The only reason I went to my first magic convention was to meet David Blaine.
I had been in magic for a while but not at all involved in the community. When Dan and Dave Buck announced the inaugural Magic-Con in 2010, I wasn't planning to go. As the line-up was announced I decided that maybe I should go and see what a magic convention is all about. I had no clue that David Blaine would be there until 3 nights before when I was at a dinner with a handful of magicians in Toronto and one of them told me he had just been announced on the line-up.
David Blaine was one of the people who got me into magic and I love him. As a teenager I actually would have dreams (actually dreams, while sleeping) of meeting him, telling him the influence he had on my life, and showing him some magic. To say I was excited is an understatement.
As soon as I landed in San Diego, I headed straight to the Hilton Bayfront (I didn't book a room but I figured I could crash with some of the magicians from Toronto) where Magic-Con was taking place. Within seconds of stepping through the door I saw David Blaine standing across the hall.
He was standing by the elevator with Daniel Garcia and a couple other magicians. It was an odd moment for me, seeing someone I looked up to so much in the flesh. Let me explain: I would watch all of his specials over and over again loving the magic and learning as much as I could about how he interacted with people. I read his book, Mysterious Stranger several times. In the chapter on Buried Alive he advises that if you want to have a sense of what he experienced being confined in a coffin for a week that you should read the chapter while locked into a dark closet. I was the kid who sat in his closet with a flashlight reading so that I could have the proper experience. I stood in a single spot while watching his Vertigo special. I would hold my breath watching videos of him during Drowned Alive and his breath-holding world record attempt on Oprah. Now he was in front of me.
What did I do?
I looked at him... For a long time.
I use the word look intentionally. Technically, I don't consider it a stare since it lack the intensity that usually defines a stare. But I'll use the word 'stare' anyway.
I stared at him... For a long time.
Such a long time that he noticed. He turned his head and our eyes locked. I didn't react. I didn't look away. I just stared at him. He broke eye contact and went back to his conversation... only to look back at me a few moments later. This time he didn't break eye contact. He stared back. Still, I didn't react. Eventually, he cracked and started laughing. Still I didn't break contact, still didn't react.
David turned back to address his group. I was too far to hear the conversation but in my peripheral vision (I was too transfixed to change my focus) I noticed the group looking at me. I still didn't break contact. Eventually David and his group left to enter an elevator and I continued my day.
LATER THAT NIGHT...
I had just witnessed Juan Tamariz perform close-up in person for the first time of my life. It was life-changing. Exhausted from my long day of traveling and magic I decide to call it a night a head up to my room. As I was walking to the elevator I ran into David Blaine.
He was just standing there... all alone. I knew he recognized me from earlier. Clearly he must have, who wouldn't?
I opened with,
"Hello David, I'm a big fan of your work."
He reached out his hand for a handshake, which I shook and responded,
And then as I was about to open my mouth (to introduce myself) he quickly walked away.
I thought in silent desperation... Then it hit me...
Did I just get brushed off by David Blaine? How could this happen? I have to fix this!! But it was too late... He had already left... No, this can't be... I blew it...
What's wrong with me?
Why on earth did I stare at him before?
He must have thought I was a psychopath. I'm sure he left suddenly because he was concerned with his physical safety.
After the massive highs of seeing Juan I went to bed so disappointed at myself and at life.
Why do these things happen to me?
I just wanted to cry myself to sleep.
I perform wonders without hands and walk the earth without feet.