9:30AM (PST) – Michael Grandinetti, “Masters of Illusion”
Michael Grandinetti is not your ordinary magician. With performances on national and international television, in stadiums, arenas, casinos, and theaters around the country, with symphony orchestras, for NFL halftime shows and major sporting events, for Fortune 500 companies, and even at The White House, Michael has made a name for himself around the world as an extremely talented and innovative illusionist.
Over the past 20 years, Michael has been driven to make magic contemporary and to give it a wide, mainstream appeal. He has been featured on NBC’s “The World’s Most Dangerous Magic II” television special, The CW’s “Masters of Illusion” series, and Pop TV’s “Don’t Blink!” series, as well as “CBS Sports”, “Entertainment Tonight”, “SportsCenter”, “Pardon The Interruption”, “NBA on TNT”, “New York Today”, “FOX & Friends”, “The Bold and the Beautiful”, “Crook & Chase”, and “The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon”. He has also appeared as a guest on national radio shows and in media including Parade Magazine, Starpulse, MAGIC Magazine, TV Media Insights, Young Hollywood, Pittsburgh Magazine, Tucson Living, and The Marilu Henner Show. In addition, Entertainment Weekly named Michael as one of the magicians they would like to see with their own television series, calling him “a great magician who can truly communicate with a TV audience”.
Possessing a true passion for amazing live audiences, Michael has performed at Heinz Hall with Oscar-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Grand Central Station in New York City, Harrah’s Resort in San Diego and Atlantic City, Casino Rama in Ontario, Canada, Navy Pier in Chicago, John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, VA, the Four Seasons Resort in Lanai, Hawaii, on the red carpet of ESPN’s ESPY Awards at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, and at The White House Easter Celebration. Michael was recently honored to be the first illusionist ever invited to perform in the National Independence Day Parade in Washington DC. During this remarkable celebration of our country, Michael levitated a girl high above one of the floats as it moved down Constitution Avenue, while a live audience of 250,000 people lined the streets.
Last summer, Michael was one of the headlining performers in “Masters of Magic”, a large-scale production show which ran nightly for two months at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino, in Reno, Nevada. Presented on the world’s largest indoor stage, a full acre in size, Michael caused a 500lb motorcycle to appear in mid-air, levitated 10ft into the air under bright lights at the front of the stage, created interactive magic with everyone in the theater at the same time, and melted his body through a 7ft tall wall of solid, examined steel.
Michael is currently starring in the CW television series “Masters of Illusion”, hosted by Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Hit The Floor). Showcasing the world’s top magicians and illusionists, Michael performs both grand illusions and interactive stage magic in front of a live studio audience, including shrinking a girl to the size of a basketball, vanishing borrowed rings and causing them to reappear baked inside a loaf of bread, and escaping from a platform suspended 20ft above the stage. In one of the latest episodes, special guest Ace Young, star of American Idol and Hair on Broadway, assisted Michael onstage for his “Walking Through Steel” illusion. Michael is also a headlining performer in “Masters of Illusion Live!”, the largest touring magic production in the world, and season 2 of “Masters of Illusion”, featuring all new illusions, premieres on The CW this summer.
Michael is also featured in the new Pop TV series “Don’t Blink”, in which he performed both large-scale grand illusions and visual and interactive close-up magic while surrounded by audiences outdoors, at locations including Hollywood Blvd., Venice Beach, and Universal Studios. “Don’t Blink!” premieres nationally in the summer of 2015 as well.
Always dreaming big, Michael has pioneered live magic in one of the most challenging environments imaginable, major-league football stadiums, baseball stadiums, and basketball arenas. He performed an NFL halftime show at Bank of America Stadium while a live audience of over 70,000 people watched with a 360 degree view as Michael caused people to appear, vanish and shrink in size, right on the 50 yard line. At Citizens Bank Park, Michael made the 7ft tall, 300lb Philadelphia Phillies mascot, The Phanatic, magically appear in the center of the outfield. At Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium, Michael performed one of the largest live interactive illusions in history when he read the minds of all 45,000 people in the stadium at the same time. This spring, Michael performed the halftime show for the Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Championship at Barclays Center in New York City and for the Chicago Bulls NBA playoff game at United Center in Chicago, where he levitated at the center of the court while surrounded by a sold out crowd of 22,000 people. Michael’s performance even caused commentators Shaquille O’Neal and Charles Barkley to comment in amazement during the live national broadcast on TNT.
This is magic on a major scale.
