“Dynamo Is Dead!” The Heartbreaking True Story Of Why Dynamo The Magician Vanished For Years! (Exclusive)

Summary Notes


In a raw and revealing conversation, renowned magician Dynamo, also known as Steven Frayne, opens up about his tumultuous journey, marked by struggles with mental health, a life-threatening battle with Crohn's disease, and a legal dispute that stripped him of his stage name and social media presence. Despite his fame and success, Dynamo hit rock bottom, leading to a suicide attempt in November 2020. Through therapy and a reconnection with magic, he seeks to reinvent himself and inspire others facing adversity. Dynamo's candid discussion highlights the transformative power of vulnerability, the importance of seeking help, and the redemptive potential of sharing one's craft, as he prepares for a symbolic act of burying himself alive to signify the death of his old persona and the birth of a new chapter.

Summary Notes

Dynamo's Struggle with Mental Health

  • Dynamo experienced severe mental health issues, leading to an attempt to harm himself.
  • He felt overwhelmed by internal noise and contemplated self-harm as a means to silence it.
  • Dynamo's struggles led to his disappearance from the public eye.

"I can't turn off the noise. And if I saw myself in a mirror, I'd slam my head into the mirror and just keep slamming it to make it go away. That's why I've disappeared."

This quote illustrates Dynamo's intense distress and the extreme measures he considered to escape his mental turmoil.

Dynamo's Rock Bottom

  • Dynamo identifies November 2020 as a significant low point when he attempted suicide.
  • His wife found him unconscious, which signifies the seriousness of his mental health crisis.

"Bottom six in November 2020? Because that was a day and I tried to kill myself."

The quote marks the severity of Dynamo's rock bottom and his struggle with suicidal thoughts.

The Role of Magic in Dynamo's Life

  • Magic has been Dynamo's source of hope throughout his life.
  • It helped him cope with bullying, racism, and disbelief from others.
  • Magic allowed Dynamo to distinguish himself positively.

"Magic's always been the thing that has given me hope that I've used to overcome the bullying, overcome the racist abuse and the lack of belief. And it made me stand out in a different way."

This quote emphasizes how magic served as a beacon of hope and a tool for Dynamo to overcome adversity.

Dynamo's Career Hiatus and Health Issues

  • Dynamo's career came to a halt in 2017 due to severe illness.
  • His ability to perform magic was compromised by his deteriorating health.
  • Dynamo's grandmother, his biggest supporter, passed away during this time.
  • He faced a legal dispute preventing him from using the "Dynamo" name.

"Suddenly, I got really sick. I couldn't hold the cards anymore. My body was deteriorating."

The quote reflects the physical challenges Dynamo faced that impacted his career and his identity as a magician.

  • Dynamo struggled with multiple problems simultaneously, feeling unable to solve any of them.
  • The culmination of his issues led to a belief that his absence might make others happier.
  • Dynamo felt that his persona needed to end for him to move forward.

"I had so many problems that I couldn't figure out how to even solve one of them. I felt if I'm not here, then everybody else might be happier."

This quote reveals Dynamo's sense of hopelessness and the weight of his personal and legal problems.

Dynamo's Early Life and Family Background

  • Dynamo grew up in Bradford in 1982, in a council estate with limited family support.
  • His father went to jail when Dynamo was young, leaving his mother to raise him alone.
  • Dynamo's biracial heritage caused him to face racial issues during his childhood.

"I think ultimately, it's the ethos that sometimes magic is found in the most unlikely places."

The quote captures Dynamo's belief that magic can arise from challenging circumstances and can be a transformative force in one's life.

Dynamo's Relationship with His Father

  • Dynamo's father was absent due to incarceration and was not a positive influence upon return.
  • His father attempted to involve Dynamo in illegal activities upon their reunion.
  • Dynamo felt indifferent and chose to distance himself from his father, focusing on positive influences.

"I didn't know him enough to be able to say whether he was a good man or a bad man, because end of the day, just because you do that sort of stuff doesn't necessarily ultimately make you a bad person."

This quote reflects Dynamo's nuanced view of his father, acknowledging the complexity of character beyond illegal actions.

