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Pi: Ring on Band Review

January 27th, 2014 9:26pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
This product got quite a bit of hype just before and as it hit the market. I am quite pleased to say that it lives up to that hype very well.

The first real breath of fresh air about this product is that its ad copy is 100% accurate and at from what I could see, does not promise anything that is not shown/seen on the DVD.

This DVD comes with a supply of 20 rubber bands and a practice ring (which is not so much like a finger ring as it is a similarly-sized hitch ring of sorts) and a full-color "poster" showing various steps of the routine - more on the "poster" later.

The rubber bands are very different from what you normally find in your office supply stores/aisles - they really do have a nice stretch and feel to them. The practice ring that comes with this is sufficient for practicing the moves right away.

The DVD is quite well-shot but the camera work for the introduction and parts of the explanation sections was a bit shoddy. I can appreciate trying to add variety shots to "class up" a video, but I do not think that was accomplished here (in this case I am referring to the various cuts going from one camera to another). The sound quality is good and the lighting was good. The menu was easy to understand and navigate. The crediting for everything on here is also thorough.

That said, everything is quite well taught in clear detail. Michael is a great teacher. There are times during explanations where he changes angles to the camera to make things easier to understand. The links you see done in the trailer and performance sections of the disc is exactly what you get, and yes, they really are that clean! Most of these will take lots of practice to get them down smooth, mostly because of minor finger/band position adjustments that need to be made to clean up or make them happen. These adjustments are not seen/known to the audience, but it is a factor. Overall, there is nothing terribly difficult in any of the moves. If anything, for some people, it will be remembering the positions of the bands and fingers from move to move.

One of the things I like about this particular routine is that you can either do it as presented here, or you can pick and choose phases to perform - perform one, perform them all or mix some of the up with other routines in your repertoire.

As for the phases of this routine, I will only criticize the third phase (The Dangling Link) because even though it is very doable and it would look better in some other ring on band routines, here, it looks out of place. I say that because the first, second and the final phases (the last two are kind of combined) are done at a slower and almost deliberate pace and they look so, so clean. The Dangling Link is just too...jittery. I cannot really say much more without giving anything away.

The two bonus effects are pretty straightforward.

The CMH that Michael teaches is his handling and he gives a great tip for doing "the move". He also teaches the "Soft Spot" version where the participant holds a band stretched between their fingers. I did not care for his presentation of that part. While I would hesitate to say that this handling makes this effect better, I would say that the tip for "the move" will make it easier for some performers. In my opinion, learn the Michael Ammar and the Dan Harlan (which Dan calls Rubber Cuffs) handlings for CMH.

Shoe-In is an interesting, gimmick-less way of vanishing a borrowed ring and having it re-appear inside your shoe. Yes, it is clearly and openly dumped out of your shoe into their cupped hands. This is an interesting effect with great power within the "Anything to Impossible Location" plot, but who would want to touch their ring after it has been in your shoe - regardless of how "clean" your feet are? I know I would not want to...Either way, everything is explained well.

Now, as for the "poster" that comes with the DVD: I keep putting quotations on the word 'poster' because it is an 8.5 x 11 inch piece of semi-gloss paper with full-color photos and text. The intentions were obviously to show you, in a concise way, how to get into each of the links in the routine. The attempt to accomplish this was in taking still shots of the crucial hand/finger/band positions during the moves. My guess would be that this "poster" was intended as a sort of review/reminder for those that have already gotten the moves/move order down but forgotten a thing or two, but that is only my educated guess.

There are 16 photos total on the entire sheet (front and back). It well-laid out: The name of each link is given and explanatory text accompanies each photo on the page. I think this will not be very useful for a few of reasons: 1) After watching the explanations at least half a dozen times, I think there are much better choices that could have been made as to which moves were photographed. 2) In some of the photos, I think it would have been more beneficial to use a non flesh-colored rubber band to lend clarity. 3) The text, when paired with the poorer choices of the photos, was not clear enough unless you know the whole thing and just needed a reminder. Even then, you might struggle to remember everything. To sum up my argument here: I think this "poster" could have better if other, clearer photos were added in or if they replaced some of the not-so-ideal ones on it.

