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Mindfreak: Secret Revelations

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Overview

The hottest magician in years takes us behind–the–scenes of his hit A&E show and offers secret tips to 25 illusions you won't see anywhere else.

Criss Angel is poised to take the magic world by storm. He had his first 1–hour special on ABC in '01, headlined Madison Square Garden's annual Halloween special a year later to an audience of 60,000, performed in front of 75,000 people in Times Square, had two subsequent 1–hour specials on the Sci–Fi channel, he's received ...

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Overview

The hottest magician in years takes us behind–the–scenes of his hit A&E show and offers secret tips to 25 illusions you won't see anywhere else.

Criss Angel is poised to take the magic world by storm. He had his first 1–hour special on ABC in '01, headlined Madison Square Garden's annual Halloween special a year later to an audience of 60,000, performed in front of 75,000 people in Times Square, had two subsequent 1–hour specials on the Sci–Fi channel, he's received countless magician awards, and he currently has a groundbreaking show on A&E called CRISS ANGEL MINDFREAK, the first weekly magic show in over 40 years, that consistently wins its timeslot. MINDFREAK – the book – will be an extention of the show, which uses a specific topic each week – like 'Buried Alive', 'Bullet Catch', 'Building Walk', or 'Levitation' – to delve into the history of each subject, and see if Criss can't break new ground by doing something no one has done before. We are also going to try and include secrets in the book – clues to be dissected by readers – that relate back to magic he will perform on the show, where the book will be heavily promoted.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
If you fit magician Criss Angel into a niche, he wiggles right out. In desperation, one newspaper reviewer described him as "part Cirque Du Soleil freak, part magician, part street performance artist, part musician, part dancer." Fortunately, the star of Criss Angel Mindfreak is as articulate as he is elusive. Mindfreak offers readers an insider's backstage of his hit A&E Network show and reveals secrets of 40 illusions that fans can master. A peerless mystifier demystifies.
Howard Stern
“An amazing illusionist! The best I’ve ever seen!”
MTV
“Criss Angel is brilliant, he’s the postmodern Houdini and the man in whose hands the future of magic lies.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061137617
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/24/2007
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Criss Angel appears on the top-rated series Mindfreak, the first weekly magic series in forty years. Criss has performed more magic on prime-time television in the United States than anyone in history. He has performed on Broadway and in a number of television specials, and has received numerous awards throughout his career. He has been named magician of the year three times, making him the first three-time recipient ever to receive this most coveted award. He resides in Las Vegas and New York.

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Read an Excerpt

Mindfreak
Secret Revelations

Chapter One

Behind Closed Doors

The first time performing the body suspension in the Superman position in Times Square. I was hanging for almost six hours.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. ' . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do." I have mentally overcome situations most of you would be terrified to ever attempt: heights, fire, needles, spiders, snakes, angry monkeys, being shot, being hit by a car, going blind—you name it, I have been in a situation where I have had to mentally overcome my inherent fears to do my job. Everybody always asks me, "How do you do it?"

I'm fearless. I always try to focus on the worst thing that could happen—and for me the answer is always the same.

Death.

I accept death. So what do I fear if I don't fear death?

Nothing.

My problem-solving skills allow me to create and demonstrate my art at a higher caliber and separate myself from being average, dull, mundane, and boring. It has always been my mantra that every one of my demonstrations must be able to be done live. I am a street performer as much as I am a stage performer. Yes, I have a television show, but every trick, every MINDFREAK you see, I can do live. Television is a wonderful way to deliver my art, but for all of the conspiracy theorists out there, it allows room for doubt. The strangest thing about my television show is thatthe things people think are real are not and the things people believe are fake are totally authentic. That makes for some very challenging and thought-provoking television and entertainment.

The body suspension episode is probably one of the shows people speculate on the most. Was it real? Was I wearing some type of prosthetic like a skin suit? Whenever I come up with an idea for a demonstration, I aim for something I know will have a dramatic impact and will be perceived as engaging. I want to get people excited by what they see—to make them think, squirm, and get nervous, but I always want them to stay connected to what I'm doing. The details of a demonstration are always secondary. The more emotional, mental, and physical a demonstration is for me to endure, the bigger the impact for you, the audience. As an artist, that's the perfect equation for the biggest bang—the greatest impression.

