Hailed as the greatest illusionist of our time, David Copperfield needs no introduction. A world-renowned magician and illusionist, Copperfield has 11 Guinness World Records to his name.
A magician never tells and the mystery and suspense surrounding the tricks make them all the more appealing. The secret of Copperfield’s tricks has never been explained – until the 2016 lawsuit.
According to the petitioner Gavin Cox, he participated in Copperfield’s “Vanishing Audience” act during the Las Vegas show. Things didn’t go according to plan and as per his claims, he suffered a permanent brain damage due to the injury sustained during the trick. Following three years legal battle, David Copperfield had to explain what goes behind the scenes in this “Vanishing Audience” act. And in a gist, it’s all about optical illusion.
The New Jersey native has found permanent residency at MGM Grand Las Vegas. Delighting audiences with his unbelievable illusions and exciting stories, he has sold more than 33 million David Copperfield tickets, grossing over $4 billion. This makes him the only solo entertainer in history to achieve the feat. According to the critics, David Copperfield’s show makes you believe “magic is as vast as the imagination”.
Early Life & Influences
With a talent and skill-set as diverse as David Copperfield’s, it’s safe to assume he had years of practice. Born as David Seth Kotkin, he adopted the stage name David Copperfield after being inspired by Charles Dickens famous novel of the same name. At 12, he became the youngest member to be accepted by the Society of American Magicians. The very same year his name was added to the “Tarbell Course in Magic”, a notable encyclopedia for professional and amateur magicians.
Practicing magic at a young age, Copperfield wasn’t influenced by traditional magicians. In fact, the mega MGM stars such as Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra inspired him to become a multifaceted performer. Not wanting to become a silent magician with a black hat and baton, making pigeons and rabbits disappear, David Copperfield opted for theatrical magic.
Studying the work of great film directors like Capra, Hitchcock, Orson Welles and Victor Fleming, he implemented thrill, dramatics and music into his acts. Adding the elements of theater – choreography, storytelling, romance and suspense, David Copperfield was ready with his unique magic.
Breakthrough & Recognition
As a headlining act in a hotel in Hawaii, David Copperfield caught the attention of the Broadway producer Joseph Cates. He landed him his first television break, giving him a special on ABC network titled “The Magic of ABC”. CBS also produced a show by the magician “The Magic of David Copperfield” that aired from 1978 till 2001.
By then David Copperfield had become a popular face and his name was known in the world of illusion and magic. Deeply rattling his audience with his planning and execution, he pulled off his tricks with a theatrical élan. Giving importance to narrative, context and storytelling, Copperfield’s personal touches made the acts uniquely his.
David Copperfield’s combination of magic, dramatics, illusion and storytelling earned him a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame along with a knighthood by the French government. Winner of 21 Emmy Awards, Copperfield was also presented with a “Living Legend Award” by the Library of Congress. Making it to the Forbes 2009 list of the most powerful celebrities, David Copperfield was also twice named as the “Magician of the Year” by the Academy of Magical Arts.
David Copperfield loves creating extraordinary experiences for his audience. As he continues to push boundaries with his ingenuity and creativity, here’s a look back at some of his most amazing tricks.
The Niagara Falls Challenge – On a television special in 1999, David Copperfield attempted to survive the thrilling Niagara Falls whilst being locked in a raft. With the fire blazing under him, Copperfield had both his arms and legs restrained as he was dropped on the water above the Falls. With only 60 seconds to survive going over the edge of the rapids, he kept the audience at the edge of their seats. For a few seconds the audiences were made to believe that he didn’t actually make it, but he was later shown hanging from a helicopter, smiling and waving to the fans.
Walk Through The Great Wall of China – Walking to and walking through a wall are two different things. No kidding, right? But walking through The Great Wall of China is an altogether a different ballgame. In 1986, David Copperfield did just that on his television special. In front of a live crowd whom he made to stand on either side of the wall and also above it, Copperfield entered a lightened box. His silhouette could be seen and through a heart monitor, his heartbeat could also be heard. In a classic drama style, the heartbeat was heard to be flatlined, moments before he made it out of the other side.
Breaking Out From Alcatraz Prison – David Copperfield travelled to San Francisco’s Alcatraz prison in 1987. One of the most secure prisons in the world witnessed the magician breaking out, in only two minutes and 30 seconds. Using three coins to open the locks, he conjured a cat out of a box and distracted the guard dogs with it. He then escaped on a helicopter and took his accomplice, the cat along.
Making The Statue of Liberty Disappear – His best illusion so far, David Copperfield earned massive acclaim because of this trick. In 1983, during a live television show, Copperfield had his audiences facing the Statue of Liberty while sitting on the Liberty Island. Using a sheet to obscure the statue, he made it disappear and to prove that it was actually gone, he had helicopters flying through the empty space.
Cheap David Copperfield Tickets
A regular at the David Copperfield Theater at MGM Grand Las Vegas, the legendary magician is ready with some new tricks. The highest paid magician in the world, he also mints money from the huge demand for David Copperfield concert tickets. Besides his residency at the Las Vegas hotel where the audience can find relatively cheaper tickets, he also arranges exclusive tours on his private island resort Musha Cay.
For Copperfield, inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. He holds regular brainstorming sessions with his team, looking for ideas and new material. Passionate about his talent, David Copperfield feels it is what keeps him going when the things get tough. Persistence along with careful planning has allowed him to evolve and today become the greatest illusionist of our time.