Sometimes I have ideas and they are works in progress that make slow steps. The Stand Up Cup and Ball routine that I’m working on is still making baby steps towards what will hopefully be a cool routine.
Here’s an early version of the Stand Up Cup and Ball Routine:
What I don’t like about is that I go to the pocket, so that needed to be eliminated. There are also some rules for this routine. It needs to be done solo onstage, done without a table, and my hands don’t openly go into my pockets. I can do steals, use sleeving or things like a topit or holdout.
Here’s the current routine idea I’m playing with:
I’ve eliminated the ball going to the pocket, but I also had to eliminate a phase that I really liked. Where I toss the ball out of the cup, the ball is put in the pocket and it’s immediately reproduced by tossing it out of the cup. If I could come up with a way to vanish the ball without going to the pocket, I could add that phase back in. I haven’t given up on that phase, but it’s not looking good to keep it in.
This trick is a good example of a trick that will probably never be finished. The first version was alright and passible, but not what my vision for the trick is. There’s always things to discover and improve.
For years I’ve had an idea of doing a chop cup style routine that doesn’t use a table. The big drawback of a chop cup onstage is the table, it cuts blocks the view of anyone who is sitting below the table top.
Probably 20 years ago I saw Charlie Chaplin’s daughter’s husband do the chop cup in their theater show. I saw it twice, once from the balcony and it was great, and the second time from the floor and couldn’t see much.
Seeing that show really changed how I perform, I don’t have any action that happens on the table top in my parlor or stage shows. If they can’t see it, they can’t enjoy it.
Now, back to the chop cup, I’ve always said creating with rule makes creating much easier. Here are the main conditions:
1: Plays big enough for parlor/stage no table
2: No one from the audience onstage IF their only purpose is to use their hands as a table/surface
3: Quick set up, ideally just grab the cup and go –I think this is the condition I may have to bend on as when there’s a final load, it’s usually not self contained.
The idea is that this will be something that could be used as an MC spot or a solo piece in a bigger show to break up things where you use people from the audience.
Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:
Here’s what I don’t like about what I have:
1: The steal of the second ball from the sleeve. -I need to make a ball dropper/hold and steal it from the edge of my coat
2: Don’t like that my hand goes to the pocket. -It makes the final load production more impossible if you never put your hand in your pocket.
3: It really needs a second kicker after the pool ball appears. -Not sure how to make this happen…if you have any ideas let me know!
This is definitely something that I’m going to keep working on, I really like the idea. I don’t know if it’ll ever meet all of my conditions and desires for it, but you never know until you try!
A couple of weeks ago I picked up Presti Cup by Edouard Boulanger. Here’s the trailer for it:
What I like about it is a lot of the action happens off the table. He method is interesting and the wand could be replaced by something like an Enigma Gimmick. I do think that the wand makes the moves more deceptive, however I don’t use a want in any show other than my children’s show. So if this is something I end up doing, I’ll need to figure out how to justify the wand, or how to eliminate it.
I think with an Enigma Gimmick this routine would end up similar to Axel Hecklau’s Just a Cup, which is a great routine. I do like that the ball is physically larger than a die.
I’m frequently asked about why the Evaporation’s standard version is orange liquid. The reason for this is simple, it’s easy to be seen. Rarely will you have an orange background that you are performing in front of, so the color won’t disappear into whatever is behind you. Using things like cola, which is a … Continue reading “Your Tricks Gotta Be Seen!”
I’m frequently asked about why the Evaporation’s standard version is orange liquid. The reason for this is simple, it’s easy to be seen. Rarely will you have an orange background that you are performing in front of, so the color won’t disappear into whatever is behind you.
Using things like cola, which is a dark brown be hard to see with a dark background, or using milk in an elementary school gym against a white wall make seeing the trick difficult. That’s why I settled on Orange.
You need to think about this stuff with all of your magic. For example I love the idea of cups and balls, more specifically cup and ball(s). So a chop cup would fall in this category. My marketed trick Cee-Lo (Available from www.hocus-pocus.com) which uses 3 dice and a cup has some clever work on the final loads.
Here’s a video of Cee-Lo:
The problem is that the action happens on the table top, and if you are are a raised stage the audience is looking up at the bottom of the table and can’t see what’s happening.
There are a couple of solutions to this:
Build your table at an angle, so the front edge is lower than the back.
Use video projection onto a screen.
Create a routine where none of the action happens on a table top.
The first two are pretty simple solutions, however how practical they are will depend on the venues you perform in. The third one is the one that interests me. You are now walking into fairly uncharted waters. Aside from Ball and Cone, the only other cup and ball type trick that happens in the hands is Axel Hecklau’s Just a Cup.
Axel’s routine is great, but I want to come up with my own take on an in the hands cup and ball routine. So my starting point was a baseball cap, which hand a brim that I can hold on to and a large ball, that’s an inch and a half in diameter. All of the action now happens at chest level and it plays much larger due to the bigger props.
This routine is still in its early phases, hopefully it’ll work out. Once it’s closer to being finished, I’ll start sharing some video of it.
The point of this post is simple: Look at the tricks you do and think you about what the audience can actually see!