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Topic: Slydini
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 2, 2005 04:50PM)
I'm a great Slydini fan and was supprised when I didn't see him mentioned here. Any other Slydidi Fans? What is your favorite Slydini trick?

Thanks

Craig Pontz
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 3, 2005 09:43PM)
Hello fellow fan of the master! I am a Slydini fan from WAY back. I think Slydini was the single GREATEST magician ever. His misdirection and understanding of human psychology is head and shoulders above anyone else. Slydini was the MASTER!!

I have used a number of his routines in my shows, including his master sponge ball and purse frame, his coins through the table, and his one coin flurry routine. And a few others, the cigarette production, and the paper balls in the box.

Slydini was a friend and mentor to MANY including doug Henning, Michael Ammar, and others. He was, and IS beyond compare.

Yesterday I ran acroos and purchased on ebay a rare Slydini book called "Slydini's Rubbery Bands" and I got it for a steal. I feel very lucky, and can't WAIT till it arrives.
Message: Posted by: irossall (Jan 5, 2005 06:12AM)
In 1969 I was lucky enough (or unlucky) to have Slydini call me up on stage for the "Balls Over The Head" routine. The vanishing of the first ball fooled me but all of a sudden I remembered reading about this effect and from that point on I tried my best to act surprised but being the poor actor I am I am not sure how well I pulled it off. I would have enjoyed the routine much more and avoided the embarrassment that I felt if only Slydini would have picked someone else and just let me enjoy the show.
After the show I had the opportunity to chat for a few minutes with Slydini and get his autograph. Slydini was a very friendly guy and I have always felt privileged that I got to see him perform and meet him in person.
This show was one of five shows that week celebrating the grand opening of a new bank. Each night was a single performer doing an hour-long show for free. The average audience was probably not more than 50 people and was performed in the lobby of the bank. Very few people stayed after the show to talk to or get an autograph from the performers (I stayed).
Some of the other performers were Dai Vernon and Chuck Jones but I don't remember the other two.
Iven :patty:
Message: Posted by: Randy Sager (Jan 5, 2005 04:35PM)
I posted this before on another thread on Slydini earlier last year. I will give a short version or try to anyhow here.

In 1980 at the D.M.S. In Las Vegas I sat in the coffe shop (In the New Frontier Hotel Casino) with Slydini,Alan Alan from England and three others. Of all the things Slydini did for those couple of hours he was with us the one that really stands out in My mind was not even a magic effect.

What it was was this. which was nothing more then a bit of pantomime. He acted as tho he pulled a thread from Alan Alan's tie. Then pulled a needle (Again all in mime) from his lapel. Slydinin then acted as if he were trying to thread the needle. It seemed at times that the thread and needle could actually be seen in Slydini's hands altho nothing was there.

It small bit made me realize how important beliveing in what you are doing is. Slydini was a true master of this. He really did believe he could do whatever he was doing, His spectators then believed it too.
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 5, 2005 06:40PM)
Its good to see that there are fellow Slydini fans out there. I just bought a used Slydini manuscript on his bands. Hopefully it will be the same thing daffydoug was talking about. I never had the opportuntity to see Slydini (in person or on tape), but I have read and reread his books.

One of my favorite Slydini tricks is the Helicoptor card. I know the angles are tough, but if you can do a sit down for a couple of people, it is a mind blower.

Does anyone know of any videos with Slydini on them?

Thanks

Craig Pontz
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 5, 2005 06:41PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-05 07:12, irossall wrote:
In 1969 I was lucky enough (or unlucky) to have Slydini call me up on stage for the "Balls Over The Head" routine. The vanishing of the first ball fooled me but all of a sudden I remembered reading about this effect and from that point on I tried my best to act surprised but being the poor actor I am I am not sure how well I pulled it off. I would have enjoyed the routine much more and avoided the embarrassment that I felt if only Slydini would have picked someone else and just let me enjoy the show.
After the show I had the opportunity to chat for a few minutes with Slydini and get his autograph. Slydini was a very friendly guy and I have always felt privileged that I got to see him perform and meet him in person.
This show was one of five shows that week celebrating the grand opening of a new bank. Each night was a single performer doing an hour-long show for free. The average audience was probably not more than 50 people and was performed in the lobby of the bank. Very few people stayed after the show to talk to or get an autograph from the performers (I stayed).
Some of the other performers were Dai Vernon and Chuck Jones but I don't remember the other two.
Iven :patty:
[/quote]

Man, I envy you! I would have given my right sponge ball to meet Slydini when he was alive!

Posted: Jan 5, 2005 7:45pm
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Quote:
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On 2005-01-05 17:35, Randy Sager wrote:
I posted this before on another thread on Slydini earlier last year. I will give a short version or try to anyhow here.

In 1980 at the D.M.S. In Las Vegas I sat in the coffe shop (In the New Frontier Hotel Casino) with Slydini,Alan Alan from England and three others. Of all the things Slydini did for those couple of hours he was with us the one that really stands out in My mind was not even a magic effect.

What it was was this. which was nothing more then a bit of pantomime. He acted as tho he pulled a thread from Alan Alan's tie. Then pulled a needle (Again all in mime) from his lapel. Slydinin then acted as if he were trying to thread the needle. It seemed at times that the thread and needle could actually be seen in Slydini's hands altho nothing was there.

It small bit made me realize how important beliveing in what you are doing is. Slydini was a true master of this. He really did believe he could do whatever he was doing, His spectators then believed it too.

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Randy, That Dovetails perfectly with what he taught in his books. When you hold a phantom coin or book of matches or WHATEVER small object in your hand, you must CONVEY the belief of that object to your audience via facial expressions, body posture and movements, etc. I agree. Slydini was the undisputed master. none could ever touch him.

Posted: Jan 5, 2005 7:50pm
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Does anyone here ever have the opportunity to perform true classic Slydini style. That is, at a table with a table cloth covering it, and the freedom to lap?

Believe it or not, one of the best reactions I ever got from any effect was a Slydini effect. It was the purse frame and sponge balls, and I was performing on a large stage for a young lady. In the final phase, the routine ends with dozens of mini sponge balls flying out of the spectator's hand. So she opens her hand, the sponges fly EVERYWHERE, and the girl SCREAMS at the top of her lungs! I'm telling you, it was rich. Very vivid memory for me.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 6, 2005 02:48PM)
I have used much of what I learned from Slydini. I used to visit him in NY at his apartment and often we'd go out to dinner.

When he came to California I booked him on a TV Special I helped produce. UNFORTUNATELY it was a live show and NO TAPE EXISTS.

