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Turner Magic & Keynotes Named Best of Atlanta 2012

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on August 6, 2012


Turner Magic & Keynotes Receives 2012 Best of Atlanta Award

Atlanta Award Program Honors the Achievement

ATLANTA July 30, 2012 — Turner Magic & Keynotes has been selected for the 2012 Best of Atlanta Award in the Party Planning & Event Consultants category by the Atlanta Award Program.

2012 Best of Atlanta

Turner Magic & Keynotes has received the 2012 Best of Atlanta award for the second consecutive year.

Each year, the Atlanta Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Atlanta area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2012 Atlanta Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Atlanta Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Atlanta Award Program

The Atlanta Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Atlanta area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Atlanta Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Atlanta Award Program

Atlanta Award Program


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Nailing the Punchline

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on November 30, 2011

Opportunity knocked again one recent Sunday afternoon. Well, actually it called my cell.

Atlanta Mentalist and Magician Joe M. Turner at the Punchline

Atlanta Mentalist and Magician Joe M. Turner taking a bow at the Punchline Comedy Club.

My family had already left for Tennessee to visit family and enjoy Thanksgiving. I had stayed behind due to plans on Monday evening, with a flight out set for Tuesday morning.

Sunday afternoon, then, found me home alone with no real plans, until my phone rang.

“Joe, I’m glad I caught you!” said my friend Christian. “Are you working tonight?”

“No – why?”

“Well, I’ve got a situation…”

Christian is a local comedy magician who was scheduled to play Atlanta’s Punchline Comedy Club that evening. Due to some miscommunication between himself and the club manager, each thought the other had booked the rest of the talent for the evening’s show. That is, they had a headliner but no emcee and no feature act. Would I be interested in taking one of those spots? The emcee spot runs about ten minutes, then you introduce the other acts. The feature spot is a 25-minute spot, then you’re done for the evening.

I had never worked a comedy club before. Sure, I use humor in my act, but I don’t bill myself as a “comedy magician.” My friend assured me that I would be great and that the crowd that night was expecting strong magic.

Back in April I wrote about the importance of being willing to jump into unexpected opportunities. I thought about that post as I considered this offer for a few seconds.

“If I can do the feature spot, I’m in.”

“Done. See you at the club.”

Next thing I know, I’m headed into town to work the Punchline.

Punchline LogoOn the way, I considered how I would start. I had a routine that I knew would fit comfortably into the time slot. I knew the effects would work well together, involve the audience, and generate some laughs from their intrinsic humor. My main concern was precisely how to open for an audience largely primed for stand-up comedy.

I decided to take part of a humorous speech I had written for another performance and adapt it to this new venue. Basically, I set out to establish that I was on the show for contrast, to make the funny acts seem funnier. However, in positioning myself that way, I was also getting some laughs. The combination worked well, and I had the audience laughing at my ‘predicament’ before I even started the magic.

As it turns out, I had a great time. Excellent comments after the show, including “You were our favorite” from a couple who didn’t know any of the performers, and “You changed our whole outlook on magic” from another couple who had actually come to see the headliner and didn’t expect to see other performers.

Punchline Stage

The stage of Atlanta's longtime comedy landmark, The Punchline Comedy Club.

Some of my takeaways from the experience:

  • Take advantage of unexpected opportunities to grow.

    I could have stayed home and told myself, “That’s not my venue.” Instead, I now have a new venue. Are your skills or services applicable to a market you haven’t explored?

  • Think about your opening.

    Find a way to position yourself for success by turning your presumed weaknesses into strengths. They’re not bugs – they’re features! Is there something about what you offer – or about what you don’t offer – that you can use as a point of contrast to others in your field?

  • Nail the punch line.

    In comedy, you won’t be successful if you don’t nail your punch line. All the build up requires that you deliver the goods at the end. How do your clients know when it’s time to laugh and applaud? Are you nailing your punch line?

Here we are at the end of 2011, a year that has been both amazingly challenging and amazingly fruitful. You have just enough time left to nail your punch line.

