In 2015, Jamie Raven became a household name when he wowed the Britain’s Got Talent judges panel with his unique magic tricks. Raven has now taken to the world of toys, teaming up with Paul Lamond Games to bring his special brand of magic to households and parties across the nation with four new magic sets. Jack Ridsdale sits down with Jamie Raven to find out the story behind the magic.
Talk us through the four magic sets on offer.
So magic is split between four different genres and what we’ve tried to do is condense them into four basic sets. So we’ve got Card Magic and within that you learn lots of different skills that can be applied to other tricks. Then you’ve got Magic of the Mind, which is what some people call mind reading. It’s a psychological illusion – magic without the sleight of hand. It’s looking at the psychology behind magic and basically giving the illusion that you can read people’s minds.
Sleight of Hand looks at the physical skills that you can use as a magician. Finally, you’ve got Street Magic which is magic used with everyday objects. Within each set there’s a link to the website and I, myself explain how each trick works and offer up my experience of my last 15 years professionally.
How did the partnership with Paul Lamond come about?
I had been performing magic professionally for 11 years and then I went on a show called Britain’s Got Talent. After that, I was introduced to Paul Lamond and we had a chat to come up with an idea for a set.
The main ethos behind these sets is that I’m going to teach you these skills. It’s not just the props in the box. So that’s what I pitched to Paul Lamond and they said yes. We came up with hundreds of different tricks, worked out which ones would work best for each box and months later, here we are.
What is the creative process like for creating a new magic set?
Magic is like playing an instrument, you have to learn other people’s tricks to acquire the skills and then you can go and create your own things. So basically, if you’ve never done any magic before and you pick up one of these sets you’ll get the knowledge and understanding of how it works.
What magicians or performers have influenced and inspired you in the past?
When I grew up, Paul Daniels was still on the TV and more recently we had David Blaine and Dynamo.
My favourite is Derren Brown, who in my opinion is the greatest English magic performer of all time. In America, you’ve got David Copperfield and of course Penn & Teller. In any art form, you’re only where you are now because of those that have gone before you, you’re only ever standing on the shoulders of giants.
Can you explain the key to a great magic trick?
The plot has to be simple. It’s like selling a good movie script – you need to be able to sum it up in one sentence. For me the best tricks are when the magician has made the person do something without them knowing that they’re doing it.
Is there one trick in particular that you are most proud of?
The one that means the most to me, which is one I‘ll never talk about, is the card trick I did in my audition for Britain’s Got Talent.
The judges thought of a card and the stick man on the card animates and finds the card. Because that’s the trick that changed my life, that will always be my favourite.
Do you have plans for additional magic sets to launch into retail in the future?
We’re hoping at Christmas time we’ll have a deluxe set, which will include a lot of new stuff. These four sets are what I call close-up tricks and within the new bigger set I’ll be introducing some tricks that you could do for a crowd.