Michael Grandinetti has come a long way since he received his first magic set for Christmas, and performed his first show, at the age of five. His personality and style were introduced to the world when he performed his original creation “The Spike Tower” on the NBC television special “The World’s Most Dangerous Magic II”. While covered with a mixture of gasoline and kerosene and secured by chains, Michael had only sixty seconds to escape before two walls of flaming steel spikes were thrust towards him at over 50mph. Bringing together seven illusionists from around the world, at just 21, Michael was the youngest performer on the show.
In addition, Michael has created and developed custom magic presentations for Fortune 500 companies and major corporations including Mazda, Hewlett Packard, Grainger, Ernst & Young, The American Marketing Association, Harley-Davidson, Rite Aid, and Bayer.
As a respected Creative Consultant, Michael has taught sleight of hand magic to the actors on CBS’s “The Bold and the Beautiful”, consulted on a national commercial featuring magic for the United States Treasury, created a special illusion design for the TBS show “Conan”, starring Conan O’Brien, and provided historical information for “Spellbound”, a biographical book on famed illusionist Doug Henning. His original creations have been featured around the world, including stage productions in Japan, Korea, and Italy. Michael was even called about the possibility of making Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, magically appear – before it was built!
Michael Grandinetti is making the ancient art of magic charismatic and contemporary. By blurring the line between illusion and reality in a groundbreaking yet personable way, Michael gives the audience an engaging, entertaining, and one of a kind experience they will not forget.
10:15AM (PST) – Zoe Lister-Jones & Daryl Wein, Consumed
Dramatic thriller CONSUMED set in the controversial world of Genetically Modified Organisms
Consumed – Official Theatrical Trailer
Zoe Lister-Jones grew up in Brooklyn, New York, the only child of two artists. She graduated with honors from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company Acting School. Lister-Jones wrote and starred in her critically acclaimed one-woman show entitled “Codependence is a Four Letter Word”, which premiered at NY’s P.S. 122, in November 2004. Additionally, she has completed her first screenplay, entitled “Dolly”, which is in the midst of pre-production. For a number of years, she toured the city with the glam rock art band, Maxi Geil, playing at venues such as Joe’s Pub, Luxx, and Galapagos, for which she was heralded by Culture Bunker Magazine as “Olivia Newton-John on glue”.
Daryl Wein is an award-winning filmmaker. He is represented by the William Morris Endeavor agency.
He co-wrote and directed, “Lola Versus”, for Fox Searchlight starring Greta Gerwig (Greenberg), Zoe Lister-Jones (Breaking Upwards), Joel Kinnaman (Robocop), Hamish Linklater (The Future), Debra Winger (Terms of Endearment), and Bill Pullman (Independence Day). His debut narrative feature film, “Breaking Upwards”, with Zoe Lister-Jones, Julie White (Transformers), Peter Friedman (The Savages), Olivia Thirlby (Juno), and Andrea Martin (My Big Fat Greek Wedding), was an official selection in the Narrative Competition at the 2009 SXSW Film Festival. IFC Films released the film theatrically and on VOD in 2010. Wein’s feature length documentary, “Sex Positive”, won the Grand Jury Prize at the L.A. Outfest Film Fest, and was an official selection at the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival, London Film Festival, Boston Independent Film Festival, among thirty other film festivals around the world. Regent Releasing distributed the film theatrically in North America, and the film has been released in 8 foreign countries on broadcast and theatrically, most notably at the BFI in London.
In 2006 Daryl co-wrote and directed, “Unlocked”, a short psychological drama starring Olivia Thirlby and executive produced by Stephen Daldry (The Reader, Billy Elliot). The film was an Official Selection at the Tribeca Film Festival, as well as the Gijon Film Festival in Spain and 20 other film festivals. It was voted one of the “Best Short Films in the World” by Indy Mogul.
He is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.
11:15AM (PST) – Julia Pimsleur, CEO and founder of Little Pim and author of “Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big”
Photo credit: Jean Luc Mege
Million Dollar Women
Julia Pimsleur is the CEO and Founder of Little Pim, the leading system for introducing young children to a second language. Little Pim has won twenty-five awards for its proprietary Entertainment Immersion Method® and its products are sold around the world. After raising millions in angel and venture capital for her own company, she created her popular “Double Digit Academy” and online course “Further. Faster. Funded.” to help other women raise capital and get further, faster. Pimsleur blogs about entrepreneurship for Forbes.com; has been featured on Today, NBC Weekend Today, and Fox News; and her company has been highlighted in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times. She won the 2013 Smart CEO Brava! Award for women entrepreneurs, serves on the board of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, and has spoken about entrepreneurship at Yale, Stanford and NYU. Pimsleur is fluent in French and lives in New York City.