Joe Porper and I are soon to release a new type coin clip, with a rattle, to do Slydini's vanish of six silver dollars. Stay tooned.
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Jan 6, 2005 03:29PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-06 15:48, Pete Biro wrote:
Joe Porper and I are soon to release a new type coin clip, with a rattle, to do Slydini's vanish of six silver dollars. Stay tooned.
[/quote]
Sounds great :)
Many years back I made diff. coinclips for diff. sized coins for my own use, also of course for silverdollars.
Now, I didn't want to use the ring-attachment, so I used heavy doublesided tape to glue it inside my left hand, a little below where the forefinger starts and in direction/towards the center of the palm.
This made it possible to use the hand and fingers very openly and naturally/palm down of course, picking up coins aso.
Even those knowing about the clip that normally used the ring-attachment where trown off the track and after the coins vanished, there was no trace.

Worked great for lapping sitting at a table..

A substerfuge too was to attach/glue that thingy under the table after the coins where removed -all with one hand- and f.ex. have passed through the table and one could immediately stand up to say hello to some guy nearby shaking hands and later again steal the gimmick off...

Quite some of the guys here (fellow magis) where thrown of the track by this application..
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 6, 2005 05:22PM)
Very clever indeed!
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Jan 6, 2005 08:43PM)
[quote]


Does anyone know of any videos with Slydini on them?

Thanks

Craig Pontz
[/quote]
Craig,
I also am a big fan of Slydini and had the opportunity to see him lecture on two occasions and of course get his autograph and talk to him after the lecture.He was definitely a gentleman and always eager to help you. I also saw him do a few effects at an informal get together at a magic shop here in California where he actually performed miracles with everyday simple dealer demo's.
As for a video, yes I have one of him performing on a Dick Cavett magic special and from what I understand one of the few remaining videos that exist of him performing.
Sorry not for sale but if you are ever in San Jose California I would be more than willing to invite you over to watch it.
Rennie
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 7, 2005 05:29AM)
Why do you suppose there are so precious few videos of Slydini's performances? I have never understood this.
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Jan 7, 2005 05:37AM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-07 06:29, daffydoug wrote:
Why do you suppose there are so precious few videos of Slydini's performances? I have never understood this.
[/quote]I think, somehow, Slydini wasn't that much featured on televison :(

I soley have captured the Dick Cavett show, where he appeared at least twice, but I also did way back an 8 mm movie on a convention in Europe.
Now that movie -of course- isn't very good as it is taken from quite a distance, but in anay case, I love every sentence of it, though I haven't gotten it transformed to video or DVD.
It's mostly re his CTTT.

Harry Stanley way back in the late 1950s did an 8mm movie re Tony Slydini too, it features just a few of his routines, amongst them, the silks, but these have been featured at the Dick Cavett show too..
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 7, 2005 05:41AM)
Well, my thinking is this: Someone back then should have realized what a TREAASURE videos of Slydini would have been to future generations of magicians and had the foresight to cover it. It's like they all had their head up their butt or something. I mean, even if he wasn't on TV alot, it could surely have been arranged as a special project.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 7, 2005 10:15AM)
There are some stories about what happened in the 1980s. There was a documentary filmed in Italy, and a sorry neglect of the man here in America. Some of his students left magic and went on to other things. Some of his students adapted his work to suite their own style. The man is gone. The books are good for studying the tricks. Some of the students can probably do the material and come across as a shadow of their teacher.

It is sad that there are few available film clips of Slydini in action. There are far fewer of the great characters and technicians of just a few years earlier. Fred Kaps is gone, John Ramsay is gone, Ken Brooke is gone... the list would be quite long. All gone with few records of their performances.

At least Sldini was willing to teach. Back in the 1970s Slydini was teaching, David Roth was teaching, Darwin Ortiz was teaching... then in the 1980s they published material also. Good idea to enjoy what is around.
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Jan 7, 2005 11:06AM)
Well, maybe I was fortunate.

I had the great pleasure to meet Tony Slydini in person in 1960 at a convention in Bologna/Italy.

Not only did I se him perform on stage (his version of the Professors nightmare, his roperoutine is burned in my mind), but I was lucky also to get invited to a private party, where Slydini did perform close-up.

He not only did his CTTT, but also a lot of of his other routines, like the spongeballs aso, all close-up stuff.

I recall, Tonny van Dommelen was present there to, and later some of the 'good' performers did some of their close-up stuff.

Tonny van Dommelen (the stageperformer doing chip-production and glass production like Salvano) did Paul le Pauls Acrobating Aces, that was the very first time I saw it done and I've done it ever since.

That party was arranged to show Slydinis pretentionals to some of the European bookers for lectures, in this particular case, it was done for Henk Vermeyden -who was present- and who booked him for an European tour.
I too got a signed photograph of Henk Vermeyden.

I was inivited because I earlier did a couple of cardroutines (yes, I did cards at that time) that did impress one of Italys well known names, I forgot his name, but I recall he's long gone.

Alberto Sitta was present too at that party and I was asked by that Italian to do one of the routines for him..
Memories..

Apart from this, I was lucky to stay at the same hotel Slydini did, and one morning I did meet him alone in the hotels lobby and he kindly spooke to me and gave a few stories..
Memories...he absolutely baffle me -and everybody else- especially with his close-up stuff.

Apart from what I mentioned above, CTTT, the spongeballs, he also did his torn and restored cigarette in many variation..that's'what I recall, can't remember the rest, but I recall he did all of the variations re spongeballs, later described in his books, and this goes for his CTTT too..
Those where the days.. :)

I would travel to any place in Europe to be present at any convention.. :)

I also remember Slydini was droven through the city by car, very slowly, and he did out of the cards sidewindow his *Knotted Silks* and one other of the passengers was Jean Charles, a parfume *designer* living in Nice, IIRC, I also did meet Jacque Deqour from Marseille and I saw the 'One hand shuffle' for the very first time, shown on a video from Harry Stanley named *Magic Moments with famous Magicians* , done by Dr. Zina Bennet..also this shuffle I've done ever since, as it was sooo impressive.. :)
Great times... :)
Message: Posted by: marcus2 (Jan 7, 2005 02:05PM)
I have now seen 3 performance of Slydini, These being The Silk Routine, Balls in box, and Coins Through Table.

Whenever somebody mentions Slydini my mind goes back to these 3 Especially the coins through table it is the best coin trick I have seen.

Oh btw I am no stranger when it comes to magic got around 300 magic tapes and many book aswell..

You cant beat the guys performances!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 7, 2005 05:33PM)
Nobody could, because he was the MASTER.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 7, 2005 10:41PM)
In the early days, when Slydini and Vernon were in their prime there was little in the way of filming. You learned from lessons and/or books. I still think that is the way.

I was fortunate to have spent a lot of time with Slydini and had many sessions learning his coin work and other items.

