david_blaine_003.jpeg David Blaine (born David Blaine White on April 4, 1973 in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.) is an American illusionist and stunt performer. He made his name as a performer of street and close-up magic.
His father was half Puerto Rican and his mother, Patrice Maureen White, was of Russian Jewish origin. Blaine grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn. He moved to New Jersey and attended Passaic Valley Regional High School in Little Falls. David Blaine was raised and adopted by his stepfather John A. Bukalo, and his legal name was changed to David Blaine Bukalo. He has a half-brother from his mother's marriage to John, named Michael James Bukalo.
David Blaine began his career by bringing street magic to the public, performing card tricks and illusions such as levitating and bringing dead flies back to life. His first television appearance was on Conan O'Brien, where he also performed card tricks, and promoted his Street Magic special. He used a small camera crew to record his act live in front of everyday people providing the basis for his television specials, David Blaine: Street Magic and David Blaine: Magic Man.
His first television special, David Blaine: Street Magic revolutionized the way magic is performed and portrayed on television.With its strong focus on spectators' reactions and showmanship, Blaine entertained unsuspecting pedestrians with standard sleight of hand magic props such as coins, cigarettes and a deck of cards.
Main Article: Buried Alive
On April 5, 1999, Blaine began a stunt called "Buried Alive". He was entombed in an underground plastic box underneath a 3-ton water-filled tank for seven days.
An estimated 75,000 people visited the site on Manhattan's Upper West Side where Blaine was buried in a 6-foot-deep hole in the sidewalk. He was in a cramped plastic coffin offering six inches of headroom and two inches on each side.
He ate nothing and drank only two to three tablespoons of water a day. He emerged on April 13 after 7 days in the coffin.
Frozen in Time
Main Article: Frozen in Time
On November 27, 2000, Blaine began a stunt called "Frozen in Time," which was covered on a TV special. Blaine stood encased in a closet of ice located in Times Square, New York. He was lightly dressed and seen to be shivering even before the blocks of ice were sealed around him. A tube supplied him with air and water while his urine was removed with another tube. He was encased in the box of ice for 63 hours, 42 minutes and 15 seconds before being removed with chain saws. The ice was transparent and resting on an elevated platform to show that he was actually inside the ice the entire time. He was removed from the ice in an obviously dazed and disoriented state, wrapped in blankets and taken to the hospital immediately because doctors feared he might be going into shock. Blaine said in the documentary follow-up to this feat that it took "a month" before he was able to walk again and that he had no plans to ever again attempt a stunt of this difficulty.
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