Criss Angel recreated one of Houdini's most famous escapes, The Jail Cell escape, which he performed in 1899. Criss performed it a bit differently though, He had a solid jail cell door instead of a bared door, he was completely naked (his clothes were locked in the cell next to him) instead of just in as little clothing as possible, and if he didn't get out in time over a hundred Loyals would have seen him buck naked. Houdini escaped in 4 hours, Criss escaped in 2 hours.
Criss Angel has admitted to being afraid of dying.
Wife Joanne Sarantakos filed for divorce in June, 2007 citing mental cruelty and abandonment. They were married for five years.
Criss says his cat Hammie uses his own magical abilities to his advantage. He jokes that Hammie once dematerialized on the way to the vet's office.
Not only does Criss own some of the most expensive types of cars, but he also owns a Criss Angel Go-Cart.
Criss's favorite month is April.
Criss had a white mouse named Zeeke that he ate (chewed and swallowed) alive. As a trick.
Criss was the lead singer of his own heavy metal rock band, which was called Angellust and he coproduced the song that is the theme of his television show Mindfreak.
Criss is appearing in an illusion based version of Cirque du Soleil at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas.
Some of Criss' most notable television appearances are the Oprah Winfrey Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Ellen Degeneres show, as well as VH1's Rock Honors Awards performing with and introducing legendary Honoree Ozzy Osbourne.
In June 2007 Criss appeared on the cover of DUB magazine.
Criss's very first television appearance was on the ABC special Talents in 1995. He appeared as a magician.
A few of Criss's favorite bands are; Billy Joel, The Killers, The Beatles, Korn, and Led Zepplin.
Criss Angel's catch phrase is "Are you Ready?"
Criss's first music video, which was for the song MF2 premired on his show Mindfreak. The whole video premiered on Yahoo Video.
Criss Angel's trademark is an A with a backward C around it.
Criss's fans are called Loyals.
Special celebrity guests on Criss's show Mindfreak, include Korn's Jonathan Davis, Rob Zombie, Amazing Jonathan, Mandy Moore, Penn & Teller, Carrot Top, and Lance Burton, Robin Leach, Flavor Flav.
Criss hates the words "Magician" and "Tricks." He perfers the words "Illusionist" and "Demonstrations."
Criss is right-handed.
Criss's favorite colors are black and red and his favorite food is pizza.
Criss had a show on Broadway where he performed magic from his TV special Supernatural. It was also called MindFreak, and it lasted 600 shows before it closed on January 6th, 2003.
Criss was unanimously selected for the 22nd Louie Award for outstanding achievement in the art of magic
In May of 2007 he broke Houdini's and his own record of fastest straitjacket escape on Operah. His record before was 2 minutes and 30 seconds, and Houdini's was 5 minutes. His new record is 2 minutes and 3 seconds.
He holds the record for the longest body suspension, which is hanging by meat hooks. It is 5 hours and 42 minutes.
Criss can perform the fastest "Metamorphosis" illusion. He does it in less than one second.
Criss did a special in Japan in 2003.
Criss has worked with Klayton of Celldweller.
It was his Aunt Stella that showed him his first magic trick. It was a card trick.
Criss has been preforming magic since he was 6 years old.
Criss has had 2 TV speicals before Mindfreak the series. Both were on ABC family one was called Supernatural, and the other was called Mindfreak they were mini series that only lasted a few episodes during ABC family's Thirteen Nights Of Halloween.
Criss has a black belt in karate.
Aside from the art of magic Criss loves music. He is a musician himself and he has 5 CDs out.
When Criss was younger, his father died of cancer.
Criss is the youngest of three boys. His brothers' names are JD and Costa.
Criss' cats' names are Minx and Hamlet (Hammie for short). Criss picked Minx up as a stray. Hammie (with help from Criss) can levitate and disapear from a box.
He has written a book entitled "Mindfreak: Secret Revelations from the Master of Surreality."
Criss was named the 2001, 2004, 2005, and 2007 Magician of the Year by The Academy of Magical Arts (AMA).
Criss' Mindfreak is the first weekly magician show in over 40 years.
He is the only magician ever to appear on covers of Magic Magazine (October 2003) and Genii Magazine (December 2003) both almost simultaneously.
On his first episode of Mindfreak, Criss burned himself alive for exactly 46 seconds for his mother's 70th birthday.
Criss is a friend of Lance Burton, the best known magic performer in Las Vegas.
Criss' first season DVD features 3 of the 55 mindfreaks from his book, "55 Mindfreaks".
Criss is the author of the book, "55 Mindfreaks".
His hero is Harry Houdini.
People believe that his tricks are fake. To prove them wrong, he introduced the spectators camera in the second season of Mindfreak. A camera held by an audience member to shoot any footage of the show that they please.
Criss won the Merlin Award in 2001, 2004, and 2005.
Criss claims that his ego is never happy and that is one of his motivations to make him work harder.
