Don’t Try This at Home!
High school teacher James Coulter showed some of his extraordinary skills to students recently including swallowing fire and juggling a few torches—all without getting burned of course. The 29 year old performer creates his own mixture to ignite his torches and told The News that he practiced these skills the first few times “very carefully” so he did not get hurt.
Photo by Kim Pickard.
Students Have Magical Time Juggling New Skills With Studies
When Provost Public School teacher James Coulter isn’t busy with chemistry and biology duties at high school, he finds time to teach students about magic and juggling at noon hours. And the interest is growing—especially with the juggling at a session called the Performer’s Club.

The mainly self-trained performer took magic classes in Ontario after school when he was in Grade 3 and was juggling in Grade 7. By the end of high school Coulter was performing as a magician, fire-eater and juggler in Toronto as a semi-professional at shows with up to 1,000 people watching.

The magic club at the school where he teaches has a few students learning basic magic including card tricks and sleight of hand. He will teach further stage magic only if dedication is demonstrated by his students. A new class of beginners will likely begin next month for the magic.

The juggling club meanwhile has at least 30 members and more appear interested. He says that juggling is hard to make look easy, especially when passing balls or clubs to partners. He began offering the free classes in September and now has one “fantastic star juggler.” The majority of people can juggle within 15 minutes and after a week can get pretty good he adds.

Juggling practices are held every Wednesday and the magic appears on Fridays.

Meanwhile he is brushing up on his juggling skills with five clubs and is still picking up more sleight of hand tricks.

The high school teacher’s interest in science stemmed from his curiosity in magic.

—See the print version in Provost News (January 17, 2001)
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