BRAZILIAN SHOWGIRL MARCIA PAPA PEFORMS IN `LANCE BURTON: MASTER MAGICIAN'

The beautiful Rio de Janeiro native and showgirl-dancer Marcia Papa is working for one of the big five accounting firms.

She said, "I just returned from Rio where I visited my family over the holidays. They are happy for me but wish I was back at home living of course. My dad is an accountant and wants me to work with him. I would not go back because I'm an American citizen now. I voted for my first election. I like America because people really fight for their country's freedom. Americans love their country and don't put up with anything. I come from a country where you don't have rights and you don't have any say. One person can make a big difference. I love the flags and the unity. That's what America is all about you can be somebody if you work hard."

She continued, "I've always loved numbers and math and hope to be a licensed CPA in another year. I fell in love with numbers and dancing. It's going to be hard to leave dancing when the time comes but you have to think of the future because this is not a job you can work at all of your life unfortunately."

Marcia joined Lance Burton's troupe of dancer-magician's assistants when the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino on The Las Vegas Strip opened on June 21, 1996.

She said, "There were 140 girl dancers who showed up for the casting call and they only had openings for two dancers. I filled one of the openings. It was wonderful. I've been dancing in Lance's show for over two years now and I love it."

She reminisced, "I grew up in Ipanema near Rio de Janeiro. When I was 8 years old, I began taking dance lessons at ballet school. After that I went into jazz and have been dancing ever since. I had my first professional job at age 18."

She said, "It's fate that I ended up in Las Vegas. I was with the Brazilian show `Oba! Oba!' and we performed at the old Aladdin in 1989 where I met my husband. We toured in Europe for six months before coming to America. There was plenty of work for dancers in Las Vegas so I worked in several other Las Vegas shows before coming to work for Lance Burton. This is the most sought after job in town."

Marcia quipped, "I was in `Jubilee!' and `EFX' before coming to `Lance Burton: Master Magician.' This show is so much more fun to work in. I have friends who want to go to work here. The requirements are stringent. We're more petite than most showgirls are and we're very flexible and limber. We're also nicknamed `Burton's Babes.' There are seven dancers in the show. I think he has the best dancers in Las Vegas. We also have to be magician's assistants and get to work on national TV specials. It's a very glamorous show."

She continued, "Every other year my parents come here from Brazil to see me and every other year I go back home to see my family. So we see each other every year. I have one sister who still lives and works in Rio de Janeiro. I'm currently studying in college for a degree in accounting. I have a degree from the University of Rio de Janeiro in physical education. I am a straight `A'student."

Marcia said, "My friends and family love Lance Burton. He's great and knows how to treat people well. It's a very happy situation to be working in such a great exciting show. I get to see how some of the tricks are done from up onstage. From the audience's viewpoint the magic appears to be impossible and even if they knew how to do it they couldn't. Lance is the most talented magician in history."

She said, "I'd say everyone of the girls in Lance's show has probably had a wild past. We are now married and some have kids. Las Vegas offers fun all night long. I don't go out anymore."

She continued, "How are the tricks done? That's the most common question and I just answer. If I tell you, I'll have to kill you. People don't ask a second time."

What's her favorite thing about dance? She said, "I love ballet. It inspires me to work hard."

What are her hobbies? She said, "I have my kids. I have a total of seven cats and dogs. I love animals. My husband and I take good care of them."

She concluded, "My life is great and I'm very happy to be married to the right person and working in the best show in Las Vegas."

Read about other cast members.