The grand illusionist makes many ‘Believe’Written by Vicki L. Kroll | | firstname.lastname@example.org
See below for details on contest to win a free trip to Las Vegas to see Criss Angel “BeLIEve”
Nothing is impossible. Just ask Criss Angel.
The magician has emerged from being buried alive, levitated crowds, strolled up and down the sides of high-rise buildings, made a 4-ton elephant disappear, and escaped from being handcuffed and nailed in a coffin before it was pulled through a woodchipper.
It’s all a walk on water for the 43-year-old artist.
“If anyone has a dream and they work for it, they can absolutely achieve their dream if they believe,” Angel said.
“Much of what I do is just pure illusion; some of it is completely legitimate, like when I hung by the fish hooks [suspended from a helicopter over the Valley of Fire in Nevada],” he said. “I think, as an entertainer, what’s important for me to do is take the spectators from their reality, their trials and tribulations that they deal with every day in their lives, and kind of put them in a world where anything is possible and allow them to have that escape.”
Fans of the “Mindfreak” star have the chance to see “Criss Angel Believe” featuring Cirque du Soleil at the Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
“‘Believe’ is an experience that takes ‘Mindfreak,’ takes the illusions of things that people are blown away by and presents them onstage in a 15,034-foot venue,” Angel said during a call from Serenity, his Vegas home.
“I have this theatrical format that
I can take ‘Mindfreak’ illusions and present them in a way that’s just a whole different level because of the use of video projection, lighting, pyrotechnics, special effects, music in this very interactive experience — things happen over your head, behind you, on the side of you, in front of you.
“A lot of people are skeptical when they watch me on TV. They’re like, ‘Oh it has to be trick photography, it can’t be done live,’” he said. “When they have the opportunity to come see ‘Believe,’ they actually see 40 illusions performed live right in front of their face.”
The dazzling visual spectacle includes a Cirque du Soleil troupe that assists Angel.
“You’ll see illusions that I performed on television like the cutting in half without any boxes and cloaks and covers of any kind. It’s the most provocative cutting in half of a girl in the history of the art,” he said. “And you also see me do many different forms of levitation.”
Angel said he’s been a fan of Cirque du Soleil since the 1980s.
“I first saw their television special on HBO, and I was completely enamored by the magic they created without performing any magic tricks or illusions; it was the magic of emotion, and it was about seeing an art form presented in a completely different way with tableaus and theatrics,” he mused.
“I try to present my magic as a different type of art form,” he said. “I have a music background; I try to combine both and try to present something more provocative, something that isn’t typical.”
Millions are watching the “Believe” co-writer and star, who was recently named magician of the decade by the International Magicians Society.
“I’ve been very blessed to do six seasons of “Mindfreak.” That’s over 100 episodes. It’s the longest-running magic program in television history on primetime in the U.S., so I’m pretty proud of that,” Angel said.
Season seven remains in limbo.
“If I do ‘Mindfreak,’ it’s going to be raw, it’s definitely going to be back to the roots, and it’s going to be very provocative and it’s going to be scary and it’s going to be probably a lot darker,” he said. “But I haven’t solidified a deal yet.”
Known for harrowing, dangerous stunts, Angel said the ideas come from dreams and nightmares.
“I’m very much inspired by those things that I have the desire to see. And I usually dream these things up when I’m in bed, in the shower or driving in the car,” he said.
And how does the man prepare for being run over by a steamroller while lying on broken glass?
Angel credited his crew, which plans for things that could go wrong, and added, “It’s all about physical preparation, mental preparation and even being at peace spiritually with yourself. Because when situations arise, I can never react in a way where I lose control or my cool because that could cost my life.”
He believes the risks are worth it.
“Magic for me is just a vehicle to connect to people. When you connect to people, when you have a true emotional connection to them, that’s the truest form of magic; that trumps any trick that you can possibly do.”
Win a free trip to see Criss Angel in Las Vegas
1. The Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) and Toledo Free Press are offering you the chance to win one of 12 prize packages.
- One Grand Prize Winner: Two round-trip airline tickets from Toledo to Las Vegas; a two-night stay for two people at the Luxor Hotel; two tickets to the CRISS ANGEL “BeLIEve” show at the Luxor Hotel. Prizes courtesy Luxor Hotel, Cirque du Soleil, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, American Airlines. Media partner: 13abc. Winner is responsible for transportation and meals in Las Vegas.
- Prize packages also will be awarded to entrants randomly selected for second place and others:
- One First-Place Prize: Family four pack of tickets (two adult/two children) to “The Egypt Experience” and “The Baroque World of Fernando Botero” exhibitions plus a $50 Toledo Museum of Art gift card ($106 value).
- Ten Second-Place Prizes: Two adult combination tickets to “The Egypt Experience” and “The Baroque World of Fernando Botero” exhibitions ($40 value).
How to enter: Sweepstakes begins at midnight on Monday, Feb. 28, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16, 2011. Persons are eligible to win one of the above-mentioned prize packages by filling out the entry form at contest.toledomuseum.org or in person at the Museum’s Information Desk. A maximum of one online entry per week and one in-person entry per day will be accepted. The Toledo Museum of Art is not responsible for lost, late or misdirected entries. Entrants must live within 100 miles of the Toledo Museum of Art and be 18 years of age or older in order to be awarded a prize. Winner of Las Vegas trip must be 21 years of age per hotel/casino policy. Winners will be selected on or about March 17, in a random drawing of all eligible entries received.
Tags: 13abc, American Airlines, BeLIEve, Cirque du Soliel, Contests, Criss Angel, Egypt Experience, Luxor Las Vegas, Mindfreak, Toledo Free Press, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, Vicki L. Kroll