Master illusionist Criss Angel rocketed to international fame with his cable series "Criss Angel: Mindfreak" (A&E, 2005-10) and went on to become one of the most awarded and widely viewed magicians in history. A native of New York, Angel began performing in local bars and restaurants while still in his teens before eventually taking part in a grueling 12-day performance schedule at the 1998 World of Illusion convention. Shortly thereafter, he mounted an early stage version of what would become his signature TV series "Criss Angel: Mindfreak" at Times Square's World Underground Theater. With the success of his A&E series, Angel became an instant sensation on television and the Internet, marveling fans with such feats as his famous walking on water illusion. Other endeavors included the illusionist competition series "Phenomenon" (NBC, 2007-08) and a long-delayed $100 million Las Vegas stage production in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil called "Believe" in 2008. By the end of the decade, Angel had been named "Magician of the Year" multiple times, in addition to being the youngest magician in history to be inducted into the Magic Hall of Fame and named the "Magician of the Century" by the International Magicians Society. Despite his modest beginnings as a young illusionist who earned $10 for his first paid performance, Angel was well on his way to attaining recognition on par with that of his personal idol, legendary escape artist Harry Houdini.