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Who Are You Fooling?

We often buy tricks to fool other magicians, but who are you really fooling? This blog post will help you ignite that magic spark for you and others!

Do you remember what it felt like when you witnessed your first trick?

That moment of OMG!

Well for me, that moment happened when I was 8 years old and I saw one of my neighbour's performing the Ball and Vase. It had such an impact on me that I still remember where I was, what day it was, what the weather was like and how I felt. This in turn began my journey into the abyss to find even more enchanting tricks.

After buying every cheap plastic magic kit from the local supermarket, one day when I was out shopping with my mum, I discovered a shop called Tam Shepherds in Glasgow. I later found out in my 20's that it was owned and run by the amazing Roy Walton. At that time, and rather naively, I thought his name was Tam and referred to him as such. I don't ever recall him correcting me, perhaps he liked the fact that he could hide under an alias.

When I was around 12 years old, I managed to save up £10 in pocket money, which was a fair amount of cash for a 12 year old in the 1990's. On one occasion, I was in his shop and remember the glass cabinet at the back displaying 3 very unique and intriguing decks of cards.

One had Brainwave deck written on it, the second was called the Invisible Deck and the third was the Mental Photography deck. I politely asked Tam (Roy), to show me the Brainwave deck. He asked me to name any card in the pack, I said any card? He said yes, any card you like, in his mild English accent, which I thought was strange for a guy who owned a shop in Scotland. I said something like the Ace of Spade, whereby he proceeded to take the cards out of the box and show me my card face up with a different colour back.

Totally flabbergasted, I said does it work with any card and he responded yes. It was at this point that I elected to part with the most amount of money I had ever owned, thinking this was the greatest trick EVER invented. How is it possible that it can be ANY card, and with a DIFFERENT colour back!

This is impossible, this is REAL magic!

I gave Roy £10 in broken change and he said it will take about 15 minutes for him to get the trick ready, to which I had no objection. He then went into the back of the shop, which always intrigued me as to what magical things he had hidden away. Anyway, as I waited patiently, I could smell something that reminded me of paint, thinking nothing of it.

He emerged some 10 – 15 minutes later and handed me a deck or cards and some paper instructions. I asked if he could show me how it worked, however, a number of customers came and he had to serve them. I left without an explanation, however, propelled by excitement having just purchased my first piece of ‘real’ magic, I was on cloud nine!

On the bus home, I quickly opened up the paper instructions and began practising the effect. I was a little disappointed as to how it operated, however, this never detracted from the joy I would get from fooling my friends and family.

Needless to say, the Brainwave deck became my favourite trick and I performed it everywhere I went, until eventually the ‘magic something’ had worn off the cards. As I grew older, I found out what that funny smell in his shop was and with it, the secret to making the Brainwave deck. In fact, I love the Brainwave deck so much, that I have it with me at every gig because I know how powerful it is and how it made me feel as child.

If something works, and it works well, keep using it! I have added some window dressing where I seal the deck in an envelope and hand it to someone to hold whilst I go through an invisible deck type routine. I cannot emphasis how strong this effect is to laymen. I know that many magicians will not use the Brainwave deck because of pride, however, this one effect has left a lasting impression in the minds of hundreds, if not thousands of spectators that I have performed it to.

If something works, and it works well, keep using it!

In essence, this blog is to highlight that you don’t always need to buy the latest and greatest effects that will fool you and other magicians. If your target audience is lay folk or your friends and family, then you might want to slot a few easy self-working packets trick into your repertoire, along with revisiting the trusty old Brainwave deck.

Remember, the real magic is not the effect, it is the lasting impression you leave.


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Keep it real!


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