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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Let's be honest most layman know the rings??? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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cinemagician
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Never been to this section of the magic Café before. Prefering to link or post in the card, coin, bizzare and food for thought sections. Though I must confess, the linking rings are probably my favorite effect in magic. However, don't you think that many layman know in essence the secret to the effect? I used to perform it ten years ago (I used four rings in my routine)and I know that the audience always appreciated it. But to be honest I would guess that about 25% knew how it was done, but could appreciate it despite knowing the secret. And the other 75% did not really know how it was done but by the time theyt walked out the 25% who were in the know probably tipped the secret. There is something so magical and beautiful about the rings that it is worth watching even if you know how it's done. However, in my oppinion magic is not magic unless you have demonstrated an illusion of the impossible to the audience and left no explanation to how it could have been achieved. What do you think? Do you think most audiences know how it's done but hold back because they appreciate it? Or do less know the secret than I think? What steps can be taken to assure the audience that all the rings are solid and seperate. I remember reading about one magician who exposed the secret to the audience using a cheep set of rings. And then brought out a bigger set for examination. When all were convinced that the rings were solid and seperate he went on to link them. Is this going too far? Be honest how many layman do you think know how this effect is performed. Thanks
...The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity...

William Butler Yeats
Euangelion
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Many know and don't care. They are willing to participate in the illusion.
Bill Esborn

"Lutefisk: the piece of cod that passes all understanding."
Frank Tougas
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The routine I use consistently gets spontaneous applause at various points. Even if they do know about the key, and many do from small Adams sets as children, when they see a professional routine are so amazed that you can do what they are apparently seeing that they either discount the key, or figure there must be a whole lot more to it than they thought.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Euangelion
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And Frank, there is the art. In making them not care, maybe even make them not believe for a moment that they do not know how it is done.
Bill Esborn

"Lutefisk: the piece of cod that passes all understanding."
Frank Tougas
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Agreed.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
John Pendleton
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I'm just getting into the rings, though I've been practicing magic for 25+ years. Everything below is my 2-bits worth, and should all be regarded as IMHO...

These questions seem central to all magical effects.

The proportion of the audience that knows "a" method is one thing, but none will know the method I'm using (unless my brain falls out part way through, and I make a whopping mistake). This is all to say, we have the option to create doubt. I always present my effects as "magic", not a trick - no matter how artistic it is to watch.

Now; In everyday life, solid objects do not pass through one another. If the audience can not suspend their grasp on reality, for a little escapist entertainment, then they'll be watching, trying to catch you out / trying to solve a puzzle (which is not what we're aiming for). A major goal in performance is to help the audiance achieve the correct mind-set.

The standard moves are to count the rings individually before the routine, and have rings examined totally separate, before linking them and having them examined inseparable. I like using a cloth to wipe around some rings as they're passed back, before going on my arm, over my head, onto the table. (if you don't see the advantage in this PM me). I also demo how a spectator may wish to pass the ring between his hands feeling all around it (same movements as above). The older the effect the more convincers can be found in the nuance of presentation. There's room for a book on these "little bits of business". Getting them fast requires a mentor, getting them slow means performing the effect a lot.

To expose a common method, then trying and show you're not using it takes a certain "personality" as well as presentation. If those who know a method regard your exposure as a challenge, you've lost them. Plus, those still clutching to a little reality will be alerted to a potential method and may be placed in the wrong mind-set before you start.

I personally don't like the direct exposure, but could be tempted to include a comment like, "Why would I use tricks ... using magic looks 'so' much better?".

Let me slip in this quote, "For those prepared to believe in magic no explanation is necessary, for those who aren't, no explanation will suffice".

While I like this quote, I think the answer to your question lies in interpreting it correctly. The audience is not won over to any performance before you start, and neither are they only on the attack. The possession of secrets, puts us in the rare position of being able to present hard facts and before people’s eyes show them the impossible taking place. Our performance has to create a mood and mindset for this to be accepted (if only temporarily) as a truly magical event.

