Special guests: Joe Monti, Ben Seidman, Luke Dancy.

Recorded live from the scene of Criss Angel’s Building Implosion stunt in Clearwater, FL this week. Hear from the the Mindfreak creative team.

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  • http://magicartsworkshop.com Magic Doug

    I was really disappointed in this broadcast. I usually look forward to listening but I couldn’t listen to the end.
    The Copperfield bashing was un-called for. Cris may be the ‘new kid on the block’ but the release of information and pictures as well as the explanation of the ‘implosion’ shows that this was a botched illusion.
    Just do your own thing without mentioning other magicians. This was not a perfect illusion and no amount of hype will reverse the image of a man in a hat coming out of the neighboring building and then later appearing in the rubble.
    Get your own illusions perfect before stating that others are less than what you attempted.
    I am very disappointed in this one-sided report.

  • http://www.randirain.com Randi Rain

    I agree with Doug…
    I didn’t make it through the first 10 minutes of this podcast.
    Too much bashing and way too much ass kissing!!!


  • Scott M

    I think the podcast suffered by being recorded before the event but broadcast after. It will be interesting to see how the debate about the escape is covered next week.

  • Geo

    They have to mention David, because they ripped him off. So they try to justify it by bashing him and saying they did it better. Pathetic.

  • Ben

    Normally I love this podcast,and find it great, but this was a total a*s kissing exercise.

    How could you let them bash Copperfield, whose premise for an illusion they borrowed (stole) and not call them on it?

    Also in an interview with the LA Times, Chriss tried to say that Cirque was attempting to find loopholes etc in his contract to stop the stunt.In the podcast one of the consultants tried to hype this up as well..

    But in the same LA Times interview Cirque denied this, saying “his choice to perform on “Mindfreak” was a “separate business entity” over which Cirque du Soleil does not have any control and with which it does not interfere.”

    Why did you not call him on this?

    I live in Australia, if I knew it, surely you did too?

    This is supposed to be an insiders industry podcast, surely we can be protected from the B.S?

    Given how the illusion flopped the next podcast will be very telling…or is Justin afraid the Loyals are going to eat his brains…

  • HeyHeyJimmy

    SERIOUSLY! These guys were so biased for Criss it was like they were getting a pay check from him!

  • http://www.andrewmayne.com Andrew Mayne

    The opinions on the podcast were those of Criss’s people. It was a special report from the field. Don’t blame Justin for what they said.

    Personally, I liked his coverage better than the actual telecast – which actually did quite good in the ratings (it beat Mad Men!).

    We hope to do the same thing for Blaine’s next stunt.

  • http://www.randirain.com Randi Rain

    I’m blaming Justin. He always says he wants people to ‘fire back on the podcast, good or bad’.. well this is the bad.
    Since he didn’t call them on it, he is just as guilty as they are.
    Ass kissing and bashing!

    I am only this harsh because I am a fan of the podcast.


  • http://www.andrewmayne.com Andrew Mayne


    We’ve had guests (quite recently) absolutely trash Criss on the Magic Week in Review and no one outside of the Loyal community criticized that for being one-sided. It goes both ways.

    I love Copperfield’s building stunt and think it still hasn’t been topped.

    It’s an awkward position for Justin to be in when he’s a guest of Criss’s people and friends have pulled favors to get him there.

    I would love for the stunt to have played out differently (more crowd shots, better reveal, etc.) But I give Criss credit for doing the thing live. It was quite a thing to pull off.

  • m

    i have a feeling that in a few years there will be no magic in “magic”. I agree with all the other posts. And Andrew Mayne, I have respect for you and your work (very creative and original), I have almost all of your illusion/magic books/booklets, but I think that you just like this podcast, because your ad is in it. ;-)

    Criss Angel is not even close to take Copperfields spot in magic. Criss has to first become a magician. He didn’t even start yet. So the podcast ,to me, a lil confusing – to compare Criss to Copperfield I believe is impossible. I mean Copperfield is on the highest level in magic (and I dont mean highest payed magician). He knows how to put the “magic” into “magic”. The music, lighting, choreography, flawlessness, illusions,….- everything is perfect. And to compare that to Criss, I mean, come on.

