Sunday, January 17, 2010

Magic for Haiti

Yesterday Eric and I braved Times Square on a weekend (usually I avoid it like the plague) to see a unique benefit for the victims of the recent catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. Street magician David Blaine has set up camp in Times Square and is currently doing magic for 72 straight hours while raising money for the American Red Cross and their relief efforts. As you may recall, we saw David Blaine in Central Park in 2008 for his Hangman stunt, but I really prefer his street magic to his endurance tricks, so I was excited to see him in action. And as the member of this family who makes sure to record all of David Blaine's magic specials when they're on TV, Eric was pretty excited, too.

There was quite a crowd around him when we got there yesterday afternoon, but we patiently hung around to see some magic and get a photo with David. We were able to see him perform a couple of tricks and interact with the crowd quite a bit.

David Blaine in Times Square

Magic for Haiti

For one trick, David took a quarter from a kid in the crowd and had him sign it with a permanent marker. He then had the kid give the quarter to another girl in the crowd, and asked her to hold it tightly in her hand. He then asked her to imagine the quarter being manipulated - imagine it's Silly Putty, imagine you're molding it, imagine it's not a quarter, etc. When she opened her hand the quarter was bent like a Pringle chip! How does he do that? It couldn't have been a trick quarter, because he got it from someone in the crowd, and he didn't switch it out because he had the kid sign it. So crazy.

But how???

We also saw him do a card trick with another girl in the crowd and managed to get it on video. Check it out below! It might be kind of hard to hear (David was fairly soft-spoken and NYC can be a little noisy sometimes), so I put in some subtitles for your viewing pleasure.

VIDEO: Street magic in Times Square

After quite some time we finally made it up to David himself for a picture and autograph. He was pretty stone-faced for the picture, but Eric made him laugh afterwards when he told him we saw him in Central Park for Hangman. David laughed then and said "yeah, that was a disaster, but thanks." Ha! He also autographed a playing card for us, which is pretty cool.

Us with David Blaine

Our autographed playing card

And that was our second David Blaine experience! He is going to be in Times Square until noon tomorrow, so if this nasty rain we're having right now clears out tonight, we're considering going back out in the middle of the night to see him in action again. I just kind of wonder if his magic will be starting to slip as he starts to get tired from being out there for so long. We shall see...