Having seen Britain’s Got Talent finalist Jamie Raven do his magic up close, I still can’t work out how he could rip a newspaper into shreds and put it back together in front of my eyes.
But Jamie thrives on performing magic live, something he’ll be doing at Lowther Pavilion on Tuesday, September 25.
Jamie’s interest in magic was first piqued on a holiday to India when he saw the infamous magic rope trick being demonstrated.
He said: “I learned three tricks and I was hooked.
“I used to get the train to London and go to two magic shops there. It was like a portal to never-never land! It was secret and dark and dingy but it was brilliant. The shop manager demonstrated the tricks you could buy. It was so exciting.”
When Jamie turned 18 he went to the University of Bath to do a three-year economics degree.
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But he said: “I had no real interest in economics. I decided to do magic at parties and after six months I moved to London.
“I started with close-up magic at weddings or parties. I was asked if I could do something on stage and I winged it.
“Another guy said he had never seen magic like that before and I’d made it up in five minutes. That was when the balance shifted.”
In 2015 Jamie had been perfecting his profession for 11 years when he applied for Britain’s Got Talent.
He said: “BGT try to encourage acts that are not singing and dancing on the show. I was looking for a change so I went for it.
“In my act I have people coming up on stage and helping me, so I thought why not get the judges to help me? I got the camera on it and the back wall was turned into a screen.
“I wanted to do something that had never been seen before so I used an animation of a stick man in a book where you flick through the pages quickly.
“I asked the judges for a colour, suit and value and Simon picked seven of hearts. The little flick man, as you flick the pages he takes off his hat and reveals the seven of hearts. Simon Cowell said after this ‘some people believe in ghosts, I now believe in magic.’”
Unfortunately Jamie came second to a dog that won BGT, as he said. But he headlined The Illusionists at the Shaftesbury Theatre, breaking the box office record before touring his own one-man show across five countries. And he is looking forward to doing it all over again with Making Magic.
Jamie said: “There is no substitute for doing magic live. Everything that can go wrong will go wrong so you have to be prepared. Doing the shows is the fun part.”
Tickets online at www.lowtherpavilion.co.uk.