Secrets to Criss Angel Tricks

By Kyle Martin ; Updated September 15, 2017
Criss Angel on stage for magic show

For years, Criss Angel performed the impossible: levitating and walking on water. While some believed that Criss Angel may himself be an angel, his tricks are actually nothing more than feats of great illusion. Here are the secrets behind his two most talked-about tricks.

Levitation

There are several ways to pull off the levitation trick, but it appears Angel prefers using a simple gimmick to pull off his. The trick involves a pair of pants cut in such a way that one leg easily slips in and out of them. The shoe attached to the pants hangs in the air.

To perform this like Criss Angel, stand a few inches in front of a chair, leaving enough room that you can stand on the chair without making it obvious. Your smooth-talking abilities and talent to distract come into play to distract the audience from the movement of your leg. Try lifting your arms and moving them around. Stand on the chair and lift yourself up; don't hang too long, but give them a good show. Land hard as if you've suddenly lost all your magic powers. Again, misdirect the audience long enough to slip your leg back into the pants. The key is to have a small audience gathered directly behind you or the trick will be revealed.

Walking on Water

For the next trick, Angel takes a shaky step into a pool where he finds that he can stand on water. He takes another step and then another, astounding the swimmers. One woman even swims underneath Angel's feet to prove there's no gimmick. Before long, Angel has crossed the pool and only soaked his sneakers.

Plexiglass and camera shots create the illusion. Before Angel takes his adventurous step, his crew have already set up a bridge or series of Plexiglass tables just underneath the surface of the water. The clear and sturdy structures hold his weight and are mostly invisible to the camera. The edges are the hardest to mask, so hired actors in the pool give a few good splashes to keep them concealed. One woman swims in a gap underneath the bridge or tables to convince the audience watching at home. Specific camera angles also keep the support under Angel's feet invisible and the audience guessing.

About the Author

Kyle Martin has been a newspaper reporter in Florida for over three years, and was a reporter in Mississippi before that. He is fluent in Spanish, having lived overseas during his formative years. He has a Bachelor of Arts in communications, with a concentration in journalism from Mississippi College.