THE MORNING AFTER: Criss Angel reviews opening night of his Mindfreak Live show

2 Jul

The Morning After! This is a new editorial feature where the day after each new show premiere we’ll have exclusive interviews with the stars themselves analyzing their opening night: what went right, what went wrong and where they go forward from here.

MindFreak Live Staged Set_0681-2

Our first interview with Criss Angel minutes after the curtain came down on Thursday night at the Luxor should have been posted yesterday (FRI)- but unfortunately a power failure in Spring Valley paralyzed my computers and its only now I am back up and running. Don’t get sarcastic – the electric bill had been paid in full – my entire community was blacked out!.

Here’s my candid conversation with Criss:

RL: So night one is under your belt –  how do you feel about it?

CA: I’m completely overwhelmed, happy, just—I put it all, I left it all on the stage. The cast did an incredible job, the crew did an incredible job and the show speaks for itself. I mean, I’m very, very proud of what we did tonight.

RL: Eighteen years in the making for the most amazing levitation that anybody has ever seen. Did it work the way you wanted it to?

CA: Absolutely, but it took a long time to make it work like that. A lot of sleepless nights, a lot of pain and suffering to make that happen and a lot of physical training for me to be able to physically do what I do. It looks effortless, but it’s a lot of muscles that I’m using to do that, and it’s a painstaking process in order to do that.

Criss Stage 1

RL: It’s a very physical show, you attempt the world record with a double straight jacket escape,  you’re in and out of metamorphis boxes; it’s a tough physical show as well.

CA: Yeah, and that’s on stage. Off stage its even more difficult. I do, I think, 16 costume changes in the show. So, I’m literally sweating, pouring sweat from the moment the show starts and I don’t stop until the end .  I’m on stage, the show is—if they come to the pre-show, it’s almost two hours long. We want to give people their money’s worth, we want to give people the opportunity to escape reality and have an experience that they can’t  have—not only in a magic show but in any Las Vegas show. This is the latest, greatest technology and we’re bringing it together and connecting to people also on a visual, emotional level. So, yeah, it’s incredibly exhausting; physically, mentally, and emotionally.

RL: But you come out of it on an emotional high?

CA: Absolutely. This performance tonight, is something that I’ll never forget. It’s a performance that will never happen again for me. It’s a combination of many, many years. When I first opened up Believe and went through the trials and tribulations, and all of that to finally have the opportunity to put together what I was always capable of and have that opportunity thanks to Cirque Du Soleil, thanks to the Luxor, to be able to bring my vision of life with this incredible cast, and crew and have the reaction. It’s just beyond, even my wildest expectations. I mean, I have standing ovations during the show, to have—I’m beside myself with excitement. I’m just—it just goes to show you, sweat, equity, hard work, passion, and perseverance; always prevail.

RL: Talk  for a minute about your desire to bring Mindfreak Live to the stage, to prove to everybody that you could do it, and it wasn’t just a television show with fancy editing. You think you fulfilled that promise to yourself, to the fans that this was Mindfreak live on stage?

CA: I think we went way beyond to deliver that, and then some. I think that people get to see over 50 original revolutionary pieces of magic, illusions in the show. People have an experience that’s creepy, that’s scary, that’s fun, that’s unexpected, that’s mystifying, that’s funny. I mean, it’s like it’s all in the show and it was just my time to be able to have all the pieces fall together in a way to create what I believe and what many people say is history. Because to do what we’ve done, technologically and to be able to pull up these revolutionary illusions, it is so highly challenging. You have to have the planets all aligned, you have to have the 60,000 square feet studio, you have to have a fabrication shop, you have to go through seven and a half years of what I went through with Believe, you have to have all of these different life experiences, in order to be able to do something like this .

Honestly, I say this, not conceited but, rather confident that another magic show will not be able to touch this for at least twenty-five or thirty years, because it’s so sophisticated. We’ve had magicians, like Lance Burton, a veteran, a master magician, who said, “you got me—you got me! I didn’t see that coming, don’t know how the hell you did it, wow! I’m so excited that I was fooled because I haven’t been fooled in so many years.” It was an honor to perform his doves illusion- but differently. We produce all the doves from impossible places on my body and  first they settle onstage perched on a tree and then when no more can be produced they all fly at once over the audience to disappear .

So, it’s really those illusions coupled with how we’re putting it together in a very pop culture—I mean, if you go see a magic show, and you see how out-dated the way they present it, the nature of the illusions; you come see our show, it’s really a testament to being able to bring a vision to life that is accredited to Cirque Du Soleil, to the crew, to the cast, that—you know I’m just so blessed to be able to bring my vision to life because of these people, because of the incredible talents that they possess because Cirque Du Soleil is the most incredible entertainment company in the world.

RL: One of the levitations you do is not to be believed. The rising, the free-falling, the tumbling and then you pull off the ultimate coup of levitating inside a glass sphere with the lid shut tightly on-top of you to prove there’s no wires. Nobody has ever seen anything like that in the world. Were you pleased with the effect it had on everybody?

CA: First- to get a standing ovation in the middle of an illusion is the most thrilling experience. But we didn’t quite finish on time so within  two weeks we’ll be able to spin the sphere in a total 360-degree circle so you can see me floating in  the round. Tonight you were only able to see my floating and tumbling from the side. When you return from your vacation come back and see me levitating in a complete circle : front, back sideways- there are no wires that can do that. We’ve done it in our studio after 18 years of work- we just didn’t get it moved over to the theater in time .

We’ll keep on updating the show so its always fresh and new and unbelievable.





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