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 Post subject: Tarquin Churchwell and David Blaine
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 3:57 pm 
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For anyone who finds Blaine his hero, then you should know who Tarquin Churchwell is. A friend of mine sent me this awhile ago. He knows Tarquin, and when they were talking, the topic of David Blaine came up and Tarquin directed him to a site where Tarquin had written this. The site is now down, but I kept this article. It's written by Tarquin himself.


Back in the early 90's (1990 1991) I was working at Canastels on 19th and Park Ave in NYC. Chappy was street performing. Because Canastels was one of the known resteraunts for having celebrities they were constantly in the newspaper. They were always in stories such as "So and So was seen at Canastels last night with So and So." and lucky for me I always got to perform to those so and so's building my name amoung celebrities. At the time a new magazine called "Magic" was just being produced and they had a section called "Who's where?" and in the NYC listing I was the only magician. So whenever famous or not famous magicians were in town they would come to Canastels and pay me respect.
I worked every night from Monday through Saturdays. During the day I would either street perform or visit Tananns or go to Rubens on 38th street on Saturday. Rubens is where every magician in NYC or visiting magicians would go to meet other magicians. I have met every magician in the business through Rubens and Canastels.
During this time there was an almost magician named Bill Kalush who would like to come to my performances at night. He liked to hang out with me and I could never shake him off because I was busy doing my shows while he hung out at the bar telling everyone how he was my friend. AT the time Harry Lorayne took a liking to me and to my original effects and started producing them in his magazine. Of course if I was in the magazine bill would have to show harry something so he could get his name next to mine, as you can see in this listing I cut and pasted.***
1993 Apocalypse Vol 14 No 11 Nov 1991
1993 How Classics are Born! (Roger A. Golde): Variation on Mr. Koenig's Tapestry by Vollmer
1995 Sans Dye Tube (T.C. Churchwell): yellow to red to invisible to red silk, uses TT
1997 Phonier Pharo (Harry Lorayne): variation of Williamson's Phony Pharo
1998 Phoniest Pharo (Bill Kalush): Bill's easy method***

In 1991 I first met David Blaine. He was just a kid. I was like one of the number one magicians going to Rubens. If you visited NY you had to see TC (thats me). David was attracted to this like Kalush was. At the time I was teaching about 35 kids magic on Sundays and teaching some stuff at Rubens on Saturdays. Showing and teaching what is hot and whats new and what goes well with audiences. David started sticking to me like glue which because of that became good friends with Kalush. Why not they kept hanging out at Canastels together whenever I performed. Of course David liked to show people tricks at the bar at the same time I was performing, which erked me. David was really into Paul Harris stuff.
In 1992 I started reaching out and working at different clubs, meanwhile keeping my gig at Canastels, just chop away at the hours. Work Canastels from 8 till ten and other clubs from then on. I could work 3 clubs a night this way. David and Bill was following me around.
In July of 1992 I went to Saint Tropez France for two months. When I came back David wanted to learn magic exclusivly from me. For me to give him time to learn. I couldn't do that. I told him I would teach him when I could but to stop him from following me around I got him a job at a club right next door to Canastels. David couldn't handle it. He only lasted a week. He said he had a hard time approaching the tables without people already knowing who he was. He didn't like making an introduction. Then he vanished for a while and so did Bill. About 6 months later David shows up at Canastels with a manager. I thought how stupid that was. He introduced me as his teahcer saying "This is the man who taught me everything I know." When I got to get David alone I told him not to introduce me that way. Until he becomes a great magician do not put blame on me for your lack of presentation.
From time to time I would see David and ofcourse Bill was there. I was so happy that David was now stuck with Bill.
In early 1996 David was telling me he was interested in doing TV shows. I told him to send videos to TV companies to show them what he can do. I had a show on ABC coming up on Halloween called "Houdini Challenge." I was going to escape from a straightjacket live on National TV. Well it only turned out to be local television but David wanted me to get him hooked up with ABC. He said he sent them a video nut got no answer. I told him to go out in the street and do a few tricks and to make sure he had the Balduchi levitation on the video. He gave me the tape and I watched it. It sucked except the levitation. I brought it to ABC and told them to watch it. Told them to specifically watch the levitation. I didn't pursue from there. I didn't want anything to do with television. I tried it and didn't like it when I did my Halloween show. I prefered working with a live audience. No cut and no edits. Before David Blaine did his "Man in Street" presentation nobody ever thought of performing that way.
Now in 1996 I also hooked up with a strip club night club. I was approached by the owners of the club saying they wanted a Vegas type style to their club and was concidering hiring other types of entertainment beside topless girls. I tried it, it was hard, but through study and hard work and lots of rejection, I found a way and a personaily to get men from watching topless girls for ten minutes and watch me at their table and then to tip me. I was getting tip 100 dollars a table each night and I was doing 10 to 20 tables. And magicians from all over the world loved coming to visit me there. I still wonder if they were coming to see me.
Meanwhile Leo Decaprio was my next door neighbor and would come to the club a lot and thats where David and Leo met.
From their Leo and I would go out to popular nightclubs and David would follow. Soon I stopped hanging with Leo because David was like an annoying child.
David gets the gig with ABC
In 1997 David show came out and on the credits was my name under "Magic consultant" along with list of other magicians such as Paul Harris and Westly James. I called him, I told him I didn't like the idea that my name was associated with his show. I told him to remove it. He said he was going to do another "Street Magic" show that year for the national audience and that my name would not appear there. I said fine.
David was getting publicity in the papers and magazines. He was claiming that he learned magic from a street magician named Tarko and that he was going to write a book about his learnings from Tarko. I did street magic under the name of Tarko and new it was me he was referring too. I told him to stop it. He said OK.
Then I heard a book came out where he claimed he learned magic from a street magician named Tarko, except it was spelled "Tarquo" Now how close can you get to my name "Tarquin" Again he was playing games. I told him to stop.
He asked me if I was willing to do a show with him called "12 Underground Magicians." I said no. He later asked if I would appear as myself as my street character "Tarko." I said no.
David decides he is going to have Tarquo in his show anyways and goes out and films himself in a mask playing an old man doing my cell phone trick. He tells me he is going to do this and I tell him not to. He pissed me off. I open a website called "David Blaine Sucks" He makes Tarquo die the same year.
How do you know its David in the mask? How can you not?
When he throws the cell phone down the street and the girl chases after it, listen to his laugh. Yes its the same laugh. Also notice his right pinky finger, yes its curled just like Davids is because he severed it during a card stabbing trick.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 4:43 pm 
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I dont get it.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:07 pm 
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Well if you read it, you would probably understand it a lot more.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:56 pm 
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fallingblood wrote:
Well if you read it, you would probably understand it a lot more.


