Your View of Criss Angel

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Your View of Criss Angel

Postby Nikkolas » Aug 19th, '09, 11:48



To most average pople, Angel's stunts are amazing.
Yet to people on this and many other magic-related forums, he is a joke.

I just am wondering why this is? Is it because he's "mainstream"? Or are the quality of his stunts really just poor? I've heard all sorts of different views in my search before I posted this topic so I'm just looking for a straight answer on how good people think Criss' acts are and why you think as you do.

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Postby Craig Browning » Aug 19th, '09, 14:36

My suggestion is that you do a Search on this topic in that it has been beat into the ground on more than a few occasions, the general consensus being that he's a joke... falling rock from outer-space... a parody of himself... a middle-aged Goth Wannabe that is having a harder time dealing with lost youth than Copperfield... and so the list goes on.

But do use the Search Function here and on all your favorite Forums, it makes like so much easier for everyone. :wink:

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Postby Nikkolas » Aug 19th, '09, 16:34

I have done a search. Thanks to that searh i've seen you are clearly biased against him and insulted him multiple times thus I'm a bit hesitant to trust your opinion. Especially since you couldn't even post a paragraph without making personal attacks.
Also thanks to my search I've seen many who say his stuff is pretty decent and all magicians owe him thanks for popularizing what they do.

It's irrelevant though because many of the posts I found about him were filled with hate for his personality, questioning his sexual orientation, condemning his music and all that irrelevant stuff. All my thread is about is how good are his illusions. Are they all camera tricks? Some people said hey were, ohers said they weren't.

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Postby A J Irving » Aug 19th, '09, 17:20

Yes, well... no, maybe. Does that help?

You'll find a variety of opinions here about that specific performer but I doubt very much anyone here would go into any kind of explanation as to his effects.

There are plenty of discussions regarding his proficiency at conjuring and his place within magic but if you're looking for specific answers regarding his tricks, you're out of luck.

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Postby Reverend Tristan » Aug 19th, '09, 18:14

I can tell you how he does them all, he uses an hidden monkey.

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Postby SamD465 » Aug 19th, '09, 18:33

Reverend Tristan wrote:I can tell you how he does them all, he uses an hidden monkey.


Ah yes, that would presumably be the same monkey that he performed too in an episode of Mindfreak.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Postby Nikkolas » Aug 19th, '09, 21:16

Specifcs on how he does his tricks is not what I want. I care if they're all just from camera manipulation like some say. I can't tell this as I'm not as observant or knowledgeable as the people here in this kinda thing.

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Postby themagicwand » Aug 19th, '09, 23:57

Nikkolas wrote:Specifcs on how he does his tricks is not what I want. I care if they're all just from camera manipulation like some say. I can't tell this as I'm not as observant or knowledgeable as the people here in this kinda thing.

Criss Angel uses a variety of methods to achieve his illusions. But he is certainly not adverse to using camera tricks, stooges and clever editing on his TV show. Hope this helps.

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Postby Nikkolas » Aug 20th, '09, 02:55

I does. Thank you very much.

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Postby Craig Browning » Aug 20th, '09, 15:29

Nikkolas wrote:Specifcs on how he does his tricks is not what I want. I care if they're all just from camera manipulation like some say. I can't tell this as I'm not as observant or knowledgeable as the people here in this kinda thing.


Nikkolas... yes, I've become quite biased toward Criss in that he used to be AWESOME but his success killed him.

Yes, Criss has made some limited contributions to our world. I think David Blaine gave us far more that has had a longer lasting affect however; especially the mythical idea that there is honor in being a street hustler. I'm not saying there isn't but I am saying that it's not exactly the status most strive to hold... it's more of a "let's pay the rent" type of work... always has been the filler between major gigs.

The problems with Criss start with the fact that he's been the same character for well over 20 years that I'm aware of. Long before MIND FREAK he was using this goth-like image and the whole "Street Illusionist" angle. I was there in those early days as he first came onto the scene with his Sub Trunk... the first to ever challenge the Penndragon switch in nearly a decade. But I also watched (from a distance) as he struggled to get dates... that is, until he got in with the WWE and then of course MTv.

