminaries in "the magic world" put together.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Ian Kendall » February 3rd, 2019, 8:07 am

Pete,

Confession time; I've not read Carneycopia, but it warms my heart to read that, because I've been saying the same thing for years :)

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Al Schneider » February 3rd, 2019, 11:39 am

Here is a video you may find fascinating.

http://www.worldmagiccenter.com/SecretS ... oMoROV.mp4

I was working on an ROV move to show the kids I could do it to. Maybe even better. I normally go through moves in slow motion to master the move. I video taped this practice session for giggles. It looks so good I decided to keep it around. The kids on another forum thought it was amazing and wanted to know the work. Presently I am keeping it to myself. The point here is that, in spite of it looking really good, it is not good magic. I would never use this in a real show.
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Bill Mullins
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Bill Mullins » February 3rd, 2019, 11:55 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I have learned far more from laymen about what is convincing and what actually works and what does not work on a practical (not theoretical) level, than from all the magicians I've met, those whose writings I've read, and all the people who are deified by magicians as luminaries in "the magic world" put together.


Be careful. Laypeople lie. What you are hearing from them may be what you want to hear, rather than what is so. As you said a couple of days ago, "just because a spectator says nothing doesn't mean he/she did not see or figure out how and when a final load was accomplished."

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 3rd, 2019, 12:02 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:I have always felt that this was the most important part of the discussion from Carneycopia:

The action of transferring an object to the other hand is a trivial one, which should be viewed as incidental to the demonstration, registering only on the mental periphery. This is where "retention of vision" vanishes fail us. In performing them we put a secret maneuver on display, drawing attention to something that should be taken for granted.

And I have always tried to follow this advice:

4. Execute the sleight in a non-demonstrative manner. This dictum would effectively eliminate the majority of moves in print.


I also agree wholeheartedly, but the retention of vision vanish is IMO an exception. The illusion of the object going into the other hand, when done well, is unequivocal. You only have to look at a video of Mickey Silver to verify this. Alfred has also pointed out that this vanish is very effective for his audiences. Johnny Thompson also uses the ROV vanish in his cups and balls routine. Michael Skinner incorporated elements of the ROV vanish for his false transfers. His vanishes were a hybrid of both the casual transfer and the ROV.

David Roth discussed the theory of false transfers in the lecture I attended, and pointed out the importance of following thru afterwards to control the flow of events. According to him, after an object is vanished, it should reappear somewhere else without hesitation. So if you vanish a small ball, it should reappear under a cup, or the vanished coin should reappear behind the elbow or knee. Roth is on to something cuz a false transfer, as an effect by itself will not hold water. Approach a layman, false transfer a small object, and make it vanish. He or she will say: "It's in the other hand."

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 3rd, 2019, 12:37 pm

Leonard Wrote: "So if you vanish a small ball, it should reappear under a cup, or the vanished coin should reappear behind the elbow or knee. Roth is on to something cuz a false transfer, as an effect by itself will not hold water. Approach a layman, false transfer a small object, and make it vanish. He or she will say: 'It's in the other hand.' "

Absolutely! It's a matter of common sense to almost any onlooker, even a child.

The vanish of a ball during the vanishing sequence ends up being, in effect, a complete vanish, because when you grab the next cup to tilt the ball on top of it into your hand, you are simultaneously ditching the ball that was just vanished, and you are seen to be clean. This is super magical to a layman, and equally if not more so when the balls have reappeared under the cups. Even the third "vanished" ball (really the 4th ball) is cleaned up as it is secreted under a cup in the process of picking up the cups to show the reappearance.

In my one-coin routine, there is always an immediate reappearance after a vanish. But the final move of the sequence is the silver dollar being apparently placed into the pocket after a French drop and the coin then apparently penetrates through the pocket. The hand that went into the pocket to apparently deposit the coin there then emerges with a jumbo coin thumb-palmed. When a spellbound change is then done to show the transformation of the silver dollar into the jumbo coin, even though you are not clean, they forget all about the small coin...
Interesting that Leo mentioned Micky Silver. He is the one magician who, after I witnessed his coin magic, made me want to stop doing coin magic altogether cuz everything I was doing seemed so lame by comparison.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Ian Kendall » February 3rd, 2019, 12:38 pm

Approach a layman, false transfer a small object, and make it vanish. He or she will say: "It's in the other hand."


