I’m a chop-cup-aholic. If you don’t believe me, have a look at my little collection (see end of post!). And ever since I heard about the Loomis Micro Chop Cup routine I’ve been keen to incorporate some kind of chop cup into my walkaround set. So whenever I see a cup which looks like it might fit the bill I’m always keen to take a look. So I was delighted to receive a copy of Mike Busby’s new cup for this review.
Let’s get the measure of it
So what Mike has produced is a very innocent looking spirit/shot measure cup made in stainless steel – exactly the kind of thing you would find at any pub or bar. But it has been gimmicked in the usual ‘chop’ way making a good range of magical effects possible with only minimal sleight of hand.
The set also includes two stuffed rubber olives (one chopped, one unchopped), of which more later. You don’t get a routine – but you’ve already got one of those, right? And it all comes in a nice black velveteen bag.
A spirited performance?
I really took a shine to this little cup. In practise the strength of the m****t was pretty much spot on – which made all the usual chop cup moves very easy to do. The cup has a nice weight which helps with the normal ‘drop’ move. At roughly 6cm height and less than 4cm diameter, it takes up very little pocket space.
For me the great plus of the prop is that it is such a natural thing to have ‘swiped’ from the bar. You may remember Mark Jenest’s Jiggernaut release a good few years ago. I loved the idea of the jigger, but I haven’t really seen many of them in the UK – –maybe I’m in the wrong kinds of bars. But these spirit measures are everywhere. (Also the Jigger wasn’t chopped, so in that sense it was more akin to a single cup and ball routine than this which is a proper chop cup.)
A word about balls
As already mentioned, this comes with some rubber olives to use instead of the more normal balls. And I’m still not sure about this. I understand the logic – there is a natural link between olives and bar drinks. But would you really keep an olive in your pocket? And if your routine involves the spectator handling the ‘ball’, would they really want to touch an olive? Clearly there is a ‘suspension of disbelief’ involved in any magic performance, but I can’t make my mind up about this one.
You could use some ‘ordinary’ balls – experimentation shows that the largest ball that would fit in is a 1 3/8 inch one – but you can only get one of those in at a time, so though it could be a final load you would probably want to use a smaller ball for the main routine. And if you used balls, you could still use a cork for the final load. Ultimately this will come down to your personal preference and performance style. I might have to experiment a bit before I settle.
All in all, this is a great release. I think I’d love it even if I wasn’t a chop cup nut. It’s reasonably priced and I can see anyone getting a lot of use from this.
The Spirit/Shot Measure Chop Cup is available from DudeThatsCoolMagic (who kindly provided the review copy) for £29.99 (at the time of writing).