He usually headlines the Mat Franco Theater. But at the moment, he’s the star at the Mat Franco Home.
The 2015 “America’s Got Talent” and five-year headliner at The Linq Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is hosting “Magic Reinvented … At Home” on his official mattfrancomagic Facebook page.
Franco is a nationally known performer, a bona fide Vegas resident headliner who actually resides in town. He commands $50 to$110 per ticket at his stage show at The Linq, but you can watch him perform for free in this new series.
With hardly any advance notice, Franco debuted his show last Wednesday. He’s back at 5 p.m. Wednesday, and the shows live on in perpetuity on Franco’s page — you can catch his 25-minute debut online right now.
“It’s a learn-as-we-go kind of thing, a way to push me out of my comfort zone and still reach an audience,” Franco said Wednesday morning as he prepped for his upcoming show. “It’s just you and I in my kitchen. I’ll be doing sleight of hand, some stuff that I don’t have a platform for in my usual show.”
Franco gave his fans just three hours’ notice for his debut, and amassed 52,000 views since posting. He’s committed to the second show, with future performances TBD.
“I’d like to keep going, depending on how this goes,” Franco said. “If you were to push me into a corner, I’d say I’m going to keep going.”
Franco is not entirely entering foreign territory. He performed live for the cameras on “AGT,” and uses playing cards manipulation in his show at The Linq. He’s still expanding his skills as a live performer, no matter the format.
“I still consider myself a beginner, a student of magic,” the 31-year-old Franco said. “Doug Henning did live TV shows back in his era, but he just had to fool everybody once — this is something that lives on the internet forever.”
Franco has no set format, other than he jots down some notes and “whatever happens, happens.” His audience is his wife, Tianna; two pet pooches, Pip and Pongo; and the family cat, Meeko.
“This is not for any reason other than a part of me is missing performing,” Franco said. “We’re all going through this together, and trying to make sense of this. This is my small part.”
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.