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Where in the world am I today?: New Delhi, India.

My friend, Ben Robinson, from New York sent me a couple of links to some on-line video footage of the great magician Slydini. The videos were included as part of an article by Dick Cavett and the footage was originally shot for the Dick Cavett show back in 1977 and 1978. If you’ve got the time, I highly recommend swinging by –

Conjuring Slydini


Conjuring Slydini (Part 2)

– and give yourself enough time to enjoy the fact that this man’s artistry was captured on video tape and preserved.

The article that accompanies the video is also great and it’s clear that Dick Cavett had an enormous respect and admiration for his mentor. The article was also containes a hint of melancholy as it seemed as though in his later years Slydini more or less vanished from the public eye and was virtually unknown. Were it not for the fact that some of his artistry had been preserved on the Dick Cavett show, we might not have such a wonderful record of what this man was capable of.

At the beginning of the second video Dick Cavett introduces Slydini as primarily a retired magician who at that stage of his career was doing more teaching and coaching than performing. And I was somehow struck by the fact that it would have been even more amazing to see his work ten to twenty years prior to then these videos were shot. As an older man his grace and poise, the fluidness of his moves and the precision of his sleights are obvious, but to have seen his work when he was a young dashing man must have been amazing. Still it’s clear from the footage taken on the show that Slydini had rehearsed his moves and tricks to perfection.

I have another magician friend named Greg Moreland who teaches magic classes on cruise ships and I helped him out with one at one point. Something he said really stuck with me –

“Don’t practice until you can do it right, practice so much that you can’t do it wrong.”

From watching Slydini and from reading the article written by Dick Cavett it was clear that Slydini shared this eye for perfection and work ethic.

In a day and age when the breadth of our knowledge is vast thanks to the ability to google just about anything and know a little about a lot, it was refreshing for me to slow down to appreciate a craftsman at work. Although I don’t consider myself a huge fan of magic, I am a fan of great performance and it was a treat to be sucked in to watching Slydini as he captivated his audience.

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