Criss is a proud Greek. But his mother is Mystra.
Criss has a 40-year old stuffed monkey that has been handed down from his familly.
Criss stated that if he where reincarnated, he would like to be a fly on the wall so he could hear and see everyting.
Discography: -Musical Conjurings from the World of Illusion(1998) -System 1 in the Trilogy (2000) -System 2 in the Trilogy
- System 3 in the Trilogy -Mind freak (2002) - Supernatural (2003)
Criss was in a band called Angeldust with Klay Scott. They released the CD Musical Conjurings from the World of Illusion with the name Angeldust but then made CDs with the name Criss Angel.
Stunt & Demonstrations:
Body Suspension - February 20, 2002
Submerged - August 26 - 27, 2002
Blind Walk - 2002
Upside-down Straight Jacket Escape - January 15, 2003
Oasis - July 18-19, 2005
Burned Alive - 2003(supernatural),2005(Mindfreak).
Levitation - 2005.
Wine Barrel Escape - aired on July 27, 2005.
SUV Nail Bed - aired on July 27, 2005
Body Suspension - aired on August 3, 2005.
Buried Alive - aired on August 10, 2005
Hellstromism - aired on August 17, 2005
Superhuman - aired on August 24, 2005
Blind - aired on September 7, 2005
Tesla Strike - aired on September 14, 2005
Building Walk - aired on September 28, 2005
C4 Explosion - aired on October 5, 2005
Radio Prediction - aired on October 12, 2005
Chicken - aired on October 19, 2005
He acquired pyrotechnic licenses at 18 and 21 which is the youngest age you can get those liscenses.
Criss: (on when he made a public declaration of love to actress Cameron Diaz) I am a loving person. What do you want, I come from a Greek family! I tell everybody I love them. Cameron is a friend and I love her like that. It was taken out of context . . . I guess I'm learning and I'll have to understand how to separate the professional from the personal.
Criss: I guess one of my biggest influences was Richiardi. Not necessarily because of the magic, but because of his unparalleled style. My parents took me to see his show at the Felt Forum when I was a kid. Although he was getting up there in age, he still managed to blow me away. To this day, I have never seen a magician who could command the stage and your attention so effectively. He was just pure energy, dynamics, and everything that magic lacks today. Unfortunately, like Houdini, he passed on. Most of my inspiration comes from outside magic, though. It comes from music and from people who change the face of their profession. Also, my father has had a profound effect on my life.
Criss: I'm able to communicate my vision through movement and choreography. Also, it gave me the discipline and dedication to achieve whatever I set my mind to. I'm a firm believer that your body is a slave to your mind. When I was in my teens, I experimented with movement quite a bit. I trained in gymnastics and did a lot of popping and locking on the streets and in clubs. I also dabbled in kung fu and karate. I went on to have more serious training and personal instruction in gosoku ryu with World Champion and 7th degree blackbelt Shihan Grant Campbell, who has been inducted into the Karate Hall of Fame. I still practice, and I'm always eager to learn more.
Criss: (About his cat Hammie and Hammie's 'magical' ability) I never asked Hammie to do anything, but one day I came out of my bedroom, and there he was levitating! I was blown away.
Criss: (about Houdini) He broke the mold - the man really was a pioneer. Houdini's magic went beyond illusions and escapes. He personified the art and his name is still synonymous with it today. What's even more intriguing is that 71 years after his death, he's still the biggest name in magic.
Criss: (About his cat Hammie) I volunteered to foster him, after both of his owners tragically died of cancer, but then I fell in love and decided my home was as good as any.
Criss: I got involved with music and magic when I was pretty young. I guess I was a loner because I was obsessed with them. If I wasn't practicing the drums or magic, I was thinking about it.
Criss:(About his cat Hammie) I wouldn't sell him for all the money in the world.
Criss: (about the second season of his show, Criss Angel Mindfreak) It's like an artist that writes music. The first album is always easier than following up with a second one - you have a lot less time to do it. So I try to create as much as I can, and hopefully there will growth and evolution and an even more engaging second season.
Criss: Sometimes, my concepts can take five years and a lot of money to bring to life. I have to be patient because I don't want to end up killing myself.
Criss: I love the art. I think it's a beautiful art form, and I want to see it gain the respect that the cinema and musicians have. If I can be a small part of that, it would be incredibly gratifying.
Criss: Unfortunately, I think that magic has gotten a bad rap. It's been represented, unfortunately, as a cheap novelty. It doesn't garner the respect that I think it deserves.
Criss: I want to take magic into the future. I want to make it relevant in popular culture. In the days of Houdini, magic was enormous. It was popular culture, and Houdini was the biggest star of his era across the entertainment board.
Criss: (When asked how he prepares for dangerous feats) I try to do my due diligence. I have a great supportive team and we try to do the proper preparation and take minimal risks. Just about everything that I'm doing is going into uncharted territory, so you don't know until the end of the day if you've prepared well enough.
