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Al Schneider
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Why do people call me a coin guy?
Most of my life my two favorite tricks were the rings and snake basket.
I opened with the rings and closed with the basket.
To me this was a sure fire act.
There is a reason I opened with the rings.
Long ago about 1971 I attended a convention put on by Magic Inc.
I was fortunate to be one of the close up performers.
One of the lecturere was Al Koran.
At least I think it was.
Him or someone from England.
I am sure Dick Osland can correct me.
Koran's words stuck with me all of my life.
His main point was cut, cut, cut.
Cut everything not part of your goal to entertain the audience.
But he told a story that stuck with me.
I cannot remember the details but it goes somehing like this.
Koran said he worked at some palace of entertainment in England.
This palace of entertainment had a standing deal with a local prision.
At some point, all of the performers would go to this prision and do a show.
At the time Mr. Koran was to participate in this event, the prision just had a riot.
Something about an inmate throwing a bottle and killing or severly hurting a guard.
Everone feared performing for these guys.
The performers were under contract to perform at the event.
Koran said the performer before him walked out on stage, told a joke while waking, and kept walking off stage.
He said he was trembling.
He just grabbed something to do.
It was the rings.
He went out and started.
The crowd instantly quieted down.
They laughed and when he finished he got a sound round of applause.
Al said that after that he always opened with the rings.
After that, so did I.
I do a five ring routine somewhat like Jay Marshals.
I developed it whan I was 18.
I used a set of 5 inch rings to do the development and practice.
One day I saved enough money to buy a 10 inch set.
I hitchhiked downtown Detroit to go to Roy Kissel's magic shop to buy the rings.
I went down late as there was an IBM meeting that night.
I did the rings there that evening.
It went over qutie well.
Roy had to stand up and tell the guys that I bought the rings 3 hours earlier.
Karrel Fox was there and he saic it was one of the finest ring routines he had seen.
He wanted me to stop by the shop on Saturday and teach him the routine.
We did that.
Here are some of my opinions of the rings.
While I do the routine without having the audience come up and help, I believe the rings should be examined.
That enables the full power of ther rings to be utilized.
Understand that this opposes years of my work with the rings.
I have performed the rings with extreamly tough audiences.
As soon as I start, they quiet down and watch the show with interest.
I preform them as a trick but as it proceeds I apparntly lose control of them.
My confusion seems to please.
I can see doing the rings close up in a walk around environment.
Some moves are really great in this environment.
Real audience participation.
I used the rings in a street situation.
What worked best was to use the gimmick with the three chain.
I would stand there and do the tumbling sequence over and over.
When a few people stopped to see that everything was ready to go into a complete routine.
This worked geat.
I guess I am not sure what my message is here.
My feeling is that the rings enable one to communiate magically with the audience.
My approach is to communicate to the audience with magic.
I don't care about the patter.
The rule is that you must simply have it.
I am a fan of Sid Loraine.
Chatter and do magic.
The hands are always doing something to occupy the eyes and minds of the audience.
But I use the manipulation with the rings to communicate.
I do not percieve the audience watching me.
They are listening to the rings.
And the rings talk to them.

I apprecaite the comments of Kent.

All the best.

Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
magicians
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Al, in the late 70's the only material you had published was your card and coin assembly. It is natural for people to pin you into a category. Myself, I have been annoited to be a rope man, but in actuality I have produced over 30 varied effects without repeating a category. Like yourself, our initial fame came before the Internet, and it is only now that we can showcase (reinvent) our other work.
-Magic Ian
Illusionist, Illusionist consulting, product development, stage consultant, seasoned performer for over 35 years. Specializing in original effects. Highly opinionated, usually correct, and not afraid of jealous critics. I've been a puppet, a pirate, a pawn and a King. Free lance gynecologist.
Magic-Daniel
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Al. Do you still open with the rings?

Do you find the rings just as effective today as 30 years ago?
Al Schneider
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Well, I do not perform a lot lately.
In my recent shows I have.
I did a mall show and the street thing about 3 months ago.
These were two different incidents.
The rings were very effective.

