In season 9 of America’s Got Talent, street magician Tomas De la Cruz, a.k.a. Smoothini the Ghetto Houdini, astonished the judges with his whimsical magic performance. Raised in the

Manhattan Ghetto of New York, Tomas had plenty of opportunities to practice his sleight-of-hand on tourists and passersby. He practiced everywhere he went, turning a ride on the subway or a

stroll through the city into a profitable affair.  

Smooth, as he is now frequently called, was born in the Dominican Republic, then raised in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan, NY. As a kid, he idolized David Copperfield and

loved watching the show Cheers with his dad. So naturally, he combined the two and began sneaking out at night to go perform for the locals in nearby taverns. Before long he was determined to

be a famous magician too, in spite of his lack of finances. He explained to the judges that in the Ghetto, you “ain’t got money for props!”

Growing up in New York seemed the perfect place for a young and talented magician. However, after the events of 9/11, Tomas’ patriotism was stirred and he left the city behind to join the U.S.

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