It is mostly attitude, body language and misdirection that made him so strong.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 8, 2005 01:15PM)
Ahh yes! Precisely! And with these very elements, Slydini had formulated, for lack of a better word, a SCIENCE. He was able to combine all of those elements into a cohesive , synergistic whole, that, when viewed/experienced left the observer totally taken in by the impact of the strength of the illusions. Indeed, Slydini fooled the MIND. His principles of psychological misdirection were so strong, that they were, in a sense IRRESISTABLE. As has been said, even when you KNEW he was lapping, or whatever the move employed, you were STILL fooled. You just simply could not help it. Slydini totally baffled magicians even, so the poor, hapless, uninitiated laymen didn't stand the proverbial "snowballs chance"

I chuckle when I think about it. People were totally helpless when viewing him. The illusions worked because Slydini had mastered the knowledge of how the mind works. No other magician, living or dead, in my opinion, has ever touched him or even come close. Oh, not to say that there not those who are students of the master who are not indeed very good, but they are NOT nor will they ever be Tony Slydini. He was the original, and God threw away the mold.

As to what you mentioned about there being little in the way of filming, well, that still leaves me to wonder WHY. The BIG why. Is it not true that they possesed cameras? They had movie film, and even video tape, did they not? What was their excuse for leaving us of this present day without the kind of accurate visual records that we would die for? I know I would, at least. (Figuratively speaking, of course.)

I think it is a lack of foresight. I really do. Myopia, to say the least. I have a family, and I have a wife and kids. I sacrificed to save for a video camera so that my children, twenty years down the road from now, will have something to treasure that money will never buy: Vivid, visual memories of their childhood. I strongly feel that way because my father, when I was a tiny child, used his 8 mm camera to do that for me. There is nothing more precious to me now than those old films which we have now transferred to tape. Life is short. It is fleeting. Every moment slips by like a grain of sand through an hourglass. I'm pretty intransigent about my opinion that magicians of those years, yes, those who claimed to CARE about our art, should have used more foresight and given more thought to us of this present day. What were they thinking? Perhaps that Slydini would be around forever?
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 9, 2005 11:07AM)
Rennie: I appreciate the offer and if I'm ever in San Jose, I will definitely get in touch with you.

Jonathan has a very good point. There were a lot of great magicians that we will never see their work and we should enjoy what is around. However, I sometimes feel overwhelmed about the material that is out there now. With all the video's, DVD, books ect., you could spend all you time just learning stuff, but then how much of it would you really master?

With the Slydini books, you can learn the techniques and thinking behind the misdirection. Pete Biro and Daffydoug have it right with "It is mostly attitude, body language and misdirection that made him so strong." Slydini wanted you to actually belive in what you were trying to convey to the audience. If you were going to fake putting a coin into your hand, you were to believe that you were really putting the coin into the hand. If you believed, your audience will also believe. What a concept!!

Craig Pontz
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 9, 2005 07:15PM)
Simple, and obvious, yet profound. And Slydini payed attention to the most MINUTE details. If you were going to do a fake take of the coin from your palm, there was a very SPECIFIC way to do that, and Tony had it all spelled out in detail. If you were going to execute a dove steal, well, there was a right and a wrong way to do it. Slydini's way was the right way. There was nothing sloppy, haphazard or left to random chance in the way you did things. He was brilliant, just brilliant.

Another example was his technique for the Han Ping Chien move. He didn't do it like everybody else, becaus everyone else. (before him) left little psychological clues that the audience could pick up on. Those clues were left unintentionally, of course, but they were there, nevertheless. If the action wasn't performed the way Slydini specified, chances were there were little illogicalities in the actions. We today would call it unmotiaitated actions. But I can guarantee that every little action that Slydini performed, even in the positioning of the hands as for the Han Ping Chien example, was perfectly motivated and logical.

What I'm saying, I guess, is that the way Slydini did it was the PERFECT way of doing it. His actions were consumate. You just could not improve on them. Everything was so refined. Everything was thought out to the n'th detail. It just never ceases to amaze me, and is a source of great wonder to me. Yes, Slydini awes me. I admit it. If I come off as effusive, well, then I am just that. People are that way when talking about their idol.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 10, 2005 09:06AM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-09 20:15, daffydoug wrote:...the way Slydini did it was the PERFECT way of doing it...[/quote]

Perfect for HIM. Possibly sufficient for a some of his students. The guy taught you the tricks my imitation, i.e. do as he did till you can do it almost exactly the way he did them. This works well for a few of his students, and provides quite a challenge for the rest.

I wished he had worked with some of the bright folks around back then to analyze the material and make it into science. What we have instead are examples of very strong magic and some large challenges in terms of character and motivation.

I heard a great story about him in NYC long ago where the inner circle would not tip the HPC to him. Some of the results of his experiments to get the same effect are pretty well known, and his stylized HPC handling shows that he must have fooled or at least impressed them and so they showed him the thing. ;)
Message: Posted by: Bill Wells (Jan 10, 2005 09:56AM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-10 10:06, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-01-09 20:15, daffydoug wrote:...the way Slydini did it was the PERFECT way of doing it...[/quote]
Perfect for HIM. Possibly sufficient for a some of his students. The guy taught you the tricks my imitation, i.e. do as he did till you can do it almost exactly the way he did them. This works well for a few of his students, and provides quite a challenge for the rest.

You are indeed correct! I recall a group lesson being taught by Slydini. We were all sitting around the table and had to do EXACTLY what Tony did...every gesture - every word. That was how he taught - exact imitation. Imagine - grown men sitting around a table - the little fellow says "Watcha - I gonna foola you!" The other six guys say "Watcha - I gonna foola you!" However, it was still a wonderful experience.

Posted: Jan 5, 2005 7:50pm

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Does anyone here ever have the opportunity to perform true classic Slydini style. That is, at a table with a table cloth covering it, and the freedom to lap?

Believe it or not, one of the best reactions I ever got from any effect was a Slydini effect. It was the purse frame and sponge balls, and I was performing on a large stage for a young lady. In the final phase, the routine ends with dozens of mini sponge balls flying out of the spectator's hand. So she opens her hand, the sponges fly EVERYWHERE, and the girl SCREAMS at the top of her lungs! I'm telling you, it was rich. Very vivid memory for me.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 10, 2005 05:05PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-10 10:06, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-01-09 20:15, daffydoug wrote:...the way Slydini did it was the PERFECT way of doing it...[/quote]

What we have instead are examples of very strong magic and some large challenges in terms of character and motivation.


[/quote]

Please elaborate on that, Jonathan.
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 10, 2005 06:42PM)
All this is fasinating to me. I have studied his books for years now and have always tried to figure out the logic in his misdirection. Whether it be the body movement to hide the steal or his timing ideas. I think that if you can gleam some of his thinking process, it can be applied to other effects you are working on.

