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marmaduke
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I know exactly what Blaine is doing right. I shall explain it in a moment. Suffice it to say that his seeming lack of presentation is masterly presentation in itself.

I have never met him but I am suspicious of the "not all there" bit. It sounds like an act to me. I did hear from someone who would know that when he approached the TV executives he was nothing like his image. Very businesslike and acted "like a stockbroker discussing business" He knew exactly what he was doing.

What is he doing right? Let me quote from "Expert Card Technique" It might give you a clue.

"There is the wizard who cloaks his mysteries in a pseudo shroud of impenetrable darkness. He is the Merlin who nudges the occult in his performances, who wishes his audiences to believe, if ever so little, that he possesses powers not granted to the rest of the world-he is one of the pseudo-mentalists, soothsayers and pryers-into-the fuiture. Convincingly
done, this sort of thing is an art in itself and as in the case of the humourous magician, it is an art in which no instruction can be given.
If you possess the personal magnetism which would enable you to sell racoon coats in Death Valley you may be such a magician."

I think Blaine is indeed such a magician and I have sometimes wondered if years ago he read this excerpt in Expert Card Technique and decided to act upon it.
If he did then he is sharper than some people give him credit for.
daffydoug
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Blaine is obviously doing a lot of things right. his sucess is a testament to that.

I just feel that he prefers to be "himself", and does not want to fit into a mold.

He apparently doesn't believe in "Cookie Cutter" magicians.

For that, he has my applause!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Sid Mayer
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Okay, I'll bite.

What is a David Blaine?

Sid
All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
Reis O'Brien
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I agree that Blaine is doing many things right. I can see where some of the complaints against have a mild validity, but it's nothing that hasn't been thrown around before about other magicians.

What I find curious, is how we will think of him in the future. I mean down the road a bit. Will we praise him as we now praise Dai Vernon? Hmmm... probably not. Maybe more like a Doug Henning. How will he go down in history in the eyes of the laymen?

He has set a standard in magic. Granted, many magicians of the old school will scoff at the standard, but here it is, nonetheless. I see magic's image changing. It's becoming grittier, naughtier and more street-wise. The days of the tacky waistcoat and hackneyed one-liners are fading fast. Now there seems to be a whole new generation of young magicians keeping it jeans-and-tshirt simple and bringing it to the people on an extremely intimate level. I, personally, credit Blaine for ushering in this new era. And I also don't think this kind of change is a bad thing.

Anytime somebody new in any particular field comes along and rattles the old standard, the old-schoolers grumble from their front porches. But that can't stop the progress.

Blaine may not be perfect, I admit. He can be dry, a little dull. But what he did have was just enough to start the snowball rolling. Itwill be interesting to see where magic goes in the next twenty years.

Then again, this could all be a passing fad! We shall see.
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Jonathan Townsend
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This old schooler did the disaffected guy in jeans thing back in 77-80. I was genuinly disaffected though. Today... much more open.

David Blaine will go where and as far as the market and his talents/resources/producers take him.

I wish him the best on his voyage of fame.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
lonewolf
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I agree with David Blaine being successful of potraying himself as a real wizard with mysterious powers.

And his clever marketing of filming reactions of strangers screaming and interviewing their thoughts after seeing his magic is truly a pioneer in magic field.

But then again, blatant using of a stooge audience to tell you her reactions?? And the using of wires for levitation and editing audience reactions in, making us believe his wired levitation is real??!!

This screams unethical.

Anyway I love watching David Blaine specials not because of his magic. I love it because I like to see the women screaming and jumping around shouting 'oh my god!!'

If I want real good solid magic, I'd much rather see Michael Ammar or Eugene Burger.
Nikodini
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David Blaine is a trickless magician.
jcigam
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I saw him at his book signing in London. He was very outgoing and possessed a far more intelligent level of conversation than I had given him credit for after seeing him on T.V.

I am not a big fan of David Blaine, but I can appreciate what his part, large or small, has done for magic.

