Today is December 9th, and our subject is the “Cups & Balls”, and more specifically Sam Leo Horowitz’s routine published in the SPHINX, issue of September 1938. Although it’s only two pages, it will take some concentration to get through it. My recommendation is to read through it with the instruments at hand; that’s almost always the best way of understanding a written description anyway.
You will find some excellent ideas in it, especially the opening sequence. If you have my book Confidences, re-read my “Overture for Cups and Balls” (pp. 119). Curious to note, that the initial set-up of Horowitz’s and my routine are exactly the same – how did he know 82 years ahead 🙂
If you want more of Horowitz’s genius, go to Stars of Magic or George Kaplan’s The Fine Art of Magic: you will immediately recognize the originality and expertise of this outstanding artist, who was part of the exclusive New York circle in the 1920s. I do not, though, suggest that you follow Horowitz’s advice of repeating the sequences, as this will make the routine too long. Such lengthy and repetitious presentations are only good if you work in streets or maybe some trade shows, where the audience walks on and off. Similar to “Linking Rings”, “C&B” is one of the very few magic pieces, where as a spectator you can come in at almost any moment of the presentation and still understand and enjoy what is going on. You don’t get that with mental magic 🙂
When it comes to the artistic interpretation of C&B Dai Vernon’s routine remains the template, in my opinion. I have gone in great detail in analyzing his routine in my DVD-project Dai Vernon Seminar, which also includes a film clip of Vernon himself performing his brilliant creation. You can get it from most dealers of directly from me (I’m happy to autograph it if you mention that in the comment field of the order form). One of the two DVDs also contains a 80-page e-book in PDF format, don’t miss that!