There are ways around that :)

(For reference, I discussed this in depth, and my solution to it, in the (I think) October 2011 MUM column Basic Training).

Jack Shalom
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Jack Shalom » February 3rd, 2019, 1:41 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:
Approach a layman, false transfer a small object, and make it vanish. He or she will say: "It's in the other hand."


There are ways around that :)

(For reference, I discussed this in depth, and my solution to it, in the (I think) October 2011 MUM column Basic Training).

What if instead of disappearing, it appears to have changed color?

Al Schneider
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Al Schneider » February 3rd, 2019, 2:01 pm

Karrel Hovland and I were playing around with sophisticated routines with the ball and vase. Karrel worked in a magic shop in Hopkins, MN. One day two teenage girls strolled into the shop to see what they could see. Karrel was behind a counter and decided to show them his latest ball and vase routine. He lifted the lid off the trick, displayed the ball in his right hand and apparently tossed it into his left with a Schneider basic false transfer. Then he opened his left hand showing the ball gone. The girls screamed. One grabbed his left arm and ran her arm up his sleeve. The other lifted the close up mat to see if the ball were there. Then one jumped up and on top of the counter to look behind it to see if the ball were back there. The ball, traditionally, lie in Karrel’s right FP. He said he felt like he was sweating blood during the event. Eventually they walked out of the shop. They didn’t buy anything.
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Leonard Hevia
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 3rd, 2019, 2:57 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:In my one-coin routine, there is always an immediate reappearance after a vanish. But the final move of the sequence is the silver dollar being apparently placed into the pocket after a French drop and the coin then apparently penetrates through the pocket. The hand that went into the pocket to apparently deposit the coin there then emerges with a jumbo coin thumb-palmed. When a spellbound change is then done to show the transformation of the silver dollar into the jumbo coin, even though you are not clean, they forget all about the small coin...Interesting that Leo mentioned Micky Silver. He is the one magician who, after I witnessed his coin magic, made me want to stop doing coin magic altogether cuz everything I was doing seemed so lame by comparison.


Now why didn't I think of that? That is a nice steal of the jumbo coin Alfred, instead of clipping it behind you. And you have a reason to go into the pocket for the cloth penetration. It's painful to watch Mickey do his ROV vanish. I suspect he is using his thumb to control the steal.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Ian Kendall » February 3rd, 2019, 4:10 pm

What if instead of disappearing, it appears to have changed color?


That's another kettle of fish, and requires a slightly different approach. Consider a spellbound change (but not the originals); the coin changes, but it's all about conviction on the part of the spectator. Once you manage that, all is possible :)

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 3rd, 2019, 4:43 pm

Leonard Wrote: "Now why didn't I think of that? That is a nice steal of the jumbo coin Alfred, instead of clipping it behind you. And you have a reason to go into the pocket for the cloth penetration. It's painful to watch Mickey do his ROV vanish. I suspect he is using his thumb to control the steal."

Thanks Leo.

One tip I would like to share that I didn't mention in describing doing the French drop as a false transfer to the hand that will apparently place the coin in the pocket preparatory to the penetration effect: Let's assume the left hand is holding the coin in French Drop position and you are going to pretend to take it with the right hand and pretend to put it in the right pants pocket. I recommend not doing the standard "posing" with the coin and taking it while the left hand holding the coin is in a stationary/static position. Instead, after casually and momentarily displaying the coin in the left hand which is holding it in French Drop position, start moving the left hand rather briskly to the right, also simultaneously rotating the upper half of your body from the waist up to the right, looking down and following the moving left hand with your eyes. When your left hand is just a few inches from the pocket, pretend to take the coin with the right hand and continue immediately into the pocket with the empty right hand, while looking down at the pocket and let the left (guilty) hand fall casually to your side. The left hand can then return to "pull" the coin through the material of trousers.

