Cups and Balls Masterclass

By Jamy Ian Swiss
DVD $15.00 or download for $15.00 Some options in stock. Order now — we'll send it first thing Friday morning
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Cups and Balls Masterclass

15.00 usd

DVD or download by Jamy Ian Swiss (DVD $15.00 or download for $15.00)

Some options in stock. Order now — we'll send it first thing Friday morning
Cups and Balls Masterclass - magic

In the rarest of moments, we’re able to be part of a project that isn’t just interesting or visual or exciting as a magic trick, but feels categorically important. This download -- an hour-long masterclass by one of the finest teachers in magic, all on the Cups and Balls -- is important.

Very, very few people get the opportunity to study with Jamy Ian Swiss. This download lets us peer into the studio and spend an hour with him on a topic of which he is an undisputed master: the Cups and Balls. The download features his routine (which is based on Dai Vernon’s classic), but also highlights moments and ideas from other influential past masters and routines.

Jamy’s final load sequence (which includes a terrific, detailed discussion of liquid loads) is invaluable to the serious student, as is his discussion of timing, misdirection, and routine construction. The theoretical is demonstrated and shown through the material, and this download works on two levels: you learn the Cups and Balls along with Mr. Swiss, and on a more fundamental level, you get a chance to observe a master at work, discussing the decisions he made in this routine, and how he came to them.

Don’t miss this opportunity to spend an hour with one of the living greats, as he entertains, instructs and informs you with his distinctive and expert handling of the Cups and Balls. He teaches you his full routine, start to finish. (However please note that permission to use Jamy's scripting is not provided; that is for your entertainment only).

“The Cups and Balls has been a passion of mine since childhood. My routine, the result of more than 20 years of study and development, and more than another 30 years of refining and performance, is truly near and dear to my heart. Over those many years I have shared the details and my personal innovations with the tiniest handful of colleagues, like Johnny Thompson, Bob White, and Roberto Giobbi. Now in this video I explore each phase of the routine in detail, explaining where, why and how I have diverged from the original Dai Vernon routine from which I began. My routine begins with three empty cups and a single ball, which then penetrates each cup, whereupon two more balls are immediately magically produced in full view—accomplished with a series of original ideas and additions. And the routine concludes, after the production of four jumbo loads, with the appearance of an ordinary shot glass filled with liquid. From start to finish, this is an advanced course in the Cups & Balls, and no matter how little or how much you elect to utilize in your own routine, I sincerely believe it will provide you with a rich banquet of ideas and instruction with which to expand and enrich your own routine. I hope you will treat it with the same love and respect I have invested in it, and then discover in that effort the same satisfactions and rewards that this routine has so long provided to me.” Jamy Ian Swiss

A message from Jamy:

It would be unfair to students for me to teach the routine without providing a complete example of the script I actually perform. However, what is being published here is instruction and explanation of the routine in its technical entirety. What is not being offered for your use is the script, or any of the particular lines and jokes (which in a few cases are not my own but are used with permission, notably the “bumper sticker and zen quotation” line courtesy of my friend Peter Samelson). In short: my presentation is not offered as a smorgasbord intended for you to select your favorite elements to consume. Rather, the presentation is here for the record and as a complete and authentic depiction of an actual performance, but the script is not here for your use. Please make the routine your own by selecting as little or as much from the technical elements, while leaving my scripting entirely to me, and creating your own for yourself—this is how you make magic your own, this is where you add your own personal expression. Absolutely no permission is being granted, implied or assumed, explicitly or implicitly, for any of the spoken word material accompanying the routine. ZERO. Please respect the creative rights of your fellow artists. Creating an original script isn’t easy. It took me many years to create mine. Do the work for yourself and you will eventually achieve a result that will be satisfying and actually your own. There is much here to learn from and to potentially put to use. The script is certainly instructive—but it is not provided with any permission for use.


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  • Andreas asks: What's the length / running time of this download, I wonder.

    • 1. Vanishing Inc. Magic responds: Approximately one hour and nine minutes.
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Customer reviews for Cups and Balls Masterclass



I have to start off by saying, while I've been studying magic for 30 years, I have not worked on the cups and balls for a variety of reasons. I had heard from some friends though that this download was not to be missed so I decided to purchase despite my previous lack of interest in the subject matter. I have to say, for the first time in 30 years I'm interested in pursuing the cups and balls. Let's be clear though, this is not designed for the beginner. Jamy does give some very good advice on where to start with the cups and balls if you're not experienced, but he does not spend a lot of time explaining the mechanics of each move. Instead you see his very well thought out version of the Vernon routine, with some really smart touches and revisions that for my taste are a significant improvement over the original. Even if you're not interested in the effect per se, seeing a master of our art talk about an effect he's obsessed over throughout his career and the thinking behind the choices he's made is worth much more than the asking price; not to mention the whole video is incredibly entertaining and engaging. There are some really good ideas in here for any cup and ball practitioner, and for anyone interested in performing any kind of magic at the highest level. I've watched the performance 4 times since downloading a few days ago and watched the whole "explanation" twice as well; there's so much here it requires serious study. This is not to be missed if you take your magic seriously.



