Written by: Lori Boatfield
Photo by: Michael Bradley
Matt Growden is originally from Burbank, Ca. Early influences in theater arts came from his father who was an active stage, movie and commercial actor. After receiving a BS degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine, Matt came to Huntsville in 1997 to pursue a graduate degree at UAH. He worked on directorial staff for several Theatre Huntsville and Renaissance Theater productions and started performing magic professionally for restaurant clients (anyone remember Sunday brunch at Green Hills Grille?). He and his wife have a 10-year-old son, three dogs, one cat and a turtle. He is currently the President of the Huntsville chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, the largest fraternal organization for magic enthusiasts and professionals alike.
EVENT: What or who inspired you to pursue a career in magic? How long have you been studying the art of magic?
MG: Watching the annual David Copperfield TV specials in the late 1980s are what really sparked my interest. In high school, a buddy of mine also loved those shows and we would try to reverse engineer the illusions. So, it has been a continual learning process for over 30 years now.
EVENT: What is close-up magic?
MG: Simply put, close-up magic is a type of performance designed to be experienced by a small group. In close-up magic, the entertainer can literally reach out and touch his or her audience. There is a much more collaborative vibe between the magician and the participants. We are creating a unique moment in time together and the feedback I get from participants is integral.
EVENT: What types of events do you specialize in?
MG: Corporate and charity events (especially cocktail hour type gatherings), private parties, wedding receptions. The beauty of what I do is that it is perhaps the only form of live entertainment that is adaptable to ANY venue or physical set up. If there are people, then I can work my magic of creating a more vibrant, social and memorable event.
EVENT: What’s your favorite thing about living in this area?
MG: Coming from Southern California, I expected a lot more culture shock. But Huntsville in particular was, and continues to be, a fairly cosmopolitan city. The growth that I have seen in the last 25 years is incredible and I can’t help but think that we are on the verge of becoming a destination location for dining, entertainment and beyond. By now, I consider myself a native! To read the full story, visit www.eventhuntsville.com