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Credibility Counts – Interview on Georgia Business Directory Network

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on November 14, 2011


Anyone can claim anything. How are you evaluating the credibility of those who offer to provide services to your organization?

A few months ago, speaker and consultant Diane Bogino asked me to appear on her video magazine, Business Notes, on Georgia Business Directory Network TV. That interview appears at the end of this article.

Diane’s company, Performance Strategies, helps other companies align job descriptions so that they really are achieving their strategic objectives. She also helps consultants as they work with their own clients, providing them with a range of diagnostic assessments and expertise in analyzing an interpreting the results. Her business experiences both in corporate human resources and in small business give her a rich spectrum of real-world experiences to call upon when providing her services.

One of the things we talked about was the importance of credibility in speakers and yes, even in entertainers. Whether proposing a keynote address, an after-dinner show, or any other kind of appearance, I’m only too well aware of one unmistakable fact: Anyone can claim anything.

I regularly get calls from clients who either minimized potential concerns about credibility or ignored them altogether when selecting an entertainer for their organization. Basing their decision solely on a web site, a studio photograph, or worst of all, a low price, they engaged a speaker or performer who promised an experience that they simply weren’t prepared to deliver.

  • Success speakers whose only notable success is to book themselves as a “success speaker.”
  • Team-building leaders or experts who have never built a real business team.
  • Small-business coaches who have never built a real operating business.
  • “Life coaches” whose own lives are in questionable shape.
  • Entertainers who misrepresent their credits, awards, or endorsements.

I’ve written before about the high price of cheap entertainment. There is also a high price to be paid for ignoring the need for involving a credible entertainment professional.

I was recently made aware of a business event that featured a show by another performer. Promotion was hot and heavy and set exceptionally high expectations for the event. These were claims that simply couldn’t be backed up by a performer of such limited experience. When the reviews came in the attendees took both the performer and the organizer to the proverbial woodshed. That organizer’s credibility has suffered a major blow in public perception because he let his event hinge on the skill of a performer who wasn’t really equipped to deliver.

Incredible performers create incredible experiences – and that is true in both the good and bad senses of the word!

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Atlanta Speaker, Mentalist, Magician Turner to Perform at London Palladium

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on September 13, 2011

London Palladium

Atlanta speaker, mentalist, and magician Joe M. Turner performs at the London Palladium on September 19. (Photo courtesy Ilona Richards)

Atlanta speaker, mentalist and magician Joe M. Turner will perform at the London Palladium in September at a show benefiting several UK children’s medical charities. He is the sole American close-up performer on the bill.

Atlanta-based speaker and corporate entertainer Joe M. Turner has been tapped to perform at a landmark event at the historic Palladium Theatre in London on September 19. Illusionists from around the world, including Las Vegas headliners Mac King and Jeff Hobson, will present an evening of stage magic and close-up sleight-of-hand as part of “Palladium Magic,” a gala benefit show supporting several UK children’s medical charities. Turner, a two-time Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year, is the only American slated to be part of the close-up magic performances.

“It is an honor to have Joe as part of our event,” says producer Paul Stone, president of MagiCares, the charity behind the show. “His talents are well-known in America and we are proud indeed that he agreed to share them with us. Great magicians such as Harry Houdini, Chung Ling Soo, and Paul Daniels have performed in this historic theatre, as have most of the greatest singers, actors, and variety stars over the last hundred years. Joe will become part of a great show business tradition when he takes his bow on the Palladium stage.”

Turner’s skills as a mentalist and sleight-of-hand expert have put him in high demand as an entertainer and speaker. His visual and psychological illusions have been featured on Good Morning America, Nightline, CNN HLN, and numerous other television programs at home and abroad. He has performed multiple times at the Hollywood Magic Castle, the Tropicana Atlantic City, off-Broadway at Monday Night Magic in New York, and at hundreds of corporate and private events in North America, Europe, and the Caribbean.

