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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #1 
I've been wondering about a fairly common move in Cups and Balls - and that's tossing a ball from the left hand to the right hand just so you can toss it back to the right hand for a vanish. 

From everything I've been reading (most recently re-reading "Sleights of Mind" - great book), all the moves a magician makes should have an apparent reason. But when you're already holding a ball in the left hand, toss it to the right hand and immediately toss it back to the left hand, that doesn't seem to have any plausible reason.

What do others think about this?

Thanks!

Ken
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Martin

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Reply with quote  #2 
If you do it while talking and don't draw attention to it, nobody will remember it anyways, it's just a casual motion anyways. Everybody does motions that don't have a purpose or a reason in real life, so it really isn't unnatural.

Or it could just be so that people could track the ball, and get and eye on it, you could toss it to the right "Keep your eye on it, are you watching?" then false transfer it to the left "Don't let it out of your sight... Boom!"

Either way, it's casual, and nobody will remember it if you don't draw attention to it, and probably wont even if you do. 
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Bulla

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Reply with quote  #3 
The motivation for tossing it back to your left hand should be to grab the wand to affect the vanish.
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Tom G

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Reply with quote  #4 
Or re-work how you do the previous phase or pick up to eliminate the back and forth toss.
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hold ball out to your left with your left hand.
"Watch."
Toss ball to your right hand.
Hold ball out to your right with your right hand.
"Watch."


That's my motivation. To show all sides of the room the ball.
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Jake07712

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Reply with quote  #6 
If the move doesn't feel natural to you, use a different slight. There are enough false transfers out there to find a suitable one that looks more casual and more natural to you.
I have a problem with C& B workers who, for no apparent reason, put the wand under their arm. Had this discussion on the big green awhile back. All I got out of it was that people do it because someone else did it.
If you watch some of the really fine workers, you can get a feel of what the transfers should look like.

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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by EVILDAN
Hold ball out to your left with your left hand.
"Watch."
Toss ball to your right hand.
Hold ball out to your right with your right hand.
"Watch."


That's my motivation. To show all sides of the room the ball.


That works! I've been thinking about doing that. Just need to be sure I have folks on both sides:-P. The thing that I was referring to is the very common quick toss and back. Watch this NOVA piece on magic with Penn and Teller https://youtu.be/OZg1KDEMzjo?t=11m30s

Ken
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenTheriot


That works! I've been thinking about doing that. Just need to be sure I have folks on both sides:-P. The thing that I was referring to is the very common quick toss and back. Watch this NOVA piece on magic with Penn and Teller 
 (starting at 11m30s, which I put in the link. But it didn't start there in this post for some reason).

Ken
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #9 
When Teller does it, it just seems like a little habit, an unconscious action, a little bit of playing with the prop.

I think it is important to note that Teller is not vanishing the ball, he is "putting it in his pocket" - so nothing magical is actually happening at that moment.  There's no real heat on either hand.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #10 
Robin - so you're saying the fact that it just looks like unconscious playing around with the prop, it wouldn't look suspicious or cause anyone to wonder why he's doing that? Obviously Teller is a master's master, so who would I be to question what he's doing?:-). I'm just trying to understand - as a relative newbie - what's what, and reconcile what I read and hear from different sources. Ironically, it was Teller himself whose words I first read regarding this topic! In Sleights of Mind, he says " Action is motion with a purpose." He goes on to explain that he will draw suspicion if he raises his hand for no apparent reason, but not if he a seemingly natural or spontaneous action like adjusting his glasses, scratching his head, draping his coat over the backrest of a chair, or reaching into his pocket for a magic wand. Teller calls this "informing the motion." 

That bit above is directly out of the book Sleights of Mind. So I guess if tossing the ball from the left to the right back to the left again is seen as a natural or spontaneous action, it wouldn't draw suspicion?

Ken
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Robin Dawes

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi Ken

Yes, I think that's exactly right.  To me, that back-and-forth with the ball seems like a very small and natural semi-flourish - similar to tossing a coin a few inches into the air and catching it again in the same hand, or sticking your index finger through your key-ring and moving your hand so the keys spin in a circle and land in the palm of your hand ... the sort of little gestures that people often develop, that really have no purpose.  I think my subconscious simply registers it as "oh, that's a cute little thing to do with a ball".  He does it so nonchalantly and without attention that we might even wonder if he knows he is doing it ... which makes it completely innocent.

Also, the fact that he does it exactly the same way each time serves to ritualize it - again, when I watch it my reaction is "Yup, that's just a thing he does".  

Back when I was practicing Tai Chi, I found that sometimes bits of the various positions and moves worked their way into my every-day actions - things like unconsciously transferring my weight from one foot to the other in exactly the same way whenever I turn.  Anyone watching might have asked "What is the purpose of that motion?" and my only answer would have been "I guess that's just the way I do it"

Just my thoughts ... others may have much better insights into this ... it's a great question.

Robin
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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #12 
Here's some additional insight that may be right or wrong.

The action of picking up the ball with the left hand, tossing it into the right hand, only to toss it back into the left hand to vanish it.
Contrast this with the action of picking up the ball with the right hand, tossing it into the left and making it vanish. Any three year old will tell you it's still in your right hand.
Sooooo, maybe the act of tossing from left to right first and seeing it in the right hand legitimizes the fact that when you toss it back to the left, it should be there in your left hand. 

Just thinking out loud after some strong coffee.
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #13 
I like it, Dan[smile]. I totally plan to have some strong coffee in a few minutes. Maybe I can have some magical insights too[smile].

Ken
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KenTheriot

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks for these responses everyone! I really appreciate it. My magician friend (in my medieval group) who is acting as a sort of mentor to me keeps telling me I gravitate toward esoterica more than anyone he knows. But I really REALLY want to know the whys and wherefores (those 2 words mean the same thing, so I also wonder why that's a saying...see?!:-P) of magic. I believe it will help me be more original and start creating my own tricks and routines later.

Cheers!!

Ken
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #15 
That vanish is also done with a coin by some. On one of the Reel Magic episodes, Dan Tong does it during a an Okito Box routine. Seeing him do it just looks like something natural. 

It's a really a cool routine, too.
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