<>Check out the amazing David Blaine magic tricks YOU can learn to perform below...>
<>Other effects you may have seen from David's shows such as Vertigo, Above the Below, Frozen in Time, Magic Man, and Street Magic.>
<>David Blaine Books, DVD's and cards>
Did you know?
The Card trick that landed his first ABC special was called "Strange Travelers". This is David Blaine's single favorite effect. The actual deal-closer David used for most of his professional career. It helped him close the deal on his first Network T.V. special: Street Magic.
We know you want information on Blaine and we'll give it... the real story and secrets of Blaine's life, TV specials, products, women, celebrity friends and the best places to learn how to do the street magic Blaine has become famous for. We suggest you read this page thoroughly but if you need to jump to a topic that interests you on this page, here are the jump links:
David Blaine Official Web Site
David Blaine's official web site, www.davidblaine.com, once provided fabulous clips of the magician performing street magic. The clips are not there at this time but the site has recently undergone a dramatic face lift, displaying pictures of the artist as well as some merchandise and general information.
David Blaine DVD's and Videos and Books
David Blaine currently has three DVD’s out on the international market and a best selling book. In the UK, Telstar produced Mystifier DVD and Showman DVD for Blaine — a compilation of his first three national television specials titled Street Magic; Magic Man; Frozen in Time. In the US, Blaine featured all three specials on a single DVD entitled Fearless.
There are currently two different versions of his best selling book, Mysterious Stranger, which leads the path to a buried treasure in the USA through codes and hidden symbols on the DVD. This contest is no longer active.
Telstar introduced Blaine to a UK audience and is responsible for creating a huge amount of recognition for Blaine (through ads created by BananaSplit's Steve Kemsley) that deliberately introduced David Blain to Britain more as a rock star idol than as a magician. Popular opinion of Blaine is divided as of late, due to a stunt Blaine pulled when he lasted 44 days on no food while suspended in a persplex box over London. It seems UK folk didn't like Blaine taking so much attention away from their daily lives as the media blitz hummed on and caused traffic jams and hogged attention on the tube. In one of the funniest stunts played on Blaine during this time, a radio controlled helicopter dangled a fat cheeseburger inches away from Blaine's glass box while Blaine looked on.
David Blaine and Women
How did Blaine get started in street magic ?
Taking a small digital video camera out into the seedy world of Times Square New York, Blaine and a friend shot footage of Blaine performing street magic for passersby with just a pack of cards and a few coins. Contrary to overwhelming belief, Blaine had never performed street magic before this time.
The results for such a simple idea were phenomenal. David Blaine’s camera caught reactions of people screaming in the street, laughing in shock, and crying in hysteria. This raw early footage would be something to look back on now in light of the fame Blaine has achieved.
Blaine took the crude footage to ABC television in New York, managed to get an appointment, and after completely wowing executives with his bland yet powerful brand of close up magic - got a $1,000,000 contract and paycheck to perform in the first ever Street Magic television special. This was in 1997... David Blaine Street Magic still airs to this day (on TLC The Learning Channel). For TV updates of all Blaine airings as well as other magic specials, go to this TV magic guide page and bookmark it. You can now purchase (and perform) one of Blaine's favorite card tricks from the Ellusionist web site, just perform a search for Strange Travelers in the top search bar (available as of May 8, 2006).
What Happened with David Blaine's mother?
Blaine's mother, Patrice White discovered she had ovarian cancer. The woman David loved and who had inspired David to take up magic at an early age was dying. She refused to change her lifestyle in spite of the illness but would continue supporting David through his goals and dreams to become a successful entertainer. Her drive and ambition gradually stopped cancerous tumors for a long period of time, but in 1994, she died at the age of 48. Until her dying day, she donated to charity, helped the poor, and lived a life of compassion and generosity.
Her son David Blaine was devastated and Patrice remains a key figure in Blaine's life to this day - both in spirit and memory. You can see images of Patrick on www.davidblaine.com by going to the Gallery.
Trick Monkey: David Blaine's deal with Robert Deniro's Tribeca Productions
Tribeca Productions, the partnership between Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, has formalized a first-look deal at MGM. Tribeca has made a deal to develop "Trick Monkey" a film based on the exploits of up-and-coming magician David Blaine, with De Niro and co-star Leonardo DiCaprio attached. It's a kind of father-son scenario. De Niro would play a magician, DiCaprio his apprentice. Jim Uhls ("Dead Reckoning") is scripting.
