I never had any plans to become a magician, not a professional one anyway.

My mum suggested it to me when I was about 21, but I just laughed at her. I was much more interested in playing music which is how I earned my living for the next 10 years.

What I have always been interested in however, is magic itself. I love how it works, the sneakiness of it all. I enjoy the cleverness and the theatre of it. Perhaps I enjoy the power it gives me over other people, the insecure little man that I am.

I have been interested in magic since I was a small child, watching Paul Daniels every Saturday night and attempting to perform tricks I had no understanding of whatsoever. But it wasn’t until I was around 16 or 17 I properly started learning it.

I was familiar with “Tam Shepherds” Trick Shop on Queen St in Glasgow, because this is where I had bought juggling balls during my circus obsession when I was 11. The shop was owned and run by Roy Walton, a very kind and helpful old man who would always amaze you performing tricks you were interested in learning, but who I didn’t realise at the time, was one of the best and most respected Card Magicians in the world.

I wish I could remember what finally triggered my leap into learning magic properly, I know the turning point was when I was advised by Roy to buy “The Royal Road to Card Magic” and read it cover to cover.

I started performing for close friends and was as amazed as them that they were amazed! I immediately was hooked! One thing in particular I remember from around this time was that I was very surprised that once people saw me performing everyone didn’t start immediately learning Magic. I suspected the window where I was the only Magician in the town would be a small one, but it remained that way for as long as I am aware of.

In 1999 I attended the Blackpool Magic Convention – the biggest Magic convention in the world. I was very young and went all by myself, shy, reserved and consumed by magic.

I had just left school and loved my new hobby, but there was no question that I was going to pursue music, I was equally obsessed with both, but music was the source of my passion.

Over the next ten years I continued to learn and perform magic in fits and bursts, while I played music for a living. It was something people were always surprised to find I did, as they mostly knew me as a guitarist or singer.

It wasn’t until 2011 when I moved to London that Magic became my full time job and I absolutely love it. In the last year I have also been part of the global rise of online magic. I now have such incredible friends in both worlds of music and magic and I consider myself very lucky indeed.

Being of a certain age, I tend to sway towards the idea that learning magic from books is best. This is because it’s how I learned, and therefore must be right. I do like this method, because the book tells you what to do but not necessarily how to do it. Therefore there is a lot of room where your own personality and individuality can flood in and fill the void.

But of course you can learn from Downloads, DVD’s, online courses etc. The main thing is to work on a couple of tricks that appeal to you, and then once you are fairly confident try them out on people that you trust.

Don’t try them out on anyone who will take pride in humiliating you over a most dreadful fail for the next 50 years of your life, otherwise the magic DVD will go straight in the bin.

Instead, use friends who are kind and will tell you the truth. Sometimes the difference between a trick not working and being an absolute miracle is such a tiny little detail.

Learning magic should be fun and not a chore, like learning most things worth doing. If you hate practicing or trying out tricks, don’t bother! Most of the work in Magic is planning and problem solving, personally something I cannot get enough of. If you love doing this then you will love Magic.

If you are serious about learning I would highly recommend reading “The Royal Road to Card Magic” by Frederick Braue and Jean Hugard.

Find out more about why I do Magic here