Turner performed at the 2010 national convention of the Society of American Magicians and serves on the Executive Committee of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the industry’s largest organization. He is a member of the London Magic Circle, which awarded him an advanced performance degree last year.

As a speaker, Joe frequently delivers motivational keynotes on subjects of creativity, leadership, and “doing the impossible” by leveraging one’s unique combination of talents and life experiences. He is a member of the National Speakers Association and was featured in their national magazine earlier this year. After the show, Turner will travel north to perform and lecture at another conference in Southport before returning home.

Find out more about Joe M. Turner’s unreal entertainment and keynotes at and

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Impulse, Excellence, and Leaps of Faith

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on April 23, 2011

Thursday afternoon, on a combination of instinct and impulse, I decided to take a giant leap… backward.  Sort of.

I was in the midst of doing a partial rewrite of an upcoming review column in Genii Magazine when an interesting status update flashed across the Facebook page:  “In need of an accompanist (piano) tonight, Monday and Tuesday.”

Heidi Bevill, Production/Stage Manager for the Shuler Hensley Awards

Heidi Bevill, Production/Stage Manager for the Shuler Hensley Awards

The author of that status was a person I have known since 1991.  Heidi Bevill was playing Hope Harcourt in a high school production of Anything Goes in Starkville, Mississippi that spring when the pianist quit.  I was a student at Mississippi State at the time and was taking piano and voice courses for my own enrichment.  I was asked to come to the next rehearsal, which I did, and I played the remaining rehearsals and the show.  Heidi was later in my physics class when I student taught at SHS, and later played Amanda to my Elyot in a college production of Private Lives.  She also performed in a musical I wrote in college, BankNote$.

So – on a lark, I checked with Heidi to see what was going on.  Turns out that the Shuler Hensley Awards are coming up on Tuesday and they were in immediate need of an experienced musical theater accompanist who could jump in at the last minute to play scenes for the nominated productions: Hairspray, Into the Woods, A Little Night Music, Les Miserables, Oklahoma, and Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.  The big event is Tuesday night at Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.  (These awards, named for a Tony and Olivier Award winning Marietta native, recognize excellence in high school musical theater in Georgia.)

I checked the calendar.  It could work.  I’ve got a show Saturday, but they aren’t rehearsing that day.  I’m preparing to fly to New York next Wednesday for a convention, but this event would be over Tuesday night and… what the heck!  I decided to suddenly jump back in time about 20 years and sit in a pit for a musical theater production. (What’s more, I decided to do it under fire, at the last minute, in front of a theater full of people!)

So, I went to rehearsal last night.  I got the music at 4pm for a 5pm rehearsal which I managed to stumble through, essentially sight-reading the scores.  I’m familiar with all the shows and have worked on productions of some of them, but generally as an actor, not a pianist.   Today I’ve been working like crazy (particularly on the Sondheim!) and I’ll rehearse with the orchestra on Monday.  Cue-to-cue Monday night, dress on Tuesday.  Show Tuesday night.  Oh, by the way, turns out the awards are recorded for television and will be broadcast later this summer.  No pressure, eh?

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Last year's awards at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. This year is also sold out.

I decided to take this challenge for lots of reasons.  Reconnecting with old friends and colleagues.  Meeting exceptionally talented new people.  Working in a great venue.  But most of all, I think it’s important – even critical – to exercise your full range of talents.  As I wrote in  my last post, your unique combination of talents and experiences holds your key to new ideas and new ways to overcome challenges.

As a speaker and entertainer, I don’t always have the opportunity or need to sit at a piano and rip out “A Weekend in the Country.”  My mentalism performances never feature the dance break from “Everything’s Up to Date in Kansas City.”  My keynotes don’t feature any would-be French revolutionary anthems.  But the experience of collaborating to create live performances at a high level of quality always affects the way you think about your own individual performance.  The same is true for high achievers in any field or industry; they want to learn from others who achieve greatness.  High achievers revel in the experience of excellence, and generally prefer to take an active role rather than being a passive observer.

