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Kingman magician hoping to pull success out of America's Got Talent hat

Magician Marc Butkiewicz displays the card decks he will use during his audition Feb. 8 in Los Angeles for “America’s Got Talent.” Butkiewicz, who lives in Kingman, is hoping to get his big break on the show and perform in Las Vegas. (KIM STEELE/Miner)

KINGMAN - America may get a chance to decide whether or not Marc Butkiewicz has talent if he gets past the initial audition in February with a producer from "America's Got Talent."

"I'm really excited about auditioning for 'America's Got Talent'," said Butkiewicz, 52, a Kingman resident who bills himself as Marcos the Magician. "This could be the big break that I'm looking for. If I can get past the producer and perform on television, it would be a dream come true for me. After 29 years of practicing my art, I think I have a good chance and I'm ready to take it."

"America's Got Talent" is a reality television show that features singers, dancers, magicians, comedians and other performers competing for a $1 million prize and a chance to headline a show on the Las Vegas Strip. Once voted into the talent pool by a producer and panel of celebrity judges, favored participants advance each week as others are eliminated by call-in public votes.

Butkiewicz, who will audition Feb. 8 in Los Angeles, caught the magic bug as a 9-year-old boy when his grandfather bought him a deck of magician Mark Wilson's magic cards. By the time Butkiewicz graduated from high school in Orange County, Calif., he knew he wanted to be a professional entertainer - using magic as his medium.

"I was fascinated by magic, and when I saw the reaction from my audiences, I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life," said Butkiewicz. "Entertainment is right up my alley. I love being able to perform and hear people applaud. Magic is a good entertainment tool and it's a useful way to give something back to my community."

In 1984, Butkiewicz began traveling the nightclub circuit in Orange County with a small group of performers as they competed in talent shows.

That group included Sinbad, a comedian who got his break on "Star Search" and later became an actor. Since Butkiewicz moved to Kingman in 2009, he has performed at local benefits and events. He is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

Butkiewicz's routine consists of a mix of close-up and stage magic. Close-up magic includes making money appear and disappear, doing card tricks, pouring water out of a toilet paper roll and creating snow. Stage magic features making a mannequin come to life, pulling silk scarves through a lighted candle without burning them, and pouring milk into a rolled newspaper and transferring the liquid to a light bulb.

For his 90-second shot at a chance on "America's Got Talent," Butkiewicz will perform a comedy skit while doing a variety of card tricks. Butkiewicz said he is looking forward to blowing the competition away with his skill as a performer.

"I've always believed that you get noticed at the right place and time," said Butkiewicz. "When the talent agents approached Sinbad in the 1980s, I asked them about a magician being on "Star Search" and they said there wasn't enough time. But I didn't give up. When I filled out the application for 'America's Got Talent' in September, they said they wanted to meet me. I'm nervous, but I really believe my time is now."


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