The Chinese Linking Rings. As they say, a classic in magic. There is much controversy as to its origin, but wherever and whenever it originated, it is one of the more popular effects. Solid steel rings link and unlink and the magician forms different designs with the rings. At one time it was a stage trick, usually consisting of 8 rings being as big as 12 inches in diameter, it now comes in 10″, 8″, 5″ 4″ and even in bracelet style so it can be done close-up for walk around and restaurant magicians. There are many books, DVD’s, and lecture notes on the subject with many variations, moves, stories and plots. We sold our last set of Mikame Rings, 11″ consisting of 9 hollow rings, at the CamJam Festival at Niagra Falls. Unfortunately there are no more available. They were gorgeous and light weight.
If you go to our catalogue and click on our google search (beneath our regular seach) you’ll get 10 pages of rings, books, DVD’s and routines, serious, comedy, artistic, you name it. Jeff McBride’s DVD On Stage Vol. 1 has a wonderful section on the Linking Rings. Jeff was in Montreal for a 6 month gig at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel many years ago, and all the magicians went to see his show and then came to our shop and wanted the same rings as Jeff used. I pointed to a set hanging on a hook and they said, no no, not those, the one’s Jeff used. They could not believe he used regular Linking Rings to achieve what he did. One Saturday morning (back then we used to be open on Saturdays) he walked into the shop. All the magicians used to congregate here on Saturdays, and I took down the rings and asked Jeff if he would do some of his stuff. He obliged and all you saw was dropped jaws.
After being in the magic business for over 35 years and seeing lots of ring routines in shows and DVD’s I thought I saw it all. But at one of the lectures at CamJam Oscar Muñoz showed us unbelievable stuff which he shared. Just when you think you’ve seen it all. Thanks Oscar!
We went to the one day CAMJAM 2 week-ends ago at Niagra Falls and had a great time. Shawn Farquar and Perfect Magic were the only dealers except for the fabulous lecturers. Romaine’s wife Joan said at the end of the day that all the years she has been going to conventions with Romaine, she never went to the lectures as she was not a magician and thought it would be boring for her. After going to the lectures of Oscar Munoz from Texas , Michael Dardant from New Orleans, and Vincent Hedan from France, she said “I ‘m sorry I missed the lectures all the years we’ve been going. I never realized how fascinating they were.” (or something to that nature). They had a good turn out and there was a lot of comeraderie. Then in the evening we saw Greg Frewin’s great illusion show at the Greg Frewin Theatre, a feature event in Niagra Falls.
Another event of CamJam was the presentation of the Magician of the Year Award which went to Mike Segal of Sorcerers Safari Magic & Performance Camp, which has been in operation for over 15 years. We met Mike a number of years ago, ten maybe 15, and although he is living in Toronto, his mother is from Montreal, and guess what! She was Phil’s ( yes my husband Phil) first girlfriend. He thinks he was seven at the time. So everytime Phil met Mike, he would ask how his mother was.
After we left Niagra Falls we spent 5 days with Romaine & Joan and then went to Toronto to visit my Aunt and other relatives. At the CamJam Phil told Mike he was going to Toronto on the way home and Mike said to give him a call. Phil told him he was going to be at the Browser’s Den (a magic shop in Toronto) at noon on Saturday and we could meet there. Then Mike suggested he bring his mother and Phil thought that would be a great idea. The plot thickens!
We got to the Browser’s Den. They weren’t there yet, but I had shopping to do, after all, it is in a shopping center so I left. When I got back Jewish geography was in full swing. I met his first girlfriend, who was very sweet, and we got to talking and this is the magic connection! When one of her brothers was little he got a Magic Kit at one of his birthday parties and his mother, Mike’s grandmother, went into another room, opened the kit, figured out the tricks and did them for the kids at the party. Phil was one of the kids and it was the first time he saw a magic trick. That was 70 years ago!