David Blaine is the man.
August 28, 2001 6:48 PM   Subscribe

David Blaine is the man. I really don't believe in magic but I believe in David Blaine, he is unreal. Blaine is putting on a show this Sunday on TLC at 9:00est. We have talked about him before and most are impressed, if you haven't seen him and you want to see some mind blowing magic, check it out.
posted by me myself and i (28 comments total)
i'd have to agree, he's amazing. his street skills are phenom.

he slow speech and mannerisms are deceptive though. but on second thought, that's probably on purpose.
posted by jcterminal at 6:59 PM on August 28, 2001

How does he do it?! How the HECK does he do it?!?! David Copperfield (the modern one, not the Dickens one) has nothing on this Blaine guy. Nothing.
posted by brownpau at 7:18 PM on August 28, 2001

Why's the Life-Saver missing from that About link?
posted by brownpau at 7:22 PM on August 28, 2001

an L. Ron in the making. Can't wait to read Diablainetics.
posted by mathowie at 7:26 PM on August 28, 2001

I find him pretty amazing too. I can actually do one of his tricks. (Sorry if this is a repost). It's the levitation one -- super easy. Just turn sideways, wear baggy pants, and raise the nearest leg (closest to the audience who must be tightly grouped) up to hide the leg behind that is not seen. Must be used in situations with lots of ambient light so you can't see a shadow. For more info, http://www.geocities.com/jhnsnoot/blainelev1.html. I can't find a link with a good visual. Sorry.
posted by bloggboy at 7:59 PM on August 28, 2001

1) but can he see dead people?

2) and didn't that masked man on FOX reveal some of his trickery?
posted by jacknose at 8:03 PM on August 28, 2001

Not to mention the cool group of friends he hangs with. (Yes, apparently there's some great trickery in the snapshot to boot.)
posted by Fofer at 8:21 PM on August 28, 2001

Sorry, better link here.
posted by Fofer at 8:53 PM on August 28, 2001

David Blaine does relatively simple sleight of hand tricks. The twist is that he does them very well. You'll find that the majority of his card tricks are decades old. Even his levitation trick (which he invented) can be explained. Because I've spent a bit of my life reading about his brand of magic, it's not the simple card force or the easy palm, but his sense of style and his smoothness that is really impressive.
posted by eyeballkid at 8:54 PM on August 28, 2001

thanks for the NOT WORK SAFE warning on that link Fofer.

you bastard. hope i didn't just get fired.
posted by jcterminal at 9:11 PM on August 28, 2001

mmm, schlongy!
posted by solistrato at 9:31 PM on August 28, 2001

i think the most amazing and magical thing about david blane is all of the nooky he's able to get. first fionna apple and then josie maran. forget his other stuff. figure out how he worked that magic and then i'll be impressed.
posted by suprfli at 10:31 PM on August 28, 2001

Not to mention the cool group of friends he hangs with. (Yes, apparently there's some great trickery in the snapshot to boot.)

Is that Leonardo DiCaprio and Toby McGuire? Is that a fake photo? (sure doesn't look like it.) And finally, what the HELL are they doing in that picture???????
posted by Rastafari at 10:31 PM on August 28, 2001

Sitting around a table in Komonos with their schlongs out drinking saki.. what the hell does it look like, Rastafari? I mean, sheesh!
posted by Hildago at 11:31 PM on August 28, 2001

Oh, you know, Rastafari, the life of a popular street magician: work on some new tricks, do a few interviews, and then hang out with your famous nude friends in kimonos. Or, uh, something like that?
posted by jess at 11:32 PM on August 28, 2001

I saw an amazing bloke on Channel 4 the other night: Derren Brown. He's not a magician, but he's extremely adept at reading people, and can give the impression of magic. Magic without props you could say. More information, and demonstrations on the Channel 4 website.
posted by salmacis at 12:51 AM on August 29, 2001

David's power is not in his tricks, but in his handling of the people he deals with. I've seen him do a trick that BLOWS the crowd around him away, but it's one of the simplest tricks you can do. His ability to demand the attention of the crowd is uncanny.

