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Magic Man Michael Grandinetti Talks the CW’s Masters of Illusion [INTERVIEW] 

Michael Grandinetti Magic - 2014 Promotional Headshot

Michael Grandinetti is a well-known magician who is part of a new series on the CW called, Masters of Illusion. Michael’s TV credits include NBC’s The World’s Most Dangerous Magic, Entertainment Tonight, SportsCenter, and The Bold and the Beautiful. He not only loves performing on the stage he loves combining magic and television. He talked to TV Goodness about how this new series is different from past shows and about how a very little boy made his dream become a reality.

TV GOODNESS: Tell me about Masters of Illusion.

Michael Grandinetti: I am very excited about this show. Masters of Illusion features the top magic and illusions from around the world. And we filmed six different illusions for the series.  We basically picked my favorite illusions from my stage show; original pieces that have never appeared on television before. So I’m thrilled to be able to share this with a national television audience. And the really cool thing about the way we taped them is that we tried to give the home viewer a view of the magic that they wouldn’t even get there if they were there live. For example, we had several cameramen with handheld cameras, moving around the illusions, behind the illusions and in some cases even under the illusions. So when you are watching this on television you’re going to see it from the best view possible. I know when you are watching television, particularly magic, people go, ‘Well if I were there and I saw that it would look different but I’m watching on television so they are covering something up.’ We are enhancing the magic and giving a better view then you would have had if you were in Hollywood with us, so I love that.

TV GOODNESS: You’re not the only magician on it so are these magicians you’ve worked with before? Or is it that each magician does their own thing?

Michael: Each magician does their own kind of separate segment in the show but the show itself features a wide variety of styles from grand illusions to stage — which is what we did — to escapes, to mind reading to hand…the viewer is going to get a wide range of magic, a different style of performer. Each performer in each of their approaches to magic is different. So I think that’s really fun. I think it’s going to give people, kind of a window into how magic differs around the world.

Michael Grandinetti 2014 Tour - Sleight of Hand Magic

TV GOODNESS: So do you think that’s why this show might be different from other magic shows that we’ve seen on television in recent years? Is it that everybody is kind of a little bit different? It’s not just like David Blaine who is has a very specific kind of magic…

Michael: It’s different people. It’s such a wide range of magical styles that the pacing of the show is going to be great because you are going to see everything like large-scale illusions. I tell you something that you are going to see performed. You are going to see someone do a piece of close-up magic, maybe you see someone do some mind reading. As you watch the show it’s going to be a very nice variety of the different styles of magic.

TV GOODNESS: I saw that you started really young. Can you tell me a little bit about how you became a magician so people have a little bit of background?

Michael: Yeah, I’m one of those lucky people who found what they wanted to do early in life.  I found my passion early in life. I got a magic set for Christmas when I was five years old and that was it. I was hooked. It’s amazing to look back and see how young I was when I found out what I wanted to do in life. And everything in my life from that day forward was focused on following my dream of becoming a magician. I did my first show in kindergarten for show and tell when I was five. I took my magic set into school and I was a very shy kid. So to try and get up in front of the class was kind of a big deal. And another girl had the same magic set and she got up before me. I remember thinking I’m ruined here. But for some reason I got up and the teacher smiled and the kids enjoyed it. And that’s it, I go I love it, I want to do more of this. Imagine a shy kid, that it had a pretty big impact, so my goal became learning everything I could about magic. And I always wanted to go beyond what someone my age was doing.

When I was 12 going around Pittsburgh — I’m from Pittsburgh — I didn’t want to look like a 12 year old doing magic.  I tried to do the best magic possible.  I tried to add to it; put music to the magic and added some different staging to it. So it was about setting goals that were beyond what typically would be done by someone at that age. And it allowed me to push really hard forward, so by 16 I started doing large-scale illusions. And that’s really what I’ve fallen in love with.

Michael Grandinetti 2014 Tour - Fire to Motorcycle Appearance-2

But with that said, our show, my stage show is an arrange of large-scale illusions and kind of like Masters of Illusions. Where my show, when you come to my stage show we have large illusions, we have close up magic, we have mind reading, we have comedy pieces…so the audience gets that wide variety of entertainment. I love that. I take them on a roller coaster of emotions as they say. They experience different things as different things get shown, I truly love that.

TV GOODNESS: So they are almost seeing the old style with the new style of magic. Would you say that?

Michael Grandinetti 2014 Tour - Fire Sawing

Michael: There’s something to be said for performing illusions for a live audience on stage. I think that is, certainly the classic style of magic. I think it’s something that is incredibly strong. It’s a style of magic that has been around hundreds of years. And it really appeals to such a wide audience. So I’m very proud of it. I’m very proud that it’s a family show. This is a show people can watch, people of all ages, families can watch together because it has that style to it. It has a very, again, it’s a great show for the entire family. With that being said, when you combine modern styles of magic with the way we film it, with the hand-held cameras, the 360 degree shots, it’s a very fast-paced show. It’s a show that has a great pace to it.  I think it feels very contemporary, very modern as well. Yes, to your point, it blends very well, the classic style with today’s modern style. I love the combination of magic and television.

Masters of Illusion airs Fridays at 8/7c on the CW.

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