Brian Brushwood Conquers YouTube One Show at a Time
Brian Brushwood wears many hats — comedian, magician, podcast host, author — so it goes to follow that when he decided to take his many talents to YouTube, he wouldn’t come up with one single show. In fact, to date he’s launched well over a dozen web series from his popular magic tricks tutorial Scam School to his latest lineup of zany experiments called The Modern Rogue. With over a million followers on Twitter, clearly he’s doing something right. That he had time to do this interview with CultureSonar strikes us as a miracle. Or maybe it’s magic!
How did Scam School come about and when did you know it was a hit?
Back when I was touring full-time, the students would often take me out to eat after the show, and the one thing everyone wanted was a chance to learn some cool tricks to impress their friends. I found myself teaching the same few tricks over and over, and that eventually became Scam School. In fact, you can even see a proto-version of the show before I started pitching it here: “Episode 5: Brian Brushwood on the Road.”
What inspired you to do spin-offs? How many are still active?
I knew once Scam School launched that I’d need more than five minutes a week of face-time to build a decent fan-base, so I just started live-streaming as often as I could. A lot of it was garbage, but out of those experiences came Night Attack, Cordkillers, Weird Things, and so much more. These days I do those three podcasts, three posts to the Scam School channel, and a Modern Rogue episode every week.
What’s been the most viral piece of content you’ve created from any of your various shows?
I don’t get the credit for it (since everyone in the world ripped it and reposted it), but probably this video: Brian’s Epic Knife Trick Fail.
What’s coming up of particular interest for you?
The Modern Rogue is the next big thing for us. It’s only two months old, but it’s where all our creative energy is going!
If a complete stranger wanted to try out one of your shows, where would you direct them towards and why?
Probably The Modern Rogue. More people know me for Scam School, but Modern Rogue covers much more universal content and is super-approachable.
I still do live shows once or twice a month. I worry that if I do any less, those skills will atrophy. I’m looking forward to my first big performing arts show in New York in early 2017!
Do you have a favorite social media platform?
Twitter. I love the fact that nobody ever expects more than 140 characters in response. I could do this all day.
What do you do when you’re not doing all these various shows and touring? In short, do you ever rest?!
Hearthstone? Yes. Hearthstone.
What’s the story behind the spiked hair?
This is hard to remember, but there was a time before social media, when you could fly into a town, perform the best show of your career for 1,000+ people, and a month later, not one person could remember your name, let alone what you looked like and what you did. Looking like a video game character was an easy way to keep a “sticky” look.
– The CS Team
PS. For some music videos conquering the Internet, check out our post OK Go, Pop’s Reigning Masters of the Viral Music Video. And for some other great web series, click on A Sex Comedy for Our Time and A Food Show for the Rest of Us.