BY Alison Bellamy
As a teenager Adam Patel would drive his family mad practising magic moves and card tricks while he was still at school.
Of course he worked hard and got his qualifications, but now the hobby which started when he was around 14, has become the very thing which has driven this half-Indian Muslim boy from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, to quit his ‘perfectly respectable’ job as a pharmacist to become a full-time illusionist.
Adam, 30, who says he is ‘not married yet’ is now busy filming for a television series, with a documentary crew following him around for six weeks. The four-part series will be a follow-up to last year’s one-off special, Urban Illusionist, and has begun filming.
The series is titled ‘Adam Patel: Real Magic’ and will follow him as he tours the country blowing the minds of celebrities and the unsuspecting public using his magic skills of sleight-of-hand, perceptual manipulation and mind hacking. Fans can expect to see the show later in the year.
Adam, who spends his time between London and Yorkshire, and has an Indian father and a white British mum, is to dedicate the first episode of his new television series to his hero and inspiration, magician Paul Daniels, who sadly passed away on Thursday (March 17) from a brain tumour.
“Like many, Paul Daniels was the first magician I ever saw when I was a kid,” says Adam, “And I was immediately intrigued by magic after seeing him. I immediately asked my parents how to become a magician.”
He met Daniels last November when, Patel says in a blog post, Daniels was kind enough to give him some advice.
“I feel very privileged to have met Paul and to have seen him perform his classic routines live. I also feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to talk to Paul and to benefit from the advice that only a seasoned master could give.”
Daniels gave Adam advice about performing magic on television and about doing magic as a career.
“What struck me most about Paul was his approach to professionalism. Paul was, in his own words, a ‘silly conjuror’ but beneath that exterior, he took magic very, very seriously. And while most magicians would hold back when giving advice, Paul didn’t. He spoke completely openly.”
“I was deeply when I read of his death. Dedicating the show to him now seems like the right thing to do in light of the recent sad news. I wouldn’t be where I am and the show wouldn’t be what it is without Paul’s advice. I just wish he could have seen it.”
‘Magic has been my life for the last 18 years and doing it full time was a big decision, but one I’m really pleased I did.
“As an Asian man, my family found it really difficult to support me at first because performing arts just isn’t the done thing, but they’re fine with it now and are fully behind me. They were surprised at first that I was actually leaving my job as a pharmacist is an aspiring role,” he said.
He studied at Bradford University and worked as a pharmacist for six years, until recently. He spent last summer touring the country performing street magic in 11 different cities around England; and has also performed for a number of private clients including University College London, and performed at the British Independent Film Awards after-party.
Although Adam says he is sometimes known for his own brand of street magic, where he stops strangers on the street and performs card tricks or mind stunts, he stresses that he is keen to keep his options open.
“At this stage in my career I am performing all kinds of magic and illusion and not just sticking to one kind,” he added.
Watch this space. More details at www.adampatel.com