    To me magic should be much more, not just showing off how strong you are,that your superman,….The magician should take his audience to a different world. Thats just my view on magic. It doesn’t mean I’m right. But I know that Criss has a long way to go, to actually become a magician. To me he is just a con-artist, or how Penn and Teller would say : BS.

    And by the way, I hated this podcast, hope the next one will be better.


  • http://www.andrewmayne.com Andrew Mayne


    You said; “i have a feeling that in a few years there will be no magic in “magic”.”

    I disagree. I think now is a great time for magic. I love the things that Derren Brown and Cyril are doing. The new media space has become so big there’s a lot of room for different people. More so than there ever was.

  • m

    Andrew Mayne, I agree with you, Derren Brown and Cyril are one of the most original people in magic (both very creative and different), but they are outside of the US.

    When I said “i have a feeling that in a few years there will be no magic in ‘magic’” , i said it because for example:

    1)in this podcast they bashed Copperfield (i agree that some of the guests trashed Criss recently, Im was one of them :-/), but that doesn’t give them the right to bash Copperfield (someone that has nothing to do with the bashing/trashing or whatever). Btw. Copperfield – big name in magic.

    2) After the VH1 ‘Celebracadabra’ episodes, it represented that magic is easy and can be done by everyone (thats at least how it seamed to me). I have no problem that they sold their DVD’s on TV, I understand that, thats business, I would do that to if I made a show. But why didn’t they hire magicians to compete, or something similar to that. They used non-magicians and they did some amazing magic. I don’t know, to me it showed the viewers at home that if you buy a DVD, you also can do the amazing things that the big names in magic do. I would be happier if they bought the DVD and saw how hard it really is to perform in front of people. It requires much more than just “to know how a trick is done”.You have to creat a character, not be scared of people, if something goes wrong-cover it, practice, keep the people interested,….I don’t know if I explained it clearly, but (from my point of view) it showed the watcher that magic is easy and everything can do it. Oh yeah, they said that “They had just one day to practice their whole ruitine.” To, some of the tricks they did- one day?! -impossible. Their non-magicians. :-/

    3) And now everyone is celebrating Angel, witch everyone knows uses editing. Some of the tricks he did, he didn’t edit, but the tricks were exposed. Foe example: (this was way back, when he did the vanish on the table, i believe it was by a pool, and the table was shaking, you could see the secret, and it was taped, it wasn’t live. his people could erasted it, and filmed again, but they were to lazy :-/

    Thats why I said “i have a feeling that in a few years there will be no magic in ‘magic’”

    What happened to shows like “Worlds Greatest Magic”. That to me is magic.

    David Blaine is also cool, because he knows his material, he practices, he does his own thing.

    Oh yeah and:

    4)Phenomenon- Criss Angel vs. Jim Callahan….to me Jim did a excellent theatrical performance….that is what Houdini did….He was a showman….but Criss used the envelop (items used by Houdini). Criss knows how hard it was for him to succedd and he did that to someone else. Geller on the other hand, told everyone that they did a great job. Criss- I dont remember with trick it was, but he said “I can do that to.”(or he said something like that).

    Just my opinion, would love to hear what you have to say.

  • m

    ^^sorry for the spelling errors, I had a lot to say, so I typed fast, didn’t pay attention to the spelling :-/


  • http://www.joemonti.com Joe Monti

    Guys, Guys, Guys,
    I have never seen soooo many mislead replies to ONE comment about David’s Implosion being “gay”. Great for it’s time (What I said). I like David.
    You are copying each others statements because of your loyalty to this forum.

    Think outside the box for once. If you’re going to bash Criss at least spell his name right. Criss has gone well beyond any other magician in closing the gap between Rockstar and Magician. Maybe it makes us all a little “cooler”. The geek image could be a thing of the past if you just stop acting like….well…geeks. Maybe more of you will get a bit more tang because of it and you’ll understand that cool magic equals chicks.

