Rick Merrill is just hitting his stride. A magician and comedian, Rick Merrill, holds the title of World Champion Close-Up Magic. Crowned in 2006 at the World Championships of Magic in Stockholm, Sweden he has since become a featured performer at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and performed in person and on television in more than a dozen different countries. Most recently, he filmed his first US television appearance on a special for FOX-TV, to be aired in early 2009.
Born and raised in Michigan, Rick took up magic at the age of 9 and quickly became fascinated with the branch of magic known as “sleight-of-hand.” “Sleight of Hand” is regarded by magicians as one of the most difficult genres in magic. Rick was drawn to it because it allows him to create the appearance of magic using just his hands, his wits, and a few simple props. For his first audience - his family - those props were playing cards. Needless to say, after 10 years of picking “just one more card”, Rick’s family was thrilled when his assortment of props grew to include more than just cards.
Rick attended Taylor University in Indiana and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations and a Minor in Communications Studies. This particular combination of skills would serve him well in his upcoming travels. After graduation, Rick moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to set up base for his magical endeavors and to marry his college sweetheart, Lindsay. Rick and Lindsay are honored to call Grand Rapids home and they are the proud parents of 3 young boys.
It was 2003 when Rick first began to develop the magic act that would eventually take him around the world. By 2004, Rick had won the top prize at national conventions of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians, the two largest and oldest magic organizations in North America. In addition to 1st Place, Rick brought home awards in Originality and Comedy. The biggest compliment, however, may have been the “People’s Choice” distinction awarded to him at both conventions.
After this national success, Rick prepared to walk onto the international stage. In 2006, Rick represented the United States at the World Championships of Magic in Stockholm, Sweden. Hosted by FISM (The “Fédération Internationale des Sociétés Magiques” or the “International Federation of Magic Societies”), this event occurs every three years to select the best-of-the-best in the world of magic. When the dust settled, Rick was crowned World Champion in Close-Up Magic and became only the 4th American to win this award in the 60 year history of the event.
The breakthrough in Sweden led to additional opportunities in the international arena. He has performed in France, Belgium, Spain, England, Italy, Russia, Japan, Sweden, Canada, Korea, and Portugal with other countries lined up in the coming year. In the near future, Rick will perform his award-winning act in Beijing, China.
While this international success has been thrilling, Rick particularly enjoys performing for the “home” crowd. Some of his favorite performances have been for company executives at business celebrations and for non-profit groups whose causes he is happy to be part of. In recent years he has entertained organizations from huge to intimate such as Eaton Corporation, Alticor, Open Systems Technologies, Miller Johnson, and Sauder.
Currently, Rick spends most of his down time playing football and soccer with his boys. An avid sports fan, Rick can be found cheering for the Lions or playing a neighborhood pick up game of ball. Magically, he is in constant demand at corporate and private functions across the United States and Europe. The proof of his success is measured in the number of frequent flyer miles he has racked up and a growing fondness for any food not found in an airport. While traveling the world can be exhausting, Rick continues to marvel at the unique opportunities he has been given to entertain others and he still smiles as he walks on stage whether that stage is in a new country or just around the corner from where he lives.