Daniels and the Story of Magic
An excerpt from the book by John Fisher
In the wake of Vernon, Slydini, Goshman, and Johnny Paul a
whole new wave of close-quarter magicians has emerged. None has impressed quite so much as
the refreshing young Israeli-born magician, now resident in New York, Meir Yedid. He could
be said to have given a totally new interpretation to the phrase
'sleight-of-hand'. He demonstrated how when he came to London to appear on
'The Paul Daniels Magic Show'.
Meir Yedid brings a new meaning to digital dexterity.
Meir disregards the conventional accessories of the close-up magician, the
coins and cards, sponge balls and cigarettes. His hands offered a self-contained magic
show of their own, his right fingers and thumb proving as versatile as Johnny Pauls
dollar bill. His little finger telescoped backwards and forwards; each finger disappeared
in turn; his thumb traveled up his arm. At one stage he actually cut off his little finger
and replaced it with a spare. Cold print cannot convey the sheer impossibility of what the
eye saw. We have all attempted simple finger tricks in childhood. Using these as no more
than a basis, Meir added advanced digital skills and misdirection to convey a sequence of
genuine illusions as original as anything in magic. Tragically, since that recording Meir
has been involved in an automobile accident in which his car overturned four times. He was
lucky to escape. When he arrived at the hospital doctors miraculously discovered no limbs
broken, no concussion sustained, but the little and ring finger of his right hand severed.
A medical helicopter crew flew instantly to the scene of the crash to find the two digits
in the tangle of twisted metal. They were rushed back to the hospital under refrigeration
in the hope that microsurgery might restore them to the hand. At the time of writing seven
operations have been performed and it is possible that one finger will be restored, if
only cosmetically. While other magicians pray, Meir himself rehearses his old
routine with his left hand and thinks about ways in which he might incorporate the unique
advantage of a genuinely missing finger on the other. The irony of his misfortune is
beyond belief, like the talent and the courage.
© Copyright 1987 by John Fisher. All rights reserved.