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Magical Beginnings - My Story

Updated: Jun 27, 2020

As a child I remember my parents buying a plastic magic top hat for me. It had a trap door to hide and produce cards. I never really mastered its use as it was quite clunky and loud when producing cards but it was one of my favourite toys. It had many uses.

I guess it was this early toy that grabbed my attention and love of magic.

I will never forget my parents taking me, my sister and my mate Dean to a toy exhibition at Crystal Palace. It was a great day out and as well as toys galore, featured a lot of magicians performing. A day out that I will never forget.

And like most kids in the late 70’s and early 80’s, I loved watching the Paul Daniels magic show and buying the magic tricks range that he endorsed. I remember visiting a toy/hobby shop in Staines every Saturday and my Dad buying tricks for me. I remember the blue and red Paul Daniels range of tricks well.

I don’t remember being particularly good at the tricks and probably didn’t read the instructions much, but I had fun The tricks that were more self performing were the ones I used the most. I particularly remember owning the fake blue plastic drinks coaster. When placing a glass on the coaster, you could make a coin appear. I wonder how that trick worked!

Good memories of two brilliant parents who have now sadly passed away in the last few years.

These toys that my parents bought me and days out had an early influence on my love for magic.

From early teens, my interest probably waned a bit and magic didn’t seem as cool as it once had. But it has always caught my attention.

When I got married about 12 years ago, my contribution at the wedding fair was booking a magician for close up magic for the guests. My brother in law was impressed as he was particularly interested in card magic at the time. I would watch him perform, believing that I didn’t have the time or even the ability to perform card magic.

About four or five years ago, I watched the TV show “Tricked“ with Ben Hanlin. At the time it was available on Netflix in the UK. A really enjoyable show and grabbed my interest in magic again. Modern magic combined with practical jokes.

In 2018 when Ben Hanlin was performing a warm up gig in Corby, I went to the show with my family. At that time, I then felt the need to book more shows to see magic performed live. It’s so good to see artists carry out tricks and perform magic that you may have previously wondered if was just camera trickery.

The Ben Hanlin show started a little tradition of getting selfies with the artists and booking as many shows as I could. Since then, I booked further shows to see Ben, Jamie Raven, Richard Jones, Morgan and West, Mandy Muden, Derren Brown, Ben Hart and anyone else touring.

Great to have so many selfies and even videos. Last year, I had a period of time when I wasn’t well and have some private messages that some of them sent. Will always keep those videos. And thanks to the magicians who sent them.

The famous magicians/artists are such an amiable bunch. Another reason why it holds an interest for many as they look after their fans.

This year, like most people I was suddenly presented with more time on my hands. For a while, I had wanted to build a website but did not have any idea what to do. An idea that I had after attending a Magical Bones Zoom show was to produce a website based on my interest in magic. I had always found it hard to find complete listings of magic artists and their shows. The site was fairly quickly born and I continue to work on it, gradually attracting a following and adding content.

I have always had an interest in wanting to perform magic. The time invested in creating the site helped nurture my interest and want to start performing tricks. Card magic appeared to be a good place to start and though I learnt some magic, I decided I wanted to take my time. I wished to be able to hold cards well, and be able to carry out manoeuvres that were impressive rather than clumsy.

The result is that I have put learning card tricks on hold while I learn about cardistry. Currently I am working on a beginners course to understand the basics of handling cards and simple techniques. Where possible, trying to practice most days.

Once I am happy with my progress with the cards, I have some courses lined up to start with basic card magic. That way, I will know a lot of the moves to be able to effectively perform basic tricks well (hopefully).

I am taking the cardisty side really seriously and practising as much as I can. I am using an online course by Steve Faulkner and for those of you who follow this blog, I’ve written a little bit about that in previous posts.

My interest in collecting cards is also growing, so while I have bought my first brick of bikes to practice with, collectable decks keep catching my eye. Just love quality decks and adding them to a growing collection. Just need to sort out storage and a way of displaying.

As far as the future is concerned, lots of practice is required. Then a gradual introduction of tricks.

Once the covid 19 situation improves, it would be great if I can get to more live magic, conventions and cardistry events. Can’t wait.

The website will continue to be a focus, particularly the blog and Vlog. Long term focus has to being able to put on a private show. Then in perhaps a year, applying for associate membership and then eventually sitting the entrance exam to join the magic circle would be a good achievement.

The last few months during lockdown has given many of us the opportunity re-engage with interests and hobbies. After a period of ill health, I’ve learnt that you have to grab opportunities and make the most of things. Long may the magic continue!

Thanks for reading and if you got this far and enjoyed, please like and share.


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