CHAPTER.6 - Shade Meets David Blaine
Before we get to the good stuff, let’s quickly review what has happened since chapter 5.
When Typhoon Yolanda hit the Philippines on November 8 2013, I felt devastated, I felt helpless… It affected more than 10 million people leaving them homeless with no food, water, and medical supplies. Many were severely injured, missing, and thousands lost their lives. Families were broken. I wanted to help so I filmed a video dedicated to the victims. For every view the video received on YouTube, $0.10 cents was donated to the Red Cross to help aid the suffering. The campaign lasted until Christmas Day, and with over 3000 hits I was able to raise and donate $300 to help them.
SHADE – PHILIPPINES (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzwcRX6FrJY)
For the past 3 years I try to release a video displaying some sort of performance art on my birthday. When I study or practice, I always write down my ideas so I could structure them into routines to be filmed. These tapes are filmed in my personal library and are for my eyes only. I keep them private as it gives me a secret archive to reference material or simply find inspiration. Since it was my birthday I wanted to give rather than receive. I often get many requests to release material from people who look up to me, so this was my opportunity to give back. I handpicked 6 of my favorite underground clips and created SHADE – LOST TAPES. The video was released on my birthday and it received 5000 hits within the first week.
SHADE – LOST TAPES (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0-Sp86w6dI)
The biggest magic influence and inspiration in my life is David Blaine. I have always had an interest in magic since I was a little kid. I still remember the endless nights of studying books and practicing for hours, but I never really performed for anyone. I kept magic to myself. It was only when I first saw David Blaine – Street Magic on TV that it made me pursue magic with full confidence. The way he inspired and impacted people’s lives sparked this extraordinary drive in me to work hard and do the same. Since his first TV special in 1997, he released another on November 19, 2013 titled David Blaine – Real or Magic. He goes back to his roots performing for people on the streets and also for popular A-list celebrities. He truly is the king of magic and has surpassed Houdini by miles. After watching Real or Magic, it reminded me of how far I’ve come along since I first started. It gave me that same spark and feeling when I first saw him on TV many years ago. A fresh reminder of why I pursued magic in the first place. Despite the many ups and downs, and dark times where I almost quit, I still kept going…
Fast forward 3 months later, I’m sitting at the dinner table with David Blaine himself. I’m listening to his insights on magic and having the privilege of watching him perform live in person. It was such an incredible experience. He saw my ace of spades tattoo with his logo and I saw his face light up. He said he would send me a lifetime supply of his official playing cards, basically having the SHADE brand sponsored by David Blaine himself. Having him call me SHADE was proof enough for me that I deserve to be here at the kings table. He went on to sharing stories when he used to perform for Notorious BIG back in the day since they’re both from Brooklyn, the magic business and industry politics, as well as future upcoming projects.
After dinner we headed to a bar for some drinks. It was funny because I could see people from different tables looking over and staring at David to see if it was really him. They would peek and whisper amongst themselves pretending not to be noticed. He is still fresh off his latest TV special, so it was cool to see their reactions being star struck seeing him in person.
After a few drinks we pull out a deck of cards and start to session. Here I am performing and sharing my sleight of hand with David, showing him what I’ve worked so hard for since I was little. He was delightfully impressed. He then took the cards and showed me some of his sleight of hand which was truly remarkable. He really is a true artist and technician with a deck of cards. I was teaching him a few things and he was teaching me a few things. For a while we went back and forth discussing tricks and sleight of hand, just freestyling with each other talking about our craft and having a good time.
About an hour later of jamming and sessioning, he tells me to perform to these 2 ladies. When he said “SHADE” and gave me the nod to perform, that’s all I needed to hear and I went in and KILLED it. Their reactions were like they just won the lottery. I performed a few pieces of magic and then David came in and did some magic for them too. We took turns and it was like tag team magic fucking them up from all angles. Usually when you see Blaine on TV he performs solo on his own, but to have this privilege of performing alongside him working together, that was an Eminem and Dr. Dre moment for me. Truly the best moment of my life.
They say never to meet your heroes, but meeting Blaine provided a clear perspective on my purpose in life. To keep inspiring people through magic and show them nothing is impossible. I’ve made it this far on my own and I don’t have to prove anything to anybody. I know I’m dope and don’t need anyone’s approval. David Blaine himself said I was sick and that’s all I needed to hear. It’s unbelievable that I once called him my idol, but now can call him a friend.
At the end of the night David gives me 2 special gifts that were custom made just for him. He said they are not for sale, you can’t get them anywhere in the world, and they are only hand given to friends.
That alone meant so much to me…