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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Handing out the rings (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Laurent van Trigt
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I have been having an interesting discussion recently with several magicians in my area about linking rings. Essentially the opinions are divided when it comes to handing out the rings. Some argue it is an essential part of any linking ring routine to make it deceptive. Others argue that the way one handles the rings can be deceptive enough to conceal the secret, for example by adding visual phases of rings passing through each other (as in Richard Ross' routine).
I would be interested in hearing your thoughts, especially from those of you who perform the Linking Rings but anyone is welcome of course. How important is it to hand out the rings (some or all of them) before, during, and/or after the routine?
Whit Haydn
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If I wanted to convince you there was no trick, and that the rings actually could penetrate solid through solid at command, what would it take?

Would you want to look at the rings joined and then unjoined before agreeing that the rings could actually pass through each other?

Let's say I could show two solid rings separate and then link them together. Would it be just as strong if you didn't examine them in the before state? If you didn't examine them in the after state? If you examined them both before and after they were linked?
Lawrence O
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Further to Whit's post: do effects with audience participation have more impact on the audience or less impact on the audience?

Which ones go down in history?

What about Out of This World would it be better if, after a good shuffling by the performer (using a stripper deck), the magician was splitting the deck in two and showing the red and the black to be separated?

Didn't Dai Vernon include a spectator's choice in his C&Bs routine?

Possibly the answer is that Laurent van Trigt's question aims at finding if the performer should be the hero of the story when, IMHO shared by a few masters, Magic is the hero of the story.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
funsway
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I have had success handing out the rings as people come into the room, saying, "I will be needing the assistance of several people during the show. Please take this ring if you are willing to volunteer and hold it up when asked. If you change your mind please pass it on to someone else." I then collect the rings as a matter of course during the show and place them on a table. When I finally perform with "your rings" there is never a question of "examination." It is easy to "switch-in" an entire set since no one knows they are magic props in the beginning.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

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The Burnaby Kid
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Laurent,

Aren't you going to share what Tyler told you?
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Jonathan Townsend
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Those who don't perform the trick and worry about how to pace their show say the darndest things...

If the rings are real to you - they will be real to them - so long as your character is congruent about it.

If you need to start with a proof, why not suspend something precious from a link of three or four from the start of your show - use the rings trick as a way to put the precious item on your table and then get to what's inside that precious item sometime after? hmmm? Nothing says real better than its use in context. Smile
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Laurent van Trigt
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I do not perform Linking Rings, and therefore I don't feel I'm in a position to talk about it here on the board. I do find it interesting to think about it and have plans to perform a Linking Ring routine in the future. It surprises me to see many different opinions even amongst those who perform it.


Quote:
On 2010-07-07 16:24, Andrew Musgrave wrote:
Laurent,

Aren't you going to share what Tyler told you?

One of the things he told me was that he had found that in historical descriptions of the effect all of the rings were typically examined throughout the act and that it is only in relatively recent versions that the rings are no longer examined. He also said that typically many more rings were used (in the tens) and that going down to fewer rings was done mainly for practical and financial reasons. He asked me why an effect like Linking Rings has survived for so long. Food for thought...
Michael Kamen
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I think the reason the rings remain strong, is that they are founded on incredibly effective, visual illusions of the impossible. With nothing else added, they present a fascinating and bewildering visual.
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Whit Haydn
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There are many reasons for using fewer rings, practical and financial the least of them.

The only reason for using many is to confuse the spectators.

Confusion isn't magic.

If it were real, you would only need two rings: Have them examined, link them, have them examined. Why would you do it again? Why would you do it with more than two?
gaddy
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I don't feel the need to hand out the rings and a magnifying glass.

I show them, and show them again, during the course of my 2:35 second routine, and that's good enough for me and my audience -if their unsolicited opinions, after the fact, are to be believed...
*due to the editorial policies here, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Laurent van Trigt
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Gaddy, are you saying that handing out a linked pair of rings during a Linking Ring routine does not add anything to the deception of the effect?
Laurent van Trigt
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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 20:17, Whit Haydn wrote:
There are many reasons for using fewer rings, practical and financial the least of them.

The only reason for using many is to confuse the spectators.

Confusion isn't magic.

If it were real, you would only need two rings: Have them examined, link them, have them examined. Why would you do it again? Why would you do it with more than two?