Here are a couple more comments.
And I don't think you can put all ring routines in a single category.
Some do it carnival side show style.
Some do it as an art form.
Me, I just do it.
Here's another point.
You do a good ring routine and you will entertain magician's wives.
That is saying something.
That will never be true with card tricks.

You want real punch working close to your audience, do the rings.
There are so many bits you can work with an audience.

I often am asked by magicians how I think some effect would appear.
I watch and express my opinion about the effect.
However, I always say this.
"You must do it for a real audience and see what they think."
So many magicians do magic in their head and tell me the result of their thoughts.
When they hear me say the bit about the audience being the judge, they bristle.
When I hear a performing magician say that he must do some trick in every show, I listen.

I often hear magicians say, I want something new, fresh and amazing.
Well, how about being effective.

I have a very strong reputation in magic.
At least I think I do.
Guess what I work on.
I pick up standard classic magic effects and try to make them look good.
Matrix is simply an improved Symathic Coins from Bobo's.
Stargate is simply an improved coins across routine.
Cone and Coin is an improved silver copper transposiiton routine.
You want a great trick to do at booths at trade shows?
Do the rings.
Get the new ring book and learn all the bits you can do with it.
Sorry, I am going on and on.
I am kind of putting a show together to sell next season.
It begins with the rings.
I cannot do it any other way.
A few Christmas's ago I did magic for the karate club I belonged to.
About 80 kids in the front and their parents sitting in the back of the room talking.
I tried to open with a bang.
I got one of those appearing shovels and pulled it out of a small bag.
Then I did the silk that vanishes in the bare hands.
Then the rings.
The first two went OK.
The patents in the back kept talking.
Then I did the rings.
The entrie room went quiet and watched closely.
Not opening with the rigns was a mistake.
Well, I babble.
Listen to Dick Oslund.
HE PERFORMS
Most here don't.
I guess that includes me.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
Rainboguy
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Al Schneider:

Darn! Wish you could have done linking rings when we met at the Houdini Club here in Green Bay!!!

I've never worked for prisoners, but I used to work for a rock promoter here in Wisconsin who hired me to entertain the rock stars backstage to "keep them happy"......

Rock stars can be scary, too!!!
Pete Biro
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GREAT POSTS, AL.
The full details of the Koran story, Jay Marshall's routine, and dozens of others, serious routines, funny stuff, linking Finger Rings, plus history, anecdotes, and ideas are all in my 240 page book on the Linking Rings.
(blatant plug. Get from http://www.stevensmagic.com )
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Rainboguy
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Please see my comment above about Pete Biro's Linking Ring Book:

INSTANT CLASSIC REFERENCE BOOK, in my opinion!

Pete:

I'm having lunch with Dick Oslund next week and I'm showing him your book...he will love it!
Al Schneider
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I want to say somethign else but I don't know how to say it.
Partly I am afraid of sounding offensive to many here.
There is a moment in performing that I dred.
You do a trick and the audience just does not care.
It often depends upon the circumstance.
Often it is the performer that preceded you.
If they are flat, the audience is flat when they get to you.
I have experienced this many times.
I won't name names but I have followed some really greats and they kill the audience.
I mean they act like zombies when they watch me.
Then there is the kind of material I use.
In polite audiences everythign seems to work.
But in those cases where you really need to grab the audience, many tricks come up short.
Pros face this all the time.
They must get the punch every show no matter what the circumstance or how they feel.
I once did a Vernon like cup and ball routine.
In polite performances, it is awsome.
In hard core situations, I get that feeling of dred becasue the audience just doesn't care.
Hence, my latest version that is LA Street Cups.
I do not worry about the fear of dred becasue it sells well.
I did it all the time in the coffee shop I worked.
I did the rings there also.
I just walked into the middle of the room and did it.
A point is that I could depend on the rings to sell.
It always sold well.
Now I won't say it killed everyone or maybe fooled them.
But the response was always solid.
I never felt that dred.
Well, I am curious what the pros have to say about the moment of dred.
When I work on new material I am always concerned about gettng around the dred.
Then some people here see this material and say it is boring.
Yaa, I guess any ring routine would bore them also.
Al Schneider
Magic Al. Say it fast and it is magical.
bishthemagish
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I open with the linking rings or the misers dream. I have done so since my first stand up show.

