Heralded by The New York Times as “a latter-day Houdini,” David Blaine has redefined magic around the world with his unique, intimate, close-up style and his challenges that have set new boundaries of human endurance.
The world’s most famous magician and endurance artist who has captured several Guinness World Records for his feats, David Blaine amazes audiences around the world with his awe-inspiring body of work. Having first come to the public’s attention through the documentary Street Magic, Blaine is an extraordinary artist who has followed in the footsteps of the great Harry Houdini by pushing himself to the limit and showcasing the strength that lies dormant in all of us. Blaine, who was one of only two speakers to receive a standing ovation at the 2009 TEDMED Conference, is the center of many high-profile, televised stunts, including being buried alive, living underwater and hanging in a glass box over London’s River Thames for 44 days. He dazzles audiences with his unique brand of magic, making a powerful case for the role that creativity plays in all of our lives. Blaine has been featured in many articles as well as on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Charlie Rose and Larry King Live. His 90-minute special, David Blaine: Real or Magic, premiered on November 19 on ABC to rave reviews. He took viewers into the homes of some of the world’s most high-profile people for their up close and personal reaction to his magic—leaving many stunned and questioning what is happening before their eyes.
For more than a decade, David Blaine has been attracting the world’s attention with his high-profile endurance stunts. Starting his career as a magician who appeared to do the impossible with a deck of cards, he was soon following in the footsteps of Houdini, seeking out that which seems physically impossible, and actually doing it. To that end, he’s been buried alive in New York City for a week, barely survived being encased inside a six-ton block of ice for three days and three nights, stood atop a 100-foot-tall pillar in Bryant Park for 36 hours without a safety net, survived inside a transparent box in London on nothing but water for 44 days and spent one week submerged in a sphere-shaped aquarium at Lincoln Center, at the end of which he attempted to break the world record for holding one’s breath. A year later, he succeeded in breaking that record live on the Oprah Winfrey show, holding his breath for 17 minutes and 4 seconds.
Born in Brooklyn, Blaine discovered his passion for magic at the age of four when he saw a magician perform in the subway. His mother encouraged his passion and he began performing professionally at private parties by the age of thirteen. By the age of twenty-three, Blaine had created, directed and produced an original television program titled Street Magic, which garnered rave reviews by critics and revolutionized the way magic is portrayed on television. Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller called Street Magic, “the best TV magic special ever done” and “the biggest breakthrough in our lifetime.” The New York Times noted that Blaine has “taken a craft that’s been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it.” The New Yorker claimed that “he saved magic.” Since then, Blaine has produced nine additional primetime specials.
Blaine has performed magic privately for U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Gates, Henry Kissinger, Mayor Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg and Muhammad Ali, as well as President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and other international leaders. He also performed alongside Michael Jackson, and during the Super Bowl halftime show.
In 2010, Blaine performed magic for 72 hours straight in Times Square, raising nearly $100,000 for relief efforts following the earthquake in Haiti.
This past October, Blaine stood atop a small, 22-foot high platform on New York's Pier 54, in the middle of a massive globe, surrounded by seven Tesla coils. The coils were directed at him for the entirety of the stunt, producing an electrical discharge of at least one million volts continuously for 72 hours. The event was streamed live via Youtube, engaging more than 400 million users with the event on the world's leading social networks.
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