Midnights; a new dawn of playing cards - Breathe

Midnights; a new dawn of playing cards

Mon 28 Feb 2022

These cards are no ordinary cards! They represent something much more poignant and meaningful...

Lilli Murdoch, Communications Officer, recently caught up with Jez Rose, Author, Broadcaster, Speaker and Breathe Magic Magician to find out more about his Crowdfunder campaign, Midnights: a new dawn of playing cards. These cards are no ordinary playing cards, they represent a poignant, important, and meaningful story. Read on to find out why they helping to make a truly magical difference to people’s lives. But firstly, let’s meet Jez.

Jez’s love for magic started at the age of 4, with the most fabulous magic you’ve ever seen in your life! One day when Jez and his grandfather were in the car, Jez’s grandfather turned around and said “I’m going to make a fairground appear.” With a wiggle of his fingers, lo and behold, there appeared a fairground, just like magic! Jez now knows how his grandfather did it, but at the time it blew his mind!

Since then, Jez’s love for magic has grown and grown. Jez grew up at a time when there was a lot of magic on TV, it was readily accessible. The Magic Circle had a youth initiative, which Jez joined, and he managed to win a place in the finals of the Young Magician of the Year. He soon realised he could entertain people with something that he loved; it was a no-brainer.

Jez was introduced to Breathe by Richard McDougall, a key figure and magician at Breathe, as well as one of the first magicians to be involved with Breathe Magic, alongside Breathe Board Member and Magician, David Owen QC.

“Richard invited me to come and experience the Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy Programme in action and to see if I liked what happened. I was a blubbering mess by the end of the two weeks (and still now, I’m always the one crying!)”

“To be a Breathe Magician is hands down the most rewarding, insightful, joyful and important thing that has ever happened in my life. I can’t express in words how much of a privilege it is to work with Breathe as a magician. Every day is a magical day at Breathe.”
Jez Rose, Author, Broadcaster, Speaker and Breathe Magic Magician

Jez told how the Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy Programme impacted him so much, that he wanted to do something to enable more adults and young people to access Breathe’s Magic programmes. This is what inspired him to create Midnights. The sale of each deck will help to fund free and subsidised places on the Breathe Magic programmes, find out more here.

“I was thinking about how remarkable Breathe is and I was trying to explain to someone, and it suddenly struck me that so much happens between day 1 and day 10. When the young people arrive at the programme, they often can’t do up their buttons, tie their shoelaces, but by day 10, they can, because of the unique combination of magic and occupational therapy.

“It made me realise that at the stroke of midnight on that very first day, those young people’s lives will never be the same again. We are part of this journey as magicians. I’m always thinking about how I can provide more support for Breathe, and more importantly how we can get more people to access the Breathe Magic programmes. One day, someone gifted me some handmade playing cards and I was like “hang on a minute” (laughs) why don’t we have a customised deck of playing cards as magicians. When I use playing cards to do magic, I gift them as a memory of that moment. So, I thought why don’t I design a set of playing cards, we could sell them, and donate the profit to Breathe.”

I asked Jez how the process has been and he says “like folding gravy”, but with a big grin on his face. Midnights playing cards have taken over 18 months to come to fruition – they’ve been through numerous designs, tweaks, and changes. Jez shows me the test pack, and you can clearly see the attention to detail. The front of the box is embellished with silver, with a matt lamination over the top. Inside the pack of cards, it is lined with a midnight blue colour and the back design of each card has celestial detail. There is a Breathe information card with QR code to watch one of the Breathe Magic films. All of the cards have larger than average indices in the corners so it doesn’t matter which way you fan the cards, you’ll still be able to see the indices, making them more accessible.

Why should you buy a pack of Midnights playing cards? Not only will you receive a beautiful set of playing cards, you will also be involved in changing lives through the art of magic. For example, for every 500 decks of cards sold, this would fund one young person’s place on the Breathe Magic Intensive Therapy Programme.

“My big hope for this project is to realise the target, which would mean we could run more programmes and make a significant difference to many more people’s lives.”
Jez Rose, Author, Broadcaster, Speaker and Breathe Magic Magician

Jez is a super Breathe supporter – whenever he works professionally, he gives a percentage of his fee to Breathe as a way of thanking his clients. As a small not-for-profit social enterprise, we’re hugely grateful to Jez for this support. And of course, Midnights is the biggest donation campaign he has come up with to date…

Learn more about Midnights playing cards and order your pack here!

The deadline to buy your very own pack of Midnights and to make a difference to many people’s lives is on Sunday 6th March.