David Blaine, the magician, illusionist and endurance artist, is back on prime time TV tonight with the special, David Blaine: Real or Magic. Traveling around the world, the TED speaker (watch his talk, “How I held my breath for 17 minutes“) performs magic and elicits astonished reactions from people on the street — as well as from […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
Called a "modern-day Houdini" by The New York Times, David Blaine made himself a household name with TV special David Blaine: Street Magic -- shedding the sweeping glitz and drama of other TV magic programs in favor of a simple premise: illusions done right on the street, in front of handheld cameras and speechless passersby.
With Buried Alive, Blaine was entombed underground for seven days in a transparent plastic coffin, visible to gawking pedestrians above, setting off a new trend in his performance career: the endurance stunt. The pursuit led to other spectacles featuring cramped spaces and extreme conditions: Frozen in Time, which saw him encased in a block of ice for almost three days, and Vertigo, where he stood atop a 100-foot pillar for 35 hours.
Blaine's stunts continue to draw immense crowds and Nielsen ratings to match, but his appearance on Oprah was perhaps most stunning, when he broke the Guinness world record for breath-holding, staying underwater for 17 minutes and 4.5 seconds.
What others say
“His deceptively low-key, ultracool manner leaves spectators more amazed than if he'd razzle-dazzled.” — Time Magazine
David Blaine’s TED talks
David Blaine on the TED Blog
Holding his breath underwater for 17 minutes didn’t scare David Blaine—but stepping on the TEDMED stage did
David Blaine is the master of the endurance stunt. In 1999, he was buried alive in a clear box underneath three tons of water. Over the course of seven days, about 75,000 people stopped by to watch him in his self-made tomb. In 2008, Blaine attempted to set the Guinness World Record for holding his […]Continue reading