Learning How to Perform David Blaine Magic
When searching through the vast internet looking for magic sites to learn from, you'll come across a plethora of sites with cheap .gif backgrounds with stars flashing in the background on black pages and overblown text telling you they have the secret to life and a few of Blaine's secrets too. For nothing more than a click of your mouse, you get a couple of secrets that you may or may not understand and poorly written instruction on how to actually perform the given trick.
Save yourself the time. If you're not careful you'll get sucked into an black hole of mis-knowledge and a de-basing of the magic art at Blaine's expense.
If you want to learn and perform street magic (not necessarily confined to the street) you'll have to plunk down at least a few dollars to pick up a book, or some magic props, or, by far the best and fastest learning tool: a DVD that teaches the art and caters directly to your experience level.
The site that teaches the most people worldwide, hands down and no questions asked - is ellusionist.com Street Magic. According to sources the site is often recommended by David Blaine himself (and his managers) to those who want to learn the art of street magic. If you have never done magic before, it's recommended to start with an ellusionist video called How to Do Street Magic.. what follows is a brief review of the tape from pro reviewer RT Showmann...
Review: How To Do Street Magic Video and DVD
About three years ago, a man named Brad Christian, accompanied by his unknown Ellusionist Team, made a controversial debut throughout the underground magic community. By using an amazing Flash web site to promote a different kind of instructional product now known as the Street Magic Package, Ellusionist has quenched a thirst for aspiring ‘street performers’ around the world. The video, How To Do Street Magic, consisting of twelve, high-impact close-up illusions, took the amateur basics of magic and made them truly astonishing again. By combining this video with several bonus effects for the younger performer, the people behind Ellusionist have succeeded in producing a quality source of instruction for highly interested amateurs. Despite the minor flaws Ellusionist’s early days, their Street Magic Package proves to be an obvious must-have to this day.
Broadcast Quality Footage
Ellusionist has transcended the boundaries of visual magic instruction, surpassing the majority of today’s top magic videos. The average teaching aid in the magic community is unfortunately done with a single hand-held camcorder, taping unclear footage of a performer, struggling to explain each move and subtlety of an effect. Brad Christian, however, has taken the time and money to actually hire a professional camera crew to film his performances and precise explanations of classic magic routines. The footage is so clear, it appears to be an actual television program, filled with entertaining plots and forgotten images of close-up performing. Brad performs each effect for an audience of his close friends and family, catching sudden reactions of shock and disbelief, illustrating how easy it will be to fool the viewer’s own peers. Each effect is then clearly explained with the camera at all the right angles, with Brad giving precise directions to accomplish the easy-to-do miracles. The cinematography and overall ‘feel’ for the video is unlike any other magic product currently on the market. It’s superbly well-done.
David Blaine Levitation: How Does Blaine Levitate?
Above anything else Blaine does, his levitation is the most sought after triumph of illusion. Ironically, Blaine used a combination of techniques to rivet and amaze onlookers in his street specials. One is a crude technique called the Balducci levitation. It's easy to discover the secret to the Balducci - just search the internet and you can find the simple secret on hundreds of two-bit, cheap exposure sites put up by 12 year old kids and older "businessmen" looking to make a buck on advertising. Even the Amazing Randi now has a link to an exposure site, sadly buckling under the pressure from his readers to tell them how Blaine's levitation is performed - ugh.
But to learn the beautiful and crude Balducci, to really learn it... you must follow some competent instruction which will help turn the illusion from a bland secret into the flawless presentation of an extraordinary effect. The illusion is taught in the Street Magic Video named above.
The second levitation David Blaine performed on the Street Magic Special was one where he was seen to float two feet off the ground briefly. No one will be doing this unless they have several thousand dollars - forget it. The levitations that come closest to it are probably the "Elevator" and the "King Rising" Levitation. The Elevator is difficult to master and is about $100. King Rising Levitation takes practice but only runs about 20 bucks. An advantage of King Rising is that it involves no gimmicks or secret props... the levitation is entirely impromptu and can be done at a moment's notice. Grandmothers have been known to lose their dentures while watching this. The effect is startling and can be viewed at the link provided above.
