Friday, October 21, 2011

David Blaine (king of street magic)

David Blaine was born April 4, 1973 in Brooklyn New York. He was raised in New Jersey by his single mother Patrice Maureen White. She was a school teacher, however, she took on as many as three jobs just to provide for her and little David.

At age four he saw a street magician perform in a subway; Blaine, fascinated with the magicians card tricks, decided to purchase his first trick, The Pencil Through the Card. David would practice magic with tarot cards given to him by his grandmother who was a gypsy.

Since he did not have the money to go to a magic shop, he spent countless hours in libraries researching magic. There he would read every book he could get his hands on and continued fiddling with his tarot cards.

At age five, he learned what his dream was; after showing a neighbor an effect with the tarot cards, he saw for the first time the impact magic can have emotionally on people. He immediately told his mom he wanted to be a showman and she strongly encouraged him in everyway.

In his teens, he began to develop an interest in acting. He traveled to Manhattan everyday to attend acting school. He did a few commercials and small appearances on soap operas. At sixteen, Blaine levitated for his doctor who immediately took him in for examination.When David was 21, his mother died of ovarian cancer at the age of 48. It was then that he devoted his life to magic.In his early twenty's, David was your regular street magician who got gigs at rich parties.

Because of his talent and mysterious persona, he was able to draw up connections to ABC. After seeing a tape of his magic, the producers requested an interview and began planning a special.

His first TV special, "David Blaine: Street Magic" was born and marked the beginning of a new era in magic for television. The special was not about grand illusions and theatrical lighting, but rather intimate miracles being performed in the streets before real people - a concept that had never been done before on TV. The show was an instant success and David was an overnight celebrity.

He has performed magic for many celebrities, such as Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mike Tyson and President Clinton. David has also made guest appearances on nearly every major talk show of that decade including Oprah, Conan O'Brien, Rosie, Carson Daily, and Howard Stern. Even Comedy Central's SouthPark has an episode featuring him.

Influenced by his idol, Harry Houdini, David Blaine decided to became an endurance artist. His first stunt, getting buried alive for seven days, had the approval of Houdini's granddaughter. He did the stunt to promote his second special, "David Blaine: Magic Man".

Since then, David has been frozen alive, immobilized while standing on a poll over a hundred feet from the ground, viewed hanging from a crane over the River Thames bridge in London and hanging upside down above New York's Central Park for 60 hours.

Most of his stunts usually involve enduring long periods of time without food, drink or sleep. David continues to push the envelope with each stunt.

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