    Yeah I support Criss but I also recognize that our business needs a little shake up.
    I’m certain most of you aren’t performers. Nor have you moved the genre forward. When you do you’ll be ridiculed too. It’s part of the business. It’s just sad it has to come from other “magicians”.
    Justin is a reporter. Please quit sticking it to him for reporting.
    If you have anything to say I’m all ears…and eyes, etc.
    Yours in magic…
    Joe Monti

  • Ben


    If Blaine decided to walk thru the Great Wall of China, and his consultants started bashing Copperfield in the lead up, saying he acted ‘gay’, and it was the end of his career (haha yeah…like a consultant for Angel is in a position to look down on Copperfield’s career, get real lmfao), as well as obviously copying the idea in the first place…yes, I would expect him to be called on this.

    Whether it’s Angel or Blaine or anybody else, as a journalist you cannot shy away from the tough questions…especially when they are so obvious.

  • AC

    “Criss has gone well beyond any other magician in closing the gap between Rockstar and Magician.”

    If your definitition of “rockstar” is Stryper circa 1986, then you are spot on.

  • http://www.joemonti.com Joe Monti

    First:MAT..you’re a moron for posting any explanation of any illusion/trick, etc whether you are right or wrong. Shame on you. As for my swearing; Go Sludge yourself. How’s Dat’ fo langwidge?

    Second: AC (or is it AC/DC?) Stryper 1986??? Are you watching the current show? Yell up from your parents basement and ask them if you can have a color TV on your 40th birthday.

    Lastly: BEN..What tough questions should Justin ask? I got it. How about , “Why doesn’t Criss have his crew lure young women backstage, seperating them from their husbands, like Copperfield does?”.

    If any magician responds please have the professional decency to post your website so we can all see the talents of the responders. I love magic and think David C, David B and CA all move our profession forward.

  • bettylouh

    This is directed to the CA basher’s,haters,whatevers.I believe that Justin showed alot of journalistic integrity.He wasn’t there to critique CA’s escape,that’s not his purpose for being there nor would it have been right for him to do so.
    Secondly,”We’ve had guests (quite recently) absolutely trash Criss on the Magic Week in Review and no one outside of the Loyal community criticized that for being one-sided. It goes both ways”is a very good point,Andrew.
    So,you guy’s think Copperfield did it better.If you can’t state that w/o a bunch of hate speech and attacking Justin than your no better than “the loyals”you complain so much about.
    So CA and his team tried to pull off an amazing illusion or escape that didn’t turn out the way they wanted(if it didn’t)it too and they had to go to plan B to stay alive,it happens.I know they did’nt anticipate rain,alot of things can go wrong and you need to give the guy props for having the guts to do what he’s done,it is dangerous if something not anticipated happens.
    With all the magic books,magic trick learning dvd’s and magic and illusions done over just the last decade,nobodies ever done one that another magician has performed or done some variation of it?And one performer never did it better than another?Why the scathing remarks over this?
    Andrew and Justin,maybe these guy’s either need a reality check or just an attitude check…I’m not sure which,maybe both.

  • http://itricks.com Editor

    We pulled a comment from the thread by Mat that described method. Here’s his comment with the message redacted:

    What was all that stuff Joe Monti mentioned about this being a hardcore, realistic and dangerous stunt? Criss picked a set of handcuffs, kicked in a glass window [explanation redacted]…

    I thought Luke Dancy and Ben Seidman came across very well, and I plan to watch two more episodes of Mindfreak this season, those being the two close-up centered episodes they worked on. Joe Monti didn’t come across so well, though, with his bashing of Copperfield and all the swearing. It didn’t offend me, it just made him come across like he didn’t have much of a vocabulary or much respect for what Copperfield (you know, the guy Criss ripped “his” stunt off of–and I’d chime in as well on that, why was this not addressed???) has accomplished. Joking that his career is dead and that his stuff looked “gay”; as a representative of Criss Angel, you guys really are the pot calling the kettle black.

    Justin was in a tough spot, I understand, but it’s not like anybody expected him to attack the guests. We just expected a little more journalistic integrity. When someone lays their head on the chopping block (and Monti did) you don’t have to lop it off, but you at least need to take a swipe. Helping them escape from their bonds though just lacks credibility.

