Show & Tell: Stacey Smithson of 'Nathan Burton Comedy Magic'


Q :This isn't your first magic show?

A: I've worked for magicians since the age of 22. What first got me into magic was working for a magician who's well-known in the magic world, Franz Harary. He's like the guy to go to for illusions. A good friend of mine worked for him, and he needed six girls for a three-month show in Atlantic City.

Q: By that point, you had been dancing for a while?

A: I started dancing at (age) 4. ... I took dance classes in my little hometown.

Q: Were you a magic fan as a kid?

A: No. My brother did magic. I moved on (laughs). ... David Copperfield used to have TV specials and he would watch those, and I remember watching those girls and going, "God, that's cool!" I never thought in a million years I would be doing that.

Q: When did you decide to pursue a career as a dancer?

A: It wasn't until I was 17. After graduation I just packed up everything I could in the car and drove to L.A. and started dancing out there.

Q: Then came the audition for Franz Harary.

A: It was all dancing. They didn't care if you did magic or not. ... I got there, and they're like, "Oh, and, by the way, we're going to teach you magic."

Q: Was that difficult?

A: Oh, God, we felt like someone had beaten us with a bat by the end of rehearsals (laughs). When you (do) magic, you just get banged up. You get bruises from going in and out of props.

Q: When you moved to Las Vegas and worked with Steve Wyrick, you did a water tank illusion. What was that like?

A: The first time I did it in Atlantic City with Franz Harary, it was terrifying. There were times when I didn't know how I was going to get out, and you have to move quickly - very quickly.

Q: And when you worked with Dirk Arthur, you worked with animals. Was that scary?

A: I was excited. ... The first time you know you're going into an illusion with a tiger that's next to you, and the tiger is shaking this big chain and (pressing) up against the metal, you're, like, "Hmm, this could be interesting."

Q: Now you're in Nathan Burton's show and you've been a dancer/magician's assistant for about five years. Have you ever thought of striking out on your own as a magician?

A: You know, I don't go that far (laughs). They really are a different breed. ... No, I don't think I could do it. I think I'll just stay in a box.