Magic Money: It's Edgy, It's Dangerous, It's Las Vegas

David Blaine, David Copperfield and others have made huge careers off extreme stunts.
3:00 | 11/20/13

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Magic Money: It's Edgy, It's Dangerous, It's Las Vegas
Do you believe in magic? In las vegas, the answer is a resounding yes where they are selling tricks to the tune of billions. It's big business. If you saw the david blaine special on abc, you know it is getting a makeover. Larger than life magicians pulling off the ultimate balancing act to stay cutting edge. Are they risking too much? Tonight abc's cecelia vega disappears into their world. Reporter: What you are about to witness is magic unlike anything you have ever seen, illusionist david blaine drinking kerosene. All in the name of a trick that is just plain deadly. He spent more than 20 years trying to master this stunt despite warnings from every expert telling him not to try it. Did you get any of that into your lungs it will cause an inflammation of the lung which can cause severe damage. There is a chance that you could inhale some of this and you could die. Reporter: Then again this is the guy who famously froze himself to near death, held his breath underwater for 17 minutes. Fasted for 44 days, and buried himself alive. My stomach felt like it was on fire. Kerosene was dripping from my nose. I could hardly breathe. And tonight on an abc special, drinking all that kerosene he lived to tell once again. Kiddconsidered my first attempt a success because I made it through. Reporter: Blaine has made a name for himself pushing the limits of all that is humanly possible and audiences are eating it up. Wanting more from magicians turned celebrity stuntmen. To keep those audiences coming, the big names are taking even bigger risks pulling bigger rabbits out of even bigger hats. Tonight, we get a rare look behind the curtain. This is like really detailed. In las vegas, the capital of the billion dollar entertainment industry, the city where extreme magic sells. There is david copperfield, worth an estimated $800 million. Reportedly selling more tickets than any solo performer ever. He has walked through the great wall of china, even made the statue of liberty disappear. Yeah, that's me. On stage, right there with the magic man himself, power tools, hard hat and all, making my debut as a magician side kick. Copperfield shrinks, shrinks, and shrinks himself into almost nothing. An illusion that mystifies a packed house. Even copperfield admits he too has had to step up his game inment fin the face of fierce competition. I wonder how far you push yourself to make it better? To the point where it is dangerous? There is danger. Educated risks you. Have backup plans. Things do go wrong. Thing do's screw up. You are depending on lots of people who you trust and they're smart people, they're really well trained. Sometimes things go wrong. Reporter: Five years ago one of copperfield's assistants was severely injured on stage, pulled into a giant fan blade. Is there of a risk when it comes to safety having to raise the bar constantly? There could be a risk. Safety is number one priority. Reporter: The mgm grand president, scott cebelo was talking about copperfield's success but reluctant to talk about a cirque du soleil performer, a publicist cutting our interview short. Is it safe? It is very safe. Not about david copperfield. We are going to cover everything. If you want to elaborate on the point you are make. Reporter: This past month. Another performer at aria resort and casino was hospitalized following a stunt on the wheel of death. The topic is david copperfield. Reporter: You won't answer the question about cirque? I guess not. Reporter: Not one question. Would you just stick to david copperfield? Reporter: Okay. The danger doesn't just sell tickets. It is what drives these extreme magicians to go deeper and deeper into the danger zone. That is through your hand. There is no blood. When I would see houdini dangling off of a building. Evel knievel riding over a bus. Things that weredefying, there was danger. Things I liked the most. One of the risks of being a magici magician, do you have to go that far to sell tickets? I don't think to sell tickets. A matter of pushing your own boundaries of, what you expect of yourself. You know the audience of course, a big respect to the audience to treat them to not the same old thing. You want to respect them. And show them something that maybe will take them to another level. It is really, has to come from, has to come from here. They closely guard the secrets to their success. I had to promise not to reveal anything I witnessed under the bright lights of copperfield's magic show. The ceremony signing of the secrecy agreements. I have to sign this. What am I signing away here? Signing away. Read it first. Caller: Here's what I can say, if if the looks easy it is not. This is like really detailed here. Ay. Same thing again. Ready, guys? Reporter: Even the slightest move matters. Pretty damn good for ten-minute training purpose. Can we do one more time. Reporter: One wrong flick of the hand from me, I could lose a hand or mess the whole trick up. I am ready. Think I am ready. The power tool right there the I've will meet you right here. You are going to watch some of the show. Rush you back here. And don't screw up. Reporter: Don't mess up. Word of advice from david copperfield. Don't screw it up. With that they its show time. ♪ ♪ overshot it a little bit. Don't think anybody noticed. I know seek the rhcret. One secret copperfield will share, a look inside his off limits. Very bizarre collection of magic memorabilia. Five, four, three, two, one. Reporter: Oh! All 40,000 square feet. Wow. Ha-ha-ha. Reporter: Not the first person who said that. These are spikes I hung from a straitjacket, burning ropes. Reporter: True if you build a set what do you do with it? You want to keep it. Mostly. I keep everything. Reporter: Keep everything. A hoarder. Magic hoarder. Yes, celebrity hoarder. Me getting into a safe. And the safe. Rip Reporter: I remember that. The largest houdini collection jou outside of library of congress. We did escape things houdini inspired. His legacy doesn't need my help. Reporter: The famous saw. And this. The room that really freaked me out. Is this creepy at all to you? Have to admit it is a little creepy? A lot of people are creeped out. People really love it too. Reporter: The man who has perfected the disappearing act has no plans to disappear any time soon. When do you finally say, okay. Never. Never. Really? They'll carry me out on a gurney. Reporter: A trick or not? I may not have left. You know. Reporter: Fresh off his latest trick, blaine was back at it again to day. Diving in fish tanks and playing with fire. Working on a specific new project that tie don't want to talk about origin, it. Reporter: Here is hoping he survives his next new project. For "nightline." I'm cecelia vega in vegas.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":20946974,"title":"Magic Money: It's Edgy, It's Dangerous, It's Las Vegas","duration":"3:00","description":"David Blaine, David Copperfield and others have made huge careers off extreme stunts.","url":"/Nightline/video/magic-money-edgy-dangerous-las-vegas-20946974","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}