    I love the iTricks podcast and I think Justin and Andrew do an absolutely fantastic job with it–which is exactly why I’m taking the time to post my thoughts here a listener. Hope you guys take all the feedback here into consideration for the future so you can continue to make iTricks the best magic podcast online today.

    Happy Magic!

  • Mat

    “If any magician responds please have the professional decency…”

    Joe: First I apologize for posting method; I really didn’t think it was any big secret at this point how Criss did his stunt (and apparently the moderator here didn’t at first either as my post WAS approved before yours), and I thought mention of the method was relevant in addressing parts of your interview. Now…

    I am really sorry you didn’t like my feedback on your interview, but namecalling and chiding me is a pretty immature way to deal with it. Not everybody is going to everything you do; that’s just life. But throwing a temper tantrum over it on the Internet is probably not the healthiest way to deal with it. I never attacked you in my review for the show–I just took said I didn’t think you came across well and that, in short, your representation of Criss’s stunt was very misleading compared to what we actually got. Especially on the cut-away issue that you said in your interview would not happen, and if it did, that we should hold you responsible. Well, it happened, and here we are.

    You talk about “professional decency,” but you have shown absolutely NO professional decency here toward us (and very little in your interview), honestly, why would you expect to have it returned?

  • http://www.joemonti.com Joe Monti

    What cut-away?
    As for professional courtesy….support magic don’t break it down because you have a forum. Didn’t you feel bad when you got poop at you?
    Nuff’ said.
    Lets enjoy.
    Joe Monti

  • AC


    You’re making my point for me (or you clearly didn’t understand the joke).

    My point being that Criss’ look is outdated. It’s about as timely as his taste in music. Korn, anyone?

    Sadly, for Criss, he has always been about 10-15 years behind what’s cool.

    You either want to be cutting edge, or timeless. What you don’t want to be is in your mid-40′s and desperately trying to catch up with fashion that is now 10 years old.

    The fact that you don’t recognize this doesn’t bode well for you.

    Hey, but good attempt at a comeback! It was cute.

  • m

    I agree with Mat. Joe Monti- you talk about professional – you are the one that isn’t professional. Name calling like your 10 years old, grow up. This is a discussion, everyone has their opinion.

    Joe Monti -”Think outside the box for once. If you’re going to bash Criss at least spell his name right. Criss has gone well beyond any other magician in closing the gap between Rockstar and Magician. Maybe it makes us all a little “cooler”. The geek image could be a thing of the past if you just stop acting like….well…geeks. Maybe more of you will get a bit more tang because of it and you’ll understand that cool magic equals chicks.”

    I visited your website, and to me you (Joe Monti) look like the geek. And your in magic just to get laid, because you can’t get a chick without magic ?!?
    To me David Blaine, Copperfield and Cyril are cool magicians. Angel looks like a freak that copies Tommy Lee. He runs around screaming like he just escaped from a mental hospital- and thats cool to you.


  • m

    oh yeah, I forgot….

    1)Joe Monti- nice website, hahah….i like the geeky magic wand on the upper right hand corner….get some designer to make it professionals, it looks like a 8 year old is learning to use the computer and make websites with the free software that came with it….

    2)I don’t think that the stunt had plan A and then switched to plan B….I think that the stunt we saw was plan A….when you perform big stunts like this, there cant be a plan B, C, D,…. Yes, you can change small things in the last minute, but to change the whole method is impossible….so I believe this was the ONLY plan (plan A), but because it was nothing special, Angel can say that they had some difficulties, blah, blah, blah….and that they had to go to plan B (Im not saying that he said that, Im just saying that that could be a excuse ). Chris (and Monti I don’t want to spell his name right, because he isn’t worth), so Chris is saying that he a Broadway show in New York, but it actually was a Gothic type show located in a basement of a bar. So it wouldn’t surprise me if he used the excuse for his stunt that I mentioned above.