The Impact of Dynamo's Father's Death

  • Dynamo harbors pain from his relationship with his father.
  • His father's death altered Dynamo's perspective, but he holds no regrets due to the circumstances.
  • Dynamo learned about his father's abusive behavior towards his mother, which was hidden from him as a child.

"There's going to be parts of that, but I'll never be closed off because, sadly, he's not alive anymore."

The quote indicates that Dynamo still feels emotional pain related to his father but recognizes the finality of his passing.

Dynamo's School Experiences and Bullying

  • Dynamo was fearful of school due to consistent bullying and racial discrimination.
  • He was advised to hide his biracial identity to avoid conflict.
  • Dynamo's grandfather introduced him to magic as a tool to cope with adversity.

"I was scared at school about trying them because I'm, like, thinking, well, I'm already seen as this weird or this outcast is sharing magic with people."

This quote highlights how Dynamo initially feared that embracing magic would exacerbate his social isolation, but it ultimately provided a unique means of connecting with others.

Magic as a Form of Belonging

  • Dynamo used magic as a way to deflect attention from other areas of his life he wanted to hide.
  • Magic became an integral part of his identity, leading to feelings of addiction and fear of not belonging without it.
  • The craft of magic provided a sense of belonging and purpose.

"That was really where the magic began properly. Before that point, it was something that I was using to deflect attention from the other areas of my life that I was trying to hide." "It's almost like they become addicted to it in some way."

These quotes illustrate how Dynamo found magic as a means to cope with personal issues and the addictive nature of finding belonging in a craft.

Living with Crohn's Disease

  • Dynamo was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at 13, which is considered very young.
  • Crohn's disease involves severe inflammation and can be life-threatening.
  • The diagnosis came after noticing a lack of physical development during puberty.
  • The disease led to feelings of alienation and exacerbated existing feelings of not belonging.
  • Discussions about Crohn's disease, especially its bowel-related symptoms, are difficult for teenagers.
  • Crohn's disease causes physical pain and can be debilitating without medication.
  • Reactive arthritis is a side effect Dynamo suffers from, affecting his mobility and ability to perform magic.

"I've had a few moments where I've had life threatening operations." "And because it's inside you, your gut affects every part of your body, and then it has side effects, which one of the side effects is reactive arthritis, which is what I suffer from."

These quotes highlight the severity of Crohn's disease and its impact on Dynamo's life, including his career as a magician.

Pursuing Magic as a Career

  • Dynamo dropped out of college to pursue magic full-time.
  • He moved to America to stay with his grandmother and had an operation for his Crohn's disease at 17.
  • Dynamo's career gained traction when he returned to London at 20 and began posting performances online.
  • He received an invitation to perform at the Super Bowl at 22 and had his own TV show by 29.
  • Success is a subjective term for Dynamo; he considers the start of his success when he got his business loan from The Prince's Trust.

"By 29 years old, you have your own tv show called Dynamo Magician Impossible." "I guess that depends on what you class as. Like, what is success? Right?"

These quotes reflect on Dynamo's career milestones and his personal definition of success.

Health Challenges and Career Interruptions

  • Dynamo's career was interrupted by severe health issues related to Crohn's disease.
  • He experienced life-threatening complications from food poisoning combined with Crohn's.
  • The illness led to reactive arthritis and severe joint pain, inhibiting his ability to perform magic.
  • Dynamo underwent medical trials for new treatments, which were prolonged and often ineffective.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic affected the efficacy of his medication, leading to further health struggles.
  • Dynamo's physical and mental health issues made him question the point of his existence without magic.

"And suddenly I'm in a position where I don't know what to do with myself, and magic isn't going to fix it." "I'm a magician who felt like back then, and still at times now, I'm a magician who feels like I can't do the first thing that a magician needs to do, perform magic."

These quotes convey the depth of Dynamo's health challenges and their profound impact on his identity and career as a magician.

  • Dynamo faced the loss of his grandmother, who was his biggest supporter.
  • He went through a legal dispute with his management, which restricted his use of social media and the Dynamo brand.
  • These events contributed to a period of intense personal struggle, impacting his mental health and self-perception.
  • Dynamo engaged in self-harm as a response to the pain and numbness he felt.

"I think losing my nana ultimately was. I think the thing that, I guess, the straw that broke the camel's back." "I wasn't very nice to myself. There's a lot of pain, but also a lot of numbness."

