(Close Window)
Topic: How good is David Blaine?
Message: Posted by: scrapdizzy (Dec 24, 2006 07:34PM)
I know he obviously popular etc and I personally find his Magic more entertaining than Criss Angel but I'm curious as a relative newbie who thinks they are all pretty dang good.

How would you rate his skills as a magician in general compared to others who are talented but just not as well known?

Probably many people on this forum.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Dec 24, 2006 07:51PM)
When his first TV special came out - years ago - the next day all of the magic fora were abuzz about how awful his technique was.

They were watching the wrong thing.

As magicians, we shouldn't care about his technique; we should study the reactions of his audience - which were extremely positive - and determine how we (with our [b][i]incredibly good[/i][/b] technique) can generate reactions in our audiences on the same scale.

That said, to answer the question you posed, and to put it in the proper context, I was surprised how poor his technique was on some effects (the [b]Invisible Deck[/b] springs to mind); however, I've never seen another of his specials after the first.
Message: Posted by: MagicMan001 (Dec 24, 2006 07:55PM)
I've actually met him before and believe it or not he is quite skilled technically. What got him famous was his ideas of stunning audiences. It's sad to see and hear people ridiculing a man for his technique just because they have this ego believing they know more than him and are better than him. I believe if magicians try to compete with each other or compare to who is better, then they clearly aren't in it for the right reasons. I respect him as a fellow magician and I put it like this, if anything "thinks" they're better than him or anyone else, then why don't you have millions of dollars ?> :) He's made money off it, you haven't.. Don't hate on fellow magicians, it's bad karma. That's just my thoughts on it.
Message: Posted by: Cain (Dec 24, 2006 08:12PM)
Psssht- Karma. Metaphysical hokum, I say. People often ask me about Blaine and I'll give you my standard response (echoing the earlier reply): A poor technician (judging by his first special), but a brilliant performer. Also, his first special is an object lesson in the importance of editing.
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Dec 24, 2006 08:40PM)
When we compare or rank magicians, we should compare/rank other skills also, I believe. Acting skill, Showmanship skill, Business skill etc. If you (or your manger) don't have business skill, it will be difficult to be successful even if you have all of other skills.

If his hands skill is not better than you, it is possible his other skills are far better than you. He is a very good magician as a professional.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: Chris Henderson (Dec 24, 2006 08:47PM)
In a world where magic on TV was getting bigger and bigger, it was inevitable that the pendulum had to swing back the other way to smaller, more intimate magic. People who work in television understand the importance of seeing the faces of people's reaction to any unusual event. TV people don't like video of inanimate objects. They like good footage of people reacting. Blaine saw, and filled, this niche. And [i]that[/i] he did [i]very[/i] well!

Have the producers who greenlit Blaine's special (or most other laymen for that matter) ever seen a Michael Close or a Michael Ammar? Probably not. But they saw the raw footage of the reactions on people's faces who have probably never seen any magic outside a child's birthday show (no disrespect to children's performers!) and they ran with it and made a ton of money in the process. The result for us magicians: More people are interested in magic. And that's a good thing! A rising tide raises all ships. No matter Blaine's level of expertise, all magicians could learn some lessons from the phenomenon that resulted in the mind's of laymen after the first Blaine special.
Message: Posted by: J.Dunaway (Dec 24, 2006 10:12PM)
I could judge him on technical aspects as well as I good judge any other magician I only saw perform on tv or on the streets. However, I met him personally when he came to Cleveland with Dennis Kucinich and Sean Penn, (yes, a very Very odd trio), and the way he handles the crowd and the cards is a quality found in many actors and actresses. This is his genius, his acting. He barely needs to believe a word he's saying because the [i]way[/i] he says it, and the persona he's built is incredible.

On another note, I believe the way that he's been doing stunts and, furthermore, his interaction with children on his Drowned Alive special is an attempt at making sure he's not stuck into a personality that people could bore of easily. He is creating a roomy area to dabble in, so that if he decides he wants to be a bit funnier, or decides he wants to go this way or that, it's not a man stepping over his boundaries, but a talented artist flexing more of their abilities. Au contraire de Criss Angel, whose now locked into the "Korn, Marilyn Manson, Devil May Care" schematic he's created through people CONSTANTLY seeing him like this.

IMHO.
Message: Posted by: RJ Hunt (Dec 25, 2006 04:06AM)
On a scale of 1-10...I would give him 6.75...maybe a 7.0 on the high side.
Message: Posted by: Cain (Dec 25, 2006 05:32AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-24 23:12, Kreate wrote:
and the persona he's built is incredible.
[/quote]

Someone on these forums once posted a great quote attributed to Vernon (so skepticism is warranted with regard to origins): an ounce of image is worth a pound of performance. Moreover, people are unable to separate the image from the performance, which is also true for music.

Anyway, I think I'd rather meet Kucinich and Penn.
Message: Posted by: MagicMan001 (Dec 25, 2006 06:51AM)
Who cares really, bottom line is, He's a smart business man who is making millions meanwhile lots of people who make no money at all in magic are sitting back judging him, their opinions mean nothing.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Dec 25, 2006 07:18AM)
I wouldn't say their opinions mean nothing. Nothing to his bank account absolutely....

I watched his first special with a layman friend and he pointed out that he had seen me perform 5 or 6 of the tricks. At that time, I was still an amateur and it was good to see that the classics; ambitious card, invisible deck, etc. could get that kind of reaction.
Message: Posted by: Silly Walter the Polar Bear (Dec 25, 2006 07:28AM)
If I were a layperson, I probably would have really liked him. As a magician, I thought that there are far better performers and magicians that I would have liked to have seen succeed.

No offense to David Blaine. Good for him for getting famous and also Blaine has probably been the inspiration for many new magicians into the craft.
Message: Posted by: pepka (Dec 25, 2006 07:29AM)
I was just reading another thread that pointed something out about the first Blaine special. On his first special, he performed a move by Paul Harris called Simple Switch. 2 cards held at the fingertips fly back and forth, barely missing each other and you catch them in the opposite hand from where they started. It's actually a cool little routine he did using the move. In Paul's book, he states that it may be the single most difficult flourish there is. (Of course, this is long before we heard of De'Vo or the Buck twins.) I think that points out that David does have quite a bit of technical ability. But in my opinion, in his last few specials, I haven't seen it.
Message: Posted by: Chris SD (Dec 25, 2006 07:55AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-25 08:29, pepka wrote:
In Paul's book, he states that it may be the single most difficult flourish there is.
[/quote]

Now, I'm not sure, this move may have been published long before the Art of Astonishment was even in production, but I've seen quite a few people execute the simple switch well, and I have yet to see (in person) an adequate curly-cue move.

Just my .02 cents.

