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David Blaine: Random Things I've Learned

By Cal Fussman / Source: Esquire

My life is so bizarre, it's just easier to be honest.

When I was a kid, I'd synchronize watches with my godfather, then tell him to call our house at a specified time during dinner. I'd be at the table and say, "The phone is about to ring." And he'd call and pretend he wasn't in on it. Then I'd play it up -- I'd stare at the ceiling to make it seem like something weird was going on. All moms think their kids are special, but I wanted to make sure.

To this day, literally, I can't stop doing magic. Day and night. Like I just took a flight back from Italy last night. The whole flight was me doing magic for everybody -- stewardesses, the captain, people in line for the bathroom...

I was spoiled by my mother. Not in the sense that we had things. We didn't. But when I was with her, she never watched TV or talked on the phone. She was there. Reading books, going to museums, walking me through the park, bringing me to see guys playing the congas. All those things don't cost a penny, and yet I feel like I had the most incredible childhood.

You know the real reason people like to fast? Your brain functions at a much higher level. My thoughts, my memories, my creativity — it's pretty amazing.

You should order all the vitamins. But not the multivitamins. Those are bullshit. Get the individual ones.

It's funny, because in my work I have extreme self-discipline, but in my life I have none.

When I'm fumbling and I'm not certain, really the outcome is set. It's misdirection. Athletes use it in the same way.

I always use the first urinal in the restroom. And sometimes I don't know which is the first urinal, so I'll start on the right one, then move to the left one. Then fuck it, I have to hit all of them.

When I really want something, I get obsessive over knocking on wood. I'll know that if I don't knock on wood, everything is going to fall apart. So I'll drive down the street on my motorcycle, and at every red light, I have to run off my bike, knock on that tree, that tree, that tree, and that tree before the light turns green.
Ninety-nine percent of the people reading this will think I'm an insane person, but the 1 percent will understand.

My mom taught me not to be afraid of anything. Except for insects.

When I actually was buried alive, I learned that things aren't always as difficult as they seem to be.

Okay, start with a pretty new deck. Secretly lick your finger. Have someone pick up half the deck and look at the card he cut to. As he's looking at the card, say, "Okay, put that half back on top." Point to the bottom deck and touch the top card with your wet finger. That'll act as an adhesive. The two cards will stick together. So he can cut as many times as he wants. When you spread out the cards, look for the two that are stuck together. His card will be the one on top of the one you touched with your wet finger.

When I was with the Yanomamö Indians, I counted four hundred mosquito bites on one arm. That was unbearable.

One little thing goes wrong -- like the guy who vacuumed the catheter tube when I was frozen in a block of ice -- and then everything crumbles. You're having nightmares while your eyes are open. You don't know whether you're alive or dead.

When I stood on the pillar, I started to see people in trees. I thought the building behind me was shaped like a lion's head.

Yeah, there were women who flashed me. I forgot about that. It's not what you remember when you think of these things.

The strongest magic is in planning ahead. I was set to do magic for George W. Bush, and I knew his Secret Service team was not going to trust a guy like me. So that morning, I found out where they were having breakfast in the hotel, and I did a bunch of effects for them. I made them feel comfortable. So when it came time to do magic for Bush, I was able to grab his wrist and steal his watch. I gave it back, but I didn't see any of them smiling this time.

By the way, you should probably be having a minimum of 4.5 liters of water a day. It should never be cold. Just below room temperature. And you should probably have lemon in your water.

I was in the middle of a dream and when I opened my eyes, I looked around and thought I was floating in the ocean in a bottle. I realized I had to do it. I had to cross the Atlantic in a bottle. It became my obsession. I'm working with naval engineers to design a bottle that won't kill me.

My hands are smaller than yours. But they're delicate and fast. That helps.

A mnemonic device needs to be bizarre. A lizard playing chess will stick in your brain. A fat woman sitting on a balloon.

If you hold a lit match at the top of a column of smoke, it will ignite the column and the flame will shoot down and reignite the wick.

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Related Article: Magicology: How Magicians Control Your Mind



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