Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

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reburbia
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Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby reburbia » August 26th, 2017, 4:42 pm

Really enjoyed this Waters article: https://www.stevensmagic.com/1995/t-a-w ... ers-front/

Makes me think of the countless magicians that still perform linking rings for teenagers & adults
"The moment someone with imagination and vision takes an effect... Everybody jumps up & says.. 'I can use that!'... Develop a little pride along with your magical ability." -Anneman

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 26th, 2017, 4:56 pm

Wait a minute Reburbia-- just because audience members are aware of the secret of an effect, it does not mean that they can't be fooled by it. There is more to the linking rings than just the secret. You might be interested in reading Jamy Swiss's essay "The Method Is Not the Trick" from his text Devious Standards.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby erdnasephile » August 26th, 2017, 5:13 pm

I agree with Leo.

While it is true that magicians do a superb job of fooling themselves, I think that smart magicians:
1) don't underestimate the intelligence of their audiences and
2) use their audiences' prior knowledge and assumptions against them to wipe them out.

For example, Harry Riser fooled everyone and sundry with his exquisite 3 ring routine because it incorporated so many subtleties pointed right at the thinking person. Out of today's performers, I defy anyone to not to have their doors blown off by Chris Capehart's performance of the rings, especially the killer "in their faces" link sequence at the end.

Then, there's this guy: (the ring routine starts at about 2:20)



reburbia
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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby reburbia » August 26th, 2017, 7:25 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote: just because audience members are aware of the secret of an effect, it does not mean that they can't be fooled by it.


Not sure how much I agree with that statement. But let's assume it's true. Perhaps it's better to fool an audience with a method they don't know.... than to fool them with a method they do?
"The moment someone with imagination and vision takes an effect... Everybody jumps up & says.. 'I can use that!'... Develop a little pride along with your magical ability." -Anneman

Leonard Hevia
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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 26th, 2017, 8:56 pm

reburbia wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote: just because audience members are aware of the secret of an effect, it does not mean that they can't be fooled by it.


Not sure how much I agree with that statement. But let's assume it's true. Perhaps it's better to fool an audience with a method they don't know.... than to fool them with a method they do?


Not really because......the spectators will theorize about a method, no matter what method you utilize. This is a feature, not a bug of the human brain. As Erdnasephile pointed out, instead of searching for radically new methods for old classics like the linking rings, master magicians like the late Harry Riser introduced dodges and subtleties to old classics to make it more difficult for knowledgeable spectators to follow the true method.

That's in all likelihood the best that one can ask for in the real world of performing where practicality and time tested methods are the deciding factors to get the job done.

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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby performer » August 26th, 2017, 9:00 pm

I haven't read the article thoroughly but will later. However, T.A. Waters may well have had a point. When I was around 12 years old before I even took up magic I saw a magician do the rings on stage. He did not have them examined in the same way that Richard Ross in the linked video did not have them examined either. I remember distinctly thinking, "Oh, that's obvious. He has a slit in the ring. Why didn't he let anyone examine them?" Of course there were two reasons he didn't have them examined. One is that he was doing a silent act and the other was that there WAS a slit in the ring.

I also used to see people doing the dancing cane and thinking "That is obvious. Of COURSE there is a thread moving it!" It is not exactly rocket science to figure it out.

With the rings you HAVE to have them examined if people are going to be baffled by it! The reason non examined ring routines get applause is more because of the artistic choreography than anything else. And the slickness and professionalism of the performer particularly if he has already shown other work of a superior standard. The same goes for the dancing cane and tricks of that ilk. Most people aren't daft enough to be fooled by it. Sometimes a trick where the secret is terribly obvious gets good reaction not because of the mystery element but because of the comedy aspect. Nobody is really fooled but they have had a good laugh and that is good enough.

I was informed by a rather famous and respected Dutch magician that Richard Ross cottoned on to this after a while and eventually came up with some kind of ring routine where they were examined. I really think you have to do this notwithstanding Al Koran's argument (at least I heard it was his theory) that it wasn't necessary to have them examined since the public had seen the trick many, many times already with magicians having the rings examined so it wasn't necessary for him to do it! In other words other magicians had done the job for him! An interesting theory but I am not sure I agree with it!

