Saturday, January 19, 2013
Episode 3 "Just A Cup"
Axel Hecklau himself tells you that the biggest advantage of this thing is the flexibility that the gimmick offers. I agree. The simple fact that you are free to have the die under the cup or not, gives you a great tool to play with the "beats" of the routine. Let's assume the spectators point out that the die is probably under the cup. While your hand is in the pocket, getting the final load, you can casually lift the cup to show nothing. Unfortunately now the attention could shift back to the pocket making the "origin" of the final load way too obvious. Well when you place the cup down and up again the die could have materialized under the cup. This appearance will immediately draw attention away from the pocket towards the cup. It does relax the audience, they expect no trickery at that point. And it is exactly then when you load the final load.
So far this can be done with a regular chop cup as well. But not the opposite! You cannot have the die under the cup and then instantly vanish? Well now you can, creating that same wonderful "offbeat" that you can take advantage of by being one ahead.
It would be dumb if any product would get 70/70 points, as the creator would lose money doing so. If the the product would have been all good and free (that's 7/7) this would be wasted. This is too much of a good trick not to be exploited. However I still have an issue with the actual price. It's too much. I'm sure Axel asked people, what to ask for and I'm sure a lot of thought went into the actual pricing. But a lot of the stuff you get is actually not needed. The plastic bag that everything comes with probably cost a little bit to make and have the logo printed on. A total waste of money I think. Those who use it will have everything they need in the drawstring bag and that bag in the big bag of magic.
I have "Just A Cup" for a while now. It actually is in my table hopping repertoire. So I can tell you exactly how well it actually plays in the real world. But first know that I don't do the routine that Axel Hecklau supplies. I changed it a bit. Here it is:
My version is about how magicians lead you to wrong assumptions and use that to fool you. Which I demonstrate. It is a very satisfying premise and the structure resets. The Hecklau version is great but the bag that is being used caused me much trouble.
Core audience: My Sunday audience got to see this in the middle of last year and as far as I remember they loved it. No wonder the time honored premise of stuff appearing under stuff has proven to be most effective.
Whenever I show this to strangers it gets the proper reactions. If you have ever done the Chop Cup or the Cups and Balls then you know what I'm talking about.
The phase that is advertised so much, that of having the die penetrate the bottom of the upside down cup into the spectator's hand however gets mixed reviews here. Sometimes I get the people to get all crazy and to scream but sometimes the reactions is "meh". I don't know why that is, but accept that it is.
Axel himself does a great job of explaining how his props and routine is great. Personally I thought my German accent was bad. But it can go much worse: