EXCLUSIVE: Master card mechanic and motivational speaker Richard Turner is a longtime fixture on the magic circuit who has a fifth degree black belt in karate and an unrivaled touch with a deck of 52. He’s also been blind since the age of nine. Turner, who turns 60 this year, is the subject of Dealt, a new documentary from director/producer Luke Korem (Lord Montagu) and writer/producer Bradley Jackson.
San Antonio-born Turner once went by the nom de magic The Cheat, plying his card skills in character as a 19th century riverboat gambler. Now semi-retired, he still performs and gives lectures and recently returned to L.A.’s Magic Castle for a weeklong stint, portions of which were filmed for the documentary. Throughout his intimate shows which involve heavy audience participation and close-up tricks, the charismatic Turner never reveals he’s blind.
Production is still underway on the film which chronicles Turner’s life and career, spanning the loss of his eyesight as a child, his ensuing battle with drug and alcohol abuse, and what happened once he channeled his enhanced sense of touch into a career in magic and was mentored by sleight of hand legend Dai Vernon. Russell Wayne Groves and Andrew Lee are producers. Korem & Co. are plotting a festival run but have already cut a teaser that spotlights Turner’s card skills (more on the film here):