What “back burner” skill have you been sitting on?  Why not exercise it?  It doesn’t have to be in quite the high-pressure situation that I’ve gotten myself into this week, but the excitement and energy that come from taking on an unusual challenge always bleed over into your more usual work.

Think of something you haven’t done in a long time, and go find a way to do it again.  Think about the experience.  Look for ways to apply what you learn.  Take a leap backward, and you may just find yourself taking a giant leap forward as a result.

(Note:  Photos copyright Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre and Edward Zeltser.)

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Your Hidden Skills

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on April 11, 2011

I recently had the opportunity to perform a skill I didn’t even know I had until a few months ago.

I was at home after a conference where my presentation had included a performance of a staggering mathematical demonstration using an array of numbers which combine in a series of surprising ways.  I use this impressive demonstration of memory and lightning calculation to illustrate and emphasize a few key points depending on which keynote I’m delivering, and it is always a topic of conversation among the attendees afterwards.

Anyway, I had returned to  Atlanta and was playing the piano – one of my favorite ways to relax.  The piece I was playing that day was Robert Schumann‘s Romance in F#, Opus 28 No. 2, to which I was introduced by my college piano professor Dr. Geraldine Collins.  (Incidentally, I owe Dr. Collins much love and gratitude for using this piece to help me learn to appreciate the subtleties of tone and dynamics at the piano.)  The Romance in F# is a wonderful piece of music, and as I played it my mind drifted back to the recent speaking engagement.  I discovered that afternoon that I could perform the required calculations to present the mathematical demonstration… while simultaneously playing the Schumann.

“This,” I thought, “is the nugget of something special.”

Atlanta Magician and Mentalist Joe M. Turner performs his "Schumann Square" in Nashville.

Atlanta Magician and Mentalist Joe M. Turner performs his "Schumann Square" in Nashville.

Last week I had the opportunity to put this in front of an audience for the first time, while performing on a magic cabaret show at a Nashville theater.  While I’m still working on the overall staging, I can tell already that this could become a signature piece.  (If you’re in the Nashville area, you’ll get another chance to see this unusual performance piece on May 3; keep an eye on my Facebook page for details.)

One reason I have always liked my number grid presentation (even sans piano!) is that I often use it to talk about combining our skills and resources in different ways to achieve our goals.  When we face change or challenge, we may have to call upon multiple skills and experiences to reach our desired goal.  It may mean a team has to change to combine skills and talents differently, but it can also mean that an individual has to combine his or her own capabilities in ways they’ve never imagined.

Even though I don’t know you, I am convinced that you have amazing skills and capabilities that you don’t even know about.  They lie hidden in each of us, buried beneath layers of negative self-talk and false preconceptions about the nature of creativity.  Why am I so certain?  Because nobody else on earth has the specific combination of skills, experiences, and observations that you have.  Every person is, in the most meaningful senses, a “diverse” individual.  Even people who share common experiences perceive those occurrences as individuals and bring their own interpretations to what they have seen and heard.

Because nobody has precisely the same skill-set and experience-set that you have, nobody can replicate the combinations that you can produce.

When is the last time you tried combining two seemingly unrelated skills?  Did you have an interest as a teenager that you could try combining with what you do now?  How does your hobby inform your professional life, and vice versa?

Experiment with combining your interests and skills in unexpected ways.  You may discover the nugget of something special, too!

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The Gratis Factor: 5 Tips for Getting Entertainers to Donate Shows

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on February 23, 2011

Last week I had the opportunity to be part of a wonderful tradition here in Atlanta.

Joe M. Turner with Bert Weiss of "The Bert Show" on Q100 in Atlanta

Joe M. Turner with Bert Weiss of "The Bert Show" on Q100 in Atlanta

Bert Weiss, host of Q100‘s “The Bert Show,” created a foundation (along with his wife Stacey) to help children with chronic or terminal illnesses experience a magical weekend with their families at Walt Disney World. The first trip happened in 2003, and “Bert’s Big Adventure” has been an annual event ever since. One of the most anticipated parts of the Adventure experience is the huge send-off party, staged in a ballroom at a local hotel and featuring a variety of entertainment. “The Bert Show” itself is broadcast live from the event each year. This year, I was asked to be a featured entertainer at the event, performing magic for these families and helping them create magical memories that they’ll have forever.

