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Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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Profile of Alan Munro
I do a routine that is based on the Harry Anderson routine. Over the years, I've added ideas from Dan Garrett and Karrell Fox to make the routine completely deceptive.

I've never had much use for a locking key, because of a Garrett move that I use, throughout the routine. However, I'm in the process of shopping for a 10" stainless steel set of the rings; I'll probably shell-out for a set of Owens rings.
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Profile of cataquet
Linking rings are great. What has been (over) exposed is that there is a gap in one of the rings. That 2 or 3 are joined, is still a big secret and that can be used to dispell the belief in a ring with a gap.

For closeup, I carry a five 5" ring set. At some tables I do a 2 ring and rope routine (which ends with two linked rings) and at other tables, I do a linking ring routine. Dan Fleshman has released a video of Yanagida's "Ninja Rings" which is easy to come to grips with.

Bye for now

Harold Cataquet
David Todd
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Profile of David Todd
The rings are a make or break trick.
(like "Zombie" the Rings seperate the men from the boys, IMO.)

If you spend the time to really work on them then you will always "kill" with them.

Spend some time getting acquainted with the literature. See Fitzkee's book on the Rings and Whit Haydn's routine and Jack Millers.
Of course, Vernon's Symphony of the Rings. Steven's Magic Emporium sells a great video
"Teach-In" on the Linking Rings. Among other routines shown on the Steven's video is Al Koran's 3 Ring routine and a very commercial routine by Samuel Patrick Smith.

Scott wrote:

True story: (and one that I'm sure others have experienced) After a show, a gentleman came up to me to thank me. He commented that he particularly liked the linking rings. He said he had a set at home, but one of HIS had a big gap in it! I leaned toward him and whispered, "Yeah, that's the beginner's set!"

This is absolutely true. Done correctly (and perhaps with an assist from modern accessories such as a locking ring) the audience should never suspect that the rings you are doing are the same as the "magic set rings" they know about.

Even if they do know about the key, the Rings are like a great piece of classical music. Anyone can buy the sheet music for a piano sonata by Beethoven, but not just anyone can make it art.

The main thing, (as pointed out in posts above) is not to belabour the routine and don't present it with a "I"m so clever and you're not" attitude. Present it as a performance piece, like ice skating or ballet. It has an inherent beauty that has withstood the test of time and many exposures (not just from the supreme JERK, Valentino........ "It is I, Valentino!" is a line that will make me fall on the floor laughing to this day. Yeah, ok, boy, put the mask back on.)

I admire the chutzpah of Dunninger, actually showing the key and then throwing it away saying, "I'll not insult your intelligence by using such an obvious device" then proceeding to use it anyway...... not sure I would feel the need to go that far, but I have tossed off the occasional comment like: "this isn't the same old 'Chinese Rings' you got in your magic set when you were nine years old".
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Profile of Megatherion

You should read all the books on the linking rings if you want to perform the effect.

Don't forget the books by Odin, Richard Ross and Fitzkee.

Tarbell volume 4 and Ganson's "Routined Manipulation" each has a good chapter on the rings.

Stanyon's Magic contains unique ideas.
Rink has published good moves.

The only way to find a perfect routine is to create it yourself.

Yours faithfully

Smile Dan Kirsch Smile
Michael Peterson
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is where I'm trapped, because of my
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Profile of Michael Peterson
Reed Mclintock did an incredible ring routine at the I.B.M., it had some of the most impossible looking moves I have ever seen. When I find out more about it, I will post it.
Reed McClintock
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Profile of Reed McClintock
I lecture on the ring routine. The rings I use are very special, and very nice and very affordable.
The thing about the routine I do, I can say hands down that as of right now it is my most requested piece of magic. Everyone at work says "Show us the thing with the rings" The routine is completely close up and only uses four rings. I have come up with some very new moves that serve me well in the routine. Perhaps I will lecture near you and you will get to see the routine. My routine is based off of my friend Shoot Ogawa, from Japan
"Stuff is anything, but magic is everything"

Reed McClintock 2003

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Profile of MiNiM
Love them rings!
Check out Aldo Colobinis 'Three Ring Circus' - it's out on video, as well as in a book by Lewis Ganson, and I've just been working with Buck Claytons 'Three Ring Deception' - it's great. What threw me with it to start with, is that the key is mostly in the left hand, but it works brilliantly. I've combined it with an idea from Don Sminkey in a clown book called 'It's not what you do, it's how you do it' that has the kids doing the magic - much better than a pure demonstration of skill in a kids show IMHO.

I've always noticed that my three ring routines are, for the most part, two ring routines with the third ring coming in near the end - a sort of gear change up to some sort of climax.

How do two ring routines work, plot-wise? At bottom line, all you do is link them and unlink them. How do you end a two ring routine?


He asked me if I liked card tricks. I said "No." He did three. (W. Somerset Maugham)
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Profile of knightmagic98
I too enjoy the rings. I do a two and a half minute routine to Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes." I also do the routine "Ring Master" from Dan Harlan's Packs Small Plays Big. Both of these routines. Get great reactions. In fact, over the last year, I have had a number of people, magicians and laymen, tell me that my LR routine is one of the most beautiful they have ever seen. But, I agree with the earlier post that said to just play with them. That is how I came up with my routine.
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Profile of paulapaul
Steve - Have you had enough suggestions yet? Smile It is easy to be passionate about the rings. It looks like many of us like the reactions we get for the linking rings.

