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Billy Kidd performing an escape.

Tom Sparey

The name is Billy Kidd, only she's not a kid or even an outlaw. She's one of the very few women who perform magic tricks instead of acting as the male magician's lovely assistant.

Born in Edmonton, now based outside of London, Ms. Kidd is so good at her craft she has been featured on the Discovery and Syfy channels, and entertains throughout Europe, Asia and Japan. She found her inspiration several years ago watching a street magician in Edmonton.

As much as she enjoyed the magic, it was the crowd's reaction that resonated with Ms. Kidd.

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"It was such a high," she says. "It's why you have to credit [American street performer] David Blaine. He was the first guy who turned the focus and television cameras on people reacting to his magic."

Ms. Kidd has a divergent background. In her youth, she danced ballet and was classically trained in piano. At 12, she was already acting in plays, on television and in film. It took her to the University of Alberta, where she graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting.

She brought all those talents with her when she began working as a magician's choreographer. From there, the advancements came in stages. She spent time in Key West, Fla., where she was tutored by British street magician Gary (Gazzo) Osbourne.

Ms. Kidd decided to move to Britain and become a fulltime magician. From there, she worked on cruise ships and in Dubai hotels. She noticed she was very much in the minority.

"It is how it's always been. There haven't been a lot of role models for girls," Ms. Kidd says, acknowledging that magic had been a boy's/men's club with few exceptions.

It is also true that young boys will get magic kits to play with, but girls generally don't.

What Ms. Kidd has been getting are rave reviews for her close-up, comedy and festival magic. She is currently performing at the theatre in Bath, Britain, before heading to Amsterdam, followed by Sweden.

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"There are lots of television channels and ways to show magic," she says. "Right now, magic is a hot topic."

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