Draven Reviews: The Rings by Chris Capehart

approvedTitle: The Rings
Artist: Chris Capehart
Producers: Kozmo Magic
Retail Price: $24.95 USD
Learning Difficulty: Medium
Notes: You will need to supply your own Linking Ring set.
Features:
•    Play All
•    Chapters
•    Bonus Move

The Chinese Linking Rings is one of the oldest tricks in magic.  It’s a pivotal corner stone of learning the art of sleight of hand because it teaches so many important fundamental skills, from performance to misdirection.  The Linking Rings is one of the few effects that can play just as well for a small audience in close up, to a theater filled with thousands of people on a large stage.  And there is none better of a magician to teach this wonderful routine than master magician Chris Capehart in his new DVD release “The Rings.”

There’s a lot of DVD’s out there that teach the linking rings, but it is rare to come across the subject being taught by one of its true masters.  One of the nicer elements of Chris’s routine that he teaches is that it only uses three rings.  Other Linking Ring routines have used five or more rings.

The way the DVD is formatted is brilliant.  You get to see Chris perform his entire routine in front of live audience at the Magic Castle, and then after words Chris breaks it all down step by step.  So you know first what it is that you’re going to learn, and then you get to see how each piece all fits together into the bigger picture.  Each tutorial section opens with a live speed performance of that particular section before Chris starts explaining why and what he is doing.  This makes learning the rings really easy if you’ve never studied them before.  I think beginners will really get the most out of this product, even though the seasoned pros will have a lot to learn from Chris’s presentation skills as well.

Once Chris has taught you all the moves that go into his routine he performs them without patter in the studio for the camera.  While he is performing the video displays the different phases that he’s doing, the phases you just learned, as he’s doing it.  I liked this recap, and found it to be quite useful.

One thing about this DVD in particular that I want to make sure I throw in here is that this isn’t a DVD that focuses on teaching the subject of the Linking Rings, it teaches Chris’s personal routine.  There are a lot of different ring moves, links, and displays that you can do that won’t be covered in this DVD.  So if you want something that is more of a lecture on the subject abroad then you may find the material in this video to be somewhat lacking.  However the material in this DVD is award winning and Chris’s ring routine has been one of the more sought out routines on the market.  Personally, if you only got one DVD on the Linking Rings routine, this one would be enough for you.

The bonus material on the DVD is Chris’s special “Meltdown” move, which looks absolutely stunning in performance.  Bold as it is cleaver in method, this move especially from a stage, looks the closest to solid passing silently through solid as you can get.

If I had to nitpick and find something to complain about with this product I’d say it’s the lack of including additional linking and unlinking moves.  Chris obviously knows more than what he teaches on the DVD, and it would have been nice to have an expanded bonus section where he covers additional optional material that isn’t part of his standard show.  Not that the DVD is lacking without this expanded material, it’s just like why settle for a single slice of delicious cake when you could just have the entire thing for yourself?  Maybe Chris will release another DVD with more moves in the future?  Please?

Overall this is a solid product.  You’ve got a classic of magic that is versatile enough to play for any size audience from the intimates of close up to the thrills of large stage.  With a few simple, easy to find props, you have an award winning routine fully taught by one of the masters himself.  From start to finish you have a commercial routine that you can take anywhere, and when you perform it well it will take you everywhere.  I am thankful I picked up The Rings, and I highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the Chinese Linking Rings plot.

When I give my product scores below I am measuring them on a scale of 1 to 10. 1 Being absolute the worst score possible, and 10 being the absolute best, making a score of five average. The four points that I grade upon is Product Quality, Teaching Quality, Sound & Video Quality and Overall Quality.

Product Quality: 8
This was a great DVD.  The routine taught in it is an award winning routine, and well worth the price of admission.

Teaching Quality: 8
Chris Capehart is as entertaining to learn from as he is to watch.  I’m glad Kozmo Magic has released this routine.

Video & Sound Quality: 6
Good video and sound.  Though I wish they would have used anything but a black background.  It’s just very uninteresting, and vacuous.

Overall Quality: 8
You could easily own an entire library dedicated to the subject of the Linking Rings if you are a fan of this effect, however if you could only own one DVD then “The Rings” is the one I’d recommend.

Have a product you want reviewed?  Want to see if it will stand up to the Draven Seal of Approval?  Contact me directly at draven@williamdraven.com to find out how your product could be on the next Draven Reviews!

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About William Draven

William Draven is a professional magician and sideshow performer living in Los Angeles, California. Follow him on Twitter at WilliamDraven or on facebook at www.facebook.com/thewilliamdraven
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