Magic is Real: Richard Edward Turner
Through mind-bending card manipulation, a master dazzles and inspires audiences with what is seen and unseen.
Magic is Real
Richard Edward Turner is a magician whose life is truly an optical illusion. Turner, best known for his sensational card trick performances, began losing his vision when he was recovering from scarlet fever at the age of nine, causing irreversible detriment to his eyes. From the age of 9 to 45, he was legally blind and only able to see indiscernible shadows peripherally. After this he was completely blind.
Watching his performance, you wouldn’t know that Turner’s greatest magic isn’t in the cards. Instead, it’s in how he overcomes his blindness, proving that magic isn’t only about what you can see, but what you can’t.
Now You See Me, Now You Don’t
Turner’s lack of eyesight isn’t the most magical part of his story. It’s how he inspires people to not let anything hold them back from their dreams. He assures people that his eyes didn’t get him to international acclaim, his heart did. “I don’t tell anyone I’m blind, but when someone finds out after a show, I say, ‘what does that matter? What I really want you to appreciate is how many ways I can take your money at the card table or how much we could win together.’”
Turner has been featured on notable television programs such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not, That’s Incredible, and Fool Us starring Penn & Teller. He also made appearances on Great Britain’s The Paul Daniels Magic Show, China Central Television, and has even done 8 TV specials for Japanese TV programs including World Geniuses, and “Number One Knows.” The analytics indicate Turner has been seen in over 200 countries, making him one of the most well-known magicians in the world.
Turner realizes that his visual impairment is extremely unique in the world of magic, and is pleased that he can use his skills to help people believe in their own abilities. Born in San Diego in 1954, Turner began attending a special school for the visually impaired shortly after becoming legally blind. Uninterested in learning Braille with the other children, he became captivated with card magic by the visually impaired teacher Mr. Brian who was an amateur magician. His interest in karate came after accompanying his brother David, to a karate class. Martial arts sparked Turner’s interest in performance and eventually he earned his six-degree black belt in Wadokai, a Japanese style of fighting defense.
With his newfound confidence, in 1972 he turned his attention towards theatre and auditioned for a non-profit Christian theater troop operated by famed actor Steve Terrell. Terrell taught him how to use eye contact to conceal his visual impairment.
But getting a look into Turner’s eyes was the hard part, as he was always on to the next adventure. After he was introduced to stuntman Bobby Yerkes, he learned to perform stunts like walking a tightrope, taking high falls, and swinging on the trapeze, providing him with the confidence necessary for a rewarding career in the performing arts.
“Many times people say that I’ve done things that no man should do without careful planning, practice, and precision,” he said. “The fact that my eyesight is gone should show how hard one must work to be the best they can be.” And at the very least, I want others to do the same and hit their own pinnacles of success.”
While Turner’s talents are numerous, he’s at home when he has a full deck in his hands. “Very rarely do you see me without a deck of cards in my hand,” he said. “Some call it obsessive, some call it perfectionism. I’m a blend of many disciplines. I call myself the poster-boy for obsessive compulsive behavior and proud of it.”
Over the years, Turner has received many recognitions from other entertainers, including magician Ed Marlo, a mind-blowing cardician, who praised Turner as an actor, entertainer, and card-man. Because of Turner’s ability to feel cards in a way many people and other magicians cannot, he is considered one of the best magicians in the world.
Turner’s enthralling performances and card demonstrations have earned him the prestigious Golden Lion Award in Magic from Siegfried and Roy, and the Lynn Searles Award for Excellence in Card Manipulation. He’s won the Close-Up Magician of the Year award twice from The Academy of Magical Arts, in 2018 and 2019 he was the subject of a Japanese TBS mini series where Turner’s card talents and life story were nationally featured. The number one magician in all of Japan is Mr. Maric. Mr. Maric consulted with magicians around the world to get the consensus of whom is the world’s best. After his consulting Mr. Maric declared Turner to be the greatest in the world with skills that are so difficult to master that they will never be replicated. Turner is also the subject of the 2017 feature documentary film called, “DEALT,” which won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the South by Southwest Film Festival and is featured in the US on Hulu, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and outside the US on Netflix. When he’s not shuffling, he’s giving motivational lectures for government agencies and international corporations.
Enjoy the Show
Turner’s shows are about providing a memorable experience for families, friends and dignitaries. His notable audiences have included the likes of, Brad Pitt, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, Muhammad Ali, Bob Hope, Gene Kelly, and former Secretary of State, Colin Powell, just to name a few.
In 2009, still dedicated to karate, he earned the Master title as a Sixth Degree Black Belt in Wadokai. Turner has become a true entertainer and has never let his lack of eyesight stand in his way. Because he learned at such a young age to live his life with his eyes wide open, many people who have seen him perform don’t know that he is blind. He has used his love of theater and card tricks to become one of the most notable entertainers of all time. He has even taken on the job of testing the quality of cards for The United States Playing Card Company.
Having spent almost six decades focused on manipulating and playing all card games, Turner has turned his talents to becoming a game app creator with three different game apps to be released in 2019. The first to hit the world markets will be a puzzle game called “Batty.” Then will come gambling games for amateur and professional gamers. The first gambling game to hit the world market will be “Shark Showdown” followed by the larger version called, “Texas Showdown.” Turner’s business partner David Reichelt is the creator of the number one game of 2016 called Color Switch and his marketing team will post the release dates of Color Switch 2 and Turner’s games on all their social media partners including Apple, Google and Facebook.
What’s next for Richard Turner? Variety Magazine recently announced that Richard and his DEALT film producers have signed a deal with film and television executive Mark Ordesky (best known as the executive producer of the Oscar-winning “Lord of the Rings” film trilogy) and Jane Fleming with Court Five Productions to produce a feature film based on Richard’s frenetically fascinating life story!
Over the years, Turner has amazed audiences and performers alike and has become an integral part of American pop culture history. Today, he is regarded as one of the best magicians in the world. You can find him dazzling and entertaining on the stage, inspiring people to play the hand that they have been dealt.