And for all of the people in here talking about how his performance skills are really what's important, the topic is not about his perfoming ability, it is about his technical skill as a sleight of hand artist with cards.
Message: Posted by: MagicMan001 (Dec 25, 2006 10:01AM)
It's all about respect, of course as a magician people are going to say he sucks or whatever, but I've always believed in respecting fellow Magi. Weather they are new, or old timers. I really don't care if I can do a side steal better than some guy on TV, or whatever. Blaine did bring on a whole era of Magic fans into the craft and make it popular again.
Message: Posted by: Vogler (Dec 25, 2006 10:40AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-25 07:51, MagicMan001 wrote:
Who cares really, bottom line is, He's a smart business man who is making millions meanwhile lots of people who make no money at all in magic are sitting back judging him, their opinions mean nothing.
[/quote]

this is how you see art of magic..just for money.. And if you success there you are a good performer?
We all know actors and singers and directors gain success with bad work.
If this is your climax of values then ok
Message: Posted by: Mano (Dec 25, 2006 10:53AM)
Juliano,

I agree with you.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Mano.
Message: Posted by: Cain (Dec 25, 2006 11:42AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-25 11:40, Juliano wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-12-25 07:51, MagicMan001 wrote:
Who cares really, bottom line is, He's a smart business man who is making millions meanwhile lots of people who make no money at all in magic are sitting back judging him, their opinions mean nothing.
[/quote]

this is how you see art of magic..just for money.. And if you success there you are a good performer?
We all know actors and singers and directors gain success with bad work.
If this is your climax of values then ok
[/quote]

So wait, you're saying Michael Bay, Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and McG are not the talented recording artists and film directors their commercial success implies. Aside from the fact David Blaine is a cultural icon, the money he has made proves he towers over magicians of old (Vernon, Marlo, Miller) as well as today (Ricky Jay, Lennart Green, and so on).

Also, as for Blaine's skills, it goes without saying that we only see what is shown to us in the video. Nobody knows how many times he flubbed, or received less than impressive reactions; or, for that matter, technical difficulties such as poor camera angles, sound quality, etc., which would make an otherwise good performance unwatchable.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 25, 2006 12:41PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-24 20:51, S2000magician wrote:
When his first TV special came out - years ago - the next day all of the magic fora were abuzz about how awful his technique was.

They were watching the wrong thing.

As magicians, we shouldn't care about his technique; we should study the reactions of his audience - which were extremely positive - and determine how we (with our [b][i]incredibly good[/i][/b] technique) can generate reactions in our audiences on the same scale.

That said, to answer the question you posed, and to put it in the proper context, I was surprised how poor his technique was on some effects (the [b]Invisible Deck[/b] springs to mind); however, I've never seen another of his specials after the first.
[/quote]

Many would claim Heba Haba Al had horrid technique. They may be right. THE difference in the 2 is David has a personality that few actually "get". I personally don't "get it" either. But I do "get he is trying to do something. The technique is not the thing to watch is right.
Message: Posted by: S2000magician (Dec 25, 2006 02:27PM)
[quote]On 2006-12-25 12:42, Cain wrote:
. . . the money he has made proves he towers over magicians of old (Vernon, Marlo, Miller) as well as today (Ricky Jay, Lennart Green, and so on).[/quote]
It proves nothing of the sort. Did Vernon, Marlo, Miller try to earn the money that Blaine's earned? Have Ricky Jay and Lennart Green? Did any of them have his opportunities?

Your ana[b][/b]lysis is way off-base here.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 25, 2006 02:36PM)
Well to put it further off base, I bet Ricky Jay HAS.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Dec 25, 2006 02:41PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-25 12:42, Cain wrote:
Aside from the fact David Blaine is a cultural icon, the money he has made proves he towers over magicians of old (Vernon, Marlo, Miller) as well as today (Ricky Jay, Lennart Green, and so on).
[/quote]

If this proves ANYTHING it's that Blaine is a better business man than Vernon, Marlo, Green, etc. It does not prove anything about his magic or his qualities as a magician. This is one industry in which those who are best at their job (magician) are not necessarily the ones who make the most money.
Message: Posted by: munkywrench (Dec 25, 2006 03:56PM)
Read the biography of Vernon. It states many times that Vernon didn't really want to make money at magic. He wanted to paint portraits. He didn't see himself as being this super power. Comparing Blaine to Vernon is like comparing PS3 to Atari. Both are awsome but the times change and how we view these things change also. The mass market didn't get a good taste of Vernon's magic until later on in his life. The only type of promotion one got was through shows and literature. He didn't have the advantage of being on T.v. and DVD. Blaine wasn't the first to give up money to support charity. Vernon gave half of his earings to the war effort. Vernon also knew how to work the angles...many of his clients were judges and part of the aristocratic in crowd. To say that low earning magicians opinions mean nothing really shows how much you care about our art. To grow in anything you have to accept negative reviews with positive. I am pretty sure Blaine has some sense of not needing the money. He sessioned with Paul Harris, a man who lost everything and who stays under the radar. Are you going to say that Mr. Harris's opinion means nothing. He surely isn't at the top of Forbes richest magicians in the world. His opinion would have more sway than any tv magician who makes tons of green. If you honestly try to put a price on the art of magic you should really pack up your close up pad, put away your cards and coins; becuase you have totaly missed the boat.
Message: Posted by: MagicMan001 (Dec 25, 2006 04:02PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-25 15:27, S2000magician wrote:
[quote]On 2006-12-25 12:42, Cain wrote:
. . . the money he has made proves he towers over magicians of old (Vernon, Marlo, Miller) as well as today (Ricky Jay, Lennart Green, and so on).[/quote]
It proves nothing of the sort. Did Vernon, Marlo, Miller try to earn the money that Blaine's earned? Have Ricky Jay and Lennart Green? Did any of them have his opportunities?

Your ana[b][/b]lysis is way off-base here.
[/quote]

Thank you. You said exactly what I was about to say, I said nothing about him being better than anyone else. All I said is, Don't hate on him, respect him and if the people who critisize him think they're so good and much better than him, then why don't you go and prove you can be just as successfull. Don't talk about it, DO IT! I've seen many guys in bars or restaurants asked the question "Are you as good as david blaine?" and when you hear a response like "Oh, I blow him out of the water, he's nothing compared to ME" then it is apparent the guy is ego pushed and has no business in this field and he's in it for the wrong reasons, Sorry, but I'm very blunt, Sue me.
Message: Posted by: edh (Dec 25, 2006 04:56PM)
Having seen DB when I was a layman, I have to say that he is the one that got me back into magic. After seeing his first special I was impressed with his tricks. Only after I had gotten more into magic did I realize that the tricks he was doing where standard. That being said I do respect the man for his magic. I don't really care for his stunts though.

His on screen persona as someone that magic just happens to him is what set him apart from others at the time. He was doing magic for people on the streets. He took magic out of the theater and into the streets. He made it popular to do magic in the streets.
Message: Posted by: daniel1113 (Dec 25, 2006 05:18PM)
In terms of skill and technique, Blaine is nothing special. However, in terms of presentation, he is fantastic. I believe this is why laymen tend to love him, and magicians tend to dislike him.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 25, 2006 05:38PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-25 18:18, daniel1113 wrote:
In terms of skill and technique, Blaine is nothing special. However, in terms of presentation, he is fantastic. I believe this is why laymen tend to love him, and magicians tend to dislike him.
[/quote]

So laymen tend to love him huh?
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Dec 25, 2006 06:37PM)
I think David Blaine is a great magician that brings street magic to the pubic and attention of our mainstream with his stunts and feats of endurance. However, to understand David Blaine, I think his upbringing has had a great impact on his motivation to his magic. For instance, when he led 100 children selected by The Salvation Army on a shopping spree at Target. Each child received a $500 gift certificate from the retailer. Blaine said the stunt was particularly important since The Salvation Army had provided him with clothing while he was growing up. According to Blaine, "This challenge is close to my heart."

