Although he's made a career of near-death experiences, David Blaine's latest stunt features one brush with death he probably wishes he could take back.
According to reports, the 43-year old street magician's latest Beyond Magic show, which was performed live in MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Thursday night, featured Blaine screwing up a stunt he's done countless times before.
The stunt, which Blaine calls the “bullet catch," debuted in 2010 and consists of the magician affixing a .22 caliber rifle to a tripod, aiming it at his own head, firing it with a string, and catching the bullet in a metal container inside his mouth.
Although the magician wears a mouth guard for "protection" during this stunt, it didn't offer him much help this time. According to The Sun, Blaine accidentally miscalculated the illusion and shot himself in the mouth, shattering his gum shield and lacerating his throat. Fortunately, Blaine's injuries were only minor, and the performer is alive and well.
Blaine spoke on his death-defying experience in an interview during his television program. “When the bullet struck the cup, there was a high-pitched ringing in my ears and I felt an impact in the back of my throat,” he said. “I was sure the bullet went right through my head and I was dead [...] Suddenly I became aware of the pain and it brought me back. At that moment, I realized that the mouth guard had shattered again, and I was alive.”
It's unlikely that David Blaine, a father to an almost six-year old daughter, will be hanging up his magic boots as a result of the mistake, but it's probably safe to assume that the "bullet catch" stunt will be placed on the back burner for some time to come.