His first season of MIND FREAK was based on material he'd been doing for well over 10 years so it was broken in, smooth and beautiful. What followed was a train wreck filled with some not so convincing illusion designs (that stupid fan/mulcher thing comes to mind) as well as taking grand illusion tech off the stage and setting it on the streets in ways that are generally impractical as well as impossible in the real world where performers must work under in order to make a real buck... which brings us to his current run at LUXOR and the fact that it is still seen as the all time worse show to hit the Vegas Strip when it comes to magic... and that's saying a lot when you consider how horrid some of the others have been.

Criss can't do 90% of what he's known for because it is a live theater and he must work within the physical realities of that circumstance... and he can't! He's not only forgotten how to do so but he's managed to step on and burn out every single person that ever reached out to help him... I've heard far too many horror stories from people inside that camp.

When it comes to his "character" Criss has become a "threat" in the minds of the middle-aged and older American market in that he is a pompass, very arrogant PUNK. Worse, he's in his 40's and still thinks he's 20 and a "sex symbol" -- he's having a harder time shifting into middle age than Copperfield has had, and that's saying a lot.

The biggest thing that has hurt Criss, aside from his abysmal Vegas show, is how he acted on PHENOMENON and the fact that he was more than rude and unprofessional all the way around. He really shouldn't have been there in that HE more than all the wannabe "Mentalists" in the line up, hurt the show and its ratings.

When it comes to "how" Criss does his magic... at one point in time he actually cared and did a wonderful job. Today, he's more concerned with being a "star"... one that is slowly falling. :wink:

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Postby Nikkolas » Aug 21st, '09, 16:40

Actually, funny you should mock his belief in being a sex symbol. Apart from being with frickin' Cameron Diaz, I know multiple women who find him attractive. There's plenty enough evidence of that on the web, however. It's not like he's some balding fat guy with a wig tryign to squeeze into lether pants. A lot of girls do think of him as a sex symbol.

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Postby Craig Browning » Aug 21st, '09, 18:12

Nikkolas wrote:Actually, funny you should mock his belief in being a sex symbol. Apart from being with frickin' Cameron Diaz, I know multiple women who find him attractive. There's plenty enough evidence of that on the web, however. It's not like he's some balding fat guy with a wig tryign to squeeze into lether pants. A lot of girls do think of him as a sex symbol.


Yea... it's amazing what being rich and famous can get you.

I know many fat, middle-age, and butt ugly mega millionaire types that prove it daily. Fame and public identity alone will give you that kind of attention but I can assure you, the "affections" are based on curiosity and fantasy, not that there's anything wrong with that. But when it comes to such fettishes you typically find the ladder climbers.

As to Cameron's tie to him... it's "situation normal" for the show biz world; birds of a feather and all. Either of them getting political as well as career based kudos for association with one another. That's just how show biz and relationships tend to work and too, many such "bonds" are "arranged" by the handlers of either talent for the sake of business, not romance. But go right on clinging to that perspective in that there are also many woman that see Criss and his ilk as being "users" and even "abusers" of women -- the stereotypical male that preys on woman in the manner that I mentioned above.

Just as drugs and booze (the perpetual party) become a given when success happens so does sexual addiction -- success within show biz (more than most any other industry) can be pure poison and for most, will be. The recording industry is rife with examples just as we can see with "child actors" and how they are conditioned to believe they are "stars" in their youth but once the contract is us, they go back to being virtual nobodies that frequently go through some horrid self-destruction... not that I'd know anything about such things :roll:

Unless Criss grows up and starts acting a bit more mature, far less assholed, and a lot more respectful of others he's doomed. He's burnt far too many important bridges over the past five years alone, and pushed just about everyone away that ever attempted to guide him in the right direction for the sake of longevity. Believe me, he had the people that made Copperfield and Burton legends, willing to give him the same push but his ego started getting in the way.

I'm not going to banter back and forth with you. You've made five posts to this forum, most all of them defending your hero rather than being contributive to the forum as a whole. Your youth and lack of real life perspective (when it comes to the realities of show biz) keep you from seeing where the real problems lay with Criss and why. Like most, you are buying into the illusion -- the invented image or "packaging" created by his handlers. I however, know about such facades and likewise have some privileged understanding as to what's really been going on behind the scenes with Angel & Company... and don't start asking who and what, I don't play that game. People trust me with that sort of detail and I do not betray such trusts.

