Over on MSN, there’s a neat little piece about David Blaine.
American illusionist David Blaine has spent more than two decades stunning audiences and amassing a notable fortune with his extreme — and even unearthly — endurance feats.
But when it comes to managing his career, he follows one very down-to-earth technique.
“Whenever I make a decision, I always try to decide: Would I do this for $1?” Blaine said Tuesday during a session at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
A good policy if you can afford to work that way!
About 650 magicians gathered in Columbus Ohio this past weekend, amid sub-zero temperatures, to watch magic and learn from one another. Even David Blaine showed up!
Random moments from around the convention.
Read all about it in The Columbus Dispatch and watch the video.
“Make failure your friend, your best friend.” -David Blaine #DavidBlaine
— Chris Ramsay (@chrisramsay52) July 3, 2018
Whatever you may think of YouTube magician, Chris Ramsay, he and his crew know their way around a camera. That skill is in full display in the clip above, in which Ramsay takes some footage of the always amazing David Blaine and gives it a bit of the old YouTube pzazz.
The clip was part of a larger video, or a “vlog” as I’m told by several people who should know better, detailing Ramsay’s trip to see Blaine perform in Montreal. The first few minutes of footage are the usual YouTube-filler: Lots of quick cuts, rampant consumerism, and undersatured holiday footage accompanied by that weird elevator-music-for-cool-kids you hear all over the internet now DMCA take-downs are a thing. The big man himself pops up at 4:30, and that’s where things get interesting. Watching Blaine perform is a pleasure as usual, but it’s really cool to see his work shot with the same rough intensity as modern street magicians, rather than in the tepid style of a early morning talk show.
Blane even drops a little nugget of wisdom for aspiring magicians near the end of the video: “make failure your friend, your best friend.”
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.
Put David Blaine in a room with some needles, a touch of glass, and a live audience, and it’s pretty clear where things are headed. Not to Late Late Show host, James Corden, apparently, who blithely admits he’d love to take part in a new trick. At least before Blaine pulls out the needle and thread.
There’s little left to say about Blaine’s performance – we’ve seen what he can do with a needle before, and he performed a similar trick at the Genii Convention last year – other than the fact I really love how he’s leaning into his his magical weirdo persona on this latest tour. I always found his earlier performances a bit too full of SERIOUS MENTALISM for my taste, but now that he’s willing to joke around with his own mystique, Blaine is quickly becoming one of my favorite performers. His comedic timing is superb as well, like the just-a-bit-too-long pause between “I heard that,” and, “you like glass,” right before he starts eating a large wine glass.
Blaine was promoting his spring and summer tour, David Blaine Live, which you can see dates for here.
I know what you’re thinking: David Blaine’s totally going to pull a card out from under his skin, or swallow a beer bottle, or regurgitate an ant farm by the end of the video, but no. This brief six-minute video from KTLA is just a couple solid card tricks and an honest chat with Blaine about his childhood to promote his show at the Dolby Theatre in LA. While Blaine never loses the deadpan, stone-faced exterior, it’s still nice to see him just do a card trick without any expectation of bodily harm, even though I waited for that final stinger every time he took a sip of water.
The best thing about writing about David Blaine is that the headlines essentially write themselves. With other magicians I have to fancy up the language a bit, really sell the idea behind the trick, but with Blaine, I just write, “David Blaine…” followed by what David Blaine just did.
In this case, what David Blaine just did is stab himself in the hand with an ice pick. He performed the trick during an interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. While the trick is an obvious attention-getter – though not as immediately butt-cheek-clenchingly gross as sewing his lips shut – what I really appreciate about the video is how wry his patter is. Blaine often gives the impression of someone who takes himself very. very seriously, but in clips like this he shows he’s willing to have some fun with his reputation. Like that stare that’s slightly too long after he suggests Noah’s reaction would be muted unless he did something crazy. It’s funny stuff.
“Do you want to see the, ‘Think of a 4-digit number that’s important to you [trick]’ or do you want to see the ice pick?” he asks, grinning.
We saw the ice pick.
When David Blaine says he’s only showing up to “try a few classics”, you should definitely take that with a grain of salt. And when he asks you if you want to see a card trick or needle-and-thread trick, know you’re going to get both. Such is the case when Blaine made an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon last night, who proceeded to sew his mouth shut before fanning out a normal deck of cards for a trick, as you can watch in the video below.
(Content warning: If you don’t like needles or seeing needles poking through skin, you probably shouldn’t watch this video.)
We actually got to see this trick performed in front of us when Blaine appeared for an interview at the 2017 Genii Convention (though the audience was asked beforehand not to share the details of the trick on social media), and our faces were just as thunderstruck as the cast and crew of The Tonight Show.
So, uh, yeah. Oh, and stick around for the end, because Blaine can’t just end a routine with a “simple card trick” like this.
If you want to see more of that (you know you do), David Blaine’s 2018 North American tour kicks off on May 6 in San Diego, and currently has tour dates scheduled up until July 14. Get your tickets here.
There’s not much I can add to this one, folks. Magic legend David Blaine will be appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon THIS EVENING. The show airs on NBC at 11:35pm/10:35pm central.
— Fallon Tonight (@FallonTonight) April 25, 2018
Don’t worry if you miss the show or live outside of the US. Magician performances (like this one featuring Dan White) regularly make it to the show’s official YouTube Channel. We’ll keep an eye on it, just for you.
Blaine is out and about promoting his upcoming tour, David Blaine Live.
— The Morning Mash Up (@MorningMashUp) April 18, 2018
Clockwork, get it? Because of the watch. Okay, maybe it’s a digital watch. Whatever. Come up with your own headline.
David Blaine is currently roaming the country, drumming up hype for his upcoming show, David Blaine Live. Hype means interviews and interviews mean tricks in radio stations. Tricks like the one above; a cute little sleight of hand two-fer.
David Blaine Live starts its North American tour on May 6th at the San Diego Civic Theatre. Tickets are available now.