I make no secret that Harry Monti is my personal hero when it comes to magic, but I found a while back that there wasn’t any footage floating around of him and any of his acts. I probably could have asked him to show me footage out of his personal files, but never have. A few months ago, he gave a demonstration at the former Prestige Magic Shoppe and it was filmed. I didn’t realize this until yesterday, so that footage now becomes today’s Daily Dose. On an additional note, Harry just got back recently from performing at the Magic Castle (www.magiccastle.com) for his 50th year running. He’s the only magician who has performed there every year since it opened in 1963.
OK, for me this is just painful to watch, but other than video from a high school performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” I’ve never liked watching myself on video. Fair warning, this is pretty much the first act I worked out and I did it (sans tux) for busking. This is less a piece of art than a crayon drawing on the refrigerator, but it’s mine, even if the routines borrowed heavily from Al Schneider (pretty much his Linking Rings routine, just adjusted a bit to suit my taste), Daryl (although it’s a pretty standard Sponge Ball bit) and the Ropes Though the Neck technique is from Harry Monti. This was shot by Greg Lewis at an S.A.M. Assembly 8 meeting on my phone as just a quick and dirty video to show my routine to possibly get into the Midwest Magic Jubilee for their Thursday night performance. Didn’t get in, but I’m okay with that. It was the personal challenge to at least try.
When it comes to successful stage magicians, David Copperfield is there at the top. When Doug Henning left the television scene, Copperfield stepped up and began his rise to becoming the most successful solo entertainer ever. I’m in the minority in the magic community when I say that the Linking Rings are my favorite illusions, but I’m okay with that. This piece from Copperfield is from one of his magic specials from the 1980’s, and it is beautiful in its poetry and execution.
Ukrainian magician Viktor Voitko (www.magic-voitko.com) is an international award winner. His “Flying Linking Rings” routine won him a FISM in 1994. Beautiful presentation combining levitation and ring manipulation. When watching Linking Ring routines, I’m usually pulling the pieces apart of the routine in my mind, but this is one of those instances that I just have to sit back and enjoy the magic.
I’ve been reworking my routine with the Linking Rings. For me, at this point, I like using the rings in more of a comedy setting. One of my favorite routines for this is from Whit “Pop” Haydn (www.pophaydn.com). When he took on the Pop Haydn stage persona, Pop went from being a great magician to a great showman. I may have posted a link to this earlier on in Facebook, but in this blog venue, it is certainly worth revisiting. In my case, visiting over and over.