We had the good fortune of connecting with Joe M. Turner and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joe M., what’s the most important lesson your business/career has taught you?
It may sound strange coming from someone who worked as an actor, a management consultant, and a magician/mentalist — all careers which are sometimes caricatured as being sort of “make believe” — but I think the most important lesson I’ve learned is actually to be true to yourself. Your outlook, your worldview, your experiences, your personality, your values, your real expertise, your real thoughts… all of these are critical to bringing a unique, authentic value to the marketplace. And in my career as a speaker and performer, I think that finding this authenticity and credibility is crucial to standing out from the crowd. One definition of acting is “to live truthfully under given circumstances.” To do this means that the actor has to deeply examine and grasp the character he or she is playing. That’s what allows them to be as honest and real as possible in the circumstances of the play. I think it is useful advice not just on a theatrical stage, but on the marketplace “stage” as well. As a speaker and entertainer, I am interested in using my art in ways that help to express what I really think and who I really am. By building on the foundation of my real experiences, I can connect with my audiences with the credibility and confidence that spring from being authentic… even when I’m performing magic and mentalism.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For the last twenty years I’ve worked as a professional speaker and corporate entertainer. I perform magic and mentalism, primarily for corporations and associations at meetings, conferences, and other events. I also speak to organizations about what it actually means to create amazing experiences for audiences, and how that can inform the way they do business and deliver experiences for their customers, employees, donors, students, members, and so on. It was not my original career path, but it has certainly allowed me to combine many skills and experiences that I’ve had over the years into a unique professional life. Prior to this career I worked in the management consulting industry, and before that I was an actor in the musical theatre. Before that, I planned to be a physics teacher! I got to where I am today by looking at the combination of skills, experiences, talents, and circumstances that I was facing and trying to come up with a particular grouping or alignment of those resources that would allow me to move forward while still pursuing my artistic passions. I think what sets me apart from others in the corporate speaking/entertaining space is the combination of real-world corporate consulting experience and the legitimate theatre experience. I’m proud of the opportunity that I’ve had to travel the world using the art of magic as a channel to entertain and to enlighten. It took me some time to realize that I could advance further and faster in my business by building it on what was really true about me, my experiences, my opinions, and so forth. It can be hard for performers to pull away from mimicking their influencers and people they admire, but eventually you mature and learn to be yourself. In 2015-2016 I was the International President of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the largest association in the magic industry. My personal theme for the year was “Elevate the Art” — specifically, to elevate the perception of our art both in our audiences’ eyes as well as in our own. I encouraged people to “make every magical moment count.” I think that applies onstage in a performance mode, but it applies to business, service, leadership, and in many personal aspects as well.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’ve had the opportunity to share a number of favorite Atlanta places with friends and family. I would try to take them to some of the big highlights, like the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coke, and the College Football Hall of Fame. If possible, a show at the Fox Theatre would also be on the agenda. But beyond that, I’d try to take them to: – Atlanta Magic Night, a local show I’ve co-produced since 2014. It takes place at the Red Light Cafe in midtown, which is a spot we would make a point to visit on another night, too. Possibly Wednesday — jazz night! – Truist Park for a Braves game – High Shoals Falls in Paulding County — a beautiful little waterfall. A walk around downtown Dallas (and the Dallas Theatre!) would also happen. If we can plan it right, I love Paulding Meadows arts & crafts festival. – Stone Mountain is a great experience, but I might opt for hiking Kennesaw Mountain instead – Mary Mac’s Tea Room, if we can get in. Henry’s Louisiana Grill in Acworth is a definite. And we might do a BBQ tour. – I think a drive up to north Georgia is a must. Ellijay, Dahlonega, Helen, and Blue Ridge are worth exploring.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My wife Rosemary is the single most important reason I’ve been able to pursue this career. She, like me, has a background that is both art and science. I was physics and musical theatre; she was ballet and engineering. She understands the strange mix of disciplines and is happy to ride the same ride. We celebrated our 25th anniversary this year (2020).

Website: http://www.turnermagic.com
Instagram: http://instagram.com/turnermagic
Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/joemturner
Twitter: http://twitter.com/turnermagic
Facebook: http://facebook.com/turnermagic
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/turner-magic-and-keynotes-atlanta
Youtube: http://youtube.com/turnermagicchannel
Other: http://www.vaudevilleondemand.com http://atlantamagicnight.com http://atlantapianist.com

Image Credits
Taylor Wong Bill Wells Preston Smith

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