18 Things You Didn’t Know About David Blaine
The mysterious magician was born in Brooklyn on April 4, 1973.
At the age of four, he saw a street magician performing on the subway, and Blaine’s love of magic was born.
Blaine set out to become a master of illusion and eventually accomplished that task at a remarkably young age.
He was just 24-years-old when his first TV special aired, and he’s been one of the most popular (and profitable) magicians in history ever since.
So lets delve more into the life of this magical wizard with 16 interesting facts you may not know about Davide Blaine…
1. He Once Killed A Pigeon With His Mind
An old classmate of Blaine’s said that he once supposedly killed a pigeon with his mind.
The classmate said: “We were just sitting around in a classroom one day and David pointed to a pigeon sitting on a windowsill about 20 feet away.
“He said, ‘See that bird? I’m going to make its heart stop.’ And a few seconds later, it just fell off the sill, dead.”
Time Out asked Blaine about the incident and his reply was puzzling.
“That pigeon didn’t die,” Blaine insisted. “It just appeared to be dead. The way I do magic is to wait for the moment to exist. I don’t create the moment.”
The fate of the pigeon is currently unknown.
We hope it’s ok or else he will soon have the ASPCA on to him (that’s the American version of the RSPCA)
2. He Has Broken A World Record
Blaine once broke the world record for the amount of time he held his breath underwater.
It was back in 2008 on the Oprah Winfrey talk show.
He held his breath for a massive 17 minutes and four seconds, a new world record for oxygen-assisted static apnea.
The victory wasn’t to last long however.
It was only a few months after that someone else beat him.
A year later, Blaine gave a TED talk about his experience.
The current record for someone holding their breath under water is 22 minutes and 22 seconds.
It was set by German freediver, Tom Sietas.
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3. He Comes From A Pretty Diverse Background
Blaine’s ancestry is almost as interesting as his magic tricks.
He was born to a Russian Jewish woman and a Puerto Rican/Italian man.
He has never actually met his biological father.
“David Blaine” is a shortened version of his real name.
His fill name is David Blaine White.
One story says that it was his grandmother, who was interested in tarot cards, who got young Blaine first intrigued by the mysteries of illusion and the things we cannot see.
We wonder if she saw it in the cards that he would become so famous.
4. Londoners Did Not Like His 2003 Magic Stunt
Back in 2003, Blaine took on one of his most ambitious challenges.
He lived in a plexiglass box suspended 30 feet in the air near London’s Tower bridge with no food or nutritional intake.
He only had a daily ration of four-and-a-half litres of water.
Londoner’s however, didn’t like the stunt.
People taunted Blaine during this ridiculous stunt.
They threw eggs, fruit, beer and paint at the box, trying to keep him awake with foghorns and drums.
At one point, a hamburger was even attached to a remote-controlled helicopter and flown up to the box to taunt him.
Still, Blaine lasted an astonishing 44 days in the box before calling it quits.
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5. His Memoir Was A Treasure Hunt With A $100K Prize
Way back in 2002, Blaine released a book called ‘Mysterious Stranger: A Book of Magic.’
The book was kind of a memoir/how-to/magic history thing all mixed into one.
Readers were also sent on a treasure hunt to track down a $100,000 prize.
People had to decipher codes written in the text.
The hunt generated worldwide interest and sent amateur explorers out into the streets.
In 2004, a retired California schoolteacher figured out all the book’s clues, and claimed the $100K prize.
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6. He Got His First Special By Levitating In Front Of Studio Executives
In 1997, Blaine was living on a friend’s couch.
He filmed himself doing some tricks on the street and brought the video to ABC executives.
He showed up to the studio without an appointment.
But he worked his magic, so to speak, and landed before some major network decision makers.
He amazed them with both his video and a live card trick.
Then, he pulled out the big guns: he levitated right there in the meeting.
At that point one executive said: “It’s done. It’s a done deal.”
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7. He Hitched A Ride On A Snowplow During A Blizzard To Get His Pregnant Fiancée To The Hospital
He may be able to kill a bird with his mind, but it seems that Blaine cannot control the weather…or the time that his fiancée goes into labour.
In January of 2011, his fiancée Alizée Guinochet, went into labor.
The weather in New York was pretty bad.
It was in the middle of a massive winter storm.
So Blaine had to flag down a snowplow and with his fiancée, get a lift to the hospital.
Despite the bizarre beginning, the labor went fine.
The couple had a healthy baby girl named Dessa.
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8. He Has Been Studied By Scientists
So David Blaine does cool magic tricks, we all know this.
We also accept that however cool his stunts and tricks may be, they’re all just an illusion.
But some of his illusions are so mind-boggling, that even doctors and scientists have been baffled about how he achieves them.
They studied Blaine after his 44-day fast above London to monitor the re-feeding process, because they don’t get many chances to study people after a 44-day fast.
The study’s findings were nothing revolutionary.
But just the fact that Blaine attracted the attention of skeptical scientists has got to feel like something of a victory for him.
If Blaine had eaten proper food as soon as he’d emerged from the box, there was a real risk he could have died.
This is because the digestive system breaks down so much during a fast that it would not have immediately been able to cope again.
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9. He has trained with Navy SEALS
All these stunts require a lot of preparation, and Blaine certainly puts in the work.
