I am very excited by something that happened last week. I have been a long-term fan of the classic ‘80s TV series “The Equalizer” which starred the great British actor Edward Woodward. I have been looking forward to catching the new cinematic re-boot of the iconic action hero as played by Denzel Washington, which hits movie theatres later this month.
“The Equalizer” series was created by Michael Sloan, who happens to be an old friend of mine, who just wrote a novel about his iconic action hero to tie in with the release of the movie. I downloaded the newly published book from iTunes and received a very pleasant surprise when I discovered that I was name checked in the novel. An equally exciting shock was that Michael even took the time to highlight one of my signature tricks in the pages of his book. Here is the specific quote.
“She looked at the Washington Square Arch, silhouetted against the night sky. Somehow she always found it comforting. Her gateway to a new life. There were two statues of George Washington in alcoves, one as a soldier, the other as America’s first president. She thought of a British comedy magician she’d once seen with her mother in a nightclub in Moscow. She remembered his name was Nick Lewin and he’d been very funny. He’d said of George Washington: “A British soldier, went AWOL, did very well for himself.” Her mother had had to explain to her that AWOL meant “Absent Without Leave,” and then had patiently explained what “Absent Without Leave” meant, as if she was still a child of eight. But that was all right. It was her mother’s gentle way. Natalya remembered the magician had taken a ring of hers, the one her mother had given her with the crest of a dragon on it, and he had linked her ring with one of his own. Amazing!”
Excerpt From: Sloan, Michael. “The Equalizer.” Thomas Dunne Books.
I have had the chance to be featured in two episodes that Mr. Sloan has written based on my real life persona. I got to star in episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” and “Kung Fu: The Legend Continues” and each one was a special highlight in my career. I have much to thank Michael for over the years and was incredibly thrilled to turn up in the pages of his novel. In many ways it actually seemed more of a thrill being featured in the book than any of my flesh and blood appearances.
In contemplating my fleeting appearance in the Equalizer story I also realized how fortunate I have been in having a signature trick that has brought me the attention and good fortune that Mr. Himber’s Linking Finger Rings have done over the years. There is something quite amazing about the impact of this particular trick on lay audiences and they seem to relate to the effect on a very profound level.
This particular routine was also entirely responsible for my being featured in the star studded Hollywood Foreign Press Association tribute to Orson Welles in 1981. The Linking Finger Rings were also the core of my first major television appearance in America on the “Merv Griffin Show,” from Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. I must have performed the effect thousands of times over the years and it has been the “secret weapon” in my act since the great Marvyn Roy convinced me to master it about 36 years ago. Thank you Marvyn!
It is a wonderful thing to discover an effect that can truly be made one’s own. If a performer can master one or two effects that are this powerful in his lifetime then he is a very lucky man. I can think of maybe three items in my repertoire that are key to my commercial success over the years, however the Linking Finger Rings seems to be the one that has caught the attention of audiences the most. It is one of those tricks that you almost believe you are performing a miracle when you do it right. There are not enough tricks that can give you that kind of thrill when you present them.
As I slow down my performing career and begin to step up my life as a writer and lecturer, it is very exciting to be able to pass on my routine to younger performers and help them catch the excitement of this very special effect. You gain a whole new perspective on a routine when you get to teach it to others. You are forced to think about and verbalize many things that were previously unconscious just drifting around in the back of your mind. If you are interested in acquiring my Ultimate Linking Finger Routine I have a few sets of the limited edition book/DVD package for sale on my website at www.lewinenterprises.com
It was a blast to realize that someone wanted to share my routine as part of a totally unconnected artistic endeavor. It made me proud and grateful all at the same time and I wish everyone that very warm and meaningful moment in his or her magical journey. Start searching for that special piece of magic and don’t stop working on it till you master it.