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  • Bill Wisch

Slydini's S.O.C. it to 'em! by Bill Wisch

Slydini Lecturing in Wallingford, CT*

Original Publication Date: July 1998

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.

Effect: 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 sank 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.

Method: 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!

*Image from the Tom Prete Collection, generously gifted to Bill Wisch by Neal Prete. Copyright 2022 Bill Wisch and Wisch-Craft Productions.


In Addition:

With FISM just completed and awards being "top of mind" at the present moment, I wanted to comment on a post that my son Kevin had made on the Genii Forum.

The below scan of personal correspondence between myself and Karl Fulves was posted by my son, Kevin, on the Genii Forum in response to a thread that was written there having to do with the acceptance of awards in magic, in particular at the AMA and Magic Castle. It is a letter my son Kevin thought would be of interest to share concerning the topic that was being discussed (the acceptance of AMA awards). It was written to me in 1978 and discusses Karl's (and others) opinions of the "Lecturer of the Year" award given at the Magic Castle in 1977. The lecture I gave at the castle that year was my lecture introducing Slydini's book, "The Best of Slydini... And More" to the magic community.

I am proud of this letter and cherish it to this day. I am in communication with Karl and do not believe that Karl would have any problem with me sharing this ephemera with the broader magic community. Decades have passed since this letter was written; and I am proud of the work I have done at the Magic Castle, and hope to perform there once again in the future.

That said, however, I simply cannot understand the censorship, as Genii itself published an article by Todd Karr that, according to Dustin Stinett, "published just how flawed (if not downright embarrassing) it can be, what with virtually the same people being nominated each year." It seems to me that Kevin was merely offering additional insight about the process and history of voting at the AMA in the form of a letter. And, frankly, I believe his post made a few fair points about how Slydini, Ricky Jay, and others, may have felt about awards and their meaning in our magic community.

The post and image was deleted by Richard Kaufman and, subsequently, Richard decided to completely delete my son's access and all of his posts from and to The Genii Forum. It is a shame; as you will no longer see Kevin (my son) or I post any updates about The Slydini Legacy, Slydini or future Slydini projects on the Genii Forum.

I wish Richard Kaufman nothing but the best, and congratulate him on his recent award at FISM and all FISM award winners.

- Bill

The correspondence:

Letter to Bill Wisch from Karl Fulves, 1978

Screenshot of the deleted post:


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