Thought you'd want to see this article and accompanying video from Friday's NY Times. It's by Dick Cavett about Quintino Marucci, aka Slydini, his and my magic mentor.
This particular broadcast has a great deal of personal meaning for me. I had given up magic for a long time because I didn't like the "gotcha," challenge, wise guy, trivial way that everyone — myself included — was performing. I had a vision that there was a more artistic way to perform, but I couldn't pull it off. This broadcast, on Monday, November 7, 1977, was life-changing for me — particularly "Coins Through the Table" at 7 minutes 35 seconds into the video, and the subsequent one coin routine and rope routine. In a few minutes, I saw what magic could be in the hands of an artist. By the end of the next routine, the ropes, I had decided to take up magic again. I called Slydini the next morning, a Tuesday, ready to plead my case for him to take me on as a student. I told him that I had seen magic as it could be for the first time last night, and that I wanted to study with him. As I started to persuade him to take me on, he interrupted. "You can-a make-a this Thursday at-a 2 o'clock?" "Yes!," I answered, forgetting to ask him what he charged.
Thus began over a year of studying nothing but "Coins Though the Table," which I soon realized wasn't about coins though the table at all. It was about mastery, a sort of Zen journey, involving re-learning magic, multiple aspects of psychology, movement, timing, wording, and many other aspects of magic that take it from the puzzling trick level to the inspiring art of allowing people to directly experience the "impossible," thereby pushing the boundaries of possibility. It was about experiencing how to approach the mundane and transform it into something transcendent and uplifting. Only then was I ready for the other effects, which I studied for another year. Just about everything else I ever did in life was influenced by those lessons, started by this broadcast. I'm delighted to be able to share it with you.
Hopefully, Dick will release the other broadcast soon.