The first time I thought about attempting a body suspension was after watching a documentary on rites-of-passage ceremonies from other cultures. I was completely intrigued by what these people put their bodies through. One of the experts on the show was a body-piercing professional from Texas named Allen Faulkner, who is legendary in the world of piercing and suspension techniques. He hosts the equivalent of "suspension raves" for people who are interested in trying body suspension. Hundreds of people show up to a remote warehouse location, and, under his strict supervision and expertise, they attempt to become human mobiles. After watching the documentary, I immediately researched Allen on the Internet and came across his website. If I was going to do this, I needed to find someone who was an authority on this technique; Allen was the perfect guy for the job. I explained my concept to him, and he told me he'd be interested in helping me out.

I went to Texas to meet Allen and experienced a body suspension for the first time. I brought a camera crew with me to record every moment. Although I was training to do this demonstration several months later in Times Square for a television special, I wanted to practice and go through a suspension once so I'd know what to expect.

The night before my first "practice" suspension, Allen warned me not to drink any alcohol—he reminded me that alcohol thins out your blood and that can cause excessive bleeding. I was really concerned about what I should eat, too. He suggested something hardy but not greasy. I opted for some grilled chicken. My crew and I went to a TGI Friday's, where I sat, feeling a little anxious about the unexpected nature of doing a body suspension.

What would it feel like?

What was going to happen?

What would the pain of the giant fishhooks going into my skin feel like?

Up to this point, I had had minimal experiences with piercing (just my ears). Let me go on record and say that a pierced ear is not even in the same galaxy as a body piercing, especially eight 8 gauge salmon fishhooks that were about to be embedded into my skin. Six were going to be inserted into my back, and two into my calves. I would not take painkillers or any other sedative. I had to feel the pain. It was part of the experience. I've never formally trained for pain management, but I have a good understanding of how to conquer it. I just analyze the pain, feel it in the moment, and then mentally become numb to it.

I got to the warehouse and began to wonder what I'd gotten myself into. I was told to lie facedown on a gurney that had been carefully sterilized. Allen and the rest of the pierce team placed surgical masks over their faces, looking very much like doctors about to perform a major surgical procedure, except they were slightly more tattooed and pierced than any doctor I had ever met. They marked the points of insertion on my back and legs with a blue Sharpie pen. They cleansed my skin, put a sanitizing gel on each spot, and began.

"Are you ready, Criss?"

"I think so."

"Breathe. It's very important to breathe."

I was familiar with various breathing techniques from other demonstrations and experiences, so I knew focusing on my breathing would be very helpful in diverting my attention from the intense pain. I had to redirect my attention to something that was pleasurable.

My brother Costa and my production designer, John Farrell, were with me. I was grateful for their presence, especially in this moment. I know it's hard for my family to witness most of the strains I put on my body. Today would be no exception...

Mindfreak
Secret Revelations
. Copyright © by Criss Angel. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Mindfreak
Secret Revelations
Chapter One

Behind
Closed Doors



The first time performing the body suspension in the Superman position in Times Square. I was hanging for almost six hours.

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along. ' . . . You must do the thing you think you cannot do." I have mentally overcome situations most of you would be terrified to ever attempt: heights, fire, needles, spiders, snakes, angry monkeys, being shot, being hit by a car, going blind—you name it, I have been in a situation where I have had to mentally overcome my inherent fears to do my job. Everybody always asks me, "How do you do it?"

I'm fearless. I always try to focus on the worst thing that could happen—and for me the answer is always the same.

Death.

I accept death. So what do I fear if I don't fear death?

Nothing.

My problem-solving skills allow me to create and demonstrate my art at a higher caliber and separate myself from being average, dull, mundane, and boring. It has always been my mantra that every one of my demonstrations must be able to be done live. I am a street performer as much as I am a stage performer. Yes, I have a television show, but every trick, every MINDFREAK you see, I can do live. Television is a wonderful way to deliver my art, but for all of the conspiracy theorists out there, it allows room for doubt. The strangest thing aboutmy television show is that the things people think are real are not and the things people believe are fake are totally authentic. That makes for some very challenging and thought-provoking television and entertainment.

