Do we have a new Houdini?

David Blaine is news again. And the reaction of magicians is markedly different.

When Blaine first “arrived” through his magic specials (aired in India on AXN) the response was varied, akin to all over the world.

Blaine’s use of simple but effective close-up magic scared the living daylights out of his audience, and encouraged many a magician to go back to their roots and explore the use of direct magic. On the other hand, Blaine’s effective use of the editing bay earned him the wrath of his contemporaries.

Thus, when Blaine performed his physical stunts magicians did not pay much attention, or if they did — they did not give it much importance, whether it was standing on a pillar, standing inside a box of ice, or the glass box over river Thames.

But the smoke screen is beginning to clear, and (as some are calling it) the cloud of jealousy seems to be dissipating. While Blaine failed to hold his breath for seven minutes (after staying under water for 8 days), the attempt has succeeded in bringing around his stature in many a magician’s mind.

It took no less than Uri Geller to call on the media to credit Blaine for trying to achieve the impossible. Blaine’s strenuous life-threatening physical stunts have resulted in comparisons to Harry Houdini himself.

What’s next…? We can only wait and watch.


PS: This article originally appeared in the May 2006 issue of VMN.