His attention to detail was amazing. I have heard before that he taught by imitation and you had to do it exactly like he did it. However, when you are learning from his books, you have to work the moves out and think about how to make them work the best for you.

I also would like to hear more from Jonathan on "large challenges in terms of character and motivation."
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 10, 2005 08:42PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-10 19:42, Cpontz wrote:
I think that if you can gleam some of his thinking process, it can be applied to other effects you are working on.
[/quote]

Exactly the point! Misdirection principles that can be applied to just about any magic situation.
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 10, 2005 08:49PM)
Tony was himself. He sculpted his performing persona to make those gestures and that way of speaking his own. More to the point, much of Tony Slydini's magic was based upon the gestures and manerisms that were him. Since nobody else is him, the material needs to be re-tailored to suit each performer. The work in taking the basic methods and finding your own natural actions and manerisms is not easy or trivial. Here is a tip for lerning Sldini's magic from videos... watch the audience. Notice where they look and when they react, then backtrack to his manerisms. Then find YOUR manerisms and seek things which work as well for you.
Message: Posted by: evanthx (Jan 11, 2005 06:16AM)
Cellini did a lecture on Slydini in which he did a coin routine...he sat at a table and just knocked my socks off. It wasn't Slydini, sure, but I'd always heard about him and lapping and seeing just how amazing it actually was really impressed me. I knew from reading about Slydini that lapping would be involved, but frankly knowing that - well, I still got fooled pretty badly. :)

So yeah, I wish I could have seen Slydini in action, but at least I got to see one of his students show me a bit of what it was like...thanks, Cellini!
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 11, 2005 03:30PM)
Yes! You STILL got fooled! That's what I was saying! And the Slydinii one coin routine. What a classic! I have had lots of fun with this routine over the years. It's what is called a coin flurry, oh, but WHAT a flurry!
Posted: Jan 11, 2005 4:46pm

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Quote:
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On 2005-01-10 21:49, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Tony was himself. He sculpted his performing persona to make those gestures and that way of speaking his own. More to the point, much of Tony Slydini's magic was based upon the gestures and manerisms that were him. Since nobody else is him, the material needs to be re-tailored to suit each performer. The work in taking the basic methods and finding your own natural actions and manerisms is not easy or trivial. Here is a tip for lerning Sldini's magic from videos... watch the audience. Notice where they look and when they react, then backtrack to his manerisms. Then find YOUR manerisms and seek things which work as well for you.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Thankyou Jonathan. That helped clarify. Yes, I agree that much of Tony's routines involved gestures that were married to the words, or "patter" he used. For instance, he would take a coin or a matchbook and hold it in his right fingers. Then he would say "This matchbook is going to DISSAPEAR right before your very eyes!" The hands would lift the object in a display action upon the word "eyes".

Next, the arm and hand would drop casually to the table edge, the body and facial expressions would relax for a beat and during this rest, the object is lapped. Then a beat later, Tony would say "Watch!" repeating the SAME gesture with the phantom matchbook. At this point the audience, conditioned by the first time, would "see" the matchbook in his fingers. It was then a simple matter to pretend to place it in the left hand, and subsequently, reveal the vanish.

Now I said all that to point out that without the spoken words, the gestures would have made NO SENSE. In fact , they would have looked odd or downright suspicious! They had to be married to the words that Slydini spoke. They were interdependant.

(By the way, I find it interesting to interject at this time that Slydini also worked in mime, as in his cigarette production, but that is another topic, and another facet of the diamond of his performances.)

Now, for you or me, saying those words exactly like Slydini did might be incongruent with our performing persona, so, therefore, we have to work to find our own unique patter to go along with the gestures. And yes, Jonathan, that is hard work. I've been there. We don't want to be Slydini clones, but we do want to apply the principles of misdirection that he taught. Therefore, when I said that everything Tony did was perfect, well, truly I was speaking of the principles behind it, and the way he had worked it out to the n'th degree. We may indeed have to change the patter, and perhaps even the gestures to suit who we are, but the underlying principles of misdirection NEVER change. In that, Slydini was solid as a rock.

And I still believe he was the greatest that ever lived. That will never change.
Message: Posted by: evanthx (Jan 12, 2005 12:02PM)
Daffy - it's that one coin routine that fried me so badly, in fact. I went and looked...I wrote this to a friend of mine at the time about that coin routine in Cellini's lecture. I know this is not directly on Slydini, but since it was a lecture on Slydini and using his routine and patter I figured it was still relevant and fun to post.

Is there a video with this coin routine? I'd love to own a copy of Slydini doing this routine if so. You know how it is after you do magic long enough - you don't get fooled much any more. It was really nice to see something that I just had no explanation about and to feel that magical feeling.

-----

Then he did a coin routine. Coins were passing through a table, jumping from hand to hand...nicely done, I enjoyed it, but wasn't amazed. He went down to fewer and fewer coins...then to just a single coin. And with that single coin suddenly I saw one of the most amazing coin routines I've ever witnessed. The coin would be clearly in one hand, then the hand would be empty and the coin was suddenly in the other hand which was no where NEAR the first hand. And it wasn't a duplicate coin. He explained it all later...it was a teaching lecture...and while he was explaining it, I was still getting fooled. It was just that well put together and that well performed. It is probably not sounding that amazing when you hear me describe it but...imagine seeing a coin in his hand. He slides the hand forward, and you can hear the coin sliding across the table top under his hand. Then he lifts his hand and opens it and the coin is gone. It's just that clean...and there was a whole routine that clean and that amazing.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 12, 2005 04:52PM)
That was no doubt the Slydini one coin routine. Perhaps he added his own touches, but it was originally Slydini's work. I would almost be willing to bet on it.

I have had a lot of fun with this routine, and like you said, it fries people. It is smooth as silk! (At least, when you do it correctly!)

I have used the moves from the routine and adapted them to vanishing another small object, such as a lighter. In fact, at the local club, I would get continual requests for the vanishing lighter trick. No matter what I did, someone would inevitably say to me " Hey Doug. Make so and so's lighter dissapear!"

That is what they wanted to see. All of my other best routines were upstaged by a simple vanish I learned from Slydini. I couldn't top it. Slydini's magic kills.
Message: Posted by: Jeffrey Cowan (Jan 12, 2005 08:23PM)
Many current magicians today neglect Slydini's work because most of his close-up material requires being seated at a table. Although that eliminates its use for strolling or restaurant magic, it's PERFECT when seated at the dinner table and the opportunity comes up to perform. Especially when it's a "power meal" with a client or a potential client. It's also socially appropriate because it usually would cause undue attention to stand-up in a restaurant or hotel dining room.

