A Magician's Magician
Tony Slydini (1901-1991), better known by the mononym Slydini, was a legendary magician still widely hailed as one of the greatest masters of sleight of the hand and close-up magic. Slydini combined a light-hearted, conversational, almost impromptu style of patter with sleights of astonishing sophistication and quality. He was also a master of misdirection and the human psyche. Most of his tricks were deceptively simple in design, but highly complex in execution. He entirely eschewed fancy props, gimmicks, or gaffs, performing his tricks with just the everyday objects he was manipulating - typically real, ordinary coins or playing cards - and his own two hands. Two of his most famous tricks - Paper Balls in the Hat and Paper Balls over the Head - were designed to be performed using crumpled up paper restaurant napkins.