Thursday, March 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Harry Houdini

Most people know the name Houdini but very few actually know about the man behind the name.  Though not a scholar on the subject, I grew up admiring the plucky little guy who worked his way into national fame and became almost a brand name when it came to magic.  I think learning about him inspired me to start performing magic, which I still do today, though not professionally. It also helped that there were lots of pictures of him naked in chains, but I have no idea how that would have affected me.

It's 137 years since he was born and his performances and his creativity changed entertainment forever.  I would trace today's fascination with "reality-based" programing to Houdini.  His escapes and escapades were followed by the newspapers and media of the day every bit as much as the doings of the Kardashians today.

Every bit as interesting is his lone surviving assistant Dorthy Young died today at 103 years old. One of the many coincidences in the life and times of Harry Houdini (born Erich Weisz).  Another coincidence was Houdini's death, it occurred on Halloween 1926.  Spooky?

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