David Blaine also reportedly has the concentration camp number, 174517, of Primo Levi tattooed on his left forearm. I think this is significant.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 25, 2006 07:01PM)
Significant of what exactly?
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Dec 26, 2006 03:17AM)
I have two comments.

1) Those who have taken off on Cain's comments need to learn how to read more carefully. His comment was dripping--no, soaking--with sarcasm, and yet at least two people chose to criticize him. People: read carefully before reacting with ire.

2) I am in an unusual situation, having seen none of Blaine's TV shows. I was in the States in November for Thanksgiving, and he showed up on one of the morning shows (please don't ask me which channel, and please don't ask me which day: I don't remember).

The hosts ask for a trick, and he pulls out a deck of cards and does a short routine. 99% of the people in this forum would know how he did the entire routine.

His attitude (remember, I HAD NEVER SEEN DAVID BLAINE IN ACTION BEFORE)was very, and I mean VERY, nanchalant, as if nothing was happening, and as if it wasn't even interesting. He just did it, and the hosts freaked like they had seen a miracle.

Again, I have never seen David Blaine outside of this one performance. But on the basis on this one performance, I am seriously mystified as to his appeal. It was low-key and untheatrical. It had nothing I would consider "art" in it.

I repeat, I have only seen this one thing. So what do I know?

Except for: you people don't know how to read, or you wouldn't be jumping on Cain's comment. Seriously.

Jeff
Goettingen
Message: Posted by: Vogler (Dec 26, 2006 10:32AM)
I can't understand the way of magicaman's 001 way of thinking. If Im not famous and "succesfull" like DBlaine I can't critisize him? Iam not even a professional, I don't want to make my living from magic, for me its a hobby that I love and I study really seriously many years. I have studied fine arts, and I make my living from my exhibitions. I don't want to make money from magic and I don't want to see it as a job. I perform whenever I really want, to the people I really want.
Can I critisize David Blaine now?
For me everyone who REALLY knows about magic in depth , who understands the structure of a good act, the "art" part of a magic performance , and the uniqueness of a magic persona, knows if DBlaine is really good..Comparing to how well known he is...
Now if you judge him from his commercial success, then we talk in completely different way.
From the laymen who knows Tommy Wonder? who knows David stone? Lance Burton? Guy Holingworth? Juan Tamariz?
They are far away better magicians from him without his commercial success. And Im sure great magicians like Tommy Wonder and others , they prefere to keep their magic in high level from beeing famous using whatever "magic" and methods..
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Dec 26, 2006 04:49PM)
Juliano, Lance Burton is very well known in North America, as far as I'm aware - he hosted a Mindfreak episode. Juan Tamariz is a LEGEND in the Spanish-speaking world. So the above list of 'names laymen are not familar with' I disagree with.

Stoneunhinged - 99% of people would know how he did the routine - so what? The readers here are meant to all be magicians, so what's the big deal? If he did the ACR, it would be a similar statistic, but it's superb magic.

As to his nonchalant attitude, see what you said yourself - "He just did it, and the hosts freaked like they had seen a miracle." Wouldn't you like such a reaction? And here, freaking out over just the 'simplest' of routines - what was this 'common' routine, out of interest? Playing it a little understated works - it's the antidote to overhyping, and dismisses the approach of wanting to 'kill' the audience; the result is, the audience love it, and play it up even more by themselves, without the need to be coaxed. He may have appeared as if the magic was not interesting, but he was not acting as if he was DISinterested. There's a very big difference, don't you think?

"Low-key" - How much do you want to squeeze from a quick card trick?
"Untheatrical" - his style is to cut the theatrics. The audience freaked, isn't that what it's all about?
"Not artistic" - open to interpretation, but some people would say it's a simple, mysterious style which is effective and intriguing. He somehow has magnetism, with a sense of intensity and the oddly subdued tone of voice.
Message: Posted by: majik (Dec 27, 2006 02:09AM)
He is good enough to get his own t.v. specials. Now translate that into the music world and decide for yourself. For me, it proves you don't have to be the best to reach the top.
Message: Posted by: JSBLOOM (Dec 27, 2006 11:41AM)
I am sure you have heard it always isn't what you say, it is how you say it, right?
So if you a pointing a finger at him stating he is no better than you, you have 4 fingers pointing back at yourself.
Everyone one has their own style. Some magicians are hilaroius to watch. The magic can make your jaws drop and it also hurts because you are laughing so loud.
For example, Michael Finney. IMHO he takes some ordinary tricks and his presentation makes them so entertaining to watch.
I am sure most of us can do the efects he does, but can we perform them as well.
Although technique is important. Lay do not know you are going to do a DL.
Getting back to Blaine, it is his style that has worked for him.
Thank G-d, not all magicians are seroius all the time.
Just my 2 cents....
Is he the best? probably not, but if Amercia thinks he is the best... guess what?
Out from here!
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 27, 2006 01:49PM)
See here is the point. I HAVE NEVER SAID I WAS BETTER.


I simply base my judgements on HIS PERFORMANCE. To compare it to mine, well is pointless. He stands on his own, for better or worse. To state that only those who are on TV can critisise him is idiotic.
Message: Posted by: Vogler (Dec 27, 2006 09:56PM)
"Juliano, Lance Burton is very well known in North America, as far as I'm aware - he hosted a Mindfreak episode. Juan Tamariz is a LEGEND in the Spanish-speaking world. So the above list of 'names laymen are not familar with' I disagree with."

Yes ChristopherM, but david blaine is well known internationally, not only in some countries. But those magicians unforunately not!
I understand laymen saying to me "I saw DB and he did that and it was unbelievable!".But when magicians admire him , this is just like a joke.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 27, 2006 10:09PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-27 12:41, JSBLOOM wrote:
I am sure you have heard it always isn't what you say, it is how you say it, right?
So if you a pointing a finger at him stating he is no better than you, you have 4 fingers pointing back at yourself.
Everyone one has their own style. Some magicians are hilaroius to watch. The magic can make your jaws drop and it also hurts because you are laughing so loud.
For example, Michael Finney. IMHO he takes some ordinary tricks and his presentation makes them so entertaining to watch.
I am sure most of us can do the efects he does, but can we perform them as well.
Although technique is important. Lay do not know you are going to do a DL.
Getting back to Blaine, it is his style that has worked for him.
Thank G-d, not all magicians are seroius all the time.
Just my 2 cents....
Is he the best? probably not, but if Amercia thinks he is the best... guess what?
Out from here!

