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3 Ring Circus (With DVD) Review

January 7th, 2014 7:15pm
Reviewed by Dr. J. M. Ayala de Cedoz
I originally bought this because I wanted a close-up (more micro-style) linking ring "set". I am what you might consider a collector of linking rings - all sizes, styles, manufacturers, etc. and because this is one of my all-time favorite magic effects, I just had to have it.

This "set" is made with the split key rings that so many people find frustrating and difficult to get keys on and off of, so a linking ring routine with them, when done well, can be quite magical. These rings are small key rings and are best done for a small group of maybe up to ten people huddled around you, certainly no more than that.

I have been using this for quite a while now and I have come up with various ways of getting into the routine beyond what is on the DVD - more on that later.

What you get are three normal split key rings and a fourth gimmicked split key ring made by Roy Kueppers. The rings are all good steel key rings and the gimmick is well-made. There is also a teaching DVD with some extra, non-ring effects on it.

The DVD is typical Jay Sankey style with the stylized opening shots. The lighting is good and the volume is clear, but in a couple of spots where he speaks in his cartoonish goofy voices, the volume gets a little low and is hard to understand him. However, those parts do not effect the actual teaching portions. There are no menu issues at all - everything is laid out and easy to navigate.

For the explanation section on the rings, Jay teaches you how to ring in the gimmick (pun emphatically intended) and switch it out at the end. In between, there are two different links (the Edge Link and the Crash Link) and two different unlinks (the Shake Off and the Blow Off) taught. He also teaches the Capeheart Closer sequence (from the well-known Chris Capeheart ring routine) - a lovely way to end the routine.

The more you play with these rings the more you will discover and I like that - he gives you enough ideas with which to perform a nice little routine but not too much that it is overdone. Everything is clearly taught in this section and there is nothing overly hard. The rings can be examined before and after the routine, which makes everything even stronger. If the reader is familiar with the El Duco Close-Up Linking Rings, there are moves in that routine that can also be used with these rings if you so desire.

As I said earlier I have come up with other ways of getting into the routine beyond what is given. If you play around with the routining, you can even borrow the split key rings from spectators to do this with. I do that quite often myself and people immediately grab and look at their key rings when they get them back. Another bonus is that these rings will work with a certain type of holdout, which can be used to great advantage here.

Now for the rest of the DVD:

Dowsing is an impromptu take on the Paul Curry classic Out of This World plot. If you want a different approach for OOTW, this is a great option because it is quick (it only uses 10 cards - two packs of five each) and though the spectator does not deal the cards, they use a card as a "dowsing rod" to touch the ones they want to pick. There is one moment some magicians may not care for, but in my opinion it is easy to cover and is not a problem at all.

Economic Risk is based on a very old principle which many magicians may be familiar with. Jay teaches a straightforward handling that works well with or without a borrowed deck. If one wanted to, they can easily play around with the positioning of the gimmick (which you can easily make in about a minute) and methods of cleaning it up for total examination.

Hot Date is an old bar effect where two coins, whose dates are noted, change places. Nothing new here but I have seen performers use this very simple idea to great effect.

Sudden Triumph is a stand-up, in-the-hands version of the Vernon classic. It is quick and pretty easy to do. Jay also teaches a very useful slight from Paul LePaul which has many great applications.

Kung Fu Coin Change is a very commercial Copper/Silver Transposition effect. To me, this is my favorite effect because I am primarily a coin worker, and after learning and practicing this handling, it immediately went into my working set as one of my go-to C/S Transpo handlings. If you carry your coins in a coin purse, this will work well for you too because it uses the coin purse in the routine. It is quite easy to do and there is not a lot of wasted, back-and-forth motions between the hands.

Collateral Damage is another take on an old idea applied to a bill to impossible location effect. Again, nothing terribly new here but with the right presentation (and perhaps a change of props to suit your style/venue), this is a strong effect. In this version, you introduce a brown paper lunch bag rolled up and secured shut with a rubber band. You then borrow a bank note and have it signed. The bill is folded up, vanished and then re-appears inside the brown paper bag. This handling does have a few weak spots because in between you handling the props, the spectator(s) can handle them, but only at certain points and with proper routining this should pass unnoticed. Nothing in this handling is difficult to do.

Menage a Trois is a "mental" sandwich-plot effect. There is nothing really "mental" about it because the spectator names the card that eventually appears between two cards, but it is a decent handling and rather surprising. It will probably not fool most magicians, but lay people will like it. In this effect Jay also teaches a very versatile and pretty well-known sleight from Ken Krenzel (which, incidentally, can be found in the book "Card Classics of Ken Krenzel" written by Harry Lorayne).

Yes and No is another effect based on an old principle - which many newer packet and deck effects of late have also been based upon. The effect is straightforward - you spread a "normal" deck face up and a spectator freely selects any card (really). You turn it over and it says "YES" on the back of the chosen card, while on the back of every other card is the word "NO". To me this is one of the more obvious effects on the DVD because unless it is a stand alone effect (and if it were, it would not be strong enough), you would have to carry this deck just to do it. Actually, if you do not mind having cards with "NO" written on their backs you can use this deck for other effects because other than that, it is a normal deck.

The thing that kept this DVD to 3.5 stars for me was the cartoon antics and the cartoon-like voices and the lame attempt at comedy at some points - most of which got annoying after the first ten seconds of the first time he did it. There were even a few explanations where he was speaking in an altered voice - clearly so as to be understood but the fact that it was not his normal speaking voice was annoying. I love Jay Sankey and he has put out some brilliant magic, some real golden material, but for all of that he has also put out a lot of crap - a LOT. He needs a filter and these days he seems to be getting better. Some people may like the goofy antics he does, but I am not one of them.

I will say that I appreciate the fact that during certain teaching segments, he changes angles to give you a better or clearer view of what is going on - his teaching is always fantastic and very clear, leaving nothing to be desired. The other thing that stuck with me even though I was already familiar with both, was the fact that he taught two very versatile card sleights (the LePaul and Krenzel moves). These are very applicable to other effects and if you practice them (neither is a particularly easy sleight) you will find lots of uses for them.

There is not much crediting to give for the material on this DVD, but where it is due, Jay does a good job.

Overall, if you want something different in a close-up linking ring routine that looks very magical, along with some non-ring magic that you can play around with to suit your style, this DVD will be worth your time.

Product info for 3 Ring Circus (With DVD)

Author: Jay Sankey
Average Rating:  (2)
Retail Price: $40.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

The Ultimate Close-Up Linking Ring Routine!

Finally! A breathtaking linking ring routine with ORDINARY OBJECTS that can be EXAMINED before and after!

This marvelous routine features one eye-popping, magic moment after another! And thanks to the inspired structure, the rings can be examined before and after the routine.

Learn "The Shake Off," "The Edge Link," "The Crash Link," "The Blow Off" and more!


Dowsing: Jay's IMPROMPTU version of the classic Paul Curry effect!
Economic Risks: The mentalist puts his money where his mouth is!
Hot Date: The coin transpo you can do anytime, anywhere!
Sudden Triumph: Think "Dia Vernon as a hired assassin."

Kung Fu Coin Change: A 3-phase routine full of new moves!

Collateral Damage: Deadly easy vanish & appearance of a signed bill!

Menage a Trois: An ingenious mental sandwich effect!
Yes & No: Jay could've sold this killer card effect as a separate item!

Comes complete with gimmicked rings and detailed instructional DVD!

Running Time Approximately 1hr 27min

Ring Diameter Approximately 1 1/4" (3cm)

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