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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Rings, strings & things » » Ring On Stick (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Zombie Magic
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THANK YOU everyone for contributing to the thread. Some great history has been recorded for others.

Michael Skinner did his ring on stick for Frank Sinatra and Sinatra kept telling him "If I could just learn that one trick...".

Harry, thanks for the Ron Bauer reference. I love this series, but missed this one. It says

"Bauer's performance of this trick took in Vernon, despite the fact that he published the inspiration for it in Stars of Magic".

Here is Bev Bergeron doing the Ring on Stick:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHX_ru8HRSo

On the Stevens GREATER MAGIC DVD #20, IMPROMPTU #1 it says Charlie Miller does the ring on pencil.

Clarke
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Quote:
Michael Skinner did his ring on stick for Frank Sinatra and Sinatra kept telling him "If I could just learn that one trick..."


Indeed. In fact, Sinatra hired Michael for a party based on that trick alone.
204rags
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I do not know about all the other guys who may or may not be first and formost with ring on a stick or who "invented" it. All I remember is seeing Johnny Platt do this effect back in the 1950's when he lectured in Charlotte, NC and to me the misdirection with a solid brass ring on a wand or stick is truly awesome and simple to perform. His lecture notes from Magic Inc. in Chicago might be one source to discover his method. When I saw him do it he used the solid ring from routines he was doing with an Ellis ring.
RS1963
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Quote:
On 2012-02-29 14:22, Sealegs wrote:
I'm a huge fan of Mike Skinner and think he was one of the greatest close up performers I have ever had the pleasure of spending time with. (albeit unfortunately a very short time)

It's rather odd then that this effect that has never done anything for me and indeed I think has some inherent weaknesses.

The appearance of the ring on the stick/wand can't help but include a moment which has the participating spectators thinking that the ring was simply being covered by the magicians hand. Of course this doesn't explain how the ring got on the stick but that doesn't really matter. It's the kind of thing that a spectator feels is a partial solution to the mystery of the effect and this inevitably undermines it.

Another thing I don't like about the effect is that during it the magicians hands tend to be tied up with holding onto the stick usually in an unnatural way. For example while the spectator grasps the ends of the stick. If the spectator has hold of the ends of the stick why does the magician still need to hold onto it? The answer is they don't... or at least they shouldn't have to.... but because they do have to it looks suspect. Those suspicions are given validity at the moment the ring 'appears' on the stick.

So a suspiciously held wand/stick has a ring appear where it was being held suspiciously. This cannot be ideal.

Like I said... it leaves me cold.

I'd be genuinely interested to know what is was/is about this effect that had Mike Skinner saying that he thought it the greatest magic trick ever created.


I once had doubts about his effect myself and thought there is no way this can fly. But several years ago I decided to actually sit down and learn the effect from Stars of Magic.

The first time I ever performed it was for a co worker. I used his ring and a soda straw. When his ring was shown to be on the straw he stood there silent for a moment. I thought "Well now I know why I didn't like this effect, He knows what I did and it didn't fool him"......... After the pregnant pause he said "HOW THE *%&%( DID YOU DO THAT?!?" I knew then that I was so wrong about neglecting this effect and that any and all doubts about it were wrong.

It is an effect that really floors the spectator. They really have no clue as to how it is done. Learn it and try it. wait better yet. Forget what I said. It's a terrible effect leave it alone and let us losers that perform this keep fooling ourselves;)
Magic-Daniel
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I have never performed ring on stick or ring on rope, but I would think, that ring on stick is a lot stronger to a lay person. Just by the fact that you can use his ring and for that matter, his pencil, straw or anything....
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2012-03-05 17:28, Magic-Daniel wrote:
I have never performed ring on stick or ring on rope, but I would think, that ring on stick is a lot stronger to a lay person. Just by the fact that you can use his ring and for that matter, his pencil, straw or anything....


Depending on the ring on rope trick you master, it is possible with shoe laces, string, or decorator rope. The ring can be borrowed as well if that is your routine.

You could even do an extended routine combining the two. The bow and arrow effect does just that, you shot the ring from a rope/string to the stick.
RS1963
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On 2012-03-05 17:28, Magic-Daniel wrote:
I have never performed ring on stick or ring on rope, but I would think, that ring on stick is a lot stronger to a lay person. Just by the fact that you can use his ring and for that matter, his pencil, straw or anything....


I ever since I had started using ring on stick felt it's a stronger effect than Ring on rope, string etc... Main reason being. the wand, pencil, chop stick is hard solid object. In the spectators mind it is harder for their ring to end up on the stick then it is a piece of rope. I have nothing against ring on rope, shoelace etc.. effects there are some very good ones out there. I don't feel that they can beat ring on stick however.
Vraagaard
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Mchael Webers routine is really amazing, practical and in the hands of the spectators. I assume its on his lecture notes

Jan
RS1963
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As far as I know the Ring on Stick that Michael Weber uses is not in any notes. It is however in his book Lifesavers.
Harry Murphy
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Frankly all ring on/off stick routines are amazing, practical, and in the hands of the spectators. It is the being in the spectators using a borrowed ring that makes it so amazing. Weber's handling is pretty much standard for a ring on stick. He adds one subtlety that is a small improvement or change to the Skinner handling. Unfortunately Weber only gives one phase of what should arguably at least a two phase routine. He does say that you can get that second phase from the Vernon handling in the "Stars of Magic" write-up.
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John Long
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On 2012-02-28 19:10, Harry Murphy wrote:

Frankly, I would advise checking out Ron Bauer's "The Cursed Ring". it is a ring on stick (OK, ring on pencil) that requires nothing extra and is multi-phase. Ron's manuscript gives you a script, the handling, bits of business, and presentation advice. You get so much more than just the basic handling of the trick.


