Criss Angel comes to The Paramount in Huntington for four shows on January 23rd, and 24th (shows at 7PM and 10PM). The graduate of East Meadow High School on Long Island will come home to perform for family and friends. Angel is a regular renaissance man wearing the hats of magician, musician, author, and humanitarian. Angel has set up residence at the Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, in conjunction with the prestigious Cirque du Soleil, and is taking the show on the road. The show has garnered accolades for Angel such as Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year, and Best Magician in Las Vegas. Angel gave L4LM the sweet low down on his upcoming shows, and filled us in concerning details of his impressive rise to fame.
L4LM: You graduated from East Meadow High School, and used to frequent a magic shop near Broadway Mall here on Long Island. Can you tell us about that?
Criss Angel: Yes, I had humble origins. The store was the Hicksville Magic Shop, run by Phil and Howie. Recently, I acquired cases of displays they had in the store. They were set up like a sort of museum when they closed, and I have them on display at my complex now.
L4LM: You have albums out, and had your own band; do tell.
Criss Angel: The band is called Angeldust, and I have been wanting to do more with the music. I have just been so busy, sometimes doing about 400 shows in a year. Recently, I spoke with Steve Thompson who worked with Guns N’ Roses, and we may do something new together if I can find the time.
L4LM: You collaborated with some fine musicians for your television show, and it’s soundtrack. What stands out in that regard?
Criss Angel: I worked with Jonathan David of Korn on the soundtrack, who is also a very good friend. And we had Vince Neil of Motley Crue in one of the videos.
L4LM: You enjoy debunking charlatans, as did Harry Houdini?
Criss Angel: Houdini spent half of his life debunking charlatans who would hurt people by falsely contacting dead relatives of theirs, and taking their money. I have offered a million dollars to anyone if they could verify their claims in this area, and none have collected. Houdini’s code word to his wife if he could return was ‘Believe’, and I took that for my act.
L4LM: How do the fakes operate?
Criss Angel: It is similar to when people counting cards. They call it ‘cold reading’. Some people have thought I was the devil when I have used these skills, but it is only an illusion.
L4LM: Do you believe that there is a spiritual realm, aside from things like that which are a trick?
Criss Angel: Religion takes faith; and having a belief in something. For me the world has been created. Some of my counterparts are atheists, and think that they know everything. As for me, I have faith. I believe.
L4LM: If Houdini was a performer in 2015, what would he be like?
Criss Angell: Houdini would be cutting edge, and pushing the boundaries. He would not be following the pack, but doing his own thing.
L4LM: As for the shows at The Paramount, are they family friendly?
Criss Angel: The best show in the set for families will be Friday at 7PM, but they are all for everyone.
L4LM: What can the audiences look forward to?
Criss Angell: It will be big and spectacular, and some things will never have been performed before. I will bring three trucks full of gear, and will get it all in there. There will be close up magic, too. At some points I will go right out into the audience.
L4LM: Being foremost a music magazine, can we ask your favorite bands growing up?
Criss Angel: There are so many that I liked, and I especially like great songwriters. I’d go with The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and Billy Joel. I love Korn, and also electronic music. I also like Elton John in certain moods.
L4LM: Will you give us the scoop on the name of your new television program?
Criss Angel: The name of the show is still a secret. You will have to wait and see.
L4LM: I’d like to know about your work with Make-A-Wish Foundation, and also your foundation, will you fill us in?
Criss Angel: I feel I was blessed with success for a reason. Success is a scenario to help people that don’t have. Believe Anything Is Possible is a charity where 100% of donations go to the cause. I pay for all of the expenses to run the foundation. I was voted the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s ‘Wish Granter of the Year’. Charity should be reaching into your own pocket. It is about trying to be a positive force in a sometimes negative world.
L4LM: What are your thoughts on coming home to Long Island?
Criss Angel: I look forward to seeing family and friends, and performing for them. And I am excited about playing The Paramount, it is such a fine venue.
by: Bob Wilson
For show and ticket information: http://paramountny.com/shows/criss-angel-mindfreak-live/