These quotes reveal the emotional toll of Dynamo's personal losses and legal issues, leading to self-destructive behavior.

Experience of Grief and the Role of Support

  • Dynamo discusses the difficulty of seeing others' grief while consumed by his own.
  • His wife played a crucial role in helping him seek therapy and support.
  • The importance of togetherness and mutual support in times of grief is highlighted.

"grief, it's hard to see outside of your own grief, to see other people's. Do you know what I mean? And we were kind of almost together in those moments. We came together, but she was the one who ultimately got me to go to therapy and to get the help and support that I needed."

The quote emphasizes the challenge of recognizing and empathizing with the grief of others when one is deeply engulfed in their own. It also acknowledges the positive impact of his wife's support in his decision to seek professional help.

Dynamo’s Rock Bottom

  • Dynamo identifies 6 November 2020 as his rock bottom.
  • This was the day he attempted suicide and was discovered by his wife.

"Yeah. 6 November 2020."

The quote marks the specific date Dynamo considers his lowest point, indicating its significance in his memory and personal history.

The Hardest Day and Attempted Suicide

  • Dynamo explains why the day he attempted suicide was so hard: his wife found him, and he realized the impact on her.
  • He expresses shame not for his feelings but for the trauma he caused his wife.

"Because that was a day that I knew that she knew because she found me and I tried to kill myself."

This quote reveals the reason behind Dynamo's hardest day: his suicide attempt and the realization of his wife's awareness of his actions.

Dynamo’s Perspective on Life and Interviews

  • Dynamo is not comfortable with life generally and finds it hard to talk outside of therapy.
  • He trusts the interviewer, Steven, and expects respectful handling of the interview content.
  • Dynamo is open to discussing sensitive topics due to the trust and help Steven has provided him in the past.

"This is the first time I've kind of done an interview that's not been with a therapist since 2020. So I trust you. You've been a help for me over the last few years."

The quote indicates Dynamo's discomfort with life and his cautious approach to interviews, highlighting his trust in Steven as a factor in his willingness to open up during this particular conversation.

The Impact of Being Found by a Loved One

  • Dynamo describes the profound impact of being found by his wife during his suicide attempt.
  • He highlights the impossibility of erasing that moment and the shame associated with his wife witnessing his vulnerability.
  • He acknowledges the burden he placed on his wife, who he believes he should be strong for.

"I'd probably hurt myself worse on previous occasions, but I'd never been found by the one person in this life whose opinion I genuinely care about."

The quote conveys the deep sense of shame and regret Dynamo feels for having his wife witness his suicide attempt, underscoring the emotional weight of the moment for both of them.

Supporting Someone with Suicidal Thoughts

  • Dynamo suggests calling for professional help, as his wife did, is a natural response to such a situation.
  • He emphasizes the importance of not making the person feel ashamed of their thoughts or actions.

"I mean, I guess what my wife did, naturally, you would call someone for help, like a doctor or something like that. But even though I still feel it and I can't necessarily speak on her behalf, but she didn't make me feel ashamed."

This quote highlights the appropriate response to someone in a suicidal crisis—seeking professional help while ensuring the individual does not feel shame for their condition.

The Power of Unconditional Love

  • Dynamo reflects on the unconditional love his wife showed him, which he had not experienced outside of family.
  • He credits his wife's love and support as the key to his survival.
  • He acknowledges the transformative power of love in times of extreme vulnerability.

"And she became the rock. She gave me a love that I've never had to deal with it. And that is something that I didn't necessarily maybe know I needed in my life until that moment. And that ultimately kept me alive around this time."

The quote expresses Dynamo's realization of the importance of his wife's love and support, highlighting her role as his "rock" during his crisis.

  • Dynamo describes feeling lost and the need for a fresh start to break the cycle of suicidal thoughts.
  • He compares his situation to the natural ebb and flow of business relationships.
  • He acknowledges the need for personal work and taking time away from his career.

"I think I was at a time in my life where I felt lost. And I knew if I stayed doing things exactly the same way that I'd always done them, then you're only going to get kind of the same results."

The quote reflects Dynamo's recognition that change was necessary to improve his mental state and break away from destructive patterns.

