Q+A with Michael Grandinetti
How did you get started in magic?
I’m very lucky that I found what I love to do very early in life. I got a magic set for Christmas when I was five years old and, that was it, I was hooked. From then on, there was nothing else I wanted to do, and I never got off the path. My first show was actually for show and tell in kindergarten, when I brought in that first magic set. I remember being very nervous at that time to get up in front of people, but the kids and teachers smiled and applauded and, for a shy kid to get that kind of a response, it really had an impact.
Growing up, magic was always my driving force, and I was constantly setting goals and working hard to push myself forward, from starting to perform professionally at 12, to adding large scale illusions to my show at 16, to producing my own theater shows at 19, and then doing my first network TV appearance on NBC at 21. To this day, I still feel the same excitement and enthusiasm for magic as I did all those years ago and I feel so fortunate to have been able to build my career around something I love so much.
How much time do you spend working on a particular illusion?
I’m constantly working on new illusions for my shows. Besides performing and watching audiences react to the magic, which I love the most, designing and creating new illusions is really a passion of mine. A new piece of magic can take anywhere from two months to two years to perfect, depending on the scale and complexity, and the challenges that come up along the way. I won’t settle until a new illusion is perfect. But I’m always excited when I finally get to share a new piece of magic with an audience.
As a matter of fact, I’ll be bringing one of my newest illusions to Winnipeg and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.
What is the biggest illusion you've done? Or is there one you're particularly proud of?
I’ve had a great time over the years taking my magic to so many different and memorable places and I’ve really enjoyed them all. One that stands out was when I had to escape from being chained up on a 12ft tall tower between two walls of steel spikes that were set on fire. And I was covered in gasoline. I had 60 seconds to get out before the spikes were released and flew towards me at over 50mph. We taped that for an NBC special and it was definitely an exciting experience.
I’ve also loved performing in stadiums, surrounded by 60,000 people, and levitating 10ft into the air in the center of the field – outdoors and with the audience watching from every direction. And I’ll never forget taking my magic to The White House several years ago and performing there for Easter. But, more than any one show, what I’m most proud of is when I see the audience having a good time. That’s always my main goal.
What can audiences expect at Symphony of Illusions?
I’m so excited to be bringing my “Symphony of Illusions” show to Winnipeg. For the shows, I’ll have some of my favorite magic and illusions on hand, and we’ll have combined them with amazing music that will be performed by the spectacular Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The audience will see objects float in the air, teleport across the stage, they’ll have their minds read, and they’ll even get their own lesson in magic – and that’s just the beginning.
They won’t just watch the magic, everyone in the theater will actually become part of the show and participate in the magic throughout, with several illusions involving the entire audience together at the same time! I’m thrilled that “Symphony of Illusions” is a show that’s perfect for the entire family and that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages, and I can’t wait to see everyone in Winnipeg!