Ring On Stick

Tommy Wonder

You will require a transparent plastic or glass rod about sixteen inches in length and with a diameter less than that of any finger ring you are able to borrow from a member of the audience. A transparent rod seems to me to increase the effectiveness of the effect as it is obvious that it cannot be taken apart in the middle which some spectators may suspect should the rod be made of wood or other opaque material.

Commence by requesting the loan of a ring and when one is proferred put the wand under the left arm and reach out with the right hand to take the ring. Now follows the only sleight in the routine.

Appear to put the ring into the left hand, but retain it in the right hand which then takes the rod from under the left arm grasping it about three inches from the end. As the right hand travels to take the rod its thumb bends in and pushes the ring up against the third finger and at right angles to the hand which then partially closes into a fist. The ring will now be finger palmed — the third finger being curled around its circumference. The thumb can then be withdrawn. Do not slide the ring onto the rod and do not grasp the rod at the extreme end.

The left hand which was closed when apparently taking the ring is now opened a little to allow the rod to be laid in it (Fig.l). The moment the rod comes into contact with the left hand let the ring in the right hand click against it. This creates the illusion the ring is in the left hand which now makes a crumbling motion as though you are trying to cause the ring to penetrate onto the rod.

DURING THE NEXT MOVE IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE RIGHT HAND DOES NOT MOVE AT ALL. If it does move the deception will be destroyed. The left hand, holding the rod tightly is brought near the mouth, blow on it. The action of raising the hand will bring the end of the rod within the right fist (Fig.2).

Immediately after blowing the left hand assumes its original position (Fig.l) and the end of the rod will automatically slide back with its end protruding from the right fist, but this time it must go through the ring.

With some practice this threading of the ring onto the rod is very easy and takes but a second. The right hand never seems to move near the end of the rod. In fact it is the end which comes into the hand and just past the ring.

Again make a crumbling motion with the left hand and blow on the hand a second time, but this time the right hand slides up a little nearer to the left bringing the hands closer together. The left hand which is gripped around the rod is opened slightly and the right hand mimes taking the ring from the left at the same time actually leaving the ring on the rod in the left hand.

Look at the non-existing ring in the right hand without letting it be seen that the hand is really empty. Pretend to put the ring back into the left hand. More crumbling motions. Lift the rod out of the left hand to show the ring on the rod.

The whole sequence takes me about 15 seconds. All moves are soft and gentle.


So there I was, standing in front of a razor dispenser in the gents at Heathrow. In went 30p, no sign of the razor pack, out came 40p. I tried this again, the same thing happened. I'd made a few bob by the time my flight was called.

With luck like this, I couldn't wait to get to Las Vegas. I was on my way as a result of a transatlantic 'phone call from Joe Stevens. Joe provides the inspiration, enthusiasm and financial backing for the annual Las Vegas Close-up Seminar. This year, the fifth, was to feature the legendary Fred Kaps but due to Fred being unwell Joe figured a complete contrast would be the only substitute — hence yours truly was asked to stand in.

Stand in what? You may well ask. By the time 1 arrived in Vegas I had been awake for 24 hours. The cultural shock awaiting me, however, soon eclipsed any tiredness, and stimulated the adrenalin to the extent that I totalled 12 hours sleep the entire 5 days. It started in the airport, where I was met by George Joseph. George is a fine, fine magician, specialising in gambling sleights with chips, cards and dice — as you would expect from the security director of the Dunes Hotel. The slot machines start at the airport. Hundreds of them, hungry for nickels and dimes.

Whoever said Vegas was Sodom and Gomorrah with slots was right. Every drug store, grocery store, barbers shop had the obligatory slot, The hotel casinos had hundreds. The place is gambling mad. The first time you'll see 3 lemons come up is on the taxi cab meter. The traffic lights go red, green and 8 to 5 you don't make it across. Hell! the Sunrise Hospital gives -better odds than that.

It was only 9.30pm so we adjourned to the cocktail bar in the Alladin Hotel for Pina Coladas served by leggy, mini-skirted waitresses.

Breakfast at 2.30am, food, like everything else, is available 24 hours a day and you don't even have to leave your hotel.

