Teenager Poway started doing magic tricks to fight shyness. He now has 4.6 million followers on TikTok.
Pete Sciarrino was a shy kid growing up. He found it difficult to interact with others.
Then, his uncle taught him magic when he was 5 years old. The now 19-year-old Poway resident came out of his shell doing card tricks and other assorted sleight of hand tricks.
“I just started walking around and doing it all the time,” he said.
Sciarrino always has a deck of cards on him.
He proudly recalls a day at Rancho Bernardo High School when he got such a reaction from his classmates, who were running around and shouting for a card trick, that security came to see what was going on. Sciarrino had put a card in his hand and a card in a classmate’s hand, then swapped the cards.
Not only did magic help him overcome his shyness, but it also helped him get over 4.6 million followers on TikTok. The social media star and content creator is better known as pasmagic.
Sciarrino uses everyday objects in his tricks. One of his most popular videos shows him linking two Lifesaver mints. This one has 16 million views.
“Anyone can give me something and I’ll try to take it for a ride,” he said.
Another of his best-known tricks is when he fills an Oreo with marshmallows.
Of course, he won’t say how he does either trick. But he does offer a behind-the-scenes look at some of his tricks on his account.
Sciarrino attributes his popularity to his consistency. He posts at least once a day.
“I think because I show up every day,” he said, “I feel like I’ve built an audience where people want to keep coming back.”
Creating at least one video a day takes a lot of planning. Sciarrino said he messages other creators to help them come up with post ideas.
“It’s always good to connect with other people,” he said.
He also practices his magic daily.
Sciarrino includes his family in his posts. Her father, Pete Sciarrino Jr., and brother, AJ, 16, are regulars on her videos.
“I feel like it makes it more family-friendly,” Sciarrino said.
“It’s fun – until I tell them we have to do it 10 more times,” he added.
Pete Sciarrino Jr. said he loved being in the videos.
“It’s so cool because a lot of 19-year-olds don’t want to be with their parents,” he said. “It’s funny. It gives us bonding time.
Despite his fame, Sciarrino remains humble, according to his father.
“He likes to involve other people and give them some light,” he said.
Sciarrino started his online presence with an Instagram account in 2017 when he was a freshman in high school. He did magic tricks for weddings and parties and in restaurants. But once the pandemic started, he started focusing on his videos. That’s when he started using TikTok.
“It’s great to do it full time now,” he said.
He is paid by sight. But he also had a few sponsorships, including one with Coca-Cola.
“I thought it was fake when I saw the email,” he said.
In December, Coca-Cola reached out to include it in its Share the Magic campaign. For the sponsorship, Sciarrino took a trick in which he filled and resealed an empty Coke can. The video was posted on his TikTok and then it was promoted by the company.
He has also worked with Beats, Vineyard Vines and Butterfinger.
In order to help manage his career, Sciarrino studied corporate finance at California State University San Marcos. He is in his second year.
Creating content can be a challenge. Along with talking to other content creators for ideas, Sciarrino is also revisiting older videos and adding a new twist. Sometimes in his posts, he creates a contest with his family members and the loser has to show an embarrassing photo.
In a competition, he and his dad were bouncing ping pong balls in a glass as a game, then both ended up showing a photo of themselves in Halloween costumes at the end.
“I feel like people want to know more about you,” he said. “I was trying to be unique.”
People on social media try to present themselves as perfect, he says, while he’s just trying to be real – even if it ends up being a bit embarrassing.
Sciarrino knows more than 1,000 tricks. He said he couldn’t pick one as a favorite because it all depends on the audience. He said the best part of doing magic is seeing other people’s reactions and witnessing their enjoyment.
“I feel like it improves people’s moods,” he said.
Occasionally, Sciarrino is recognized through his videos.
“It feels good. It feels a little weird at first,” he said. “I never thought I’d be like this, but I like it.”
“You also never know who is watching the video. This is the crazy part.