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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » David Blaine (14 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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stoneunhinged
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Nothing reminds a non magician that he is actually in a magic forum better than discussions of David Blaine. It amuses me greatly that y'all speak of how good or bad his DL is. It also amuses me that you don't like his version of patter.

Do you magicians realize how bad your patter is? Ask someone like me what I really think and I'll tell the vast majority of you that your patter sucks, you speak too fast, and you dress poorly. I'm talking something like 99% of you. And you criticize David Blaine?

Here's what he has done, 100% successfully: he has created "David Blaine." (Norma Jean created Marilyn Monroe, 100% successfully, too. Unfortunately, Marilyn Monroe killed Norma Jean. But I digress.) You magicians seem to miss the point that what David Blaine is is a character, a creation, and a successfully entertaining one.

Folks, it ain't about the tricks. You kinda know that, but you kinda don't, either.

But enough of this serious talk. I've written extensively about this stuff in the Food for Thought forum. I think it behooves you to listen to what people like me observe regarding your so-called "Art". (It's not Art, by the way--not until you go beyond discussions of craft and begin thinking like...well...like David Blaine, and create characters and stage Events.)

I love you all, or I wouldn't be here. But...ahem!...you ain't David Blaine. Or David Copperfield. Or Tommy Wonder. Or Criss Angel.

UPDATE: I didn't want to double post, so I'm putting this here: when I say, "people like me" I know that most of you probably don't know what I mean. I love watching magic. Perhaps the word is "connoisseur". I also know a lot of your secrets. That kinda comes with the territory. But I love to be fooled and love a good magic act. Basically, I'm one of your customers, not one of your peers.
rowdymagi5
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Quote:
On Jun 5, 2018, daffydoug wrote:
Like him or hate him...from early on Blaine found what worked for Blaine. And it worked for him to the tune of lots of greenbacks flowing into his bank account..

We don't got to be him. But we got to find what works for us.


You got that right. He is worth about between 12 and 18 million dollars. Not too bad at all!
rockwall
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Quote:
On Jun 6, 2018, stoneunhinged wrote:
...

UPDATE: I didn't want to double post, so I'm putting this here: when I say, "people like me" I know that most of you probably don't know what I mean. I love watching magic. Perhaps the word is "connoisseur". I also know a lot of your secrets. That kinda comes with the territory. But I love to be fooled and love a good magic act. Basically, I'm one of your customers, not one of your peers.


Well, comeon. You know that 99% of the people here are more likely 'people like you' and NOT 'people like him'. (Especially the ones complaining.)
Pakar Ilusi
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To the OP...

Blaine actually swallows the frogs he regurgitates beforehand. The loading is done before.

That's a skill he acquired, by his own admission, after he was able to do the water spouting/regurgitation skill.

I love his Acts but I have worked with him once when he came down to Malaysia. He was a bit of a Diva. Sad, really.

I'll leave that story for another day.
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
stoneunhinged
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Of course he's a bit of a Diva! So are you, Pakar. You come to my town and I'm gonna wine you and dine you and treat you like the wonderful guy you are. You deserve it.
daffydoug
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Spoken like a true gentleman..
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Pakar Ilusi
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On Jun 7, 2018, stoneunhinged wrote:
Of course he's a bit of a Diva! So are you, Pakar. You come to my town and I'm gonna wine you and dine you and treat you like the wonderful guy you are. You deserve it.


Awww, schucks... Thanks stoneunhinged.

Come over to my neck of the woods and I'll treat you to some great Malaysian food! 😉👍
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
lynnef
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Quote:
On Jun 7, 2018, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
To the OP...

Blaine actually swallows the frogs he regurgitates beforehand. The loading is done before.

That's a skill he acquired, by his own admission, after he was able to do the water spouting/regurgitation skill.

I love his Acts but I have worked with him once when he came down to Malaysia. He was a bit of a Diva. Sad, really.

I'll leave that story for another day.




There's a spot in the back of the throat where one is able to regurgitate without completely swallowing. This is not a magic secret at all. It is a skill to be acquired. I do not advise it, because of the possiblity of choking! I was told this, not by a magician, but by a heroin dealer, who hid small balloons in the back of the throat. Obviously, VERY dangerous. This dealer was eventually imprisoned, quit his drug habit, got married, became my friend, etc and is now living the life of a grandpa. He never went back to his bad habits, including 'regurgitating'. All that aside, I do love Blaine for what he's done for magic, as I've said many times. Lynn
WitchDocChris
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Regurgitation is an ancient Yoga practice as well. A friend of mine actually learned it from a monk in Southeast Asia some years ago. You start with liquids, then move on to powders (like sugar) then solids, as I recall.
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landmark
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After liquids and powders, you move onto frogs.
daffydoug
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Yuk.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
R.S.
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On Jun 14, 2018, landmark wrote:
After liquids and powders, you move onto frogs.


