Criss Angel stands outdoors, facing away from the audience. After a moment of concentration, and perhaps a little light flapping of arms, he rises off the ground and lands lightly on a bench, step, Galapagos tortoise, or other object.
The secret is so simple that you’ll shake your head in disbelief. Angel has a body harness to which is attached a canister of super-compressed air. This air leads to tubes that end in nozzles hidden by his baggy pants cuffs. High-pressure air can be released into the nozzles via a simple control panel hidden beneath the front of his shirt. The controls are manipulated by subtle motions of Angel ’s highly-toned abs, but an air-pressure gauge must be monitored to prevent accidents (hence his need to face away from the audience while levitating).
High pressure is needed to lift the magician off the ground, and lesser levels are used during landing.
The air canister contains enough pressure for about 15 seconds of flight, but great care must be taken. During one of Criss Angel’s first practice session with this equipment, he accidentally opened the valves completely at the beginning of the trick and launched himself into a palm tree.