I read it, and I don't really "get it" either. David followed you around a lot. He watched you perform a lot. He learned a lot from you. He got introduced to someone named Leo thru you (the actor I'm assuming... big whoop). He tried numerous times to give you "credit" which pissed you off... etc. So? It's an interesting story... but I'm not sure what the point of it was. What are you trying to say? If it's just meant as an interesting history of David... fine... but I get the feeling that you left a lot of things unsaid.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:07 pm 
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I still dont really get it and how is this story reliable?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:23 pm 
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Read it again. This is a first hand account of the problems between David Blaine and Tarquin Churchwell. It just gives a little insight.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:46 am 
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it seems to me like this tarquin guy is an a-hole and is jealous that blaine made it big, just by what he wrote that is, i dont know the whole story.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:09 am 
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magikrn- You could be partly right about the jealous thing. I know Tarquin doesn't like Blaine at all. From what I understand, Tarquin just felt more cheated, then jealous. Blaine used Tarquin's name, and Tarquin's image to his advantage. So he does have a bias, no doubt. But a lot of what he says is true. I mean if you look at the Tarquo the Great stuff, that's all true. The Tarquo the Great character that David Blaine used in his book, Mysterious Stranger, and one of his tv specials, was based off of Tarquin. Tarquo the Great was nothing more then David Blaine dressing up and pretending to be Tarquo. Which personally, if someone did that to me, even after I told them not too, I would be mad also. So there is a bias, but alot of what he is saying is fact.

On a sidenote, I do believe Tarquin Churchwell has no retired from magic. He's doing photography now. He even took photos of the Drowned Alive special.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:41 am 
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if he doesnt like blaine, then why is he taking photos of the drowned alive special, that makes no sense. it seems to me like there is more to the story then meets the eye and that is why david did the tarquin dress up, which was pretty funny in my opinion.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:19 pm 
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There is a lot to the story that I don't mention just because it would take so long to type out everything. I have talked to Tarquin off and on. And I've read a lot about him. Tarquin was a big influence in Blaine's life, that's why I believe Blaine decided to dress up as Tarquo the Great, and pretend to be Tarquin. He shouldn't have done it though, because Tarquin didn't want to have anything to do with it.

From what I understand, the reason Tarquin took photo's of Blaine's Drowned Alive stunt is because Tarquin loves magic, and I from what I understand, Tarquin, even though he doesn't really care for Blaine, still feels a connection to Blaine, since he did have a part in creating the David Blaine we know today (for example, helping him with getting a show, and teaching him).


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:21 pm 
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I dont see a problem with david following this guy around and wanting to learn from him, we all have someone we look up to. Tarquin seems like an arrogant a-hole to me and should be proud that david blaine gives him credit, instead of bad mouthing him. ive never heard of tarquin, but if he has half the skill that david does with a deck of cards, then that is saying something.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 3:34 pm 
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Tarquin has a lot of skill in magic. The reason he didn't want Blaine to give him any credit is because he didn't want to have his name ruined. He also didn't want people to benefit from his name. It would be like me saying that I learned everything I knew from Jeff McBride. The only reason I would say something like that is to feed off his reputation. And it's really not fair. Plus, if I prove to be a crappy magician, it could make Jeff McBride look bad also.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:16 pm 
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no it wouldnt, you can teach someone how to do a trick, but that doesnt mean they are going to be good at presentation. tarquin soon realized how dumb his mistake was after blaine got so big didnt he? ill bet he is eating his words everyday.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:20 pm 
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I don't think Tarquin made a dumb mistake at all. He was doing very good for himself as a magician. I personally would have done the same thing he did. Maybe not to the same level that he did, but I wouldn't want another magician using my name.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2006 6:13 pm 
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Blaine giving credit to him would not ruin his name, have you seen Blaine's sleight of hand? He should be proud. Also, I think that he would benefit from Blaine name now more than Blaine benefiting off his.


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