Best known for his television specials and well-promoted physical stunts, David Blaine is among the best known magicians in the world.
He was born David Blaine White in 1973 in Brooklyn, New York and began his magic career performing close-up tricks. After filming his act, he landed his first television special. When he first appeared on television, most magicians had never heard of the young entertainer.
Stunts Vs. Magic:
While the first special, "David Blaine: Street Magic" featured close-up magic performed on the streets of well-known cities, his later specials inspired large-scale physical stunts that Blaine used as promotions, but eventually became the focus of later programs. Blaine has been recognized for making magic appeal to a younger generation.
In 1999, Blaine resided for seven straight days inside a glass coffin that was submerged in an open pit in New York City. As he would do in future stunts, spectators were free to walk up and observe him. And the open nature of these stunts would prove to be irresistible to the media. In a sense, Blaine is a modern-day Houdini who may not perform the grand escapes of the master from some 70 years before, but has proven to be a wizard at promotion.
Frozen in Time and Vertigo:
In 2000, Blaine stood in a hollowed-out block of ice in Times Square, New York. He stood in his icy cell for almost 62 hours. In 2002, Blaine stood atop a 90-foot pole in Bryant Park, New York City. Blaine stood on the tiny platform for over 34 hours. At the end of his ordeal, he jumped onto a landing pad that consisted of cardboard boxes.
In his most criticized stunt, in 2003, Blaine began a 44-day fast while suspended in a plexiglass case that was suspended over the south bank of London's River Thames.
Life in a Fish Bowl:
"Drowned Alive," had Blaine living in a literal fish bowl in front of New York's Lincoln Center. He resided in his watery sphere, an aquarium for all practical purposes, for seven days and then tried to break the world-record for holding one's breath (eight-minutes and 58 seconds). After attempting an escape at the same time, Blaine failed.
Dive of Death:
His most recent stunt was called "Dive of Death," which had him hanging upside down for some 60 hours, and near the end of his special, he performed a version of the famous bullet catch.