David Blaine (born David Blaine White; April 4, 1973) is an American illusionist and endurance artist. He is best known for his high-profile feats of endurance, and has made his name as a performer of street and close-up magic. He has set and broken several world records.
Street Magic and Magic Man
On May 19, 1997, Blaine's first television special, David Blaine: Street Magic aired on then NBC. According to the New York Daily News, "Blaine can lay claim to his own brand of wizardry. The magic he offers in tonight's show operates on an uncommonly personal level." When asked about his performance style, David explained, "I'd like to bring magic back to the place it used to be 100 years ago."' Time magazine commented, "his deceptively low-key, ultracool manner leaves spectators more amazed than if he'd razzle-dazzled." The concept of focusing on spectator reactions changed the way that magic has been shown on TV. The New York Times wrote, "He's taken a craft that's been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it." Penn Jillette, of Penn & Teller, stated, "the biggest breakthrough done in our lifetime was David Blaine's 'Street Magic,' where his idea was to do really simple tricks but to concentrate... to turn the camera around on the people watching instead of the people doing. So to make the audience watch the audience, which that first special 'Street Magic,' is the best TV magic special ever done and really, really does break new ground." Many people watched the show.
In Magic Man, Blaine is shown traveling across the country, entertaining unsuspecting pedestrians in New York City, Atlantic City, Dallas, San Francisco, Compton, and the Mojave Desert recorded by a small crew with handheld cameras. Jon Racherbaumer commented, "Make no mistake about it, the focus of this show, boys and girls, is not Blaine. It is really about theatrical proxemics; about the show-within-a-show and the spontaneous, visceral reactions of people being astonished." USA Today called David "The hottest name in magic right now".
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