As a teenager, Jen Kramer was the only female in the Society of Young Magicians.
“There were always 15 or 20 boys and I was the only girl and I remember wondering, why is this?” she says. “A girl might drop in for a meeting and I’d always hope she’d stay and become part of the group. Now, having kept in touch with the people that run that group, I know there are young girls who have become part of it and that’s amazing.”
Today, Kramer becomes the only one again. She’s the only current female headlining magician in Las Vegas as she opens “The Magic of Jen Kramer” at the Westgate Cabaret, which will be presented at 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (3000 Paradise Road, 702-732-5111).
Kramer has been living in Las Vegas for almost four years, mixing corporate gigs and college shows with local weekly performances at Wyndham and Marriott resorts. You may have seen her pop up for some sleight-of-hand and mind-reading fun on TV’s “Penn & Teller: Fool Us” or “Masters of Illusion.” Before that, she went to school at Yale and started the college’s magic society, another group she still keeps up with.
“We got to perform together around campus and even took a trip with Magicians Without Borders to India for about 15 shows,” Kramer says. “One thing I love about magic is that it really is universal. There was a language barrier but it didn’t matter, as far as the reactions to the magic. The audiences were wonderful and it was fantastic how we could connect. Magic was the language.”
Making those connections is the most important thing for this native of Greatneck, New York, which is why she works plenty of audience interaction and comedy into the traditional and modern magic and mentalism in her family-friendly act. It’s also why she refused to get discouraged as a teen magician when those other girls didn’t join up.
“It is a very male-dominated field and I see it moving in a direction where more women are getting involved,” Kramer says. “I would love to hopefully be a role model and for the show to contribute in some way to the involvement of more young women in magic. To inspire them would mean a lot to me.”