“I love performing, I love telling stories and being able to keep the audience thinking,” he said. “I want you as the audience to lose yourself for that hour or two hours of the show, to let all of your worries go and have fun.”
The initial spark
Turco looks back fondly on his childhood, living right outside of the Atlantic City strip in New Jersey, where he and his family would regularly catch live shows.
“We’d go to all kinds of shows — variety shows, magic shows, you name it,” he said. “I love live entertainment and live theatre. It was all about seeing as many shows as I could and get a feel for it, and it was then I fell in love with magic.”
And at one of those shows, it was the classic “torn and restored” newspaper trick that captivated Turco, where the magician rips apart a newspaper and rolls it back together as if nothing had happened.
“I was just fascinated how you could tear up a newspaper and put it back together right in front of your eyes,” he said. “I actually still do that trick and some storytelling in every one of those show. It’s something that brings it really full circle for me as a magician.”
Like countless other kids fascinated with by a magic show, Turco went home from these shows and bought a magic set.
“Everyone does it when they’re little, they get a magic set and they play with it,” he said. “Some people stick with it, some make it a hobby, and, for me, I knew it was something I’d never stop doing. I’ve been able to perform around the world — it’s been a dream come true for me.”
Turco practiced everyday, any trick, and always tried them out in front of friends and family.
“Every trick I learned I first performed it for my mother, and then for my family — they’ve always been supportive and encouraged me,” he said. “I’d learn a trick and do it over and over again until it was perfect, and then perform it in front of them.”
Turco went to college and studied television and film production, with a sincere love of working behind the scenes on sets, but his true love of magic never wavered.
“I was going to try to be as a magician, try to tour and try to make it,” he said. “I started touring and traveling from place to place and soon got my own show in Atlantic City.”
And with that Atlantic City stage, Turco found justification in his hard work and pursuits.
“I finally had my own show in Atlantic City at a casino,” he said. “And my parents would drive by past a billboard of me up there, something I always dreamed of, and I think that was the moment they saw I could really do it, that I could really make it.”
Welcome to the big show
Pushing further into his professional career, Turco has received the Joseph Gabriel Performance Award (1997) and the Maltese Award at William Paterson University (2002), and is also a member of the Society of American Magicians and the International Brotherhood of Magicians. In 2011, he attracted national attention with his successful performance on the popular television show “America’s Got Talent.”
“Some of the people I work with are people I saw on television, people I’ve looked up to and now I’m sharing the stage with them — it’s amazing,” he said.
When designing his own stage show, Turco takes tricks — old, new and of his own creation —and tailors them to his performance. He and his team are the only keepers of the production secrets, which is something Turco loves — the fact that in a modern world of instant information, people respect the mystery of magic.
“Magic is still an art people don’t want to dive deep down into. They want to know the secrets to the tricks, but then again, they don’t,” he said. “Our job is to trick the audience, to deceive and misdirect them. Some things happen and the audience has no clue what’s going on and you as a magician go, ‘I just tricked them and they didn’t even see it,’ and that’s what it’s all about — that ‘wow’ factor.”
With every show, Turco is trying to do what every performer, of every type of show, is trying to do, which is make a connection with an audience, and to be able to take them out of their reality and into a world of entertainment.
“I stand onstage, people look at me, people ask me for my autograph after the show. It’s great to be that celebrity-ish person onstage, but in the end we’re all the same people, and my job is to let that person in the audience forget about their job and what’s happening at home, even for just a little while, and have fun,” he said.
And each night when he hits the stage, looking into that audience, it never ceases to put a smile on Turco’s face when he sees a young child in the audience, full of wonder and excitement.
“I see a little kid watching me and I think, ‘That was me at one time,’” he said. “It makes it all complete for me, a full circle moment. With persistence and a lot of hard work, dreams do come true.”
Want to go?
The Masters of Illusion “Believe The Impossible” professional magic showcase will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at Harrah’s Cherokee.
Grand illusions, levitating women, appearances and vanishes, escapes, comedy magic, sleight of hand and beautiful dancers are just some of the events during the performance.
Masters of Illusion is a huge stage phenomenon born from the multi-award winning television series Masters of Illusion and from the World Magic Awards, which is recognized as the International Academy Awards of Magic. One of the exciting features of this magical experience is that the entire audience participates in a mind-boggling illusion and some lucky individuals even get picked to assist with illusions onstage.
The award-winning cast has been brought together to perform live to its Masters of Illusion’s huge worldwide television audience. Masters of Illusion will have 13 new TV episodes airing in 2014 on the CW network and in over 100 countries internationally.
Tickets are $15, $24.50 and $34.50.