David Blaine St Magician

They had this show on again the other night and with nothing better to do…I watched it…again. I am fairly amazed, however, by his tricks. Mostly the card in the cops shoe, the card in the beer bottle, and the predicted words appearing on his body written in ashes. Any ideas on how he did these. Camera tricks? Fans in on it? Foresight of ‘victim’s’ likely choice of special people they would pick?

p.s. did he really implant a piece of string under his skin…that could get infected.

Magic. Sorcery. Enchantments.

But that doesn’t explain his floating off the ground trick.

Anyone… ?

Anyone… ?

Anyone… ?

He’s an evil satanic warlock sent to enslave the world. Fortunately, I alone know his secrets, and for an offering of $500, I will tell you how to protect youselves.

I was talking to a co-worker the other day who had seen David Blaine perform on TV. He was describing Blaine’s levitating trick. The really scary part was that he figured it was about an equal chance that either Blaine was performing a trick or that Blaine was actually levitating. I suggested to him that if he thought Blaine was capable of levitating, he should go back to whatever school graduated him and demand a refund.

As far as I’m concerned the trick of Blaine’s I’d most like to learn is how to seduce Fiona Apple.

His levitation trick is real but they use camera trickery when you see it on tv to make it more impressive.

All his tricks & then some are in

My WAG: an acrylic-tipped rod with a handle at the top, down his pants leg, through inside of his shoe. Takes a lot of strength to push down & do it smoothly (good balance, too). I doubt anyone would notice the clear plastic in person, much less TV.

Pretty damn amazing no matter what. And, as a style of magician, the guy’s untouchable.

“Proverbs for Paranoids, 1: You may never get to touch the Master, but you can tickle his creatures.”

  • T.Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow.

I agree, Jorge, he is standing on some sort of rod that extends from his pant leg, however, he isn’t pushing down on it with his
hands, as they are extended out from his sides in a spooky Christ-like manner. My money is on a sophisticated device (springs or compressed air)inside his pant leg that extends a thin rod, perhaps a steel needle that he balances on. Still, he is the best; anytime a magician can cause his audience to suspend their natural tendency to disbelieve, and actually consider that he has supernatural powers, that is the real magician’s power.


“Believe those who seek the truth.
Doubt those who find it.” --Andre Gide

What Blaine does is known as Balducci Levitation. It’s a somewhat interesting trick that depends on standing on tip-toe on one foot. (Really.)

The bad part in the TV special is that they used camera tricks. Blaine does the Balducci Levitation for the audience and they get a series of reaction shots. Then, they attach him to wires and “levitate” him for the camera. They then mix in the footage of the “levitation” with that of the audience.

There is a full description of how to do the Balducci Levitation at

“You can’t run away forever; but there’s nothing wrong with getting a good head start.” — Jim Steinman

Dennis Matheson — Dennis@mountaindiver.com
Hike, Dive, Ski, Climb — www.mountaindiver.com

The card tricks are good, but pretty standard. It’s very easy for an experienced magician to get you to pick exactly the card he wants you to pick. So the card in the beer bottle trick was straightforward: Find out the girl’s name (and get a sample of her writing if possible), write her name down on the 2 of hearts, plant it in the bottle, get her to pick the 2 of hearts and write her name on it, then make the card magically appear in the beer bottle. The girl was pretty drunk, so she probably wouldn’t have recognized if the writing was different, anyway.

The mind reading tricks were more impressive. However, there are three things to know about magic tricks: (1) doubt even the most basic premise, (2) the most amazing tricks generally have very simple explanations, (3) the explanation will probably be very unsatisfying when you hear it. Based on that, the most likely explanation of the mind reading tricks was… the volunteers were in on it.

  1. 99% of all ‘grand’ elusions have 3 or 4 underlying ‘tricks’ the rest is just presentation. If you know 3 or 4 methods of grand elusions, you can generally figure out how they all work (the assistant is generally doing all of the work (contortion usually) while the magician builds suspense).

  2. 99% of all card tricks have 5 or 6 underlying tricks the rest is just presentation. If you know these basics, it is just a matter of looking past the presentation.

  3. David Blaine isn’t above using camera tricks and shills.

  4. The string under the skin was done with a latex prosthetic.

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Penn & Teller taught me (not personally, in a TV show) one of the best lessons for seeing through a trick (which also comes in very handy for debunking anecdotal accounts of the paranormal, even when it’s on video).

The stunt was a truck running over Teller as he lied… or is it laid… lain? …was prone on the street. Victoria Jackson and a group of about 20 audience members were on the other side of the street to watch in order to assure no monkey business on that side. Victoria reported that all was normal on her side, and the audience backed her up. The truck then ran over Teller.

They then showed how they did it – a fake tire and a truck that was heavily rigged with huge counterbalances on the opposite side – the side that Victoria and the audience were supposedly keeping their eye on.

Penn asked Victoria (something to the effect), “Didn’t you see that ballast?”

Victoria: “Yes, I did.”

Penn: “But you said that everything was normal on that side.”

Victoria: “I lied, Penn.”

Penn: “Well, what about all those audience members?”

Victoria: “They lied, too, we were all in on it.”

In fact, many of the large stunts where impossibly huge things disappear are performed for camera angles and the audience is on it. A magician can readily make an audience an accomplice by telling them off-camera that the joke is on the home viewing audience.

So, when I see anonymous reporters, scientists, or holy people on video giving an eye-witness testimony to the paranormal, I remain skeptical until a proven debunker or certifier is present to document it.

Remember, they’re in on it. All of them.


moriah writes:

At last, someone who does not believe. =Brother Haus applauds you, moriah= That joke of a show wasn’t even real.

“What it is, is what it is. And what it should be is a lie someone gave to the people a long time ago.” No one said it better then Lenny Bruce.