Some magicians do meet and greets after shows. Jen Kramer meets the new friends she made during her performance. Most audience members who see The Magic of Jen Kramer, also line up outside of her showroom at Westgate Las Vegas once the last trick is performed. She takes time to engage with each fan. Lots of time They are of all ages, but children with an interest in magic walk away from Kramer inspired to pursue the craft with renewed commitment.
Personal connections with would-be sorcerers and wizards growing into the next generation of close-magic masters and mentalists enable Kramer to see a bright future for magic. Her own future was in the cards from the time she was 10 when she got hooked by a book, a gift from her Uncle Steve.
“That’s when I really started practicing,” says Kramer. “I started doing magic for my family. I have two sisters, and my parents. … I knew that I loved it right away. I knew that I found it really intriguing and exciting, something that I wanted to explore. …and within a couple of years I knew I wanted to perform anywhere and everywhere I could.”
With a determination beyond her then 14 years, she talked her way into performing at a Barnes & Noble near her Long Island home and was invited back for her first paid gigs. She studied theater at Yale and founded a magician’s society. Las Vegas was the next logical step.
Being proactive and authentic are two major planks in Kramer’s platform. When she smiles audience members can’t help but smile back. She’ll zone in on someone with don’t-pick-me body language for a participation trick and send them back to their seats happy with a golden memory of Vegas and, if the magic is right, their favorite drink.
She will perform her 500th show at Westgate in June during a summer when she celebrates both her 30th birthday and one year back at her residency since the pandemic pause ended. She’s the only headlining Vegas magician who looks good in spaghetti-strap dresses, allowing her to work quick changes into her act. This could be due in part to pursuing a black belt in Shotokan karate during her formative magic years.
“I do think there might be something similar in what draws a person to magic and to martial arts,” says Kramer. “For me, I think it’s the feeling of constantly competing with yourself, wanting to beat your own best. In Shotokan karate and magic, there was always this sense of, ‘OK, I want to become stronger. I want to beat my own best. I want to continually improve.’ I know that’s how I feel about magic, for sure.”
She never stops taking notes after shows, never stops adjusting, never stops tweaking stage banter “to make the audience have an even better experience.” She’s never less than upbeat. She doesn’t use bad words and kids do not find her scary. The future of magic is in good sleight-of-hand hands.
Westgate Las Vegas, westgatelasvegas.com
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