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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Did you hear the latest? » » Blaine kills himself live on MTV. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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hackmonkey
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I was reading The Guardian (U.K. newspaper) and it had a piece on Blaine and his new stunt. Most of it was waffle and one part revealed the Balducci lev. but the interesting part was a mention of an interview Blaine did with Carson Daily on MTV. He was aked about his model ex-girlfriend and he shows a tattoo of her first intial on his chest. Then he launches into a psychic surgery routine where he rips out his heart, then falls down dead. Security carry him off the stage and the audience are told it's the end of the show. A quote from one kid was "But there was no resolve, no resolution."

Two things, I have not seen this footage and would like to hear from anyone who has. Also is Mr. Blaine no longer trying to entertain his audience, just scare and confuse them? If he came back to life or something then it would of been magic, but it seems he just put on a gore show. He did this on live T.V. with kids watching, is that magic? Opinions............ Smile
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Manipulix
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No,

Perhaps modern art of entertainment?


Magically yours

Manipulix Smile
What is life without a little bit of magic?
Greg Arce
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I keep saying this: He is not trying to be a magician anymore. Forget your card tricks. Put away the coins. He is trying to be a mystic. Something otherworldly. And fortunately or unfortunately, he is succeeding in his quest. The public at large has been completely taken in and he'll continue to cash the big checks. Stop trying to question what he is doing and continue on your own paths. You can't be David Blaine and he can't be you. Be the best entertainer you can be. I'm sure like everything in the public's eye it will soon fade and be replaced by the new flavor of the month. For now, Blaine is the fudge ripple swirl with nuts.
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
rolandblais
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If ya wanna see the clip from mtv:

see it here:
http://www.singlereel.com/directory/clip-15914.html
or here
http://homepage.mac.com/magicmovies/iMovieTheater1.html

It's an interesting interview, but the heart business is like the last 30 seconds. It's an interesting bit.

I'm not a Blaine apologist, nor am I a "Blainiac," but I enjoy watching him - actually I enjoy watching the way people react to what he does - Whether it's a Drunk in San Francisco going "No Way!" to a trick I bought at Disneyland when I was 10, or some lady running in circles to another trick I bought at Disneyland when I was 10 (cig thru quarter; quarter in bottle). I get a kick out of watching the audience - and like him or not, he gets a reaction.

A pet peeve I have is that sometimes he'll do an effect and then just stare at the person - for a looooong time. I'm ready to move on but he's still starting at the person, and the person's just staring back, or making a remark like "cool," or "yeah," and then just looking at him for another 10 seconds. Or the (in my opinion) the really overdone "post levitation trauma" histrionics he'll go through - there's one segment on the Fearless DVD in "unseen Blaine" where he levitates for a guy then for several minutes after he's laying on the ground yelling at the cameraman and the other guy to "Get some help! Why are you still filming? Augh! Augh! Go get someone! What the F[expletive deleted] are you doing still filming? Go get HELP!" etc etc. I understand the why, but to me, the psychology behind it is just as effective as a simple "Phew, that's draining" or some such. (For the record, I'm not a performer - I love the art and love watching people be astonished)

Blaine has also said that he doesn't want to be thought of as a magician - that he's a Performer, an entertainer, etc. I think that's what al the stunts are about. I have a feeling he's a great admirer of Houdini (as evidenced by the art & production behind the Fearless DVD) and as such he's exploring all aspects of entertainment - magic, stunts, and spectacles. The stunts he did we and everyone else knew didn't involve magic or trickery - just training, and mental and physical discipline. I can understand the message that he wants people to believe that we are more than we appear to be, and can do more than we believe we can - so to me, Blaine is more of a performance artist that likes magic - and that the magic is a way to segue into different performance pieces to convey a broader message.

