Magician Seth Grabel gets intimate at Royal Resort

Most people were introduced to Seth Grabel on "America's Got Talent," so to TV viewers he has the image of "a dark, bad-boy magician."

But "when you see me onstage, I'm a happy-go-lucky, fun-loving guy."

Performing on the hit talent show last summer gave Grabel a stronger head start than most who would open a show in a new, 110-seat theater, the Royal House Showroom, in the Royal Resort.

Some of his first few shows did turnaway business, thanks in part to exposure as a wild-card act who performed five times in last summer's TV competition.

"It's like an obstacle course onstage," Grabel says of his new roost. Still, he manages to pull off two illusions that require props and uses the rest of the time to play to the room's strengths by bantering with the audience. "It's nice to have the intimacy and do the close-up stuff."

The native Californian has lived in Las Vegas 11 years, graduating from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2006 with a degree in hotel management. But the practical training for his current line of work came in 2½ years as an opening act for The Amazing Johnathan.

"And I thought that stage was small," he says with a laugh.

Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@ or 702-383-0288.