Gen Z’s favourite magician Sean Sotaridona aka SeanDoesMagic will make you believe in magic again

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Jul 9, 2024 at 01:14 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

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“When you think of a magician, you don’t think of me per se,” 22-year-old content creator and magician Sean Sotaridona replied when I asked him about clichés and stigmas around magic. The TikTok sensation is indeed a rarity, both in the content creation and wizardry community. He practices everything from pranks at the Grammys to courtside magic at a Lakers game. Most recently though, he has been showcasing skills as co-host for the online competition PLEZi Absurdly Good Games, next to no other than America’s sweetheart Kristen Bell. Oh, and did I mention that he got to work with Michelle Obama on this?

“You think of someone in a top hat, a tuxedo on stage and they have a magic wand. But honestly, I think as we continue to expand this art form, I would love to make magic cool,” Sotaridona continued. And with 10.1 million subscribers on YouTube and 21.4 million on TikTok, it’s fair to say that he is doing exactly that for the younger generations.

@seandoesmagic

the most impossible magic…

♬ original sound - Seany
@seandoesmagic

doing magic for my celeb crush <3

♬ My Type - Saint Motel

Born in the Netherlands to Filipino immigrants, Sean started uploading videos in elementary school after his family moved across the pond to the US. The inspiration to pursue the magical arts stemmed from an episode of the children’s TV show Franklin the Turtle where the characters were participating in a magic show.

“And from there I learned my first magic trick, which was how to take off your thumb like that.” He demonstrated the trick during our interview with exceptional form if I might say so. “I remember learning that and showing it to my parents. I’m sure they were just being great parents but they were like ‘Oh, wow, that’s so cool. You’re so talented.’ And from there, I’ve always been chasing that feeling of being able to amaze people and give them the feeling that anything is possible. And I think that’s kind of what drew me into it and what kept me going.”

Looking back on his early days making content, he said: “If you look at my early videos, like it’s a 360p camera, it’s very bad lighting, and my sleight of hand was really bad but I was always drawn to entertaining and creating great ideas and videos, and using my magic to spread joy and smiles.”

@seandoesmagic

dreams coming true ❤️🥺

♬ Thats What I want - mafraud

“There’s so much bad in this world and there’s so much negativity,” he continued. “So just having a platform that’s uplifting, and being able to spread something fun and wholesome is what we’re trying to push.”

Sotaridona has developed a lot since his humble beginnings in elementary school. This year alone, he got to work with comedian Kevin Hart, next to starting playful beef with MrBeast, and performing magic in front of the Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire cast. You know, just the normal stuff that 22-year-olds get to do.

@seandoesmagic

Magician vs Kevin Hart & LIFT Cast… who wins? 💰🎬 @Netflix #liftmovie #NetflixPartner

♬ original sound - Seany

 

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A post shared by Seany (@seandoesmagic)

“Kind of my biggest moment when you talk about heroes is Gary Vaynerchuk,” Sotaridona replied when I asked him to pick his favourite encounter so far. “When I was just starting out on social media and trying to like find my footing in the entertainment industry, I remember seeing a lot of Gary Vee videos—he’s this guy who motivates people to go out there and try to accomplish their dreams and goals and aspirations.”

“I would listen to his podcast every single day and there was one moment in 2021, when I was able to meet him in person through one of his events. He came up to me and basically went like, ‘I’m so proud of you, you’re doing all of it.’ It was just like that was just such a full-circle moment. I actually have a very small tattoo on my thigh that represents that moment because he said that I was a light in this world. So I got a glowing heart tattoo on my thigh.”

When it came to what makes the magician laugh and enjoy life himself, he directed us to his latest project which wrapped up Monday 8 July, the PLEZi Absurdly Good Games.

“Let me say that I’m watching all the submissions for Absurdly Good Games and hope everyone gets a chance to see or submit one. There are amazing things happening with PLEZi games, which have made me laugh and smile a lot. For example, I saw a young girl who is incredibly skilled at basketball dribbling. I play basketball every day so it’s funny to see someone much younger than me being so much better at it,” he said in reference to the online competition that has users submit their funny and absurd ways of keeping fit with the tag @plezinutrition and the hashtags #PLEZigames and #nutrition. As with any competition, there were some good prizes involved, such as custom merch and $5,000 in cash.

“We had a kid named Melanie, a contortionist, bending backwards in ways I’ll never be able to. It’s really cool to see. Anyone interested can check it out on #PLEZigames on Instagram.”

 

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A post shared by Melanie Kahler (@mkahler79)

Sotaridona continued: “There are insanely talented kids out there. Recently, at a con week, I met many amazing people, including kids and fans who have supported me to where I am today. It was a great experience filled with lots of laughter.”

As a die-hard Harry Potter fan, I can say that I thoroughly enjoyed my encounter with a real magician. I will even go so far as to say something incredibly cheesy like: it made me realise that magic is less about the perfect trick, the spell, and the abracadabra and all about how happy and excited it makes people feel.

“I think that’s why I love it so much. You know, imagine a 46-year-old guy who works in a very stressful corporate job. I do a magic trick for him and he’s a kid again. He’s giggling, he’s laughing and he’s in wonder and in awe. I think that that’s what should be captured more in magic, not just like the cheesy, corny stuff.”

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