Criss: I think the world is a source of inspiration everyday. I think, I see, I feel and I write down and I try to be true to myself. I have an incredible team, magicians such as Johnny Thompson and Banachek. I spew out concepts and ideas and they're very helpful in siphoning through them and bringing them to fruition.
Criss: (When asked what the most difficult aspect of producing his show is) It's been incredibly challenging to shoot. We had an ambitious, creative appetite and to shoot that with the time and money that was budgeted was difficult. And when you're doing things that challenge your life, it makes it even more difficult.
Criss: (denying he is in a relationship with Cameron Diaz) Seriously, do you think Cameron Diaz, one of the most beautiful women in the world and all of Hollywood, would have any interest in me?
Criss: Houdini was a symbol of hope... and freedom.
Criss: To give [the audience] an experience that touches them at an emotional level is what's important. That to me is true magic. I don't necessarily care if people know how these illusions work. I work very hard to make them illusions that people haven't seen, utilizing many technologies that people in the magic community haven't used, but at the end of the day that doesn't matter. It matters how people feel when they're experiencing the show. If they're getting the chills when they're watching something, that is far more effective than any trick one can do - that's a puzzle.
Criss: (On rumors of him dating Camron Diaz) No, we're just friends. Seriously, do you think Cameron Diaz, one of the most beautiful women in the world and all of Hollywood, would have any interest in me?
Criss: That's what I'm interested in, that emotional connection, which is the essence of real 'magic'. I hate that word! I love magic as an art form, but most magicians have beaten the sh*t out of it and made it into an insignificant cookie-cutter novelty.
Criss: It's more about the theatricality of what I'm presenting. It's about creating an art form that people can connect to like a song. They can interpret it their own way.
Criss: (On where he came up with the term "Mindfreak") It came from the audience's reactions. I just freak out their minds, and so they bug out. It's natural - Mindfreak.
Criss: (On the term "magician") I think it's cheesy. I'm not a huge fan of magicians. We live in an age where women have equal rights, so why are we shoving them in boxes? David Copperfield was yesterday, and I think someone has to represent what's happening tomorrow.
Criss: (When asked about his name - said with a deadly serious face.) I look like an angel, don't I?
Criss: ...really believe in yourself, and that no matter what anyone says to you, if you really have a dream and the passion - go for it! If you're willing to go through the rigors to get it, it will happen. It may not happen in your timeframe, but it will happen. I'm living proof of that. I was once on the other end of the spectrum, and now I'm living my dream. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Criss: I just look at everything as a series of small obstacles, and I deal with each one separately — I get it in front of me, deal with it, and then work on the next one.
Criss: A lot of what I do is completely real. There are no tricks. And a lot of what I do is an illusion. It is up to you to determine what is real and what is illusion.
Criss: You can't please everyone, and trying to do so is the kiss of death.
Criss: I just want to give a special thanks to all the Loyals who have supported me before the series and have really perpetuated me on a grassroots level. I thank them for their support, I look forward to their continued support and hope to see you all live sometime soon.
Criss: Always know that there is nothing between you and your dream except you. You're in control of your destiny - be the best you can be!
Criss: My life is all about passionate commitment and what I absorb myself in. I try to find out about things I'm interested in. I'm somebody very committed and thick-skinned and I will conquer whatever I put my mind to. Mind, body and spirit work as one, then comes anything else. No mater what I want to accomplish, I commit to what's necessary to complete my vision. Whether it's hanging from hooks or writing music, I will spend as much time as necessary to complete it.
Criss: The first thing that I do is try to have my mind, body and spirit work as one. Basically, I try to be focused on what the goal is, and put forth the effort and the energy and the mind-set to accomplish that. I'm like an athlete about to make a high jump. Visualize it, and your body follows suit.
Criss: My performance goes beyond magic and really touches people. There are many art forms coming together and melding; magic, creatures, perfomance art, original music. All work together to touch somebody's soul and connect to them and let them escape. It's not about the tricks.
Criss:(Talking about Cameron Diaz)Cam is an amazing person I am honored to be her friend.
Criss: When the mind, body, and spirit work together I believe anything is possible.
Criss:(When asked what he is looking for in life) To be happy and to have love. That's it.
Criss: Magic has not kept up with technology. The way it's presented and perceived is a total cliché. It doesn't garner the respect music, theater or the cinema has. I think part of the reason is that most magicians are a hybrid of each other.
Criss: I'm obsessive. I strive for perfection. I never reach it but I strive for it. I have high expectations and never enough resources. I don't have a life outside of this. It's all I do.
Criss: People are scared to go into elevators, people are scared to fly in an airplane, so they really miss out. There are so many things that they can't do because of their fears. It's not a physical thing; it's a mental thing. For me, I believe that the mind is such a strong, powerful tool.
Criss: I want to be able to please myself, and not have to care about commercial success.
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