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David Blaine

David Blaine Biography

Blaine was born David Blaine White in Brooklyn, New York and is of Puerto Rican descent on his father’s side, and Russian Jewish on his mother’s. His mother, Patrice Maureen White (1946–1995), was a school teacher living in New York, and his father William Perez was a Vietnam veteran. When he was four years old, he saw a magician performing magic on the subway. This sparked an interest in Blaine. He was raised by his single mother and attended many schools in Brooklyn. When he was ten years old, his mother married John Bukalo and they moved to Little Falls, New Jersey, where he attended Passaic Valley Regional High School. He has a half-brother named Michael James Bukalo. When he was 17 years old, Blaine moved to Manhattan, New York.

David Blaine Bio

On May 19, 1997, Blaine’s first television special, David Blaine: Street Magic aired on the ABC network. According to The New york Daily News, “Blaine can lay claim to his own brand of wizardry. The magic he offers in tonight’s show operates on an uncommonly personal level.”  When asked about his performance style, David explained, “I’d like to bring magic back to the place it used to be 100 years ago.”’ Time Magazine commented, “his deceptively low-key, ultracool manner leaves spectators more amazed than if he’d razzle-dazzled.” The concept of focusing on spectator reactions changed the way that magic has been shown on TV. The New York Times wrote, “He’s taken a craft that’s been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it.” He is also tied up with Filipino Magician Timothy Patrick Navarro a.k.a. B for close up magic. They share magic tricks and do street magic in U.S. and other countries.

After failing to surpass the then-current record of unassisted static apnea in his previous attempt Drowned Alive, Blaine appeared on the April 30, 2008 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, announcing that he would attempt to break the Guinness World Record for oxygen assisted static apnea set by Peter Colat of Switzerland on February 10, 2008.

Before entering his eighteen-hundred gallon water tank, Blaine spent 23 minutes inhaling pure oxygen; up to 30 minutes of “oxygen hyperventilation” is allowed under guidelines. His heart rate remained above one hundred beats per minute during much of the attempt, rising to one hundred and twenty-four bpm in the fifteenth minute. This faster heart rate increases oxygen consumption leading to painful carbon dioxide buildup. In the final minute, his heart rate became erratic and he started rising from the bottom of the water-filled sphere; however, he kept his head submerged for a half minute longer than the previous record. Ultimately, Blaine held his breath for 17 minutes 4½ seconds, surpassing Colat’s previous mark of 16 minutes 32 seconds. This was Blaine’s first Guinness record and it stood for almost four and a half months, until surpassed by Tom Sietas on September 19, 2008.

During the following interview, Blaine stated: “I really thought I was not going to make it,” claiming that he did so by staying in a meditative state which was helped by the studio lights reflecting off of the sphere. According to Blaine, besides the pressure of performing on television, the heart-rate monitor happened to be close enough to his ear so that he heard its beeping, and he had to keep his feet locked in holds at the bottom of the sphere — instead of just floating freely, as he did in the pool on Grand Cayman months earlier. Back then he said he was so relaxed he “wasn’t even there” during most of the breath-hold. But when he emerged from the sphere today, he told Oprah, “I was pretty much here the whole time.”

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