Jonah is joined by Dustin Dean, an incredible mentalist who you may have seen on your TikTok feed. He has over half a million followers and countless videos with millions of views. In this conversation we’ll learn all about his success, how you can get into growing your social media presence, and how to thread the line between fooling your audience and being honest with them.
The Mentalist on The Screen
Dustin’s first influential exposure and interest in magic really came into focus when he encountered one of Darren Brown’s television shows. Seeing someone call themselves a mentalist and appear to explain the method of what they were doing was the catalyst for Dustin into understanding all the possibilities that magic could express itself as.
Most of the early magic that Dustin learned was through YouTube and in the beginning it was just Dustin and the internet. It was there that he learned his first card tricks before being introduced to magic clubs and the wider world of the magical community.
His big break came from a haircut where, while showing off what we could do to the staff at the barber shop, an agent happened to be there who was looking for more acts to book for the college circuit.
You Don’t Have To Be A Magician (To Go Viral)
At first Dustin threw himself into social media magic but now he’s mostly known on social media as one who debunks psychics and he’s learned that he doesn’t have to be so restricted to grow on social media. In his conversation with Jonah he shares the lessons and insights he’s learned creating multiple accounts and seeing many of his posts grow to millions of views with millions of followers.
Does his social media footprint translate into bookings? Not exactly but Dustin explains how he views his social media work and how it can surprise him in the long run what doors it’s been able to open and what clients he’s been able to secure.
The Honest Liars
Dustin has a massive following for his debunking of physics and mediums. Why does he feel so driven to do all the research to expose them? And what does he think about other mentalists who don’t warn their audiences that what they are experiencing is not actually real?
Dustin has given a lot of thought into the ethics of mentalism and it’s effect on how it shapes the thoughts of people in the audience and he dives deep with Jonah into the world of debunking and mentalism and lets us into his reasons into why he does what he does.
What do you like about modern magic? What do you not like?
It’s getting more thinking about how it’s done or how it could be possible. Because of Google and social media a lot of people are figuring out how magic tricks work. This is not to say that exposure for the sake of exposure is a good thing but it is nice to see people learning and showing interest and, in a way, pushing magic forward to think of new avenues and ways to fool people.
It’s not great that there is so much exposure just for the attention. Exposure videos are a very low level form of attention. It’s an easy dumb way to get views and attention and doesn’t really add much value.