He's hot, and he's gonna be around for a while - and even if we've seen what he does before, there are multitudes who haven't. Case in point - I'd never heard of David Blaine until after his 1st special, Street Magic. A coworker came in the next day and was asking if I'd seen the show. I hadn't, so he related each in turn as he remembered them and I had a mental inventory going "know that, don't know that but read about it, wow, that's a cool trick, etc" - but this guy hadn't seen anything like that before. He didn't know of my interest in magic, and I bit my tongue - It was a lot of fun watching him excitedly tell me of all the exploits - and this guy, whose pretty smart, and not a believer in anything "other-worldy" - remarked at one point that "There's gotta be something up with this guy because what he did was *impossible!*" - That was in response to the mentalism effect where a thought of person was revealed spoken and written on the side of a cab. (More impressive to me what the girl that wrote a name on the pad and then it appeared on his arm) - and of course the "levitation" blew him away - I never went into the discourse of editing, or reshoots, or any other tv production issues, I just smiled and shared his amazement. (I did do the balducci several weeks later - just for him, and he was freaked - that felt good.)

In the long run, isn't that what its really all about? Helping someone cross the veil between what's known, and not, even for a moment, even when they know, or have been told, that what they're experiencing is an illusion? that moment of "That can't be happening" is something I cherish, whether its happening to me, or I'm watching it happen to someone else.

That's what drew me to magic so long ago.

PS: Sorry to have rambled on so, but It's a slow night...

Peace,
R
Cornelius
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I like watching Blaine as well. He's okay but he isn't a very interesting guy. The magic is interesting though. I'm not sure about the guy. I have mixed feelings about him. Some people say that he will surpass Houdini. But I ask the question: how do you we know how great Houdini really was? Do those people know about Houdini? HOUDINI WAS DA BOMB!

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Paul
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I think when the Blaine heart thing originally aired it was late at night.

As for no resolve, obviously he survived to stand on the pole.Smile

I remember years back Paul Daniels did a Halloween special at the end of which he was placed into an iron maiden, people thought it was an escapology stunt but the door suddenly slammed shut and the credits rolled. The BBC switchboard was jammed with people ringing to see if he was alright.Duh! The show wasn't even live lol.

Paul.
mattneufeld
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I'll have to disagree about two things in previous posts here: 1) Ignore Blaine and move on. 2) He's trying to be "an entertainer" like Houdini and trying new things and he's exploring more than magic, etc., etc. While I appreciate a lively discussion on this guy, let's not just 1) ignore him and not criticize his shortcomings, and 2) justify his stuff by trying to delve into what he's doing and accepting it.
I have a better solution: let's call Blaine on this stuff. One, it's never any good just to "accept" something and then move on. That's more towards apathy. It's better to raise hell, criticize and do something about something that is obviously angering and upsetting a lot of people in the magic community. We need to tear him apart, criticize, etc. Why? Not because we're jealous or anger, but because what he's doing is hurting magic, hurting the magic community, hurting the reputation of magic and hurting, even, the audiences out there who like to be entertained by magic. Many, many people have blasted Blaine for his weirdness, his blatant lack of acting talent and his attempts at crude audience manipulation--and I'm talking about folks who know nothing about magic. So if he's angering the audience, then we need to focus on what's wrong and how to fix it.
Second, he may be trying to be more than just a magician and follow in Houdini's path. But the sad truth is that his television shows are horrible--horribly staged, paced, written, directed and acted. There is no theme, pace or suspense and the tricks, after all, aren't that new or groundbreaking. And even the stunts have been criticized for a lack of suspense. And Blaine will never, ever, be anything close to Houdini--read two of the autobiographies of Houdini and you'll see that Houdini was an innovator, a groundbreaker, a superb showman, a superb magician, a debunker of many scams and urban legends (one of Houdini's books is nothing but debunking) and a shrewd observer of his times and the human condition. Blaine, alas, doesn't reach Houdini's level in any of these areas.
And the ratings for his shows have been steadily sinking, and the calls for him to stop the nonsense--from many magicians and from the public--are growing.
DaveB
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Not directed at anybody, but just my general opinion:

The way I see it, if you don't like Blaine fine, but why go through the time and energy to knock him? He is obviously popular or he would not be on T.V as much as he is. I do see a lot of this as jealousy. Some people have more experience then Blaine's age and that makes them angry. Not at Blaine, but at themselves for not trying to take a piece of the pie or have their own T.V special. I don't think its because he's performing badly or giving away how things are done. Let the public decide.