[/quote]

Actually, he's a lot better than me. He's just not a lot better than a lot of lesser known magicians who have much more serious chops than David Blaine, but not the marketing skill to get a special.
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Dec 27, 2006 10:40PM)
Or the showmanship skills.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 27, 2006 10:46PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-27 23:40, Alex Linian wrote:
Or the showmanship skills.
[/quote]

Completly wrong.

Blaine has many skills, showmanship is not among his best.

He has accomplished much, and again I give the devil his due. BUT to worship him as such is just silly.
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Dec 28, 2006 12:39AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-27 23:46, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-12-27 23:40, Alex Linian wrote:
Or the showmanship skills.
[/quote]

Completly wrong.

Blaine has many skills, showmanship is not among his best.

He has accomplished much, and again I give the devil his due. BUT to worship him as such is just silly.
[/quote]

Then how do you think he get the reactions he gets? I can tell you for fact that he does not need a camera to get such a response. And why is the world fascinated with him?

I don't worship what he's done but I do appreciate it.
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Dec 28, 2006 01:04AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-27 23:46, Dannydoyle wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-12-27 23:40, Alex Linian wrote:
Or the showmanship skills.
[/quote]

Completly wrong.

Blaine has many skills, showmanship is not among his best.

He has accomplished much, and again I give the devil his due. BUT to worship him as such is just silly.
[/quote]

Someone who is the single most well known magician in the world did not get that way by lacking showmanship skills.

SHOWMAN DEFINITION: a person skilled in dramatic or entertaining presentation, performance, or publicity.

I would rank Blaine up there with one of the top showman in our history books. Houdini. Showmanship is probably Blaines best quality. I think you may be confusing showmanship with personality. David has a very low key personailty but that only highlights focus on his magic. Nothing more distracting then a magician with an annoying "look at me I'm great" kind of personality.
Message: Posted by: Waters (Dec 28, 2006 08:17AM)
[/quote]
Then how do you think he get the reactions he gets? I can tell you for fact that he does not need a camera to get such a response. And why is the world fascinated with him?

I don't worship what he's done but I do appreciate it.
[/quote]

In a word: mystery!
His personality and style is evasive. People like reading a good "whodunit" novel. I think David Blaine gets the same fascination, people are intrigued by an aloof enigma.

He is a good-looking confident guy with a "different" look that is both "next door" and "foreign". He looks like he could be from Morocco or from Madison.

His look is his magic. This is what I am so surprised that people don't seem to get. They are one and the same! His technique is sufficient, the people are amazed... but more importantly they don't know what to think.

This is why the public is so enamored with him. His success is due to the "brand". He doesn't have to be the most skilled technician. He understands what ABC, Disney and MTV wants... An image that sells. That is the secret to his success.

I wish him the best, but I don't want to be him (and I couldn't if I wanted).

...as Ken Weber states in "Maximum Entertainment":

"His personality would fit (me) like a polyester suit on a hot day" (loosely paraphrased)

Sean
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Dec 28, 2006 11:57AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-28 09:17, Waters wrote:
[/quote]
I wish him the best, but I don't want to be him (and I couldn't if I wanted).

...as Ken Weber states in "Maximum Entertainment":

"His personality would fit (me) like a polyester suit on a hot day" (loosely paraphrased)

Sean
[/quote]
LOL, please don't go near a fire eating magician :)

I think Blaine incorporates what Weber defines magic as working at three levels: puzzle, trick and extraordinary moment, and strives to help create more extraordinary moments. Blaine has it all in his own way!
Message: Posted by: Waters (Dec 28, 2006 01:28PM)
Agreed!

SW
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 28, 2006 01:44PM)
Oh lord people, "best known magician in the world"?

Not by a long shot.

Accomplished a heck of a lot? Oh yes he has and I acknowlege what it is. But there is a limit.

See I believe the truth of David Blaine is right in the middle. Right directly the center of the "Blane haters" and you "Blaineacs". He is a guy who has accomplished quite a bit in his time. Lets just keep it in reality.
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Dec 28, 2006 04:12PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-28 14:44, Dannydoyle wrote:
Oh lord people, "best known magician in the world"?

Not by a long shot.

Accomplished a heck of a lot? Oh yes he has and I acknowlege what it is. But there is a limit.

See I believe the truth of David Blaine is right in the middle. Right directly the center of the "Blane haters" and you "Blaineacs". He is a guy who has accomplished quite a bit in his time. Lets just keep it in reality.

[/quote]

Yes David Blaine and Chris Angel are to 2 most well known magicians in the world right now. Danny that is the reality I'm afraid. I am not saying they are the best but they are the most popular right now. Personally I like Blaine more then Angel.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 28, 2006 04:23PM)
Actually far more people know Houdini and Copperfield. THAT is the reality.

Like I said, the truth is right in the middle.
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Dec 28, 2006 05:47PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-28 17:23, Dannydoyle wrote:
Actually far more people know Houdini and Copperfield. THAT is the reality.

Like I said, the truth is right in the middle.
[/quote]

Houdini and Copperfield have had 30 + years of exposure but I am sure if asked to name a magician Blaine, Angel, Copperfield, and Houdini, would be most common. So your comments of "Completely Wrong" and "Not by a long shot" were highly exaggerated and not accurate.
Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Dec 28, 2006 05:54PM)
Who cares?

With Paul Harris and an allstar crew, who can question his skill. Next question is who has ever seen him irl perform?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 28, 2006 06:15PM)
You mean exaggerated like the godlike claims people make of Blaine?

Like I said the truth is in the middle.
Message: Posted by: giochi (Dec 28, 2006 07:10PM)
Dannydoyle, please find any post on here by anyone from anytime that states that Blaine is like god.
It seems like the only one here making exaggerated claims and straying far from the middle is you.





You are way off thinking that Blaine is not one of the most famous magicians in the world right now.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Dec 28, 2006 09:49PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-28 02:04, kammagic wrote:...<- snip ->...David has a very low key personailty but that only highlights focus on his magic. Nothing more distracting then a magician with an annoying "look at me I'm great" kind of personality.
[/quote]

Wow! Kamm...I could not have said it better!

Gee...I was going to avoid posting in this thread...but...

I have to admit...David Blaine kind of opened my eyes a bit, as to MY style of magic, and why it was not always working. My girlfriend told me I was too "in your face" and came across as egotistical. That hurt. I just about abandoned magic permantently after that, but then, she gave me a video tape with David Blaine performing.

She said, "Now THERE is a magician I can watch...". After my jealous rage subsided (LOL), I took a serious look at Blaine's style, and mine. Doggone it...she is ALWAYS freakin' right, and I hate it, but...I started toning it down a bit...then dropped the "magician" persona altogether. I'm no longer a semi-pro...I don't do stage any more...but...I do like to amaze people.

It's all in how one percieves the person doing the amazing things. Do they LIKE the person? If not...no amount of showmanship or fancy acting will change it. As Blaine does, I now try to establish an amiable repoir with the person(s) I'm performing for. I'm NOT trying to COPY Blaine, but adapt some of those admirable qualitites mentioned above to improve the spectator's perception of ME.

