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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » David Blaine's book (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pekka
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And let's not forget, the magic he does is good. No matter if they are readily available at any MAGIC store. Joe Average does not shop there, and Blaine does the presentations well, apparently since he is succesful. I, personally, don't like his style and I don't see anything mystical about looking like a pot head but the general public disagree with me.
bitterman
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Blaine will next jump off a helecopter into a huge pile of money, as we snipe away. He's a hack, but it works. God bless his pointed little head.
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Tabasco
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But what about the book? hehehehe

Personally I don't like his magic, but for most people he is a great performer. He knows what his public wants. in other words the laymen like it. And isn't htat what it's about????
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enigmatic
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The Blaine's book is great with beautifull pictures. He explains his life and philosophy. It's a book for the lay audience but I think that all magicians should have to read it. Openly, I like very much David Blaine and his magic visions.I showed his shows to people who generally does not love magic... And they liked him very much! For the lay audience he's not a trickster... he's a real Magician, a strange man !.. And it's the most important.
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Kondini
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Yes,,,Strange is the correct wording !!!
paulajayne
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Quote:
On 2005-02-08 13:08, Pekka wrote:
And let's not forget, the magic he does is good. No matter if they are readily available at any MAGIC store. Joe Average does not shop there, and Blaine does the presentations well, apparently since he is succesful. I, personally, don't like his style and I don't see anything mystical about looking like a pot head but the general public disagree with me.


The magic he does and his presentation can and is bettered by the average magic club member.

Right place at the right time --

Paula
Paula Jay - Magic to Remember -
---------------------------------
I once wrote a book on elephants, I think paper would have been better.
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Cholly, by golly!
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Quote:
On 2005-03-02 19:12, paulajayne wrote:

The magic he does and his presentation can and is bettered by the average magic club member.

Right place at the right time.



I vehemently disagree. Blaine does well CONSISTENTLY with his brand of mediocre magic. He's made millions with bad patter and $38 worth of magic props. We're talking about the stuff you can order off the back of a comic book.

There is something special about what David Blaine does. If I can figure out what it is, I can become a world famous third-class millionaire magician too!

I can see it now: Loved by millions, but hated by magicians everywhere!
danelwood
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I think the fact that Blaine idolized Houdini from a very young age is quite telling in his approach to magic, stunts and publicity in general.

I never saw Houdini perform (is there anyone alive on this forum who has--I'd like to hear about it), but I have heard that by fellow magician's standards
Houdini's manipulations were not overly impressive. Although I personally think
that Blaine does a great job with his effects, I have heard much the same criticism coming from other magician's as with Houdini in his time. Besides, I know quite a few excellent manipulators who do not have the ability to do the Simple Switch with the consistency that Blaine does-- before folks say that is because you are only seeing selected clips edited to appear that he is consistent, I suggest getting Above the Below, which you would have to order through the UK and play it on the DVD on your computer (if your in the USA)-- there is one section where he is hammering off the Simple Switch with no cuts in the video.

As far as publicity goes, Houdini was a master manipulator of the press and public awareness to generate interest in his stunts and shows. I don't think Blaine has fallen short in this area, in fact what he has been able to do in this area is probably his greatest trick of all, as evidenced here by all the magician's he has stumped at how he could be so successful.

A modern day Houdini? Above all the groans here, I must say a resounding yes.

As far as him being blamed for doing tricks that can be purchased for only a few bucks at the magic store around the corner. So what, the public loves it and many great magician's have done the same. I think it is interesting that when people criticize him, they overlook some of the effects that he does that are not so easily found on the magic store shelf.

Please correct me if I am wrong but the following effects I have not seen in any magic store:

1) eating a live snake to have it reappear elsewhere (if anyone thinks he didn't eat that snake I challenge them to zoom in on DVD and watch it in slow motion)

2) Producing the gemstone from his eye-- (if you have any clue to the method employed here, you would be hard pressed to find many magician's who would actually do it, )

3) Card throwing-- sure its in books, most of us do it, but anyone who gets good consistent distance and accuracy has to agree that it takes a combination of skill and persistent practice to do well. You can't buy that in a magic store.