It was many years ago in a magic store in South Florida, that I saw an amateur magician, his name was "Lenny" (nice guy), do the pocket penetration in that fashion. It fooled the socks off of me. Even though I of course knew about the French Drop (as do a fair share of laymen) the movement of the hand, the simultaneous turning of the upper body, and the casualness of the take, made the sequence extremely deceptive. I started doing it that way, and never turned back. Note: The coin will be in finger palm in the left hand, so prior to the penetration effect, there is the option of also doing a Ramsey subtlety, by holding up the left hand with the index finger pointing upward, as if to say, "watch," thus implicitly showing the left hand empty. But like I said that is just an option and not necessary. I don't think Lenny bothered with it.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Curtis Kam » February 3rd, 2019, 5:08 pm

Al Schneider wrote:Karrel Hovland and I were playing around with sophisticated routines with the ball and vase. Karrel worked in a magic shop in Hopkins, MN. One day two teenage girls strolled into the shop to see what they could see. Karrel was behind a counter and decided to show them his latest ball and vase routine. He lifted the lid off the trick, displayed the ball in his right hand and apparently tossed it into his left with a Schneider basic false transfer. Then he opened his left hand showing the ball gone. The girls screamed. One grabbed his left arm and ran her arm up his sleeve. The other lifted the close up mat to see if the ball were there. Then one jumped up and on top of the counter to look behind it to see if the ball were back there. The ball, traditionally, lie in Karrel’s right FP. He said he felt like he was sweating blood during the event. Eventually they walked out of the shop. They didn’t buy anything.


Thank you for that story, Al, it matches my own experiences that counter the old saw, “no matter how convincing the false transfer is, when the coin vanishes from one hand, they always look to the other.” When I’ve mentioned that in lectures, it was received as blasphemy.


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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 3rd, 2019, 6:10 pm

It's not much backtracking to suspect the coin never really left the right hand when apparently placing it into the left. I'm not sure why the two girls in the shop did not pursue the guilty right hand. They may have suspected it and pretended not to notice, searching everywhere else to probably make Al's friend nervous.

Great tip on the finesses, Alfred! If you have a sh** with the coin you can actually drop transfer the insert coin into the other hand, show the coin really there, and put it in your pocket. Then you can mime pulling the coin out of the outer pocket material with the sh**. Those who own Triple Threat gaffs can ditch the sh** with a magnet in the rear pocket after producing the jumbo coin. There is nothing left in the hands but the jumbo coin.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Al Schneider » February 3rd, 2019, 6:22 pm

Leonard Hevia, astute observation. Your point of view is certainly a possibility.
Did you consider another possibility. Maybe most false transfers are crummy making it easy for the spectator to think it is in the other hand.
I'm doing what you are doing. Just looking at possibilities.
Now I'm just sayin.
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Curtis Kam » February 3rd, 2019, 6:26 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:It's not much backtracking to suspect the coin never really left the right hand when apparently placing it into the left.


Really? Keep in mind that the false transfer here is one of Mr Schneider’s excellent toss/drop retention passes. It creates the illusion that the audience Sees the coin drop into the receiving hand. So the “last place they saw the coin” was the receiving hand, the one they searched. This is demonstrated by the fact that their “backtracking” then took them to the sleeve and the mat.

If you accept that they saw the coin in the left hand, and you should, because they did, and do, then their “not much backtracking” must necessarily included the step “although I saw the coin in his left hand, he must have used some sort of technology or psychology that only made me see the illusion of a coin in his hand, when it never left his other hand.” That’s quite a leap, and hardly what I’d call “not much” of a backtrack.

I have often wondered why magicians would argue so ardently against this analysis. Why assume the audience was “just being nice” when you could conclude that we’ve made major steps forward in our understanding of perception and deception?

