This week, Ira spoke with award-winning comedy magician Fielding West, who not only performs in Las Vegas and around the world, but also is an instructor and keynote speaker. In this 30-minute episode of Talk About Las Vegas, West talks about his career in magic; how Las Vegas became his base as a performer; his relationship with Master Magician Lance Burton; the future of magic; the importance of stagecraft and why it takes 1,000 shows to be a professional; and the one thing he learned about show business.
West was introduced to magic by his grandfather who was an amateur magician. After high school, he put himself through college, paying for his degree by performing in a band as a drummer and doing magic shows for children.
In 1973 while selling cars and going to graduate school at night in Tallahassee, Florida, he met an unknown comedy magician named Steve Martin. After seeing Martin perform, West knew that he wanted to be in show business for the rest of his life. The concept of a comedy act began.
West put together a successful touring show called the Amazing Fielding And Company, which included illusions and hypnosis. The act, after two years, led him to Las Vegas. There, West met Liberace, who helped him get his first break by showcasing his act at the Sahara Hotel. Since then he has been working all over the world as a featured star in large production shows and as an opening act for major stars.