That's toadally disgusting.

Ron
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lynnef
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Remember the song "there was an old lady who swallowed a fly"? Remember the verse: "... swallowed a frog, what a hog..." No? Sorry, I guess I am fibbin' again! Lynn
sirbrad
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Blaine is awesome. Back in the day when Blaine did his "Street Magic" special forums were rockin' like never before. Mostly by beginners who were seeking out every effect that they saw Blaine perform on TV. After Street Magic I remember seeing hundreds of members online on average, and I am willing to bet that most or many are members here because of Blaine. But for most magic is just a passing phase, but sometimes a simple TV show can rejuvenate interest. Before Street Magic made its debut I was still performing stage magic mostly, and was thinking about moving on to another field due to burn out.

But the show actually changed that by rekindling my interest in close-up magic, along with "The Art of Magic" and seeing Jamy Ian Swiss and others around the same time. Blaine also transcended the art by showcasing the spectator's reactions as opposed to the magician, which was ingenious. The spectator's reactions reminded me why I have done this for so long. It also motivated me to do a lot more close-up work which made traveling a lot easier and lighter. Blaine gets a lot of people interested in magic, and you can only wonder how many others will embark on their own magic journey after seeing him, and maybe even end up here on the Café. Or maybe those who left will get bitten by the magic bug again and end up back here as some do?

I never get tired of seeing Blaine's shows, probably because they inspired me to stick with magic and take it in more directions which made a huge difference in my career and life. So every time I see one of his shows I get that special feeling again, which in itself is truly "magical". Luckily he seems to be going back to his roots and doing more "street magic" as I do not care for his stunts. Most of Blaine's magic is accessible and doable in the real world, and all you need is a "deck of cards" and some spectators that is why it is so interesting.

At least Blaine has chops and can do sleight of hand. I actually like Blaine and his attitude, and much of what he does is not easy for most. Push off doubles, Randy Holt's Curly Cue, Simple Switch, Shapeshifter, one-handed riffle shuffles, and the Hotshot Cut, to name only a few. That is why I like Blaine, he appears to genuinely care about what he is doing, and he smiles and laughs with the crowd, and connects with them like no other performer on TV. Others act like they are magic Gods and that the audience is stupid. Blaine is down to earth and on their side, and shares the experience. He doesn't deny having powers nor does he say that he does. He even said it was "entertainment". His character is likeable, mystical, and polite.

Also most of what Blaine did was real-world tricks, not camera editing, actors/stooge BS like we seen from Criss Angel and others. Stuff I used for a very long time myself already. He did a plethora of card and coin sleights, Hot Shot Cut, Snap Change, Cigarette Thru Quarter, Bite-Out Coin, Curly Cue, Rising Card Deck, Be Honest Which One Is It (2-card monte) Arm twist, (Disjointed) Balducci, The Raven, Simple Switch, Healed and Sealed, Card to pocket, Ambitious Card, Card Stab, Dragon Thread, Card To Mouth, Knife Thru Tongue, Invisible Deck, Shape Shifter, Mentalism, Ashes To Arm, Vanishing Deck, Torn and Restored Card, Watch Steal, Watch Stopping, Fraud, Coin Bend, Strange Travelers, Cap in bottle, Extreme Burn, Here and There, Floating Bill, Sharpie Card Revelation, Voodoo Ashes to Palm, etc and those are just off the top of my head.

I have done all of those for many years and continue to use them today. Those are real-world tricks and almost all of what he did on Street Magic. I don't mind if he has to "clean up" something for TV to protect it from repeat views as long as it is real-world material which most of it is. Also his "lack of presentation" Is a presentation in itself, and that of a wandering hobo with mystical powers. That of a "Mysterious Stranger" which is his character. So overall I like his magic still a lot, but his "stunts" do not really interest me. He is dedicated fully to his art and is a great historian as well. His fame and world-wide success speaks for itself. And he did not have to be the "best" technician or even the best performer to achieve that status and success. All he had to be was himself and his character.
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
sirbrad
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On May 1, 2018, lynnef wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 30, 2018, landmark wrote:
But the lesson is, in order to be David Blaine, skill in executing a DL is less important (not unimportant, but less important) than other kinds of skills. The question is, can we identify those other skills and then learn from him?


