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GENII: No one has had to worry about that in so many decades it’s hard to even think about what it means … your episodes must be designed to bring people back every week. And you have to do all kinds of wild, dangerous stunts and tricks to ensure this. Some magicians seem to live more dangerous lives than others ... we always suspected that somebody would get attacked by a big cat in a show, but none of us thought it would be Roy Horn. He lived with his cats, was really close to them, but no matter how careful he was … ANGEL: … he got nailed. GENII: That’s right … he got nailed. You’re going to get nailed one day. That must enter your mind … ANGEL: … Yes it does. GENII: I’m watching this episode with the burn, and since you’re sitting here talking to me I know you didn’t die or get seriously injured doing it, but when you go up or down the side of the building tomorrow morning if you fall you might die. When that helicopter’s flying around on Friday, with you hanging from it by fishhooks, if it’s too windy, or the hooks aren’t put in exactly the right way, you’re going to die. If Roy Horn had not almost died that type of horror would seem very distant. But because of Roy’s accident it seems very immediate, and it’s a realistic possibility that you could be fatally injured. ANGEL: If you don’t fear death, then what on this earth is there to fear? GENII: Personally, I don’t want to die. ANGEL: Well, I don’t want to die, either, but risk is part of what I do. You could die crossing the street and getting hit by a car. Who knows? You can’t live your life in fear. For me, I understand the real danger involved in everything, and I embrace that so it can make me cautious. I do my homework so I can be as safe as possible and try to avoid serious injury. GENII: But you could die doing any number of these things in your series. ANGEL: Absolutely, and that’s one of the reasons the show is so engaging and that’s why people are going to connect to it at a gut level. It’s not just about doing a card trick—it’s about pushing an envelope … my own envelope and affecting my family and the people around me because there’s real danger. When Evel Knievel did those motorcycle jumps no one knew the outcome, and the same with me. GENII: And he got seriously injured more than once. ANGEL: I’m not looking to do this for my entire career— I’m not a stunt man. GENII: What’s the difference, for example, between the types of things you’re doing and what David Blaine did when he stood on top of the pillar in New York City? ANGEL: I never look behind me. I always look ahead. Personally, I don’t find some of what he does provocative. For example, standing on his feet on top of a pole. I don’t think people look at a stunt like that and say, “I would never consider doing that.” I am not sure what his motivation was for that. I can only focus on what I am doing. GENII: Let me play devil’s advocate for a second and compare Blaine’s standing on top of the pillar and subsequent fall with your burn. Both of these things are done by stuntmen in films every day of the week. Blaine stands on a pole and falls into an airbag, you get suited up in layers of cooled

SUPERHUMAN and gelled clothing and get lit on fire. What’s the difference? ANGEL: Major difference. First, what I did with the fire

burn was something that is not normally done. When stuntmen get suited up they use many more layers, wear protective gloves and a mask to cover the two areas of flesh that are actually exposed, and are usually running to keep the fire trail away from their body. I had no gloves, no mask, and did a burn for 45 seconds without running. I walked, stopped, and turned, which are the most dangerous types of blocking in a fire burn because that’s where you can get nailed when the fire wraps around you. Second, I am actually utilizing and embracing my art for the conclusion. People are watching something and, at the same time, I’m setting them up for something else at the end—a kicker, something they weren’t expecting, an effect. When I did “Submerged” and stayed in the water tank for 24 hours, surrounded, in Times Square in New York, I utilized my ability to get out of the manacles and escape from the tank in the round, with live cameras. People don’t want to take those kinds of chances. So far I’ve taken those chances and have been successful in utilizing my ability and my art. I think that is different from standing on a pole, particularly when there is no illusion or magic element added. But to his credit, Blaine has been a master at publicity and made himself a household name. GENII: Why is the series called Mindfreak? ANGEL: I hate the word “magician” because it’s so narrow. I wanted to come up with a new word that defines what I do, which combines many art forms. I came up with Mindfreak because no one will print Mindf**k! The definition is something that goes beyond the category of magic. GENII: But the name of your first TV special on ABC Family was Mindfreak. ANGEL: Yes … I just like the word, and people have started using it, so we’re using it. GENII: Tell me about the actual process of getting a TV series off the ground. Let’s say that Supernatural has just aired on the Sci-Fi Channel on October 31, 2003. How long did it take you to come up with the idea for the new TV series? ANGEL: One of the first things I did after completing Supernatural was to transform myself. It was a natural step in my growth as an artist. I signed with Dave Baram, who’s the president and COO of The Firm. The Firm is a management company that understands “brands.” They underANGEL, continued on page 64

August 2005

55

2005 Aug Chris Angel  

Criss Angel: Beyond Houdini Criss Angel: Beyond Houdini THE CONJURORS’ MAGAZINE AUGUST 2005 $5 Criss Angel: No Fear ● Richard Kaufman The Pi...

2005 Aug Chris Angel  

Criss Angel: Beyond Houdini Criss Angel: Beyond Houdini THE CONJURORS’ MAGAZINE AUGUST 2005 $5 Criss Angel: No Fear ● Richard Kaufman The Pi...

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