Social Media Absence

  • Dynamo explains his absence from social media as a result of not feeling his life was worth sharing.
  • He has been focusing on his mental health and leaving legal matters to his lawyers.
  • Dynamo's goal is to find a new way to share magic despite his physical limitations from arthritis and Crohn's disease.

"I don't feel like I've wanted to kind of post things because I felt like my life hasn't been worth sharing."

This quote reveals Dynamo's lack of desire to engage with social media during his period of personal struggle, as he did not view his life as shareworthy at that time.

Identity Conflict: Dynamo vs. Stephen

  • Dynamo discusses the blurred lines between his persona Dynamo and his personal identity as Stephen.
  • He describes the conflict between the seemingly invincible Dynamo and the flawed human, Stephen.
  • The struggle with his identity exacerbated his feelings of worthlessness and emptiness.

"Palm is always Dynama. Yeah, of course. Like. But the thing is, I've battled with knowing who they almost like has been a battle between me and myself, because the lines are so blurred, or were so blurred between the Stephen that you know and the dynamo that the greater world kind of knows."

The quote captures Dynamo's internal struggle with his dual identity as both the performer Dynamo and the individual Stephen, and the resulting confusion and conflict this has caused him.

Challenges in Performing Magic

  • Dynamo faced legal and mental barriers to performing magic.
  • He likens his mental block to "magic writer's block," where negative thoughts crowded out his creativity.
  • The lack of magic in his life contributed to his depression, as it is more than tricks—it's a feeling and experience.

"I can't turn off the noise. So then there's no space for magic to find its way in."

The quote metaphorically describes Dynamo's mental state as a cacophony that prevented him from accessing the creative space needed for his magic.

Therapy and Financial Struggles

  • Dynamo began therapy after his wife contacted his gastroenterologist, who then referred him to a therapist.
  • The cost of therapy added to his stress, but his therapist, Edward Sim, offered to help for free.
  • Dynamo expresses immense gratitude for his therapist's kindness and support.

"So I got the first few bills and I was like, I can't sustain this. I need it. But having to pay for therapy was making me more stressed in the process because I just couldn't afford the Therapy. But Edward Sim, he showed me a kindness that I've kind of know, but I haven't seen in a long time, especially at that."

This quote discusses the financial burden of therapy and the relief and gratitude Dynamo felt when his therapist offered to continue treatment without charge.

Sonic Reset Therapy and Recovery Tools

  • Dynamo uses sonic reset therapy to calm his mind and help with sleep.
  • He was advised to read the Alcoholics Anonymous book, despite never having been an alcoholic, and found it helpful in dealing with trauma.
  • The book serves as a blueprint for overcoming addiction and trauma, which Dynamo applied to his own life.

"I use this thing called sonic reset therapy. Don't know if you know about it, it's this noise that you listen to. I listen to it twice a day for 20 minutes and it's definitely become something that calms me down and helps me sleep at night."

The quote introduces sonic reset therapy as a method Dynamo uses to manage his mental health, illustrating the various tools and resources that have aided his recovery.

Reading the Alcoholics Anonymous Book

  • Dynamo recommends the Alcoholics Anonymous book for its universal lessons on overcoming trauma.
  • He details his personal application of the book's twelve steps to his recovery process.
  • The book helped him reflect on past resentments and relationships, including with his mother.

"For people who've never read it, I recommend reading it. I'm a testimony you don't have to be an alcoholic to read it and gain something from it."

The quote endorses the Alcoholics Anonymous book as a valuable resource for anyone dealing with trauma, not just those with alcohol addiction, and emphasizes its impact on Dynamo's healing journey.

Understanding Family Dynamics and Abuse Cycles

  • Dynamo reveals insights into his family history, including the physical abuse his mother endured.
  • He understands his mother's story and recognizes she didn't intentionally do things wrong.
  • His mother was trapped in a cycle of choosing the wrong partners and repeating the same mistakes.

"And I've actually got to understand her better... It's in these conversations that I've learned about some of the physical abuse that my dad would do and that also that other partners of hers would given her."

The quote explains Dynamo's deeper comprehension of his mother's struggles and the abusive relationships she experienced, leading to a cycle of poor partner choices.

