I love magic.  No secret there – it is a lifelong passion.  I have strong opinions about the art and its practitioners.  It is not surprising but it is a bit disappointing to see that Illusionist CRISS ANGEL-who turns 50 this year- is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame today at 7018 Hollywood Boulevard.  That location just happens to be right across the street from the star of fellow magician Harry Houdini.

Angel has been a commercial success. He has his "Mindfreak" TV show on the A&E network and a couple of shows in Las Vegas --"Criss Angel BeLIEve" and "Criss Angel MINDFREAK LIVE!" in partnership with Cirque du Soleil and MGM Resorts.

His overhype style is annoying too.   But hey, he has millions of fans and he’s got 50 million in the bank  so that’s a pretty good trick right there.

Given that, why the concern for his receiving Hollywood’s 2,615th star?

It’s all about my personal definition of magic and the unfair advantage of magic that is capable only on television.

Magic is only magic to me if it can be performed live in front of a real audience.  What you present on TV can be shaped by camera angles, lighting, editing, special effects and more.

Much of what  Christopher Sarantakos , his real name, has used to build his reputation are tricks for TV with actors as spectators.  They may look good, seem thrilling, exciting and mystifying but if they are brought about by the technical crew’s skill and not the magical talents of the performer then to me that’s not magic.  In so doing he sets an impossible live performance expectation.

Granted, magicians by definition are supposed to be able to do the impossible but NOBODY is capable of walking face-first down the side of a skyscraper, one of many “trick” stunts Angel has done on his TV show.

Magicians cheat to create the illusion of magic, that's the skill of this performance ART.   Angel cheats on the cheaters.  It may have gotten him a star on the Walk of Fame, but it doesn’t get him a welcome home among the magical purists.


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