Tuesday, October 15, 2013


By Mansor Puteh

What can you say of Chris Angel’s Mindfreak program? His acts are convincing. But are they really convincing?

How do you know if his acts are not freak shows?

Didn’t he know that there is a program on American television which exposes tricks by those who claim to be able to perform wonders, making things disappear and making other things appear from thin air, to floating in the air and walking on water in a swimming pool in a hotel.

No, they do not show a magician walking on water in the sea or river. This would be technically impossible.

Chris Angel looks convincing as a magician. But he is mostly a street magician. And the equipments he uses are video cameras, which one can use in many ways, to help the magician to create his wonders. He is far from being an illusionist.

And the crowd of people who happen to be where they are may not be there without a purpose; they are mostly there to be there, to make the viewers of the tricks think and feel that they are indeed watching a magic trick which has never been performed before and it is not staged.

It is far from not being staged. It is staged.

I saw some tricks exposed on another program, and anti-magician program which exposed those tricks which other earlier magicians had performed elsewhere.

Yet, Chris would do it, and I could see the same tricks being done or created by him without him realizing how I also knew how they could be done.

I had seen how a man who shows how he could levitate, with his feet hanging.

Chris does it differently. He takes his act to the elevator.

He walks on a moving elevator and then raises both his feet and he is floating in space.

And then a couple who are walking down the other side of the elevator notices the trick and they are amazed. They looked like they were there pretending to see it happen until it did.

I was not amazed by the trick, because I know how it was done.

The man in the magic tricks exposed program, showed how the trick is done, when he slips one of his legs through a hole in the pants, with the shoes which he had sewed on to that side of the pants hanging together with the other shoe, which shows that the legs are dangling in the air.

The truth is that both of the man’s feet are now stepping on the stair. So he is not levitating, but his body is being held by the legs while the trick pants and shoes are dangling behind him so that the viewers do not see where his legs are.

And he would slip his leg into the holes in the pants and then walk.

The viewers cannot see the hole in the pants. So they think that the legs were dangling when they were not.

Yet, Chris wants us to believe that he could levitate.

But why is he levitating with his whole body being taken by the elevator with it.

If he is indeed suspending his body in space, then surely, it would be static with the elevator doing what it does, by moving upwards.

So clearly, the couple who noticed the act or trick must be decoys who are there to pretend to be unknown individuals.

Chris suspends himself in the air. This is done by his body being tied to a thin cable which is being pulled up by a tall crane.

The line can be seen with the naked eye, but not when the act is shown on television as it is done outdoors and in bright lights which cleared off the line altogether.

Chris pulls something from behind a window which is covered by a glass. The glass is not rigid. It can be moved. It’s just that there is a sticker which is placed in front of the glass which does not move which to the viewers look like the glass is also not moving when it does.

This trick was exposed in the other program which unfortunately for him, he has not realized or seen, and none of those who are around him in his program has also not seen or bothered to see.

Chris pulls out objects from window panes, an act which has been exposed in YouTube to be from a magician from Japan, who pulls out burgers from posters advertising them.

The worse thing that a magician can do or that can happen to a magician or any magician worth his trick is how his acts are exposed, not after he had done the acts, but before he did it.

Worse still, is when the magician still goes on with showing more tricks which have also been exposed earlier in another program, by claiming to be originally his own act, thus exposing his own stupidity, and putting himself to ridicule.

Therefore, I find Chris Angel’s Mindfreak to be a freak show, of copycat ideas and acts, which unfortunately, many have seen them earlier in an another show which aims to expose the tricks in the first place.

And once you have seen how these tricks are done, you feel sorry for the other magician for showing off the same tricks by repeating in almost the same way as the tricks which were exposed earlier.

Chris had the audacity to inform his viewers how the posting on YouTube of his act of walking on water had attracted a lot of hits, which also prompted him to stretch his act, by performing it again, this time in a swimming pool of a hotel, before people who happen to be there in the vicinity.

They were all actors who were put there to be witnesses to an act which is crass as well as crude; they pretend to be there, when they were all paid to be there.

Even when he stops strangers in the supermarkets or the streets and ask them to write something on a piece of paper, so he can tell them what they had written, by reading their minds, you can bet, the strangers are no strangers at all, and the things that they wrote are the things they were asked to read in the first place.

Recording such acts using video cameras can allow him or anyone a lot of leeway, that he can stop recording and change the scenario and setting, which one cannot do if the shows are performed before a live audience with no camera tricks.

My advise to Chris Angel is to find another job. He cannot go on pretending to be performing original acts anymore when most of what he had shown on his program have already been shown much earlier in other programs which exposed those so-called magic tricks that he is proud to show.

His is definitely a pitiful act for anyone to follow…