Welcome to TikTok Millionaires, where we profile creators who have crossed the one million subscriber mark on TikTok. Each week, we’ll chat with a new Millionaire about their life, their content, and their creative goals for the days to come. Read previous installments here.
We’ve all heard the saying: A good magician never reveals their secrets.
But for SeanDoesMagic, demystifying the sleight of hand behind his tricks is half the fun.
His YouTube (239K subscribers), Instagram (366K), and now TikTok (15 million) accounts are full of snappy tutorials teaching his followers how to “magically” levitate coins, change cards from red to blue, and dole out potato chips from a seemingly empty bag. This kind of content has been particularly successful on TikTok; Sean says the videos in his “teach me a magic trick” series, where he quickly performs easy-to-master magic using random household objects delivered to him by a friend, have collectively brought in 100 million views and around 3 million of his followers over the past year and a half.
The series’ popularity isn’t the only reason Sean is happy to spill his sorcery secrets; he thinks of it as paying things forward. When he was a young kid struggling to learn magic, he turned to MisMag822, a YouTuber who’s been posting instructional card trick videos since 2008. MisMag’s content changed his life, Sean says. And now, years later, he hopes that his own videos might do the same for someone else.
Check out our chat with him below.
Tubefilter: Tell us a little about you! Where are you from? How and when did you get into magic?
SeanDoesMagic: My name is Sean Sotaridona, an 18-year-old magician and content creator on TikTok. I was born in Enschede, Netherlands, but I am 100% Filipino. When I was two, my dad got a job opportunity, and we moved to the United States. I’ve grown up here ever since. At the age of six, I learned my first magic trick after watching magic on the kids’ TV show Franklin the Turtle. Ever since then, I have been inspired by many other magicians, and I’ve continued to learn and grow in the art of magic.
Tubefilter: How and when did you start making digital content? When and why did you decide to join TikTok?
SDM: I’ve been making digital content since I was in elementary school. I posted my very first YouTube video at the age of 10. It was simply a video of me doing a card trick. Ever since that first video was uploaded, I haven’t stopped posting. I joined Vine in middle school with a few of my friends and continued to post on YouTube. It wasn’t until I joined Instagram that I found traction. I grew to around 75,000 followers, and that’s when, in February of 2019, I found TikTok. I originally started TikTok as a more of a fun thing to do with my friends. However, that quickly changed when my second video grew to a viral 5.5 million views.
Tubefilter: What has your TikTok audience growth been like? Slow and steady? Rapid and unpredictable? What kinds of videos tend to be most popular with your audience?
SDM: The best way to describe growth on TikTok is like an ocean: it comes in waves. You will have one week of rapid growth, and then the next week, slower growth, and a period of experimenting and learning new content. It’s a constant innovation and evolution of content, as trends die as fast as they are made. The most popular videos that I have seen within my audience have definitely been my “teach me a magic trick” series. This series alone has brought me over 3 million new followers and over 100 million views!
Tubefilter: Speaking of “teach me a magic trick,” a major part of your content is demystifying magic. You give your viewers a peek behind the curtain, explaining some popular tricks like color-changing cards, disappearing coins, and levitating objects. We’ve all heard that “a magician never reveals his secrets,” so why do you make videos like these?
SDM: Every magician has learned their craft from somewhere. Personally, I grew up watching this YouTube MisMag822 teach magic tricks on his channel. I vividly remember going home from school and learning a new trick EVERY SINGLE DAY. That man’s content changed my life, and I want to be able to keep the art of magic alive by spreading it to the world as much as I can. I want to be that MisMag822–or in other words, that inspiration–for whoever may be the next social media magician.
@seandoesmagicTeaching MAGIC with Random Items 😱🎩 ##magictrick ##magictutorial ##howto♬ Lady – Hear Me Tonight – Modjo
Tubefilter: You’ve been up to a lot this year. First, you and your dad have been collecting funds to support members of the Filipino community affected by COVID-19. Tell us about these efforts. Why is this an important cause for you?
