Tag: Criss Angel

Criss Angel Prepares for Second Shot at Houdini Escape

Robin Leach has the inside track to Las Vegas magician Criss Angel and has brought readers of The Las Vegas Sun an account of the final 24 hours before Mr. Angel attempts a second “Houdini Escape.”

Mr. Angel will hang upside down in a straight-jacket with a 50-pound weight hanging from his neck to promote his upcoming appearance at the fabulous Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

He feels better prepared — mentally and physically — for the ordeal.  He worked with UFC Champ Randy Couture last time and is apparently still in training for this attempt.

His work at Foxwoods is to launch his new touring show Mindfreak Live. He will launch a second touring show titled The Supernaturalists next June, also at Foxwoods.

We read earlier today that the demand is so high that Foxwoods has added six more shows at the casino in January.

He told Mr. Leach that he will avoid injury “by being smarter, more diligent and better prepared since going through the worst case scenario — aside from going unconscious or falling. But ultimately it’s a calculated risk.”

Yes, he was injured and sidelined for a couple of months from his last attempt at just this type of escape but this time is different.  “I am completely and utterly focused, and in the moment I visualize over and over again what it should look like in my head before I attempt it. If something should happen to change that plan, I make the necessary adjustments. Life is death without change.”

Is he thinking of leaving Luxor for a national touring stint or perhaps to relocate to Foxwoods?

Nope.

“I’m so honored to have this opportunity and want to sincerely thank Cirque du Soleil, Luxor and Foxwoods for making this possible. These outreach shows I’m doing are designed to promote Believe,  still ‘The only A+ magic show in Vegas” and the incredible experience that awaits for guests at the Luxor.”

We have yet to hear from the other magic shows in Vegas on Mr. Angel’s grading curve.

Mr. Leach promises updates on the escape as they happen.  We’ll keep our eye out for the news and share with you — that’s just the kind of folks we are.

Criss Angel Undergoes Surgery

Criss Angel is recovering from three hours of surgery to repair his torn rotator cuff and bicep.  He injured these essential body parts whilst performing his televised double-straight jacket escape for Spike TV.  It was a pretty spectacular escape and we’re guessing being laden with heavy iron weights contributed to the very painful torn appendages.

The Las Vegas Sun has a black-and-white photo of Criss Angel recovering in the hospital.  We thought it was a downer and since Krystyn Lambert is mentioned in this post, we thought it better to include her picture.  Plus, we didn’t have the right to copy the newspaper’s image.

We got a pretty painful cut practicing the Gypsy Thread once.  We thought we might need a bandage but there wasn’t any blood but later when we were fishing old – but still juice-containing – lemons out of our neighbor’s trash bin, the juice hurt badly.  So, we know how performing magic can sometimes be painful.  We never wrote about it because we didn’t want the world to have pity party for us.  We’re pretty much macho and rarely allow our sensitive side show.  That’s how we roll.

Robin Leach says Mr. Angel is doing well and resting following the surgery.  His surgeon is apparently one of the best.  His credits/patients include NBA legend Kobe Bryant.

Why did he do the surgery and not just push through the pain?

“It was undergo surgery or stop performing,” he told Mr. Leach.  We think he chose the right option.

While Mr. Angel is recuperating, Believe will be on hiatus.  (That’s a real word and a clean one too.  We looked it up).  He will return in April and until then he will be working on his new show, Magic Jamz.

He will playing the part of emcee for several of his friends and co-stars of his television series.  Slated to appear are Banachek, Nathan Burton and the lovely Krystyn Lambert. (Banacheck and Nathan Burton are probably lovely as well but not in the same way Krystyn is – at least not to us). Not a shabby line-up.  We will make the trek to Las Vegas to check out the new show during its limited run through the end of March and give you our full report.

Criss Angel to Close Vegas Show for 3 Months

Reports were received from The Las Vegas Sun that magician Criss Angel that will take a break from his rigorous schedule to have surgery on an injured shoulder.

The star of Believe will put the show on hold for three months in 2014 to have surgery on damaged tendons in a shoulder.  He tore the tendons two years ago and put off surgery at the time to film his new series for Spike TV and performing at The Luxor.

