Wolverhampton teacher leads double life as a magician
A teacher showed that he has a few tricks up his sleeve in his life away from the classroom.
Supply teacher Mark Harrington spends his week in primary schools around the Black Country but he has a double life.
The 42-year-old is also an accomplished magician who specialising in a variety of complex tricks including escapology and making objects disappear and reappear.
He took part in the Children's Entertainer of the Year in the West Midlands heat last weekend at the ECC Sports and Social Club in Wolverhampton but could not conjure up a place in the national final.
But it'll take more than that to get Mark to hang up his wand.
He said: "I didn't get through unfortunately. But it was a good competition and the kids had a really good show. Hopefully there will be another chance to try next year. I did one trick where I make a goldfish appear out of thin air. I did a routine where I made a hedgehog appear. I have a pet pygmy hedgehog. In my other shows I do all kinds of trick including escapology."
He added: "I've been doing it since I was about eight-years-old.
"Paul Daniels was on the television at the time, but I was given a magic set by my grandparents and that's what started me off.
"Since then I've been developing more tricks and joining various clubs. I'm a past president of the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians. I previously won the stage competition for the Wolverhampton Circle of Magicians, but the biggest thing for me is watching the audience and seeing their reactions."
He has worked in the Falkland Islands for the last two years but he is now re-established in the Black Country with his Illusistration magic show business.
He believes the likes of TV magician sensation Dynamo have helped bring magic back to the forefront of people's interests, and has helped him and fellow magicians secure more work.
He said: "People are more interested in magic at the moment and more people want to learn it as well. A lot of the television magic can't really be performed to a bigger audience because it's done in front of just one or two people in a smaller area. But it's good that it's got more people interested. Christmas is coming up as well so more bookings are coming in."