  • Justin

    Will the bashing ever stop? Yeah, his live special didn’t turn out so well. So what? To do something live is incredibly hard to pull off. Criss gets my support for trying new things (Even if they don’t work out).


  • Mat


    The cut-away: the one where the “live” cameras cut to the phony static before the building collapsed. I’d love to discuss the proof of camera editing with you, as you’re challenging me to, but you previously berated me for it already and, in doing so, had my already-approved comment removed. You can’t have it both ways. I really don’t think we need to discuss it anyhow–we both know the method used for the escape, and it wasn’t the hardcore, dangerous stunt you painted it out to be.

    I definitely have no interest in breaking magic down. I’m not sure where you got the idea that that was my intention. I complimented Andrew and Justin, as well as Luke Dancy and Ben Seidman, and even said I intend to watch two more episodes of Mindfreak (the close-up centered episodes) even though I am not a fan of Criss Angel. I just said I didn’t think you came across well in your interview, or that your description of Criss’s stunt was accurate. That’s hardly “breaking magic down.”

    I work with kids and they know I am a magician, so a lot of them talk to me about Criss Angel. I don’t like the guy or much of his magic, but I’ve never once told that to any of the kids. Instead I encourage their interest in Criss Angel because in doing so I encourage their interest in magic as a whole. Trust me, I do everything but break magic down with laymen–even when laymen are asking me if Criss is using camera tricks, I never confirm their “theory.”

    When I’m among other magicians, though, such as here on iTricks, I’m going to give my honest opinion. And why wouldn’t I?

    Good luck with Mindfreak S5. I really hope your team takes into consideration some of the feedback magicians and magic fans everywhere have been freely giving for a long time now. Mainly: let’s see less filmmaking (actors, post-production special effects) and more magic. I have a feeling in the way you talk to others here that you see anyone who is not a “name” beneath you, so perhaps Richard Kaufman’s words will catch your ear better than mine or anyone else’s here will regarding Mindfreak:

    “I stopped watching [Criss Angel's] Mindfreak when it ceased to be a magic show in season two (despite the fact that I’m in it). This is because, given the relatively small budget and time constraints under which Criss and his team have to shoot over 20 half-hour episodes, it is impossible for him to perform these tricks using “magical” methods. There is only one way to get the show shot in the time-frame he has, and that’s the way they’re doing it now. That means, while it may appear to be a magic show from a laymen’s point of view, it isn’t one from my point of view.”

    –Richard Kaufman, Publisher of Genii Magazine

    Take care.

  • http://www.joemonti.com Joe Monti

    To all who claim they support magic but continue to post BS: You’ve fallen for the simplest of bloggers traps; defending ground that you believe you belong on after desecrating it.
    Do you belong? Have you attempted to produce 5 new or different effects each week for millions of viewers? What is “cool”? Are you cool?
    I’ve pulled you into a web of name calling to which you took time to post your anger. I believe this anger has always been in you and you can’t wait to spew it on anyone more successful than you. Today Criss and tomorrow the next magi who happens not to be YOU. Maybe it’s your buddy who has a hotter girl than yours or your co-worker who makes a few bucks more than you do.
    My love , respect and vote goes to Criss A because he’s made it past your hate. The loyals are a special group because they believe in something. WE ALL NEED SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN. This world is tough and surviving takes faith.
    I will not waist anymore of my time responding to your ugliness. Now I’ve gotta’ go remove that magic wand GIF from my site….
    Stay well.
    Joe Monti

  • Mat


    Are you seriously trying to sell us on the idea that you coming on here and namecalling and talking to down to everyone was part of some big master plan to teach everyone a morality lesson? Seriously? You’re trying to sell that because nobody liked how you trashtalked Copperfield in order to put over your boy Criss Angel, and then when you read about it on here you threw a temper tantrum and acted like a jerk to everyone who had posted their opinions on your interview–and now that the smoke has cleared I think you just feel a little more than silly sitting there in your diaper.

    “I’ve pulled you into a web of name calling to which you took time to post your anger…I will not waist anymore of my time responding to your ugliness.” Honestly, do you really think anyone is going to buy this BS idea that you got us all with some brilliant master plan? No–you made an @$$ of yourself and now you’re doing a damage control 180 to try and fix it.