Echoing other revew(s) , I would like to add the production valuses and overall 'feel' of this DVD is just wonderful. If you cannot sit back and enjoy this moment, (actually 60 of them!) then give it up - you are dead! You spend the best part of the time with Jamie, and I mean with him, it feels like a one-to-one, with little interuptions, or edits or reshoots, what you are getting is the nearest you'll get to a personal instruction, it's just great. Love this.



The Cups and Balls – Some among the younger generations will perhaps think, “That’s so outdated,” or “Too Magicky.”

But Jean Hugard once commented, “It has been said that no one should consider himself a magician if he cannot work the cups and balls, which is not strictly true; the converse, however, does hold good – anyone who can perform the cups and balls skillfully is a good magician.” I still believe this is timeless wisdom from the old school.

?You can learn all the important aspects of magic from studying the Cups and Balls: construction/routining, technique, handling, timing, misdirection, and effective performance. If you perform this properly, you will never reveal the slightest hint of the methodology, and ultimately deliver a powerful punch to your spectators.

??Jamy Ian Swiss teaches his own routine, which is based on Dai Vernon’s phenomenal routine. Professor Vernon’s routine itself remains the popular standard, and is truly a beautifully constructed routine. Jamy has carefully added his solid thinking to this classic with his more than 30 years experience as a professional performer.??

If you are beginner, I highly encouraged you to look up Vernon’s original routine that appeared in “The Dai Vernon Book of Magic” by Lewis Ganson, and seek out video clips of Vernon’s performances on YouTube. Then go back to Jamy’s routine. You can learn so many valuable tips from him, accompanied by solid analysis – a personally guided shortcut toward mastering this classic.??

But you are already familiar with The Cups and Balls, you will also learn a lot from Jamy’s ideas. For example, I really like his handling for phase two of the original Vernon routine. And his final, streamlined load sequence is just amazing. You can load large balls very quickly without Vernon’s “pseudo-exposure.”
And Jamy’s liquid load kicker sequence also great – his special “gizmo” (based on late Eugene Burger’s idea) for the liquid load itself is worth making it. I strongly believe these two ideas are worth more than the asking price of a mere $15.??

I highly recommended this DVD for any serious students of magic.



This is great. Jamy goes into precise detail about a routine we all know and love. He speaks with passion and I learned a lot that I can apply to my routine. Another release that you'd only get with Vanishing Inc. Thank you for not just releasing single trick downloads - this is important magic teaching!



This is a great download! Jamy shows his expertise in every single word that he pronounces, he teaches a lot of details, and his final load of a full shot glass is amazing. You can’t miss this download. If you are new to the cups and balls I recommend you to learn the basic moves first, because Jamy doesn’t explain in full detail the basic techniques.

Get this download and improve you C&B routine.



I would like to start this off by saying that I've been preforming magic for 10 years and have never preformed any cups and balls routine. when I purchased this download I was more then happy with the quality I got out of it! He was so good about teaching the effects! I went back and watched the performance and the explanation more then once just to get all of the fine tips and the slight of hand correct! This is worth way more then what he is asking for I highly suggest it


Dr. Joaquin M.

Okay - I have some reservations about this video, which I will address as I go along, but overall it was very good!

Let me start off by saying that for the price, you are getting more than good value here, but I would be hesitant to call it a "masterclass". Perhaps in the context of studying the Jamy Swiss routine, you could call it that, but it is not a masterclass on the subject overall.

I do appreciate that Jamy left a note to potential buyers in the ad copy as to what he is offering for use on behalf of the buyer. He specifically states his wish that you will learn the technical portions and cherry pick what you want to use from those elements, but to leave the scripting to him. This is a fair request because as good performers and students of magic know, scripting makes presentations awfully personal and what works for one rarely, if at all, works for others. I will point out that there are a few lines here and there that are "stock" Cups & Balls lines, but they are woven into a uniquely scripted presentation. You should do the same.