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Ian Kendall » February 3rd, 2019, 7:02 pm

The move does not end when the coin is apparently placed in the hand; there are things you can do to amplify the conviction in the mind of the spectator :)

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 3rd, 2019, 7:40 pm

Curtis Kam wrote:If you accept that they saw the coin in the left hand, and you should, because they did, and do, then their “not much backtracking” must necessarily included the step “although I saw the coin in his left hand, he must have used some sort of technology or psychology that only made me see the illusion of a coin in his hand, when it never left his other hand.” That’s quite a leap, and hardly what I’d call “not much” of a backtrack.


The Retention of Vision vanish, when well executed, can change the dynamics. You could swear the coin went into the other hand. The illusion that the coin or object really went into the receiving hand is powerful. The level of conviction is strong in this situation as having a rattle on your forearm to create the sonic illusion that the coins are in the receiving hand.

Ian Kendall wrote:The move does not end when the coin is apparently placed in the hand; there are things you can do to amplify the conviction in the mind of the spectator :)


Showing the other hand empty, or implying innocence, is one of those things.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Al Schneider » February 3rd, 2019, 7:51 pm

An event occurred early on in my magic career that remained a lesson up to now. I have related this story many times before. Bob Stencel of Detroit showed me a sequence in which one pretended to pick up a coin but left it on the table it was resting on. The pretend coin was placed into the other hand, the hand opened to show the coin gone. The trick was: as the pretend coin was moved from the table to the other hand, the spectator was required to turn their head so as not to see the coin remaining on the table.

One day I had two fellow physics classmates over to my single room apartment in the Detroit slums near where I went to school. I decided to show them the trick. I was sitting on my bed and they were in chairs opposite me. I put a penny on the bed, pretended to pick it up, placed the pretend coin in my other hand, and opened my hand to show the coin gone. They both were stunned. But, as I did not allow space for them to turn their heads, they both immediately saw the coin on the bed. So, I was stunned that they were stunned. However I listened to what they said. Apparently they both saw me put a penny into my hand and it suddenly jumped to the bed beside me. As students of physics, they switched on their science analytics. One said, “let’s list the givens.” The other said, “OK.” Then one said, “There was a penny in his hand.” The other said, “Correct.” Then the one said, “It was tails side up.” Then the other said, “No, it was heads side up.”

And this is my point. They both actually saw a penny in my hand even though there was none. This is not retention. I call it intention. Eventually they concluded I had half a penny in my hand that I had hidden between my fingers.

An interesting aside is they never asked me how I did it. They treated me as part of the problem and asked me no questions about it.
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 4th, 2019, 3:03 am

Here's a scene in a magic shop from the 1939 MGM comedy film, "Dark Magic." The demonstrator performing the cups and balls for the customer is none other than John Scarne as a young pup. Aside from what struck me as a mechanical and unimaginative performance and painfully descriptive patter, what stood out to me was what could possibly be the most unconvincing cup through cup move ever to be recorded. Although the performance is reasonably competent, it just seemed to lack - well, for lack of a better term - "Magicality." Somehow I was expecting more from Scarne.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBvuQZm5AzY

Your thoughts and impressions?

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Al Schneider » February 4th, 2019, 4:44 am

Thank you Mr. Kam.
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Leo Garet » February 4th, 2019, 10:57 am

Regarding Scarne.
Generally agree. It is perfunctory, but what was the requirement? Did the film folk merely want a nuts and bolts dem? I suspect they did.

Incidentally, Scarne does look to be a young pup, but in 1939 he would have been 36.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 4th, 2019, 12:02 pm

Leo Garet wrote:Regarding Scarne.
Generally agree. It is perfunctory, but what was the requirement? Did the film folk merely want a nuts and bolts dem? I suspect they did.

Incidentally, Scarne does look to be a young pup, but in 1939 he would have been 36.


In fairness to Scarne, I think your suspicion is probably right.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby erdnasephile » February 4th, 2019, 4:30 pm

Fascinating discussion--very much enjoying this.

I have question: if it is true that spectators do not immediately suspect the other hand after a coin vanish, then wouldn't the spider grip (double feint) vanish be ineffective?

