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Making A Glass Ceiling Disappear Part Of Las Vegas Magician's Act


Courtesy Westgate Las Vegas

Jen Kramer has been performing magic since an uncle gave her a card trick book when she was 10. Today she headlines a Westgate showroom.

The world’s top magicians have long appeared — and made things disappear — in Las Vegas.

Harry Blackstone Jr., Siegfried & Roy, David Copperfield, Lance Burton, Penn & Teller, and Criss Angel have all dazzled showroom audiences.

Despite wildly different acts and stage personas, they do have one thing in common: All are men. In fact, the professional-level membership at LA’s Magic Castle is only 7 percent female.

Someone working to make that glass ceiling vanish is illusionist Jen Kramer, who stars in her own show at the Westgate four evenings a week.

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She says one reason for the dearth of female magicians is the lack of role models to inspire young people.

“Because magic has been so historically male-dominated, there just haven’t been as many female role models,” Kramer told State of Nevada. “There certainly have been wonderful women in magic, but compared to the number of men in magic, there just haven’t been as many.“

Kramer said magic is gaining in popularity among children because of the the Harry Potter books and movies and TV shows like "America's Got Talent." She said she encourages that when she encounters young people during the meet-and-greet after her show.

 "For me, when a kid will come up, a little girl for example, and say, 'Wow, I'd love to be a magician now,' or 'That was really cool, now I want to go get a magic set,' that to me is exciting," she said.

Kramer’s interest in magic began, not with a role model, but when she was 10 and her uncle gave her the book “The Royal Road to Card Magic” as a gift.

Today she flips the script and uses her status a rare female magician to brand her act.

“Because there haven’t been as many, it does provide something different for audiences,” she said. “I try to incorporate more traditionally feminine elements into the show, which is fun for me because they really are part of who I am.

“So to do magic that involves dresses or lipstick allows me to kind of put a different twist on the classic elements of magic.”

The Yale theater graduate says she enjoys the renown that goes with being a female magician, but that comes secondary to mastering the craft.

“I’m proud to be a female magician, but I also just want to do good magic. I want to do good work,” she said.


Jen Kramer, magician

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KNPR's State of Nevada