I think as we mature...these things are naturally apparent...I'm just glad someone was bold enough to point out (rather brutally) how I was being percieved. After studying Blaine's performances...I feel I am MUCH improved, and I will continue to look for qualities in others (Blaine, Chris Angel, Lance Burton, etc) that I can adapt to my own style.

Just my $.02

Doug
Message: Posted by: silverking (Dec 28, 2006 10:04PM)
M__U__S__T____D__R__I__N__K____T__H__E____K__O__O__L_-_A__I__D
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 29, 2006 12:37AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-28 23:04, silverking wrote:
M__U__S__T____D__R__I__N__K____T__H__E____K__O__O__L_-_A__I__D
[/quote]

Man that was funny.
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Dec 29, 2006 02:13AM)
It is the tree with the ripest fruit at which people cast stones. Translated means the people who are on top of their game are the people that are always attacked. Usually by people who are jealous of their success and don't feel they deserve it. David Blaine is amazing. He took a stale magic world and turned it upside down. Taking magic to the street and showing honest reactions. Something that had never been done before. He went from nobody to the talk of the town. He does the tricks that all of us can do and showed us how powerful they can be. He did us all a favor by exploding magics popularity. He was paid 1 million dollars for his first special. To convince a network to do that he had to be doing something right. As magicians we should be proud of him. He is one of us and he made it to the bigtime. The rest of us would be happy to have a tenth of his success. There may be a couple crazed fans out there that would drink Blaines Kool Aid. But to make the general assumption that we all feel that way about him simply because we respect his talent is an insult.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 29, 2006 10:55AM)
Wow listen to yourself.

Now here is the funny thing. Read what I have written. I said the same thing and yet you argue with me and call me jealous? See where the Kool-Aid comes in?

First off to tell someone who dosn't agree with you they are jealous is just not right. You ascribe motives where you have no idea, like you accuse us of doing with your kool-aid drinking.

Next many of us are quite happy where we are, no need for mega sucess, not everyones goal.

Another thing is I have said TIME AND AGAIN I RESPECT what he has accomplished. It is just that he has NOT DONE THE THINGS YOU SAY.

Again look in the middle. I am NOT A BLAINE HATER. I don't particularly like his brand of magic, or his silly "style". It means nothing. It is one opinion. I realise most of this board started because of sleepy, but not me. I was and am at a point in what it is I do that it matters not one bit what he or CA do.

Just to not like someone is automatically jealous? So save your idiotic pop psycobable for someone who isn't in the field ok? Ripest fruit? My god man at least stop mixing metaphors please.

Let me ask you a question, is it such a contratiction to NOT like Blaine and still respect him? Is it SO hard to understand that perhaps we can say "yep" he has accomlished a lot" and not worship at the alter of Blaine. NOT be jealous?

IF NOT then guess who has been drinking Kool-Aid.
Message: Posted by: giochi (Dec 29, 2006 11:16AM)
Calm down man
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 29, 2006 11:41AM)
Oh now when a point is made without kool aid it is calm down.

Really it is sickening the way the Blaineacs paint everyone who simply dosn't like the man as a Blaine hater. Funny it is easier to stomach the man himself than the wannabes.

Although if not everyone who dislikes him is jealous, why is everyone who likes him a wannabe? Guess that is the point I am trying to make.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Dec 29, 2006 12:54PM)
"Hello, my name is giochi and I'm a Blaineaholic".

...........10 steps baby, 10 steps and you'll be good as new!

Step #1: Repeat 100 times, ....."his double lift isn't that good"....."his double lift isn't that good".........
Step #2: Repeat 100 times,......."it's uncool to use homeless people as props"......
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Dec 29, 2006 03:21PM)
Just because we think Blaine is a good magician does not make us Blaineaholics. You guys are so extremist with your comments. Blaine is not the best technician but neither was Houdini. Many professional famous magicians are not that technically perfect and by the way its pretty cool to entertain the homeless. They are people too. I am sure the guy was rewarded well for his assistance.
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 29, 2006 03:30PM)
Now we are getting somewhere. NEITHER WAS HOUDINI.

You are so right. The comparison is pretty good actually I agree. MANY magicians, (MYSELF INCLUDED) are not that "technically proficient". No arguement from me there.

Now when you admit that BOTH sides are being extreme, well you eliminate those and find the middle, and you have some sort of truth EVERYONE can probably find common ground. Which is my point.
Message: Posted by: BrianMillerMagic (Dec 29, 2006 07:19PM)
Ahh and there is the truth that in fact everyone has been agreeing upon for the last two pages of posts! I haven't said much in this thread yet because I've watched two distinctly different sides of the argument actually agreeing with each other with a common ground, and yet continue to fight about it! I think Danny is right that there will always be extremists on both sides, but it is in the middle where everyone pretty much can agree on Blaine, Angel. Houdini, or whoever else you'd like to name.
Message: Posted by: DStachowiak (Dec 29, 2006 08:12PM)
Hmmm, it seems like the people who like his magic think David Blaine is good. The ones who don't like it, think he's not so good. Am I missing anything?
Message: Posted by: Dannydoyle (Dec 29, 2006 08:18PM)
Naw that pretty well sums it up.
Message: Posted by: Greg V (Dec 29, 2006 08:21PM)
Ahhhh.... not this argument again :D This topic seems to come up a lot in the forum, and just in general discussions amongst magicians. So maybe David Blaine's performance style isn't all that great. He's taking simple tricks that you know how to do and getting really famous by doing them. But I believe that the reason he is so popular (besides the fact he's on TV etc. etc. etc.) is because he knows how to get a certain reaction from people. If his style is the mysterious random guy walking on the street showing magic, then that's fine. That's what gets people interested. When they see a person in a top hat and tails, they expect to see some magic. It is more amazing to see a "normal" person perfrom magic. I won't go on for too long, all I can say for sure is I like him a lot more than Cris Angel... don't even get me started on that guy!
Just my two cents,
-Greg
Message: Posted by: silverking (Dec 29, 2006 08:59PM)
He's a multi-millionaire who hires cinematographers and directors to make him LOOK like a guy walking around Hells Kitchen doing tricks for people.

In reality he's drinking Crystal with his toes in the water down on Mustique.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Dec 30, 2006 09:58AM)
Now there's a question. Did David Blaine have a period when he was walking around the streets doing magic for strangers <without> a camera crew nearby to watch his every move? What did David do before the first special?
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Dec 30, 2006 10:41AM)
Blaine's performance "events" cannot be fully appreciated in a televised 2 hour special. His connection to his audience is built in person over several 24 hour days leading up to these TV shows. Look at the faces of these people...
http://darkartsmedia.com/Blaine.html
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Dec 30, 2006 12:30PM)
That video clip captured David's purpose better than ABC did.
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Dec 30, 2006 01:00PM)
Thanks Alex!
Message: Posted by: stoneunhinged (Dec 30, 2006 02:08PM)
Eddie, I agree that your clip shows me something about Blaine that I otherwise might not have ever seen. Thanks for the eye-opener.

