Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Linking Rings • Friend or Foe?

Linking Rings

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!


John said...

Hear, hear! I do the rings on the street, but also in the restaurant with 5-inch rings. A crash link inches away from your nose is seriously hardcore visual!

Timmy Jimmy said...

I get great reactions doing the rings! I don't think lay people REALLY know how it's done, they may think they do... and it doesn't matter, they can't perform, entertain...
Ahh, the classics..
Linking rings
Egg Bag
Cups and balls
Cut and restored rope
I have sort of mastered three.. will want toi add the egg bag to my repertoire...
Name some more classics.

The Magic Utopian said...

"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..

I let them believe this because I would rather have a few magicians perform this correctly than many magicians bungling it up all the time. I know, I'm a little selfish, but I love the rings and don't like seeing them abused.

Glenn Bishop "Bish The Magish" said...

"Oh that old trick? Everyone knows how that's done. It's cliché"

The only thing cliché about the rings is this silly thinking that magicians often say at a magic convention.

Most of them don't get out into the real world and perform for real people.

There is nothing cliché about the classics of magic. They are time tested.

Anonymous said...

Too often rings show up in beginners magic sets or are sold as toys. Way too over exposed to completely fool people. Entertaining, artistic, beautiful, but not deceptive.