I will encourage you to do two things however;

a.) Get involved with the forum in ways that go outside the non-real realms of Criss Angel and connect with what magic really is about

b.) Learn to accept that some people, particularly the more experienced, understand circumstances around any given performer a lot better because they have been there and know what it's like at both, first hand and observational points of view. We know the patterns because we've seen so many potential talents go through them time and again.

"Artists" be it a painter, writer or entertainer all tend to be tortured souls. Most of us are actually better off not ever knowing high level success in that it takes us outside our "comfort" zones, as it were. We are moved into uncharted territory and as a means of escape... a way to get back to where we were the most comfortable, the most creative, etc. we destroy things. Like the Phoenix however, many of us raise back from the ashes only to repeat the cycle. It's a pattern I've seen up close for far too long, which is why I tend to be so cynical and hard with issues such as this.

BTW... Lance Burton nearly did the same things I've mentioned here with Criss but John Thompson and Peter Reveen slapped some sense back into him, got him away from the party life and back on track. Kirby VanBirch ended up moving to Branson so as to escape the snares found in Las Vegas and has known nothing but success since doing so... he just had to tame his ego and get back to that comfort zone point.

So think about it and try to get a better understanding around it all. :wink:

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Postby Nikkolas » Aug 21st, '09, 19:25

There's nothinG to be gained from this topic anymore
Later.

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Postby Fabian » Aug 22nd, '09, 00:46

Nikkolas wrote:There's nothinG to be gained from this topic anymore
Later.


Riiiiiiiiight. Don't bother next time, Craig - your insight is wasted on him. :roll:

And by the way, just to be picky, why did you write "nothinG" and not "nothing," Nikkolas? 8)

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Postby Ant » Sep 8th, '09, 14:42

Nikkolas wrote:There's nothinG to be gained from this topic anymore
Later.


Hopefully you will reflect on this and see that you are (in my opinion) wrong.

I am one of the few (it appears) on here that does quite like Criss Angels stuff but like Craig has said his older stuff is far superior to the newer stuff which appears to heavily rely on stooges and camera tricks. Also if you have watched the seasons of Mindfreak carefully, the final product of some of the illusions is poorly done and actually reveal how the effect is achieved.

I quite like Believe. I have seen it twice (granted the second time was more for the benefit of my infatuated better half but...) and I think the reason it receives such poor reviews is because it is not a typical magic show and is therefore received badly from the magic crowd, it is also not a typical Cirque show and therefore they do not like it either. Unless you had never heard of him and were not a devout Cirque enthusiast I do not think most people would enjoy the show. It's too niche and that is it's downfall.

The illusions performed in the stage show are executed reasonably well, however because it is part of a theatrical story I think they have less of an impact (from a magical wow aspect) but I certainly found it more interesting than trick, next, trick, next, trick, thank you, goodnight.

Criss Angel has become a brand and because of this I do not think he even knows who he is anymore. The most recent season of Mindfreak was a bit mediocre, the new season is released in December I believe and I took part in some of it being recorded as my wife and I happened to be there when it was. We were not stooges but the trick was not exactly breath-taking either.

People complain about him detracting or improving the image of magicians as they are typically the nerdy geeky type, not some "wannabe rock god". The only difference is the nerdy, geeky types these days tend to wear dark clothes and hang out in groups opposed to at home, alone, with a book.

When all is said and done I like Criss Angel for two reasons;

1> After seeing Copperfield in Vegas and feeling quite jaded, I found Believe to be a true breath of fresh air. It rekindled the fascination and interest I had in magic as a child, in particular his new take on old tricks (like Copperfields Buzzsaw but done with him laying on his back instead of his stomach, I know the solution is much the same but still it was cool).

2> The most important reason for me as someone (at least partially) in the know. Is the look of absolute amazement and wonder on my wife's face when we watch his stuff. She never takes the time of day to watch Derren Brown but is open to the idea since seeing Criss because to her it really is magical. Okay so she has an annoying habit of turning to me after every effect and saying "How did he do that then? Actually don't tell me I don't want to know. I would rather believe it is real." but if she is any example of people in general and their appreciation of magic I can live with it.

Unfortunately like Craig describes above it would not surprise me if the fame and money ends up consuming him completely. If everyone around you tells you that you can do anything you soon start believing it.

I hope I look that good when I'm in my forties though.

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