If you performed the effect poorly, only 75% would enjoy it. If you performed it really well 100% would enjoy it (and 25% may be wondering what new technology your performance used). If you performed like a truly great magician, 100% would love the performance, and 25% would not only give up on the method they know as not being a very good one, but would also resent knowing any method, as it just gets in the way of their enjoyment (feeling connected to something they'd rather believe in). This is where I think we should all aim, regardless of our self-belief.

BTW,I hope this does not come across "evangelical". That always prompts the greatest incredulity in me. We ask for temporary belief, not conviction. In return we give a genuine and worthwhile experience.

My 2 bits is, “Perform magic”, don’t just present it.
Pete Biro
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I disagree. Few know. I've done the rings since 1950 and time and time again, even the most astute (engineers, professionals, etc.) are completely baffled by the effect. It may be the most requested trick I've ever had.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2005-08-12 08:15, Euangelion wrote:
... making them not care.


Maybe they know or maybe not but that's a good quote. Make them not care!

Great!
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rikbrooks
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Again I'm with Pete. The rings is my most requested effect. It's my finale as well. I get phone calls that ask if I'd come and do 'that ring thing'.

I recently joined IBM and at the audition the guys that were officiating the auditions were standing behind me. Well, that's a dead giveaway for some of my moves, like the aireal link. After the presentation one of the officials came up to me and told me that although he saw the secret several times (he was behind me) he really enjoyed the presentation.

It's not the trick, it really isn't.
Frank Tougas
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Clasics don't get to be classics because we like to do them. It is because others never seem to tire seeing them, enjoying and having fun with their wonderment. I know the longer I am in magic the more my act consists of classic effects and less with the latest.

A number of years ago, in fact the year the Masked Magician was unmasked, I was on vacation in Orlando. I attended a ring meeting there and Bev Bergeron was in attendance.

I did a ring routine, the one I stole from Al Schneider but have altered with my own patter. After the meeting Mr. Bergeron came up and told me that was the best ring routine he had ever seen. Quite an ego pumping comment from someone I used to watch religiously on The Magic Land of Alakazam.

Like Rikbrooks it used to be my closer, I now use it as an opener, it always gets attention and positive comments.

Frank Tougas
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
Matt Morell
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Maybe try doing a routine with the linking ropes instead ?
Don't see that as often as the rings.

There's also the Quadro Vicious Circle effect that is different. linking cards ?

Check out Hocus-Pocus for the above effects.


Best,
Matt
Al Schneider
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Hmmmmm
The first time I saw the Linking Ropes it killed me. It is a very good trick.

But the Linking Rings.

I just don't get it.

I simply must use it as an opener. I have nothing better. I once believed that to do the rings correctly one must have them examined first. It does not seem to matter. Classics last for a reason. I do not know the reason. To my best understanding, if you do them well it will sell well.

At a lecture by Al Koran long ago in Chicago he explained why he opens with the rings. He said that in England he was performing at some fancy place that I know nothing of. Apparenlty it was custom at that time, at this place, that the performers would go to the local jail and do a show for the inmates. The bad thing was that there was a riot the day before and the inmates were not a happy lot. There was something about an inmate threw a bottle and hit one of the acts in the forehead. Needless to say, the performers were in shock and were getting on and off quickly. Mr. Koran said he wanted to do something quick and uncomplicated. He did the rings. He was amazed that as he progressed through his routine the inmates warmed to him and his persentation. At the end they applauded warmly.

Since hearing that story, I have always opened with the rings.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Vandy Grift
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Beats a bottle to the head huh?
"Get a life dude." -some guy in a magic forum
Whit Haydn
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Quote:
On 2005-08-12 15:10, Matt Morell wrote:
Maybe try doing a routine with the linking ropes instead ?
Don't see that as often as the rings.

There's also the Quadro Vicious Circle effect that is different. linking cards ?

Check out Hocus-Pocus for the above effects.


Best,
Matt


Those are good effects, but hardly a replacement for the linking rings. The real secret to the rings is that the audience often knows enough about the method to be interested in the trick (they want to see if they are right) but not enough to make sense of what they see (the sleight of hand seems to belie their solution).