The tendons tore a second time whilst performing an upside down straight jacket escape in Times Square.  “There is no alternative. It’s three times as bad now,” Mr. Angel told The Las Vegas Sun. “I have to go under the knife. There is no other choice. I’ve already put it off far too long.”

To do otherwise risked permanent damage that would end his performing career.

The doctors will begin their work in January and he will host a show featuring other magicians in February and March before returning to the stage in April.

Criss Angel and Dynamo Engage in Full-On Magic Battle

Las Vegas-based Magician Criss Angel claims UK-based Mystifier Dynamo stole his tricks, segments of his show and even his “tableau.”

We had no idea what a tableau is or does. We thought the word meant “table” and assumed Mr. Angel was suggesting Dynamo swiped his Losander Floating Table illusion.  We have since verified that was way off the mark.

The Sun reported Mr. Angel’s full quote as, “It’s not even just the material, I’ve seen literally parts of his show that people have shown me, he even steals my tableau, my pose.”

So tableau must mean something like a pose.  In fact, Mr. Angel credits Jesus Christ as the originator of the pose.

“I didn’t invent that pose, that was depicted by Jesus Christ, but I was the guy to do that in magic. I just think it’s sad, it’s pathetic.”

So by the transitive theory (if a=b and b=c, then a=c) Dynamo is ripping off Jesus Christ.  

Dynamo gave a stinging retort. 

He said Mr. Angel is simply trying to garner attention.

“I have performed over 300 pieces of magic, out of which a small number have also been performed by Criss Angel in a completely different way,” he said.  “Criss walked across a pool whereas I walked across the Thames.

“I am from a different generation to him and have no desire to be like him.”

Meow!

Check out the latest give and take at The Sun here.

Magician Criss Angel “Sells Out” Free Show & Reveals Spike TV Title

Magician Criss  Angel traveled to the Ozarks today to film a stunt for his new Spike TV series.

(More on the name of the series in a bit).

On Sunday, there was a Facebook message from the John Q. Hammons Arena at Missouri State University  offering this tease:

“Taking place in front of a live audience at Missouri State University, Criss Angel will attempt to vanish over 40 tons of Shrine Elephants. Impossible conditions set the stage as Criss Angel attempts to become the first ever to successfully complete a vanish of such epic scale. Don’t miss the chance to see it live and witness history in the making.”

Attendees were invited to witness the jumbo-sized vanish attempt but the organizers had to limit the crowd to 400 folks.

According to the Facebook post, all attendees were required to complete release forms because the event was going to be filmed for the series.   So, they were more than just audience members, they were participants.

At 1 p.m., the arena was filled to capacity and the organizers tried to smooth over any disappointment:

“UPDATE: By 1 p.m. the arena was filled to capacity:@JQHArena Sorry folks, we are at capacity for the show. We understand the frustration, but it’s the tours request to cap the crowd at 400 individuals.”

Granted, it was a free show — if you don’t count signing away your rights to Spike TV — but tickets were gone in a hurry.

Yes, but what shall they call the new series on Spike TV?

We have it on very good authority — straight from Robin Leach’s Luxe Life Blog — the new show will be Believe.  It will be easy to remember the title because it is the same as the Cirque du Soleil produced Criss Angel show at The Luxor in Las Vegas.

In fact, if you check out the United States Patent and Trademark Office records for registration number 77289541, you will see that Criss Angel has a trademark for BELIEVE for the goods and services of: “Entertainment services, namely, live and televised theatrical productions and performances by a professional entertainer.”  And that is exactly how he uses the trademark.

Mr. Angel assigned the rights to the trademark to an entity MPOA LLC in Las Vegas.  We checked with the Nevada Secretary of State and learned Mr. Angel is listed as an officer of the company under his real name, Christopher Sarantakos.  So, it all checks out.

You can read the full story at Ozarks First here: Magician Criss Angel Performing Free at JQH Arena Today.

Magicians Criss Angel, Jan Rouven & Malloy Magic Point Fingers

Las Vegas magician Jan Rouven charged fellow Las Vegas magician Criss Angel swiped his “Bed of Death” illusion for Mr.  Angel’s new Spike television series, BeLIEve.  Mike Weatherford detailed Mr. Rouven’s claims in  May 17th Las Vegas Review Journal column.