Jeff
Goettingen
Message: Posted by: Alex Linian (Dec 30, 2006 02:30PM)
You're welcome Eddie. Thanks for putting it up.
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Dec 30, 2006 03:02PM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-29 16:30, Dannydoyle wrote:
Now we are getting somewhere. NEITHER WAS HOUDINI.

You are so right. The comparison is pretty good actually I agree. MANY magicians, (MYSELF INCLUDED) are not that "technically proficient". No arguement from me there.

Now when you admit that BOTH sides are being extreme, well you eliminate those and find the middle, and you have some sort of truth EVERYONE can probably find common ground. Which is my point.
[/quote]

How good is David Blaine is the question of this thread. My point was technical abilities have little to do with how "good" someone is as a magician. As a magician Blaine is amazing. He really knows how to present magic in an impressive way. I think that is what makes a great magician. There are many technicians in our business who are highly respected but who would not be looked at as the greatest magicians. But as performers we each learn how to exploit our abilities. I think Blaine has learned what his abilities are and he uses them extremely well.
Message: Posted by: The Mac (Dec 30, 2006 05:53PM)
In an interview Mariah Carey lamented that singers who have perfect singing voices but not the look are nearly never bothered with by the record company.The point is that technical skill is not all in show business.Its all about image!
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jan 5, 2007 06:37PM)
I guess it also depends on what you define skill, and success as. Blaine is probably a lot more wealthier than all the Fism winners put together, as well as a lot richer, and more world renowned than most of the world's top magic technicians. So I doubt what some are saying on a public forum has any effect on him. Part of being skilled at your craft is being able to market and sell what you already know, not how difficult it is.

Interacting with other magicians does not necessarily define success, it may open some doors, but that is about it. I was a full-time performer for 16 years already before I began to meet any magicians in person, and already had my livelihood established regardless. Some are competent enough to make it on their own, and do not need to ride the coat tails of others. Not that I refused to meet other magicians, but there simply is none in my local area. Never was, and still isn't many. But that never stopped me, and still hasn't after 26 years. Recognition/fame among others is merely a plus, not a necessity.

"Great magic" requires a mastery of timing, misdirection, audience interaction and control, competent planning, improvisation, social skills and management, dexterity, nimbleness, eloquent speech, and overall mastery of the physical, and psychological dynamics of the art in general in order to be a professional. We are not talking about doing one little show for your grandmother's birthday party, we are talking about doing magic for a living every single day. This not only takes a tremendous amount of skill, it also requires a lot of talent, patience, and maturity.

The fact is that if you cannot do something out of the ordinary, and something so amazing that they have never seen before, you are not going to create that true level of astonishment. What you are able to do now is a product of all the hard work you have put into your magic over a long period of time. It usually takes skill to recognize skill.But yes, Blaine has no skill...We all know how easy push off doubles, Randy Holt's Curly Cue, Simple Switch, Shapeshifter, one-handed riffle shuffles, and the Hotshot Cut, to name only a few, are.
Message: Posted by: Lyndel (Jan 5, 2007 07:21PM)
Is he good?

Buy the CD and judge for yourself!

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=192088&forum=77&1


Lyndel
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 6, 2007 10:20AM)
[quote]
On 2006-12-30 18:53, macGyver(south Africa) wrote:
In an interview Mariah Carey lamented that singers who have perfect singing voices but not the look are nearly never bothered with by the record company.The point is that technical skill is not all in show business.Its all about image!
[/quote]

Tell that to Milli Vanilli. There has to be <some> skill involved, but if you had a Pierce Brosnan type doing magic next to a Jim Belushi type and both had the same qualifications, who's going to get the better reception?
Message: Posted by: scrapdizzy (Jan 6, 2007 10:45AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-05 20:21, Lyndel wrote:
Is he good?

Buy the CD and judge for yourself!

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=192088&forum=77&1


Lyndel
[/quote]

Aceess to topic denied.
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Jan 7, 2007 09:09AM)
I think Sirbrad makes a good point; being admired/emulated by other magicians alone won't pay the bills, it's ultimately between you and your audience. For a little background on Blaine (if you are so inclined) his book, Mysterious Stranger, is a reasonably fun read. There's some background as to his earlier performances in NYC restaurants etc, and how his fee gradually climbed whilst working them. Also a little on that 'prop' homeless person, Richard, who he treated very well, as it turns out. Dangerous to make assumptions and claims. The guy himself felt overjoyed, not 'used' at all.

Cheers

Chris
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 7, 2007 10:00AM)
Yeah, it doesn't matter if Richard FELT used or not, he WAS used.

Get the difference?
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Jan 7, 2007 12:36PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-07 11:00, silverking wrote:
Yeah, it doesn't matter if Richard FELT used or not, he WAS used.

Get the difference?
[/quote]

Blaine does street magic. Homeless people live on the street. Blaine performed magic for a homeless person. It shows he is compassionate and treats all people equally. Are you saying you would of not performed for Richard?

Watch the video.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Xhp-DULFhk
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 7, 2007 03:42PM)
I'm glad you enjoyed it, but because I'm simply registering my opinion, it's really not possible for me to be "wrong" any more than it's possible for you to be "wrong" about how you view the issue.

Thanks for the link, but I find the video disgusting so I'll pass.
Message: Posted by: giochi (Jan 7, 2007 04:43PM)
Kammagic,
thanks for the link. That a great piece of magic that resonates strongly with the public.
Message: Posted by: Bspaeth (Jan 7, 2007 05:06PM)
Scapdizzy you have to have a higher post count to view some of the forum. I believe.
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Jan 7, 2007 05:22PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-07 16:42, silverking wrote:
I'm glad you enjoyed it, but because I'm simply registering my opinion, it's really not possible for me to be "wrong" any more than it's possible for you to be "wrong" about how you view the issue.

Thanks for the link, but I find the video disgusting so I'll pass.
[/quote]

Didn't say anything about right or wrong. Just wondering why you feel disgusted or that Richard was being used. David never made fun of him. He treated him with decency and respect and gave the guy a night he will remember the rest of his life. How do you find something like that disgusting? "Disgusting" is quite a strong term please explain.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Jan 7, 2007 05:31PM)
How good is David Blaine is the question of this thread. My point was technical abilities have little to do with how "good" someone is as a magician. As a magician Blaine is amazing. He really knows how to present magic in an impressive way. I think that is what makes a great magician. There are many technicians in our business who are highly respected but who would not be looked at as the greatest magicians. But as performers we each learn how to exploit our abilities. I think Blaine has learned what his abilities are and he uses them extremely well.
[/quote]

I agree.
As a Mysterious Stranger who does magic for strangers he is a talent. His style is to let the magic do the talking.

One of the funniest comics I ever saw was Steven Wright. His deadpan and monotone way of delivering his one liners and jokes cracked me up.
In contrast I also like the zany comedy of Robin Williams.
Both have their own way to entertain and that's showmanship.

As far as how good Blaine is technically, what do we really know?
The impromptu type tricks that were selected for his shows were what was needed for the streets.

Whether he is a skilled businessman, got the work through connections or because some big shot was impressed at a party I don't know.

