The 42nd Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic Has Begun

Dateline Batavia, New York, April 25, 2012 - The fun is just beginning as magicians gather from all parts of the globe to share close-up tricks and cammaraderie.

The 42nd Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic Has Begun
Several new things have been introduced this year including an additional room for dealers and one room just for selling the 4F regalia. There is also a cool gobo illumination of the FFFF logo on the back wall of the performance area.
The 42nd Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic Has Begun

Obie blew his hockey referee whistle that indicated it was time to sit down and get ready for the first lecture.

The 42nd Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic Has Begun

Several magicians arrived early to catch the opening night lectures. Some in attendance you can pick out include Daryl, Gene Anderson, Mike Powers, Marc DeSouza, Marv Leventhal, Harvey Berg, Gene Protas, Richard Levin and many others. And this was just on one side of the room.

The 42nd Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic Has Begun
Will Houstoun, from England, opened the festivities with a lecture on a couple of his books, "The Notebook" and "Hellis in Wonderland" both of which were fascinating views into the lives of 18th century magicians Will is working on his PhD in Victorian magic. He also showed us some most marvelous card and coin work.

The 42nd Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic Has Begun
Gyula Czili, from Hungary, gave us a dealer demo of his 2012 line of clever apparatus he has for sale at his dealer booth. I'm certain that his items sold briskly after this demo.

The 42nd Fechter's Finger Flicking Frolic Has Begun
Then it was time to retire to the bar, lobby and hospitality room for chatting, beers and doughnuts into the wee hours of the morning.

Bill Wisch Talks About Slydini and More

Quintino Marucci was a world renowned magician born in Foggia, Italy. He  first took the stage name of "Tony Foolem" and eventually changed it to  "Tony Slydini" or just "Slydini". Bill Wisch was fortunate to have spent many long hours studying with Slydini. Over the years there were many who took one or more lessons but Bill was one of his long standing students. Of course Bill has many stories about Slydini and he shares many of them in this podcast such as Slydini waiting in the rain and trying to get into the wrong car, the story behind his books, Tony's relationship with Dai Vernon, and Bill looking for Tony's underwear.

Towards the end of the podcast Bill talks about his "Magic Word"...Showmanship and how it relates to M.A.G.I.C. (Mystery, Action, Gratification, Involvement and Challenge) that helps make a person memorable long beyond their years. Fascinating stuff.

Download this podcast as an MP3 file by Clicking Here  then right click to save the file.

Slydini Lecture by Bill Wisch

Bill Wisch stopped through Houston on the last leg of his 18 city lecture tour across the south and some parts of the Midwest. He left behind a string of compliments and testimonials about his lecture, his technique, and his personal character that stands next to none. Not only is Bill a more than adept magician with great talents, but also a wonderful gentleman, kind father and interesting conversationalist.

Slydini Lecture by Bill Wisch
Bill studied with Slydini for several years in the 1970's and was the only magician with written authorization from Slydini himself to present this lecture. Bill toured in the late 1970's across the country covering over 30 cities as he helped promote the Slydini name and sold his (then new) books, "The Best of Slydini...and More" and "The Magical World of Slydini". On this redux tour, Bill presented some of Tony Slydini's favorite effects, plus he gave a primer of a couple original card moves of Bill's own devising including the "Wisch Wedge", which was given the appellation by Jon Racherbaumer while on this very tour. Bill taught many subtleties used by Slydini but either overlooked in the printed books and some which have never seen print.

Here are sample comments from a couple attendees: 

"I do not usually make comments but this is one time I have to. If you missed last night's lecture than you missed one of the VERY BEST lectures ever in Austin. Bill Wisch is a gentleman and scholar and a darn impressive magician. His stories about Slydini were mesmerizing as well as entertaining. His card work was a joy to watch and make any non-cardican want to grab a deck and start learning. Thanks to IBM Ring 60 and JD (and the boartd) for bring Bill Wisch in. This will be a difficult lecture to top in the future." - Carl Seagren, Austin, TX

"The lectures [in Houston] are almost always excellent but I thought this one was particularly good. Most lectures concentrate on skills and effects. This lecture had a lot of that material too, but used it to tell the story of a magician who was one of the most influential figures in modern magic. I walked away thinking about the way the Slydini techniques could be used to enhance the magic I already perform and am eager to try and create some things using the techniques and ideas that Bill shared with us at the lecture. This is something that every magician would benefit from seeing." - Ed Cotham, Houston, TX

 

Slydini Lecture by Bill Wisch
Following the lecture, Bill sat down with me for an hour's discussion on stories about Tony Slydini plus some other interesting bits of business and behind-the-scenes, rarely told tales that only get discussed late at night.