Meet the Bramhall magician Sam Hughes
PUBLISHED: 12:36 12 November 2013 | UPDATED: 12:39 12 November 2013
He'd like one day to cut people in half and makes elephants disappear, but for now, Sam Hughes is happy to dazzle people with his close-up magic
Sam Hughes has a vivid memory of the day he was drawn into the world of magic.
It was when I was nine. Someone showed me a card trick and I really wanted to know how it was done. says Sam, aged 24, from Bramhall. So I sat in my room for a good few hours - its a bit sad, really - with a deck of cards, trying and trying to work out what must have happened.
And when I worked it out, I did the trick on my mum, and she reacted in the same way I had done when I was shown it. It was an amazing feeling, and Ive been doing it ever since.
These days, Sam is taking bookings to do close-up magic at weddings, parties, corporate bashes, trade events - anywhere where people are gathered together in convivial company, and he can slip among them confounding them with his sleight of hand. Cheshire Life first spotted Sam as he worked the reception for Stockport-based Beechwood Cancer Care Centres Butterfly Ball at The Point, Lancashire County Cricket Club in Old Trafford, and we were suitably gobsmacked by his magic.
After perfecting that very first trick, young Sam was given some trick coins and basic magic props by his great uncle Chris Holt, whose own son is Richard de Vere, a popular illusionist on the Blackpool scene. So by the age of 11, when Sam started at Bramhall High School, he was already honing his art.
I was a big fan of David Blaine by this point, and he was a massive influence on the way I did magic, he says. People at school used to call me either David Blaine or Magic Man. Everybody at school knew who I was. Even the teachers would ask me to do tricks for them.
Sometimes I would go in to school early so I could set a few things up around the school. I would go through the day, and if I just happened to be in an area where I knew there was something set up, I could make miracles happen. For instance, I would get someone to pick a card, and theyd put it back into the deck and, very much like David Blaine, I would throw the cards at the window and their card would be on the other side of the glass.
Id make coins disappear and appear in peoples hands. Compared with now, they were not very impressive things, but I forget how easily people can be amazed by things.
We got a year book at the end of school, and at the back were all these messages from friends, so many of which said: Dont stop doing the magic.
After learning some of the fundamentals of magic, Sam found himself developing his own tricks.
There are certain principles in magic that can achieve many completely different effects, he says. For example, the first trick I learned - once you are familiar with the principle, its very easy to come up with a lot of card tricks using that principle.
Sam studied business management at Manchester Metropolitan University in Crewe, and at first harboured ambitions of opening his own restaurant. He took a job in a shop in Cheadle Hulme to pick up some retail skills, but his love of magic had never gone away.
There were girls coming into the shop and it was an easy way of flirting with them. I was just doing some close-up tricks, he says. And then I realised I was doing it on guys as well, and I was getting back into magic.
The entertainer in him could not be denied. So for the last two years, Sam has been working his magic wherever he can find an audience. He is developing a mentalism act, and also a childrens magic show.
I dont want to be one of these people who makes balloon poodles, he says. I want the parents to be watching me do kids stuff, and for the parents to go: How the hell does he do that?.
But the goal eventually is to be doing big stuff; cutting people in half, and making elephants disappear, David Copperfield-style.