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Priest
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I think everyone is forgetting one really important detail:

Blaine may be disliked by the majority of the "magic society" but he is adored by most of the public. This is what the TV networks think about. This is what brings him in millions of dollars. They don't care if WE (other magicians) think he is great, or disapprove of his camera editing. It doesn't matter what other magicians tjink. In the public eye, he is accomplishing what he is setting out to do.

p/
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It is something that U find deep within Ur Soul!"
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Matt Graves
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Well, my uncle (after seeing the latest Blaine special) said that he thought David Blaine was the best magician he had ever seen in his life. Now, I can't agree with that myself. I'd have to go for David Copperfield or Eugene Burger. But David Blaine is definitely doing some things right. He certainly knows how to get publicity, and he seems to pick his effects carefully. He doesn't seem to be imitating anybody. That whole "religion" thing is interesting. I read an interview with him one time where he listed Jesus Christ as one of the great magicians of the past he looked up to. I don't think I'll comment on that one. I just thought it was interesting. He seems like he's trying to create an image of himself that's larger than life and just on a totally different level than anything magicians are doing these days. He seems to thrive on all the criticism and controversy from other magicians. I think I like him better just for the fact that so many people hate him.
aznviet6uy
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i HATE THIS GUY! no offence but everywhere i go, i start off by showing a trick, then the spectator goes, HEY have u SEEN that TV guy, what his name, i say "david blaine", they GO YEA DATZ HIM!

well yea that just ruined the whole trick, inturrupting the trick just to say that guys name, its so irratating, i mean that guy's tricks arent all that great, a beggenier can pull most of his tricks off and yet people are still amazed. i usually leave when someone mentions him, gosh i mean he is good dont get me wrong, BUT EVERY FREEKING TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, someone shoot meeh. lolz

-CHRIS
shhh..... I see Magicians.....
Scott Xavier
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I like him, if you can get exposure and sell the balducci, and the ash routine, go for it!
Bascomb Grecian
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Unless Blaine makes a style change, I feel he really is not a marketable commodity. If Blaine were on a Commercial, what could he sell?

And during this post "Priest" said, "Blaine may be disliked by the majority of the "magic society" but he is adored by most of the public.

The clients that hire me to perform, always have one thing to say about Blaine. He is just wierd. That is what my audiences say to me. In this part country, people are intelligent enough to see right though the guy.
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brownitus
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Quote:
On 2002-09-18 20:15, Bascomb wrote:
Unless Blaine makes a style change, I feel he really is not a marketable commodity. If Blaine were on a Commercial, what could he sell?

And during this post "Priest" said, "Blaine may be disliked by the majority of the "magic society" but he is adored by most of the public.

The clients that hire me to perform, always have one thing to say about Blaine. He is just wierd. That is what my audiences say to me. In this part country, people are intelligent enough to see right though the guy.



Say what?! Blaine needs to be marketable for what product? The man has been selling himself for years extremely well! He's pretty wealthy due to his ability to sell himself-- he's been doing it his whole life. Jeez.

Oh, and it doesn't make one necessarily intelligent because they have the incredible gift to "See through the guy." What on earth would make you think these people who don't fall for Blaine's effects are of higher intellect? That's preposterous; get away from the holier-than-thou mentality. They aren't entertained by him, simple as that.

Sigh. This is scarily semblant to underground fans of certain musical genres who claim superiority to the mainstream due to their "advanced" tastes and appreciation for the pseudo-avante garde.

The masses want to be entertained, and Blaine fills the gap once or twice a year with a special that people enjoy, hence he's as successful as he is. You don't have to like him, but to deny his abilities is ridiculous. He doesn't need to be a Steve Forte with cards-- he is a performer, people love the way he performs and so with such a tremendous presence amongst a crowd, he can take the lamest effect and leave an audience dazzled.

I recently conducted an interview with Peter Duffie for my website, and in it he said something that makes a lot of sense: "It depends on how an audience perceive a performer. I don't know of any person who believes David Copperfield can fly. I do know that there are more than a few people out there who believe David Blaine can levitate. That's worth thinking about."

/me awaits rebuttals referencing the camera edited Atlantic City levi, etc. Smile

peace.
"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, US Commissioner of Patents, 1899
Priest
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Quote:
The clients that hire me to perform, always have one thing to say about Blaine. He is just wierd. That is what my audiences say to me. In this part country, people are intelligent enough to see right though the guy.

Well, some may think that he is "weird" but it may also be that "weirdness" that draws them to him, or gets their attention. He may be "weird" but then again, doesn't that make a lot of people wonder what he will do next?

~Priest~
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It is something that U find deep within Ur Soul!"
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Jeff Weiss
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My first thought on Blane is that he is protraying what people want to see. In my opinion it is fully appealing to the public to see someone who is not the flashy magician in the stage or the guy carrying a table around to your table in a restraunt (no offense to either!) Hes just a random guy walking around who has "magical powers."

Boring or not his patter is interesting, I havent seen it before: a plain boring guy who posses magic within him: not some big show or flashy presnetation.