The body suspension episode is probably one of the shows people speculate on the most. Was it real? Was I wearing some type of prosthetic like a skin suit? Whenever I come up with an idea for a demonstration, I aim for something I know will have a dramatic impact and will be perceived as engaging. I want to get people excited by what they see—to make them think, squirm, and get nervous, but I always want them to stay connected to what I'm doing. The details of a demonstration are always secondary. The more emotional, mental, and physical a demonstration is for me to endure, the bigger the impact for you, the audience. As an artist, that's the perfect equation for the biggest bang—the greatest impression.

The first time I thought about attempting a body suspension was after watching a documentary on rites-of-passage ceremonies from other cultures. I was completely intrigued by what these people put their bodies through. One of the experts on the show was a body-piercing professional from Texas named Allen Faulkner, who is legendary in the world of piercing and suspension techniques. He hosts the equivalent of "suspension raves" for people who are interested in trying body suspension. Hundreds of people show up to a remote warehouse location, and, under his strict supervision and expertise, they attempt to become human mobiles. After watching the documentary, I immediately researched Allen on the Internet and came across his website. If I was going to do this, I needed to find someone who was an authority on this technique; Allen was the perfect guy for the job. I explained my concept to him, and he told me he'd be interested in helping me out.

I went to Texas to meet Allen and experienced a body suspension for the first time. I brought a camera crew with me to record every moment. Although I was training to do this demonstration several months later in Times Square for a television special, I wanted to practice and go through a suspension once so I'd know what to expect.

The night before my first "practice" suspension, Allen warned me not to drink any alcohol—he reminded me that alcohol thins out your blood and that can cause excessive bleeding. I was really concerned about what I should eat, too. He suggested something hardy but not greasy. I opted for some grilled chicken. My crew and I went to a TGI Friday's, where I sat, feeling a little anxious about the unexpected nature of doing a body suspension.

What would it feel like?

What was going to happen?

What would the pain of the giant fishhooks going into my skin feel like?

Up to this point, I had had minimal experiences with piercing (just my ears). Let me go on record and say that a pierced ear is not even in the same galaxy as a body piercing, especially eight 8 gauge salmon fishhooks that were about to be embedded into my skin. Six were going to be inserted into my back, and two into my calves. I would not take painkillers or any other sedative. I had to feel the pain. It was part of the experience. I've never formally trained for pain management, but I have a good understanding of how to conquer it. I just analyze the pain, feel it in the moment, and then mentally become numb to it.

I got to the warehouse and began to wonder what I'd gotten myself into. I was told to lie facedown on a gurney that had been carefully sterilized. Allen and the rest of the pierce team placed surgical masks over their faces, looking very much like doctors about to perform a major surgical procedure, except they were slightly more tattooed and pierced than any doctor I had ever met. They marked the points of insertion on my back and legs with a blue Sharpie pen. They cleansed my skin, put a sanitizing gel on each spot, and began.

"Are you ready, Criss?"

"I think so."

"Breathe. It's very important to breathe."

I was familiar with various breathing techniques from other demonstrations and experiences, so I knew focusing on my breathing would be very helpful in diverting my attention from the intense pain. I had to redirect my attention to something that was pleasurable.

My brother Costa and my production designer, John Farrell, were with me. I was grateful for their presence, especially in this moment. I know it's hard for my family to witness most of the strains I put on my body. Today would be no exception...

Mindfreak
Secret Revelations
. Copyright © by Criss Angel. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 27 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 14, 2010

    by Alleyva1021

    Criss Angel's the greatest illusionist.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    Just wow

    Wow was the only way to describe this book

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An incredibly inspiring book

    From the perfect imagery to the heart wrenching moments, this is a wonderful story filled with triumph and failure, love and hate, fame and fortune, and humble beginings. From the very first sentance, the reader is sucked into the magic (literally), and it's subjects are much deeper than parlor tricks. Human psychology, the difference between illusions and reality, this book is never mundane. Whether you're a fan of Criss Angel or not this book is one that, once started, cannot be put down unti it's over.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2008