While I'm not impressed with his stunts I do appreciate his magic and style.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jan 7, 2007 07:38PM)
That is exactly my point, many seem to have the misconception that one must possess "advanced, technical skill" in order to be a successful magician; when in fact Blaine contradicts that theoryóat least to those who make such statements and actually believe that Blaine has little skill. Blaine proves that simple magic can be simply amazing, however as I also previously stated, Blaine does do some pretty technical card moves as well.

I don't think that what little magic we have seen on his TV specials, even comes close to all he is capable of. You only got so much time on TV, and you are at the mercy of producers etc. I have seen master sleight of hand artists induce yawns with a lack of presentation and showmanship, and I have seen magicians who lack in sleights, transform simple props and gimmicks into stunning miracles; utilizing presentation and showmanship to fill in the gaps.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 7, 2007 08:39PM)
[quote]
and gave the guy a night he will remember the rest of his life.
[/quote]
I wonder how long his life ended up being?........the next day?.....the next week?

In the end a homeless, alchoholic, possibly mentally ill, and helpless man was manipulated by a millionaire to make a TV show a little more interesting to the average consumer of such shows.

There's not much more for me to say about magicians using homeless people as props other than I find it tasteless and disgusting.

It's an opinion.
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Jan 7, 2007 11:59PM)
Hmmm?
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jan 8, 2007 05:00AM)
You mean just as Criss Angel used the "disabled?" I don't think Blaine did anything wrong, but perhaps he could have at least made a cup full of half-dollars or quarters to help him out, as opposed to pennies.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Jan 8, 2007 10:15AM)
Assuming he wasn't an actor, I'd imagine remembered very little of it. "Hey Earl, I had this crazy dream last night... Hey! Where the **** is my coffee?"
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 8, 2007 12:21PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-08 06:00, sirbrad wrote:
You mean just as Criss Angel used the "disabled?"
[/quote]
The "disabled" person had full control of their faculties and made a CHOICE to work as an EMPLOYEE of Criss Angel and/or his production company.

See the difference?
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Jan 8, 2007 01:01PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-07 21:39, silverking wrote:
[quote]
and gave the guy a night he will remember the rest of his life.
[/quote]
I wonder how long his life ended up being?........the next day?.....the next week?

In the end a homeless, alchoholic, possibly mentally ill, and helpless man was manipulated by a millionaire to make a TV show a little more interesting to the average consumer of such shows.

There's not much more for me to say about magicians using homeless people as props other than I find it tasteless and disgusting.

It's an opinion.
[/quote]

David entertained Richard and treated him with respect. You on the otherhand just called him an alcoholic, mentally ill, helpless, homeless and joked about when he would die.

Do you see the difference?
Message: Posted by: silverking (Jan 8, 2007 02:14PM)
This has deteriorated into a series of lame responses to serious questions about ethics as they relate to the homeless and disadvantaged in society.

Trying to convince folks that they should assume your (or my) "opinion" on an issue is a waste of time.

Peace,out.
Message: Posted by: The Mac (Jan 8, 2007 04:01PM)
Hmm, I always felt that the homeless guy bit was a bit "off putting".While I think blaine did it with good intentions I feel that it should have been left on the cuttng room floor.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jan 8, 2007 11:53PM)
I simply saw the guy as another spectator whom Blaine brought joy, and astonishment to. It sounds like you have some type of bias, or prejudice, not Blaine. For all we know Blaine could have given him a lot more money off camera.
Message: Posted by: Magical Mike (Jan 9, 2007 04:39AM)
Forget that homeless stuff the fact of the mater how do you really rate a performer that can edit everything? that's crazy! Have you seen David do a live stage show? (Yes Street Magicians can do street on the stage!) The answer is [b]no![/b] I am not knocking David because of him Magic soared up in ratings and stuff but I just can't see how you can say someone is so good when they have an editing team worth millions at their disposal!
Message: Posted by: kammagic (Jan 9, 2007 10:21AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-09 05:39, Magical Mike wrote:
Forget that homeless stuff the fact of the mater how do you really rate a performer that can edit everything? that's crazy! Have you seen David do a live stage show? (Yes Street Magicians can do street on the stage!) The answer is NO! I am not knocking David because of him Magic soared up in ratings and stuff but I just can't see how you can say someone is so good when they have an editing team worth millions at their disposal!
[/quote]

So are you saying David is just an actor playing a magician and through creative editing they make him look good? Its pretty obvious that David is performing the effects himself. Any experienced magician can tell he has adequate skills. Many pros only have adequate technical skills. David excels in presentation, showmanship, theatrics, marketing. Too many young magicians think that they will be a great magician if their pass is invisible or they do a killer double lift. These are only our tools. To be great we must know how to use them. Simply doing a pass is not showing that you know how to use it. David knows how to use his talents.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jan 9, 2007 08:05PM)
All the effects/skills that Blaine did that I previously mentioned, were not edited at all. They were legitimate magic effects that are on the market, and that anyone can do if they practice enough. If you want to talk about someone who edits almost every single effect, talk about Criss Angel. Not to mention all of his stooges who make everything go just a little bit easier. Unlike Criss, Blaine does not have to cutaway to the spectator every time a crucial sleight/move comes up, and then cut back after it was done off of camera.

Not to mention all the so called magic that Criss creates in the "editing room" that he boasts can be done live anytime, and anywhere. Which is just another deception, and illusion he wants everyone to believe. If that were really true, he would not need the camera to cutaway so that he could empty his awkward looking palmed poker-chip, because it is obvious he never put much work into learning the correct method of palming it.

He would also be able to do a simple bill switch, without having to cut to a stooge's face; who has been paid to lie about his signature. Criss may be able to deceive laymen, but not working pros who actually do legitimate magic, and struggle to live up to the false, and very high expectations that he places upon them with his editing. What will you tell the people at your next birthday party, when you are unable to walk up the wall like Angel did? How about when they ask you to float from building to building? How about ducking under a garbage lid, and appearing on the roof? Walk on water in the pool in the back yard?

I guess you will just have to fess up, you are not as "good" as Angel is. Good at having a camera crew, lots of money, and stooges that is...What will you tell them when they ask you to do about 95% of what they have seen Blaine do? Most likely you will do it, because it IS "possible."
Message: Posted by: ChristopherM (Jan 10, 2007 06:48PM)
Q: How good is David Blaine?
Some of the responses have been assertive and off topic. My answer:

He is a VERY good Magician. Ask Jean-Eugene for a good definition of that.
Technically, he is capable of FAR more than the TV puts across. What he does on TV he does for the general public, his street audience, in other words laypeople in general. He does not (and IMO neither should ANY magician) perform solely (and in David's case, pretty much not at all) for magicians. Why should he? Magicians do not pay him the big bucks, the TV company and his clients do. Same goes for anyone who earns from performing magic.

To get a clearer picture of David's attitude towards Richard, please DO read Mysterious Stranger. It is an admirable, not exploitative attitude. Cheers.