I was lucky enough to have two lessons with Slydini as a teenager in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when I was around ages 15 and 17. We lived in DC and my dad arranged the lessons to occur when we were in NYC visiting family. Tony was a terrific guy who loved the art and was very, very generous with his time. Each time he ended up spending at least two hours instead of the one hour I had signed up for. [He also told me the first time that he wasn't taking new students but was flattered that my dad called from DC to try to arrange this and could not say "no."] We did coins, his "sugar express" trick, and t&r cigarette if I remember correctly. He was in his early 80s, and his technique was still extraordinary. Tony held his hand out flat for my dad during the first visit and proudly pointed out how still it was. And it was. Very, very still at age 82. Hard to imagine how good he would have been in his 40s or 50s. . .

The funny/amusing part -- as I look back now -- was that he really did insist that students try to imitate him when learning a trick. Literally. Including his cadence. Something I had to modify later on my own. But it fully explains the stories one hears about the generation of amateur magicians who were born and raised in the USA but who suddenly started talking with a staccato, Italian accent when they performed his tricks.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 13, 2005 06:37PM)
That is hilarious! It really tickles me to hear those anecdotes about Slydini clones! It paints such a vivid funny picture in my mind.

I envy you. I really do. To have sat at the masters table is a priveledge that I can only imagine. It is reserved for the select few, of which you were one. That is SO special. I'll bet your memories are very vivid.

And yes, you are correct. Slydini was 82 in 1982, because he was born in the year 1900! And your story helps me to see what a wonderful man Tony was. verygenerous, very willing to teach. for me, to have sat at his table would have been heaven on earth. I also pick up real easily on dialects and accents, so I would have bee a quick study.

Do you still remember the routines he taught you?
Message: Posted by: Jeffrey Cowan (Jan 14, 2005 01:22AM)
DaffyDoug:

To answer your question: Yes. I spent so much time practicing them as a teenager that I couldn't forget them if I tried. When I first worked the close-up room at the Magic Castle in 1989, I did his t&r cigarette with the "kicker" back into broken pieces and received a surprisingly strong reaction from the local magicians. Apparently it was less well known in LA than in the parts of the East Coast where one would see Slydini and his students at magic club lectures, conventions, etc. I don't smoke, so I usually can do his t&r cigarette stuff in a formal close-up show, but I do segments of his coin stuff regularly at the dinner table. I've found that it's very effective to do 2 phases with 6 coins, then 4, 2 and 1 coin -- and then do the salt shaker through the table with 1 coin. One couldn't ask for more built-in misdirection at that point.
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Jan 14, 2005 08:45AM)
Johnny Thompson aka The Great Tomsoni does a very funny Slydini impression. I have it on a video somwhere.On the same show he did an impression of Vernon, very funny.
Rennie
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 14, 2005 07:32PM)
Jeff, I am glad to hear that you have not let it slip. That's something to be proud of, and so may people in this generation have never seen Slydini, and you have a mission to show them what real magic is is about!
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 15, 2005 08:20AM)
I just got Slydini's Linking Rubber Band Mystery. It is called Slydini's Untold Secrets. It is by one of Slydini's former students, Alma Richie (AKA Bluestone). He does a pretty good job of summarizing Slydini's timing, misdirection, and use of Slydini's "Nonsensical Words Invention". That is his use of words such as "Look", "Watch", "Come Close", "See" ect.

Does anyone know of a complete listing of Slydini Material that has been published?

I also envy those who had the privlage of studing under the Master. Those of us who haven't, have to work it out through hard study (and a lot of practice) of his material.

Thanks

Craig Pontz
Message: Posted by: Rennie (Jan 15, 2005 11:41AM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-15 09:20, Cpontz wrote:

Does anyone know of a complete listing of Slydini Material that has been published?


Thanks

Craig Pontz
[/quote]
Hi Craig,
The following covers most of his work,
1 - The Magic of Slydini
2 - Slydini Encores.
3 - The Best of Slydini
4 - The Magical World of Slydini
I have all the above and the latter 2 cover the most, however if you are a Slydini fan you should get them all. Not sure of availability though.
Rennie
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 15, 2005 04:10PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-15 09:20, Cpontz wrote:
I just got Slydini's Linking Rubber Band Mystery. It is called Slydini's Untold Secrets. It is by one of Slydini's former students, Alma Richie (AKA Bluestone). He does a pretty good job of summarizing Slydini's timing, misdirection, and use of Slydini's "Nonsensical Words Invention". That is his use of words such as "Look", "Watch", "Come Close", "See" ect.

Does anyone know of a complete listing of Slydini Material that has been published?

I also envy those who had the privlage of studing under the Master. Those of us who haven't, have to work it out through hard study (and a lot of practice) of his material.

Thanks

Craig Pontz
[/quote]

Craig,

Did you happen to win that book on ebay? Reason I'm asking is because I just won the same exact book on ebay.

It's really not so easy to reconstruct what the author is trying to convey through the photos and text.

Do you concur on that? Video's, in my estimation, are a far superior meduium for conveying detailed information such as the routine in the book, which, by the way, is the master's take on the crazy man's handcuffs.
Truth is, I still feel pretty lost reading this book and trying to reconstruct what the author is trying to convey.

I googled the author's name, btw, and found NOTHING on him. Just a page directing me back to the book which I now own, thanks to the miracle of Ebay.

What do you suppose ever became of him?
Message: Posted by: Turk (Jan 15, 2005 07:06PM)
In scuttlebutt, I have learned that one of our more well-known Café members is possibly putting together a magic DVD that showcases the magic of Slydini.

As I understand it, this DVD would be out sometime in mid-spring or early summer. It will have film clips of Slydini performing and, from what I understand, well-know magicians (possibly all students of Slydini?) performing some of the Slydini classics.

I'm not certain of the release date or of the exact composition of the DVD but, if the aforementioned Café member reads this Café thread, perhaps he'll respond and set the record straight.

Stay tuned!!

Mike
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 16, 2005 07:08PM)
DaffyDoug: I didn't get it on ebay. As a matter of fact, it came from the used magic on this site.

I did a Google search on Untold Secrets of Slydini and found out that it is still sold by dealers for about $10. There is also a follow up Untold Secrets that deals with 5 Thumb Tip routines. It sells for about $4.

I agree that some of the written instructions are hard to follow and that a video would make this a lot easier. However, I was able to work through it and am now practicing it.

I wonder what other Slydini material is out there that he taught his students, but didn't publish?
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 16, 2005 07:40PM)
Probably tons of it! That would be my guess, as the master was quite prolific.
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 18, 2005 06:32PM)
Bill Wisch, one of Slydini's students put a lot of Slydini stuff on the I.C.O.M. website. You have to join to view it and I left my membership lapse, but there was a lot of good, new stuff there. It is called the Slydini Legacy. You can find the site at http://www.magicschool.com You have to join to get access to the Slydini material.

