Cups and Balls Masterclass by Jamy Ian Swiss


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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.