SDM: The Filipino Relief Fund that my Dad and I started is such an important cause for me because I personally have family and friends in the Philippines. I got so very fortunate with my situation, and I always think about how it could’ve been so different if my parents didn’t work hard to bring me here to the United States. And that gratitude has made me want to give back and support those who are struggling to support themselves. Specifically, with this relief, it really broke my heart to hear the stories of all these families. Millions of people in the Philippines are living DAY TO DAY, meaning that if they don’t work that day, they can’t feed their families. And with COVID-19, many of these workers were forced to stay at home, meaning they couldn’t make ends meet. It’s such a heartbreaking situation, which is what motivated my dad and I to make this relief fund to bring care packages to these families in need.
Tubefilter: You also launched new merch in May that celebrates Filipino culture. How long have you been making merch? Was the process for making this line different? Why is this line important to you?
SDM: This was my second ever official merch drop, but my first one since my recent rapid growth on TikTok. The process of this merch was different from the last one because it was focused on celebrating the Filipino culture. We wanted to find a design that would show my brand while at the same time show my pride of the Filipino culture and people. We eventually settled on my catchphrase, “You Know The Vibe,” using Filipino colors and symbols.
Tubefilter: And last but not least, you also recently launched ThePoundLA. What is it, who’s part of it, and what are you all up to?
SDM: ThePoundLA is a brand-new creator house consisting of five of my childhood best friends. What makes us different than any other content house is that we were all friends before social media, and our content can truly reflect how close we are with each other and our bond. We just launched mid-August, and within that month’s time, we grew to almost one million followers. We have been creating content daily on all platforms, and our goal is to eventually become one of the biggest social media groups in the world.
Tubefilter: How does your creative process differ between YouTube and TikTok content? Are you splitting your time between the two, or spending more time on one?
SDM: That’s quite an interesting question, and to be honest, although there is a HUGE production difference between the two platforms, there isn’t a lot of creative difference. The goal of both platforms is simple: make good, entertaining content that people will watch through the full duration of. Currently my main focus has been TikTok; however, I have and will be focusing more on YouTube, as that is where I myself navigate towards in the future.
Tubefilter: Have you worked on any collaborations with other creators or any sponsored content with brands? Do you have any brands or products of your own (aside from your merch!)?
SDM: Yes! I’ve worked with many creators such as Addison Rae, Lil Huddy, and Danny Duncan, just to name a few. Many of these creators I meet through networking or going to social media events such as VidCon or Playlist Live. For brands, I have worked with and been approached by a lot of notable brands in the areas of food and drinks, electronics, apps, health and wellness, and clothing. I am looking forward to working with so many more brands my audiences love! Aside from merch, in the near future, I want to release my own deck of cards and potentially a magic kit for my family and kids audiences.
Tubefilter: Where does TikTok fit into your average day? How much time do you spend brainstorming/creating content? What else do you get up to?
SDM: I recently graduated from high school, and becoming a successful digital creator and entrepreneur has always been my career goal. For the last month, while living at ThePoundLA, we all have been waking up at 8 a.m. and working until 1 a.m. trying to grow and expand our brands. It has been a daily grind, but it has been paying off not only through the growth of my own personal page, but also through the page of ThePoundLA.
@thepoundlaMaking a MUSIC VIDEO in 1 Hour 🎶 ##musicvideo ##soundcloud ##rapper♬ original sound – The Pound 🐾
Tubefilter: Are there any TikTok creators who inspire you with their content?
SDM: One of my favorite creators who inspires me is David Dobrik. He started on YouTube, his content is so innovative, and he has always set the bar for me for what level of content creation I want to reach one day.
Tubefilter: What’s next for you? Any plans looking to the future?
SDM: There are a TON of projects that I’m working on. But right now, I just want to continue to work on this new content house, and I want to bring my friends to be top stars on all the social media platforms with me. I would be nowhere without the support of my best friends, so this new content house is definitely my focus for the next few months. Aside from the house, I also plan to OFFICIALLY move to Los Angeles within the next month or so. I am currently looking for a platform to host the release of my first ever one-hour magic special, which will feature some of the most influential people in the space!