I know there are more but I challenge the naysayers to get over their "big magician complex" and see what I am talking about. You might actually learn something.

As far as I can tell, Blaine has followed the path that many magician's suggest for getting started and maybe even went the extra distance that others wouldn't have. Blaine went to acting school, took the time he needed to develop a character that suited his personality and felt he could sell to a large audience with success.

As far as I can tell he succeeded in that pursuit, and IMO, he's pretty good too.

To be honest, I've watched Blaine since his first TV appearance in 1997.

I've studied and practiced magic my whole life, but because of underrating my own abilities and having a naturally subdued disposition, never considered myself worthy of sharing my performance with anyone but the closest friends.

Blaine's character, allowed me, in a way to see myself in the third person and how a style that I easily identified with could really command an audience.

For the last few years I have been much more assertive and forthcoming in performing my magic. I am fortunate to know a lot of restaurant and pub owners and the like. I get requested to do a trick a lot. Despite r3equests to "do one more", many times I stop because I am not in a performing mood, other times I "play out" and do 30 minutes or so.
When that happens, oftentimes a crowd develops and some exciting energy develops.

More and more frequently, people ask me if I have a card (I remember the first time this happened, I thought they wanted a playing card for me to show them a trick), or give me their number, mention an event they would like to hire me for.
So far I have not taken anyone up on this, and I have not accepted any money that has been put in my hand to keep (and it has) except for the occasional regurgitated and restored signed bill that I don't give back (understood before doing it)so as not to tip the method.

I have to say that if it weren't for Blaine, this territory for performing most likely wouldn't have developed for me and that would be too bad for everyone involved (me, the audience, and the venues). I wonder if the people in my area asking to hire me would even realize there was a market for this kind of magic performance if it weren't for Blaine.

I've always made my money from steady paying jobs with weekly or biweekly pay schedules. I don't plan on changing that for a full-time career in entertainment.
I am though, more and more, starting to take the offers more seriously now that I am married, have a three year old son that I want to be able to send to college
etc., etc. What has been in the past a fanciful hobby of self-entertainment is
beginning to transform into a commodity that people are willing to pay for.
I have little doubt that, sooner than later it may become a nice little side income for me and my family.

Although I have very little appreciation for what I think I know (which may be totally wrong) of Blaine's lifestyle, I have to admit that I am much appreciative
for the perfomance territory that he has opened up for me.

Maybe he is overrated, but I am grateful that I am not underrating myself.

I have a hunch that there are probably a host of other magicians who this is true for as well.

Are they willing to admit it? I don't know, its always easier to jump on the old bandwagon, but I think the old bandwagon might be a little overloaded and stuck in a ditch.

Sometimes change is good.

That's my take on it today, maybe it will be different tomorrow. For now I'm sticking to it.

Dan
"Now watch closely!"
Gede Nibo
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In the hood we call them "playah-haters" hehe...
well written bro, and you covered it all...

now where to find Blaine's *** treasure thing?? Ive been all across the world, and came up with nothing...

just kidding.

Baba
Cholly, by golly!
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Harry Houdini was a mediocre magician.

He was also one of the greatest showmen of all time.

The comparison to Blaine is spot-on.

Professional success is based on audience approval not industry opinion.

The proof is in the cash box.

Blaine's stuff still bores me though.
Todd Robbins
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I've posted these thoughts before. I will do it again as it will help in my goal to have more posts in this forum than in Carnival of Fun (I'll show those Joeys!!!!). It will be interesting to see if Blaine can come up to the legend of Houdini. Houdini was on the top of his game for twenty years. And what was done after his death by his widow and Edward Saint helped to cement the legend in the minds of the public.

We live in a time of media oversaturation and fame is fleeting faster than any time is history. Blaine has not done anything in the states for a couple of years and his star is fading. Copperfield is dealing with the same dilemma but he had ten years of specials to put his name into the minds of the public. His voracious touring schedule also helps to keep him the public eye.

