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daffydoug
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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.
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2005-01-09 20:15, daffydoug wrote:...the way Slydini did it was the PERFECT way of doing it...


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. Smile
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Bill Wells
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[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...

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.

---------------------------------------------------------------------
daffydoug
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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...


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




Please elaborate on that, Jonathan.
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Cpontz
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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."
daffydoug
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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.


Exactly the point! Misdirection principles that can be applied to just about any magic situation.
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Jonathan Townsend
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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.
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evanthx
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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. Smile

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!
daffydoug
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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:
--------------------------------------------------------------

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.
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evanthx
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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.
daffydoug
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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.
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Jeffrey Cowan
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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.
daffydoug
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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?
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Jeffrey Cowan
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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.
Rennie
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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
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daffydoug
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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!
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Cpontz
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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
Rennie
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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

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
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daffydoug
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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


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?
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Turk
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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
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