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Criss Angel
Photo: Krista Woodley

Magic Castle: 2005 Magician of the Year Award

The Magic Castle, home of The Academy of Magical Arts, rolled out its magic carpet to reveal the 2005 Magician of the Year–the equivalent of magic's Academy Awards.

Bruce Cervon, Chief Magical Officer of The Academy of Magical Arts, announced Criss Angel, creator and star of A&E Network’s #1 television show, Criss Angel Mindfreak, as this year's winner.

"Criss Angel has brought the art of magic into the twenty-first century," Cervon said. "He truly deserves the 2005 Academy of Magical Arts Magician of the Year Award. He has been seen by far more of the public than any other prestidigitator during the years and he is a fine performer."

Although his image is hard and alternative, Criss remained humble and grateful for the award.

"I never set out to create art for awards, but I must admit it’s incredibly gratifying to be recognized by your peers, and especially, the most prestigious, The Academy of Magical Arts," he said.

Artists Gay Blackstone and Lorenzo Clark, as well as board members of The Academy and the Magic Castle were on hand for Angel’s presentation of his Criss Angel Mindfreak Halloween special called Prediction, which is shot on location at the Magic Castle. Dubbed the "New Houdini," Angel and his team take viewers on a tour of rarely seen Houdini artifacts and explore the castle's private séance room. For his greatest trick, Angel goes on the Dicky Barrett morning radio show in Los Angeles to predict a major news event as well as the lottery number.

Man-of-the-evening Angel also presented the Strolling Olympics Magicians Awards. Top honors were given to Jeff Martin, followed by Joe Skilton and Justin Ingram.

Capping off the magical night, Milt Larsen, co-founder of the Magic Castle, announced that Angel would be making his first appearance in the 49th edition of It’s Magic, featuring the greatest magicians in the world.

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