The routine is nice, but it has only two phases, and the first is more of a joke than magical (but it does add to the second phase). I would have preferred more phases, as in Bev's version.

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Zombie Magic
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I've been watching Charlie Miller teach this on video. He says he has heard about the trick and asked Max Malini about it. Charlie didn't think it was that good, until he tried it. He has some nice touches on it.
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The video of Bev Bergeron was very interesting to watch. He certainly has the pacing and scripting such that the action carries the routine along. One doesn't end up with any opportunity to dwell on any of the handling very much which is how any routine should be structured.

But (there's always a 'but') Bev's routine still has a physically awkward moment in it, that is repeated, where he has to use his left hand (which is 'holding' the ring) to reach over his right hand to indicate to the spectator where to hold the stick. At this point the other end of the stick is being held by the other spectator so Bev's right hand is effectively 'unnecessarily' (and awkwardly) holding the stick. A more natural action would be to let go of the stick with the right hand to indicate to the spectator where to hold the stick but the method makes this not possible.

Now of course there's an argument to claim that this moment is choreographed within the routine such that it goes by unnoticed or/and that all handling is a compromise of method and desired effect. But the degree to which one accepts these kinds of compromises is personal and for me this effect, both as a performer and as a spectator, is lacking a handling/technique that makes it smooth enough for my sensibilities.

In other words, while I can see the effectiveness of Bev Bergeron's routine it hasn't changed my opinion about this effect.
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Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2012-03-23 15:48, Sealegs wrote:
In other words, while I can see the effectiveness of Bev Bergeron's routine it hasn't changed my opinion about this effect.


Okay, no problem, I believe you have a right to like or dislike a trick or routine. IF the classic handling has weak, point, and I understand exactly what you are referring to, then it has a weak point. No doubt about it.

Some prefer to work on over coming the weak point, but if you chose not accept that explanation, that is okay as well. As I read the post, I don't think anyone was trying to change your mind, they were just explaining the finer points of the handling in the routine.

I do Ring on Rope and Ribbon, more then the straight Ring on Stick, it just never fit with me either, as I can get 5 minutes out of my Ring and Ribbon sequence.

But it is a good item to have in your knowledge bank, if you were in a situation where the only things available was a ring and pen.
Bill Hegbli
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Quote:
On 2012-03-13 20:48, John Long wrote:
Quote:
On 2012-02-28 19:10, Harry Murphy wrote:

Frankly, I would advise checking out Ron Bauer's "The Cursed Ring". it is a ring on stick (OK, ring on pencil) that requires nothing extra and is multi-phase. Ron's manuscript gives you a script, the handling, bits of business, and presentation advice. You get so much more than just the basic handling of the trick.


The routine is nice, but it has only two phases, and the first is more of a joke than magical (but it does add to the second phase). I would have preferred more phases, as in Bev's version.

John


Why not add more phases yourself, there is no law that says you cannot be creative. I myself have created 2 routines by taking material from several sources and combining them into one routine. I have even changed the props and in my opinion made the tricks better by changing some of the material. Like a paper envelope to the nest of purses for the final reveal, and adding more puzzling moves to make the trick seem to build in more impossible looking releases.

Be creative and have fun!
RS1963
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As for changing ones mind about the effect. The only thing that could possibly change your mind is to actually try it. If you ever decide to. Forget all the other versions out there and go with the Vernon handling directly from Stars of Magic first. If you ever do try it. You just maybe amazed at how this somewhat dismal effect to you is much stronger than you think.
Sealegs
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Bill, I think your right in that I don't think anyone was setting out to change my mind about this effect but I was kind of hoping that during this thread someone would. I admire Michael Skinner enormously and it irks me to not be able to see something extra special in this effect that he obviously could.

I'm pretty sure that's way more likely to be a failing in my judgement rather than Michael Skinner's.

RS1963; suggested I, "... try it. You just maybe amazed at how this somewhat dismal effect to you is much stronger than you think."

Just for the record.... As far as I'm concerned It's not a dismal effect and I'm quite aware how strongly it can play with an audience.

I just don't think it warrants being considered as "the greatest trick ever created", as it was stated in the opening post that Michael Skinner thought it to be. It seems to me that an effect that has a built in weakness that needs to be accommodated is an unlikely candidate for such a legend.
Neal Austin

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Harry Murphy
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Horses for courses here. Mike Skinner's opinion is his own (and shared by some) and based on his experience performing. He felt the routine was stronger than color changing knives, linking rings, and any card trick he knew and performed. Experiences and performers vary. You don't share the opinion and probably have a trick/routine in mind that in your opinion is "the greatest trick ever created". In your hands it probably feels true.

In my hands the version of this trick/routine works well. Unlike Mr. Skinner I wouldn't say it was the greatest trick ever (the jury is out for that one I am so fickle. Still, it works.

There are hundreds (maybe thousands) of tricks that I simply don't like, don't fit my performing style, or can't quite "get". I simply don't waste any of my time on them. I leave them for others. The beauty of magic is that it is varied and broad. Horses for courses.
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RS1963
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B.T.W. Michael Skinner had two versions of Ring on Stick that he would do. One was the standard Vernon way. He also had a version that only used the spectators ring a handkerchief and a rubber band. Both are very strong.
Justin W.
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As far as I know the Ring on Stick that Michael Weber uses is not in any notes. It is however in his book Lifesavers.


There is a handling in his notes that differs from the one in Lifesavers. I like it. It's quick, and you get three penetrations--on, off, on. All without a duplicate (ring or otherwise).
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