David Blaine goes high voltage with latest stunt

Associated Press
FILE - This Oct. 13, 2008 file photo shows David Blaine attending a Cinema Society and Dolce Gabbana hosted special screening of "Filth and Wisdom" in New York. Blaine is returning to New York City Oct. 5-8 for a three day, three night stunt called “Electrified: One Million Volts Always On.” The stunt will be open to the public where they can type messages to Blaine, control the electricity around him and basically help keep the magician alert. It will also be streamed on YouTube thanks to computing company Intel, with viewing stations in London, Beijing, Tokyo and Sydney.  (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, file)

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NEW YORK (AP) — David Blaine is spending the days leading up to his next stunt lying low.

"I'll mostly be relaxing, meditating and playing with my daughter ... and trying not to deprive myself of sleep," the illusionist said at a Tuesday press conference after demonstrating the stunt at low voltage.

He will need the rest. Beginning Friday, Blaine will spend three days and three nights standing in the middle of a million volts of electric currents streamed by tesla coils.

The feat is called "Electrified: One Million Volts Always On" and will take place at Pier 54 on New York's West Side. It will be open to the public, and spectators can type messages to Blaine, control the electricity around him and basically help keep him alert.

"Electrified" also will be streamed on YouTube, thanks to computing company Intel. Viewing stations will be located in London, Beijing, Tokyo and Sydney. Viewers at the stations will also be able to control the coils.

Blaine, who said he lives nearby, joked that he hopes to walk home after it is all over.

Safety is a bigger concern now that Blaine is a father. He has a 20-month-old daughter.

For the stunt, the 39-year-old will wear a chainmail bodysuit as a barrier between himself and the electric currents. He will have a wire helmet on, a visor to shield his eyes, and hearing protection for his ears. The air he is breathing will be monitored.

Blaine won't be able to eat but will have a tube for water in and another tube for water out, so to speak. Because he is fasting for days beforehand, he doesn't expect any other bodily waste.

"I don't know how I could ever top this," he said. "This is an overly-ambitious idea, and I'm literally shocked that it came together. This is one of the craziest things that I ever dreamed up, and I don't know how I could go beyond it."

Blaine's last stunt was hanging without a net high over New York's Central Park for 60 hours in 2008. For other stunts, he held his breath underwater for 17 minutes and 4 seconds, was buried alive for a week in a see-through coffin and was encased in a block of ice for 63 hours.


Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her online at http://www.twitter.com/aliciar

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