Would you favor a routine with only 2 or 3 rings in which NONE of them is ever handed out, vs. one using 15 rings in which all of them were handed out before and after the linking?
walid ahumada
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If you let the spectator to examine your rings, you should let them examine all your props!!......(i would not)
“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.” BEN OKRI quote
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 21:12, Laurent van Trigt wrote:
Gaddy, are you saying that handing out a linked pair of rings during a Linking Ring routine does not add anything to the deception of the effect?


For your routine, perhaps it's just the thing.

For mine, I would say that is a waste of time and effort and the audience wouldn't appreciate it anyhow.
*due to the editorial policies here, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
Whit Haydn
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It is always a balancing act and a trade-off, isn't it? The important thing is to know what you are trying to accomplish.
Lawrence O
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Quote:
On 2010-07-07 23:11, walid ahumada wrote:
If you let the spectator to examine your rings, you should let them examine all your props!!......(i would not)


I'm surprised by this, Walid, If you have allowed the audience to handle (rather than examine) your props during your first or second effect, they will conclude for the rest off the show that you are not using any gimmick. Anyway, letting audience members handle the props in context is not the same as letting them examine.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
Laurent van Trigt
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I agree with Lawrence. You can establish a fair amount of trust by letting them examine props in prior effects. Going back to Linking Rings, what about preceding (or following) the routine with other penetration effects with borrowed items? Let's say you walk through the audience and borrow different keys and proceed to linking them together. Would that give a different perspective on a Linking Ring routine? I am interested in all those options. Having one of the rings held, vs. a pair of linked rings, vs. none of the rings and so on. Does it make a difference?
To those of you who say the rings do not need to be examined, I would like to know why you think so. Do you have other elements in your routine that you think make the effect convincing enough?
walid ahumada
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Quote:
On 2010-07-08 07:02, Lawrence O wrote:
Quote:
On 2010-07-07 23:11, walid ahumada wrote:
If you let the spectator to examine your rings, you should let them examine all your props!!......(i would not)


I'm surprised by this, Walid, If you have allowed the audience to handle (rather than examine) your props during your first or second effect, they will conclude for the rest off the show that you are not using any gimmick. Anyway, letting audience members handle the props in context is not the same as letting them examine.


mmmm, o.k. I got you,i may need to give it a second thought.
“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.” BEN OKRI quote
gaddy
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Quote:
On 2010-07-08 11:58, Laurent van Trigt wrote:
To those of you who say the rings do not need to be examined, I would like to know why you think so. Do you have other elements in your routine that you think make the effect convincing enough?


A number of reasons lead me to this decision:

1. My routine is mostly silent, and done at a distance, with no audience interaction. Handing out the rings would defeat my purpose of "demonstrating an elegant illusion" rather than "proving a magical effect having taken place". It's a different impact I'm trying to make on the audience.

2. I use a number of different "shows" of the rings at various times in the routine (names made up as I don't know what these moves are called) -there is a "rounding-up" classic showing, there a is a "flip-over" showing, there is "hand-off" showing... and although the audience does not get to use a magnifying glass to inspect the rings, when I have asked people after the fact -no one who doesn't already know how the effect is done suggests the method, and the ones who do know the method seem genuinely confused as to the specifics.

Maybe they're all being extremely nice and oh-so kind and not telling me how obviously I expose the method... But, given the environment I perform in, I don't think so!

3. "Proving" anything is not a priority to me, and it's not something I feel I need to do. My effects are strong and they leave very little room for interpretation beyond "He did it by magic" or some other irrational explanation. People will always offer their half-baked solutions to the puzzles you set before them. The only solution, as I see, it is to be so immensely entertaining that any such thoughts only occur long after your performance is over, and any recollections the audience has are tinted by an emotional response of happiness, joy and wonder.

If they're thinking about holes in the middle of your ring routine, then you're not doing it right!
*due to the editorial policies here, words on this site attributed to me cannot necessarily be held to be my own.*
markmiller
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I have seen a couple do silent two ring routines that are elegant and appreciated without having the rings examined. With only two rings I think the method does seem obvious, but can still be magical. In each of the two ring routines I've seen, I think the audiences were amazed in a way more similar to viewing a ballet than an unsolvable mystery.
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