Mr. Angel claimed the inspiration for the stunt was Clive Barker’s film “Lord of Illusions.

Mr. Rouven said Mr. Angel’s version of the escape differs from the film and more closely resembles Mr. Rouven’s version.  In the film, a magician needs to escape falling swords.  The version Mr. Rouven performs in his show at the Riviera has an audience member choose the order of the falling swords.

Mr. Angel denied the accusation flatly.  “They’re in a glass house,” he said.

Mr. Weatherford reported that Mr. Angel alleged Mr. Rouven performs illusions without the inventor’s permission.  The Rouven camp denied those charges.

“I go out of my way to get people’s permission,” Mr. Weatherford quoted Mr. Angel  as saying. “I deal with this on a much larger level than any of these people. … Do you think I would really need to do something like that?”

Fast forward to Robin Leach’s Strip Scribbles column one week later.

Continue reading “Magicians Criss Angel, Jan Rouven & Malloy Magic Point Fingers”

Blindfold + Heavy Winds = No Sky Walk for Criss Angel

We don’t blame Criss Angel for postponing his blindfold walk on two beams more than six-stories up.

Las Vegas winds are as unpredictable as Las Vegas wins.  It is hard enough to walk along beams sixty feet above the pavement with a blindfold — but when you add “strong winds” to the mix, you are making it really risky.

We checked the OSHA standards and it appears it would be a violation for any employee (contract or full-time) to walk along a beam twenty meters over any surface (save marshmallows (see OSHA Reg. 223-0(a) re “Spongy Food Stuff Surfaces and Worker Safety”) and even then the regs require the marshmallows to be “fresh” and at least six feet in depth).

via Weather takes the wind out of Criss Angel stunt – CBS 12 Action News.

Jim Carrey “Criss Angel and David Blaine’s Offspring”

It is a magic story as old as time.  Superstar magicians dominate all other acts in the mythical village of “Las Vegas” and become complacent from their success and guaranteed box office draw.

Young up-and-comer magician (Jim Carrey) looks to challenge the flashy duo, causing a crisis of confidence.  The magic partnership breaks up bringing economic devastation to both magicians.

Fortunately, an attractive and loyal assistant (Olivia Wilde) encourages the senior magician to return to basics; to find the love he once held deep in his show-biz heart for magic and for his partnership.

The Hollywood production people sent us a blurb (remember the old days when it was illegal to send blurbs using the U.S. Postal System?) describing the plot line in two  pithy paragraphs thusly:

Superstar magicians Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) have ruled the Las Vegas strip for years, raking in millions with illusions as big as Burt’s growing ego. But lately the duo’s greatest deception is their public friendship, while secretly they’ve grown to loathe each other.

Facing cutthroat competition from guerilla street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey), whose cult following surges with each outrageous stunt, even their show looks stale. But there’s still a chance Burt and Anton can save the act—both onstage and off—if Burt can get back in touch with what made him love magic in the first place.

We look forward to seeing Jim Carrey as the young buck, Steve Gray.  He performs magic from a new paradigm like cutting off his face or not using the bathroom for almost a week.  According to one critic, his character is a melange of David Blaine and Criss Angel.

We also understand that David Copperfield appears in the film as himself and has contributed a new illusion to the story.

Continue reading “Jim Carrey “Criss Angel and David Blaine’s Offspring””

Guest Essay: 99 Percent in Magic Unite!

Mark Panner is not exactly a friend of Inside Magic but he did lend us money to pay the server bill two months ago. In return for his kindness, we said he could write an opinion piece for the web site. This is that piece. He tries to find parallels between the 99 percent movement and magic secrets. We do not agree with his logic, argument or conclusions but a deal is a deal.  We note that while we do not edit Mark's writing, we had to change the title from its original, "99 Percent in Magic Untie."

As I was watching the occupy movement do their thing, I thought about inequity and how unfair it is. One of the questions that kept crossing my mind was, how come the Vegas Headliners get the best secrets and technology and we are all stuck with the turn of the century – Last Century! –boxes and mirrors. It's not fair at all.