Like many great classic effects, the multiple methods and various approaches build on each other. The two ring routines and others in which the rings are not passed out are strengthened by the fact that the audience has seen other magicians pass out the rings, or perhaps has had a chance to examine them in another magician's show.

The simplicity of effect and its engagement of the geometric sense of the spectators is unequaled. It is like having the most simple geometry theorum being proved and disproved at the same time.

The impossibility of the penetration of solid through solid is one of the most hardwired of our understandings of reality. The rings is like bumping your toe.

The rings are such a lovely mixture of gaffs and sleight of hand, there is really way too much going on for anyone to follow easily.

Plus, I always felt that tricks that look mechanical and are really mostly sleight of hand (the rings) and tricks that are mechanical and look like sleight of hand (ring flite) are among the most difficult for a lay person to comprehend.

Further, the fact that most people have played with puzzles that have a similar plot, linking and unlinking, makes them think about this trick in very strange ways that even they eventually realize don't make sense. "Those rings aren't all the same diameter, are they?"

Familiarity is part of the strength--both familiarity with similar concepts, and familiarity with the magic effect itself. The amount of thinking required to follow the concept and become interested is very little, the amount required to solve the problem huge.

Then there is the lovely noise, the shine, and the thought that with the ability that the magician is demonstrating, you could pass through chains, or maybe even walls, or do so many, many things.
magicalaurie
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Like Whit mentioned, there's the shine, the lovely noise. The rings ARE magical. I don't know exactly how it's done, but I know it's an illusion. I'm sure most of the audience knows that. But I APPRECIATE the illusion. The artistic presentation outscores the method on this one, I think. Of course, I don't completely know the method, so you can take that with a grain of salt. Smile I'm speaking from a spectator's point of view, here. I think the rings are BEAUTIFUL MAGIC.
twistedace
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I can honestly say after learning a few different ring routines and performing them counteless times I have people's eyes bugging out of their heads at close up range or laughing from stage. I also sell rings when I'm demoing for Bob Little and I've never had such a reaction to the rings as I did in Boston. This kid was yelling how bad he wanted the rings because they weren't like the other ones with a hole. This was a set of 10 inch rings at the most extreme close quarters like 5 inches from his face at times. I used the ninjas at my restaurant on tuesday and had 3 different people follow me trying to see it over and over. The rings are incredible, impossible, and highly entertaining.
Erik Anderson
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I've done the rings for many years. Once, a gentleman from a local magic club came up to me after a show and told me he really enjoyed the rings. He told me he had a set of rings but that HIS rings were the kind they sold in magic shops, and they didn't work like mine. I smiled warmly, shook his hand, thanked him for sharing that, and promptly filed that away as a lesson to remember.
Erik "Aces" Anderson

"I never let my schooling get in the way of my education." ~ Mark Twain

http://www.acesanderson.com
dave_matkin
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I was told recently (and I cant recall who - but I think it was Ken Dean [Kondini]) that Dai Vernon (could be that bit wrong) used to do the rings and came on stage and SHOWED the key ring and said something along the lines of "you have seen this down by others with one of these ....... but I would not do that to you .... (Throwing the key ring off to stage left) ..... And on with the show.....9of course using a key ring Smile made me smile!
Bob Sanders
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Pianos only have 88 keys and they are either black or white. When pushed down they make the same sound every time. Most folks know this. Yet, they still spend their hard-earned money on presentations of people pushing the keys down. They even have favorites in music that are played by different artists. They buy them! They listen to them over and over. They even anticipate what happens next.

They buy performances, not the gimmick!

Why would linking rings be any different?

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander

PS --- Did you know that slide trombone players don't really swallow that thing? People actually pay and watch them play anyway!

Election primary campaigns have already started here in the USA. Do you recognize the gimmicks? The presentations will determine how you invest or squander your future. Enjoy the ride! This is showbiz!
Bob Sanders

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AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Joshua Barrett
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Without having the time to read every thread, I think even the most exposed effects sell fine if performed well enough. a good perfomance will cause people to "throw out" what they know thinking it could not have been done that way.

a interesting thing about the rings is that most people that "think" they know about they think its a solid ring that seperates. maybe taking that into account will help you presentation to defeat that thought
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