Erika Carmen, or Gypsy Allure, as you might know her, will be the first to tell you: she's more than just a pretty face. The sixth-generation circus performer has been appearing onstage since before she was able to walk, and she's got the chops to prove it. She can dazzle an audience with her magic act, quick wit and girlish charm. As she puts it, "Give me a stage and a mic, and I can entertain a crowd."
Carmen grew up traveling the world and performing with her parents, and two years ago, she set out on her own and began performing a solo act. She says she brings the experience and knowledge she's gained from her family to the stage, and she hopes to honor their tradition.
Transitioning from a supporting role to essentially a one-woman show, which she produces and stars in, has been a learning experience, and she says it puts her in a unique position.
"You don't see a lot of female magicians," she says. "As a magician, it's all about the art of misdirection, and I can use allure to my advantage; the way I wink at the audience or bat my eyes — I know they'll be looking there instead of at the illusion."
As she continues to honor her family tradition, she says she feels blessed to be living her dreams.
"Being onstage is truly my passion," she says. "It's where my heart is. I love entertaining people, and if someone can come into my audience and watch my show and forget their worries and engage with me on stage, that's all I really want. I just want to make people happy and smile — and do a little magic for them."
IF YOU GO:
Spooks on the Loose: takes place at 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, at the Sarasota Classic Car Museum, 5500 N. Tamiami Trail. All new Halloween-themed performance with special guests. $15 to $25. Call 351-2548.