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He plans to stand on the pillar's 22-inch-wide surface for 35 hours, without a harness, without food, without liquids, and without safety nets to protect him from the flagstones beneath.At the 35th hour, during a live television special on Wednesday, assistants will stack cardboard boxes at the foot of the pillar, and Blaine will jump."When I do these things, it's like the one moment that I'm actually clearheaded," he says.Back downstairs in his apartment - black marble floors; snapshots of Di Caprio on the wall; biographies of Houdini in a glass cabinet - Blaine shows off the five-foot wooden training platform he has been using to build up his stamina.
- a furiously lucrative media phenomenon and a life spent hanging out at parties with Leonardo Di Caprio and the Clintons. But at this point in time it must be conceded that he is balancing on a two-inch-thick strip of metal, high above a very hard New York street, and still managing to hold down his end of a conversation.Assuming that this stunt is all it seems to be - and that disclaimer is pretty much unavoidable where Blaine is concerned - it will be significantly more dangerous than the one for which he is most famous: spending 61 hours encased in a six-ton block of ice on Times Square."With the ice, if there was a problem, they could cut me out," he says.Then he slots a videotape into his home-cinema system and plays footage of the practice he's been doing in recent months in the wind-whipped Nevada desert, plunging over and over again from a steel tower on to a stack of cardboard boxes.
(He broke two ribs and received whiplash injuries.) Ask him about mental preparation, though, and he turns his sleepy eyes on you without expression.
He throws the deck in the air and asks her to inspect her beer bottle.