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Ian Kendall » February 4th, 2019, 4:46 pm

I have question: if it is true that spectators do not immediately suspect the other hand after a coin vanish, then wouldn't the spider grip (double feint) vanish be ineffective?


You misspelled 'bloody horrible'.

A move that _requires_ the spectator not to believe the initial part is just horrible. Added to that, in execution you are supposed to look like you are using poor technique.

Preemptive strike: I suggest that there is no correlation between the spider vanish and Ramsey-esqe feints.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby erdnasephile » February 4th, 2019, 5:15 pm

OK, let's stipulate the spider grip vanish is "bloody horrible" for purposes of the question.

Nevertheless, there are some very accomplished coin magicians: Roth, Latta, Swiss, Kohler, Gallo, Skinner, Dingle, Bertram, etc. who have used it to great effectiveness.

If we are to accept that audiences do not think "the other hand", then that would seem to contradict the psychology that is at the heart of the double feint vanish, correct?

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 4th, 2019, 5:27 pm

It would be interesting to conduct somewhat of a scientific experiment. Let's say 20 trials, where a magician does a false transfer for a different spectator each time without making the coin or ball reappear and without doing a complete vanish, and see what the reactions are. Then maybe trying the experiment with a different type of false transfer, and different spectators, again at least 20 times, etc. etc. etc. Meanwhile, since the subject of the spider vanish has come up, I think you will LOVE this. Best spider vanish I have ever seen. Three phases: a vanish, a reappearance, then, again, a vanish and reappearance, and finally, a complete vanish that is so good and convincing that he literally fools not only the onlookers, but himself, as well!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb5D_Z6wWOE

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Curtis Kam » February 4th, 2019, 5:42 pm

I’m certainly not saying that spectators never suspect the other hand. They usually do. What I’m saying is that with a properly executed toss or drop retention pass (I’m not even going to expand that to the more typical TJ Crawford-style retention) they don’t, in my experience. So please don’t confuse that with “they never look to the other hand”.

Obviously, the Spider is a different animal. In that instance, you are intentionally directing their attention to the other hand. So they’d better look there, or else you’ve done something wrong.

Unless, you’re asking whether, after the feint And the sucker blowoff, (the other hand is shown empty) people look back at the first hand? I’d say no. In fact, think about the steps they would have to backtrack logically in order to suspect a hand that they had already assumed was empty. I’m not saying it never happens but it’s hardly likely.




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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Ian Kendall » February 4th, 2019, 6:15 pm

I think that on its own (that is, without any of the subtleties that enhance the effect), a simple coin vanish is going to elicit thoughts of 'it's in the other hand'. However, with the correct additions, that suspicion can be all but eliminated.

The spider vanish, however, is still bloody horrible.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Ian Kendall » February 4th, 2019, 6:52 pm

WRT Retention of vision vanishes:

By sheer fluke I stumbled upon a late night rant on the subject that I had made for the Pebble in a discussion last August. In it, I try to explain my issues with the ROV move (and by association, any studied placement).

If you have an interest in a stream of consciousness things, it's here: https://youtu.be/BJOGkWaNGQ4

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 5th, 2019, 8:43 am

Ian Kendall wrote:... my issues with the ROV move (and by association, any studied placement).
I'm with you about separating mundane actions (to set the stage) and spotlight actions (to build up the magical effect) around an effect.. Separating physical cause from magical effect. There's video of John Ramsay doing the Cylinder routine so folks can see his transfers... done a moment before reaching for the wand to get the magic going. :)

For the "show don't tell" school folks: You could start with a coin on the table and command it to vanish ... then handle the coin as if it were fading away over the next five or ten seconds. You'd need a little cooperation from the audience to play along with the mime but it's valid. Just much more work than we often put into our tricks.
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby erdnasephile » February 5th, 2019, 9:13 am

This is very helpful to me.