Koran told me his three ring routine was a show stopper. I have no idea if it was or not. I do know he didn't have them examined but even so I believe you really have to otherwise there is no point. You may well entertain but you won't mystify.

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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 26th, 2017, 10:01 pm

performer wrote:With the rings you HAVE to have them examined if people are going to be baffled by it!


Yes--the magician has created the illusion that all the rings were examined, but the routine proceeds with the classic method. The only thing different is the dodge the magi introduced at the beginning to throw off those who know the method. As Erdnasephile pointed out, the magi used, ..."many subtleties pointed right at the thinking person."

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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby MagicbyAlfred » August 26th, 2017, 10:22 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
"Just because audience members are aware of the secret of an effect, it does not mean that they can't be fooled by it."

I completely agree with Leo on this.

Watching the above video of Richard Ross is living proof. The moves are so smooth and undetectible, the choreography so beautiful, that even the most skeptical spectator is still fooled - perhaps even more so because he knows there is a slit.

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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby performer » August 27th, 2017, 6:16 am

I think it is better if a layman doesn't know there is a slit in the first place. Of course I am not practicing what I preach since this place comes up in search engines and I have just given the game away. Still, I am getting old and will be dead soon so I don't give a stuff any more.

Now the Richard Ross routine is beautiful but the artistic side of it will appeal to magicians more than layman who will sort of watch it and think, "I know how that's done" and might even be bored stiff by it as it is a bit slow. That is why he eventually went on to a ring routine (I think with five rings although I may be wrong) where they WERE examined.

There are a whole bunch of these three ring routines around but they are all a bit pointless because the rings are not inspected. However, in my rather obvious infinite genius I DID work out a method where all three can be examined! I think, if I am not mistaken, that Michael Skinner did too.
I really think you have to do that.

There is one exception. No doubt people are going to use this idea so I might as well claim credit for it here and now. It came out of my own
magnificent brain, after all. You do the three ring routine as normal but it shouldn't go on too long. You then say, "that is the old fashioned way of doing it. I am now going to show you the modern way" ---and then you do the Himber ring routine! The suspicion of a slit in the rings with the big rings will enhance the effect when you use the spectator's finger rings.

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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby JHostler » August 27th, 2017, 10:09 am

Gimmicks, trick props, sleight of hand, mathematics, optical illusions. Awfully broad "solutions," but spoilers nonetheless. If an audience dials into any of these as the obvious (or only) method, a piece of magic is relegated to little more than "trick" status. Specifics are largely unnecessary. IMO, our only truly winning strategy - particularly in an age of accelerating electronic wonder - is to conjure up performance pieces with no conceivable method - not simply an unknown or uncertain one. HUGE difference. In short, we need to begin thinking of our audiences as consisting entirely of Penn & Tellers. Yeah, subtleties are reigning King and Queen... but that's only part of it.

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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby Curtis Kam » August 27th, 2017, 2:49 pm

This issue has been a part of the linking rings for generations. See, for instance, the Laurant routine in Tarbell 4, and more recently, this wonderful approach:

https://youtu.be/Slq959dZ1Z0


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Brad Henderson
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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby Brad Henderson » August 27th, 2017, 2:57 pm

most magicians who perfect the rings fail to do so adequately - and by that i mean deceptively (and i include myself in that lot.) i have however seen it done and i will confess, i was even fooled at times. Sure i knew what was at work, but the handling was so casual and open that there were many times when i had no idea where keys were and when and the moves were quite magical. i truly believe lay people were convinced those rings were, is not solid, at least didn't have an obvious gap in them. Maybe they were some weird diaphanous material.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby erdnasephile » August 27th, 2017, 4:27 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:most magicians who perfect the rings fail to do so adequately - and by that i mean deceptively (and i include myself in that lot.) i have however seen it done and i will confess, i was even fooled at times. Sure i knew what was at work, but the handling was so casual and open that there were many times when i had no idea where keys were and when and the moves were quite magical. i truly believe lay people were convinced those rings were, is not solid, at least didn't have an obvious gap in them. Maybe they were some weird diaphanous material.


That's been my experience as well. The first time I saw Richard Ross, he did such an artful and deceptive job, he really fooled me, even though I was well aware of the gaff.

