Referred to as a modern-day Houdini, endurance artist David Blaine will host the next event of the Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speaker Series 29th season on Thursday, March 1 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples. Blaine has defined the performance art spectacular with his inimitable style and unique challenges that continue to set boundaries of human endurance.

“We are thrilled to have this extraordinary artist with us who has shocked and awed us with his death-defying performances,” says Rick Borman, Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speaker Series president and producer. “Attendees should prepare for an extraordinary fusion of Town Hall tradition with a taste of the unexpected.”

A Brooklyn, New York native, Blaine witnessed a magician performing on the subway when he was four-years-old – an experience that set his journey into motion. At 23, Blaine directed and produced Street Magic, an original TV program that turned the cameras on his audience and participants in simple illusions. This new perspective changed the genre and made Blaine a household name as a street performer.

From there, Blaine has continued to redefine the boundaries of high-profile feats of endurance stunts. With Buried Alive, Blaine was entombed for seven days under Manhattan’s West Side in a transparent, plastic coffin, completely visible to the pedestrians passing above. Other spectacles featuring cramped spaces and extreme conditions followed this success. Frozen in Time saw him encased in a block of ice for nearly three days. In Vertigo, Blaine stood atop a 100-foot pillar without a safety net in New York’s Bryant Park for 35 hours.

The New England Journal of Medicine made Blaine’s 2003 event in London an actual case study on the human body’s ability to survive. With only pure water, Blaine spent 44 days in a Plexiglass box suspended over the river Thames. He emerged 60 pounds lighter and captured imaginations around the world.

In 2008, Blaine shocked Oprah Winfrey and her audience, while shattering the Guinness World Record for holding his breath underwater for 17 minutes and 4.5 seconds.

Currently, Blaine has a series on the TLC network titled “What is Magic?” where he wows everyday people and celebrities with his unique brand of magic.

“It is our hope that Town Hall attendees are inspired by Blaine’s message and his passion and that they themselves are able to dig into their own creativity in their lives,” adds Borman.

The sold-out 2012 Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speaker Series will close its 29th season with former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice appearing on Tuesday, March 20. The 30th season will kick off on Feb. 3, 2013 with former secretary of defense and CIA director Robert Gates.

Naples Town Hall Distinguished Speakers is the premier non-profit lecture series in Naples, Fla.

Continuously operating and producing four lectures per season since 1983, Town Hall was the first to bring cultural programming to the area and remains the forerunner in presentation of world leaders, experts in the fields of economics, history and science, as well as cultural icons. Past speakers have included several former U.S. Presidents including George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and George W. Bush; media icons Sam Donaldson, Tim Russert and Cokie Roberts; as well as global leaders such as Benazir Bhutto and President of Israel Shimon Peres. For more information, visit www.NaplesTownHall.org or call 239-659-6524.