DESCRIPTION: A borrowed ring vanishes then reappears wrapped around every strand of your headphones attached to your phone. A modern take on the classic Ring Flight effect with no mechanical parts. It’s super easy and completely examinable. Works with any phone or ear bud brand. The routine is impromptu and easy to perform.
JUNKIE THOUGHTS: Ring Flight is a modern classic, and for good reason. Using a borrowed ring for the your magic effect provides an instant emotional connection. Many versions have been released over the years including the classic method utilizing a key case and a reel (Did anyone actually use a “key case” in the real world). Recently versions have been released that utilize less mechanical methods, relying more on sleight of hand rather than mechanical means. I have personally used several methods including the classic ring flight, Departure and Nicholas Einhorn’s lovely version.
Bill Perkins has created an interesting and creative version of Ring Flight utilizing common items everyone is familiar with: Headphones and a smart device i.e. phone, iPod etc. In addition, Bill has developed a method that is easy to do and relatively easy to reset, yet is startling and amazing. As described above, you borrow a ring, make it vanish, and reveal it “linked” on your headphones which are wrapped around your phone, in your pocket.
The method relies on the clever use of a gimmick that is designed to look natural and commonplace. To use the method described in the instructions, you will need to know some basic sleight of hand and be comfortable holding out briefly. If you’re not comfortable with the necessary sleight of hand, I would recommend exploring the use of other “ring vanishing” methods such as handkerchiefs etc. While relatively easy, the method will require some practice in order to prevent fumbling. (The video host himself fumbled a bit during the trailer). The method also relies on a clever bluff to show the ring actually linked on the cord. This looks great and will fool your spectators. This bluff likely took a while to figure out, Kudos to Mr. Perkins. The reset is fairly easy but will certainly take a fair amount of practice in order to understand and do it quickly with little effort. I found myself running through the instructions several times before I was able to comfortably setup the headphones.
The gimmick itself is well made and works very well. Although it cannot be examined, the gimmick looks completely natural. It may seem a bit out of place, but nothing that cannot be covered by attitude and presentation. The instructions are provided via streaming video. There is no download option which I found disappointing. Should something happen to the hosted website, you’re out of luck. This also means you need an internet connection to view. I personally find this to be really frustrating. Oftentimes I’d like to watch a video when I don’t have an internet connection. I know this is the way things are going, but not providing a downloadable video is a real bummer and a bit lazy. Perhaps they are trying to avoid piracy and I get that, but making it a streaming only is not going to prevent piracy. Its will make it difficult, but not impossible. Why not just make it downloadable. Nevertheless, the video is very good. Shot in HD with great sound. Kyle Marlett demonstrates the effect and explains the method in detail. There’s also a segment with the creator Bill Perkins where he also performs and explains his thoughts. This was a great addition.
iFlight comes in a simple box that contains the gimmick and a small little card that contains the access to the instructional video. Don’t lose this little card. I would write this down somewhere as you’ll likely want to access the video again at a later date. You will need to supply your own headphones and smart device. I would recommend using the apple headphones or similar. I tried using a set of skull candy headphones which are quite a bit longer. The setup and effect still worked but was a bit difficult. Once you learn the setup, you can easily transition to any headphones.
FINAL THOUGHTS: iFlight is a clever and organic version of the classic Ring Flight effect. The method is easy and the reset fairly quick. The effect is startling, maybe not earth shattering but still good and one I would recommend for impromptu performances. For professional work such as table hopping or strolling, I still prefer the classic version of the ring on the key chain or ring to impossible location. Ultimately I find these latter versions to just be stronger. Plus, I don’t want to carry my phone and headphones while performing a professional gig. That being said, iFlight is great for times when you’re out with your friends or family. iFlight is quite clever and certainly a cool addition to the genre. I plan to use this in non-professional settings and would recommend you check it out.