C&BW: The Gear

October 12, 2010

Good news!  As of yesterday, my costume is on it’s way to my door.  Yippie!  The folks at The Tudor Shoppe were super helpful in getting my stuff to me.  Hit them up for all your Renaissance costume needs.

It’s cup and ball week, and I wanted to stat by going over the actual props.  There are routines with three cups, one cup and even two cups (one that I know of).  Although most standard routines call for three cups, I have decided to go with a one cup routine for a couple of reasons.  First, less props to carry around, and second, for clarity’s sake.  At a venue like this, there will be all kinds of things trying to get their attention.  I want to keep my stuff as simple and clear as possible so no one is lost.  If the audience doesn’t or can’t pay attention, then they won’t understand why what just happened is magic.  Anyway, let me show you what I’m working with.


My Gear


It’s a pretty standard single cup and ball set.  That is, except for the big ball.  That was custom made for me by a friend of a friend of a friend from my magic club or something like that.  If you want one, my advice is to be nice to people who can crochet spheres around wooden balls, because apparently, it’s not easy.  This ball is the “final load” as we say.  That means it’s the surprising thing that appears under the cup at the end.  Past magicians have used a variety of weird things for their final loads: rocks, sand, liquids, even livestock like mice and baby chicks (these final loads require a very heavy cup so they don’t go wandering off during the show… seriously).  But perhaps the most traditional final load is fruit.  I will defiantly be using fruit in my routine ( a lemon to be precise) and I may or may not also use the big ball as well for an added surprise.  I haven’t decided.

If you will notice, the top of the cup (for magicians, the “top” of the cup refers to what most people call the “bottom” of the cup because these are meant to be used mouth down.  Can nothing be easy?) has many dents and scratches.  This is due to the other important prop which I forget to put in the picture: the magic wand.  The wand may seem like just another prop, but it is really serves a very important function, especially to the renaissance magician.  Back in the day, these guys were performing for big crowds on the street.  Holding the wand extends the space the performer takes up making him larger and his movements more dramatic.  It also serves as a pointer, much like in a classroom, you can point it where you want everyone to look without having to say so.  This is handy in an environment where some may have trouble hearing you.  It’s also good from smacking the cup and the table to create noise to get people’s attention.  Really, the wand is a magician’s best friend.  Here’s mine.


A slightly blurry picture of my wand


I got this at Mr. Magic in Little Rock, AR where I worked for a bit in high school.  It was made by a local member of the magic club down there, but sadly, I don’t remember who.  I love this wand.  It’s wooden with metal tips.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen one like it.  I’ve had it for at least 15 years now I know it like the back of my hand.  It is MY wand.  Before I start sounding too “Harry-Potter-ish,” I had better get back to practicing.


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