Jered
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marmaduke
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I do not know of a single magician who has achieved national or international fame who has not been criticised unmercifully by magicians.
Every single one.
Kreskin, Dunninger, Copperfield,Houdini. In the UK David Nixon, Berglas, Koran, Canasta, Daniels etc;
Blaine must know he is doing something right if magicians are complaining about him.
We tend to be jealous of our successful brethren rather than take pride in them and grateful to them for helping us earn a living.
Chris Keppel
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I think blaine has done a lot for magic. I do 4 restuarants a week and always hear people refering to him. More then some of the other big guys we all like. I think people who talk bad on him just wish they had even slight a chance to do what he did. I heard he made 1 million for the first episode, and 3 million for the second and third. I would have done it in a second too. No one can blame him. He made a huge name for himself, is had a few tv specials, and made a ton of money doing something he loved. You can be for sure if something like that ever came your way and you missed it. Well, that's your loss. I do think the camera tricks were a little cheesy but who cares, it entertainment. I have seen way worse in the past. Give the man credit where credit is do. Just think, he has a bigger name then you do. Hahha, just kidding.
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tommy
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I am a fan of David Blaine but I am a fan of all magicians and I cannot think of a magician I do not like. Blaine is obviously a big fan of Harry Houdini. Many a magi as tried to emulate Harry but I think David as come closest, in the eyes of the public at least. In the eyes of the magi, Harry would probably be regarded as better, no matter what David did, as Harry would be seen as the original and David a copy. But did Harry Houdini emulate another magi? I do not know or care because I just love watching great magic and I do not think it being old makes it less great. In fact old in some ways is better as that magic as stood the test of time. I am not a professional myself so I do not really know, but it seems to me there is jealously among the pros. Ed Marlo said in his RCT book when you get good you loose all your friends. I think David as lost a friend or two because he is good.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Dougini
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When I read all that is said about Mr. Blaine, I am discouraged, as I feel you guys might say the same about me.

I don't do a "coat & tails" act. I am VERY unconventional in my delivery of magic effects.

I don't have a NYC accent, but my style is VERY similar. I don't do "street" magic per se, but am very "impromptu" appearing (I'm not, though, in fact I'm usually gaffed to the teeth!), and sometimes appear "unprepared", which is to my advantage.

Given a choice, I'd rather have you guys as friends, and not be such a great magician, than stand alone as a "great"...I've heard it's lonely at the top...

Doug
Pekka
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Why do people always fall into the fallacy of comparing Blaine to Vernon and the like. These here are two completely different issues, both philosophically and practically.

How many of us has seen those magicians that we praise to work for laymen? In a TV show? etc. Most of our reference points derives from instructional videos, books, and conferences/lectures.

No, Blaine will never achieve the similar fame among magicians as Vernon, and others because he is very disconnected from the magic community. HE hasn't created anything for us. But select five of your favourite magic creators and chances are that you will not find a single layman who will know them. How famous are Ortiz, Green, etc. among the general public? And those names will be on top of the magic community even after they pass away.

There are people like Copperfield who has been able to gain respect from both the magic community and the general public, but in the end they do not need to be well known or respected among magicians. Some on the other hand need to be, like Jay Sankey who is, probably, making most of his income from the magicians.

I urge everyone to stop this silly comparison between television entertainers and magic creators. It is like comparing apples with pears (or apples with PC's), it cannot be done. Ever. There is no point. Period.
BlaineWannaBe
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I don't know Vernon, but Blaine is better. Because I know him Vernon was never having his own tv specals and Blaine rulz!
Larry Barnowsky
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Quote:
On 2004-05-21 12:03, BlaineWannaBe wrote:
I don't know Vernon, but Blaine is better. Because I know him Vernon was never having his own tv specals and Blaine rulz!

Your cogent and lucid argument has persuaded me that Blaine was superior to Dai Vernon since Blaine had his own Specials on TV. That Dai Vernon, what a lame individual. He should have been making TV specials instead of wasting his time creating the the contemporary art of close up magic and tutoring countless magicians at the Magic Castle and travelling the world giving lectures. I'm told he did fast for one day but that was because he ate a bad burrito.
Jonathan Townsend
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Re: "I don't know Vernon"

You should have stopped while you were ahead.

There is a nice Canadian documentary about the guy if you want to know more about Dai Vernon.

Let's see where David Blaine is in a few decades. Till then I reserve any comparisons to idle speculation.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Staggerlee
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BlaineWannabe,
I'm not sure you know what you're talking about. Dai Vernon was the professor for a reason. Half the stuff Blaine does came from Vernon. Back in the day--when Vernon was the king--magicians didn't rely on a TV specials to become famous. How many specials did Houdini have? It's a different era and I think your argument is weak.
Partizan
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See the 8 DVD set. Much more that Blaine has even sniffed at.

Click Here!
"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus."
- Mark Twain
TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2004-05-21 12:03, BlaineWannaBe wrote:
I don't know Vernon, but Blaine is better. Because I know him Vernon was never having his own tv specals and Blaine rulz!


And here we had such a good thread going!!!

I believe the post I've quoted above is what makes so many people criticize Blaine.

Anytime someone says in essence (like the person above) ... "I have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm not willing to listen, what matters is who's on TV, even if TV wasn't even around back then, and here are the facts" makes people angry.

I see Blaine just doing the same tricks we all do with similar results. No better, No worse; although I think I could teach him a better way to do a tirple lift for god's sake.
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Larry Barnowsky
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Frank,
All that may be true but irrelevant because BLAINE RULZ.
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