David Blaine Card Tricks: where Blaine truly excels.
Blaine is as at home with a pack of cards as Dale Carnegie is at 'winning friends and influencing people'. To watch Blaine work with a deck is a thing of beauty. The first thing you instantly know is that he's had a deck in his hands practically since childbirth. His magic is simple and he uses simple sleights widely known by most close up artists. BUT, his choice of simple material that hits hard and his lack of focus on his own sleights are what bring his tricks to a height that make most people ask if it really IS magic - and some are completely convinced that it is.
Criticism of Blaine among his own peers has reached quite a height, both among tight lipped amateurs who think they know it all and professional magicians who should know FAR better than to criticize something that has worked so well with the general public. Instead, professionals should be holding Blaine up to the sky for infusing magic with a sadly lacking "juice"... magic dropped rank in the eyes of the public in the last couple of decades due to lack of artistic intent and a plethora of bunnies, top hats, and grinning gentlemen performing the Dove Pan and the Chinese Sticks at kid's parties. There have been few magicians that had enough guts and charisma to change the face of magic and David Blaine is one of them. David Copperfield is not, although he helped provide interest in the art. As good as he is, Ricky Jay did not either. Dai Vernon? He changed the art for magicians - not the public. Doug Henning? Absolutely, he's one of the very few. Before him was Roubert Houdin of France.
Congratulations David Blaine, we salute you and thank you for the tremendous contribution to the art. Anyone who has enough vision to see what you've done will thank you also.
Does David Blaine have competition?
Criss Angel would like to think so, and has dubbed himself the heir to the street throne, madly proclaiming that he can beat Blaine at any game Blaine wants to offer in various press releases issued by Angel's company, Angel Productions.
Criss puts on a fine show, but we once compared the sheer volume of internet searches on Angel as compared to Blaine, moments after each one had completed a Street Magic Special on television. Searches on Angel plodded through the Internet at the pace of a snail. Blaine searches on the other hand simply exploded through the reach of the Internet as new fans rushed Google and Yahoo to dig up raw information about this magic phenomenon. The television Special Angel had performed in was brand new and heavily hyped, the Special Blaine performed on was an eight year old repeat of his first Street Special on a cable channel.
The star power of Blaine is something Angel may never reach.
"How Street Magic and David Blaine Made 6 Million Dollars Last Year..."
He doesn't say a lot. He doesn't jump up and down and wave his arms... but he reacts as if what he's doing is real magic. HE SEEMS TO BELIEVE THAT WHAT HE IS DOING IS REAL MAGIC. There are few performers who can make magic seem like magic. But Blaine does.
You can do it too. It takes overhauling the way you think - but you can do it.
I picked up Blaine's DVD "Mystifier", because I didn't catch his first special. I wanted to flick back and forth and see what worked so well.
Tons of people have at least as good technical talent - or better. Lots of people have a better story.
But he doesn't go with a story.... he takes a little thread of an idea... a concept, and then he thinks he is doing real magic. And he presents it that way.
He's really an actor, playing the part of a real magician. That takes an academy award winning performance..... you have to ask yourself the two words..... "what if?". What if I really could do magic? Would I be telling a big long story with the trick? Or would I just walk up to someone and say, "want to see something?"
Sometimes I hang out in the various magic chat rooms on the net, answering questions etc. Some guy said that street magic is just a fad.... one that will disappear shortly. He said he doubted anyone could really make a living at it.
He didn't know that in four hours I could make up to $250 in Manhattan.
The thing the street will do for you is give you the chance to do tricks over and over and over a billion times. You deal with a lot of variables on the street. A lot comes at you. And it's no fad... it's part of the way magic itself started, hundreds of years ago.
The benefit of it is that it gives your magic a raw feel... one that is very impressive... very different. You find out what works and what doesn't - fast. It kind of puts you through a grinder and forces you to learn and adapt to what is effective and what isn't.
If it ISN'T you won't eat. That's why David's magic is so good and why he "only" made 6 million last year... he brought that "raw" feel to television and people loved it. They hadn't seen it before. It demonstrates what a street education can do for you.