Magic has always been central to the world of entertainment, and those that have mastered the art have made a name for themselves from it. Robert Houdin became world famous upon transforming modern magic and conjuring in a way never thought imaginable before, while David Blaine exploded the twenty first century notion of mentalism by broadcasting many feats that pushed the boundaries of his body and mind. Harry Houdini baffled the world with his ability to escape from almost any restrictive situation, and has had movies, theme park rides and books constructed in his honour. So who is the most famous magician of all time? It’s got to be…
This illusionist is by far the most commercially successful magician of all time, and with eleven Guinness Book Of World Record titles, twenty-one Emmy Awards, a knighthood and a value of over four billion dollars, there’s a lot more than one trick up this artist’s sleeve.
His obsession began in early childhood, where he practiced the trade religiously. This gained him admittance to the Society of American Magicians at age twelve, making him the youngest ever member to gain approval. By sixteen, he was lecturing a magic course in New York University and by age nineteen, he was a headliner in Hawaii’s famous Pagoda Hotel.
Rise to Fame
Copperfield aired twenty television specials between 1977 and 2001, and made the world come to a standstill on many occasions, some of which included the time when he made the Statue of Liberty disappear and when he levitated over the Grand Canyon. His shock factor became a unique element in his method of illusion and conjuring, and this transformed his career from a typical magician to one who could perform acts never carried out before. He is also known for getting the audience involved in ways never attempted before, such as making audience members levitate and disappear.
Broadway invested in his fantastical feats with the 1996 record sell out show Dreams and Nightmares in Martin Beck Theatre, New York. In the same year, he co-authored an anthology of magical fiction called David Copperfield’s Tales of the Impossible with a second volume being later published in 1997. By 2005 he had made fifty seven thousand dollars in tour revenue and by 2012 he had an estimated net value of one hundred and fifty million dollars.
Putting his power to charitable use
The successful entrepreneur of magic has also converted his riches to charitable use. In 1982 he founded Project Magic, a rehab program for those who had lost dexterity skills. The program uses sleight of hand magic as a means of physical therapy and is accredited by the American Occupational Therapy Association and is practiced in over a thousand hospitals worldwide.
To date, David Copperfield revels in his acclaimed possessions, such as his multiplicity of islands in the Bahamas, and his ever growing International Museum and Library of the Conjuring Arts. He still tours, appears as a guest in various chat shows and reiterates his belief in the practice of magic. He claims that it takes two years to fully master and develop individual illusions, with some taking longer, depending on new methods. However with dedication and a fully open mind, he has proved that the art of magic can be transformed to gain everything a magician could ever want.
From his childhood dream of wishing to appear on the Broadway stage, to his faith in the art’s capacity to strengthen the mind and even assist in rehabilitation, to acquiring countless fans, revenue and individual performances and tricks unique to himself, Copperfield has taken his art to a level that had never been reached before and made it truly magical.
Wanna know how magic began? Click here!