Flying cards, levitating assistants and straight jacket escapes are day-to-day work for Michael Turco, a touring magician with “Masters of Illusion Live!”
He is one of four celebrity magicians performing in residence at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe from June 27 to September 2. The award-winning cohort – Michael Turco, Dan Sperry, Tommy Wind, and Farrell Dillon – includes current and past performers from “Masters of Illusion,” The CW television series featuring live magic broadcasts.
“Our job is to misdirect and entertain,” Turco said. “I enjoy the response I see in a live audience. To me, that’s memorable.”
A New Jersey native, Turco first learned to love magic on the boardwalk of Atlantic City, where he spent his childhood summers attending magic shows and live performances. Becoming a professional magician has always been a dream for Turco, who grew up practicing on his family and friends and performing at his middle school talent shows.
“It was something I knew that I would want to do later in life,” he said. “My dream was to get my own show in Atlantic City because that’s where I grew up seeing magic.”
Eventually, he debuted his own show in Atlantic City and then in Las Vegas, where he wowed judges and viewers on the sixth season of “America’s Got Talent.” He is an industry veteran with a passion for performance.
“When you have a live audience, it becomes second nature,” he said. “I’d rather stand in front of an audience than do anything else.”
Turco has toured with the Masters of Illusion Live! show since 2014 and has been featured in five of the six seasons of The CW series.
“When we’re touring from city to city, it’s awesome to be able to see the country,” he said. “It’s a lot of work but the fun part is the relationships we get to build with the cast and crew. For the month or two months, we become one big family.”
Masters of Illusion Live! will run for 12 weeks in the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. From disappearing assistants to sleight-of-hand card tricks, audiences can witness grand illusions and magical comedy.
“It’s a family-oriented show. Each one of us have our unique personality and type of magic that we perform.”
After each show, the magicians will host a meet-and-greet in the lobby, which is how Turco says he earned his training in the industry.
“Talk to other magicians. Reach out to them. We’re all here to help each other,” he said.
If you go
Masters of Illusion Live!
Where: Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
When: Through Sept. 2. Shows are Thursdays through Mondays at 8 p.m.
Cost: Tickets range from $24 to $45