Criss Angel brings ‘Mindfreak Live!’ to Foxwoods
Before he became known around the globe as an illusionist who performs death-defying stunts, Criss Angel was a Long Island, N.Y., kid with a keen interest in Harry Houdini.
Born Christopher Nicholas Sarantakosho, he grew up in East Meadow, N.Y., and started doing magic shows as a teen. He began his career in New York City, then moved his base of operations to Las Vegas. At 49, he’s known for his television series and wild live shows.
“Mindfreak Live!” is Angel’s latest production and it’s coming to Foxwoods Resort Casino, with performances running Thursday, Nov. 2, through Sunday, Nov. 5. The show is billed as “90 minutes of the most spectacular, original and revolutionary illusions ever performed on stage.” Angel shared more via email.
Q: This show is based on your hit TV series, “Mindfreak,” which attracted more than 100 million viewers in each of its six seasons. What’s something specific fans will see in this live version?
Criss Angel: These are revolutionary illusions, direct from my new show in Las Vegas. Some of them I’m bringing to Foxwoods — my second home — for the very first time. We’ve added some things that I’ve been working on for years, along with new lighting, pyrotechnics and amazing new visual aspects. ... There’s a big levitation. … Well, you’ll just have to come to the show and see!
Q: I understand “Mindfreak Live!” audiences will experience a wide range of emotions, from tears to laughter, but overall, folks will feel uplifted. How so?
CA: I believe the purest form of magic is the magic of emotion. It’s beyond puzzles and tricks, and about forging an emotional connection with the audience. There are moments in this show that will make your heart beat faster, make you sit on the edge of your seat, make you scared and will affect you in ways a magic show has never done before.
Q: You have to be incredibly fit to do what you do. How do you keep in shape?
CA: I think age is (somewhat) a state of mind. I work out daily for at least 90 minutes in my home gym, I follow a relatively strict diet and I never stop trying to better myself both physically and mentally. I believe I can out-perform people in their 20s and 30s! This is a very physical show and I have to be in top condition to do it every night … twice!
Q: You didn’t come from a family of entertainers, yet you’ve worked so hard, you’ve become known as “The Magician of the Century.” Clearly practice makes perfect, but mistakes are bound to happen. Can you share a mistake you made that you learned from?
CA: I’ve made many mistakes in my career … you have to — that’s what makes you grow. You learn from your experiences, both positive and negative, and use those to transform and grow as a performer. If your ego gets in the way of making the most of these experiences, you just remain stagnant.
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