|Born||Apr. 4, 1973
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
David Blaine has had a unique and interesting career as a magician and an illusionist. Unlike others who practice their trade in the world of nightclubs and dinner theaters, Blaine gained notoriety as a street magician, which is someone who draws an audience by calling people who pass by to watch. This was the original way magicians actually worked many decades ago.
David Blaine was born on April 4, 1973, in Brooklyn, NY. At the age of four, Blaine saw a street magician performing in the subway. He was immediately captivated by the performance. His young eyes had never seen anything that intriguing before. Once he saw the act, the seed was planted in his mind that becoming a magician was the career path he should take. And take it he did.
The Start of a Career
Blaine attended the Neighborhood Playhouse drama school where he studied acting. His acting and entertainment career was quite successful as he was featured in commercials and soap operas. Blaine never gave up on magic and opted to perform street magic tricks in New York. More than likely, he did so as a way of making extra income.
Although he was mainly performing street tricks, people began to take notice and Blaine was being booked for more formal magic events. Often, he would present his magical act at private parties held by celebrities. Within a short period of time, a big television break loomed on the horizon.
Blaine’s TV Special
Televised magic acts have a history dating back to the golden age of the 1950s. In 1997, David Blaine was featured in a television special entitled David Blaine: Street Magic. The show drew in an audience that had also tuned in to watch the Magic of David Copperfield specials years before. The special aired on ABC and the network was first made aware of Blaine when a demo tape of his street magic performances was viewed by a producer. The special was quite a hit in the ratings and a follow-up was ordered. The sequel special was called David Blaine: Magic Man, which aired in 1999.
In 2000, Blaine started to perform endurance stunts, another staple of traditional magic acts. These stunts, however, can come with a greater degree of danger than the common magic or illusionist act.
On April 5, 1999, Blaine performed his first endurance stunt in NYC. He was placed in a casket-like box where he remained buried under nearly three tons of water. The stunt was a huge hit. Blaine followed the buried alive stunt with a unique variant. He was frozen in a block of ice for 72 hours straight. Another stunt saw him stand on top of a 100 foot pillar for 35 straight hours.
In 2010, Blaine did 72 straight hours of magic in Times Square to raise money for relief following the earthquake in Haiti. The event was named “Magic for Haiti” and he helped raise about $100,000 to send for relief.