There’s something special about magic that has the power to unite people. We all may be from different places, have different families, and center ourselves on different values, but the joy and wonder of seeing magic performed is universal.
That is one of the many reasons we were excited to speak with illusionist Criss Angel ahead of his series of performances at Foxwoods Resort Casino this August. He’ll be performing at the Fox Theater from August 25 to August 28 with his Supernaturalists show that features nine different musicians with their own unique shows and specialties to leave your heart racing and your jaw dropped wide open.
You can get more information about the performance and purchase your tickets here, and we know that after reading our interview with Criss, you won’t be able to resist.
CT Boom: We’ve read that you started magic at around age 7. What sparked your interest at such a young age? Was it someone you’d seen perform or something else entirely?
Criss: I was actually 6 years old! My Aunt Stella showed me a card trick and I have been obsessed ever since. As a kid, doing something an adult doesn’t understand is power.
CT Boom: At what point did you know you had “made it” as a magician? What was that feeling like?
Criss: It was never one defining moment, but a series of smaller ones, and eventually fame & fortune followed. As an artist, seeing how my art has connected to fans worldwide is the most gratifying part of “making it.”
CT Boom: You’ve taken your career into arenas besides magic (music, television, books, etc.). Which of those non-magic pursuits interests you most and why?
Criss: I love acting. When I played a killer on CSI: NY, or a more comical role on Dice’s new Showtime series, that’s what I really love because it’s an extension of what I do every night on stage – become someone else…
CT Boom: Can you tell us about The Believe Foundation and how it reflects your magic background in its charitable endeavors?
Criss: My foundation has been renamed in honor of my son, Johnny Crisstopher, and is now the Johnny Crisstopher Children’s Charitable Foundation.
Children, and children’s charities, have always been a priority for me. I’ve been very blessed to be able to give something special to these kids through Make-A-Wish, St. Baldrick’s Foundation, and others. It all hit very close to home last year when my then 2-year-old son Johnny was diagnosed with leukemia. That just reinforced my mission to bring attention to, and raise money for, pediatric cancer research and treatment. On September 12 this year, Johnny and I will be holding a fundraising event at the Luxor in the MINDFREAK LIVE! Theater where 100 percent of the proceeds will go towards research, treatment, and ultimately a cure. Please go to CrissAngelHELP.com to make a difference. One child every three minutes will be diagnosed with pediatric cancer and that’s a statistic we must make disappear.
CT Boom: What is your favorite illusion to perform and why?
Criss: They are all my favorite! It’s like asking which of your children is your favorite…
CT Boom: How long does setup take for a production like yours, especially when moving from venue to venue? What is involved in preparing the venue for what you need?
Criss: My team and I spent almost a year building the first touring version of Mindfreak Live! and then another 6 months putting together The Supernaturalists. It’s difficult to tour illusions on this scale (there’s only so small you can make things and still have them look great), not even counting lighting, LED screens, etc. We’ve gotten it down over the first few runs, and we can now set up and perform one-nighters.
CT Boom: Tell us about the magician’s code to not reveal the secrets to their illusions. Is it real? And if so, how seriously is it taken?
Criss: I revealed the secrets to 40 illusions in my best-selling book MINDFREAK: Secrets Revealed because I wanted to inspire the next generation of performers – as I was at 6 years old, and to help magic evolve and become more mainstream. I also have the most in-depth, best value magic kits on the market, where I personally teach every trick that come in my kits step by step. I want to promote the art of magic because it’s a great tool to build self-confidence, forward thinking, and people skills in all ages. In terms of not revealing the methodology to some of the larger, more difficult demonstrations – well, I spend years sometimes trying to come up with a new way to do an old illusion. That’s a lot of hard work, money, and time spent by me and my team in my 60,000 square foot laboratory.
CT Boom: If you weren’t doing magic, where would you be and what would you be doing?
Criss: I probably would have stayed with fighting/martial arts, especially now with the popularity of the UFC. I studied martial arts as a kid/teenager, and it was my passion next to magic and music!
CT Boom: Can you tell us about your scariest moment when an illusion seemed to be going wrong or did go wrong?
Criss: There’s always the possibility of something going wrong, no matter how much you prepare. I have done over 1,000 illusions and demonstrations between TV and live performances, so it’s hard to narrow down to just one, but hanging by four fish hooks through my flesh from a helicopter 1,000 feet over the Valley of Fire near Las Vegas has to be one of them. But make note, that was no illusion – that was just nuts…
CT Boom: What can we expect to shock us most about your performance at Foxwoods?
Criss: I’m bringing tractor trailers filled with mind-blowing revolutionary magic, illusions, and the best magicians (whom I personally handpicked from around the world to perform with me in this unprecedented production, which celebrates magic for the whole family. Basically, I’m bringing Vegas to Foxwoods – my second home 😉