SHE is Singapore's only professional female magician - and she's helping to sex up what used to be a less-than-glamorous male-dominated industry here.
Ning Cai, better known by her stage name 'Magic Babe' Ning - a nickname from her first boyfriend - has also modelled for local magazines, and was recently approached by director Eric Khoo for a lead role in his new film.
MagicSeen, Europe's largest magic magazine, labelled the 26-year-old Singaporean 'the sexiest woman in magic' with a two-part spread on her.
And in January, she'll be the first Singaporean to headline the Southern England Magic Convention, UK's first big magic spectacle of the year.
Besides being booked solid for her One Gal Show which she performs at corporate events for $1,500, she also conjures up the dough via the double-act Illusion Show with local illusionist J C Sum, her partner, manager and mentor.
Their charges range from $3,000 for a standard show to $50,000 for customised private events, making the duo the highest-paid magicians in the country now.
In August, Ning and J C will headline Ultimate Magic, Singapore's first-ever permanent illusion show at The Arena under a 16-month, $1 million contract.
The eloquent, sassy beauty told The New Paper: 'I'm a breath of fresh air to the entertainment and event industry.
'Women traditionally play the subservient role of the assistant or dancer, so honestly, it took a while for me to prove myself and break that long-established stereotype.
'I personally believe that I've got the chops to be as good as the other fellas on the playing field, if not better - despite daunting comments from 'old school' magicians and chauvinistic men who disapprove of the notion of a woman taking charge on stage.'
She recounted how her male peers would 'spread rumours' and snipe that she's nothing more than 'just a pretty face'.
The eldest of three girls in her family said: 'I think they feel that way because they don't have a USP (unique selling point).
'With other male magicians, they can step up and buy bigger props, but how do you fight a girl? So the only thing they can do is bitch about me.'
Which is why, despite having no prior experience in executing daredevil stunts, Ning is plunging into one in order to make a statement.
The self-confessed adrenaline junkie now spends four hours a day training for The Impalement Cage Mega Escape, which will be performed at the Clarke Quay fountain at 9pm on 5 Jul.
It will be the official launch for Ultimate Magic, and the biggest feat of her career so far, attempted in front of an expected 5,000-strong audience. Admission is free.
Designed by J C, the stunt will see a blindfolded and shackled Ning escaping from a steel cage with an overhanging bed of 13 stainless steel spikes timed to crash down on her in 90 seconds. (See grahics right.)
Oh, and she does it all in a bare-back halter top that looks more dangerous than the stunt itself.
But Ning is perfectly comfortable with her sexy image and makes no apologies for using it.
After all, the 1.7m-tall, 45kg stunner seemed to have perfected the art of whipping out the bedroom eyes, come-hither pout and racy poses for our photographer.
'Just like any other successful entertainer, it is the distinct image, character and persona that intrigues and captivates,' said Ning.
'It is as important as the magic effects and illusion acts themselves.'
That is why celebrity US illusionists like David Blaine and Criss Angel are so popular, successful and 'responsible for bringing magic back into mainstream entertainment'.
'I'm a confident Asian girl, and yes I think I look hot, but I also have talent,' she said.
'If it's just about sex, it'll fall flat after a while. But clients are still booking me and recommending me to others.'
After attending Methodist Girls' School and finishing her film and media studies course at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Ning worked as a marketing communications executive at The Heeren while doing magic shows at private parties and charity events.
But it was only after taking a degree in mass communications from Australia's RMIT University that she decided to make magic her full-time career.
She added: 'I felt it was very important to chase your dreams when you're young. Magic is a now-or-never thing.'
Ning joined J C's company Concept: Magic two years ago, and quickly went from being his protege to partner because of her 'good balance of technical skill and the whole package, substance and style', said J C.
Since splitting with her boyfriend of two years last year, she has had no shortage of suitors. But her hectic work schedule leaves her no time for a special someone.
The only guy in her life now is her 'current crush', American Idol 7 winner David Cook.
Ning gushed about how the talented rocker is known for putting his own original twist on well-known pop songs, and drew parallels to how she approaches her craft.
She said: 'One of my signature acts is the Linking Coat Hangers, which is based on a feminine, fashion theme. Everyone does the traditional Chinese Linking Rings which is so boring, so why can't I reinvent this staple and give it a context that is personal to me?
'I think it's very important for artistes to be true to themselves. You cannot just be contrived and copy people's acts wholesale.'
And then, with the very mention of Cook again, the empowered sex symbol turned into a swooning schoolgirl.
'Oh my God, to meet him would be so awesome, I would love it man!'
With so many tricks up her sleeve, Magic Babe should be able to pull that off too.