Criss Angel Finds His Special Nature and Success

New York’s Newsday asks the musical question,
“Hot?” and answering with a less than musical but still true statement,
“[t]his guy is on fire – Criss Angel’s star burns brightly with a hit
series and a Halloween special.”

The article portrays Mr. Angel as a cult celebrity on this way to “the celebrity mass market.” 

Burning
himself alive on the Las Vegas strip is just a way of sharing his
“ability” with his fans whilst giving his mother a special 70th
birthday gift. 

Mr. Angel uses the terms “ability,”
“special ability,” and “natural ability” to describe that “something”
he has been fortunate to discover. 

With all due respect
to Mr. Angel, the way he is quoted in Newsday reminded us of Mavin
Johnson’s search for and finding of his “special purpose” in the Steve
Martin movie, The Jerk.  Mavin’s mother promised one day
he would find his “special purpose,” although she never translated that
term to her inteneded meaning, his sexuality.

But that’s just us.  But it also tainted how we read the rest of the article.

“Everybody
has a gift, a natural ability,” said Angel, as he stabbed another piece
of chicken off the shish kebab. Outside the Best Shishkebab restaurant
on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, rain fell on the car waiting to
take the magician-producer-TV series star to another talk-show
appearance in Manhattan.

He added, “I’ve been fortunate to discover what my ability is.”

Setting yourself on fire?

“It’s
not about how I do the tricks,” he said. “What I do is mental – it
involves the mind, body, spirit.” He took some water and fluffed his
hair.

Mr. Angel and A&E are happy with each
other.  There is mutual respect and admiration for the partnership
that brought in 1.7 million viewers per episode in July and expected to
bring in far more Halloween night.

On Halloween night, Angel work
his special purpose at the first magic shop he ever entered.  The
Hicksville shop will serve as backdrop and history as Mr. Angel works
magic to freak his already well-freaked audience.  One of the
effects planned will have Mr. Angel locked in a coffin with his paws
manacled.

Mr. Angel has captured the key demographics groups
with his approach to the presentation of magic.  The paper notes
in hyperbole:

Historically, magic hasn’t played well on
TV, and hasn’t played particularly well elsewhere, unless the act had a
twist (Siegfried & Roy, anyone?) or powerful personalities (Penn
& Teller, David Copperfield).

But Angel claims to be smarter
than the average magician; a story in Forbes recently noted that he
earns $1.5 million a year.

In fact, he says, he’s not a magician at
all, but an artist who employs music, cinema and theater to “blur the
line between reality and illusion.”

In effect, a magical creation
tailor-made for TV.

So cross Angel’s shaggy good looks and gothic
eyeliner with his exotic silver jewelry, theatrical flair, endearing
public manner and show-biz whiz, and it adds up to an…

New York’s Newsday asks the musical question,
“Hot?” and answering with a less than musical but still true statement,
“[t]his guy is on fire – Criss Angel’s star burns brightly with a hit
series and a Halloween special.”

The article portrays Mr. Angel as a cult celebrity on this way to “the celebrity mass market.” 

Burning
himself alive on the Las Vegas strip is just a way of sharing his
“ability” with his fans whilst giving his mother a special 70th
birthday gift. 

Mr. Angel uses the terms “ability,”
“special ability,” and “natural ability” to describe that “something”
he has been fortunate to discover. 

With all due respect
to Mr. Angel, the way he is quoted in Newsday reminded us of Mavin
Johnson’s search for and finding of his “special purpose” in the Steve
Martin movie, The Jerk.  Mavin’s mother promised one day
he would find his “special purpose,” although she never translated that
term to her inteneded meaning, his sexuality.

But that’s just us.  But it also tainted how we read the rest of the article.

“Everybody
has a gift, a natural ability,” said Angel, as he stabbed another piece
of chicken off the shish kebab. Outside the Best Shishkebab restaurant
on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow, rain fell on the car waiting to
take the magician-producer-TV series star to another talk-show
appearance in Manhattan.

He added, “I’ve been fortunate to discover what my ability is.”

Setting yourself on fire?

“It’s
not about how I do the tricks,” he said. “What I do is mental – it
involves the mind, body, spirit.” He took some water and fluffed his
hair.

Mr. Angel and A&E are happy with each
other.  There is mutual respect and admiration for the partnership
that brought in 1.7 million viewers per episode in July and expected to
bring in far more Halloween night.

On Halloween night, Angel work
his special purpose at the first magic shop he ever entered.  The
Hicksville shop will serve as backdrop and history as Mr. Angel works
magic to freak his already well-freaked audience.  One of the
effects planned will have Mr. Angel locked in a coffin with his paws
manacled.

Mr. Angel has captured the key demographics groups
with his approach to the presentation of magic.  The paper notes
in hyperbole:

Historically, magic hasn’t played well on
TV, and hasn’t played particularly well elsewhere, unless the act had a
twist (Siegfried & Roy, anyone?) or powerful personalities (Penn
& Teller, David Copperfield).

But Angel claims to be smarter
than the average magician; a story in Forbes recently noted that he
earns $1.5 million a year.

In fact, he says, he’s not a magician at
all, but an artist who employs music, cinema and theater to “blur the
line between reality and illusion.”

In effect, a magical creation
tailor-made for TV.

So cross Angel’s shaggy good looks and gothic
eyeliner with his exotic silver jewelry, theatrical flair, endearing
public manner and show-biz whiz, and it adds up to an Event.

Mr. Angel’s new-found nature takes him beyond the more pedestrian goals of the common magician:

“Some
magicians are looking only to fool their audience with a trick or a
puzzle,” he said. Angel’s trick is to connect emotionally, “to make
them cry, make them think, give them the chills. When you can create
that moment, it’s true magic.”

We would note, however,
anyone who has seen us perform The Professor Cheer’s Rope effect ending
in our underwear being pulled from our pants experienced the same
emotions of crying, thinking, and fever-like chills.

You will
want to check out the article to learn more about Mr. Angel and his New
York / New Jersey roots.  He plans to settle in Vegas for the next
decade or so.  His ambition is to find a “long-term deal for a
permanent gig” in Vegas and suggests he is working with Steve Wynn to
make his dream a reality.

Do not go to the Newsday article
hoping to learn more about Mr. Angel’s personal life, however. 
“Angel doesn’t care to divulge much in the way of his personal life –
girlfriend, age, etc. ‘I want the canvas to be clean. … I want people
to experience my art in its purest form.'”

Mavin Johnson would be proud.

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