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Profile of BananaTop
I owe all my success to Blaine. He is what got me interested in magic. When his first special came out I liked it and by the time the last one came out I knew tons of other magicians. What blain did was good, he gave the layman a little taste of this great art and got many ppl hooked, like me!

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On 2004-10-30 12:32, BananaTop wrote:
I owe all my success to Blaine. He is what got me interested in magic. When his first special came out I liked it and by the time the last one came out I knew tons of other magicians. What blain did was good, he gave the layman a little taste of this great art and got many ppl hooked, like me!


What success? Could you be more specific? Your 6 night a week magic gig? Your international fame?
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Profile of dankai

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114 Posts Posted: Jun 10, 2004 1:43pm

I know the subject of Blaine has been absolutely beaten to death and back. For that I apologize in advance. I would like to offer some insight into his success and the feelings other magicians have for Mr. Blaine.

The reason magician's do not like David Blaine is they feel many many more magicians are more deserving of his success. Magicians like Michael Ammar, Bill Malone, Dai Vernon, Ed Marlo, THESE should be the household names, not David Blaine.

First of all, David is a businessman. A very good one as well. He developed a plan to successfully market his magic to ABC executives and did so. So in other words Blaine marketed his product rather than focusing on making his product better than anyone else's.

To give you an example of this I have been asked the question before: can you make a hamburger better than mcdonalds? Yes of course, anyone can. But, can you create a more efficient business plan than the McDonalds corporation? No, I don't think so. But I don't go around screaming "no fair I can make better hamburgers than mcdonalds" which essentially is what the magic community is saying about David.

So here are a bunch of magicians claiming David does not deserve his success. On the other hand David created a great business plan, marketed it to ABC so I believe he DOES deserve his success, as is often the case, strategy is more important than product.

It's no accident McDonalds is the most successful and profitable food franchise in the world. So essentially I'm saying David Blaine is the McDonalds of magicians, and I definitely don't mean that in a bad way. David did not "get lucky" and fall into his success. And magician's have a problem with that. We should be congratulating David instead of tearing him down

Couldn't have said it better. David made magic real again.
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Profile of Alexandermagic
I'm just reading all of this and wondering why is there so little attention being paid to what Blaine's real genius is, as Pete Biro pointed out, "Turning The Camera On The Spectators". That's really about it. No other magician had ever thought to go into gang ridden streets and do a double lift before. They certainly could have, and had ABC record it. Yeah, over the years his skill level caught up to a level that no one can call him a bad magician anymore, but it's nothing any of you couldn't also do by consulting with the very best, as Blaine has. I watched the first couple of specials and was like, "he mumbles! the magic is average! There's a butt load of edits!" but I also said, "hey he's a Hot Bucket Of Spooky" "He's dope" "He's dating Fiona Apple" "Someone had to do it". Can't see Copperfield, Henning, Blackstone or S&R doing that. But today, when a DJ showing up in a track suit and playing tracks off his Ipod passes for entertainment, why not the same with magic? It's so far beyond McDonnald's, as some of you have said, it's not even funny. When people in clubs say, "that's David Blaine type stuff" when you do a double lift, you know he did something right! My only negative is that, I once heard him actually put down Copperfield on Carson Daly's show. This was in my opinion in very poor taste, and showed just who he really was.

Please! Are you kidding me? Copperfield is a genius. You can't even compare Blaine to Copperfield. That's like comparing Milli Vanilli to Mozart. Copperfield never put down Henning although he could have. He knew he could make magic slicker, cleaner and stronger and did. With action, not words. And we're talking Emmy award winning television specials, flawless touring master show, working 100 hours/week, household name for decades, more awards than any magician in history. I always wondered why Blaine did a few specials and then nothing. Left it wide open for Criss Angel. Copperfield, never let up for a second, not even to this day!
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Profile of ATL
What is this elitism and hate here. I don't see any problem with Blaine. He does his stuff and he does it well. His goals sure are probably different than a lot of people here and that's okay.

One thing that's brought up here is, "Is he good magician?" and this totally depends on how you define good magician. I have heard all kinds of definitions. I mean I have heard some people assert that a person can't be good/real magician if they don't create own tricks. etc.

Now in the sense how I use skill(meaning sleight of hand/mechanical skill), I wouldn't call Blaine very skillful, he's not exactly FISM winner, but he's solid. I'd bet he can perform all sleights he need by far cleanly enough to pass just about any lay audience.

When talking about him as magician I'm couldn't care less about what he has said about someone, if he's credited or not credited someone etc. That's relevant to him as person, but not for him as magician and has nothing to do if he's good, okay or bad magician. That's like saying Bryant is bad basketball player because he's ***. Like those two things aren't mutually exclusive.