If you asked the public if they like David Blaine or not, you will most likely get a yes, no, or who cares. But for some reason the same question will bring rage when you speak to "some" in the magic profession.

For many folks, their only exposure to magic are David Copperfield specials on T.V. Now to "some" this gets old fast. I'm not knocking Copperfield, but I would be just as happy watching a good performance from Jeff McBride, Michael Ammar, Peter Marucci or Scott Guinn.
Its a matter of personal preference. That's what the buttons on your remote control are for. If you don't like it, don't watch. What amazes me is that the ones who hate David Blaine the most have seen every one of his T.V specials. I don't like The Back Street Boys, and I can honestly say I've never watched any of their T.V concerts, videos, interviews, or lobotomy. I change the channel.
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Greg Arce
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Just a quick point: He must be affecting people if some hate what he is doing so much... so even bad publicity is good publicity because it gets your name out there. As far as bad technique in the production of the show: check the tv stats on its ratings. It's very high. The country loves it. People think it's unique. The network loves it because it's such a cheap show to produce and still makes a ton of money for them. Hollywood is only interested in what makes money. Right now he makes money for them. That's all they care about. If tomorrow people wanted to watch movies about poodles eating pies, well, believe me there would be a dozen movies about poodles eating pies. You can scream and shout all you want... David ain't going away for awhile.
I'm sure there will be many that disagree, but who wants to take the bet that there will be another David Blaine special, and one after that?
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
mattneufeld
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I have to correct the last post on several points: According to the latest Nielsen ratings report that included the most recent David Blaine television show, that show received incredibly LOW ratings. In fact, it was one of the lowest-rated shows of that week. A network insider suggested that they are indeed fed up with the ratings AND the quality of the shows and programmers are indeed re-evaluating whether they will show any more of Blaine's stunt/p.r. shows. They want magic, and the public wants magic, and the shows are not giving anyone magic.
Also, as many in the public and in magic have said repeatedly, it's NOT about jealousy. It's about quality--people simply dislike Blaine, his stunts, his magic, his weirdness and his television shows. You can dislike something if you feel it brings down the profession as a whole, and there are many magicians who feel that's the problem. It's not jealousy, but a genuine care and affection for the profession. And that's a noble cause.
Greg Arce
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I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the Blaine issue... let's just see what the future holds.
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
hackmonkey
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I really didn't wan't a discussion on Blaine, just on the trick and his performance. I like Blaine for the most part, but i fell no need to 'move on' as he is part of the magic commmunity. Why should we just forget about him just because you don't like him. He is a very public member of our craft and therefor effects it.





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Greg Arce
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I'm not sure who you directed the last statement at, but if I sounded like I wanted to move on, well, I didn't mean as far as dismissing him from magic. I meant that I see many magi fuss over the fact that not enough magic is being presented in the shows and "what's with all the weird stuff." Well, Blaine is trying to be something of a Geller... not a magician, per se. He wants to amaze the public not with card tricks, but just himself. He is portraying himself as a strange individual with weird powers... far beyond those of mortal men. So far it''s working. Most people I talk to and even some new magicians see him as something more than a magician. I know the magic community wants to judge him by the power of his trick bag, but that is not what he is going for... anymore. I mention an example to this in a past post: I'm from the world of theater and acting. I would probably be correct in assuming that some of the individuals that dislike the Blaine shows probably go to and love movies and certain actors that some actors would scoff at. You couldn't pay me enough money to see Keanu Reeves do a Pinter or Beckett or Mamet play, but yet millions go to see his work and adore him. Do I blame him for cashing his checks at the end of the day? No. As long as the public is fooled keep cashing those checks. I'll keep standing on the sidelines enjoying all the banter.
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
rnaviaux
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This is for anyone who has actually read and understood 'Strong Magic' by Darwin Ortiz.

