He found the A&E reality TV show Criss Angel: Mindfreak in 2005, and has since partnered with Cirque du Soleil.
Criss Angel was born Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos on December 19, 1967, in East Meadow, Ny, into a Greek-American family.
Angel fell in love with magic in the age of 7, when his Aunt Stella revealed him a card trick. “From that day on, I was hooked,” Angel afterwards recalled. “I felt this incredible sense of power an adult did not realize how it worked, but I did.” While attending East Meadow High School, Angel performed often at neighborhood eateries. He was a regular act at a Long Island eatery known as the Wine Gallery, where Angel says his points “could readily clear a hundred dollars on a good night.”
After graduating from high school, Criss Angel chose to forgo college to continue a fulltime profession in magic. His determination to cut school angered his parents. “The idea of my becoming an expert magician was intolerable for them,” Angel after remembered. “They’d expected their three sons would visit school and become doctors or attorneys—but not a magician!” Despite his parents’ objections, Angel hit the road and started touring with other traveling performance performances. Between traveling and performing, he tried to further his schooling in his own by examining the annals of magic in public libraries. He also studied the craft of mysticism, music, martial arts as well as dancing. “It turned out to be a practical instruction, not a proper one,” he said.
In 1998, Criss Angel: World of Delusion headlined New York’s Madison Square Garden through the town ‘s yearly Halloween convention. Angel performed the same 10-minute show 60 times daily through the whole 12-day convention. His performances there got Angel his next important gig: a long-term show in the World Underground Theater in Times Square. On the popular and critically acclaimed show, Angel vanished and reappeared, made doves fly from his hands, shifted a $1 bill into a $10 bill and made audience members seem to levitate, among other performances.
In 2005, Angel transformed Criss Angel: Mindfreak into an A&E reality TV show. Filmed on the streets of Vegas, Nevada, the show was an immediate success, catapulting Angel to the world of bona fide stars. A few of the series’ most famous stunts showed Angel walking on water, dividing a lady in half in a public park, and flying within the Valley of Fire while hung from a helicopter by his naked skin. Among the most famous shows to air on A&E, Criss Angel Mindfreak ran for five seasons, ending in 2010.
Propelled by the popularity of Mindfreak, Angel went to associate with Cirque du Soleil to generate a brand new live show, Criss Angel Believe, at the Luxor Hotel in Vegas. The show, which weaves together Angel’s delusions and theatrical acrobatics, premiered about the 82nd anniversary of Houdini’s death: October 31, 2008. Sadly, Consider received comparatively poor reviews from audiences and critics. By the end of one 2009 show, Angel infamously spewed abuses at rumor blogger Perez Hilton, who’d tweeted mid-show, “‘Consider’ is unbelievably poor.”
In a interview in regards to the show on Larry King Live, Angel, who doesn’t believe that anyone possesses supernatural abilities, said, “If somebody goes on that show and promises to possess supernatural psychic power, Iwill break them live and on television.” Callahan couldn’t, and Angel after disclosed the envelope contained an index card, on which he had printed “911.” Angel clarified, “If somebody could call, tell us on 9-10 that 911 would occur, perhaps that might have kept it.”
Mindfreak finished in 2010, but Angel was not away from the little display for long. He returned in 2013 with BeLIEve, a brand new show featuring 11 challenging and potentially life threatening delusions.
He is released five albums, a self titled trilogy and two soundtracks for Criss Angel Mindfreak. Also, in 2007, Angel released a memoir, Mindfreak: Secret Revelations, which appeared about the La Times’ bestseller list.
Criss Angel keeps a rock star part. He sports an all-black wardrobe, long hair, heavy eye makeup and plentiful metal jewelry.
He’s also the sole magician to show up on the covers of both Magic magazine (October 2003) and Genii magazine (December 2003)—the most popular and revered magic magazines globally. Also, Angel was unanimously chosen as the receiver of the 22nd Louie Award for exceptional accomplishment in the art of magic.
Besides their pure entertainment value, Angel says his shows plan to raise “questions that arouse more thought, more controversy as well as a want, at least on an individual level, to live to your greatest potential.” To be able to do this mystifying effect, Angel keeps the processes behind his operations a carefully guarded secret. Describing his technique in characteristically enigmatic way, the magician once wrote: “Occasionally my artwork is only an illusion—or is it?”