Story: The Linking Ring
Volume 78 - Number 3 - March 1998
by Phil Willmarth
Meir Yedid is a friend, an inspiration, a superb magician, and a respected magic
dealer. And that is a very rare combination!
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel on May 6, 1960, he first started dabbling in magic about
the age of six years. Moving to the U.S.A. in 1970, his interest continued to grow. Then
in 1979, he started working at Louis Tannen, Inc. at the age of nineteen and he has never
looked back. He has earned his living through magic ever since.
Meir began performing at restaurants, private parties and appeared regularly at
the Magic Towne House. During this period, he also began to market his own magic
creations. He sold his tricks to Tannens and demonstrated them while working in the store.
In 1981, he won the S.A.M. Close-Up Contest with his "Finger Fantasies" act in
which he made his right fingers disappear at will, his thumb moves up and down his arm,
etc. Also that year, Harry Lorayne wrote a complete description of Meir s finger
act, also called Finger Fantasies. Close-Up Hallucinations written by George Schindler,
The Incredible Close-Up Magic of Meir Yedid written by Gary Quellet, and Meir Yedid's
Card Animations written by Harry Lorayne and Meir Yedids Stage Stuff, written by
Steve Schneiderman followed. He also has produced several sets of lecture notes and a
couple of magic videos.
The ultimate irony happened in 1986, August 16th, to be exact. He was driving
Hiawatha to New York City from Tannen's Magic Camp at Oakdale, Long Island. The rear tire of his car blew
out and Meir started pumping the brakes but did not have the strength to hold the steering
wheel steady. The car swerved, hit a sand pile, turned over end for end, flipping four
times and landed right side up. Hiawathas only injury was a bruised shoulder caused
by his seat belt.
Meir immediately knew his right hand was injured. He always drives with his right
hand on top of the steering wheel. On the first flip, a guard rail went through the roof
of the car like a can opener and caught his hand, removing the pinkie, ring finger and a
bit of the palm of his hand. They were found a hundred yards from where the car finally
His hand was packed with ice and wrapped in a towel. A helicopter rushed him to
St. Johns Hospital in Smithtown, Long Island. I called and talked with him shortly
after the accident and was flabbergasted and overwhelmed with his cheerful and positive
attitude. He simply said that he was so busy trying to entertain and cheer up all his
friends who were feeling sorry for him that he never had a chance to feel sorry for
himself. His courage and positive attitude was no less than inspiring.
More irony was that Meir permanently lost his ring finger, the one spectators
inevitably selected prior to the accident when he offered to make any finger vanish. After
nine reconstructive surgeries and a year and a half of physical therapy, he feels he is a
better performer, even technically, than before. He learned to do the finger act with the
other hand. He adapted his sleights to his new condition and does virtually everything he
had performed before, plus new material specifically tailored to take advantage of his
In 1988, he proved his complete recovery by again winning the S.A.M. Close-Up
Championship, the first person to win this award more than once. He decided to pursue a
college degree at the City University of New York, continuing his magic business as a
sideline, doing shows, and traveling during the summer giving lectures and manning his
booth at conventions. After doing some 30 conventions a year for several years, he began
to enjoy himself, and finally came to believe that magic dealing could be a full-time
Why is he successful at dealing when so many attempts to do so fail? He tailors
his effects for the individual who does not know difficult sleight-of-hand. The majority
of his marketed items are designed to be learned in less than fifteen minutes. Each effect
should be baffling, entertaining, easy for the spectators to follow, and relatively easy
to do. He advertises regularly, covers all the magic magazines, has a uniform look to his
products, and keeps the price as low as possible commensurate with quality.
And, he only markets effects he personally enjoys doing, a most sensible approach
since he has to demonstrate them so frequently.
In addition to his dealing, Meir has lectured and appeared at Conventions and in
other performances in Asia, Australia, Europe, South America and, of course, the United
States. He has been featured on television in: Comedy Tonight" (FOX TV), "Paul
Daniels Show" (BBC-TV, England). "Naruhodo the World" (FUJI-TV,
Japan), "Luna de Verano" (CSTV, Spain), "Knoff Hoff Show" (ZDF-TV,
Germany), "Mind Over Matter" (ACTV, U.S.A.) and made dozens of other appearances
on news, talk shows, and music videos. He also appeared on Broadway in Mr. Bobs
On April 19, 1997, the S.A.M. Parent Assembly #1 recognized and honored Meir Yedid
by presenting him their Magician of the Year Award, the 30th magician to be so recognized.
It is an honor richly deserved for his ethical approach to dealing, his excellence as an
entertainer and technician, his unfailing good humor, and his wonderful outlook on life.
He is a credit to this magic art we all love. A long-time I.B.M. member, Meir will be
performing (and demonstrating) at our annual Convention in Los Angeles in July.
© Copyright 1998 by the International Brotherhood of Magicians. All rights reserved.