When people go to a show they expect to me mystifyed. They are prepared to suspend disbelief (even if it is on a subconscious level). But maybe it is the "theatrical" elements that allow for the suspension of disbelief. If one sees the very opposite of a big production- a "regular" guy with no flash, no style, so presentation etc. They are truly surpized and truly amazed. They dont have to suspend disbeleif becuase they arent conditioned to do so as they are with a "standard" magic presentation: they actually belive...
Ron Giesecke
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Quote:
On 2002-05-29 08:39, I think a lot of magicians who dismiss him, it's just a case of sour grapes.


Perhaps, but I believe it is Blaine that has on more than one occasion, Dismissed Jesus as a fraud. Maybe he can't deal with the fact that nobody will be talking about him 2,000 years later.

People ask me what I think about David Blaine, and I say "well let's see, here's a guy who ostensibly froze himself in a block of ice for three days, and then rose again--oh, I wonder who's he's trying to copy?"

So I guess that would be sour Grapes of Wrath.

Cheers,

Ron


Priest said,

"He may be "weird" but then again, doesn't that make a lot of people wonder what he will do next?"

Yes, but the same standard is being applied to the Al Queida, so there is no merit in that alone.

--Ron
AllThumbs
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Some thoughts on the public reaction to Blaine.

My personal thoughts about his specials

1) I accept they *can* be entertaining however....

2) His 'act' ranks bottom of ALL the professional magicians I've seen or watched. Including a couple of kid demonstrators at some magic shops I've been to.

I think the public adoration can be summarised quite simply. Magic as an entertainment really has not had any mass media exposure (in this post when I say exposure I don't mean the revealing of how its done) since the early 90's. People had more or less forgotten what magic as an entertainment. Television seemed to dump magic wholesale (seen as outdated, and maybe the presentation of it was). Then when someone comes along that isn't in Top hat and tails or in a grey suit, in the 40-50 age bracket (imo all the best are 40+ so don't flame me) comes along doing magic, with a new breed of TV executives who were kids when magic was last popular, he is snapped up. Public are astounded because they have never seen a magician before - or it was too long ago to remember. The only exposure to magic they may have had was that kid down the street that did the odd magic trick.

Magicians know better, he really is second rate. It is not surprising there are sour grapes. Many, many much much better magicians are out there - more creative, better personalities, stronger effects who have worked for years are still table hopping and doing kids shows (which are still perfectly good careers, I wish I was doing that kind of thing!) earning a pittance compared to the less skilled and less artful Blaine. They just don't know how to market themselves, don't appeal to mass media (remember - lowest common denominator) or don't really want to be famous anyway

David's act, imo, is at the 2 year skill level stage (maybe I'm wrong and he is more skilled - but certainly not more creative). Most of the tricks he performs are mostly standard magic shop fare that are commonly pitched to newcomers. The format (street magic) works because the participants are more likely to be amazed because they are not expecting to be performed to. He is confident and has balls to get to where he has based on a folding coin, and old stage trick, a s***** gimmick. I wish he would 'add' something to magic with some new effects and ideas. I also wish him the best.

He did miss out on a big marketing opportunity though, he could have marketed a magic set containing all his tricks for under $50. They probably would have sold like hotcakes (for all the wrong reasons)

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
thehawk
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Has anybody seen David Blaine do anything new? All he does are other peoples tricks and he comes off like a great magician.
If it wasn't for ABC who would know David Blaine.
Let's look at a little less of Blaine and a lot more of the magician's who created the magic.
Bascomb Grecian
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"Magicians know better, he really is second rate."-Allthumbs

Yes, this is the reason for controversy over David Blaine.

How did he get the job in the first place? Nepotism? Eisner's Son? Forgive me, for saying this, I know of hundreds of professional magicians that are much better than David Blaine.

Is it just me or does David Blaine talk like he is drunk.
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Magicbarry
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I'm not a Blaine fan, myself, but I wouldn't go as far as to say he's a bad magician.

Many people have criticised Blaine, saying he doesn't do the tricks well -- he just gets a great reaction from the audience.

Well ...

Isn't that what magicians are supposed to do? Sure, he doesn't do anything the rest of us can't, and he doesn't have exceptional technical skills, but he manages to blow his spectators away.

It's always been said in magic that a trick doesn't have to be new. A good magician can impress with an old trick that's done well. We as magicians might not think Blaine does these tricks well, but we're not supposed to. His audience is supposed to. And they do.

To be a good magician, you need to be a good performer, and Blaine is that. His performance style -- like it or not -- works.

Where Blaine deserves criticism is his use of camera tricks and edits, but those are for the TV audience. His live audience sees these things live and unedited, and they frequently go nuts over his tricks. Unless all these people he sends into hysterics are actors (and that would be a tough thing to prove), he's got an enviable ability to astonish.
knave
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I think a lot of people are missing the point with David Blaine; he is a TV creation for the TV age and must be judged as such.

