Sonny Holliday (b. 1952)


Real Name

Rocky Ficara


Sonny Holliday


Manipulator, Front man, Showman

Place of Birth

Woodburry, New Jersey


6' 3" 1/2






Sonny possesses the ability of superior sleight-of-hand and showman skills. He is a third generation guru of conjuring legends Cellini and Slydini, and has built a strong reputation as a close-up manipulator. His signature effect is his "Cigarette to Cigar" routine.

Interesting Fact

Sonny is an avid swimmer, runner and bike rider.


Sonny Holliday was born in Woodbury, New Jersey, February 19, 1952.

In his early years, Sonny took on a number of odd jobs trying to make ends meet.

At the age of thirty, he was tired of flipping greasy burgers and wanted to do something else with his life, but he wasn't sure what it was - until that magical day in New Orleans.

In 1980, in the streets of New Orleans, Sonny stumbled upon a man applying face paint one afternoon. Curious and perplexed, Sonny approached him and inquired about his caked-on makeup.

Sonny discovered the man was a street performer who entertained audienceses as a clown for tips (otherwise known as a busker).

Sonny found the art of busking a fascinating occupation; so he quit his job at the restaurant, donned clown regalia and began to learn the tricks of the trade.

Among the first tricks he learned were coin routines, the classic silk vanish and balloon sculpting.

In 1984, Sonny met legendary street busker Jim Cellini in New Orleans, and went to Manhattan, New York to study under him for 4 years.

Sonny always had an affinity for close-up magic, so when Cellini took him under his wing, Holliday quickly switched from performing comedy to learning the secrets of manipulating.

Eager to become the best in his field, Sonny trained with Cellini for several nights a week, and studied magic for 10 to 14 hours a day.

He also studied under legendary manipulator Slydini, and acquired close-up card training from master magician and professional gambler Frank Garcia.

He worked the streets of Central Park, Manhattan for 3 to 5 hours a day, interacting with audiences, developing and polishing his routines.

Sonny also spent eight summers studying and traveling Europe in such countries as Zurich, London, Scottland, Canada and the Netherlands.

Twenty five years later Sonny Holliday has become a staple in the world of street performing, and has established himself as a master in close-up manipulating.

In June of 2009, Sonny severely injured himself in a bicycle accident while busking in Philadelphia.

He suffered serious bodily injury which almost ended his life. Fortunately, he pulled through, and is recovering well. He plans on getting back in the busking game by Spring 2010.

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