Blaine has yet to do a live show. It will be very interesting to see if he can pull of something on stage. Being an effective entertainer without the luxury of TV editing is a challenge that he might not be up to. We'll see.
Slim Price
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For those who glibly diss Blaine, you really might benefit by reading this book. The last chapter is an account of his life. The book is about black magicians in history.
It's available at most public libraries.
Conjure times : Black magicians in America
By: James Haskins; Kathleen Benson
Type: English : Book : Non-fiction
Publisher: New York : Walker & Co., 2001.
ISBN: 0802787622 0802787630

Slim
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Cadabra
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I agree. Because of the times (and attitudes of the jaded public) there will never be another Houdini type of figure in magic just as no band can ever have the impact or longevity of the Beatles. People are just too self-centered and self-important to care anymore or to care for that long anymore. Plus Houdini was a mystery; an enigma to people and now with the internet there is no more mystery. Hell, any laymen can tap into this forum and find out all they need to know to answer the age old question, “How does he do that?” Once that question is answered the shows over folks. Houdini status declined.
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danelwood
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Excellent points Todd from a historical perspective. I was merely pointing out some of Blaine's similarities to Houdini. Believe me my list of the differences or how he falls short of being a Houdini would be much longer. I still think for the present-- and that means the date of this post-- to be described as a modern day Houdini sticks well enough. Whether he will be a future day Houdini, or whether
the name David Blaine will be able to be found in the encyclopedia 20 years from now is a whole other story.

My point is that David's fascination with Houdini is very telling of what he is trying to aspire to. In that context, I think I would have to agree that
doing the live routine show for major crowds on show by show schedule consistent basis is an obstacle for him, honestly I think it his biggest challenge.
If one were to be critical, without necessarily being constructive, I would say that it is probably one of his biggest fears and insecurities to think about being put in that situation--purely speculation on my part, but an interesting thing when you consider that confronting fears is always a major theme for him in his performances.

I think it is on that point I relate best with him.

He has expressed at least a few pipedreams about having a Vegas show, or putting together a live show in some form or another. Only guessing, but I think real obstactles as far as getting support for such a project would be very small for him.
I think if he were to put himself in that position and rise to the occasion, he will have conquered one of the greatest challenges in HIS life.

I think Blaine would love to to be on the historical map, a legend for antiquity.
I don't know as a touring schedule is the key to that, maybe it is.

Looking at Slim's post, it would appear that Blaine has found a spot in Black American history at least for now (eat your heart your Houdini).

Dan
"Now watch closely!"
Todd Robbins
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Blaine's Buried Alive, Frozen Alive and the Pole Stand were all bankrolled by the Nederlanders. That's the family that owns a number of Broadway theaters. They think he has a Broadway show in him and want first crack at producing it. Blaine did have creative talks with the Cirque du Soleil folks at one time. I haven't heard anything more about that in a while. Blaine is smart enough to surround himself with good people, so there is potential for great things from him. It's a situation worth watching.
Midnight333
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Uhh.. I hate David Lame. Yes, partially because he beat me to the punch. I wanted to spend 500 dollars a Magic Masters and then go on the street with it. Oh wait! No I don't! I want to actually apply some non-store bought ideas. Hmm. Oh and I'd pay big money to see David Blane do the trick where he catches a sniper bullet in his face.
Slim Price
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Looking at Slim's post, it would appear that Blaine has found a spot in Black American history at least for now (eat your heart your Houdini).Quote

I have a feeling that DB is going to be black for a long time...
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Mercury52
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I seem to recall hearing that there were clues in the book leading to some kind of hidden treasure. Anyone have any followup on that? If anyone's interested, I saw this book at my local Barnes and Noble (Durham, NC) for $6 the other day. May be similarly priced elsewhere. For the $6, I picked it up, but haven't really looked through it yet.

Kevin
Kevin Reylek
Todd Robbins
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I think someone found the treasure buried in the yard of Blaine's manager or something like that. This is no joke. Well, maybe the whole thing was laughable, but it was no joke.
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What? A manager that could be trusted with treasure? That alone says something about DBs business sense! He's actually accomplished something the rest of us think is impossible!

I'm in awe.
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