David Copperfield’s B-Side (I)

In every country dogs bite. This old saying certainly does not fit the world of magic, where we usually talk more about shady rabbits, and in which the artists rather deal with the tricks of illusion. However, it helps us to make clear the fact that, in any professional field, unforeseen events, setbacks and errors are a factor always to be considered, and knowing how to face and manage these situations, equally or more important than doing the same with success and fame. Also among the best. Especially among the best.

Great figures, great problems…

David Copperfield (New Jersey, 1956) is, no doubt about it, one of the best magicians around the world and probably a household name internationally. So whatever: today we are not going to list any of his performances to the ages; instead, we will leave you some touches on the lesser-known dark side of the character; the little stains in a career which anyway will never obscure such a legendary trajectory, but that record the fact that, in all genius life there is always a little bit of suffering, difficulties and tests of resilience. In any case, masters ought to thrive…

 

  • Escaping Death: The name for an act had never been so premonitory… On March 11, 1984, Copperfield was carrying out a Houdini-style performance in which, handcuffed and chained, he had to escape from a tank full of water. But things got dodgy and, with his limbs tangled and in severe shock, he had to be rescued after a long minute and a half suffering from a panic attack, several broken tendons and loads of swallowed water. The magician spend his time in a wheelchair for more than a week and was accompanied by a cane for a long, long time…
Always defying his limits…
  • The severed finger: Still to this day some doubt whether it is an urban legend, but the truth is that it has been already confirmed by the protagonist himself. In 1989, and during a show in Memphis, Copperfield accidentally cut off the tip of his index finger with sharp scissors. Bewilderingly, and despite his reaction, the audience believed that it was just a part of the performance itself… No magic at all! The show was immediately suspended and the magician quickly transferred to the hospital, where surgeons could stitch up the cut-off slice…

 

  • Oh, Brandon!: This one is more recent and does not affect Copperfield directly, but God, it’s a nasty one… On December 17, 2008, at a performance in Las Vegas in which our artist was supposed to walk over the blades of a 4-meter industrial fan, one of the assistants who moved the device (our poor Brandon) was sucked by the force of the fan and suffered severe injuries to the arm (which was broken in different areas) and face (up to nine stitches). Show cancelled and refund for all customers…
Flying away from trouble… That’s our David!