Showman David Blaine's original specialty was "street magic" -- close-up magic done for small groups on New York City streets. His talent was showcased in a series of national TV specials in the late 1990s, with dramatic gasps from bystanders caught on camera. Soon David Blaine was both a magician and a celebrity, known for his hipster style, uptown-casual clothes, and friendships with actors like actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Over time Blaine moved from small-scale stunts to much-publicized set pieces that were as much endurance tests as feats of legerdemain. David Blaine was buried in a glass coffin for a week in a 1999 New York City stunt, and the next year he spent three days encased in a block of ice in Times Square. He stood atop a 90-foot pillar in New York's Bryant Park for two days in 2002 before falling into a cushion of cardboard boxes. In 2003 he spent 44 days suspended in a glass box near the Thames River in London. He lounged in a water-filled glass sphere outside New York's Lincoln Center for a week in May of 2006 in a stunt he called "Drowned Alive," and in September 2008 he hung upside down in New York's Central Park for 60 hours in a feat called "Dive of Death." Among his other stunts is "Electrified," in which (as described by the New York Daily News) he stood "on a 20-foot-high (6-meter-high) platform at Pier 54 on Manhattan's West Side, within a Tesla coil apparatus that continually zapped him with artificial lightning bolts."
At the end of “Drowned Alive,” David Blaine tried but failed to set a world record for holding one’s breath, while also attempting to escape from shackles at he bottom of his sphere. Divers pulled him from the water after seven minutes.