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South Hills

West Mifflin native returns to CW magic show

| Friday, July 6, 2018, 1:57 p.m.
Michael Grandinetti performs a magic trick.
Submitted
Michael Grandinetti performs a magic trick.
Michael Grandinetti
Submitted
Michael Grandinetti

It all started when Michael Grandinetti was five years old.

He received a magic kit from his parents. From there, Grandinetti, who grew up in West Mifflin, was hooked.

From there, Grandinetti did shows for neighbors, then companies, and soon he was performing at the Byham Theater and Heinz Hall, all before graduating from college.

“I absolutely loved it,” said Grandinetti, who earned a business and marketing degree from Duquesne University in 1995. He now makes his living as a professional magician in Los Angeles.

“Six months after graduating, I was in the car heading to Los Angeles,” he said.

Grandinetti is also returning for his fifth season on the CW television series, “Masters of Illusion.”

He is scheduled to appear on the show July 6 where he will visibly — and uncovered — divide himself in half before 300 people. He has also appeared on television shows such as “The World's Most Dangerous Magic,” “Bones,” “Bold and the Beautiful,” “Entertainment Tonight” and “Access Hollywood.”

“I always look to take it a step beyond,” he said.

Between television appearances and live shows, he performs anywhere from 70 to 100 shows a year across the country.

Some of his more notable illusions include levitating himself 10-feet into the air during a halftime NFL show. He has escaped between flaming walls of steel spikes that were flying toward him at 50 mph. And he caused a 200-piece orchestra to read the minds of random audience members and play the songs they were thinking about.

To date, Grandinetti has never been injured performing one of his illusions. But, he admitted to having some close calls, especially with his flaming spikes trick.

“They (the spikes) are real,” he said.

One piece of advice Grandinetti was quick to offer to aspiring magicians is to develop perseverance.

“When I came to Los Angeles, I was a small fish in a big pond,” said Grandinetti, who does all of his own marketing and management.

“Now, I have one of the largest independent traveling magic shows in the country.”

“I am always competing with myself and keep pushing forward,” said Grandinetti, adding he makes it back to West Mifflin to visit his parents at least once a year.”

Suzanne Elliott is a Tribune-Review staff writer. She can be reached at selliott@tribweb.com, 412-627-9423, or via Twitter at @41Suzanne.

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