Good point, Jack! Altho he's more Vegas style now, in his early clips, imho Blaine showed a pretty good skill at busking on the street. Even if his sleights were imperfect, he was able to get it by with good eye contact, choice of non-celebrity spectators (note how he could play friends off of one another), patter, etc. I know these vids were edited, but I still think these types of skills are valuable! Lynn


What Blaine did is not actually busking, with busking you set up a show on the street and do a pitch and bring the crowd to you and work for tips in a hat. You are doing a stage or close-up show on the streets for a crowd, and you are the focus. Whereas Blaine went out after spectators with a camera crew, and the focus was on the spectators and their reactions. Busking used to be referred to as "Street Magic" back in the day, but now they call it "Busking" as not to confuse it with Blaine's style. But as Jamy Ian Swiss stated in his long article "In Search of Street Magic" and on his interview with "Magic Newswire" there are only a handful of "Street Magicians" in the world and they all "have camera crews attached to their butts." (cleaned up version lol)

Otherwise you are simply bothering random passerby's who are in a hurry to get to their destination, and usually have no interest in seeing magic at that time. So that is why "Street Magic" does not really exist except on TV, and no one makes a living from it except those on TV. Unless they are very lucky, and very fortunate that everyone is receptive to being stopped from getting to their job to see card tricks, and are very wealthy and very generous with their tips. As well as the performer being very lucky not to get caught taking money on the streets, and not having a permit to do so. So yeah that is why Street Magic only exists on TV for the most part, and they only show the spectators that are receptive or asked to play the part. But Blaine also showed a few that were not so receptive as well to keep it real.

https://www.magicana.com/news/blog/take-......c-part-1
https://www.magicana.com/news/blog/take-......c-part-2
http://mnw.squarespace.com/magicnewsfeed......iss.html
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
Dannydoyle
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I am not being critical of David Blaine when I say that "busking" has as much to do with his first specials, or anything he has ever done as a hot dog and a warm puppy. To jump out of a limo and announce he will be doing some magic for you, and the whole second unit shows up to film is not busking at all. It is TV production.

This is cool because he was filming a TV show. So it is not bad to do this. But it is also not busking.

He started the trend of kids not knowing better thinking he just walked up and ambushed people at random with magic and for this I will forever hold a grudge.
Danny Doyle
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ed rhodes
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I agree.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
mr_misdirection
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I don't judge a magician by their technical ability alone. I judge them by their whole being. Their act, their styles etc. Watch YouTube and the world is full of thecnically gifted people without an ounce of character,

David Blaine, whilst not always my cup of tea brought magic back into the TV public eye here in the U.K. Not everyone here liked Paul Daniels (not me I idolised him) but what he did for magic is immeasurable.

Blaine created a character which was the antidote to the smarmy magicians you saw on TV segments and that resonated with a new generation of TV viewers,

As has been said 20 years in the public eye is no fluke.

Did I like that trick? Nooooo, but hey I'm not worth £18mil and have Jimmy Fallon inviting me to perform on TV.
lynnef
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I get a lot of points being made about Blaine not busking. Also, the camera does change things a lot even in the filming of street magic. It is worth noting that one of Blaine's first influences was Jeff Sheridan, who definitely was known for street magic, even if it was in the park. It's definitely not about ambushing people, even captive audiences like in restaurants. Buskers, like the magicians I see at our local street fair, have to attract an audience on the spot. Yes, they rely on tips... but sometimes they DO have permits, and they DO have business cards as well! That said, I still think there's something to learn in the way Blaine engages street spectators (at least in the beginning) that differ from magic on the big stage. When I think of the word "busking", I think of Gazzo. But even now, I think he is kind of a celebrity !lol Lynn
sirbrad
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That is true but back then it was indeed called "Street Magic" but Jeff was technically "Busking" in which he drew a crowd and performed in a stage like setting. After Blaine's special "Street Magic" they had to call it "busking" as to not confuse people as Jamy Ian Swiss said. Jeff was not chasing people down on the streets with a camera attached to his butt. Yes the camera does change a lot of things especially for the viewer at home, which takes focus off the performer and puts it on the spectator's reactions. This helps the performer drastically as far as hiding things and angles, and protects more from repeat viewings. It is more of a "show" for the home audience than the people on the streets. But regardless you are still performing for people in the streets just a different "approach".
The great trouble with magicians is the fact that they believe when they have bought a certain trick or piece of apparatus, and know the method or procedure, that they are full-fledged mystifiers. -- Harry Houdini
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