How did Brian Brushwood go from a Dell employee to a YouTube star

Brian Brushwood is an American magician, podcaster, author, lecturer, YouTuber and comedian. He is known for the series Scam Nation (previously Scam School), a show where he teaches the audience entertaining tricks at bars so they can "scam" a free drink. He also co-hosts several podcasts and shows on the internet, and has his own books and stage shows. But how did Brushwood start his journey from a Dell employee to a YouTube star?

The Beginning

Brushwood was born in Fountain Valley, California, in 1975. He received several magic kits as a child, and developed an interest in magic. He studied at the University of Texas at Austin, where he rediscovered his passion for magic, and performed his first paid shows by filling in for another magician who had a busy schedule. He presented a 45-minute magic show as his senior thesis. He graduated from the Plan II honors program at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997.

After graduation, Brushwood married his wife Bonnie, and started testing video games for Rockwell Semiconductors, then moved to work at Dell where he designed high-performance computer systems. During his time at Dell, Brushwood moonlighted as a magician on Wednesday nights at The Electric Lounge in Austin, Texas.

The Breakthrough

In 1999, Brushwood was offered a raise at Dell and realized he was not following his passion, so he decided to quit his job at Dell and start performing his Bizarre Magic show full-time. He traveled across the country with his wife and two kids, performing at colleges and corporate events. He also wrote six books on magic and scams.

In 2007, Brushwood got a chance to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where he performed some of his signature stunts such as breaking a concrete block over his head and eating fire. He also appeared on other national TV shows such as CNN and Food Network.

In 2008, Brushwood launched Scam School, a web series where he taught viewers how to perform tricks and cons at bars and on the street. The show was produced by Revision3 and later Discovery Digital Networks. It became one of the most popular shows on the internet, winning several awards and reaching millions of views.

The Expansion

Brushwood expanded his online presence by co-hosting several podcasts and shows with other creators. Some of them are:

  • Weird Things: A podcast where Brushwood, Andrew Mayne and Justin Robert Young discuss strange news and topics related to science fiction and the paranormal.

  • Night Attack: A comedy podcast where Brushwood and Young chat with guests and play games.

  • Cordkillers: A podcast where Brushwood and Tom Merritt talk about the latest news and trends in cord-cutting and streaming media.

  • Hacking The System: A TV show where Brushwood and Jason Murphy demonstrate how to hack everyday situations using science and common sense.

  • The Modern Rogue: A YouTube show where Brushwood and Murphy explore various topics such as survival skills, social engineering, DIY projects and more.

Brushwood also continued to perform his Bizarre Magic show live, incorporating elements of comedy, storytelling and audience participation. He also created Scam Nation (formerly Scam School) in 2018, a revamped version of his original web series with more focus on showcasing magic.

The Conclusion

Brushwood is one of the most successful and versatile magicians in the world today. He has used his skills and charisma to entertain millions of people online and offline. He has also inspired many people to learn magic and scams for fun and profit. He is a true example of how one can follow their passion and turn it into a career.


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