Also what the hell means deserving for his success? I think none. Just because someone is good, doesn't mean they deserve success. Success in entertainment tends to be something that appeals to masses. That doesn't always equal being good. There clearly is market for they type of character Blain represents and what he does, if there are people who can pull off that role better, then how come none of those people did it before, contacted to these channels before etc. Any of magicians brought up here I can't imagine doing Blaine's role in credible way. Trying to compare Copperfield and Blaine just sounds to me like comparing weightlifter and marathon runner, like what's the point.

Personally I don't consider Blaine as skilled magician, but solid with his skills as any professional would need to be. Depending what is the definition it might change, but under what I'd use I would say Blaine is good magician. I'd define good as EITHER being very top at one category(success, skill, creativity/publishing etc.) or having solid combination of several categories. Like even if I don't like the person or the act, as it is in Blaine's case, if a person is FISM Winner or has incredible amount of viewership/success or has published immense amount of material, then I don't know how I could with straight face say they are objectively not good in one sense or another.

Sometimes I just feel when people hear about someone's success they rather try to find negative from it than be happy for that person. Blaine has his style, it works for him and he's able to achieve things with it, see no problem in that. I find it stupid to point out that maybe he can't do this type of thing or that type of show. So what? There's nothing wrong focusing on one style only, if that style is television magic and you can make it work and sell it, so be it. I see that not much different from many card manipulators for example who only do that pretty much or as example from basketball as pure shooters. Like some of these arguments are like saying "That shooter can't dunk therefore he sucks.", like that would make any sense. If you can find a niche, do only that and get hired, then your demonstrably don't suck.
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Profile of TheRealMagicMike
Once we become a "professional magician" (accepting money for gigs at any level) we are essentially in the marketing business. This holds true for any real business. David Blaine apparently understood this and out-marketed other, more talented magicians. To me, it's really as simple as that. I've never been a fan of his, and even complained a bit when I saw him on TV doing card tricks right out of Michael Ammar's "Easy to Master Card Miracles"... but the truth is, he did what every good business person needs to do: market, market, market.
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Profile of TheMagicalMan
First of all who said Magicians hate David Blaine ? From what I've seen Magicians hate Criss Angel not David Blaine for obvious reasons.....
Michael Ammar, Bill Malone, etc.. would've been successful but I don't think like Blaine. His STUNTS got worldwide attention which they probably wouldn't have done. Not to mention his mysterious persona that I believe is the BEST persona I've ever seen on a Magician before. Blaine revolutionized magic only like Copperfield has. He has made Magic to mainstream and got international attention for it not to mention the respect and admiration for Magicians and the higher value of cash spent on Magicians per performance !
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Profile of Kyoki_Sanitys_Eclipse
I think Blaine is a very talented magician. I just don't like how he treats his spectators sometimes
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Profile of MaxfieldsMagic
I liked Blaine's performing style from the first time I saw him on TV, because he didn't seem to fit any stereotype of a traditional magician character. He brought an earnestness to his performances, and treated the magic as if it really was something special and worthy of quiet respect, rather than a cabaret piece to be dressed up with witty banter.

When Nirvana became popular in the early 90's, some attributed their success to a grit of authenticity that was a refreshing break from the overproduced pap of late 80's radio rock. At that time, there were any number of big-haired guitar slingers way more technically adept than Kurt Cobain, but somehow his simple songs and rudimentary playing seemed real. I think Blaine was successful for similar reasons.
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Profile of danielvanm
I agree with maxfieldmagic here.. I loved to see Blaine perform and still do.. His style is awesome and he gets great reactions from people with simple tricks, better reactions than most magicians get.. And I certainly don't think he treats his spectators wrong, people like his mysterious way of performing.. Nowadays his way of acting is different, it's less mysterious looking and I think more normal, I like that as well. And I really don't understand the people who claim he's just a business man and not a magician, he's definitely a magician and a good one. He knows a lot about the history as well and he knows how to show "miracles" instead of just magic tricks.
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Profile of HenryleTregetour
I have read through all these posts and the one thing that everyone has missed is this:

Blaine is a "Hip Hop" magician, and "urban" performer. His personality and performance are things of the "street" and his audience consists of people to whom "Hip Hop" has appeal (of course I don't mean this is exclusively his audience).

He is a man of this time, unlike most magicians (at least in America) who are overwhelmingly white and "square" (no criticism meant here--I am white and very "square").

Just like Rock and Roll has been superceded by Rap, so "Street Magic" (meaning what Blaine does) has superceded the magic of pre-1990. Essentially, he is a man of the current times, and that is why he is so popular.

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Profile of ThSecret
There is a big difference between being an Magician and Being and Entertainer. Blaine has answer the question what are you? With the Answer A showman.

