Wisdom of the Cups and Balls Reviews
Quoted by permission from the reviewers

Hello Gerald:

I finished reading the book last night. I wish this had been available 70 years ago. It would have saved me a lot of unnecessary side trips on my journey to performing the cups and balls.

Everyone who performs the cups and balls or intends to perform the cups and balls needs to read and understand the material in this book. If anything, it will save a lot of wasted time. And the lessons learned in performing the "world's oldest deception" will transfer to everything else the performer does.

It reflects the knowledge gained from decades of performing in front of live audiences. That's something that cannot be underplayed.

Excellent work! Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience with the rest of us.

Bill Palmer, M.I.M.C. 2021



I’ve read, reread, re-re-read your book “The Wisdom of the Cups and Balls. Your theoretical approach to this age old trick has breathed new life into the whys and wherefore’s. You challenged my thinking (actually my accepting a practice whole cloth without thinking!) about exposure in the routine (balls between cups!).

Beyond the theoretical discussion, your ideas of how to use “frames” to enhance the various elements of the routine are brilliant! I immediately applied the concept to a couple, non-cup and ball, routines and improved them. I think the discussion on frames is invaluable to a magician and can (and should) be applied to almost any routine.

Finally your cups and balls routine itself is superior! It is clearly written and easy to follow. Every nuance is provided and explained. The big plus to your routine is that it is entertaining! 

I strongly believe that your hard work and years of performing this routine shows throughout this book. I also strongly believe that this book should be studied by any magician that is or plans to be a cups and balls performer. Reading this book will enhance the performance of any magician’s performance.

Harry Murphy 2021


‘Overlooking or ignoring the basic axioms of the craft can make our performances less entertaining and mystifying.’

This quote made me realize that while we may ‘overlook or ignore’, we also forget so much of our craft over time. 

Gerald offers solutions to common performance problems. Specifically, timing and avoiding confusion stood out to me. His idea of using a metronome to pace your movements is brilliant! 

Gerald shares his own routine which is solid, mystifying and most importantly, entertaining!

But to me, the best part of this work is his “frames of attention”. Here, Gerald redefines misdirection, lending ideas to all aspects of your magic, not just the cups and balls.

Gain a little wisdom, and check out “Wisdom of the Cups & Balls”.

Joe Mansfield 8/2021


I've really enjoyed the book. I used to do the Vernon routine as well, but I dropped it. It's a solid routine, and everyone seems to have their own 'improved' version. (I'd have to include myself, if I'm being honest.) But something about the Vernon routine bothered me. After reading your book, I was happy to see someone else who noticed some of the same things that I've seen. The problem isn't the Vernon routine, per se. It's everyone using the same patter lines and the same old gags! ("This is the oldest trick in magic, over 4500 years old, and depicted on the walls of the pyramids!" "Look; the cup is bigger on the inside than on the outside" "You can see that one cup can pass through another.") Have you seen Kent Gunn's routine? Or Brian Watson's routine?

The other two point that you make in your book that particularly resonated with me was this: most cup routines are too long. When I re-examined the Cups and Balls, I tried to keep it lean and mean.

Oh... One more thing. I love how you immediately engage the audience, and there's something that really stood out for me when I looked at the photos. You're smiling! It sounds like a simple thing, but most magicians don't look like they're enjoying themselves. If we could really do magic, it would bring us great joy.

I didn't see your book as some guy up on his "soap box", ranting. Rather it helped me to realize that our routines are the sum total of a large number of artistic choices. It made me go back and look more critically at my own choices. I think that my routine will improve because of the things that you helped me uncover.

Barry Fernelius 2/20


Gerald! What a great book! I am only 12 pages into Wisdom of the Cups & Balls because every single page is forcing me to stop reading and ponder your words. At this rate it will take me weeks to get to the end. This is one of the most intelligent, interesting and thought-provoking magic books I've read in a long time.

Gerald addresses this in his book on the cups & balls. I highly recommend anyone who is considering performing the cups & ball to read his book "Wisdom of the Cups and Balls."

Mike Rose 2/2022

Your treatise on the cups and balls falls in line with my own philosophy more than any I've ever read! I think your work should be required reading, as I really believe you've continued thinking beyond the Vernon routine, and your thinking is most sound!

Your work is the next step for those who truly think about their magic. And truly, it IS the most sound advice regarding the C&B I've read in one volume.

Christopher D Koopman 2/2022