If anyone else knows of other Slydini sources, I would appreaciate the information.

Thanks

Craig
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jan 18, 2005 07:56PM)
One, a lawyer from NYC meets with the group every saturday afternoon at the pizza place. say hello sometime.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 18, 2005 10:04PM)
[quote]
On 2005-01-18 19:32, Cpontz wrote:
Bill Wisch, one of Slydini's students put a lot of Slydini stuff on the I.C.O.M. website. You have to join to view it and I left my membership lapse, but there was a lot of good, new stuff there. It is called the Slydini Legacy. You can find the site at http://www.magicschool.com You have to join to get access to the Slydini material.

If anyone else knows of other Slydini sources, I would appreaciate the information.

Thanks

Craig
[/quote]

What does he charge to join?
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 19, 2005 06:47PM)
Daffy Doug: It costs about $25. It had a lot of good info on Slydini. I'm thinking of rejoining to see if more has been added.

Jonathan: Is the Pizza Plaza in NYC?
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 20, 2005 09:00PM)
Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 22, 2005 04:51PM)
About 20 years ago, Tony was still performing at Imam's Mostly Magic club in New York City.
I was living in Toronto at the time and had just got Lewis Ganson's book on Slydini. It was there that I found out that his real name was Quintino Marucci, the last name being the same as mine.
I wondered if there was any connection and wrote to Slydini.
My wife and I went to New York shortly after, before I got a reply, and we went to Mostly Magic. As we pulled up in a cab, ahead of us was Slydini. I shouted to him about writing and asking if we were related, since we had the name Marucci. I didn't realize he was very hard of hearing and all he caught was "Marucci" and replied "Yes, yes, that's my name."
Afterwards, when we could sit down with him, the problem was straightened out and it turned out that he found out that his father and my grandfather were brothers.
He said, at that time, that I was the first Marucci he had come across in the U.S. and Canada in about 45 years.
The next day, a Sunday, we went to his apartment and he went on at great length explaining a few of his classic routines, including the saftey pins.
That was the last time I saw him.
He retired from performing shortly after that, and went to a nursing home in New Jersey. He died shortly thereafter.
Ave atque vale!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jan 24, 2005 01:23AM)
Marucci -- thanks for the historic information. I knew Tony by his real name too, and always wondered if you too were related.
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Jan 26, 2005 06:39PM)
I just got around to reading the Jan. Linking Ring. There were articles about Cellini on Slydind, an article by a former student of Slydindi, Bill Wisch, and of course, showtime by Peter Marucci. It is amazing how many links to the Master there still are today.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Jan 26, 2005 06:41PM)
Peter. Thankyou for the wonderful colorful story that you shared. it creates very vivid pictures in my mind.

Man, you have something to be really proud of. Being related to Slydini. Magic is in the blood, is it not?
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Mar 19, 2005 02:03PM)
There are two magicians who totally awed me, even when I knew every move they did, Dai Vernon and Slydini. I attended a Slydini lecture years ago, and even though I knew every move from books and other lectures, I never could catch him at it. He was a stickler , like Dai, for looking natural and practicing every single move. Now that is magic elevated from the level of craft to the highest level of art and science. I've managed to collect a number of tapes of Slydini performances over the years, and I can watch them for hours on end without ever growing tired of them. He was a good teacher in his lectures too. My favorite routine has been the four napkins into the box. Even when I knew he made the pass and drop, I could never catch him. His moves were just too smooth, too natural.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 24, 2005 04:05AM)
I had a lesson with Slydini at one of the DMS's. I'm glad I did. I really understood what he was about. One thing that Bill Wisch will tell you is that Slydini did not want people to imitate him [b]once they learned the moves.[/b] He wanted his students to fit the moves to their own mannerisms.

I knew a young lady here who did a number of Slydini's routines. Every time she performed one of them, she suddenly became someone else. The work was flawless, but it didn't fit her.

It was like she was wearing someone else's clothes.
Message: Posted by: Werner G. Seitz (Mar 24, 2005 04:44AM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-24 05:05, Bill Palmer wrote:
Every time she performed one of them, she suddenly became someone else. [/quote]I'm guilty of that myself :(
Still working on making the guestures more personal, one day I'll succed, already made progress :)
Message: Posted by: Nighthawk (Apr 2, 2005 08:50PM)
Interesting comments about Slydini...I had the pleasure/privilege of taking a private lesson from him in his apartment in NYC (which I remember being very modest indeed).....the comments about Slydini insisting on students replicating his moves absolutely are consisent with my experience....Slydini teaches magic not unlike a sensi in a Karate dojo teaches karate....a series of katas, very structured, but time-tested and can be assembled in a multitude of combinations not unlike rifts on a guitar (to switch metaphors in mainstream)...Bottom line he was not only the consumate artist but also the consumate technician.

N
Message: Posted by: wally (Jun 21, 2005 11:48AM)
I will trade the jeff McBrides vol-1 world class manipulation for tony clarks sly scarfs, I live in uk.
Message: Posted by: Antony Gerard (Jul 5, 2005 03:20PM)
I had the opportunity to meet and sit with Tony on a number of occasions and it is difficult to pick a favorite effect because most of his material was great. The move that I use most is the IMP vanish but it is Tony’s teaching of the use of body language that most inspired me. He was a teacher, a friend, and will always be an inspiration.

There is an amusing Quentino Marucci (AKA Tony Slydini) story in “The funny side of magic”. It was the day of Tony’s first TV spot. Before the shoot he decided to perform for the film crew so that any critical camera angles could be addressed. After the pre-show performance, one of the crew asked Tony by what name did he want to be introduced. What is your stage name. At the time Tony was going by the stage name Tony Fool’em which is what he told the crew member. The crew member had just seen Tony’s show and commented: “No, you’re to SLY of a guy for a name like that.” From that off the wall comment, Tony got the inspiration for the name that is now known worldwide, Tony Slydini.

Take care and take cards
Antony Gerard
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Jul 5, 2005 07:33PM)
I first met Tony in 1976, at The House of Magic, in San Francisco. Tony was a good friend of Palmer Tilden's, the owner of Sterling Magic at the time. Whenever he came to SF he stayed with either Palmer, Bill Whittington, or Gene Matsuura. Gene became one of Tony's best friends ever, and has written the Annotated Magic of Slydini. In fact, he and Tony were working on several books when Tony died. Gene was one of the pallbearers at a very private burial ceremony for Tony.

