David Blaine was rushed to a hospital after attempting a bullet-catching stunt with his teeth. The magician and previously successfully executed this feat but at a recent “Beyond Magic” show things went very wrong.
Blaine’s bullet-catching performance isn’t one of slight-of-hand but rather carefully placed ballistics. In the stunt, he holds a bullet catcher in his mouth with a special mouthguard rig. Then he stands perfectly still in front of a .22-caliber rimfire rifle which he then fires with the pull of a cord.
The magic is that he has the sheer force of will to shoot himself in the face. It takes a lot of planning and preparation to come up with the shooting system that can be trusted to put a bullet into the catcher with flawless accuracy and even more trust in the bullet catching contraption.
It was during this performance that the bullet catcher failed. Fortunately for Blaine, the failure was not catastrophic. The catcher stopped the bullet but broke free from its rig. In effect, the catcher turned into a giant projectile that smashed into his throat.
Describing the accident after the show Blaine said that as soon as the stunt failed that “Time started to move really slow.”
“When the bullet struck the cup, there was a high-pitched ringing in my ears and I felt an impact on the back of my throat,” said Blaine. “I was sure the bullet went right through my head and that I was dead. And then suddenly, I became aware of the pain, and it brought me back.”
Blaine was obviously upset and in pain, cursing, coughing and spitting while his staff gathered around him. The audience cheered anyway.
In case anyone needs to be told not to try this at home, this isn’t the first time the mouth-guard failed. “At that moment I realized that the mouth-guard had simply shattered again, and that I was alive.”
So on top of having the willpower to shoot himself in the face, it Blaine knew that the system had its faults — and he performed the stunt anyway.
This time the failure led to a lacerated throat. In a way, it could still be seen as a successful performance. After all, Blaine lived to tell about it. Things could have certainly gone worse.