Speaking of lurking on this forum, I thought I'd bring something up, since my quote in the piece came directly from here in a post I made back in April.
I was contacted by Mr. Gold and he asked if I'd be okay with the use of my line about Blaine's cultivation of messianic affectations and stud-double (since I originally wrote this, I guess I don't need to use quotation marks), as he liked the phrase and thought it fit into the article.
I was initially troubled, as I thought talking in public about a double-lift would be "exposing a method." However, I told him that as long as this was bereft of context -- what's being "double-lifted?" -- I was okay with it. Although another GENII writer and good friend of mine thought it was "inappropriate."
I was later amused to find out my quote followed that of the Chief Genii, opining on Blaine's double-lift.
One final note: in the article, Richard is quoted discussing Blaine's technique from the standpoint of Blaine's first TV special. And I agree: back then, Blaine's technique was terrible. And camera shots were deliberately aimed and shots were selected in editing to hide his technical failures.
That special originally aired in 1997.
However, when I made my comment about his double lift, I was making it from the context of someone who saw him live, working for real people, on the corner of 42nd and 5th Avenue at about 6:15 on Friday, April 12th, 2002. One month, one week and one day ago from this posting, for those keeping track.
And from what I saw that day, his stud-double is, I repeat, pretty damned good. Better than some magicians I've seen at the Castle who have won awards there for performing in the various rooms.
It is obvious that Blaine cares very much about how he perceived by the magic intelligensia at least, judging from his reactions to Max's comments. And from my view, he's put in some work on his skills. But on that you can judge for yourself on Wednesday night.
I don't dislike him, but as for magical role models, if asked, I could think of much better skilled and more entertaining than David Blaine.