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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Street Magic » » David Blaine Street Magic (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Porridge
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I would say David Blaine is the master of street magic.

Has David Blaine ever posted in this forum?

Also, curious what your motivation is for performing Street Magic? Is it to meet people, to gain friends, or
just to practice your techniques for upcoming shows?

I'd say David Blaine can perform these tricks because he is famous.

Will total strangers really let you throw their possessions into a river? Smile
Porridge
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What I meant to say was: total strangers will let David Blaine perform these tricks because he is famous, and they are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but if you and I walked up to a total stranger and asked for their cell phone and then threw it into the river, we aren't getting away with that.

Of course, I don't know how he retrieved the phone, that was some amazing sleight of hand.
Dick Oslund
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David Blaine is a SHOWMAN. (like HOUDINI)

I've never seen a post by him. Use the search function.

His motivation: $$$$$.

He does what he does, 'cuz he has unmitigated "guts".

He does not work "alone". There is a TV producer, director, camera crew, ETC. Some Americans will do "anything" to "get on" TV.

You apparently didn't like how I responded to your question, a few days ago, in the New To Magic forum. I'm 85. I don't have time to spend on questions which have an obvious answer.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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P.S. You asked a rhetorical question about "my" motivation for doing street magic. "...to meet friends, to gain friends, or just to practice your techniques for upcoming shows?" I will try to explain.

I don't do "street magic". (I'm retired from 70 years of performing PAID shows, coast to coast and border to border.)

"Street Magic" is a relatively recent phenomena, which is, IMO, the only way, or situation in which some "magicians" can "do" a trick or two, that they know how to "do", for someone on the street, whom they approach uninvited.

Practicing should be done privately. Learning should be done privately.

There are three steps to putting a "new" trick in one's act.

1.Learn how the trick is DONE.

2.Learn how to DO it.

3.Learn how to DO it so that it ENTERTAINS someone. --THAT is the most difficult part.

IMO, walking up to a stranger on the street, is the poorest possible way to learn #3.

It is apparent to me that, you are practicing sleights, techniques, and/or methods in front of your family. Would you PRACTICE your violin in front of your family? Practicing basic violin techniques, is just dragging taut rosined horsehair over taut catgut! That is definitely NOT learning #3.

Go visit a nursing home for elder citizens, or a children's hospital. Test your material there. Nate Leipzig, was a "standard" act, in vaudeville. He was a great card man. His philosophy was, "If they like YOU, they will like what you do." "Sell" yourself, not tricks.

"Those who think that magic consists of doing tricks, are strangers to magic. Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." --S. H. Sharpe (MANY years ago!)

Read Ken Weber's "MAXIMUM ENTERTAINMENT"! You may learn something about NUMBER THREE!

Incidentally, Mark Leddy, agent and talent consultant for Ed Sullivan's TV show, said it, years ago: "There aren't any places left to be lousy in!"
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
ThSecret
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Quote:
On Dec 22, 2016, Porridge wrote:
I'd say David Blaine can perform these tricks because he is famous.
Will total strangers really let you throw their possessions into a river? Smile


OP, it seems as though you like David Blaine? ... haha that's okay me to. He has a limited signed deck for sale if that may interested you at all. (only reason I'm saying is because I just bought one!) (=

Anyways back to your question, I don't believe I've seen David posting on any forums lol, but I have seen some great performers posting on these forums which is really awesome. It is great to see veterans (not by age, but experience in the industry) give back.

As for saying he can do these tricks because he is famous, I could not disagree more. I'm sure he gets people who turn him down when asked to perform (Although how much is he really doing this now? He probably has Celebrities/Stars who actually want to see him. Apparnently he charges $500k+ per private in-house meetings). In your example you say random people will not allow you to throw their phones in the water, well he did not, as he gives it back to them in a clever way.
A perfect example is this; not many people will give you their phone and say here break it...... but watch this (non-super-famous?) performer and the way he interacts with the spectator is what make it possible; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oggZZnaFiqg

Street magic seems to be a niche in magic, and not many performers really get as big as David doing just street magic. He is one of the few, but his success in street magic is attributed not only to his Television Shows, but also his brilliant-insanity of pushing his body to the limit....buried alive, frozen in time, above the beyond, shocked by lightening, 17minutes under water so on and so forth.
However with that said, it has its place and is a great way to get yourself out there. Begin to practice and learn to perform. There are also some people who have made it due to modern technology in street magic, like Magic of Rahat on youtube, or 10 Second Magic who does those vines and what not.
Then you have to complete opposite, people like Penn and Teller who seem to focus much more on Shows/ tours.

Dick as usual, straight to the point but extremely informational. I've read your post twice in this thread, and I'll probably come back and read it again haha.
"A play does not take place on stage but in the minds of the spectators."
Dick Oslund
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Thank you "ThS!

I've read a number of your posts since you joined our "motley crew", and, I'm impressed by your thinking. It appears that you do some thinking before you hit a key on your "infernal electrisch peckenclacker"!

It's a real joy to hear your thoughts!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Porridge
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I do like David Blaine, because he has amazed people on a massive scale, and made magic popular. He has also brought a lot of celebrity to magic, as others like Ricky Jay and David Copperfield have done.

