Photo Gallery: Criss Angel begins Mindfreak and launches third store

Criss Angel opens his new store in Circus Circus.
Photo: Scott Harrison/Retna/

Mindfreak magician Criss Angel faces a brutal six-week, 18-hour series of workdays now that he has begun filming his fifth season of the A&E series, which will get him to the prized 100-show number! Today his friend and fellow Luxor headliner Carrot Top will be shooting one of the episodes with him.

Criss told VDLX: “I’m really excited to start shooting. We’ve got some amazing stuff planned. We are really going to push the envelope for Season 5. The things we are working on will be the best we’ve done in all four previous seasons, really the best to date. I can assure you each show will close with one truly incredible illusion that people will talk about all week long.”

Criss has admitted to me previously that his mother will be disappointed because he is forcing himself to dice with death and stare down its jaws after promising her he wouldn’t! One particularly troubling magic stunt involves him being chained and anchored to concrete blocks and thrown into Lake Mead for a Houdini-type escape at the end of the filming schedule.

Criss Angel Mindfreak Store @Circus Circus

Full-on production and filming began yesterday, and although it’s a hit-and-run schedule, it will be completed in six weeks. Criss had his Mindfreak cameras rolling at the opening of his new -- and third -- retail outlet over the weekend at Circus Circus. He then raced to Big Bear for segments.

He added: “For the next few weeks, it will be absolutely insane. I will be working 18 to 22 hours a day. But I’m ready for it, and it seems the more I work, the more energy I get. I’m rejuvenated and feeling fighting fit up to the task. I know when it’s over, I can look forward to two weeks on the beach in Mexico.”

Leach Blog Photo

Criss Angel opens his store in Circus Circus.

When he showed up at Circus Circus for the store opening, more than 1,000 loyal fans waited in line, and Criss spent more than three hours on autographs and photos. The line stretched all the way into the Adventuredome!

“The success of the first two stores prompted this. It’s unbelievable to me how supportive my fans have been, and when you come out and see all of these people, it’s a pretty amazing feeling. I’m really blessed,” Criss told me.

One fan who flew in from Australia was the first in line at 5 a.m.! The store features more than 700 kinds of Mindfreak merchandise, including new posters and T-shirts. Our contributing photographer Scott Harrison was on duty for the official silver ribbon cutting and Cristal champagne toast by Circus Circus head honcho Don Thrasher and Criss.

Leach Blog Photo

Criss Angel opens his store in Circus Circus.

Criss, as he did with his first two stores in the Luxor, where he lives and work, also autographed the ceiling above the doorway. His mother, Dimitra, and his two brothers, J.D and Costa Sarantakos, watched proudly during the ceremony. Also there once again with Criss was his new girlfriend, who recently attended the unveiling of his wax figure at Madame Tussauds and the tribute service for the late Danny Gans with him. Criss has asked me not to identify her for now, as he wants to keep it private so she doesn’t get the public and media glare.

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

Follow Robin Leach on Twitter HERE.

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