Anyway, I was friends with all the guys from SF, so naturally, when Tony came to town they introduced us. Tony was one of the kindest, most gentle, men I have known, right up there with Jack McMillen. Over the years, everytime he was in SF, Tony stopped into the magic store, where I worked. We became good friends. Eventually, because I had a large apartment right in downtown SF, Tony would stay with me when he came to town. This was great for me. He insisted on teaching me his magic, and refused to take anything for the lessons!

Everything folks have said about Tony's teaching methods is correct. He was like a drill sargeant. He insisted that you copy him exactly, until you could do the magic as he did it. What most people don't understand, usually because they stopped taking lessons too soon, is that once you reached that level of understanding, Tony EXPECTED you to change things. His problem was that he didn't know how to communicate his magic in any way OTHER than to have you copy him. He didn't have the language skills to communicate the subtle nuances of his magic, the misdirection, the timing, the mental gymnastics. So, in order to help you "get it" he forced you to copy and hoped that once you could do the magic, you would figure out how to adapt it to your own personality. IF you stuck with him long enough, he would help you with that, too. I remember going to Tony after months of work on a trick. I had learned it as he wanted me to. Then, I had adapted. He watched the adaptation and told me what he thought...

We worked on it and worked on it. And what I learned was timing, timing timing. I also learned WHY Tony used SHORT phrases: (1.) Look, Watch (2.) Come close, Hold tight, (3.) Can you see? Did you feel? (4.) Come a lttle closer..., Don't look away..., (6.) If you don't watch, you can't see..., I'll do it again, don't look away!

Each of those phrases has a DIFFERENT number of words, different number of syllables. So each filled a different length of TIME. This is one of the secrets to Tony's magic. He picked those phrases carefully, to help him with the timing of his moves...

Another thing that few people realize is that Tony did the opposite of what many people think he did. You've heard, I'm sure, the idea that Tony made the magic fit his natural mannerisms. No! He did not do that. He STARTED doing that, finding things that suited him. But he soon realized that he didn't have ENOUGH natural mannerisms to cover all the things he needed to do to make the magic happen. So, Tony DEVELOPED mannerisms PURPOSELY. He made a CONSCIOUS EFFORT to change the way he sat, gestured, relaxed; he added things to his natural body language. And he practiced those things until they BECAME natural to him. Then he used them to cover the sleights!

There is MUCH more to the psychology of Slydini's magic, but that gives you an inkling of how very involved it really is, and why so few people can really do it justice. I have a lot of video of Tony. All the Cavett shows, most of the commercial stuff, and some home video that has never been released. I watch from time to time, and it is like seeing real magic again. He was a master. There were few as good, none better. I was blessed to spend time with Tony, and I'm grateful for the lessons, and the friendship.

I remember seeing him do the Linking Pins for the first time. I had known him for a while by then. Still, he fooled me so badly I thought he was, well, I didn't know what I thought! I knew the Andrus stuff, I knew Piff Paff Poof, I knew all kinds of things with Pins, but not this! And I thought I knew Tony. But again he fooled me. No matter what you read, no matter how well you knew him, if Tony could move your mind just an inch off center, then he had you! And he could ALWAYS move your mind that inch! At least he could always do it to me...

It would be nice to do a website with performance-only video of Tony. I would give up the footage I have, if someone could do the site. It would be a fitting memorial to the man - one of the geniuses of close-up magic, and one that he deserves. More importantly, I think, it would benefit SO many modern magicians, to see a master do the material you can only read now. It is impossible to visualize Tony's work from the written word. You really have to see it to fully appreciate it.

The Han Pien Chien is an example. I think the way Tony did it is an abomination. The original, in the air, method is far superior in terms of technique. But that is irrelevant when it come to the performance. With the Slydini handling his method comes alive. But you HAVE to see it to really understand it. It is just that simple...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: David Melnick (Jul 5, 2005 10:27PM)
Wow. I would love to watch all those Slydini performances. If you ever make them public, please let me know.

Does anyone know more about Leon Nathanson, M.D., who wrote Slydini Encores? I am interested because he was a practicing general surgeon (from the bio on the cover) who only developed an interest in magic later in life, after seeing Slydini perform. I am also a practicing general surgeon who started getting into magic, mostly coins, a couple of years ago at the age of 36, probably about the same time Nathanson did. I would love to contact Dr. Nathanson, if he is still alive.
Message: Posted by: snushy (Sep 15, 2005 09:51AM)
Slydini performed at my Bar Mitzvah back in 1974. It was a surprise gift from my parents, and what a surprise! The performance (all of his classic repertoire) was video taped, and we recently had the badly water damaged reels burned onto a DVD. Much of his performance was salvaged, but the camera angle was just awful. As a matter of fact, it could be used as a lapping demo, because the camera was in exactly the wrong place!
All these years later, it's wonderful watch, and be able to hear him say "You know why you don't see? You don't watch!"
He was the greatest.
L. Zaslow
Message: Posted by: Julie (Sep 15, 2005 11:05AM)
Ed Rosenthal (Boston) was a very close friend to Slydini, travelled Europe with him etc. Ed's email is Edwardo1927@Yahoo.com. He would enjoy sharing memories of "the Master" with others who knew Slydini personally.
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Sep 16, 2005 09:33AM)
Speaking of bad angles, I had the pleasure of sitting in the front row at Slydini's performance at the first NY Magic Symposium in the early 1980s. Unfortunately I was sitting at the extreme end of the row along with my girlfriend who had an even better view of his lap.

When Slydini performed his classic Four Paper Balls to Box Routine, we could see everything. After the routine, I turned to my girlfriend, who had no magical knowledge, and commented, "Even seeing how it was done,wasn't it beautiful?"

She replied, "I have no idea how he did it!" Talk about strong misdirection!

I think I have blurry copies of two of the Dick Cavett specials on VHS somewhere. This thread has inspired me to dig them out and burn them to DVDs before it's too late.

Jim
Message: Posted by: magicarisimon (Sep 17, 2005 02:43AM)
Sadly, I never got a chance to see Slydini perform in person. I have seen footage of him performing though, and all I can say is that his misdirection is impecable even on video tape. My favorite routine in all of magic is Slydini's Knotted Silks. All I can say is that I hope someone finds some notes of his explaining his views on the pschology of misdirection!
Message: Posted by: RS1963 (Sep 17, 2005 01:45PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-17 03:43, magicarisimon wrote:
Sadly, I never got a chance to see Slydini perform in person. I have seen footage of him performing though, and all I can say is that his misdirection is impecable even on video tape. My favorite routine in all of magic is Slydini's Knotted Silks. All I can say is that I hope someone finds some notes of his explaining his views on the pschology of misdirection!
[/quote]

Get the book The Magic Of Slydini or better yet get the Anotated Magic Of Slydini published by L&L publishing. You will find information there on Slydini's thoghts on misdirection.
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Nov 1, 2005 06:22PM)
It's been a while since I've checked this thread out. Has anyone heard any news of putting all the Slydini tapes together on one DVD? That would be a great DVD!