Entertainers of all kinds and at all levels are approached constantly about donating their services for charitable purposes. Even if we could perform at a different charity event every day, we would only scratch the surface. There are literally more good causes and worthy events in the world than there are days in any performer’s entire career.

How can you get an entertainer to consider donating a show for your cause? Consider some of these keys to unlock the door to a gratis performance.

1. A little respect goes a long way.
No entertainer wants to be thought of as “and we’ll have a magician, too, or a singer, or maybe a clown or something.” Having your professional services requested for free as a disposable afterthought is discouraging. Being treated as a generic commodity who is completely interchangeable with any other performer doesn’t inspire generosity of spirit. When you call a performer, have a reason that you want that particular individual at your event. As Uncle Sam said, “I want YOU!” Demonstrate the same respect that you would show to someone who was considering donating several thousand dollars to your organization, because that is what you are asking some performers to do.

2. Quantify “exposure.”
As the old saying goes, you can die from exposure. Most entertainers are promised untold heights of publicity and exposure for doing charitable events. Then the story appears in the paper or organizational newsletter saying, “… and there was also a wading pool, a petting zoo, a banjo player, and a magician.”

The positive PR that comes from charitable events is a great tool for attracting a variety of companies and individuals to your cause. Don’t promise some nebulous “exposure” – give the facts on how you can really get that person’s or organization’s name out. Will their logo be included on shirts, posters, and programs? Will they be considered a sponsor at a donation level equivalent to the fee they have foregone? Will the organization include their name and web site in all promotion of the event? Will their appearance be promoted on air or on the microphone at the event? Will there be someone on hand to give a real introduction to start their show?

The best way to get a performer to commit to your cause is to specify that they will be included in promotion and publicity of the event, and that you will provide specific introductions and leads to them for future paid engagements. Charitable organizations are always run by people who interact with other donors, both individuals and corporations. Those are potential clients for your entertainer; help them make those connections and you may just wind up with free shows for ALL your events!

3. Be honest about the money that is really being spent.
It is, at best, a faux pas to ask one entertainer to donate performances when other providers of goods or services are being paid; at worst, it is demeaning. Is the venue itself being donated, or are they being paid – even by another donor or a sponsor? Is the food being donated, or was it bought – even at a reduced rate? If you are asking an entertainer to donate his or her services, be ready to explain why his or her livelihood is of less importance to your charity than the providers you are willing to pay for, even if the rate is reduced. There may be a real reason your organization has made that decision, but you should be willing to talk about it honestly instead of trying to hide it from the performer.

4. Help the entertainer deliver the value they have pledged to your organization.
Let’s say your entertainer agrees to donate a performance for your cause, and has arrived on site. Don’t make the mistake of minimizing or undercutting the value of that donation; instead, find ways to maximize the impact they can have on your event.

  • When it’s time for the performance, don’t just send them into a crowd or onto a stage with no build-up. Give them a strong introduction, preferably by the event’s host or the charity’s top official at the event. Give the attendees a sense that what is being contributed is valuable and worth their attention; it will help your event have a greater impact on everyone present.

  • Don’t interrupt a performance to place attention on another person who has arrived simply because he or she is “a celebrity.” Would you interrupt someone who was in the process of signing a check to your organization? The value of the donation is undermined when the presentation is interrupted. If the show needs to be shortened or rescheduled during the event, work it out with the performer before he or she takes the stage. A working performer almost certainly sacrificed more to be there for you than the celebrity did. Please honor that.

5. Know the tax law regarding donations.
Don’t offer to give performers a letter to “write the show off on their taxes.” You cannot legally deduct the value of services you perform for a charitable organization. Instead, work with them before and after the event to provide the testimonials and referrals that will help their business grow and enable them to make more donations in the future.

