The Wonderist Chris Funk brings beyond believable illusions to the Shenkman Arts Centre
Mind-boggling. Spectacular. Unbelievably funny. Get ready for musical illusionist Chris Funk, The Wonderist: Redefining Wonder at the Shenkman Arts Centre, Saturday, February 22, 2020. The show is for both kids and adults. “My show is kid-friendly,” says Funk, “but not really a kid’s show. There are tons of funny parts that adults will get a chuckle out of and overall there is really something for everyone.”
So how does a magic-mesmerized four-year old from Winnipeg end up in sold-out Las Vegas shows, on America’s Got Talent, CW’s Penn & Teller, performing on Disney Cruise ships and pretty much known worldwide? “I guess it all started when I watched Doug Henning saw two women in half,” laughs Funk. “I was four, so kind of horrified but intrigued at the same time.” Funk’s father also took him to David Copperfield’s show as a youngster and he found it fascinating. But it took a while before the magic bug really bit. “I guess you could call me a late-bloomer,” says Funk. “I learned my first magic card trick at 16 and I was hooked and then was pretty much a regular at the local magic shop.” He got his first magic job performing at a restaurant. “It was for Hallowe’en,” says Funk, “but it finally occurred to me that I could get paid for doing tricks, so I put up some posters and started doing parties.”
Funk quickly learned how to have a better stage presence and learn challenging new tricks. And people noticed. “Friends urged me to audition for Wizard Wars,” says Funk. “I did and I got on the show. Penn & Teller were the judges and they loved my act.” Appearing on the show opened doors for Funk and having Teller pick him as one of his top three acts on Fool Us that season really helped. “Then the hard work really started,” says Funk. “I knew upping my game was essential, so I created new illusions and tricks.” Funk says that for him, creating a new piece of magic is like learning music. You learn the key principles and then you change it. “Incorporating music is important for me,” says Funk. “The guitar trick I do took two years to develop. I spent a lot of time in my garage working on that one. And my signature violin piece was inspired by a piece of music.”
After seeing his performance, Funk knows that many kids and adults will want to learn his magic tricks. He makes a point of meeting them after the show to take photos and sign autographs. And the kids can buy his first five card tricks. “I really enjoy having that positive moment with kids after a performance,” says Funk. “And if they go home with a little bit of magic and my message of practice and be good at everything you do, so much the better.” Visit chrisfunkmagic.com and be amazed. The show is guaranteed to sell out, so get your tickets now for Chris Funk – The Wonderist: Redefining Wonder early at www.shenkmanarts.ca.