More and more TV shows are “positioned” to appeal to a specific market segment; DB’s shows are a great example of this. They are not cabaret or variety shows (the traditional haunt of magical entertainment) Smile he doesn’t do a 10-minute act sandwiched between a singer and a performing poodle. The entire show is very carefully scripted to give a certain feel and effect (sound familiar to anyone? It should) which is designed to appeal to a specific group of people. In this case, young, anti-establishment, fashion conscious etc. Using this criteria, the shows (and Blaine) acheive exactly what they set out to acheive and are well made and successful.

The publicity stunts have also worked extremely well and have given Blaine an added dimension (guru, modern day shaman) in the eyes of his audience.

Now, strip away the positioning and market segment focus and we can look at pure technical ability and craft. The same way we can look at any other successful entertainer; can he really act? (Arney), can she really sing (Madonna)? Well, maybe not that well, but do they have star quality and charisma…..? Technically speaking, is Blaine any good? Well, the participants on his show seem to think so. Is he technically up there with the best pro’s? I’ve obviously never seen him live but I would have to say no, probably not even close. Hopefully there is a point in there somewhere.

Does he have the charisma and star quality mentioned earlier? Well, long term, the jury is still out for me. He certainly does have a certain amount of that special something that his target market (not you!!) find extremely attractive and captivating. Whether or not it is broad enough and deep enough to result in long term stardom is too early (IMO) to say.

I certainly think he has probably inspired a lot of the younger generation to become interested in magic, people who probably would not have become so otherwise. It’s my belief that there are probably some young budding little Blaines out there with nose rings and skateboards, precariously balancing on their balduccis as we speak.

You never know, one of them might be setting the magic world on fire in ten or fifteen years time. I for one, certainly hope so.

Regards
Dave
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Good points Knave (except the Madonnna question, she is a great vocalist!) Smile

I personally think it's great that Blaine has ignited a renewed interest from the general public in Magic, regardless of his technique.

-Billy->
Rod Lages
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Wasn´t that bad. The Watch trick was awsome, at least I thought so... I don´t know how he did it till today.

Best Regards,
Rod Lages
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Bascomb Grecian
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Knave said;

"In this case, young, anti-establishment, fashion conscious etc."

Yes, this is exactly the problem. Why do TV executives find the need to design programing they feel appeals to the street punks of our society?


Further he said,

"It’s my belief that there are probably some young budding little Blaines out there with nose rings and skateboards, precariously balancing on their balduccis as we speak." Isn't that something to look forward to?

I have seen the networks make real changes in the last two decades. And for the worse. Whatever happened to the Walton's or Happy Day's? Everything they pump out these days seems to revolve around violence, danger, sex, shock value, etc. It is truly disgusting.

It would be a real refreshing change to see an Entertainer/Magician who can be seen as a real role model to the young people of America. Someone who glorifies God in all actions. Not someone who pretends to be one. Compare this to someone who gets their kicks confusing the homeless in the ghetto, or exploiting the folks in the welfare line.

I feel there is a real degradation in the content of network programming. As evidenced by the "bum" scene on the Blaine Special. The only show I feel semi-comfortable letting my son watch unsupervised is 7th Heaven on Fox.

Obviously the Execs. at ABC were not thinking of MY demographic group (Hard Working-Values-Based Middle-America) when they decide to air Blaine's mediocre magic.
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christopher carter
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Quote:
On 2002-09-29 23:53, thehawk wrote:
Has anybody seen David Blaine do anything new.


Yes! I've seen him present magic as if it were real. It's something that not a single television magician had ever done before, and something so radically new that the huge majority of amateur magicians can't even see or understand that he's doing it.

--Christopher Carter
MrHonesty
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Does everyone succesful have to be the best? Aren't there many succesful people who are mediocre or average? It's not strictly a matter of skill or presentation. Nothing is that simple. David Blaine got lucky and landed a great TV special that did well. The best way of getting lucky is working hard. If we all just be the best magician we can be then when the inevitable question comes up we can say "yes I know his stuff but check this out".

Andy
Bascomb Grecian
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Chris Said, "Yes! I've seen him present magic as if it were real. It's something that not a single television magician had ever done before, and something so radically new that the huge majority of amateur magicians can't even see or understand that he's doing it."

I am intelligent enough not to present magic as if it were real, because it is NOT. It is Entertainment.

I am just mentally taxed when patrons ask me if that Blaine guy does real magic. I mean come on!

Believe me I give credit, where credit is due. Those that truly know me, are aware of this. Usually, when someone reaches that caliber, Yes, I do expect world class skill.

Well, I just finished watching Blaine on Last Call with Carson Daily. This clip is available for viewing on this site:

Click Here!

This is the clip where he pulls his heart out. Real sick stuff. Where is the entertainment in this? If someone gets up and defends this sort of idioticness, I truly will be convinced the world is a sick place. These sort of charades are completely uncalled for. Kids were watching, that I am sure of.

I think Mr. Blaine needs help. Go see a Doctor David, you need help.

I nominate Blaine a lifetime member of the World Institute of Poor Taste.

One can only imagine what sick, twisted effect he will come up with next. What a legacy.
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