The Las Vegas Review-Journal digs into the past for three of Sin City’s top magicians. Way back. Like, high school way back.
Penn Jillette, Lance Burton and Amazing Johnathan all share their high school memories and not surprisingly you can see the foundations in their adolescent selves for the characters that have made each of them rich and famous. Penn’s laser focus on the ladies, AJ’s mind expansion and even Lance’s line walking between coolest guy in the room and geek of all trades…
Magician Lance Burton was already using misdirection on his peers at Butler High School in Louisville, Ky.
“They didn’t know what to make of us,” the Monte Carlo headliner says of his theater clique. “We were in that gray area where they’d go, ‘Hey, that guy’s cool,’ and the next they’d go, ‘Oh no, that guy’s a geek.’ ”
Voted most talented — in a tie with 1978 classmate Lisa Potts — Burton played the lead male role in two plays (“Star Spangled Girl” and a Western production he can’t recall the name of). But by senior year, he showed a clear preference for avian co-stars. Most Friday and Saturday nights found him prestidigitating at a Louisville nightclub called Peter O’s.
“I wasn’t old enough to be in there,” he says.
Great concept for a really cool article.