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David Blaine

Magician David Blaine Was Born and Bred In New York City

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David Blaine Times Square NYC
David Blaine

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.
 

Family Tragedy

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.
 

Cause Celeb

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.
 

Street Magic

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.
 

The Performances/Spectacles

  • Buried Alive -- On April 5, 1999, Blaine spent one week buried inside a glass coffin at Donald Trump’s Trump Place Development on the West Side of Manhattan. Except for an area at the top that was open to the viewing public, the coffin was completely covered with dirt.


  • Frozen in Time -- On November 27, 2000, Blaine was encased in ice for almost 62 hours in New York’s Times Square. A network of tubes provided him with air, water, and the ability to relieve himself.


  • Vertigo -- On May 22, 2002,Blaine spent over 34 hours on a pillar 90 feet high and 22 inches wide in New York’s Bryant Park. David sustained a concussion during the stunt when he dove into a large pile of cardboard boxes at the foot of the pillar.


  • Above the Below -- On September 5, 2003, Blaine spent 44 days sealed inside a transparent glass box suspended 30 feet above the ground in London’s Potter Fields Park on the bank of the River Thames. The glass box was approximately 7 feet x 7 feet x 3 feet. During the 44 days, Blaine claims to have fasted and lost 54 pounds of body weight.


  • Drowned Alive -- On May 1, 2006, Blaine spent one week immersed in an 8-foot transparent sphere filled with water at Lincoln Center in New York City. The sphere was filled with 2000 gallons of water at a temperature of 96 degrees. Upon completing the week-long endurance test, Blaine removed his breathing apparatus in an attempt to break a world record of almost nine minutes without breathing. Unfortunately, he only reached 7 minutes 8 seconds before needing to come out. To prepare for the stunt, Blaine claims to have dropped his weight by 50 pounds so that his body would require less oxygen.


  • Gyroscope -- On Tuesday November 20, 2006, Blaine will be suspended 40 feet in the air above Times Square while spinning 8 times per minute. The stunt will last through Thanksgiving Day as Blaine attempts to escape by 5AM on Friday, November 23rd, 2006.
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