Stepping into a world of magic, reporter SOPHIE BROWNSON is taught by magician Jason Tatton aka Jase The Ace Magician on how to dazzle an audience with a range of tricks.

LIKE every child, growing up I wanted to be many things.

An archaeologist, a fashion designer and even a till operator in Asda were just some of the preferred occupations on my list before I settled on the world of journalism.

But it never occurred to me that I may have missed my real calling – to be a magician.

Fascinated with magic, my parents placated me with many magic kits by kids TV magician Stephen Mulhern and I used to practise for hours, diligently following the instructions from the videos and waving my magic wand.

But alas, with age comes crushing reality and career-wise it just didn’t seem like the feasible option. So when I was given the option to step once more into the realm of magic, along with Blackwood magician Jason Tatton, known as Jase The Ace Magician, I was over the moon.

Inviting me into his home, the recent Take Me Out reality TV star led me to the centre of the room where he had set up his ‘magic table.’

On the centre of the table was a deck of cards and Jason explained to me that he would show me how he conducted a magic show and how to execute some of the more basic tricks.

First though, I was made to look the part by donning his magic waistcoat and white glove.

Putting on my magician’s get up I asked Jason, now 32, how he got into the business.

“I was eight years old when I started practising tricks that I had got for Christmas presents,” he said.

“I kept doing it as a child but had a gap between the ages of 17 and 22.

“Then at 22 I got back into it pretty heavily.

“I was doing magic in the clubs when I was going out partying and I thought I could probably get paid for doing it.

“So I phoned some clubs around Cardiff like Oceania and they paid me to perform for seven or eight months, twice a week, on a Wednesday and Friday night.

“I would just wander around the club doing magic, mainly with cards and rope illusions.

“I learnt that a lot of it is about the kind of environment you perform in – it is about crowd control and stuff like that.

“Then I had a lot of people asking if I did children’s shows.

“At the time I didn’t, so I developed a children’s show.

“My first show was at Ystrad Mynach Library and I continued from there.

“I was 24 or 25 at the time and just went along from there doing birthdays, weddings and charity events.”

Before we started, my attention was distracted by two white doves and two budgies in cages in the corner of the room.

Taking them out, Jason placed them on my arm to hold.

Having seen many magicians use doves in their acts, I was aware of the huge amount of skill involved in conjuring them out of a hat.

Apparently Jason felt the same as we settled on just holding them to get the feel of using them in a show, rather than actually including them in a trick.

Putting them back, Jason told me he was going to show me a trick called Red Hot Mamma.

Shuffling the deck, he asked me to pick a card, look at it without showing him, and place my finger on the back of it when I slotted it back into the pack.

Shuffling the cards yet again, he laid them flat on the table, ran his hand over the top and said that my card would change colour.

Sure enough, one of the cards turned red and Jason asked me what card I had had.

Turning it back over he triumphantly presented me with the same card.

Putting it back on the table, he asked me to pick another card from the pack and repeating the process lifted the first card again to show me how it was the same as my second choice.

Amazed, I asked him how it was done, but he told me that he couldn’t reveal the secret of that particular trick.

Gutted, but also relieved that I didn’t have to perform it, Jason moved on to the next part of his act – the Cut and Restored Rope.

While he prepared, I asked him what his first ever trick was and how he feels when performing.

“The first magic trick I ever leant was called the Matrix,” he said.

“I don’t get nervous.

“I change my nerves into the energy that I need to perform.

“With magic you have got to be confident.”

Jason explained that he would perform the trick for me once then show me how it was done for me to try it for myself.

Getting out some ‘magic rope’ he folded it over, cut it in half with some giant scissors and then shook it out to show me how it had been cut.

But instead of two halves of rope it was somehow magically still intact.

Handing me some rope, I checked it to see if there was any hidden tricks, but surprisingly it was just normal rope.

Jason showed me how to fold it over twice and tuck my thumb under the second fold, holding it so the audience couldn’t see the second loop.

Taking the scissors I cut the loop on display in half so that it looked as though the rope should be in two parts.

Next I slid my hand along the rope to show the audience how it is still intact, meanwhile I tuck the second loop in my hand out of sight and dispose of it discreetly.

Encouraged by Jason’s praise we moved on to the next trick, called French Kiss.

Shuffling the cards again, I asked what his plans for the future are.

“I am working with comedy magic at the moment,” he said.

“I am going to hit open mic nights in Cardiff to test out the material in between acts in an 18-minute slot, then hopefully build that up and make it a headline.”

Apprehensive at the name of this new trick, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Again Jason asked me to chose a card, any card, show him and fold it over before placing it in my mouth.

Doing the same he then asked me to touch my card to his – hence the kiss part – and then remove the card.

On removing it I discovered that somehow when the cards touched, his card was transported into my mouth and my card his.

Impressed I asked him to show me how it was done, but alas I was told a magician has his secrets.

Guess I’ll just have to find an old magic sets and keep on practising.

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