The thump of the machine handles, the crash of the payout, the slip-slide of the cards being dealt for blackjack, poker, baccarrat, the click of the dice on the crap tables and the tinkle of the ball bouncing on the spokes of the roulette wheel provides the constant 365 day rhythm of life in Sin City.

By 11.00am the delegates were arriving in a steady stream at the registration desk.

The roll reads like a Debrett of the magic world — Slydini, Vernon, Cornelius, Skinner, Goshman, Ammar, Harris, Busby, Crabtree, Klaus, Daryl Martinez, Fialho, Johnny Thompson, over 100 of the top names in American magic.

During the short reception on the Thursday night both Jirhmy Grippo and Johnny Paul were given tremendous ovations and encouraged by this Johnny performed his superlative torn bill routine. From then on the quality of the magic did not falter.

The 4 days packed two, two-hour close-up sessions, featuring most of the performers mentioned above, plus many others. A lecture by the incomparable Slydini, another lecture/chat/ talk-in by the one and only Professor — how can you put a value on two hours with Vernon? A frank and revealing discourse on the road to the top by Siegfried (of Siegfried and Roy)resulting in yet another standing ovation. Their show at the Stardust is without doubt the finest, most exciting spectacular that I have ever seen.

Between times we saw and appreciated over 4 hours of video taped magic of Fred Kaps, narrated by his friend Phillipe Fiahlo.

This crazy Frenchman stole the convention with his short-sighted chink-a-chink, his musical cups & balls and the "Rock of Ages" act — but most of all with his Gallic charm and unfailing good humour (we were dubbed Sangfroid & Read).

Somewhere between events I had the good fortune to witness the skill of Richard Turner. Richard is certified blind (as compared with most magicians who are certified insane), but he does — "any. sleight called for" imperceptibly. His middles, centres and bottoms — paradoxically have to be seen to be disbelieved. He has total control over independent movement in each hand — in other words, remember the rubbing the stomach and patting the head test — well, he draws imaginary squares, triangles, stars in the air with each hand backwards, forwards on command. He does the one hand weave longways, rolls seven (+) coins across his fingers, and two coins in opposite directions — on the same hand.

As for me, I was honoured to be asked to work a one hour close-up show and the lecture — through which most of the audience sat.

With all the magic of such high quality, it is invideous to pick out individual items — but for snap impressions here goes:

Mike Ammar for card in frozen block of ice. —^ John Cornelius causing a lightning flash in an unprepared glass. —^ A young magician from New York who made the little finger of his right hand disappear — yes disappear. Showing his hand front and back — the finger was gone — then it appeared again. Daryl, Alan Akerman, Louis Simenou and Larry Joseph with fine card work. 1 y Johnny Thomson with his hilarious egg bag. Dai Vernon forsaking sleights to give a screamingly funny sketch about the balloon going up — complete with new one-liners.

Joe Stevens very wisely leaves most evenings free (not that you'd know it was evening as the casinos have no visible clocks), and with a choice of over 100 shows with big, big names, and the bar and restaurant magicians working, it makes for a full 4 days.

Mike Skinner, Grippo, Johnny Paul and Daniel Cross are among those working bars and Carlton & Co, Bob Higa (with a fine Japanese style act, water fountains and all), Doug Henning and, of course Siegfried and Roy on the big stages.

As well as catching most of the above, I also made it, as did Mel Stover and Elliot Saunders, to old time Burlesque and with Tim Felix (a fine worker from Chicago) to the Waylan Flowers puppet show. It was great. Grotesque dolls, blue humour — the crowd was in an uproar. And to cap it all George Joseph layed on a tour behind the scenes in a casino with 64 remote controlled TV cameras watching the play at all times.

Monday morning at 4.20 I just couldn't face going to bed and getting up in time to catch the 8.55 to Chicago, so TWA, bless them at that time of night, switched the reservation to midday. I left the warm pool, the palm trees, the beautiful weather, the overwhelming hospitality on time for Chicago — but that's another story.

The great advantage in going to the States is being able to see so much skilful magic in one place.

All you young magicians save up the fare, it'll cost about £400 and a bit more for those insatiable slots, and make a trip to an up-coming Vegas close-up seminar. Tell Joe I sent you.

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Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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