Thursday, July 31, 2008

Magic's Worst Fraud

(image from

Criss Angel has done more damage to televised magic than any other performer before him.  Even more than all the various "World's Greatest Magic Secrets Revealed" shows put together.  Why?  Because he has blatantly lies and betrays the trust of every single viewer.

Angel's main selling point is that he does not digitally manipulate his illusions.  He readily admits that they are tricks--but stands adamantly behind his claims that the tricks could be performed live in front of people; and that the people he interviews really were randomly there at the time.

But it is all lies. Take a look:

Deconstructing just one of his ripoffs... the levitation between buildings.

And the digital cheating in his suicide by car. (Some controversy)

Here is the deconstruction of his fake motorcycle jump through fire.

He's been known to use a host of plants to 'verify' that it was all real, and that they had never seen him before, but gets caught blocking the cameras and switching plants.

One more: Switching plants, or cheating in a second take. Woman pulled in half.  Watch the woman's hair as she lays down on the table.  First it covers her ears, then he puts his hands on her [cut] and her hair is off her ears. Telltale discontinuity, it is.

Having your gimmick caught by the audience is not necessarily doing damage to magicians, because most people know it is an illusion.  However, claiming that you never use camera tricks or editing to perform an illusion--then going right ahead and doing it IS damaging.  Criss Angel might be a good FX Coordinator, I think.  But as a magician, he is a lying SOB.  These tricks could not be performed in front of a live audience, and his planted testimonies are an insult to the real viewers. Bad form, Angel.

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