He could add a third appellation to his business card this afternoon, “Not Criss Angel.”
Of course that assumes he survives a very dangerous escape; otherwise he will be known as Michael Griffin “The Angel.”
Michael is, as far as we know, the only two-time winner of the World Magic Awards Best Escape Artist.
Readers know we have a tough time watching underwater or underground escapes. The elements of earth and sea do not always cooperate with a performer: currents shift, burial plots cave in. Like a lion tamer, the escape artist can perform only if the adversary behaves or at least behaves predictably.
Michael Griffin will sink to the bottom of the strong-willed Ohio River at noon today.
A committee will bind him in shackles, chains, and more chains all locked to a 20 pound cinder block designed to pull him from the surface to the river bed where he will either escape or stay forever.
If you are in the Marietta, Ohio area, you can see the stunt at the Public dock located at the ends of Front and Post Streets by the Lafayette Hotel.
And speaking of the Lafayette Hotel, Michael is performing a full show tomorrow (Saturday) night at 8:00 pm. He hopes the escape will give an enticing taste of what will be served in full courses tomorrow night.
But other than promoting his show, why would Michael Griffin risk his life?
As a special sneak preview for his show Saturday night 8:00PM Oct 30 at the historic Lafayette Hotel http://www.thelafayettehotel.com.Why is Michael Griffin willing to challenge death by drowning handcuffed, shackled and weighted down?
We hear Michael wants to perform the escape to show people what a real escape artist does for a living. Once he sinks into the rapid current of the watery boundary between Ohio and West Virginia, his survival depends on his ability to stay calm and execute the escape. There are no camera angles, no re-takes, no stooges or hidden assistants with keys and spare canisters of air.
In short, Michael Griffin will perform a very real escape with very real risks before a very real audience. Not, he points out, some scene created for TV, “a Chris Angel style camera tricks and paid stooges.”
Michael promises his escape will be accomplished or not by him. There will be no “Criss Angel fake stuff,” he told us.
Griffin claims “live or die” this will be no Chris Angel fake stuff, so come on down to the dock Fri at high noon and be a part of the challenge before the show Sat night at the Lafayette.
If anyone can do this escape, it is Michael. Like Houdini he foreswears alcohol or tobacco and keeps in top physical shape to be ready to handle any unexpected development.
His dedication to the Art is an inspiration to young magicians and lay audiences alike.
“I do not use drugs or alcohol. I never have and I never will,” he said. “I simply do not believe in their illusion, or the illusion of negative thinking which is the toughest strait jacket we will ever face. But, if you put your mind to it, and you believe in yourself, you will always escape.”
The philosophy has held him in good stead so far. We wish him the best of luck on the escape and tomorrow night’s big show.
Check out Michael Griffin’s web site here.