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The Magic of a College Degree
Editor's Note: Alumnus Seth Grabel recently made it through several rounds of America's Got Talent on NBC. Read more about him on the show's website.
For Seth Grabel, ’05, it wasn’t always a given that he would become a magician; in fact, he had dreams of some day
opening a hotel/health spa. Growing up in Los Angeles with a belly-dancing mother and a Realtor father who enjoyed
magic, Grabel didn’t realize until college that he had a talent for sleight-of-hand trickery.
At what age did you become interested in magic?
My dad dabbled in magic as a hobby, but it was his thing, not mine. He would teach me tricks, but I was more interested in wrestling and karate and gymnastics.
Why did you decide to attend UNLV?
During high school, I became fascinated by the hotel industry and began looking into universities. I had researched UNLV and thought it was the right place for me. I enjoyed my classes, and became involved in student life. I was a hotel major but became president of the UNLV Real Estate Business Society and used what I had learned from my dad to promote the club. I liked my hotel marketing classes and learning about the business side.
Now you work as a magician…When did you “rediscover” magic?
I caught the “magic bug” during my UNLV days. I started doing a few tricks at friends’ parties, just for fun, and it grew from there — I started getting hired to perform at parties, which led to bigger, more profitable jobs. During my Caesars Palace internship, I incorporated magic into the room check-in process and learned that I really love performing and pleasing an audience.
Not many performers have college degrees so I feel like I have a leg up on my potential competition because I have the business and hospitality expertise to go with my entertainment skills. UNLV also provided me with great networking opportunities that are still coming into play today.
Premier Magazine, winter issue.
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