I've even seen him do, say, The Raven (a tool for disappearing objects in the palm of the hand), screw it up, and STILL pass it off as the shit. The person he was working with didn't notice the gaff because David had his full attention.

posted by Fat Elvis at 4:06 AM on August 29, 2001

hey jc: "just a note to caution our male readers and alert our female readers that the above link contains celebrity genitals."
posted by o2b at 6:20 AM on August 29, 2001

oop... sorry jc: didn't see the "better link here"
posted by o2b at 6:24 AM on August 29, 2001

eyeballkid, I'm pretty sure Blaine didn't invent that levitation trick. He just does it really, really well. The problem I have with that trick when he does it on TV is the way he tricks the viewer. He does the "real" trick with the one-leg-up thing over and over until he gets a really good reaction from someone. Then he uses wires to get that "four feet off the ground" crap, and splices the really good reaction to the real trick into the wire trick, so it looks like some pretty young thing is freaking out at him floating four feet above the ground. I felt really cheated when I learned that.

But yes, the majority of his tricks are extremely well done.
posted by starvingartist at 6:40 AM on August 29, 2001

Blaine ain't got shit on Amazing Jonathan.
posted by glenwood at 7:27 AM on August 29, 2001

ummmm. Pardon me for going off topic, but is that picture of celebrities and their dongs for real? I only ask because if it's real, Tobey is quite the "webslinger" if you know what I mean.
posted by ColdChef at 7:38 AM on August 29, 2001

That pic is a well known fake.
posted by dnash at 7:53 AM on August 29, 2001

Though the tricks that Blaine does can be found in magic books at a good library (they are very old and very basic), he does them extremely well. And it's good to see him bring "performance magic" (up close magic in the street, stunts like the ice thing and his upcoming hanging upside down in Times Square stunt) back and into the mainstream.

About the levitation trick though: it's a sham. At least in the TV specials version. It's done with wires and some sort of hydraulic device. If you watch closely, you see that he does SOME sort of trick for the folks (unless some of them are plants, which are suspect some are), but the shocking part of the trick is always shown from an odd camera angle or with an odd edit or something. You see the camera shot from the back of him rising, but all you see of the people watching him from a few seconds earlier is a piece of their clothing. Why? Becasue it's not the same person, but a double using the same clothing to make you think the main big trick was done at the same time! Pretty disappointing. Not that I suspected real magic, of course, but...

Sorry. I feel like I just told my kid there's no Santa Claus.
posted by sassone at 7:57 AM on August 29, 2001

As a concerned parent, I am uncomfortable with David Blaine's witchcraft, and believe he should be banned. Plans are underway to incinerate him in the name of our angry and just god. Would you like to sign our petition?
posted by Skot at 8:10 AM on August 29, 2001

A friend of mine was on one of his specials. She just came out of the Barnes & Noble in Park Slope with a book she had just bought. He stopped her and her husband and asked her the name of her best friend. "Meaghan" How old she was. "30" He told her to open open the book she had just bought to page 30 and the page combusted and revealed an "M" burn into the page. This totally freaked out my friend to say the least.

Blaine never touched the book and the book was totally random, because when she went to buy one she changed her mind at the last minute and got something else. I have seen the book in person. You turn to page 30 and there is an "M" burned into it. The preceding page and the page after it are pristine. It was kind of freaky. Neither one of my friends can explain it to this day, nor can several magician friends. Spooky. Maybe someone should call Scooby and the gang for this one.
posted by rathikd at 8:17 AM on August 29, 2001

rathkid - I was just gonna ask about that sort of thing. Sure, his card tricks may be ages old, but what about these things were he makes names appear written on his body, names and things he couldn't have known before? That's the really freaky stuff. I'm more impressed with that than his stunts of staying in a block of ice or being "buried alive" - that's the kind of thing Hindu yogis have been doing for centuries.
posted by dnash at 8:51 AM on August 29, 2001

Like many, I was amazed with the Blaine TV Specials. Still am. Still love watching him. It's all in the presentation! I was also curious enough to investigate. I found out about the wires (documented here) and also about how he did other tricks. One of which I've performed now many times (not as well, I might add - lacking the dramatics, I guess). For the one where he burns a name on himself. He first gives someone a piece of paper and tells them to write down the name of someone important to them. Then fold it in fourths and hand it to him. He holds it in his hand and closes his eyes...then rips it up and throws it on the ground saying something was messed up. He asks for you to do it again (you only see the second part on TV). While you are writing he is unfolding a little piece of the paper that he ripped up that (due to the way it was folded) has the name on it and writes it on his arm (or wherever). He does the same drill and then lights it and rubs ash on the part of his body that he just wrote on (Sharpies work great). It looks like it "appears". Freaking cool if done right!
posted by ericv at 10:24 AM on August 29, 2001

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