OK, SERIOUSLY… (did B. Smith really say “galliant?” Is that even a word?) The stunt hasn’t begun yet.
For months, the Columbus, Ohio magician has planned, trained and prepared for a sleep-deprivation stunt where he would remain awake for more than 12 days and break the world record held by Briton Tony Wright. Originally planned for Sept. 22, Warner postponed the stunt because a research team from Ohio State University backed out at the last minute, he said — allegedly because of ethical concerns over following a world-record attempt.
“A lot of doctors and researchers don’t want to touch an event like this, so I’m in the process of trying to find one that does,” Warner told us via e-mail.
Warner adopted a regimen of heavy exercise and a vegan diet in preparation for the stunt. The stunt got covered in The Other Paper, and he had a poster designed for it. The footage will be used for an upcoming TV special, along with performances of some magic tricks. But another reason for the stunt was in the name of science, he said.
“It’s important to me, especially when risking brain and permanent complications, that the experience be well documented by science,” Warner said. “Magicians have long used their feats and skills for the greater good (i.e. Houdini helping our soldiers learn how to escape handcuffs, etc.) and it’s important to me to continue that tradition.”