Great posting Al and Pete.

Cheers!
Glenn Bishop Cardician

Producer of the DVD Punch Deal Pro

Publisher of Glenn Bishop's Ace Cutting And Block Transfer Triumphs
scottjenkins
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I saw Greg Wilson at the Castle last week, and he killed. Sure, I knew how he did the linking rings (kinda -- he did an acquitment that floored me)and the billiard balls, and even the bunny out of the Alakazam hat. But it was still one of the most entertaining shows I'd ever seen.
The laymen in the audience were floored.
If you're entertaining, then go for it.
Scott Jenkins
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Kent Wong
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I subscribe to the adage that, "If the audience likes you, they will want to see you succeed". My key objective as soon as I take the stage is to get the audience to like me. This can be particularly difficult if the previous performer wasn't very well liked. To get over this, I start with a very brief, humorous, description of my background. This tells the audience a little of who I am, and that I don't take myself too seriously. It sets the tone.

Then I teach the audience a basic body stunt or optical illusion, all under the guise of teaching them a trick. This is a "gifting" technique that works well. Once you've given something to your audience, they often want to give something back. Quite often, what they wind up giving is enthusiastic applause during the rest of the show.

For me, magic is just as much about psychology as it is about sleight of hand.

Kent
"Believing is Seeing"
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Adam Fraise
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For me this thread has been a great read. I have never used linking rings having concentrated on cards, coins etc. I good friend of mine (sadly no longer alive) used to do a lot of kids shows and used rings as part of his routine. I guess I subconsciously labelled the rings as something all adults know the secret of and therefore not something I wanted to do. This thread has made me rethink. Thank you all.
Adam Fraise
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For me this thread has been a great read. I have never used linking rings having concentrated on cards, coins etc. I good friend of mine (sadly no longer alive) used to do a lot of kids shows and used rings as part of his routine. I guess I subconsciously labelled the rings as something all adults know the secret of and therefore not something I wanted to do. This thread has made me rethink. Thank you all.
Pete Biro
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Ijust figured it out.... I've been doing the linking rings for 64 years.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
scottjenkins
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Quote:
On 2013-06-04 16:10, Pete Biro wrote:
Ijust figured it out.... I've been doing the linking rings for 64 years.

Is that all? Smile
Scott Jenkins
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Alan Munro
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Listen to Dick Oslund. He has the credibility.

When the masked magician specials first came out, I was performing the rings at a birthday party. A kid in the front says, "I know how those are done, I saw it on TV!" After the first link, guess who I gave the rings to? I was thinking, "Knock yourself out." The kid thought he was going for the kill, but was perplexed and shocked when he couldn't find a gap. There is much more to a good linking ring handling, than a layman can remember.
Rainboguy
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Growing up in St. Louis, my first set of linking rings was a set of 3 12 inch rings that I got from Tim Starr, who had a BEAUTIFUL 3 ring routine (I still have Tim's routine and it's terrific).

Even though I grew up in the company of some fabulous St. louis magicians, and had Tim's rings and routine, I never really saw true artistry with the rings until I attended my first Desert Magic Seminar and saw Richard Ross perform the Rings....WOW!!! THAT performance opened my eyes to the possibilities with the rings.....

Now, years later, and still a student of the art of Magic after performing for more than 50 years, I can honestly say that I'm still learning and experimenting and the Linking Rings are a perfect vehicle for experimentation.

Pete Biro's book, for me, at least, is the perfect catalyst for experimenting with the Rings....and to me, lay audiences are my performance barometer....so...I think 'm going to make a few modifications to my 3 ring and six ring routine, and perhaps get a new set of 15 inch rings just for performing Whit's 4-ring routine.

A few weeks ago when I drove up to visit Dick Oslund and have lunch with him, I showed him the set of 12 inch stainless rings that I bought from Mad Jake at RnT II before the company changed hands, and Dick liked them because they were THICK and HEAVY.....kind of like Merv Taylor's Orb Eternal Rings.

My Delben Linking Coat Hangars are a whole different ball game, with completely different moves and techniques, and audiences don't even compare them to linking rings because they are So different in looks and performance.
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