    Joe Monti, you sir, are a hypocrite and a snake.

  • Steven Bridges

    This is ridiculous.

    I LOVED that interview. Nice work Justin.

    Whats wrong with you people? Stop slagging off Justin, he was interviewing the guys and he did it very well. Whilst listening, I never thought ‘Woah this is going a bit far, they’re dissing David Copperfield a bit too much – I thought, fair comment.

    All they said that may be seen as ‘bad’ was that they were trying to make the stunt more modern. Whats wrong with that?

    Also, I’m sick of all this Criss Angel slander. He is making magic cool. Most brits think of magic as a cheesy, geeky thing. In America, when people think magic they think Criss Angel. And this is great, because magic for you guys (stereotype still remains in Britain) is becoming cool.

    Just the fact you guys are taking it out on the itricks team disgusts me.

    Don’t worry about it Justin,


  • AC

    “I’ve pulled you into a web of name calling to which you took time to post your anger.”


    You’re going to need to try harder though. I’m not angry in the least (maybe you’re projecting?). I find Criss Angel –and your defense of him– funny.

  • Jen

    Joe Monti has a point. You’re continuing to post your anger and name calling without once apologizing for your mistake.
    Whether Joe had a plan or not he does make sense.

    I will watch more of Criss’ show because it’s the only interesting magic on TV.

    Jen from Cali

  • Mat


    I have a bridge for sale you may be interested in. Very cheap.

  • Jen

    Wow. Very original. Do you pick up girls with that line? It’s now apparent who’s instigating trouble on these posts.
    Jen from Cali

  • Mat


    Clearly you completely missed my point and allowed yourself to be completely duped by Joe’s overly-obvious mindgame, so I’ll spell it out for you nice an clear: look at Joe’s last post, then look at my posts above his. Nowhere do I call him any names or say anything hateful toward him. Read it for yourself. I made no mistake and have nothing to apologize for. The only reason you thought so was because Joe said it and you took it for face value because that is what you wanted to believe.

    It wasn’t until AFTER his last post of (what seems to me to be extremely obvious) twisted truths and mindgames that I labeled him a hypocrite and a snake. And I stand by it now. A hypocrite because he came on here and chided everyone and called people names, then spoke out against that same behavior. And a snake because he lied through his teeth afterward with a phony claim so that he could try and take the high ground out of his mess.

    If you still can’t see what Joe is doing here, all I can say is Fox news loves you.

    If you are still confused by any of this, look up the term “linear time line.”

    Either way, I think this conversation is done and we are now simply picking at its carcass. We all know where we stand on this–or should–by now.

    Take care.

  • bettylouh

    AC,Dussault Apparal Company is starting a line of clothing after CA’ style.Who are you to say w/such authority what’s cool or not.Different strokes for different folks.Get over yourself,I as well as thousands and thousands of people young and old think CA is cool,including his sense of style,maybe your the GEEK!The owner of said company says Criss is cool.Calling Joe Monti a geek?You sound like the H.S. drama queen.
    JOE MONTI NEVER CALLED DC GAY OR “BASHED “HIM,even after he corrected you guys you keep up with the same non-sense.There’s really no sense in responding to you guys.
    I totally agree w/Joe’s last comment.And Criss is the bigger mature man because he is above your hate,he doesn’t consider at all.I think you guys should start a CA Hate Site,so you can all titillate your hate-mongering emotions and impress each other with the eloquence of your hate speech all in one spot.Won’t that be “cool”?You can thank me later for coming up with that idea.
    STEVE,I don’t think Justin does worry.I’m sure he considers the source,that’s probably why CA isn’t bothered by these guys either!
    OH,and Tommy Lee is cool also and Korn is still popular these days.

  • bettylouh

    YOU TO AC.

  • Jen

    I have read ALL posts, and have a brain
    of my own.
    My opinion is your long-winded post only
    proves Joe’s point more.
    Please find somewhere else to play.
    Jen from Cali

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