If you have never studied the Cups & Balls or are new to magic, this is NOT the place to start. Side note: Credit to Jamy for even saying this at one point in the video, and I paraphrase, "Do not start with this or other versions, but learn the Vernon version FIRST, learn the mechanics, the timing and the rhythm of that before you attempt to change it." This is especially true for this version because Jamy does not spend a lot of time on each and every move, and for the most part he barely exposes some of them; it is expected that you will already be familiar with most of the moves and sleights that he is talking about.

What you are really getting in this video is a routine that is, almost phase for phase, the Dai Vernon routine, just like with most really good Cups & Balls routines out there. The difference, however, are the changes (and exchanges) that Jamy has made at various points. THOSE are the real focus here, and those are what makes his handling different. As close to perfection as the Dai Vernon handling was (and is), there are a couple of things that Jamy did that improved it or cleaned it up. One particular thing that really stands out in my mind is his take on the Two-None-Two phase. I came to the same conclusion about it that Jamy did and I came up with my own way to do it, but I also like what Jamy came up with.

There are a few moves (standard ones) that Jamy teaches where I was not particularly fond of the way he did/taught them. One such example is the Charlie Miller Move with the Elimination Sequence. He did it very well but he did not follow the advice given by Charlie Miller in performing it. I have no idea if that is how he always does it or if it was just how he did it in this video, but the way he taught it matched how he performed it.

The other thing that really bothered me, and maybe he gets away with it, are his final load loading techniques. I will save a lengthy description and point the reader to studying the work of Michael Ammar and Don Alan in regards to learning great and proper loading techniques.

Kudos to Jamy for pointing out one aspect of the Cups & Balls that is very important in many presentations, yet it is absent in so many of them. Namely, the audience participation (interactive) parts. This effect was meant to be interactive and to engage the audience, and the Jamy Ian Swiss routine makes very good use of that. The thinking that went into this aspect is very good here.

One of the points of value in this video, aside from the unique handling, are the justifications for the changes - the "why". Jamy does a great job in explaining the reasons he changed this move and that one, or why he eliminated certain things altogether. They make for a great lesson in how to make routines your own and even why you should do that. All of the above points combined, even with my nitpicking points, shows that Jamy has worked this routine in a Marlo-esque fashion: backwards, forwards, left, right and upside down for a LONG time. THAT is where the real lessons lie here - it shows you how much time and work you can put into something, into making it your own, and the rewards of those efforts.

I will say that if this system allowed for half ratings, I would put this closer to 4.5 stars, but given the lack of that, and given what you are getting in this video for the cost, I rounded up to 5 stars.

As previously stated, this is not the place for beginners to learn the effect, but if you have previously studied and performed it, or if you are an experienced magician looking for something a little different on the subject, this video will definitely suit your needs. Even if you do not learn a whole lot or like what you see, you will at least be entertained by the performance.



Been wanting to get back into the Cups and Balls which I haven't touched in a very long time. This was a perfect primer with lots of the content to digest. Now if only Swiss would write a book on the cups and balls that would even be better!







Jamie does an excellent job of describing his take on Dia Vernon’s routine. Not only that, but gives you a good example of the way a magician should think when revising a routine. If you pass this up, you may be missing a great chance to polish all your routines.
Mark Perrin



I have a number of books and videos on the subject of Cups and Balls. I thought I was paying it my due respects until I saw this video. There is a certain way of thinking that masters follow to make better or polish up the old routines, as great as they were when first conceived. This is not just about Cups and Balls. It shows how to re-think and solve trouble areas and make it look natural. This video is a real gem for your library and to spark your imagination for designing your own routine.



Very in depth cups and balls routine! Goes through his routine as well as some sleight of hand. Everything is in depth and clear and VERY well done. I highly recommend to anyone wanting to get into a cups and balls routine.



Love it. Great routine. Great tutorial. Clear and concise. just what I needed to help me polish up my cups and ball routine. I would definitely recommend this one to those who are interested in cups and balls.











an excellent examination on cups and balls. easily worth twice the price!
the production quality was very high as you would expect from VanishingInk.
the level of thought that has gone into each phase of the routine is wonderful.

if i had one complaint it would be that there wasn't very much of a discussion on the history of cups and balls but this wasn't really the project for that anyway.

all in all its an excellent download.



This was my first cups and balls routine I’ve tried learning. Very, very well organized! Doesn’t cover the basics which he states off the bat… but the routine is great. He offers alternatives and his opinions and theory. Worthwhile purchase for sure



I've been doing cups and balls for years. This video is a great place to start if you're new and has some good ideas if you're a seasoned performer. There is not a lot new here, but most of what you need to find to do the cups and balls is within this video. well worth the price paid.

Cups and Balls Masterclass by Jamy Ian Swiss