Official I.C.O.M Past Lesson Archive
Slydini Legacy 7/98-9/98
Tony Slydini and Bill Wisch shared a unique bond. It was an association that went beyond the normal student teacher relationship. Bill was the only student of Slydini that Tony actually entrusted much of his most valued secrets and philosophies. Much of this material has been withheld from the magical community to this day! To the students of I.C.O.M Online, a special feature and opportunity is presented. The inside secrets of Slydini. This is our way of preserving the brilliance of Tony for all time. Bill will be releasing bits and pieces monthly for all of I.C.O.M. Such material needs to be absorbed a bit at a time. It is priceless knowledge.
The Slydini Legacy-July 1998
Slydini’s “S.O.C. it to ’em!”
This is a “nugget”.
You should know me well enough by now to know that when it comes to Tony Slydini, the
“nuggets” aren’t gold…they’re platinum!
It may not seem like much but this little maneuver of deception is “mega” strong. And it also happens to be a lot of fun to perform and for the audience to witness.
There are a number of coins on the table that have just been used in an effect. The magician stacks them, squares them up, slides them to the spectator across the table and lifts his hand. The entire stack of coins has vanished!
You have to see the reaction! Slydini would do this two or three times in a row. After he lifted the right hand and the vanish sunk in he then lifted his left hand showing the stack of coins. Then he’d lean back in the chair and immediately repeat the whole square and slide movements again with the same result. It was a running “gag” if you could call it that. Three times would be plenty. Great fun.
Take about 5 or 6 coins and stack them on a table as you’re leaning forward.The right fingers are squaring the stack as the left hand is cupped around the right fingers. The right fingertips are touching the tabletop and the outside of the left hand ( from wrist to tip of left pinkie ) is also in contact with the tabletop. No one can see the coins from any angle.
Now the right fingers slide the stack away from the left hand toward the spectator, keeping the fingertips in touch with the tabletop throughout the entire movement. You lean toward the spectator as you slide the stack over. Since the right fingertips are hiding the stack from view, and the hand is in motion, it is impossible for anyone to see any coins being slid over. In fact, the coins stay behind the cupped, left hand as you lean and supposedly slide the stack over. It’s a “mimic” action… pretending is the entire key.
Try this with some coins and see exactly how it looks in a mirror when you actually slide the stack across, then you’ll see how deceptive it can be by leaving the coins behind while duplicating the supposed stack slide. Remember that the audience is not expecting anything to happen at this point. When the spectator goes for the coins and sees that they’re gone it’s a “precious moment” to say the least. It gets better with repetition, as I mentioned.
Try this and it will become a standard move after any coins on table effect or routine. It’s perfect after doing several of Slydini’s Coins Through The Table handlings. The more you employ the effect, the better and more natural it becomes. Slydini did this a lot and it never ceased to amaze me how the audience would be taken in so completely.
I told you it reads small but it really plays BIG!
By the way, the acronym in the title “S.O.C.” stands for “Stack Of Coins”. Now go and sock it to ’em!
Looking forward to next month.
Slydini Legacy-August 1998
“S.O.C. IT TOO ‘EM…AGAIN!”
Last month I discussed sliding a stack of coins across a table top. The acronym was Stack Of Coins. This month I’m going to write about the Sound Of Coins, using the same acronym…”S.O.C.”, so let’s S.O.C. it too ’em again, OK?
Slydini used a very clever sleight to convince an audience that he had coins (usually three silver dollars) in both hands when, in fact, only one contained any coins. It appears in his books and is no secret but I’m sure some casual readers and fans of the Slydini COINS THROUGH THE TABLE routine feel it’s not all that important, like the proverbial “extra” nuts and bolts left over when the handyman “puts whatever it is back together”. Not only is this an important part of the misdirection and timing but the principle could probably be used in other coin applications as well. It adds the quality and misdirection of sound to the routine and is a highly deceptive element.
The size of the coins matters somewhat so let’s use three silver dollars. Hold the three coins on the palm up, open right hand. Now close the fingers into a loose fist and turn the hand over. At this point the coins can be shaken easily but not fall from the hand.
Keeping the fingers below the coins, bring the heel of the palm up against the edge of the stack, slightly lift the stack of coins , and then release contact
You’ll notice that the coins will make a riffled, jingling sound. Do this several times to get the feel. All the while the coins are held just loosely enough to allow being lifted and dropped, creating the sound.
