FEW things leave a headteacher speechless, but that is just what Paul Chambers did when he performed his sleight of hand magic tricks.
The Haslingden High School student demonstrated his skills for Headteacher Mark Jackson and not a sound could be heard as Paul correctly picked out Mr Jackson’s card.
When he regained his composure, the head said: “I am speechless. I used to play a lot of cards, with being a maths teacher, and I was into card tricks. I can even do a few, but nothing like Paul can do.
“Usually I know how card tricks are done, but I have absolutely no idea how he did this.”
The Year 13 student is best known for competing in national trampoline competitions. He admitted he tried combining the two, including completing a Rubik’s Cube in mid-flight and shuffling cards, but they did not have the same impact as a card mysteriously appearing before the onlooker’s eyes.
He has found his niche performing close-up magic; where there is no place to hide should the trick go wrong. Fortunately that rarely happens for the clever conjurer.
Paul has a vast repertoire of card and coin tricks and he demonstrated his skills around the tables at the senior citizens’ Christmas party at school and at school awards’ evening.
He has also devised his own trick based on one he saw another magician perform.
The 18-year-old from Waterfoot is very confident when delivering the magic and retains the audience attention with witty repartee while he faultlessly delivers his act.
He said: “I have been doing magic for about four or five years because I wanted to know how it worked. I don’t like not knowing how things are done; I find that frustrating.
“Just like with the Rubik’s Cube, I did not like not knowing how to do it so I found out and taught myself to do it in under a minute.
“Close up magic is more intimate, people see magic on TV, but they don’t really believe it, but when it happens in front of you, it is different.
Paul has his own way of shuffling cards that he does while nonchalantly talking. The cards split into five separate packets then neatly reassemble into a pack. Suddenly a card jumps from the 52, it flies into the air and Paul deftly catches it and continues talking.
He said: “Everyone has their own way of cutting cards.” Suddenly, the top 10 cards split, rotate, flip over and back and then are effortlessly packaged back under the rest of the deck.
“I am available for parties,” he added explaining that he is hoping his magic skills will help him pay off some of the student loan debt he will be accruing from September when he embarks on a business management course at the University of Manchester.
Paul has his own YouTube channel Paul Chambers Official https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjGfRCoPAo2_-TpLqthD-gA