Definitions as follow;
a person who produces or presents shows as a profession, especially the proprietor, manager, or MC of a circus, fair, or other variety show.

a person, such as a singer, dancer, or comedian, whose job is to entertain others.

a person with magical powers.
a conjuror.

A showman is an entertainer. Blaine is a showman. He is an entertainer who performs magic and feats of endurance. I do not believe anyone here is a magician as per the first definition, but the latter is somewhat possible. One can be a conjuror, but not a magician - "A person with magical powers".
(^That is looking at it from a literal perspective. One can also argue you are a magician because you perform magic tricks or illusions.)

I think it is crazy that people bash other successful people. We are all people. You hate because, you are jealous? angry? insecure? There is never really a good reason. You would be crazy not to respect the individual's success and ask yourself what you can learn from them, and why it is they have made it where they are. Even if you hate the person (as you are entitled to your own opinion), if they are successful you can always learn something from them. So why no do so instead of bashing them.

Blaine much like Copperfield, and Penn And Teller are entertainers who practice magic. For the purpose of this thread, David Blaine does not just practice magic in the traditional sense of cardistry and illusions. He does stunts as well as other sideshow acts. He does do card magic as well and I think he does a darn good job with the effects he does. But again I feel like his performance is what really sells the effect.

[Side Note:]
Another great example of this, and you would know this very well if you watch wrestling in the 90's.... The WWF [World Wrestlin g Federation) (now WWE [World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT]) and WCW [World Championship Wrestling] What happened you ask? Well today, the Billionaire Mr McMahon -the chairman of WWE, had then, bought out his competition.

How and why? The WWF was an Entertainment company that had a wrestling show, and the WCW was a Wrestling company that was trying to provide an entertainment show. In the long run, the entertainment company was thriving and the wrestling company was falling.
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Profile of Rainboguy
I think that the fundamental problem that many Magicians have with David Blaine is that he is a MUCH better Magician than they are!
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On Mar 2, 2017, Rainboguy wrote:
I think that the fundamental problem that many Magicians have with David Blaine is that he is a MUCH better Magician than they are!

Absolutely true! His close up magic is fantastic - he is a skilled and talented performer. That said, I think many are also upset with the constant camera edits and cuts (for effects that cannot ever be done for a live audience in the way they appear to be presented for TV, etc)... I find that irritating.
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Profile of Rainboguy
TV is it's own medium, relying on it's own unique methodology.

Editing is a HUGE part of recorded Television, and is absolutely necessary. Having said that, with or without editing, Mr. Blaine could still perform his close-up, sleight of hand illusions perfectly. Chris Angel could NOT do this, as his whole "TV Persona" revolves around, let's say, camera "skullduggery."

I say this to point out the differences between two well-known current Magicians who are widely seen on Television.

What ISN'T irritating about Magic on TV is that it promotes the art of Magic to huge audiences all over the World and that's a good thing for those of us who make a buck or two performing Magic!
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Profile of NinoL
This is an old thread, but I like the OP's point and completely agree. David Blaine got me into magic as a teenager because all the legends didn't do TV that I had access to. I saw the entertainer, not the innovator. But that's not a bad thing.

I listen to a lot of punk rock but I can't stand the 'founding' bands because they don't have the same message or style as those who took the ball and ran with it. In this way, Blaine has taken something and made it cool and fashionable at a time when it wasn't particularly to most people.

However to use another metaphor I'll paraphrase (poorly, from memory) comic book artist James O'Barr, who learnt how to draw from studying sculpture and the human form. He said 'I hate modern comic book artists who are trying to recreate what they saw their idols do. Those older guys learnt to draw properly. The new guys are copying something that's already a caricature, so it's essentially a copy of a copy. Each time it becomes further removed from reality and the further removed it gets the worse it becomes.'

Come to think of it, that could also have been Bill Watterson or John Kricfalusi. Ah well, it's a good point. Don't try and imitate, take the source material and make it your own. Blaine did this, to be fair. But to copy someone like Blaine is to ask for trouble.
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On Jun 12, 2004, Young Freak wrote:

!11I also might add David Blain IS AN ACTOR he admits so in his first book(which was kind of a waste)


There are only actors playing the role of a magician... or something along those lines
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Hay, get over it. You didn't get the job.
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Profile of DrVG
Different times, different customs. Any art can derive to a multitude of shapes. Blaine is an example of a successful commercialization of a specific type of art through a modern media.
He probably disgusted some, but also inspired many.
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Profile of magicianbrady
Blaine made magic cool. Magic was treated as something silly and to be shown at kids birthday parties. But because of Blaine's mysterious persona and patter-less direct magic, magic was seen in a new way and inspired millions to take up the art form (me included).
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