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Published & Unpublished Review

Official Review

September 16th, 2003 1:33pm
Reviewed by David Acer
Meir Yedid is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and not the kind of "nice" one equates with a walking doormat - a gentle, canny niceness borne of honesty, not ignorance. His first three books, Finger Fantasies (Lorayne, 1981), Close-Up Hallucinations (Schindler, 1982) and Incredible Close-Up Magic (Ouellet, 1982) were among my earliest reads, and still bring back fond memories just at the thought of them.

Now, some twenty years later, Meir has released his first compilation DVD, Published & Unpublished, a collection of close-up that spans, if not his entire career, certainly back as far as about 1984. I found this disappointing, in as much as I would have liked to have seen at least some of the tricks from the three books cited above (in particular, CompuCard, Ribit Rabbit and Signa-Fusion), but this is not a flaw, just an unfulfilled dream... (sniff).

So what about the material that IS on here? Well, let's begin with my favorites. Fadeout, wherein a deck is shown to be normal, then suddenly becomes blank, except for a chosen card, which, at the end, also becomes blank, is probably worth the price of the DVD (though you can in fact purchase this as a separate item). The method is simple and practical, and the effect is constructed in such a way that the vanish of the faces looks extremely magical. I actually prefer this to both Dean Dill's Blizzard and David Regal's Alone, two prior releases that run along the same lines, but offer less satisfying methods (at least for my taste).

Direct Transpo, first published in Magical Wishes (Hobbs, 1994), is a no-duplicate method for causing a card signed by a spectator to instantly change places with a card signed by the magician. This is a real-world approach to a plot that has been tackled by some of magic's greats, and it stands tall as one of the best versions for walkaround use.

Follow The Riem uses a new principle Meir has been toying with for some time in which, properly handled, sixes pass inscrutably for nines in a pack of cards. Meir himself admits it's a method in search of an effect, but Follow The Riem (wherein a packet of sixes transposes one card a time with a packet of nines) actually fooled me.

Progressive Bills is a Six-Card-Repeat type effect using real dollar bills that ends with a visual transformation of a one dollar bill into a jumbo five dollar bill. The routine is packed with magic and requires very little sleight of hand, but it's presented in a kind of story-telling way that I've never seen work particularly well outside of magic conventions. You know the style I mean - "I once saw this guy on a street corner in New York and he had one, two, three, four, five one dollar bills. He took away one and put it in his pocket, but he still had one, two, three, four, five one dollar bills. So I went to a magic shop down the street and I told the man behind the counter about this guy I saw who had one, two, three, four, five one dollar bills," and so on. There's something about this type of presentation that turns me off, most likely the fact that the audience is completely removed from the equation. In any case, the effect itself is very well constructed, and one of the highlights of the DVD.

Also solid, if not earth shattering, are Walk-Around Triumph and Wild Card #2001, both workable versions of their respective plots, and Quadruplic-ACE-tion II (hands down the worst trick title on the DVD), a cross between Quick 3 Way and Three Card Repeat that results in an unexpected production of a Royal Flush.

I'm less enthralled with Riem Rise (four nines inserted into the deck rise instantly to the top) and the Riem Assembly (a standard Ace Assembly using nines), both of which use the Riem Principle and neither of which is as good as many (too many) of their non-Riem counterparts. Similarly, Balls Point starts out great (two large ball-bearings are produced from a ball-point pen), but then goes downhill when the work flashes big time on the penetrations that follow.

Meir also tips his elegant false cut (The Meir Mix), some thoughtful work on Gaetan Bloom's Amazing Standing Card, a pretty packet trick called Cardinal Cards, and more. There's plenty of magic here, some of which may very well find a place in your repertoire. Now if we can just convince Meir to release The Very Best of Meir Yedid, we might actually get to see ALL the goods dating back from day one!

David Acer

Product info for Published & Unpublished

Author: Yedid, Meir
Publisher: Meir Yedid Magic
Average Rating:  (1)
Retail Price: $35.00
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Manufacturer's Description:

Meir Yedid demonstrates and teaches 14 of his original routines on this special DVD release created for his live lectures.

Meir has appeared on countless television shows around the world with his original magic. He was the first performer to win the Society Of American Magicians' Close-Up Competition twice and was named Magician Of The Year by the Society of American Magicians Parent Assembly. In 2003 he is the Guest of Honor at the prestigious Fechter’s Finger Flicking Frolic Convention.

This DVD features Meir with his startling, commercial effects, including eight that he is releasing for the first time. Meir also explains nearly a dozen original techniques and numerous sleights to provide all the work needed to make this material your own.

Routines demonstrated and explained:
Balls Point, Cardinal Cards, Direct Transpo, Fadeout, Follow The Riem, Lose It—Find It, No Palm (Almost) Card To Pocket, Progressive Bills, Quadruplic-Ace-Tion II, Rebalanced Business Card, Riem Assembly, Riem Rise, Walk-Around Triumph and Wild Card #2001.

Original techniques taught:
Baby Bottoms, Mate Switch-Out, Meir Mix, Riem Principle, Shirt Pocket Switch, Simple Mate Switch-Out, Slap Control, To-The-Table Switch, Yedid Alignment Variant and two ball steals.

Additional sleights taught within routines:
Double Turnover, Flustration Count, Hamman Count, Riffle Force, Spread Pass, Vernon Depth Illusion (Tilt), Vernon Strip-Out Addition and Zarrow Block Addition.

This is an exclusive release and will only be available through Meir Yedid Magic. Produced by Meir Yedid Magic. Original release date: March 2003. Running time: Approximately 85 minutes.

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