Some of his stunts, such as holding his breath for 17 minutes, require almost superhuman strength.
To achieve some of his most ambitious stunts, he has trained alongside Navy SEALS.
“What was amazing about the Navy SEALs – a lot of their training, although it is physical, is more about the mental and spiritual part,” Blaine told ABC News.
“They talk about overriding the pain in your body by finding something to take you away from it.”
We imagine he suffered a lot of pain during his 44 day fast with nothing to do.
That takes a lot of will power and you need to take your mind to a special place.
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10. He Once Claimed That An Eye On His Hand Protected Him From Death
Everyone remembers his infamous GMTV interview with Eamon Holmes right?
Blaine had scrawled an eye on his palm and showed it up to Eamon.
When Eamon asked him what it was for, he replied: “Protection from death.”
And this reply, though cryptic, was one of the most elaborate answers Blaine gave in the whole interview.
Barely uttering more than a word or two in reply to the questions being asked, the magician looked preoccupied at best.
Viewers took a harder line, suggesting he was under the influence of some drug.
Some have gone further to suggest that he was possessed.
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11. He Was Almost An Actor
Even though Blaine was interested in magic at an early age, he actually first set out becoming an actor.
He attended the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse’s acting school in New York City.
During this period he even bagged a few commercials and soap opera roles.
At the same time, Blaine was also doing his patented brand of street magic.
As if this wasn’t enough on his plate, his street magic attracted the attention of many passersby, some of whom were celebrities.
Blaine was soon performing private parties for high-profile names like Al Pacino and David Geffen.
We better fish out those playing cards to see if we’ve got an ace up our sleeves.
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12. He Has A Lot Of Celebrity Fans
As we have said before, Blaine had amassed quite the celebrity following fairly early on in his career.
As his star has skyrocketed, that following has grown to include some of the biggest names in showbiz.
Robert De Niro is a massive fan and almost starred in a proposed movie about Blaine.
Madonna is also an admirer and it is even rumoured Blaine had an affair with her.
Other stars include Jack Nicholson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, and Bryan Cranston.
Even a former President, George W. Bush is said to be a supporter.
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13. Blaine Started Modern Street Magic
One could argue that Blaine is the father of modern street magic.
Of course, there have been people doing card tricks and other slight of hand illusions on the sidewalks before, but nothing quite like Blaine.
At least, not outside of an established venue.
Magic is mostly confined to tightly-controlled environments like theatres.
Blaine changed all this.
In bringing magic to the people, he elevated himself to the status of superstar.
People were particularly shocked by his levitating tricks, seemingly appear to hover off the ground.
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14. Blaine is a Philanthropist
From very early on in his career, Blaine has worked with many different charities to bring magic, hope, and joy to countless people.
He has contributed time and given money to organisations such as the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and the New York Police Foundation.
He’s done magic acts at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a summer camp for terminally ill kids.
He also once led 100 kids on a shopping spree through Target.
In 2010, he performed a 72-hour magic trick in Times Square, in support of Haitian earthquake relief.
We better start thinking of some tricks we can start practicing for the next Red Nose day.
I’m thinking about a nice disappearing act.
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15. He’s Been Accused Of Sexual Assault
Last year in 2017, Blaine was accused of sexual assault by a former model named Natasha Prince.
The model claimed that Blaine raped her in a private home in London in 2004.
Blaine’s lawyer spoke to press and said: “My client vehemently denies that he raped or sexually assaulted any woman, ever, and he specifically denies raping a woman in 2004,”
“If, in fact, there is any police investigation, my client will fully cooperate because he has nothing to hide.”
As of 2018, the investigation is ongoing.
I guess we’ll only find out the outcome if Blaine is proven guilty.
We can’t imagine it would make headlines if he’s not guilty.
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16. He’s a Millionaire
Unsurprisingly, Blaine is loaded.
He has an estimated net worth of $12 million.
This is an impressive sum for any celebrity, let alone a magician.
Blaine commanded an impressive salary starting with his very first televised special in ’97.
Since then, his talents have only led to bigger and bigger paychecks with each subsequent special and live show.
So there you have it, 16 interesting facts about the magian David Blaine.
Now we’re just off to see if we can pull a rabbit out of a hat.
Or perhaps $12 million would be nicer.
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17. He Catches Bullet In His Mouth
One of Blaine’s stunts include him catching bullets in his mouth.
In one of the attempts, Blaine thought he had died when part of the trick went wrong.
The magician, 43, performed the stunt at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The trick involves him holding a metal cup between his teeth, which is protected by a gum shield, and pulling a cord to set off the rifle in front of him.
The trick went wrong once when the gum shield shattered on impact and the cup slammed into the back of his throat.
‘When the bullet struck the cup, there was a high-pitched ringing in my ears and I felt an impact on the back of my throat.’
‘I was sure the bullet went right through my head and that I was dead.’
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18. He Once Swallowed a Frog
One time appearing on Jimmy Fallon, Blaine performed several ‘tricks.’
One of these included sewing his mouth shut.
Blaine performed the trick in front of an instantly terrified Jimmy Fallon, guest Priyanka Chopra, and two members of The Roots.
He took a needle and thread and poked through his skin, sewing his lips together.
Fallon then had to pull the thread out.
In the same show he also swallowed and regurgitated a frog.
We hope the frog was sanitised beforehand.