Channing Pollock's artistry with doves greatly inspired Lance Burton in developing his own magic act and showmanship skills. Channing's excellent technical skills coupled with his handsome appearance and commanding manner, made him an artistic and commercial success in the 1950's. As a young boy practicing magic, Lance Burton was a fan of Channing Pollock's dove magic. Features of Channing Pollock's act were the double dove production and the dove to silk, both of which he originated. At the time of his retirement from magic he was the undisputed top performer of his kind. Later he became a screen actor and made a number of films.

Norm NielsenNorm Nielsen who was trained at the Chavez College of Magic became well-known for his floating violin in his act "Musical Magic." He is a recipient of the Best Stage Magician and Magician of the Year awards from the Academy of Magical Arts.

Harry Collins probably had the most influence on Lance Burton of all the magicians in the world. It started 32 years ago at a Christmas party, when magician Harry Collins - who is memorialized in a statue at Cave Hill Cemetery - pulled coins from Lance's ears. "When I went on-stage and Harry pulled the silver dollars out from behind my ear; it just had a profound impact on me," Burton said. "I had never seen a magician before. I didn't know it was a trick. I thought I had money behind my ears all this time." The well-dressed, well-mannered Kentucky magician soon became Lance's mentor and followed his dedication and progress. Lance Burton's mom Hilma Burton met Harry Collins where she had worked at Frito-Lay in Louisville. Lance Burton retains and adheres to the strict ideals laid down by his friend and tutor. In order to maintain the edge that keeps him in a class of his own, Lance spends several hours each day relentlessly studying, practicing and honing his craft.

Harry Blackstone Jr. was also a big influence on Lance Burton. Blackstone Jr. was a touring magician who was very popular in the Midwest. Lance Burton had attended his shows and vice versa in Las Vegas. Blackstone did a Christmas show called "Holiday on Ice" as well as the longest running magic show on Broadway. Blackstone Jr. and Sr. were two of the most well-known American touring magicians. Lance Burton attended Harry Blackstone Jr.'s memorial services in Palm Springs.

Harry Houdini, the most famous escape artist of all time, was widely regarded as a magician and remains an international legend in the field of magic. Lance Burton has done many dangerous escape tricks in his NBC television specials. One of the most famous was Harry Houdini's "Water Torture Death Tank" which he carried out for his NBC TV special "The Encounter." Houdini developed the illusion but never had the chance to do it. Lance Burton was also influenced by Houdini's numerous books.

John ThompsonJohn Thompson aka The Great Tomsoni (John and Pam Thompson) has befriended Lance Burton for many years and helped to influence his career in Las Vegas. John Thompson went into the "Vive Paris Vive" show at the Aladdin where he performed every night for three years. He met Lance Burton in the "Folies Bergere" at the Tropicana where they both performed. Thompson is a noted close-up performer and is highly respected in the trade show field. Thompson is accomplished in all areas of magic and show business. He is the author of "Polished Polish Prestidigitation" and "Coin in a Bottle - Plus." Thompson has performed on "The Tonight Show" and created his own revue in Reno called "Les Sorcery." He also writes Lance's comedy.

Lee Grabel was one of the top performing magicians of the '40s and '50s. He created an elaborate full evening show. One of his most famous acts was the "Floating Piano" illusion. In 1959, he retired from show business and began a second career in real estate investment. He remained a friend and advisor to Lance Burton. Lee S life is chronicled in the book "The Magic and Illusions of Lee Grabel."