http://www.digitaljournal.com/a-and-e/entertainment/lance-burton-discusses-new-project-billy-topit-master-magician/article/439835

Lance Burton discusses new project 'Billy Topit Master Magician' Special

Posted Jul 31, 2015 by Markos Papadatos
World renowned magician Lance Burton chatted with Digital Journal about his upcoming project "Billy Topit Master Magician."
Master magician Lance Burton
Master magician Lance Burton
Courtesy of Lance Burton
The world premiere of Billy Topit Master Magician will take place on September 24 at the Brenden Theaters at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. "This is great. I cannot wait for the world premiere. It was a very long project. It has been a good five years that we have been working on this movie," he said.
Most impressive about this movie is that it will benefit three charitable organizations that are dear to Burton's heart. These include Variety: The Children's Charity of Southern Nevada, Las Vegas Shriners and Nevada SPCA. "The Nevada SPCA runs a no-kill animal shelter here in Las Vegas. Also, the Las Variety Children's Charity, which I have been involved with for a long time. They have three schools that they have founded here in Las Vegas and I have been visiting them for 20 years. Finally, the Las Vegas Shriners are raising money for their transportation fund, to transport the kids for treatment from Las Vegas to Los Angeles," he said.
When he was performing, Burton was named "Best Magician" from the Las Vegas Review-Journal for 11 consecutive years. "They had like a little reader's poll," he explained. "I retired from the stage in 2010, so since then, I have been working on this film, shooting and editing it. I am excited to be on the very last leg of the journey."
Burton claimed the title of "Magician of the Year" twice by the Academy of Magical Arts, and he owes a great debt to The Magic Castle, which was founded by the Larsen Brothers back in the 60s. "They both work in television as writers and producers, and they started The Magic Castle, which is a private club for magicians. They brought me out to the West Coast in 1981 to appear on a public show that they produce every year. That is what brought me out West, and got me an appearance on Johnny Carson and launched my career," he said.
He revealed that he enjoyed doing his "Cups and Balls" trick. "I never really did the Cups and Balls until I needed material for a television special, so I started working on it for a few years, and we put it in the live show, just the way you saw it in the TV special. We had a camera on me and we projected it on the screen in the theater. I always liked doing that," he said. "It's a classic of magic and the traditional way of ending it is by producing a lemon, orange or an apple under the cup. We did it with two lemons and a live mouse, my little Petey."
Burton had nothing but kind words for magician Criss Angel, whom he had met early on in Angel's career. "I had met Criss a number of years before his Mindfreak show and I was always impressed with his work. I kept telling people and my friends about him, that he was going to be a big name in magic, and when he was filming his first season of Mindfreak, he asked me to come over, when he was doing his wine barrel escape and that was crazy and really dangerous," he recalled. "After the barrel smashed, I walked over and picked up the metal band as a souvenir, and I had him sign it and I still have it here in the house."
He added, "Criss is a great guy, very clever and he has a good eye. Criss makes a cameo appearance in 'Billy Topit Master Magician' a couple of times. I got all my friends to come on and make cameo appearances. Johnny Thompson plays one of the lead roles in the movie."
Burton defined success in show business as "Being able to pay your rent." "Anything more than that, is just the gravy," he concluded.
For more on master magician Lance Burton and his new movie, check out his official Facebook page.