An illusionist and magician from Central New York is stepping into the national spotlight on NBC's "America's Got Talent." You can follow the journey of Utica's own Leon Etienne, and his assistant Romy Low, by tuning in to NBC at 9 p.m. Tuesday as they try to wow their way to a $1 million grand prize and the rights to their own show.
Etienne and Low, who have been performing together for eight years, have already made it past the round of auditions and Vegas Week. Tuesday night, they promise to awe the audience and impress the four judges from the Radio City Music Hall stage in New York City.
"This is completely huge, I mean it will be the biggest performance of our career," Etienne said in an interview on the NBC show. "It is a dream come true, the legends that have been on there [that stage]. We can only hope to try to live up to some of that."
Etienne's interest in magic ignited when he was 12 years old. According to the biography listed on his website, he started to read through a book of magic tricks he got as a gift when his mom grounded him and sent him to his room. After mastering the trick and awing his mother, his interest in the art of magic only grew. A year later, while playing in a baseball game, Etienne survived a lightning strike that hit the field where his little league team was playing. Our sister station, WKTV covered the incident that happened in South Utica.
The Etienne family and friends still joke about whether this may have had something to do with Leon's skill set; saying "magical things started to happen everywhere" Leon went, as if the lightning somehow charged him.
Now 29-years-old, Etienne has traveled the world performing. He's awed audiences on cruise ships, at theatres and performing arts centers, dozens of colleges and universities, as well as private and corporate functions. He has opened for national recording acts such as the Marshall Tucker Band, and Blue Oyster Cult.
Romy joined the show in 2005, when she was 18-years-old. At the time, she was performing as a trapeze artist for The French Woods Festival of Performing Arts. An established choreographer, her performing resume is colored with dance and gymnastics credits.
Viewers can vote for the dazzling duo immediately after tonight's show by calling the number that will show up on the bottom of the screen following their performance.