Another similar experience was when Terry Seabrooke was the MC at one of the Mystic's "It's Amazing!" shows. He brings out the spot card, and I'm thinking---"*YAWN*, I know this one". My 12-year-old brain plopped onto the floor after he was done with his routine.

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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby observer » August 27th, 2017, 7:12 pm





Great link, thank you!!!


Anyone who can watch Richard Ross and think in terms of "fooling people" ... well, whatever. Thank you Penn & Teller, maybe.

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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby performer » August 27th, 2017, 7:57 pm

Curtis Kam wrote:This issue has been a part of the linking rings for generations. See, for instance, the Laurant routine in Tarbell 4, and more recently, this wonderful approach:

https://youtu.be/Slq959dZ1Z0


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I HATE that approach! Magic is supposed to be a secret art. I keep thinking of the Al Baker dictum that many a good trick can be killed by improvement when I watch that.

I am also perturbed (although I shouldn't be by now) at some of the daft notions on this thread. It seems to me that many of you have ignored one of the most important pieces of advice in the Presentation section of "Expert Card Technique" TRY TO SEE THINGS FROM THE SPECTATOR'S POINT OF VIEW! And I am not talking about the point of view of bloody magicians. They don't count! You have to learn to THINK LIKE A LAYMAN if you want to be a good magician.

Magicians will foam at the mouth at all the lovely moves and the deceptive, artistic so called "convincers". Laymen don't have that level of sophistication. They will simply think, "Oh, it's all very clever how he hides it but it is obvious he has a slit in the ring" Magicians don't care about that simple fact. They drool at the wrong things. Things that laymen don't give a darn about.

Laymen see the overall picture not the fine details. Billy McComb once gave an example of how Jimmy Rogers did a wonderful very elaborate version of the Torn and Restored Newspaper and Billy was drooling about it to the stage manager from the wings. The guy looked astonished at Billy saying "You did the same trick last week". However, Billy's version was much cruder with a less elaborate method that the Rogers version. However, to a layman it was just the same bloody thing.

Magicians always get excited over the wrong things. When I do my svengali pitch they get all excited by a move I do which Joe Stuthard devised. It is very pretty and magicians go nuts over it. However, laymen don't give a toss about it and so I never do it when I am pitching. It doesn't mean a thing to normal human beings.

I see examples of this attitude on this thread. Again Richard Ross eventually realised his ring routine, beloved as it was by all the daft magicians because of all the fancy moves didn't mean very much to laymen so he altered the whole thing so the bloody things could be examined. That is FAR more convincing to laymen than all the fancy moves in the world.

Magicians really need to learn a bit about human psychology and if they paid more attention to the way people's minds work than they do to all their fancy sleights and moves they would progress a lot faster and further.

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Are they actually fooled or just being polite?

Postby Q. Kumber » August 27th, 2017, 8:59 pm

I've been performing Vernon's Symphony of the Rings for over 40 years. Eric Sharp taught it to me as a great routine to gather a crowd before my outdoor Punch & Judy shows, or at shopping centres. It always worked. I've also used it to open the second half of my theatre shows as the effect is easily understood and can be followed even if you arrive back in your seat in the middle of the routine. I've always used an onstage helper.

It's also a regular in my family shows. Occasionally I will get an adult male (never had a female say it) come up afterwards and say, "I could follow all your tricks but that one with the rings has me completely fooled."

I doubt they could "follow" the other tricks in the sense they knew how they were done, only in that they could take them at face value and come up with a solution that they were happy with.

A few years ago, inspired by the Ninja Rings, I decided to add it to my close-up repertoire. It took me three years to develop a routine and sequence with which I was happy. It gets very strong and audible reactions from adults, both male and female (even magicians).

My criteria were:

The audience had to feel and believe they had handled all four rings
Up in the air. No rings on tables.
Actively involve at least two people - normally I involve four.
Constant surprises.
Escalation of amazement
Most important of all - it had to be entertaining.

When I was a teenager I could and would buy/read a trick and perform it straight away. I look back in jaw-dropping astonishment at my youthful ignorance. On the other hand, without it, I might never have got up in front of an audience.

Walt Lees told me that Richard Ross did hand out some rings in a cabaret situation for lay audiences.


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