If David Blaine pissed off the Society of American Magicians by writing a tell-all and later had a love child with Mystery, that love child would be Brian Brushwood (give his hair some color and he’d add a whole new definition to peacocking).
The American magic man first gained notoriety in 2000 when he took his Bizarre Magic Show on a full-time college tour, wowing fratacular audiences with fire-eating, escapes, and mind-reading tricks. Since then, Brushwood’s showcased spectacles on The Tonight Show and Life Beyond Limits, authored three books – Cheats, Cons, Swindles & Tricks: 57 Ways to Scam a Free Drink, Pack the House: The Ultimate, Ever-Growing Guide to Increasing Attendance to YOUR Campus Events, and Professional’s Guide to Fire Eating – and starred in his own online reality series, Brian Brushwood on the Road – a documentary of his life on tour that’s kinda like Dane Cook’s Tourgasm except funnier and watchable.
It seems that someone at Revision3 got hold of one of those books Brushwood penned and like what he read, because the magician’s now giving all his secrets away (at the expense of his profession?) on the new media studio’s new show, Scam School.
Rev3 CEO Jim Louderback explains the premise: "We’re actually lifting the veil on popular magic tricks, to teach our audience how to perform them just like famous magicians. But all of our tricks have a purpose: to help you score points — and free drinks — at the bar. What could be better for our 21-30 year old target market?"
###I haven’t read it, but I’m guessing the series is basically Brushwood’s book in video form. He introduces a trick, lets innocent bystanders try to figure out what’s going on, tells the innocent bystanders how it’s done, and then lets them have a go.
It’s off to a good start, showing you the art of inhaling noxious fumes to impress strangers (FYI, I tried this…and it burns) and seemingly simple puzzle games that annoy the #%@ out of anyone that can’t figure them out. New episodes will drop every Friday, but to celebrate the show’s launch, we’ll get a new scam every day this week.
I’m hoping that the magic will get more "WTF?!?" or "WOW!" inducing as the series progresses, but even if they don’t, Rev3 could have found its first mainstream hit.
Part of it’s because Brushwood’s a talented host and it’s hard not to like someone that’s telling you secrets. But it’s mostly because of Scam School‘s subject matter and that it’s the network’s first show (aside from Ctrl-Alt-Chicken and a XLR8R TV) that doesn’t reek of geeky pop culture or tech talk. You don’t need to know the name Kevin Rose to digg a decent magic trick.