With vibrant hair, a fabulous fashion sense and a gaze that could shatter the London shard, Jasz Vegas is a showgirl extraordinaire with a magic touch. Vegas holds a varied and impressive skill set; from burlesque to freak show, enthralling fire performance to impressive sleight of hand magic, she’ll leave you with a thumping in your chest and your jaw on the floor. She’s well traveled and holds more anecdotes than Aesop’s back catalogue, ready to weave you a tale and take you on an entertaining journey to places that other entertainers simply can’t.
In the past, Vegas has worked with such companies as BBC, ITV, Checkmate, London Fashion Week, Hilton, Ikea, Madame Tussaud’s and Bizarre Magazine.
Outside of magic performance, you might have seen Jasz’s face gracing international marketing campaigns for clothing companies such as Jane Doe Latex, Rubber Monkey, Muted Clothing and Banned Clothing. In 2013, Vegas showcased her skills in ‘Burlesque on Ice’ and was noted as a major asset in each and every review of the off-Broadway show.
Jasz Vegas is currently one of the stars of the hottest new magic show to hit the UK mainstream: Killer Magic. In Killer Magic, Vegas competes against four other of the top magicians in the country to create the most incredible magic and avoid having to perform a ‘Killer Trick,’ an illusion or stunt that has killed magicians in the past. Killer Magic will transmit on BBC3 in 2014.
FTN: When did you first become interested in illusions and magic in general?
JV: I have been interested in magic since I was a child. I even used to put on magic shows for my family! I’d insist on wearing my over-sized school blazer, as at the time that’s what I believed a Magician should wear. As I have grown older my perception of the Magician has changed drastically and I now like to challenge the stereotypical image and do it my way.
FTN: How long have you been practicing your craft as an illusionist and what were your influences?
JV: The craft of magic, I believe, is as much about performance as it is about technical skill. I have been a performer since I was young, attending youth theatre club and learning other circus skills from a young age. Magic has always been part of my life but as I have grown older my interest has grown significantly and now it is my main skill alongside being a Burlesque performer.
My main influences as a magician are David Blaine and David Copperfield. I love their unique style and how they have become leaders in their field of magic.
As I have grown older my perception of the Magician has changed drastically and I now like to challenge the stereotypical image and do it my way.
FTN: Magicians and illusionists were at one point dominating the television schedules during the 80s and 90s, especially the likes of David Copperfield and Paul Daniels. Do you think that audiences are craving more specialised illusions as opposed to the more traditional card trick and “Rabbit from the hat” type?
JV:I believe that audiences are craving to see something new. Back in the 80s/90s the magic that both Copperfield and Daniels performed was fresh and new to their TV audience. They hadn’t seen their style of magic before and that is what was so exciting!
FTN: Killer Magic, soon to air on BBC3, is certainly a magic/illusionist television show with a difference. How did you first become involved and did you have to attend many auditions?
JV: Objective productions, who produced Killer Magic, searched the magic community for Magicians who were unique, different and had their own style. I was chosen from some of the UK’s leading Magicians to be part of Killer Magic.
FTN: Throughout the past century, a number of magicians have sadly died performing their illusions and tricks. Is the “killer trick” not pushing the contestants too far as they sadly could be paying the ultimate price for their art?
JV: As performers we are all pushing the boundaries of our art. We choose to participate in the “Killer Tricks” at our own risk and we warn against trying these illusions at home.
I was chosen from some of the UK’s leading Magicians to be part of Killer Magic.
FTN: With audiences seemingly demanding more and more dangerous tricks and illusions, do you and the other contestants suffer from pressure and stress that these performances may cause, and if so, how do you cope with them?
JV: I do not feel under pressure to perform dangerous tricks. I enjoy pushing my limits as a performer and the dangerous illusions I do perform are carried out in the safest way possible.
FTN: Has there ever been one “killer trick” that you have watched or heard about that you would refuse if you were asked to perform?
JV: That’s an interesting question! I haven’t yet been put in the position where I’d want to refuse a “killer trick”. All the killer tricks proposed so far have been presented in such a way that I was excited to perform them.
FTN: Finally, the question we ask all out interviewees – Star Wars or Lord of the Rings?
JV: Lord of the Rings!
To find out more about Killer Magic check out the BBC3 site