I also wanted to point out that at one point for the Master Link, Michael says that you must use the type of bands that are included with the disc and while other types of bands will work with the other phases, none of them will really work all that well for that phase. I really do like the bands that came with the disc (so much that I even bough a refill bag of 300), but that statement is not quite accurate. I found three types of bands (to date) that work just fine for the whole routine that are available at any office supply store.

If you enjoy rubber band magic, ring on band routines or finger ring magic, you will really enjoy this DVD. Even if you do not use the entire routine, you will find something on here that you will use. It is different from previously published routines

Highly recommended!

Product info for Pi: Ring on Band

Author: Scanzello, Michael
Average Rating:  (3)
Retail Price: $20.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

"WOW... Awesome and practical. The new standard in ring on rubber band."
- Chris Kenner

"Your work is very nice. I like the way you use multiple methods to build up the believability of each phase. The whole routine is great and I really like the "Lost Link." Visual and smooth."
- Dan Harlan

"The third phase (Dangling Link) looked really great. New and from what I know original. good job."
- Joe Rindfleisch

Pi is a MIND BLOWING, Impromptu 4 phase routine with VISUALLY-DEVASTATING LINKS and UNLINKS with a BORROWED RING and rubber band under increasingly impossible conditions! Including a breath-taking, ONE HAND DISPLAY! After 10 YEARS of REFINING and RESEARCH, creating handlings unlike anything you've seen before! Get ready for women to scream and guys to be transfixed in bewilderment!

- 100% IMPROMPTU - No Gimmicks or Gaffs!
- PRACTICAL - Perform it surrounded in real world conditions!
- VERSATILE - Link bracelets, hair ties, even pretzels!
- NEW METHOD - The ring dangles on the loose band!
- WORKER - Takes up no pocket space and resets instantly!
- A WHOLE ACT - With Crazy Man's Handcuffs and Shoe In you get an entire close-up act!
- DETAILED TEACHING - Clearly explained up-close from 2 camera angles with first person replay loops and a diagram sheet for key positions!

Pi: Ring on Band (4 phase routine):
Phase 1 - The borrowed ring melts through each strand. So smooth and clean people freak out!
Phase 2 - The ring slowly melts through the band unlike any other handling and is shown in a NEW DISPLAY that will devastate!
Phase 3 - (Dangling Link) - New Method for linking a ring onto a rubber band that leaves the skeptics speechless!
Phase 4 - (Lost Link) -The most direct and clean linking of a borrowed ring onto a rubber band possible. If you really could link a ring onto a rubber band THIS is how it would look!
Alternate Phase - (Master Link) - Featuring the killer ONE HAND DISPLAY and smooth unlink so clean it looks like trick photography in real life!

Pi: Ring on Band is a ground-breaking effect giving you all the visual impact of a gaffed routine, without the gimmicks or gaffs! Start clean and end clean!

Bonus Effects:
Crazy Man's Handcuffs - Michael's presentation and handling to make this classic even better!
Shoe In (Ring to Shoe) - For laymen, has the impact of ring flight without the gimmick!

Package Includes:
Instructional DVD
20 Super Stretch Bands
Practice Ring
Full Color Diagram Sheet

Running Time Approx: 70 minutes
Permission from: Bill Kalush, Dan Harlan, Harry Lorayne, Simon Aronson, Joe Rindfleisch, Russ Neidzwiecki, John Rogers, Justin Miller, and Vincent Mendoza, Thanks guys!

Refill Packs Available Separately. Never run out of the perfect bands!
Includes: 350 Super Stretch Bands in a UV protective bag for extended band life.

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