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Michael Skinner's Impromptu Cups and Balls Routine

by Steve Pellegrino
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Michael Skinner's Impromptu Cups and Balls Routine by Steve Pellegrino

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Michael Skinner's Impromptu Cups and Balls is one of the unpublished gems that he taught to a select few students. Michael performed the routine on The Tonight Show, June 1, 1973, when he was in the prime of his career.

Clips of the performance have been on YouTube for several years, but only a few people knew the routine's complete work. Other magicians have tried to duplicate this routine. They missed because they didn't understand Michael's subtleties and timing, especially his startling "Scatter Phase," where the three balls start under the center cup. In a brief moment, each ball appears under a separate cup.

Steve Pellegrino was fortunate to have been living in Las Vegas in the 1970s and 1980s and got to know Michael, watch him perform, and learn from him. Steve has over 30 years of experience with this routine. Published for the first time, you will quickly understand, with all of the subtleties that make it a memorable presentation worthy of appearing on network television.

This routine is a tribute to Michael Skinner. This gem won't become lost to magicians' future generations, as has happened to other magicians' works from the past.

Highlights of the routine:

  • You can use any cups - magician's cups, coffee cups, soda cups - any cups
  • Use any ball or similar object - cherries, olives, aluminum foil, paper money
  • Learn Michael's easy and logical final load sequence. If final loads make you nervous, you will find Michael's process easy to do.
This revised version includes two new items:
  • Michael Skinner's Bounce Pass explained. This sleight was Michael's standard sleight for vanishing small objects and what he used when performing Cups & Balls.
  • A Nod To Wonder – This is Steve's new climax for the final loads. Inspired by Tommy Wonder's ending, the bag that held the cups appears as the last final load. It's a logical ending that is easy to do.
This ebook has over 25 photos detailing the movement of the balls through the routine's five phases. Clear coffee cups were used so the confusion of learning the routine has been eliminated.

1st edition 2013, 2nd expanded edition 2020, 35 pages.
word count: 7426 which is equivalent to 29 standard pages of text


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Frequently bought together with:

Defective Cups and BallsThe Sponge BookCoffee Break Mental Magic #1: 3 Invisible Keys of Wonder

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