So, if I am reading this correctly: a well-executed, casual, toss transfer, coupled with a presentation/construction that doesn't make the important into something important will go a long way to short circuiting the innate suspicion of the other hand.

I have some specific questions please:

1. In the Roth routine I'm working up, the false transfer sequence is a) Roth's fingertip retention vanish, b) Double Feint Vanish, c) Lapping the third coin under cover of displaying 3 coins under the Okito box.

In terms of construction, there is something appealing to this, in that a different method is each time to help cancel out each prior methodology. However, with your points in mind: how would you suggest reconstructing this sequence? (For further context, I need to perform the routine standing, so I replaced Vanish c) with a thumb palm toss vanish with a ditch to the breast pocket.)

2. If spectators do not think of "the other hand" with a well-executed toss vanish, what do they think of in terms of method? Perhaps some of them would believe in magic (or in some fantastically complicated explanation), but what would most think in your experience? Would that be important to know to try to counter it? I'm asking because my personal definition of magic includes the phrase "no possible means", and I try as hard as I can to made any routine I'm going to perform for the public to conform to this.

3. JT: I had forgotten about the Dingle "Roach Pass"-- Didn't Howie Schwarzman have an FU pass?

thanks!

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 5th, 2019, 9:25 am

Jonathan Townsend Wrote: "...Separating physical cause from magical effect... :)
...For the 'show don't tell' school folks: You could start with a coin on the table and command it to vanish ... then handle the coin as if it were fading away over the next five or ten seconds."

Yes. And also, if the magician happens to have the good fortune of being seated at a table, he/she could start with the coin (or other small object like a sugar packet) on the table and in the apparent act of picking (sweeping) it up with the hand, l _ p it. Then, to use Jonathan's word, "mime" the transfer into the other hand. With some time misdirection and magical movements, such as kneading with the hand apparently holding the coin, and maybe waving the other hand over and/or snapping the fingers, you can then reveal a devastating and complete vanish. The quandary of whether the coin or other object "is in the other hand" is obviously eliminated and rendered moot by this sequence. I am absolutely amazed that, in the course of many years of pulling this subterfuge, not a single person (and there have been some sharp and skeptical cookies among them) has said, "It's in your l _ p," or contrived to look there. The reaction is virtually always along the lines of, "Where did it go?" with an accompanying bewildered expression on their face.

Of course if you are so inclined you could retrieve it and reproduce it from the spectator's ear (yes, it's still effective and gets a laugh) or from underneath something on the table or even "squeeze it out of you nose - whatever you like. However, I do not like to go back to the "Scene of the crime" until later when I'm sure it's safe, as a sharp-eyed spectator could bust you. So, if I am going to reproduce "it' (i.e., a duplicate), it will be from under some object on the table, like a salt shaker. Or if I was able to plant the dupe in a spectator's pocket sometime beforehand, it's just wonderful to have them reproduce it for you...

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 5th, 2019, 8:47 pm

What you do tells the story. Let's say you do have a convincing false transfer and the audience is comfortable believing your procedure up to that point. They believe the coin is in your hand and you've got it in your other hand. You put the coin where you want it and the action continues. Okay now what? Are you supposedly putting the coin somewhere, say into your pocket? Does a wave of the wand erase the coin from reality? Does a special gesture signal your imps to get the coin out of your hand and put it where you told them? You've got momentum - where is the story as told by your actions going?

Leonard Hevia wrote:... the retention of vision vanish is IMO an exception. The illusion of the object going into the other hand, when done well, is unequivocal.
It's not usually a good idea to teach your audience to focus in on your hands that closely. If your audience is not tunneled into your hand the rest of the body language can trip up effect. Context for the transfer can be much more "vocal" than any perceived coin glimmering in your other hand for an instant. Especially shifting your shoulders or your weight as if preparing for something.

