Making magic your own. It’s a specific skill big-name magicians use to make off-the-shelf tricks anyone could buy feel unique. Case in Point: The Mindfreak Ball & Vase. I just got off the phone with Criss Angel. In his own words, he described to me last night’s Las Vegas premiere of his Angelic interpretation of the Ball & Vase.
A small plastic vase was shown empty. Criss made a magical gesture with his hands and said “Watch closely.” The stage suddenly filled with flashing fireworks and bountifuls of way-out exploding stars and plush plumes of purple smoke. A ball appeared in the small plastic vase.
The audience leaped to their feet, screaming their heads off and pounding their hands together. At around ten minutes it became clear that the applause was a world record and Criss would be the recipient of a Merlin Award to commemorate the achievement. “Angel! Angel!” they screamed. Criss took bow after bow and the crowd just clapped louder for his astonishing Ball & Vase performance. That’s when the sound of wrists cracking could be heard. Some people’s hands actually fell off, but they would keep clapping with the stump, oblivious.
Criss told me he was hoisted up on the shoulders of a bunch of applauding zombies who paraded him through the casino while still clapping for his stunning genius rendition of the Ball & Vase. Criss ended the phone call by telling me he’s angrier than he’s ever been. Frustratingly, Angel’s scripting, presentation, staging, and choreography of the Ball & Vase has already been ripped off and replicated by unscrupulous imitators.