This regretful admission comes on news of Criss Angel’s purchase of a $25,000,000.00 home and plans for the next Mindfreak season.
Could we be vaguer in our description?
Is “vaguer” a word?
At one time, we thought Criss Angel was doing great things for Magic and while we were not big fans of hanging by meat hooks as performance art, we respected his willingness to try new directions.
We were psyched he hired so many talented magicians as he readied his Mindfreak show. Johnny Thompson, Banachek, Steve Daly, Milt Larsen and others. They were the real deal, folks who know our art and have experience in big theaters and small close-up venues.
Yes, Mr. Angel’s use of the camera trickery was unfortunate but to paraphrase Chinatown, “It’s Hollywood, Jake.” We pretended not to care. Still, Houdini did not use camera tricks – even when he was filming his own stunts for the Houdini Motion Picture Company. There is no evidence that Robert-Houdin used video editing either.
There could be an argument made that David Copperfield has used cameras in a less than transparent manner, but his choice of a camera’s point of view or field of vision pales in comparison to the Criss Angel method.
We refused to contemplate too deeply the serial dating of starlets and wannabes proclaiming his undying love for each publicly with the abandon we normally associate with teen crushes.
For the dater and the datees, the moments together in the public eye gave a public relations boost; which they needed as meth-head needs Red Bull.
Then there was the frustrating exchange between Criss Angel and Perez Hilton. We have all be heckled – we will we have anyway, a lot and even when we were not performing.
Moreover, we learn ways to calm the situation and get back into the act.
However, Mr. Angel went out of his way to heckle an audience member, not the other way around.
As Angel was ending his magic show Friday at the Luxor, the Mindfreak illusionist gave a shout-out.
“I have to recognize someone special here in the house,” said Angel, according to a showgoer. “Perez Hilton, please stand up.
“We have the world’s biggest d*****bag a**hole in the house!” Angel said.
Perez Hilton smiled broadly and said, “Thanks for the free tickets.”
Again, we know Houdini did not suffer fools or hecklers and would confront those who interrupted his show; but we do not believe he sought out audience members to attack from stage.
Is our new apathy for all things Criss Angel an outward manifestation of deep-seated jealousy?
Probably not. If we were jealous of every successful magician, we would probably not have this web site, be a member of magic clubs, attend conventions, and compulsively read, watch, touch, and wallow in all things Magic. Magic, in its current incarnation, requires a magician. Almost any magician has more talent and success than our distinguished family or us. Yet, we worship great magicians and performers with the single-minded focus of a stalker in training.
We will never have the style of David Copperfield, the guts of Dean Gunnarson, the skills of Lance Burton, the quick wit of Mac King, the presence of Harry Blackstone Jr., the wardrobe of Melinda, or the audiences of even a lowly local celebrity like Tony Spain; but we admire all but Mr. Spain nonetheless.
After long contemplation, we conclude the problem or more accurately, our problem with Criss Angel is his inability to view himself and his position objectively, honestly.
Few of us will ever make it to the big time; even less will have television series and multi-year Vegas contracts. We wish Criss Angel seemed more accustomed to his fame and less like a kid in a candy shop.
The late Chicago Bears’ Hall of Fame running back, Walter Payton was asked why he never celebrated his touchdown runs by dancing or taunting in the end zone. The great man said he preferred to act as if he had been there before.
We were impressed that Criss Angel purchased a $25,000,000.00 home overlooking the Vegas strip and promises to walk across the Grand Canyon in season six of Mindfreak but the news did not endear him to us.
He has all of the congratulations and praise he apparently needs in his own PR machine. He does not need us to carry his name or ignore his indiscretions or embarrassing moments.
Criss Angel is very likely a good person but we are not judging him as a person but as a superstar. Given a chance to see or meet him, we would still jump at the opportunity.
A superstar is someone who affects fans in a special, inexplicable way. It is visceral and cannot be created by even the most expert public relations team. Criss Angel has lost the ability to make us a fan and much less a fanatic.