Anthony Grupido, A Magician to Believe In
(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 23, 2021)
“There are so many times in our head where we’re stuck saying ‘that’s impossible,’ when in reality you can do anything that you set your mind to. Magic, at its oldest purpose, was used for a higher power, and magic is the reminder that we have the tools to accomplish the impossible.”
That’s what magician and motivational speaker Anthony Grupido said about the profession that’s been his passion since he was a kid. The curiosity began at the age of five when he saw local legend Baffling Bill performing at a child’s birthday party. “He was my inspiration, and he’s still a great performer. Him and Lance Burton in Vegas. Those guys are magic.”
Grupido, who grew up in Lake Orion, used to ride his unicycle to school. If classes got a little dull he would ask friends or teachers to pick a card or loan him their watch for a trick.
Now, at the age of 25, the world is Grupido’s stage. When he was 18 he went to Las Vegas to do street performances. For a time he brought joy to the beaches of Hawaii. And he’s gone from coast to coast doing a program for schools about mental health awareness and suicide prevention that uses magic to help make the hard topic more accessible to the young people.
In the schools, “it’s a more personal story,” Grupido said. “I had a suicide attempt in high school. And now I use magic to have this conversation.” The video below shows some of Grupido’s more inspirational work.
Before the pandemic he’d do 200 school shows a year. He also served as an ambassador for Common Ground, a mental health services and suicide prevention organization based in Oakland County. He has done some presentations virtually through the pandemic.
While he’s looking forward to doing in person assemblies in the fall – with all the joys of picking helpers from the audience and all the giggling and gasping that comes from his work – the summer holds a bunch of the fun times for the busy magician and audiences throughout the local area.
Once a month he takes his talent to Whiskey Taco Foxtrot in Downtown Clawson to entertain the hungry guests. Thanks to a sponsorship by Carpet Guys he’ll be amazing audiences at Jimmy John’s Field for 35 games this summer. He’s a regular at Vinyl Bar and Grill and Flannigan’s Pub in Lapeer. And in his hometown of Lake Orion he’ll be performing at the Fire Bowl at Camp Agawam on June 25.
He was also invited to perform in Downtown Holly after doing an assembly with the schools.
“I met Anthony through working at the Holly Area Community Coalition,” said Nick Klempp who recently left the Coalition to be the Executive Director of Downtown Holly. “Lakes Area Coalition had him perform and recommended him to us not long after he graduated. We had him come to our Youth Dialogue Day at Holly High School and he performed his fun and entertaining magic while talking to the students about his struggles as a high schooler and giving advice about dealing with disappointments and helping each other through tough times.
“Anthony is a great person that is a professional at his work, but at the same time relatable to his audience and a very friendly and caring person. He has shown time and again that this is more than just a job for him, it is a passion that he wants to use to make a positive difference in the world. I would recommend him to anyone and I am proud to have been a small part of his climb to success.”
In Holly here’s where he’ll be:
Friday, June 4 @ 6pm in Battle Alley (First Friday)
Saturday, June 12 @ 11 am in Battle Alley
Sunday, June 13 @ 1 pm at North End Plaza
At each these shows Grupido hopes to enchant guests with the greatest magic trick of all.
“No joke,” he said when asked what the best one is. “My favorite magic trick is any trick that gets you excited about life and opens you up to new perspectives. So whatever your favorite magic trick is, that’s my favorite.”
For the most up to date performance list and more information on Anthony Grupido’s work visit www.themagicofhope.com.