Getting back to the cups trick; folks here seem unsettled by that Vernon fake explanation moment in the routine. He did a bad false transfer and then an unworkable fake display of a ball from behind a cup as feint before the real ball loads. It's a digression, a breather after they've seem three balls vanish (spin vanish) and then one ball jumps from the center cup to the one they picked. They're impressed. Just a moment later they see other stuff under the cups.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 5th, 2019, 9:02 pm

Al Schneider Wrote: "One day I had two fellow physics classmates over to my single room apartment in the Detroit slums near where I went to school. I decided to show them the trick. I was sitting on my bed and they were in chairs opposite me. I put a penny on the bed, pretended to pick it up, placed the pretend coin in my other hand, and opened my hand to show the coin gone. They both were stunned. But, as I did not allow space for them to turn their heads, they both immediately saw the coin on the bed. So, I was stunned that they were stunned. However I listened to what they said. Apparently they both saw me put a penny into my hand and it suddenly jumped to the bed beside me..."

I find this fascinating. Once a false assumption was established in their minds, their reasoning process proceeded from that point. However "logical" the reasoning process was from that point, it was doomed to failure, because they did not factor into their logic that it was possible that the coin was never placed in the hand to begin with. They were reasoning inside a closed box so to speak. Even when they saw the coin on the bed, they did not consider that it could be there was because it was never picked up. So now there were two astonishing effects in their perception, the disappearance and the reappearance. It was like they were mentally blocked from going back to any point prior to the assumption that it was placed in the hand being established. And these were very smart people.

This tells us something about how the human brain works (and doesn't work). Although much of magic is based on setting up false assumptions (for example, that the Queen was tossed into the middle in 3 card Monte), somehow this particular way in which the false premise was set up strikes me as especially powerful, a way to set up some stunning magic. I have heard and read more than once that magic takes place in the mind of the spectator. This is something I am going think about a lot going forward, and try to figure out how to incorporate the "intention" principle into my presentations.
Last edited by MagicbyAlfred on February 5th, 2019, 9:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 5th, 2019, 9:07 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:.... This tells us something about how the human brain works (and doesn't work). This idea of establishing a false premise strikes me as very powerful, a way to set up some stunning magic. I have heard and read more than once that magic takes place in the mind of the spectator. This is something I am going think about a lot going forward...
Al's book on Theory and Practice of Deception in Magic develops that notion further. Also takes you step by step from thinking about using an idea and into doing (the practice of) magic.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 7th, 2019, 10:24 pm

Great discussions here by all concerned. I agree with Erdnasephile that the Spider Vanish succeeds cuz it's based on the observation that the dirty hand will be suspected after a false transfer. When spectators are given a glimpse of the empty left hand, their assumptions experience a jolt. Even with this vanish, it's best to keep things moving in the routine.

The Vernon/Mora wand spin vanish can be considered a sucker vanish in the context of the Professor's cup and ball routine. After two successive false transfers, Vernon understood that audiences would suspect a false transfer as the underlying cause of the two vanishes. It's a perfect set up for the wand spin.

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Re: Your Views on Cups & Balls and One Cup Routines

Postby MagicbyAlfred » February 8th, 2019, 8:29 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:Great discussions here by all concerned. I agree with Erdnasephile that the Spider Vanish succeeds cuz it's based on the observation that the dirty hand will be suspected after a false transfer. When spectators are given a glimpse of the empty left hand, their assumptions experience a jolt. Even with this vanish, it's best to keep things moving in the routine.

The Vernon/Mora wand spin vanish can be considered a sucker vanish in the context of the Professor's cup and ball routine. After two successive false transfers, Vernon understood that audiences would suspect a false transfer as the underlying cause of the two vanishes. It's a perfect set up for the wand spin.


Very well said, Leo!

While getting the sleights and moves down is obviously very important, we must not only deceive their eyes, but their minds, as well. I have been focusing a lot on trying to look at my magic from "the outside in," that is, from the perspective of the spectator. This is not rocket science, but simple common sense. The more we focus upon understanding what their thought process is likely to be at each point in a sequence of magic, and as you so eloquently put it, understand how to give their assumptions a jolt, the more our magic approaches fine art. In other words, how the moves (and/or subtleties) are assembled together and when they are used, can exponentiate the power of our effects.


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