Now hold your right fist with the coins in front of the body about chest high, ready to release the stack to create the sound. The bring the empty left fist, held in the same manner (as if it held three coins), up between the right fist and the audience. Shake the empty left fist once and at the same time release the edge of the stack in the right fist creating the noise. The illusion is that three coins were shaken in the left hand.
Now here’s the fun part. Without lowering your arms, just keep alternating one fist in front of the other, shaking the empty left fist while creating the sound with the right…and then actually shaking the coins with the right fist, when it comes out, to create the same amount of noise. It takes some getting used to but the handling will become easy and automatic after practicing a while. Again, the illusion is that you are shaking three coins in each hand, one after the other, in front of the body.
It is an incredible and devastating illusion of sound. The audience actually hears that each hand contains three coins!
I hope you will investigate the COINS THROUGH THE TABLE routines in the Slydini books. They are among the finest coin creations in magic and crammed with valuable ideas, sleights, techniques and handlings that literally form a foundation for your magic in general. Karl Fulves did a truly masterful job describing Slydini’s magic in his 1976/78 collection. At the risk of sounding like a commercial, I would recommend getting the set from I.C.O.M. as soon as possible and begin delving into them. They are expensive but absolutely worth the investment. Also, I will be referring to and actually using them as a textbook to discuss effects and routines in detail in future lessons so if you’re at all serious about Slydini’s work, get the books. There are two sets; THE BEST OF SLYDINI AND MORE (1976), and THE MAGICAL WORLD OF SLYDINI (1978). Each set contain two volumes…one with text and the other with hundreds of studio photos.
When I did my Slydini tours in the 70’s literally hundreds of sets were sold. The cost was the same as they are now and, believe me, there are many, many hours of pleasure waiting for you in those books.
See you next month.
The Slydini Legacy-September 1998
“Audible Coins Through The Table”
This effect is a direct variation of several Slydini versions of Coins Through The Table (“The Best of Slydini and More” by Karl Fulves).
Several variations of Slydini’s famous Coins Through The Table routine utilized six silver dollars and are very well known due to being printed in various Slydini Books through the years. I am including this and three more variations in the coming months because, frankly, I am proud to say that Slydini not only enjoyed them when I performed them during lessons for him back in the early seventies, but also because he was totally mystified by them (and that took some doing considering my hands were shaking like a hummingbird!). It was a thrill to come up with handlings that he not only enjoyed but considered performable as part of his routine.
I have lectured and performed this first variation at many lectures over the years and was honored to have it, as well as the variation I will be describing next month, included in my issue of Genii in September, 1984.
Effect: Despite the fact that a spectator chooses which hand to use, three silver dollars are made to pass through the table in an impossible and completely clean manner.
1) Six silver dollars are in a row on the table before you. The left hand picks up the three coins one by one, starting from the left and exhibits them on the open hand.
2) The right hand fingers, putting one coin on the other, stack up the remaining three coins from right to left.
3) Right after the two coins are stacked onto the third coin by the right fingers, the stack is slid to the edge of the table and lapped at the same time that both the left and right hands turn face up and close into fists, supposedly holding three coins apiece. Actually, only the left fist holds three coins because the other three were lapped by the right hand.
4) The fall of the three coins into the lap must be timed perfectly so they can be “clipped” between the thighs. This closing of the thighs produces a sound EXACTLY like the three coins being gripped by the closing right hand. Also, the sound made by the coins closing in the left hand add greatly to the illusion.
5) Ask one of the spectators which hand he or she would like you to make its coins penetrate the tabletop. Actually, you DO use whichever is chosen…either as the hand above the table or below the table, ala magician’s choice. If the spectator chooses the left hand you open and show the three coins and put it below the table to get the three coins from the lap and complete the effect.
If the right hand (empty) is chosen you just hold it above the table…say,”OK”…show the coins in the left hand…close it and put it under the table to complete the effect. Either way, it looks like the spectator had the choice. The only thing they didn’t realize is WHICH choice. It works beautifully…try it.
You will have to play around with this a while to get the timing and sound you are looking for. It does not appear possible that you could do any kind of sneaky move to get any coins under the table, and the sound is the convincer when the coins are gripped by both hands.
If this technique is given sufficient practice and timing, the effect will leave nothing to be desired and will fit well into your coins through table routine at any point or as a separate effect of itself.