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Young Shepparton magician wows crowd

Budding magician Bailey Ackland's card tricks have impressed the judges in a national magic competition, with the Shepparton teenager claiming third place.

CHLOE WARBURTON August 7, 2014 3:58am

Bailey Ackland came third in the Australian Junior Championships of Close Up Magic.

A Shepparton teenager’s quick moves with a deck of cards stunned a crowd of more than 150 people last month, placing him third in a nationwide magic competition.

Bailey Ackland, 13, has been practising magic for more than a year and competed in the Australian Junior Championships of Close Up Magic in Melbourne on July 6.

It was the first time he had performed on stage and strict rules meant he had to perform for between three and five minutes, making use of two adult volunteers from the audience.

‘‘It was fun, it was really scary — there were a lot of people watching me,’’ Bailey said.

‘‘I met a lot of new people to be friends with. Not everyone used cards. I saw a lot of different tricks and everyone was talking about what they did.

‘‘When they called my name for third place, I thought surely it was a joke. I don’t know if it was beginner’s luck.’’

Three prominent members of The Australian Institute of Magic — Les Cohen, Tim Ellis and Simon Coronel — judged the championships.

For the performance, Bailey had to wear a microphone and was filmed as he performed his card tricks to an audience of more than 150 people.

His keen interest in magic began at the start of last year, when he joined other Notre Dame College students who were doing tricks in the schoolyard.

He practised every day and was never without a deck of cards in his pockets.

‘‘I saw kids at our school doing it and decided to go further with it,’’ he said.

‘‘I just made up shuffles and tricks. I like seeing people’s reactions. I love all the tricks, but I have some favourites — I like the ‘kissing card’ trick.’’

Bailey regularly shared tips with other magicians via Skype and recently performed to a full assembly at Notre Dame College. While in Melbourne, the Ackland family attended a North Melbourne Football Club training session, where Bailey wowed the players so much the club filmed his tricks for their website.

Bailey’s mother Lyndelle said she was amazed at the calibre of the championships.

‘‘A lot of the other kids have been doing magic for years — I didn’t realise it was so professional, it’s like a whole new world,’’ Lyndelle said.


See more of Bailey’s magic at his website and visit to watch a video of Bailey doing a trick.

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