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David Blaine

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Biography

David Blaine (born David Blaine White on April 4, 1973 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.) is an American illusionist and stunt performer. He made his name as a performer of street and close-up magic.

David Blaine began his career by bringing street magic to the public, performing card tricks and illusions such as levitation or bringing dead flies back to life. His first television appearance was on Conan O'Brien, where he also performed card tricks, and promoted his Street Magic special. He used a small camera crew to record his act live in front of everyday people providing the basis for his television specials, David Blaine: Street Magic and David Blaine: Magic Man. His first television special, David Blaine: Street Magic influenced the way magic is performed and portrayed on television. With its strong focus on spectators' reactions and showmanship, Blaine entertained unsuspecting pedestrians without the use of the typical magic props used by other magicians. He has been criticized for using camera tricks to make his "magic" seem more real.

On November 27, 2000, Blaine began a stunt called "Frozen in Time," which was covered on a TV special. Blaine stood in a closet of ice located in Times Square, New York. A tube provided him with air and water while his urine was removed with another tube. He was encased in the box of ice for 2 days 13 hours, 42 minutes, and 15 seconds before being removed. The ice was on a stand, with space between the ground, and the ice was transparent, to prove he was inside the ice the whole time. He was taken to the hospital immediately after being removed because doctors feared he was going into shock.

The stunt became the subject of much media attention and a large degree of derision and ridicule. For example, Page 3 girls and glamour models from various men's magazines flashed at him and a burger was flown up to the box by a remote-controlled helicopter as a taunt . It caused speculation when eggs that had been thrown from the crowd were cleared from the box, as he wasn't meant to communicate with anyone.

Blaine emerged on schedule on October 19, murmuring "I love you all!" and was quickly hospitalized. He appeared gaunt and he claimed to have lost 54 pounds (24.5 kg) during his fast.

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius satellite radio, Blaine spoke of the week-long fasting he did before the "drowning alive" stunt, to avoid having to be concerned with defecation. For urine, he wore an external, condom-style catheter.

His attempt to break the breath holding record was somewhat controversial due to his breathing pressurized air from a regulator. Breath holding athletes typically breathe above water, at atmospheric pressure, before submerging for their record breaking attempts. Therefore Blaine may have had a physiological advantage due to higher oxygen saturation of the blood.

On November 19, 2006, Blaine announced his next stunt. His goal was to escape from his shackles after the gyroscope had been spinning for 16 hours. The gyroscope was constantly spinning at a rate of eight revolutions per minute while hanging above an empty lot in Manhattan near Times Square.

On October 29, 2002, Random House published David Blaine's Mysterious Stranger: A Book of Magic. Part autobiography, part history of magic, and part armchair treasure hunt, the book also includes instructions on how to perform card tricks and illusions.



 


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