Thursday, May 21, 2009 | 7:31 p.m.
It wasn’t an illusion: There were two Criss Angels at the Venetian Thursday afternoon.
While the pair shared many similarities, there was one major difference: one of them was flesh and bones and the other was made of wax.
The lifeless version of the “Mindfreak” magician is the newest addition to the collection of celebrity statues at Madame Tussauds.
The living, breathing Angel was at the museum to unveil his wax statue.
“If you look really quick and you turned away, you’d swear to God that that was me,” he said after a careful inspection of the figure.
The figure was designed to recreate the illusion Angel performed for an episode of his A&E show, “Mindfreak,” where he appeared to levitate himself up into the light above the Luxor.
“It was the premiere episode of Season 3,” Angel said before suggesting that the illusion is one of the most “iconic” of his career.
The wax statue, which cost about $300,000 to create, is dressed in the same clothes the magician wore when he filmed the “Luxor Light” episode.
“This shirt is the actual one I wore,” he said as he remarked on the sleeveless, black Affliction vest.
While Angel himself remained fully dressed, wearing a black shirt, dark vest and a crushed velvet sport coat, he said the mannequin’s six-pack abs are true-to-life, thanks to the demands of his Cirque du Soleil show, “Believe.”
“It’s an incredibly demanding, physical show and I had to get into this shape to be able to do that show,” he said, gesturing at his statue’s torso.
“I don’t have to work out. That show is my three-hour workout, five days a week,” he said. “I can pretty much eat whatever I want … because of the three-hour aerobic session I have every night.”
Angel’s wax figure also wears black denim pants and has an abundance of the magician’s signature bling dripping from its neck, wrists and fingers.
Angel said Madame Tussauds’ decision to immortalize him in wax was an honor.
“It’s quite an honor bestowed upon me and they just did an amazing, amazing job,” he said.
Several children from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Canadian-based charity Children’s Wish Foundation, were invited to attend the private unveiling, along with a handful of fans who won their way in through various contests.
Seated in the front row was Angel’s mother, Dimitra Sarantakos, brothers Costa and J.D. Sarantakos, fellow Luxor headliner, Carrot Top, and Luxor president and COO, Felix Rappaport.
A young brunette was also in the front row. While the young woman sat directly next to the Sarantakos matriarch, she did not share the same Greek last name.
When asked about his love life, Angel declined to comment.
“I’m not going to have any more public relationships,” he said, referring to his highly publicized romance and subsequent break-up with forthcoming “Peepshow” star Holly Madison.
Still, the 40-year-old Angel said life is treating him well.
“I’m very happy,” he said with a grin.
He said public break-ups and a lackluster economy haven’t slowed him down.
“Everything’s great, I’m just working a lot, doing 10 shows a week,” he said. “That’s the story of my life, work, work, work.”