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TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.

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Trial and Error



Brian Brushwood Is the Manliest Man on the Internet

June 20, 2008 9:29 AM

Want to know how to hammer a nail into your nostril? Or maybe turn your mouth into a candle as you eat fire?

Well, I don’t know how the hell you would do any of those things or why you would even want to. But I dare you to take your eyes off of performer Brian Brushwood as he pulls off these cover-your-face-with-your-fingers-but-still-watch-in-between tricks. I guess you could call him a magician, but that’s sort of like saying both Marilyn Manson and Mariah Carey are singers. Technically accurate, but it doesn’t quite capture the gestalt of what Brushwood does.

During a live performance of his Revision3 show “Scam School” earlier this month, he summed up what he does best: “I specialize in doing bizarre, unusual and often retarded things,” he told the audience.

“Scam School” is one of the newest shows from online TV network Revision3. On his show, Brushwood does execute “retarded” things that you should never try at home. But the premise of the show is educational. His goal is to teach viewers bar tricks they can use to get free drinks. Like how to hold a lit match in your mouth.

I caught up with Brushwood earlier this month in Brooklyn, where he served as the opening act for a live taping of Revision3’s popular series “Diggnation.” During Brushwood’s show he ate fire, hammered a nail into his nose and put another nail in his eye.

He also shared some insights on what it means to work on the Web when I spoke with him backstage before the taping: Just because something flies on the Web doesn’t mean it will work on TV.

“It needs to be different,” he said during our chat. “The big key is interactivity. You can’t get all TV-like without someone calling B.S. If I tried to be Criss Angel, people wouldn’t watch 'Scam School.'”

And with all due respect to Mr. Angel, that means if you’re on the Web you can’t be too big, too self-important, too full of yourself. It sounds trite, but you really do have to be yourself as much as possible.

Get to know Brushwood with this video from the show that night. And no, the Daisy who joins Brushwood on stage is not me.

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Comments (1)

Brian Brushwood was incredible at Studio B. I had never heard of him before his live show and now subscribe to scam school and follow him on twitter. I look forward to seeing him perform again.
Great Article btw. I look forward to reading your other articles.

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