Illusianist. Born Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos on December 19, 1967 in East Meadow, New York.
Beginning when he was six years old, Criss Angel immersed himself in a multitude of art forms, exploring different types of creative endeavors from performance artist and musician to mystifier and provocateur. One of his greatest influences in the realm of magic is Harry Houdini. A relentless work ethic combined with enormous talent, skill and vision propelled Criss Angel into the spotlight - he is now recognized as one of the most provocative artists of our day. From creator, producer and performer in his television series and specials to his live shows, soundtracks, other music and book, he has redefined the term artist for the 21st century.
After studying the art of mysticism, music, martial arts, and dance as an adolescent, he acquired state and federal pyrotechnic licenses at 18 and 21, the youngest ages allowed to carry such permits. In 1994, Criss Angel made his prime-time television debut in a featured appearance that captivated audiences in the ABC one-hour special titled "Secrets." In 1998, Criss Angel: World of Illusion headlined Madison Square Garden's annual Halloween spectacle.
Criss Angel has received numerous awards throughout his career and is the first three-time recipient of the coveted Magician of the Year Award (2001, 2004 & 2005). He is the only magician ever to appear on both covers of Magic magazine (October 2003) and Genii magazine (December 2003) almost simultaneously. Both Magic and Genii hold reputations as the most popular and most respected magic magazines worldwide. He was also unanimously selected as the recipient of the 22nd Louie Award for outstanding achievement in the art of magic.
Along with his successes in magic, Criss Angel also has made many achievements as a musician and composer. He wrote, produced and performed the music currently available on four CDs from APITRAG Records entitled Criss Angel: System 1, 2, 3 In The Trilogy and the Mindfreak soundtrack. And in 2004 and 2005, Criss created and designed much of the visual effects for the $105 million production of Le Reve, the show created and directed by Franco Dragone for Steve Wynn's new $2.6 billion casino resort named Wynn, which opened in Las Vegas in April of 2005.
In July of 2005, Criss Angel opened a new chapter when A&E Network premiered "Criss Angel Mindfreak." Each episode captivates audiences with several extraordinary elements: reality, focusing on Angel's street demonstrations and the way people are mentally affected; surreality, a look into Angel's mind's eye as he contemplates his upcoming feats; and behind-the-scene glimpses-a candid and captivating look into Criss' secret world and the trials and tribulations Criss and his team face from the moment he conceives of impossible, death-defying stunts to the actual performances of those stunts.