There is no other word for it other than inequity and unfairness (okay so maybe two words) but it expresses the vas deference between the 99% of magicians who need to use boxes screens or assistants (if you can afford them or are able to even go to where they congregate to ask if they would like to work for you). The elite one percent get to make things vanish, float, change, appear, grow or shrink without anything at all.

I have been looking into this question for a long time. It's been six months so far and I think I have some answers but they are not good ones.

When magic began, there was relative parity among all magicians. Magicians could make things vanish, float, appear, disappear, change or multiply with equal ability. They all used the same skills and tools. In the Iron Age, everyone used Irons and in the Bronze Age they did the same and no one had better tools than their neighbor. One caveman's Iron thing was the same size and shape and substance as the caveman next door and that did not change until the end of the "Ages" part of history ("Iron," "Bronze," "Dinosaur," "Bird," and "Trains") and the start of the Jet Age (around the time of the Wright Brothers).

Until the Jet Age, people entertained people in their villages and huts with essentially the same tricks either bought from a central store or made from common instructions. All magic plans used to be printed in blue ink and sold in rolls to magicians who wanted to build their own tricks from supplies they had around their cave or hut.

It took a while for this to die out. As late as the 1940s, for instance, Harry Blackstone used the same equipment as all magicians to make the standard "magic rabbit" appear or disappear. Magic rabbits were raised to be genetically identical so that all magicians could interchangeably use their props to do the rabbit tricks regardless of their location. A Boston rabbit would fit a Chicago rabbit gimmick and vice-a-versa. But there was a war on and many of the rabbits were actually made in the equivalent of factory farms where they were grown by strict military specifications to fit standard government issue magic props as used by the professionals (such as Blackstone) or the amateur at home or the magicians who entertained the troops during the battles around the world.

With the advent of the space race, the "elite" magicians began to insist on using "different" methods to accomplish the effects performed by so many. "Good enough for government work" was an expression first used to denigrate the magicians who were forced to use surplus magic tricks left over from the war effort. The elite used bigger bunnies (or with different colored ears or faces) and insisted on different methods to make tricks happen.

Continue reading “Guest Essay: 99 Percent in Magic Unite!”

Criss Angel’s Verbal Volley: Hear the Tape

Illusionist Criss Angel and magician Joe Safuto (a/k/a Joe Monte) are no longer working together. That is about all we know for sure. The dust was flying and has yet to settle.

The two sparred verbally (and according to Safuto, physically) this past Wednesday at Angel's business offices on Sunset Road in Las Vegas. The star of the Cirque du Soleil's Believe at the Luxor and Mindfreak on A&E and his former employee can be heard exchanging threats and demands in a 55 second clip from an apparently longer audio tape. You can hear the audio tape in the Inside Magic Library by clicking here.

Safuto spoke to The Las Vegas Review Journal after meeting with police. He said he has known Angel since the mid-1980s and worked to produce magic for the illusionist. According to "Safuto, "I created 50 to 60 percent of the magic for Mindfreak."

Safuto told the paper he made the tape to document Angel's tendency to bully employees, "I wanted him to know how demeaning he was."

Angel denied there was a physical altercation and attributes the expletive-filled shouts on Safuto – the one with the tape recorder. Robin Leach notes that Angel "can be heard at the start of the tape speaking in a normal voice before an argument begins."

Angel's attorney, Ken Woloson told Leach, "Criss Angel was in the process of firing Joe on Wednesday when [Monte] became abusive, and Criss asked him to leave."

According to the Review-Journal, Monte filed a report with the Las Vegas Police claiming Angel "flipped out" and assaulted him while removing him from Angel's office complex at 3260 W. Sunset Road.

On the audio clip apparently released by Safuto, Angel is heard saying, "Don't point your finger at me. Put your hand down."

There is a sound of commotion and then a voice, apparently Monte's, shouts, "Get off me. Don't you dare touch me!"

Monte claims Angel "grabbed me and lifted me." The Review-Journal observes Monte is 5'5" tall. Web sources place Angel's height at somewhere between 5'6" and 6'0".

Continue reading “Criss Angel’s Verbal Volley: Hear the Tape”