In regards to finding a routine that fits your style ... good routines are part preparation, part inspiration and part perspiration. I am a firm believer that a time comes to put away theories and books, and hit the stage. Nothing refines a routine like working it with the public.

If Whit Hayden is close to your style, I would not hesitate for one minute to do the routine as is (as long as it is commercially available - which I believe Hayden's routine is.) That way, you are performing a tested routine, and you start getting a feel for it.

As you perform, time after time, new lines develop, existing lines that don't fit you disappear, and materials that you think of or read might find a place in your act.

Some great names have been mentioned in this thread. You might supplement your routine with ideas from Harry Anderson, Dan Garrett, Dan Harlan, Karrell Fox ... all entertainers with funny lines and STRONG handling.

I hope you have fun doing the rings. They ARE a real audience pleaser.

By the way, I do the Richard Ross 3 ring routine to music - 3 minutes. It gives me an opportunity to display feminine grace and mystery.

pp Smile
Thomas Wayne
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Just a guess, but I'm betting that Steve is not looking to display his feminine grace...

MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
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Profile of paulapaul
Yep. I doubt he is.

I mentioned the Richard Ross routine in the last paragraph after the words "by the way", as an aside. It's not in the body of the message along with suggestions that seemed pertinent to the routine profile that Steve mentioned he liked. I added what my routine was, as a matter of (maybe) interest. If it was taken as a suggestion that Steve look feminine, I apologise for not being more clear.

However, Steve, now that the subject has come up, you would look FABULOUS in a tutu. Smile

(Actually, I like the look you have with the hat. Some people are well suited for them, and you appear to be one of them.)

Anyway --- back to the subject - the Linking Rings. In regards to exposure of the method interfering with routine likability --- I feel that a tight routine will get a great response. A routine that runs too long will kill it more than any tv exposure. Does anyone else think so?

John Clarkson
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Santa Barbara, CA
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On 2002-07-18 23:43, Reed McClintock wrote:
.. My routine is based off of my friend Shoot Ogawa, from Japan

I saw Shoot perform at The Magic Castle a couple of weeks ago. He stunned me. And, to my dismay, I want to get his Ninja Rings and do a close-linking rings routine. I had the original MacAbee Rings, but somehow, they just didn't seem to have the same impact. Perhaps it is because they are not as substantial as the rings... and the heavy rings make such a pleasing ringing sound.

For those of you who are Castle members, Shoot is supposed to lecture on 11 August.
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)

"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
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Profile of harp
With so much talk about rings, how about some specific sets that you like and why?

Are there some that seem to work better than others or have a better sound? Better quality?


Steven Steele
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Hesperia, California USA
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Profile of Steven Steele
My first set was a set of 6" Rings by whoever. I don't know. I grew to an 8" set by Rings 'n' Things. They were chrome plated and I really liked that set. I still have them. A couple of years ago I bought a 12" set of hollow stainless steel from Owen Magic Supreme. They are beautiful and fairly light. They sound wonderful and I wouldn't trade 'em for anything.

Steven Smile Smile Smile
Brian Proctor
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I just saw Reed perform his linking ring routine two days in a row. Once for me and Jim Pace's son at Jim's shop, and later at Reed's lecture. Man, it is awesome!

I want to learn it! But when I have the time and money, I will. Thanks for taking time to show it to me, Reed.

Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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I saw Chris Capehart lecture at the Abbott's Get-Together. One of the highlights was his ring routine -- one of the links that he does is awesome. He links the two rings just a foot from the spectators. It looks great and he honed it on the streets. It's definitely meant to be performed under fire!

I'll probably order a copy of the routine, possibly to add some elements to the routine that I presently do.
Harry Murphy
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Profile of Harry Murphy
Of all the dozens of routines that I have actually seen, up close and in person, two stand out.

Jack Dean’s four-ring (keyless) routine. I saw Jack perform it in 1977 or so and thought he was somehow ringing-in and out a key ring. He wasn’t! Jack had published his routine in a 1957 (that’s right 1957!!!) Linking Ring (somehow appropriate, yes?) magazine!

Chris Capehart’s three-ring routine. I saw Chris in Al’s magic shop. He was in as a customer and performed his routine (and sold every copy of the routine that Al had on the shelf!). This was the absolutely BEST three-ring routine I have ever seen! Chris honed his routine on the streets as a street performer! It was designed to account for bad angles.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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Profile of ***Kev***
Has everyone forgot about Jeff McBride's linking rings?

I believe they are called Kabuki Rings.
I perform them, and I am waiting to get a 12" set!
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Even though I'm no great fan of the rings, I have to second mumblepeas' praise of Chris Capehart's handling.
I was on the bill with Chris at SEAM last year; he had the dealer table next to me and he sold out of his ring notes the first day!
It's classic angle-proof street work!
Peter Marucci
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Calgary, Alberta, Canada
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Profile of Thoughtreader
The late Jack Dean had a terrific linking ring routine using 4 rings (and NO key ring) that was not only great for lay people but also caught many a knowledgable magician off guard with it too.

I still have a few copies if anyone is interested and will sell them to any Magic Café member that is interested in this particular routine, postage paid.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Canada's Leading Mentalist
AB StageCraft
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