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Secret Plans and Clever Tricks - The James Went Academy

Secret Plans and Clever Tricks - The James Went Academy

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‘From the first moment I met James I was blown away by his thinking & creativity.' - Andy Nyman

‘James Went is smart. Very smart. He only works with the best and now it turns out that his creative output is on a similarly rarefied level.’ - Mark Elsdon

We’re proud to present to you James Went’s first Alakazam Academy, ‘Secret Plans and Clever Tricks’. James has spent the last decade working in Television (did we say BAFTA award winning?) and Theatre consultancy as well as working high end corporate events across the globe. In this academy, James is going to share with us some of the original material that he uses in both professional and casual situations. This lecture has something for all skills levels, from totally self-working to more challenging sleight of hand. Also included in the lecture is a host of previously unreleased material that James has kept to himself for years, and will be shared here for the first time. This collection of tricks will include


Paradox - James’ go to routine for parlour and a highlight of his Magic Castle act.

The Burn - An impossible location based on an old Charles Jordan principle to fry your magic buddies.

The Name - A card from a spectator shuffled deck is found by spelling to a freely thought of name and if that wasn’t enough, the kicker will knock them for six.

St. Elmo’s Opener - TV magic meets corporate performance, leaving the spectators with an impossible souvenir.

In addition to the tricks, James will also be discussing 

His thoughts behind professional close up magic. This will highlight how he choses material for specific events and how he builds sets using these routines. 

His theory on opening lines, their importance and more importantly function.

The experience on working in Television and how it differs to close up magic at events.

His thinking on act structure and how he created his Magic Castle act.


Join us on what is an excellent academy from the mind of a true professional.

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Customer Reviews


Once again another great lecture from Alakazam - and what a great lecture it has been from James. Lots of tips and hints and so many things that I will now need to go away and parctise. Really good fun.

William McGregor

This lecture has some original concepts - especially St Elmo's opener, I love Paradox - and will work this into my close up set- as Ron Weasley says is "Bloody Brilliant"

Ivan Cobham

Yet another excellent Academy session. James Went is such a nice guy and if you know anything about his material you won't be disappointed. Packed with tricks, tips and some really great advice and insight from a worker and performer who loves what he does.

Scott Clark

What a down to earth guy, James is. The main thing I have gained tonight is. To learn your masters, and what makes them tick. The tricks so far are within reach of anyone, with some practice.

John G

Great to hear James talk about Jerry Sadowitz, and books. Clever thinking, ideas. Talks about scripting and character. Love is ideas on plots and some novel card tricks.

Jamie Daws

James is such a brilliantly insightful performer. Only half way through and the discussions created have been amazing! This is one of those Academies that you will learn so so much more than just 'tricks'! That being said, St Elmos Opener is dynamite! There is a reason James is regarded an underground legend and this beautifully exeplifies why!

Shiv Duggal

Such a great lecture, James has some great tricks and more importantly thought provoking ideas.

Neil Bird

Brilliant night... really enjoyed it. With minimal skills required. James gives us gems that are workable and easy to do. Thank you.

Sam Wheeler

Great first half! I loved the structure of the Paradox trick. With some great discussion on some of the fine details and scripting used. I previously read this in James's notes and then saw him perform it at The Session, I was really looking forward to seeing it again tonight. The burned card trick would make a great souvenir. James seems like a great guy. His teaching is very clear and thorough. Lots of interesting detail. Looking forward to the second half.

Marc Benheim

Fantastic tricks and wonderful, in depth teaching. Very clear and concise.

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