The video is above is one of the first tales of magic history featured on Mahdi the Magician’s new website, Before Magic. The site isn’t just a promotional vehicle for the supremely hard-working magician, it’s an ongoing project looking to curate and display examples of top-tier magic both modern and antediluvian.
This first video in the Golden Age section of the website, featuring the impressive emotional range of David Blaine, is a retelling and reenactment of one of the many stunts pulled by Jewish illusionist and magician, Max Katz Breit, better known as Max Malini.
Malini wasn’t so much known for his cup and balls as he was his giant brass ones. He had a habit of approaching celebrities on the streets to perform tricks, and would often take people’s hats or bite buttons from their cuffs without asking. As Blaine explains above, Malini actually blagged his way into performing at the White House using that latter trick.
The site is still technically under construction, so you might run into a few hiccups here and there, but it seems like a really cool project. As well as the screening room, it also includes tutorials, Mahdi’s journal, and a shop where you’ll eventually be able to buy merch, including the amazing Hidden Leaves deck.