This week on Criss Angel BeLIEVe, we saw Criss Angel join forces with one of his famous friends to not only attempt a record-breaking levitation, but also to brighten up the lives of children - and maybe even the evening of the viewing audience at home. Here are five things we learned from 'Levitating Shaq.'
01) If you're in a park anywhere around Las Vegas, keep your eyes open. This episode involves another trick performed in a public park. That's after Criss switched two bystanders' bodies in one installment, and then made a woman levitate in another one. Those of you that enjoy spending your afternoons in the park should probably take a look around you before getting comfortable, because you might just end up involved in his next demonstration. Of course, the dude in the background wearing the Criss Angel T-shirt was probably thrilled.
02) Criss Angel has a way more interesting house than the rest of us. Not necessarily surprising, but it's interesting to check out nonetheless. He's got a front driveway bigger than some entire apartments and his own basketball court. Color us just a little bit envious. Plus, we meet more of Criss's celebrity friends this week - not just Shaq, but Flavor Flav, DJ Paul, and fellow Luxor artist-in-residence Carrot Top. But it's also important to note that these things are the perks that come from almost two decades of constant hard work and self-improvement. He's earned the impressive architecture.
03) Kids are particularly fun to mess with. We see a lot of Criss interacting with kids in this episode, and they're almost more entertaining to watch than the adults. For one, they're actually calmer; they don't wind up screaming in hysterics or running away in shock. But also, kids don't have the almost built-in cynicism that adults do. They don't care how a trick is done and they're not going to nitpick it to death. All they're interested in is that something really cool just happened in front of them. It's nice to see magic through their eyes for a moment, and just enjoy the ride.
04) It's important not to lose the fun in magic. This leads off from the above, but it's important for anyone of any age. Magic is complicated, and it can be dangerous, and doing it right takes a lot of time and toil. BeLIEve has hammered that point home very well over the past four weeks, and it will continue to do so. But as with many things, to really appreciate magic, you have to look at it with a certain degree of moderation. It's like going to a sporting event: you can crunch all the stats you want, but sometimes you've just got to stop and watch the game. Magic is impressive, and it's great entertainment besides, but this episode reminded us of the visceral feeling of being a part of it - the wonder, the shock, and the inspiration to dream big.
05) Magic is equal parts execution and presentation. Magic is both a science, and an art. One of the major things that's made Criss the best illusionist on the planet - and for our money, the best we've ever seen all time - is that he's a master of both aspects. It's not just that he possesses the technical skill to present each demonstration, but he also knows how to sell it. No matter who he's interacting with, no matter what he's doing, he's got charisma in spades and a personality that puts people at ease. He knows how to set up an illusion and, in the case of magic reveals, how to explain it afterward so that everyone gets it. And he's most definitely not taking himself too seriously. (We can tell you ourselves: the Criss you see on TV is the real deal.) The impressive demonstrations brought us to the table, but it's the person performing them that's kept us there.
The next episode of Criss Angel BeLIEve airs next Tuesday at 10 PM ET/PT on Spike. For more about the show, you can check out BFTV’s in-depth chat with Criss Angel.