David Copperfield's Magical Relationship With God and Judaism

Master Illusionist Owes Career to His Jewish Upbringing

Magic Man: Born David Seth Kotkin in Metuchen, N.J., David Copperfield is now known as the wealthiest magician of all time.
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Magic Man: Born David Seth Kotkin in Metuchen, N.J., David Copperfield is now known as the wealthiest magician of all time.

By Simi Horwitz

Published July 04, 2013, issue of July 12, 2013.
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On the emotionally charged topic of name changing, Copperfield said he initially planned to be an actor and didn’t think “Kotkin” was a good actor’s name. While the title character in the Dickens classic is memorable and nobody else in show biz has it, Copperfield is not sure, were he just starting out now, whether he would change his name at all, as prevailing sensibilities have evolved. If he had it to do over, he said, he might not pick “Copperfield” because he now views Charles Dickens as anti-Semitic.

Copperfield’s early influences were not magicians, but rather such movie directors as Frank Capra and Orson Welles, whose storytelling talents he admired. His own magic has always been rooted in a narrative, no matter how spectacular its production value.

“We have to keep on inspiring and outrunning expectations,” Copperfield said.


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