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Franco conjures entertainment

Alyssa Lamberton, Life Writer
February 13, 2013
Filed under Life

Do you want an evening of magic, music and humor all at once? Presto! Magician Mat Franco will appear in Phoenix rooms A and B Feb. 15 at 11:59 p.m.

Franco is a magician who has been performing shows for many different types of audiences since  age 10. His interest was sparked at age four after seeing a magician on television.

Stephanie Kaponya, program coordinator for Student Life and co-advisor to Good Times Programming, said Franco will be part of UWGB Nites and Snow Daze, which replaced Frost Fest this year.

UWGB Nites will begin at 10 p.m. and will close down early for Franco’s performance. Approximately 400 students are expected to attend this event.

Beth Ledvina, sophomore variety entertainment coordinator for GTP, first became aware of Franco at National Association of Campus Activities, a conference where musicians, magicians and other entertainers showcase their talents.

Each year, UW-Green Bay representatives attend this conference to seek out entertainers and programming ideas that may be suitable for campus.

At NACA, Kaponya and Ledvina both agreed Franco would be a good fit for UW-Green Bay students.

“He was very personable,” Kaponya said. “He seemed to be very good at what he does.”

Franco has performed at many colleges around the country, but this will be his first time at UW-Green Bay.

The busiest times of the year for Franco are fall and spring, when colleges are in session. He occasionally has up to five events per week, which can become difficult with all of the traveling.

“Sometimes it can be physically tiring to travel so much,” Franco said. “But I don’t mind it, and it definitely beats working behind a desk.”

Some of his favorite parts about traveling are the connections made.

“I enjoy seeing a lot of new places and meeting a lot of new people with all of the different regions that I go to,” Franco said.

One of Franco’s favorite parts about his job is performing itself, as well as how the audience responds to his tricks.

“The audience reaction is fantastic,” Franco said, “especially when it’s a different audience every time. You never know what to expect when you’re walking into a different venue every single day.”

Franco refers to himself as a perfectionist, which works well with his performances. He said although his audience is constantly changing, he tends to perfect his routines by doing them over and over again.

He performs for many different audiences including corporate events, fundraisers and company parties, but his favorite group to perform for is college students.

Having graduated from college in 2010, Franco feels he can easily relate to the students.

“Being close in age and having a similar sense of humor as the audience is helpful,” Franco said. “College audiences are a lot of fun because they’re there just to have a good time.”

In the upcoming week, Franco will be traveling to several colleges and universities in the Midwest.

Franco generally performs alone, but he also represents two other entertainers, Eric Dittelman and Jacob Williams. Both Dittelman and Williams recently appeared on “America’s Got Talent.” Franco said they enjoy performing together, but it’s not always possible with the way their schedules line up.

Franco’s performance at UWGB is free. For more information visit his website matfranco.com.