Bottom line – doing unto others as you’d want them to do for you isn’t just a great way to look at the reasons performers have for donating their services; it’s also a helpful rule of thumb for how to treat them as part of your event. Generosity goes both ways.

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Re: Vital Eyes

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on February 11, 2011

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of it to anyone else.”
— Charles Dickens

Last week I traveled to Delaware to perform at the Dickens Parlour Theatre, a 50-seat venue in the small town of Millville. The theater is the brainchild of Rich Bloch, a brilliant man and performer who I’m proud to call a friend. I performed in the first incarnation of this venue in Atlantic City a few years ago, but the new venue is truly amazing.

Joe M. Turner | Dickens Parlour Theatre

Joe M. Turner performing with two volunteers at the Dickens Parlour Theatre.

The theatre is built in what used to be an old work shed with a raised platform in the back. It has been transformed into an elegant Victorian parlour, with 50 theater seats in elevated rows facing the stage. There is plenty of wing space, a nice backstage area, and excellent lighting and sound capabilities.  It is a delightful, intimate space that is perfect for the performance of magic and mentalism, as the famous writer and amateur conjuror Charles Dickens himself used to do for his friends.

So charming is this wondrous venue that it has attracted some truly excellent performers.  I am honored to have trod the same boards that have recently featured Bloch himself as well as Harry Anderson (of Night Court fame), Bob Sheets (a master comedy magician – more about him later), and many other skilled magicians and mentalists.  Outside the world of magic, the theater has also hosted excellent musical acts and recently featured the off-Broadway hit Zero Hour, written by and starring Jim Brochu, who garnered Helen Hayes and Drama Desk awards for his amazing portrayal of Zero Mostel.

This little theatre, a “hidden gem” according to many writers, was a dilapidated work shed that became the site of truly magical experiences for audiences because Rich Bloch saw beyond what it was to what it could be… and set about realizing that vision and revitalizing that property.  As was recently reported in a cover story in MAGIC Magazine, this is only the beginning – the theatre is soon expanding to include a close-up magic performance gallery and a cafe’ in another building on the property.

“This is a world of action, and not for moping and droning in.”
— Charles Dickens

Dickens Parlour Theatre logoOn Friday night, Bob Sheets came to see my show.  Bob is a skilled close-up magician and comic stand-up magician.  He is also very knowledgeable about the art of theatrical performance; he is a longtime student of famed Broadway performer Bob Fitch, whom I’ve also been privileged to know and get occasional coaching from.  (I remember seeing Fitch as Rooster Hannigan in Annie back in the original Broadway run!)

After my performance, Bob Sheets hung around until the crowd was gone and then joined me onstage.  He shook my hand, congratulated me on the show, and then gave me perhaps the most valuable gift a performer can receive:  honest, constructive feedback from a credible, helpful critic.  Bob saw my performance, complimented me on the things I did well, and helped me see places where I could improve what I was doing.  Some concepts were simple and easy to execute instantly; others will require more work.  But I trusted him to be honest and constructive, and I really appreciated his candid opinions on what I was doing well and what could be improved.

To be clear – Bob emphasized that the show was good, I was good, and I would never have to worry about doing a “bad” show for an audience.  He also complimented the construction of the show and my writing, which he considered excellent.  The question he posed was – how can it get better?  How can every moment get better?  How can everything the audience sees get better?  How can what I say be presented more effectively?  As a performer and communicator, these are crucial elements for me.

Of course, beyond the “knowing” comes the “doing.”  As Dickens said, it is a world of action.

Because Bob was willing to be honest with me, and because I was willing to listen to Bob and take action, he was able to help me work on my performance in much the same way that Rich works on the theater itself.  Bit by bit, day by day, show by show.  Take away what detracts.  Add what is needed to give more impact or a better experience.  Never settle.  And before you know it, you’ve converted a work shed into a theater, or a good performance into a great one.

