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Topic: Got Malini?
Message: Posted by: Donnie (Aug 18, 2003 01:21PM)
I would just like to hear stories from people who have actually seen max malini perform. Any other stories about being graced by legendary magic greats would be appreciated as well, Houdini, Slydini Cardini ect.
Message: Posted by: Lance Pierce (Aug 18, 2003 08:04PM)
Tough call on Malini. He lived from 1873 to 1942. Someone in his 60's today would have just been born when Malini was in his last days. Someone in his 70's or 80's today would have been young (and very fortunate) to have seen Malini work...certainly much older than the majority of the members here.

It's even tougher for Houdini, who died 16 years earlier. There would be a better chance with Slydini, who lived until 1991, and several of his students pass through here from time to time (didn't Michael Vincent study with Slydini for a time?).

Fortunately, there's footage of Cardini ("The Suave Deceiver" lived until 1973). It just may be a challenge to track down someone who has a copy. It's easier to find Slydini on video, as his appearances on the Dick Cavett show are legendary.


Message: Posted by: Donnie (Aug 18, 2003 08:52PM)
hey thanx for the timeline lance, i appreciate it.
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Aug 19, 2003 12:23PM)
I never saw Malini, but I have heard stories from people who did. Jack McMillen met him and saw him perform several times, and Charlie Miller was, in fact, closer to him than Vernon, though Vernon dictated the Malini book. Charlie shared some wonderful stories with me, as did Jack. I studied with Slydini, and saw him perform many times, on several occasions in my home for people after dinner. He stayed with me when he came to San Francisco, or with one of his other students there, friends of mine like Bill Whittington, or Gene Matsuura, who is really THE Slydini expert, having spent hundreds of hours with Tony re-writing some of his material and writing a whole new book that will, hopefully, be published one day soon. I'll post a few of the stories I've heard, if you are really interested. One of them concerns the production of a moldy pork chop (Malini), and another has to do with a lobster bib and gold safety pins (Slydini)...

Best, PSC
Message: Posted by: Hannes (Aug 23, 2003 01:40AM)
please Mr. Choose, post the stories for us - I#m very interessted
Message: Posted by: montybanks (Aug 29, 2003 12:55AM)
I wish I could take a time machine back to watch Malini perform! I understand the force of his personality and masterful misdirection was the backbone of his work.

Hutzpah is hard to desbribe in writing—it would be so great to see him in action.

How, for example, can a book describe the mentality of "biting a button from a gentleman's lapel," without demonstrating?

In my teen years, I had studied the classic force, without much success: nobody ever took the card I was trying to force. At a Paul Diamond lecture, he demonstrated the rhythm and force of professional hutzpah—literaly sticking the card in the spectator's hand. I didn't think it would work till I tried it... and it's worked every time since.

It's the force of the personality, conveyed by eye contact, that makes the force seem perfectly natural—as if the choice of the card was irrelevant.

When it comes to boldness and magical psychology it's so great to see it performed,
or at least hear stories passed from people who knew Mr. Malini and studied his methods.

Mr. Chosse, it would be great if you would pass along any instructional (and I would think entertaining) anecdotes regarding techhniques of Malini, Slydid, as well as yourself...

Many thanks!

Monty Banks
Message: Posted by: Paul Chosse (Aug 29, 2003 08:30AM)
I'm sure you've all heard the story of Malini, in a barroom, doing a trick with a twenty dollar gold piece. He was done with the trick, but caught "dirty", and had to get rid of the evidence. His solution was to throw the twenty dollar gold piece in the spittoon. First of all, no one would believe he would throw away that amount of money ($20.00 bucks was a lot back then!), and even if they suspected such a thing, no one was going to search a spittoon! I had heard this story from Vernon, and never forgot it.

One day, years later, I was having lunch with Jack McMillen at one of his favorite Chinese restaurants. We met once a week to go to this particular restaurant, and got to know the owner quite well. He was older, in his sixties in fact, and a recent immigrant from mainland China. He was also in remarkable shape, his english was good, he was a martial arts master, all around an incredible guy. He liked magic and would let us sit there for hours after we ate, talking and doing magic. Eventually he would come over and ask what we were doing, and get a free show, which he loved. Often he would ask the kitchen help to come out and see some trick we had just fooled him with, getting a second chance to see it.

On one occasion I did a triple change spellbound for him. It started with a dollar sized coin from the Chinese Province of Hunan. Kai was familiar with the coin, though he said they hadn't been in circulation for many years. The fact that he knew the coin made everything all the more real for him, so the Spellbound really fooled him.

On the way out of the restaurant that day Kai stopped Jack and me and asked me to do the Spellbound for another couple in the restaurant. I could hardly refuse, but I knew it was another effort on Kai's part to catch me. I did the spellbound, and at the end, with the extra coin in my hand, I reached for my breast pocket, removed my cigarette pack, shook out the last cigarette I had, crumpled the pack around the gaff, and threw it in the trash. As this was happening Kai was grabbing for my hands, checking my breast pocket (he was sure I had dumped something there when I took the cigarettes out), and generally being a pain in the ass. Needless to say, he found nothing.

When Jack and I got outside, the first thing he said to me was, "What happened to the gaff?" my reply? "I pulled a Malini!" We laughed about that for years, and Jack got great pleasure in telling folks about the only time he ever saw someone do the same thing that Malini was legendary for. I loved the fact that a past master like Malini reached through time to provide me with a solution for a very pressing problem. I've only had to do it once, but it was a great feeling, believe me. And, of course, Jack often ribbed me about being independently wealthy, since I could afford to throw away $15.00 gaffs whenever I wanted to (NOT)!

Best, PSC