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Gerald Deutsch

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Reply with quote  #1 

 

 

I’ve been asked to say a bit about some of my experiences as a student of Slydini.

 

When I started to study magic I learned that there were the three famous “ini’s.” There was of course Houdini and then there was Cardini, known as “The Suave Deceiver” and then there was Slydini. As was said in a book about Slydini published in 1976, “In America the uncontested and supreme master of close-up magic is Tony Slydini”.

 

I had heard much about Slydini and it wasn’t until my wife Linda and I attended a magic convention that I met this great magician. I attended a lecture that he gave and when I saw him perform his “One Coin Routine” where a single coin would vanish and appear again and again and then penetrate the table that he was sitting at that I decided that I would take lessons from this great magician and be one of his students. After all, Slydini’s magic was what I do – close up magic sitting at a table while having a meal or whatever.

 

Now Slydini invented most of his magic – that is he invented “moves” or “sleights” that fit his personality. He was a short Italian man with an Italian accent and he used that to cover his secret moves. (“Imma gona fool you”.  Once he performed for a convention of Attorney CPAs and after his performance the president came over to me and said, “Jerry, he was great. But does he really talk like that?”)

 

I learned that many of his students copied not only the moves but the gestures and motions  Slydini used and that was not natural for them. I discussed this with my teacher and he understood so while I learned the principles he taught me, I applied them to my own style and personality. As a matter of fact, using some of Slydini’s principles I came up with my own sleights and effects.  And Slydini was pleased with how I adapted his principles to my personality and style.

 

Slydini and I became close. At each weekly meeting he would cook me dinner. On occasion we would go out to a Chinese Restaurant – I think it was called “China Bowl” on 43rd street and while we ate we would do tricks for each other. On one occasion it was a slow night at the restaurant and all the waiters and busboys were seated at a table next to us as Slydini and I showed our “latest concepts” to each other. The staff watched us though we were not aware until one of them asked us to show them. Slydini got up, went to their table and for the next half hour did his entire act. Then he got up, pointed to me and said, “Now you.” Thanks a lot. I went over and did one trick.

 

I always tried to fool Slydini and I learned that if he had no expression when I finished then he knew what I did and would offer criticisms later but if he laughed then I knew I fooled him.

 

One evening I told him I had a new trick I wanted to show him and I took an ashtray from his table and I dropped a sugar cube into it and I told him I was going to make the sugar cube disappear. I covered the ashtray and the sugar cube with both hands, said “Abracadabra” and when I took my hands away the sugar cube was still there – but the ashtray was gone. “Darn!” I said pretending frustration (as is done with “Perverse Magic”) and Slydini laughed. I fooled him! (I contributed this effect to Harry Lorayne’s magazine Apocalypse and he published it in the May 1990 issue and it is also posted on the Perverse Magic thread of the Genii Forum on February 1, 2013.)

 

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EVILDAN

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Reply with quote  #2 
I had seen postings for Slydini at MOSTLY MAGIC in the village for a while.
Finally, one weekend I decided to go. I hopped on a bus into the city, make my down to Mostly Magic (my first time there) and buy tickets for the evening's performance.
As my girlfriend and I are waiting for the show to start we hear talk about Slydini not coming tonight; he's sick.
I asked and they confirmed that Slydini would not be there that night.
That's when he got sick and stopped performing.
I kept calling Mostly Magic for a while to see if Slydini would be appearing on his scheduled night.
Eventually his name no longer appeared.
I never got to see one of my close-up heroes live. I wish I had gone to see him sooner.
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Robert Parris

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Reply with quote  #3 
I know that you mean Dan. I didn't start getting seriously into magic until much too late to see a lot of my favorite magicians work their 'magic'. I started corresponding briefly with Dean Dill for awhile just before he passed. I was starting to make plans to head down and have a chat and a haircut in his barber shop, but I procrastinated and missed my chance. There are still a lot of the earlier generation magicians I'd like to see, like Harry Lorayne, or David Roth. I supposed I should stop procrastinating.
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mark lewis

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Reply with quote  #4 
I do a fair bit of Slydini material. He was a great magician. Mind you, I have altered some things around a fair bit to suit my own needs. You have to do this I believe as it is not advisable to be a carbon copy of anyone. And Slydini had a lot of carbon copies from what I understand.
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Bob Sanders

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Reply with quote  #5 
Tony was a great mentor and made us use a metronome to a SET BEAT. (Mine was 66.) If you got off beat, he was on your case in a heartbeat. LOL

By trade, Tony was a tailor. He made many of his students' costumes.
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #6 

    

     Tony Slydini and I were pretty close friends - but I never was a student of his. I used to go to see Tony with Dick Cavett, who was a student. Anyway, seeing this thread brought a vignette to mind. One that I've written before, but you may find it interesting. I had originally written it when the subject of "be yourself" was involved.

      I had just walked off stage after saying goodbye, doing my memory show. I was exhausted (I used to do 45 minutes to an hour, etc.) mentally and physically, breaking down my blackboards, when two gentlemen came to me dragging along a young boy, seemed to be about 15, also seemed embarrassed.

      He was introduced to me (his name was Isadore Liebowitz - I know I'm close; don't really want to search back a decade or so) and they said that he was a student of Tony Slydini and that he'd like to do a trick for me. I really couldn't have cared less; I just wanted to get out of there, but didn't want to hurt feelings, so I said "sure."

      Young Isadore held up a coin, looked me in the eye, and said, and I quote - "I'm agonna' fool ya!" (Heavy Italian accent.)



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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #7 
  Add an "a" sound to the first word - it came out:  "I'ma gonna fool ya!" (I don't know how to do an Italian accent, like Tony's, in writing!)
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Harry Lorayne

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Reply with quote  #8 
    But you get the "picture"?
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Leo Kim

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Reply with quote  #9 
I get the "copy"...[smile]

Mikael Johansson
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Claudio

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Reply with quote  #10 
Priceless story  [smile] It made me laugh out loud. Thank you for posting it Harry.
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