David Blaine is one of the best guys we have out there right now. He has taken the chessiness out of magic. THe ONLY people I have ever heard criticize him are magicians. ANd usually not very good ones at that.

When a spectator says that I must have made a deal with the devil I take it as quite the compliment. Lay people ALWAYS say that about Blaine - ALWAYS!

The staring bit is a stroke of genius in my eyes. Magic is about creating an effect. He does it.

And it is not okay to critcize Blaine. THis forum has rules against it. It is the only reason I come here. If we criticize Blaine then we criticize Matt Nuefeld which frankly will be a lot easier.

Randy
GothicBen
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I'm not Blaine's biggest fan, but I don't loathe him, either. He HAS, for better or worse, changed the layperson's opinion on magic.

He's young, he's goodlooking, and dresses like a typical young man. He doesn't make offensive comments or belittle his fans.

rnaviaux says Blaine took the cheesiness out of magic, perhaps he's right. Time has moved on from the 70s and 80s. and the plastic smiles and bouffant hairdos are out of date.

Ten years from now, maybe another magician will appear, appearing to update magic's image for the next generation, I'll be there, offering tacit support.

love and peas,

Ben
hackmonkey
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O.K i guess no-one feels like commenting on this clip, but hey nice discussion anyway. If anyone feels like commenting on this effect itself or whether you would consider it magic please feel free. Smile
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Greg Arce
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It sounded like you got an answer. Many of us consider it a magic effect although not in the traditional sense. Think about the first time you heard Gellar bent a spoon. Would you really have thought that was a good magic effect? I remember thinking, "Bending metal? What the heck is that about?" And at the time I was doing magic and considered the guy the real thing because I had never heard of that before and he was being displayed as the real thing. I hate to admit it, but in my early teens I spent some time staring at a fork and seeing if I could get it to bend. I remember magicians attacking that guy, too.
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
Huw Collingbourne
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Quote:
On 2002-06-15 10:30, hackmonkey wrote:
Then he launches into a psychic surgery routine where he rips out his heart, then falls down dead. Security carry him off the stage and the audience are told it's the end of the show.

This sounds like a hommage to Simon Drake (a man whose style appeals to me much more than Blaine's). I don't know how many of you saw Drake's Secret Cabaret series which was shown on British TV some years ago. It seems to me that just about every week Drake was apparently 'killed' by one of the tricks in his show. I well remember one in which a group of maniacal nurses strapped Drake to an operating table and then chainsawed him in half from the legs upward! (ugh!) Very gory. The credits rolled as Drake was apparently left sliced and diced with no hope of recovery....

But, Drake always did his illusions in a very tongue-in-cheek way. The sawing illusion undoubtedly had some shock value - but I think most viewers found it funny rather than disturbing.

I have to say that The Secret Cabaret was the first TV magic show that made me realise that magic could be enormous fun. Until then I'm afraid I'd always thought of magic (on TV anyway) as pretty dull...

best wishes
Huw
Greg Arce
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I heard about the Secret Cabaret and always thought it was a great idea. For awhile I was toying around with doing some very dark magic in conjunction with my stand-up comedy persona. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll pull that character out of the coffin and get him back on stage.
Greg
One of my favorite quotes: "A critic is a legless man who teaches running."
hackmonkey
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I remember Simon, he is one one the people that inspired me to get back into magic. I wish he would get back on T.V. I heard he still does shows every so often with very limited tickets. If anyone knows where I could get some let me know. Greg I wasn't aiming that earlier comment at you in particular. I've been working on some gothic themed magic as well, now where's my black nailpolish??? Smile
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