Attachment Theory and Love Psychology

  • Steven discusses the concept that individuals often seek love similar to what they experienced in childhood.
  • Psychologists suggest that early toxic attachments may lead to seeking toxic relationships as adults.
  • Familiarity, even if unhealthy, provides a sense of safety.

"I've come to learn from doing this podcast and speaking to a lot of psychologists that specialize on love, that we often seek out the form of love that we grew up on, and sometimes that's an abusive form of love."

Steven shares insights from psychologists on the tendency to replicate familiar forms of love from childhood, which can include abusive relationships.

Admitting Powerlessness and Seeking External Magic

  • Dynamo has felt powerless due to illness and life's unpredictability.
  • He used to seek solutions within himself but now sees the value in the magic of others.
  • The book he mentions has shifted his perspective on where to find help and strength.

"Definitely. I mean, I've felt powerless for years... And what this book opened up my mind to the idea of is the magic in other people."

Dynamo admits to his feelings of powerlessness and how his mindset has changed to appreciate the support and 'magic' found in other people.

The Role of Conversation Cards and WHOOP Sponsorship

  • Conversation cards are a tool for deeper engagement and sell out quickly.
  • WHOOP, a health-tracking wearable device, is a sponsor of the podcast.
  • Steven promotes the benefits of WHOOP for sleep, recovery, and well-being.

"As you know, because I've been sent thousands of messages, these conversation cards sell out exceptionally quick... WHOOP is a wearable device that not only tracks your health 24/7 but also guides you to improve it."

Steven highlights the popularity of conversation cards and endorses WHOOP as a tool for health improvement, emphasizing the product's impact on his own life.

Dynamo's Return to the Public Stage

  • Dynamo is making a return to the public with a new TV show, "Dynamo is Dead."
  • The show is a part of his journey to rediscover magic in life and in others.
  • Dynamo aims to inspire and help people by sharing his experiences with mental health and trauma.

"I just need to get magic back in my life, because that's the thing that I live for... I realized that if I could use that platform to speak to individuals candidly about dealing with any type of trauma, dealing with not feeling good enough, dealing with all the things that I felt that made me not want to be alive anymore, then maybe that can save someone else's life."

Dynamo expresses his desire to reintroduce magic into his life and use his platform to help others by discussing his own struggles with trauma and self-worth.

Symbolic Burial and Personal Transformation

  • Dynamo plans to bury himself alive on TV as a symbolic act to end his old identity.
  • He believes that enduring extreme challenges can lead to personal change.
  • The act is not a stunt but a personal cleansing and a step towards living life without fear.

"I realized then that the dynamo, as we know it, needed to die with her... It's not like a stunt, it's not about escaping, it's a cleansing for me."

Dynamo explains his decision to perform a symbolic burial alive to mark the end of his previous persona and to cleanse himself as part of his personal growth.

Magic Performance and Team Interaction

  • Dynamo performs a magic trick involving card selection and a surprising reveal.
  • He engages with the podcast team, personalizing the magic experience.
  • The performance includes a poignant moment that connects emotion to a physical manifestation.

"So take one out, Stephen... I'll make all the other cards disappear even... Can you write your name on the face of the car?"

Dynamo directs a magic trick with the podcast team, creating an interactive and memorable experience that leaves them astonished.

Emotional Manipulation and Magic as Healing

  • Dynamo uses magic to address emotional manipulation and to draw out personal experiences.
  • He performs a trick that visually represents the emotional concept of heartstrings.
  • The performance is therapeutic, symbolizing the release of emotional burdens.

"Have you ever had a time in your life where you feel people have got close to you, but then they've almost, like, load you into a false sense of security so that they can almost manipulate you and pull at your heartstrings."

Dynamo uses magic to metaphorically explore the concept of emotional manipulation, using a trick that resonates with personal experiences of the participants.

Huel Sponsorship and Product Endorsement

  • Steven is an investor in Huel and endorses their products, including the nutrition bars.
  • He shares his personal favorites and encourages listeners to try them.
  • Huel is presented as a practical and enjoyable nutrition option.

"As you guys know, I'm a big fan of Huel... My favorite Huel bottle here, which comes with my bundle, and also the brand new and very exciting Huel complete nutrition bars."

Steven promotes Huel products, sharing his personal preferences and recommending them to listeners for their nutritional benefits.

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