I am a little surprised that he isn't more popular on these forums Smile

Thanks for telling me your reasons for doing street magic, I really admire people who are willing to put themselves out in front of a potentially unfriendly audience like that, it takes a lot of bravery.
HenryleTregetour
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Another reason he might be able to walk up to someone and destroy their phone is Confederacy.

What you see on TV is a television production. In such a case what you see on film is rarely spontaneous, ie. not planned ahead of time. What I mean by that is that Blaine and his producers have probably spoken with the "spectators" ahead of time, telling them how to react to his "tricks," assuring them that the phone won't really be destroyed, etc. Confederacy is one of the oldest modus operandi in the book.
ThSecret
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On Dec 29, 2016, Porridge wrote:
I do like David Blaine, because he has amazed people on a massive scale, and made magic popular. He has also brought a lot of celebrity to magic, as others like Ricky Jay and David Copperfield have done.


I like David Blaine because he inspires me. He inspires me to be creative, to think outside the box. He inspires me to be mentally strong, to push through the pains in life, and to enjoy life for what it is. I love how he pushes his body to it's limits both mentally and physically, and in that sense, in some ways I can relate to him. I like him because he is not on a high horse. Despite his fame and success, he is humble, and he is generally a respectable man with a great attitude and emotion (Not exactly what he portrays on his television shows.)
....oh yeah, I guess him bringing celebrities, giving more exposure to, and main-streaming magic are pluses.....OH, and he creates great magic.


@Henryle Very good point. They could just give the spectator a phone and say, "hey pretend its yours for the bit". The amount of "behind the scenes" stuff that goes into television and movies is mind blowing.

This is also partially the reason I am not to fond of Criss Angel - Judging him solely on his television show (not as a magician, he has done a lot, but I have heard a lot of different things about him, but I don't really know what to say, until I see or read about first hand reports.) When his tv-series initially aired they were a different, they had a variety of things no one had seen before on main-stream television. His most recent season of his series, felt like a whole bunch of recycled material - I would constantly feel like, oh I saw him do that exact same thing 10 years ago. Every other bit in the show appear to be stooges, whether or not this is true is a different story, but that is the impression I received. ....Confederacy ...shake my head..

The other thing I noticed on television shows (which might actually be a good thing in preserving the art), is the set-up or pretence of the situation is rarely ever shown. The clips almost always begin with the magician already engaged with his spectators. It would be nice to be able to see how the magician initially engages with his crowd from time to time.
"A play does not take place on stage but in the minds of the spectators."
HenryleTregetour
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THSecret wrote:
"The other thing I noticed on television shows (which might actually be a good thing in preserving the art), is the set-up or pretence of the situation is rarely ever shown. The clips almost always begin with the magician already engaged with his spectators. It would be nice to be able to see how the magician initially engages with his crowd from time to time."

My guess would be something like this:

Blaine walks up to a group of people. They recognize him as the cool magician guy. He asks if they would like to help him do a little magic. They agree. The people are informed not about the "trick" but how they should react. They agree, sign waivers, etc. Of course, all this time the production crew is lugging around cameras, there is a director, etc.--not really conducive to just walking up to someone and "doing" magic. And then after multiple shoots things are wrapped up, Blaine thanks the people, and the film goes to the editing booth.

Of course, the people could be recruited ahead of time. Or they might in some instances be actors. As for the phone--it could be the person's phone or one Blaine's crew provides. My guess, in order to garner a genuine reaction, the person who loans the phone is probably not told ahead of time what Blaine intends to do with it.

Here is an example: on one of his programs he does his levitation effect. The spectators freak out and RUN AWAY!!! Is this real? I don't know, but it looks pretty fake to me.

To me it is not about Blaine per se, but rather it is the nature of the beast, meaning, television production. From its inception, various means of projecting images have been part of the magician's repertoire, no doubt dating back to ancient times when images were produced by a candle inside a tube with figures cut out of its side. When slides were invented in the 1600s they were quickly integrated into the show. And when film was first produced in the late 1800s, a crafty French magician recognized its potential as a means to enhance magical effects. David Copperfield's vanishes of cars in the late 1970s relied upon confederates and the "magic of TV," ie. having people sit around the car, which is hidden behind a sheet, and voila! it vanishes! Blaine is just the next step in this kind of magic--as I have stated elsewhere, he is a man of the times, his style is "in style." Like Penn and Teller and Criss Angel he offers something that people today want. Put him in top hat and coattails and his TV career would be dead. Just as the "hippy" magician Doug Henning would not have succeeded on TV in the 1950s, a Mark Wilson today would not receive a TV contract.

I am not a fan of Blaine, not because of jealousy, envy, etc. Rather, his style is not something that appeals to me (I spoke at length in my introductory post about what I like). But that shouldn't mean anything to anyone beyond me. His success and appeal to large numbers people are undeniable, and you can't fault him for that. And in no way do I fault people who like him--enjoy!

And oh yes, I am not a professional magician. I am sure that makes a lot of difference.
MSaber
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Hey! Does anybody know the name of the trick from this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-XiLdrQCsE
I want to see if I can learn it.
MichaelJae
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On Mar 29, 2017, MSaber wrote:
Hey! Does anybody know the name of the trick from this video? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-XiLdrQCsE
I want to see if I can learn it.


Of all the card tricks ever created, this one can be spotted a mile away. Also, this is probably the worst presentation ive ever seen of this classic.
MSaber
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Yeah I get the basic methodology, I'm just wondering on the name.
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