It takes an outside perspective to evaluate the reality of a performance.  Outside eyes are vital to the performer’s ability to improve; it is nearly impossible to do sufficiently honest self-assessment.

If you want to revitalize what you do, get some “vital eyes” looking at you.  Where are you getting an honest, credible outside perspective on your work?

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Turner Voted Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on January 10, 2011

For Immediate Release: Turner Voted Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year

Atlanta speaker and entertainer Joe M. Turner has been voted 2010 Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year by the combined Atlanta memberships of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and Society of American Magicians. Georgia Magic Club president Evan Reynolds and the Atlanta Society of Magicians president Rick Hinze announced the news at the clubs’ joint banquet on January 8.

Atlanta Speaker and Entertainer Joe M. Turner | 2010 Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year

Atlanta speaker and entertainer Joe M. Turner accepts the trophy for being named 2010 Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year

The award dates back to 1971 and is based on excellence in seven categories including performance skill, use of talent for charitable efforts, teaching, and creativity. The accompanying “Duke Stern/Hal Martin Memorial Trophy” is engraved with the names of all the previous winners. The winner is honored to keep the trophy for a year, and then receives a commemorative plaque to keep after passing the trophy to the next winner.

The selection of the winner is made in stages. Each of the participating organizations elects two finalists from their membership, and those nominees then go on a ballot for a final comprehensive round of voting by both clubs. This year, Turner had the rare honor of being selected as a finalist by both local groups.

Turner, a corporate speaker and entertainer often billed as “the Chief Impossibility Officer,” is now a two-time Greater Atlanta Magician of the Year, having also received the award in 2000. He is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the Society of American Magicians, the London Magic Circle, and the Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood. He serves as the IBM Territorial Vice President for Georgia, as well as the Global TVP Counselor; he is also currently serving a three-year term on the IBM Board of Directors. He writes a bi-monthly review column for Genii Magazine.

Find out more about Joe M. Turner’s magic entertainment and keynotes at and

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Based in Atlanta, Georgia, corporate speaker, magician and mentalist Joe M. Turner – “The Chief Impossibility Officer” – delivers astonishing sleight-of-hand, customizable illusions, and stunning mentalism presentations for corporate events, trade shows, conferences and private events worldwide.

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Atlanta Magician and Mentalist Joe M. Turner featured during National Magic Week

Posted by Joe M. Turner | on November 1, 2010

Joe M. Turner at Compton Elementary School

Atlanta magician and mentalist Joe M. Turner performs and teaches some mathematical magic at Compton Elementary School in celebration of National Magic Week 2010.

Harry Houdini, perhaps America’s most celebrated magician, died on October 31, 1926. Soon thereafter, members of the Society of American Magicians (SAM) began commemorating his memory with a celebration of the art of magic. Over the years these celebrations and performances took on a volunteer aspect, with performers offering free programs for schools and charitable organizations. The overall effort eventually became recognized officially as National Magic Week, which is observed the last seven days of October each year.

As part of the promotion of National Magic Week 2010, I presented two magic-enhanced reading presentations at Compton Elementary School in Cobb County, Georgia. I read and performed in Ms. Haskins’ and Ms. Morgan’s classes; as it happens, Ms. Haskins was a classmate of mine way back in grade school and high school in Brandon, Mississippi! Liz Murphy, the principal of the school, saw me speak at a business luncheon earlier this year and asked me to be part of the Compton “Day of Hope” program, in which community leaders come to school to read to and interact with the students. Little did she know that Ms. Haskins had connected with me via Facebook and had already arranged for me to be present! The day went off wonderfully, and if you click on the photo at right, you can visit the school’s web site to find out more.

Last week I also appeared CBS Atlanta‘s program Better Mornings Atlanta, where I performed for both a broadcast spot and a web extra. In both segments, I interacted with host Brandon Rudat. In my last few appearances on this show, I have had the opportunity to appear with all the hosts, and now I really look forward to appearances there. You can view the clips – both the broadcast and the web extra segments – below.


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