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Chris Funk performing tonight at Arden Theatre

Musical magician combines art and magic at Arden
Celebrity magician Chris Funk has been on such shows as America's Got Talent, Hell's Kitchen, and Masters of Illusion.

Musician and magician Chris Funk - the Wonderist is performing in Arden theatre tonight (March 7) at 7:30 pm.

His new show, Redefining Wonder, showcases his unique blend of live music and magic. 

“I combine live music with magic in a very funny manner,” he said, “ I'm not a comedy magician, but there's a lot of comedy throughout the show.”

Having learned music at a very young age, Chris went on to study it and also picked up playing a number of instruments that he was even in the Royal Conservatory with violin.

“Music is kind of my first passion, magic my second. And so a lot of the backing tracks and music that is heard throughout the show I've written.”

When he was 16, Chris learned a magic trick that he enjoyed so much he was inspired to learn more. He eventually combined his two passions and ran with the pioneering idea, creating a name for himself.

Although he is well known now and has performed in some of the world’s largest stages such as America’s Got Talent, Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Masters of Illusion, FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen and Las Vegas’ Planet Hollywood, Chris had to build himself from the ground up. He recounted his early performances, with his first gig being at his uncle's Christmas party.

“I was 19 and it was for my uncle's accounting firm - the Christmas party was in the basement of the owner's house,” he said

“It was just a small little party, but I got booked to perform and when I got that check at the very end, I was like, wait a minute, I can actually make money doing this.”

After that performance he was very motivated and wanted to get more publicity. He started cutting out pieces of images from magazines to make a collage and photocopied it on brightly coloured paper to hang around in coffee shops. Although he doubts that his promotional strategies helped a lot, he says he eventually started getting some recognition. 

“They started recommending me to their friends and word of mouth kind of kicked in, so I would get busier and busier and busier,” he said.

“And then in 2013 I got a phone call to be a part of my first big TV show and I was selected over 250 American magicians who auditioned.”

Funk says he is very grateful and fortunate that he gets to tour the world and do what he loves.

“Every single time I get to step on stage and just share a piece of me with my audience - I love that - I know that that's what I was created to do.” he said.

Throughout, he highlights his spirituality and his wife as inspirations for his success.

“I would have a dream of an idea, then I would try it and put time and effort into it to turn it into a proper routine,” Funk said.

“If I bounce the idea off my wife and she gives me a strange look on her face, I know it's usually a good idea that I just have to work on a little bit more.”

Funk's unique content also aligns with the spontaneity of his shows because he lets the audience’s energy be the driving force. Instead of scripting his performances, he uses what the audience gives him in real time and lets it dictate how the show turns out.

“I am just excited to share a piece of me with everyone in the room, and my goal is to just transport them away from their day and take them to a place where they can laugh and  sit in amazement and just enjoy themselves," he said.

Tickets can be purchased at the Arden theatre website.


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