    Amazing Criss Angel Insights

    There's nothing better than a one-on-one with a person you are completely fascinated with. This book gives you the chance to journey into the mind of the greatest illusionist in the world today. This insightful account of some of his best experiences, as well as the intriguing thoughts going on inside his head during his performances, are spellbinding. The human angle to the phenomena that Criss Angel is will draw you closer into an understanding of what his unique genius is really about. You are entertained and inspired by every chapter and then the tricks to learn and practice at the end give you even MORE. Everyone hungry for Criss Angel material quotes, philosophies, art, expression, etc, will love MINDFREAK. I enjoyed it completely. Fantastic stuff.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2014

    Criss Angel

    Criss is cute and greek but sadly he is getting married but thats good for him:/

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Omg

    Criss angel is a frod who agrees with me

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2013

    Sorry guys....but

    His magic isnt real...in the opening of his show he isnt
    Levatating hes basically walking on glass....lets just say he has a lotta money...look it up

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Anonymous

    Criss Angel is so hot... i call dibs

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2012

    The page count is wrong. According to my just DL Nook version it

    The page count is wrong. According to my just DL Nook version it lists the page count at 219, not 304 as is listed in the text. Unless my DL has omitted a sizeable chunk of the book, this information needs to be amended or explained.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2008

    Wow.

    there is really only one word to dicribe this book: Amazing. I just finished reading it, and I didnt want it to end so soon. the book relly made me change my view on life. I now can know that i can be very optamistic on life, much like Criss Angel. reading this book, also made me want to follow my dreams. the saying 'that which does not kill, can only make you stronger' means alot more to me now. I recamend this book to everyone of all ages

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book blew me away this is actually a book that made me sad after I finished reading it because I wanted more!!which does not ussualy happen with me so this one happend to be super outstanding if you watch the show you will be a huge fan of the book!!! I really hope that criss rights another book surley I will be the first one to buy it!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2007

    GREAT BOOK AND AN INTERESTING PERSON

    Just one of the tricks in the book is worth the charge of the whole book-great beginning to intermediate tricks and the bonus of learning about this magician, his life, and his heroes. I hope he wont keep risking his life as it is unnecessary and masochistic. This just caters to the sadists in his audience. There is no need to really be in danger,just to give the illusion of it is the real magic. David blaine gave himself brain damage messing in this realm. Houdini had everyone just as jacked up without much real danger to himself. Keep on truckin!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2007

    THIS BOOK ROCKS!

    This book was amazing!! I got to know a lot more about Criss Angel and his life from it. Also, I learned some of Criss' tricks he does. They were easy to learn and I enjoy doing them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2007

    Amazing!

    Weather you like magic or not you will love this book! Criss Angel is truely an amazing person and a compleate inspiration to all of us Loyals :] Criss we love you more!!! And you need to come to South Florida!-Susie

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2007

    CRISS ANGEL GETS BETTER AND BETTER!

    This book was tre magnifique! C'est super. and for those who dont speak french like moi. it means this book is very magnificent and great. it is super/amazing. i love criss angel so much. everything he does is truely magical...and this book is no acception. he has raised the bar for magicians. and as long as he keeps doing what hes doing..the bar will continue to raise. i love ya criss. keep it up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2007

    READING TIME!

    i love this book even thought i havent read it yet i know iam going to love it cuz it criss angel!! I love watching his shows and now he might make me start to like reading to! cuz he wrote this book and it has 304 pgs wowowowow!! but i know that i really want to read this book!!!so when i can find this nook at my libary am going to start reading it right away!!! love u CRISS ANGEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -Sarah!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2007

    This is AWESOMe! !!!!!!!!!!!!

    this book is goin be great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2007

    Criss is Amazing!

    This is a great book for all criss angel fans & anyone interested in magic. Love it!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2007

    a total supprise

    i read this whole book the day i got it, and to be honest it was everything i expected it to be and more!. this book gives you an inside look on the real criss angel (Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos). this man of pure talent amazes me everytime i watch him. in conclusion if you really love magic and really love criss, GET THIS BOOK!.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2007

    criss angel rules

    cant wait looking forward to the read a loyol mind freak fan.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 27 Customer Reviews

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