Posted: Dec 10, 2005 9:20pm

----------------------------------------------------------------
The DVD has arrived. It can be found at http://www.theambitiouscard.com/?ref=cafesig as well s other sites. I have ordered it and although haven't reviewed it yet, I feel that I can highly recommend it. This is the site where I have found the cheapest price.

Craig
Message: Posted by: jonahcard (Dec 22, 2005 04:55PM)
HiEveryone. This is my very first post on this wonderful place,The Magic Café.i have gone though this thread, and could not find a reference to a film called "Into Thin Air" ,so I thought I would mentioned it here.Back in the 1950's, Slydini ,for a number of months,appered every sunday, on a weekly show on the B.B.C.called the Max Jaffa Show.Max Jaffa led a small group of musicians,and they featured light classical music,and they were extremely popular . Each week, the show would feature a little bit of Slydini and his magic.It so happened that during the time that Slydini was appearing on the Jaffa show,Dia Vernon was doing a tour of Britain,and so someone had the idea, that the two should be filmed together,and the result was a film called,"Into Thin Air". The film was shown on the B.B.C.As you may or may not know, the B.B.C operates with out commercials, so in those days they had a very small budget.This resulted in the B.B.C. showing any films that they had aquired the rights to,to show the film over and over again, though out the year, in order to fill air time. As a result I got to see "Into Thin Air" so many times, that I can rerun it in my mind any time I want to. The show featured three magicians ,Dia Vernon,Slydini,and Cy Enfield,and was hosted by Peter Scott.They where all seated at a round table.Also present at the table was a lady spectator. Dia Vernon was the first to perform,and he performed the three ball trick.Slydini ,was next and he performed the torn and restored cigarette,coins thru the table and finished with the silks knot trick.Cy Enfield completed the show by performing Stanley Collins Aces.During his performance ,Slydini would numerous times ,lean forward,after performing a certain effect, towards the lady spectator for whom he was performing the magic, and ask."Is that good?", the lady would rely "that's good",Slydini would then lean back ,tap his chest with the tips of his right hand and say to the spectator,"No,no,don't tell me it's good ,I know it's good".Meanwhile his left hand would drop to his lap. Slydini made his comment's in such a manner,although it was a boast (I know it's good) it would sound comical and the lady would laugh,and I noticed that, no one was enjoying Slydini's performance more than Dia Vernon, who would laugh harder than the lady spectator.Not only was Slydini's performance magical,Slydini himself was also comical,and had the ability to make people laugh anytime he so chose, thereby disarming them. The film was high quality,and the cameras took really close up shots of the performer hand while they were performing their magic.It's highly likely that somewhere in Britain,there exsists at least one copy of this film.
Message: Posted by: Cpontz (Dec 25, 2005 01:48PM)
Jonahcard: That film sounds great. If you ever hear of it being shown or can get a tape of it, I'm sure there are a lot of magicians across the world who would love to see it.

Thanks and welcome to the forum.

Merry Christmas

Craig
Message: Posted by: BooRadley (May 18, 2006 10:13PM)
I never met him, but in the mid-70's I was living in Pennsylvania and would occasionally go to lectures at James Swoger's--a manufacturer of stage illusions. They had a regular meeting of area magicians and magic enthusiasts. I certainly wasn't a professional, but I did a lot of bar magic and at the time thought it might be interesting to get to know some members of the local magic community.

One meeting they had 3 or 4 of Slydini's students come down to lecture and give demonstrations. Because it was closeup magic, I made sure to attend. I don't care much for stage illusions, but love the closeup material. The guests were all advanced students of Slydini and very good at what they did. I do recall that my initial reaction was disappointment. The idea of lapping objects didn't initially appeal to me at all. I was also a bit put off by their style or approach to performance. It seemed rather "rigid".

But after a few minutes, I realized that it wasn't so much rigid as stylized. Their hands moved in a very specific manner or style...almost as if choreographed--which of course, they were! That stylized approach allowed them a lot of lattitude to do things...or APPEAR to do things. I noted they repeated several movements in routines that appeared to be the same...but it was the repetition of movement that allowed them to conduct their trickery.

They also were constantly telling us they were about to fool us--again, something I found to be odd. Why tell me you're going to fool me? Just do it. But again, that was part of the approach. They often weren't fooling me when they said they were...they were setting me up for something about to happen...or making something that had alreay happened even more dynamic.

When they did their Slydini coin routines, I went absolutely crazy with appreciation for the manual dexterity. These people were excellent. It's one thing to see a master palm a silver dollar. It's another to see a master palm multiple silver dollars and repeatedly show me the fronts and backs of their hands. I know they are there...but darn it...I couldn't see them. I almost thought they had ditched them when they would stop--describing their technique--and show what they were doing.

I immediately bought the double book set of Slydini magic. One volume is text, the other companion book shows photos. It's very good...although for his styly of magic, I think a video would be infinitely better. His work is very stylized. It's not so much WHAT he does, but HOW he does it that is so impactful.

Anyway, never met him, but I came to appreciate him VERY much. I actually keep 4 silver dollars in a small box by my chair in the living room. Sometimes when I'm watching something on TV--something my wife picked out--I'll take them out and try to front and back palm 4 silver dollars at the same time. If you ever want to be humbled, try it sometime. It'll give you a great appreciation for one of the all time masters of closeup magic.

BooRadley
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 15, 2006 07:52PM)
Ironically, Slydini did not encourage his students to imitate his stylized movements, once they had learned the material. Some of his better students, such as Bill Wisch, Cellni, and Johnny Fox can "channel" Slydini when they want to, but they also do their own material their own way.

I did get to see him live on several occasions, and had a lesson from him as well.

He was very special, not just as a magician, but as a person.
Message: Posted by: Jacob Smith (Jul 20, 2006 07:42AM)
I wish I could have had the chance to see and learn from Slydini,Bill your absolutly right.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Jul 20, 2006 01:16PM)
I was very lucky to have spent a lot of time with Slydini, socially as well as magically. He was a master of EVERYTHING he did. In his later years he was working on putting material together for misdirecting muggers! But, as far as I know none of that material was ever published. He had asked me to help write it, but he in NY and me in Calif., made it impossible at the time. Now I wish I had taken leave to spend the time with him to do the book.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 21, 2006 11:36PM)
At the Desert Magic Seminar, I ran into him in the hallway. He acted kind of embarrassed, and he told me that he needed to use the restroom, but he was afraid to push through the crowd in the hallway. This was at the Frontier, which had some fairly narrow hallways. So I ran interference for him, and got him where he needed to go.