Chris
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 10, 2007 11:04PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-09 11:21, kammagic wrote:
[quote]
On 2007-01-09 05:39, Magical Mike wrote:
Forget that homeless stuff the fact of the mater how do you really rate a performer that can edit everything? that's crazy! Have you seen David do a live stage show? (Yes Street Magicians can do street on the stage!) The answer is NO! I am not knocking David because of him Magic soared up in ratings and stuff but I just can't see how you can say someone is so good when they have an editing team worth millions at their disposal!
[/quote]

So are you saying David is just an actor playing a magician and through creative editing they make him look good? Its pretty obvious that David is performing the effects himself. Any experienced magician can tell he has adequate skills. Many pros only have adequate technical skills. David excels in presentation, showmanship, theatrics, marketing. Too many young magicians think that they will be a great magician if their pass is invisible or they do a killer double lift. These are only our tools. To be great we must know how to use them. Simply doing a pass is not showing that you know how to use it. David knows how to use his talents.
[/quote]

If you performed fifty times and bombed 45 times but could arrange that the television audience only saw the 5 terrific performances, then you'd look better than you really are and would be guilty of "creative editing" even though you actually <did> do the 5 terrifce performances.

Again, I like Blaine. I just think there are better magicians out there who are sadly under recognized.
Message: Posted by: giochi (Jan 11, 2007 01:08PM)
If you performed fifty times and bombed 45 times but could arrange that the television audience only saw the 5 terrific performances, then you'd look better than you really are and would be guilty of "creative editing" even though you actually <did> do the 5 terrifce performances.
[/quote]

that implies that he only performs for television, which is simply not true.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 11, 2007 10:31PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-11 14:08, giochi wrote:

If you performed fifty times and bombed 45 times but could arrange that the television audience only saw the 5 terrific performances, then you'd look better than you really are and would be guilty of "creative editing" even though you actually &lt;did&gt; do the 5 terrific performances.
[/quote]
That implies that he only performs for television, which is simply not true.

[/quote]
The only time I've seen him has been on TV specials. Where has he performed without cameras around?
Message: Posted by: Bob Johnston (Jan 12, 2007 01:05AM)
Mandrake01:

Just because YOU have not seen him live does not mean he is not working live. In a recent private party of medical doctors that took place in DC, it was announced that Blaine would be in the room shortly and would be circulating to all of the 20 tables. He came in wearing nicely pressed paints and an open necked shirt. He spent a great deal of time at each table and was a big hit with the guests (all in Black Tie.)

In speaking with the host and hostess after the dinner and performance, I found out that they were immensely pleased with how he had worked the room, and that their feedback from the guests was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone was most impressed with him.

What was important to me about Blaineís appearance was that he was well-groomed (hands and nails immaculate), he spoke nicely to everyone, and gave special attention to the children who were there. What more could anyone want from a close-up magician? Iím not a huge fan of his, but Iíve never seen a better close-up magician working tables in my 45+ years in magic.

I found out later what he was paid, his compensation for performing was awesome, and it helps all of us that work in magic for a living.

Bob
Message: Posted by: sickmagic (Jan 12, 2007 02:00AM)
My answer is simple, He is making a living at what he loves to do so why should we complain about that? Who cares how good he is we should care more about how good we are!
Message: Posted by: Manny (Jan 12, 2007 11:53PM)
How good is David Blaine?
He is good enough to make a living doing magic.
However this is the wrong question to ask ... ask yourself
"How good am I?" , then study his DVDs/TV specials.
Study his presentation, showmanship, theatrics, marketing.
You will become a better magician for doing so.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jan 13, 2007 10:02AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-12 02:05, Wellington wrote:
Mandrake01:

Just because YOU have not seen him live does not mean he is not working live. In a recent private party of medical doctors that took place in DC, it was announced that Blaine would be in the room shortly and would be circulating to all of the 20 tables. He came in wearing nicely pressed paints and an open necked shirt. He spent a great deal of time at each table and was a big hit with the guests (all in Black Tie.)

In speaking with the host and hostess after the dinner and performance, I found out that they were immensely pleased with how he had worked the room, and that their feedback from the guests was overwhelmingly positive. Everyone was most impressed with him.

What was important to me about Blaineís appearance was that he was well-groomed (hands and nails immaculate), he spoke nicely to everyone, and gave special attention to the children who were there. What more could anyone want from a close-up magician? Iím not a huge fan of his, but Iíve never seen a better close-up magician working tables in my 45+ years in magic.

I found out later what he was paid, his compensation for performing was awesome, and it helps all of us that work in magic for a living.

Bob
[/quote]

Good for him. I hadn't heard of his doing anything outside of the television specials. (I certainly hadn't seen him.)

I also never claimed he was "grubby" in any way so I certainly wouldn't expect him to turn up in any fashion other than "well-groomed (hands and nails immaculate)" as far as being nice and soft-spoken to everyone, he'd never been otherwise on his specials so again I wouldn't expect anything less in a personal appearance.

[quote]
On 2007-01-13 00:53, Manny wrote:
How good is David Blaine?
He is good enough to make a living doing magic.
However this is the wrong question to ask ... ask yourself
"How good am I?" , then study his DVDs/TV specials.
Study his presentation, showmanship, theatrics, marketing.
You will become a better magician for doing so.
[/quote]

I don't think so. I'm still not crazy about David's approach to magic (as successful as it's been for him) and don't really want to emulate him. I think David's approach is uniquely David and anyone "studying" it is probably going to come off as "trying to look like David Blaine."

To paraphrase Jackie Chan; "I'd rather be the first <mandrake01> than the next David Blaine."
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Jan 13, 2007 02:44PM)
Here's a spoof on a [url=http://www.thespoof.com/news/spoof.cfm?headline=s1i13437]David Blaine [/url] stunt gone wrong in the great U.K.
Message: Posted by: MagicG14 (Jan 13, 2007 08:21PM)
David Blaine is a very good card magician.
Message: Posted by: jclark (Jan 14, 2007 12:52AM)
David Blaine is talented in more ways than magic; he created a growth market that has lifted magic back up again. People like silverking are mouths; what have they done? Nothing? They spend more of the free time they have online behind a computer screen talking about other people. Please.
Message: Posted by: Manny (Jan 16, 2007 04:15AM)
How good is David Blaine?
Short answer ... Good enough.
However his is a Great showmen
and a strong promoter that IMHO
studied Houdini and learned a thing
or two from him.
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jan 17, 2007 08:50AM)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8aucpJx8bs

Not sure if this was already posted here, but this guy puts Blaine to shame. I don't think I ever laughed so hard in my life. The sign thing at the end was absolutely hilarious, and the very ending as well.
Message: Posted by: Bob Johnston (Jan 18, 2007 09:01AM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-17 09:50, sirbrad wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8aucpJx8bs

Not sure if this was already posted here, but this guy puts Blaine to shame. I don't think I ever laughed so hard in my life. The sign thing at the end was absolutely hilarious, and the very ending as well.
[/quote]
If you have never "laughed so hard in my life" you should get out more, and I hardly think he puts "Blaine to shame."

Bob
Message: Posted by: sirbrad (Jan 18, 2007 11:08PM)
Since it is obvious that you have the inability to distinguish sarcasm, it is YOU who should get out more.