We tend to think of magic as nothing more than smoke and mirrors, but make no mistake about it: It can prove deadly under the wrong circumstances. Celebrity magician David Blaine learned this lesson the hard way during an illusion gone wrong at his live Las Vegas show back in November. The audience had no idea at the time, but the magician came very close to losing his life due to a technical malfunction. Always the professional, David Blaine kept his cool. It wasn’t until his documentary Beyond Magic aired last night on ABC that the world learned how close he came to death.
David Blaine isn’t one to fear dangerous magical stunts; he’s famous for being buried alive, frozen in ice, and performing other stunts that boggle the mind. But during a bullet-catching trick, a tiny piece of the act backfired. Blaine was intending to shoot the gun into his mouth using a long string attached to the trigger; the bullet was intended to be caught by a metal cup secured in his mouth. Unfortunately, the cup had slipped off Blaine’s mouthguard. The bullet struck the cup, but at the wrong angle. The mouthguard shattered, and David Blaine ended up with a laceration in his throat. Had the ballistics been off even slightly, the mishap could have proven deadly.