After making a considerable splash with the first season of his Mindfreak show, and earning the 2005 Magician of the Year award from the Academy of Magical Arts, Criss Angel is flying high. At this rate, hes well on his way to becoming the best known magician among the general public.
For someone who has accomplished so much at such a young age, I was surprised that Angel was so personable and polite in person. The considerable stage presence and charisma always show, but theres a certain humility about him that conjures deep respect for the art of magic and its institutions, as well as towards the legends who proceeded him. I wrote earlier that I felt Angel was good for magic. And after meeting him, Im a believer.
I had an opportunity to interview Angel at the Magic Castle shortly after he was awarded 2005 Magician of the Year.
Wayne Kawamoto: What was the most difficult aspect about producing your show?
Criss Angel: Its 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 youre doing things that challenge your life, it makes it even more difficult.
The most difficult thing that I dealt with, if I had to pick one demonstration, was when I hung by four fish hooks, by my flesh, a 1000 feet over the Valley of the Fire, which wasnt a trick, but was incredibly difficult.
WK: How did you prepare for such feats?
CA: 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 Im doing is going into uncharted territory, so you dont know until the end of the day if youve prepared well enough.
WK: Where do you look for inspiration for your magic?
CA: 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 Banacek. I spew out concepts and ideas and theyre very helpful in siphoning through them and bringing them to fruition.
Sometimes, my concepts can take five years and a lot of money to bring to life. I have to be patient because I dont want to end up killing myself.
I have many new ideas and 21 new episodes coming up next season. Its 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.