Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The Linking Rings • Friend or Foe?
Oh that old trick? Everyone knows how that's done. It's cliche. THINK AGAIN!!!
OK, I'll admit; I'm old school, I like the classics. Always have been, it's how I was taught. I've always loved the rings, and never felt that people knew the secret. I know this, because I've performed it, thousands of times, in front of live audiences not to mention the countless hours of learning, practice and refinement. Even after all these years, I learn something new every time I do it.
I've seen a lot of ring routines and when it's performed properly, it can be a thing of beauty. I remember the first time Cellini showed me the Slydini routine. . . I was stoned. . . I mean stunned. Richard Ross was an early inspiration in showing that the rings were as artful as the performer. My dear friend, Shawn Greer has strong (Cellini influenced) ideas concerning the rings and does a beautiful job. It's a lifetime labor of love and dedication.
Do audiences know how it's done or not? I've heard, again and again from magicians who wouldn't be caught dead doing the linking rings. "Everyone knows how that old trick is done", they say. In my work on the street, my audiences are 5 to 25 feet away. If they see something or feel something they usually blurt it out. From where I stand, I see a lot of wheels turning. A lot of guessing and wondering. Husbands sharing with their wives their theory of a spring loaded trap door mechanisms on the side of the rings. Or some other cockamamy idea that all the rings are gimmicked. All while I am trying to do my best to connect with the audience, look them in the eyes, through tone and volume, pacing and pauses, create the flawless execution of the routine. Obviously it doesn't always go that way.
I don't know why I like them so much, but I do. A crash link is a hardcore visual, baby. Don't doubt it. To conclude, I'd just like to add that very few laymen have ever seen the linking rings. Some may have seen it on TV, but fewer have experienced it live. It's not as cliche as you think. It's mostly magicians saying, "Look he's going to do the rings. . . I know how that's done". Of course you do, that's the point. Watch the trick, get swept away in it's beauty and simplicity.
Long live the classics!