A&E show called MindFreak with Chris Angel

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A&E show called MindFreak with Chris Angel

Post by PrIsMaTiC » Wed Feb 15, 2006 9:54 pm

Penn & Teller (tall guy with long hair who
talks and short guy or doesn't) have said
many times that they thought magic acts
were incredibly boring. They have become
rich and famous because a lot of people
think their magic shows are not boring.
I detest all magic acts, including Penn &

If you have never seen the MindFreak show
with Chris Angel on A&E then there is probably
no way to logically repy to what I'm about
to say.

Most magicians will only do complex (and
costly) illusions on carefully prepared stages,
where the audience is kept far enought away
so no one can accidentally see anything that
might give the illusion away.

Chris Angel plays the role of street magician.
He goes into parks, malls, or anyplace where
large numbers of people gather. He levitates
vertically and horizontally while dozens of
people are standing close enough to reach out
and touch him! He frequently wears no shirt,
and his pants are so tight he might as well
be naked.

Many years ago I did go to see Harry Blackstone
Jr. in New York City. He took an incandescent
bulb out of his jacket and caused it float above
the heads of the audience. You could reach up
and touch it. I'm glad I didn't because the bulb
was charged to a very high voltage! An article
I read a few years later about this "magical
floating bulb" said that it used the same principles
found in a Van deGraaf Generator. It was a careful
balance of magnetic repulsion and attraction that
allowed Blackstone to float the bulb above our heads.

The question is, what is Chris Angel doing?
How can a man walk into a crowd of people
wearing almost no clothing to conceal some
kind of electronic device, and simply levitate
several feet off the ground?

Like I said, if you've never seen the show
before its easy to speculate that all these
random people who stop whatever they are
doing to watch him are actually part of his
act. The show has been on for a couple of seasons.
I've watched enough to believe that the people
who stop to watch him while they are eating
lunch or walking their dog are not helping him
to levitate!

Do you think Angel is using some kind of device,
similar to the floating bulb only much more advanced?
If so, part of the electronics package must be
concealed on his body. Since he hardly wears
any clothes it must be surgically implanted!

Remember, this levitation is not an illusion in
the classic sense. A group of people gathered
around him a in park. He asked a couple of them
to support him as he leaned backwards. When
they let go his knees were bent with his feet
touching the ground. The rest of his body
was horizontal but he did not fall! Again,
these people were standing inches from him.

Whatever this guy is doing, its definitely not

<small>[ February 15, 2006, 10:16 PM: Message edited by: PrIsMaTiC ]</small>

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Re: A&E show called MindFreak with Chris Angel

Post by Engineer1138 » Thu Feb 16, 2006 8:29 am

Yeah, but Penn & Teller have an excellent program on Showtime called Bullshit!

They should do an episode about some of the discussions that go on around here...

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Re: A&E show called MindFreak with Chris Angel

Post by sofaspud » Thu Feb 16, 2006 1:01 pm

If I remember correctly, the floating light bulb was also a highlight of Blackstone Sr.'s stage show. I doubt that either father or son used high voltage magnetics to accomplish the effect (magicians luv to misdirect). It was probably what they phonetically call "eye tee".

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Re: A&E show called MindFreak with Chris Angel

Post by haklesup » Thu Feb 16, 2006 2:45 pm

Yes, he is very good and I am sure history will rank him in the top 10 but at least while he is on TV, he does always have a camera crew with him (whom we have never seen). I suppose I would take for granted that such a crew was ONLY filming.

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Re: A&E show called MindFreak with Chris Angel

Post by jollyrgr » Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:11 pm

I like magic from the point of figuring out "how do they do that?". At a ham fest one time I was demonstrating my version of the David Blain "hover trick" to a friend, who happens to be an amateur magician. It made people, ADULTS mind you, gasp! Come on people it is NOT magic and is a SIMPLE trick!
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Re: A&E show called MindFreak with Chris Angel

Post by PrIsMaTiC » Fri Feb 17, 2006 6:18 pm

I appreciate all your replies. Thanks guys!

I didn't know that Blackstone Sr. did the same
floating bulb gag. I remember a late night
radio program many years ago where Blackstone
Jr. talked about the floating bulb. He said
that it always made him nervous if the bulb
was too close to the audience because he
was afraid someone with heart problems
might reach out and touch the bulb.

I should have mentioned that camera crew.
His brother is always with him too.

Obviously, almost anything people don't understand
might be called a kind of magic. What prompted
me to post about Chris Angel was my own reaction
to his show. Normally, if I'm zipping through
all nine zillion cable channels and I see a
magician I wouldn't watch if someone paid me!

The fact that I could tolerate watching a magic
act says a lot about the talent of Angel. I
think I was thirteen or fourteen when I attended
Blackstone Jr.'s show. That was many years ago.
Except for the floating bulb, I remember counting
the minutes until the show ended. I was bored
to death.

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Re: A&E show called MindFreak with Chris Angel

Post by Gary » Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:19 pm

The bulb trick was probably done with a couple long hairs or nylon thread.

Any technology sufficiently advanced (to a particular audience) will be regarded as magic. Especially if it is insuficiently explained or insuficiently understood by the audience, or if they are carefully misled.

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