Magician David Blaine is known for his over-the-top public spectacles. He has been buried alive, drowned alive, frozen in ice, and suspended five stories over Times Square in New York City. Learn more about this Brooklyn-born, NYC-bred magician.
David Blaine, The Early Years
David Blaine was born on April 4, 1973 in Brooklyn, New York. He is of Puerto Rican and Jewish decent and grew up in New Jersey, attending Passaic Valley High School in Little Falls. Blaine first became interested in magic at age 4 after he saw a street magician perform card tricks. David’s mother Patrice White strongly encouraged his new interest.
In his teens, Blaine caught the acting bug and frequently commuted from New Jersey into New York City to attend acting classes and auditions, managing to land some work in commercials and on the soaps.
At age 20, Blaine learned that his mother had been stricken with ovarian cancer. She passed away in 1994, but Blaine is frequently quoted saying that she remains an important influence on his life.
On his own, Blaine eventually settled in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan and continued to pursue his dream of becoming a famous magician.
The ambitious Blaine made sure to attend celebrity functions and hobnob with the rich and famous. He performed tricks for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and David Geffen. Word about his prowess as an illusionist soon began to spread.
Early on, David Blaine made his name performing magic tricks on the street and filming his volunteers’ reactions. The most dazzling of his street tricks was his levitation illusion, in which he appeared to magically raise himself up to two feet above the ground.
Hoping to drum up interest in his act, David sent a tape of his street performances to ABC. The response was encouraging to say the least. ABC gave Blaine a million dollar contract to produce David Blaine: Street Magic in 1997, which was followed by David Blaine: Magic Man in 1999.