Lance Burton is considered today as one of the greatest magicians alive. He has had numerous television specials and has one of the most successful shows in Las Vegas.
Born in Louisville, Kentucky, his introduction to the world of magic began when he was five. He was taken to a Christmas party by his mother, where the featured performer was magician Harry Collins. He asked for a volunteer and Lance was selected. The magician performed a trick known as "The Miser's Dream" and magically pulled silver dollars out of the sky, and even a few out of Lance's ears. Lance knew that magic was for him.
Beginning with close-up magic, Lance started performing for children and in restaurants.
Harry Collins, the man who had impressed Lance years before, was a full-time professional magician in Kentucky. He saw Lance's devotion towards the art, and soon became his mentor. It was with him he learned techniques and fumdamentals of magic, including sleight of hand, the manipulation of playing cards, and the important art of misdirection. He became so good at this, that he earned the title, "A Magician's Magician."
Lance Burton entered his first competition as a junior magician at a convention in 1977 and walked away with first prize. In 1980, shortly after his 20th birthday, Lance Burton became the first winner of the coveted "Gold Medal for Excellence" from the International Brotherhood of Magicians. Lance decided that the time was right to leave home and move to Southern California. In a short time Lance has made his name by appearing on "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson." This one appearance put Lance permanently into the pages of magic history.
The offers for Lance were overwhelming. Lance accepted an eight-week trial at the "Folies Bergere" in Las Vegas. His contract broke all records by being extended for nine years. In a rare act of courage, Lance decided to put his professional career on the line and asked the management if he could take a week off to enter the competition at "F.I.S.M." (Fédération International Société de Magie) in Lausanne, Switzerland. He honored his country on July 10, 1982 by winning the "Grande Prix" that recognized him as a "World Champion Magician." It could be compared to the Gold Medal in the Olympics. Lance was both the first American and the youngest performer to be so honored.
Lance was brought back to "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson nine more times, for a total of 10 appearances and has appeared 5 more times with Jay Leno as the host. He has also appeared on the "Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn."
He was twice awarded "Magician of the Year" by the Academy of Magical Arts.
He was honored to have performed for President Reagan, (during his presidency) and Mrs. Reagan, in Washington, D.C.
Presented to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, after a Royal Command Performance at London's venerable Palladium Theatre.
On May 12, 1994 Lance Burton was given the honor of having the "Mantle of Magic" passed to him from Master Magician Lee Grabel which made Lance the new member of what has been called "The Royal Dynasty of Magic." This honor, which can neither be bought nor sold, has been passed in an unbroken line beginning from Kellar to Thurston in 1908, to Dante in 1936, to Lee Grabel in 1955 and to Lance Burton in 1994 who is now charged to take his classically conceived art boldly into the 21st Century!
On August 11, 1994 Lance Burton entered into a contract to star in, produce and direct a new version of his magic show in the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino which opened on June 21, 1996. This 13-year contract is the longest legal agreement ever given to any entertainer in Las Vegas history. In addition to this great financial contract, Lance was also built his very own theater, designed just for his show, and naturally named; The Lance Burton Theater.
In 1998, the first Blackstone Theatre Award was presented to Lance Burton for excellence in the arts.
In nearly every poll Lance Burton has been voted "Best Magician" and "Best Entertainer." In the R-J's 1999 Editor's Poll he was chosen as "Favorite Male Las Vegan" for his contributions to community charities. Especially The Shriners, The Variety Club and New Vista Ranch.
Today Lance still performs nightly at the Monte Carlo Hotel, and is still considered one of the best.