Magician, actor, writer & presenter, Adam Patel, talks about life as a 21st century man, doing the impossible, and living your dreams...

April 19th, 2018

Why I’m Switching Off Social Media

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Switch Off Facebook

For those of you who’ve clicked through to this post from Facebook or Twitter, yes, I do get the irony. But let me explain.

I think social media was a nice idea. The idea of being able to share things casually with people, without going to the trouble or writing an e-mail, was nice. For a while. It was novel. And I think it did achieve Facebook’s original mission statement of making the world more connected.

It was the service we never knew we needed. Suddenly, we could share with our friends our every thought and photos of everything we ate. Important stuff. Continue reading “Why I’m Switching Off Social Media” »

April 9th, 2018

Sorry Leeds

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Sorry Leeds

I’m quite surprised in all honesty. Yesterday night I should have been on stage in Leeds but because of one or two things that happened in the preceding couple of weeks – the kind of things that you can’t see coming and just hit you out of the blue – the decision was made to postpone the show. And apparently, judging from the number of e-mails I’ve received to this effect in the last few days, I have disappointed quite a few people by making that decision. So I wanted to apologise. And explain. Continue reading “Sorry Leeds” »

March 2nd, 2018

The Snow Day Update: Diet Hacking, Getting Ripped, New Companies & Future Plans

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London Snow

So it’s the 2nd of March, not that we’d know. Spring is but a few weeks away and yet the UK currently faces a Siberian-style blizzard the likes of which I’ve only ever seen in movies. The UK media often over-hypes the effects of snow, predicting an all-white armageddon because it’s going to snow, so I paid little attention. But the so-called ‘Beast From The East’ is no joke!

On Wednesday night I made the executive decision to drive from Leeds to London in the thick of the blizzard, based on the hypothesis that if I left it until morning, the ice would have set in and the roads would be undrivable. My mum later told me I was probably right.

Tonight, I thought it was over, and was all ready to hop on the tube and head to the Hen & Chickens Theatre to watch one of my favourite magicians, Pete Firman, doing his latest show. Until 4pm. When it suddenly started to snow again. Within minutes, a dense and eerie fog had set in. The kind of thing you see in a Stephen King adaptation.

So, very unlike me, I find myself at home tonight, snowed in and with time to contemplate life. So I thought I’d give you all a little update on what’s happening lately. Continue reading “The Snow Day Update: Diet Hacking, Getting Ripped, New Companies & Future Plans” »

February 23rd, 2018

Here’s To The Ones Who Dream: 7 Philosophies To Pick You Up After A Rough Week

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Here's To The Ones Who Dream

If I’m honest, I’m writing this because I’ve not had a particularly good week. And I’m writing this post more to remind myself of my core philosophies than to preach to anybody. But if anybody else gets anything out of this, then I’m very glad to help. We all have a rough and negative patch from time to time. And during those times, it’s important not to lose focus. To keep our eyes on the prize, so to speak. To keep the faith. Continue reading “Here’s To The Ones Who Dream: 7 Philosophies To Pick You Up After A Rough Week” »

January 21st, 2018

How To Change Careers In 5 Not-So-Easy Steps

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career change goldfish

In my previous post on the subject of career change, I mentioned how, after a few years in an industry, we can start to feel like we belong and like leaving that industry is impossible because it’s all we know. To put this another way, we feel trapped. And I felt trapped about my own transition for a long time. In this post I want to break down the process of how to get… well… untrapped. Continue reading “How To Change Careers In 5 Not-So-Easy Steps” »

January 8th, 2018

My 2018 Manifesto: Some Things I’ll Be Aiming For In 2018

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Sorry this is a little late. We’re 8 days into 2018 and I’ve only just had the time to get a plan together. Still, better late than never. So here it is: Over the next 12 months, I, Adam Patel, will aim to realise the following dreams and ambitions and goals… Continue reading “My 2018 Manifesto: Some Things I’ll Be Aiming For In 2018” »

January 7th, 2018

Molly’s Game [REVIEW]

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Molly's Game - Poker Movie

It’s often a rare treat to go to a movie not knowing much about it – if you happen to have chanced upon a good one. Before we went in, Maaya told me only that it was about Poker. Now… I used to play Poker a bit at university. But I still know relatively little about the game. Which made this an opportunity to watch a fascinating character – Molly Bloom – operating in a fascinating world. What follows, contains spoilers. It’s not what I’d call a review as much as my jumbled and unrefined opinions on the film. Continue reading “Molly’s Game [REVIEW]” »

December 30th, 2017

Only In London: How A Take Away For Two, Cost Me £80

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Indian Takeaway

This wasn’t what I’d planned for my final post of 2017. I like the end of the year to be a positive time in which I can be optimistic about the future. Good will to all! And I was in a fairly good and positive mood until the post man brought me Transport For London’s own brand of Christmas cheer… Continue reading “Only In London: How A Take Away For Two, Cost Me £80” »

December 13th, 2017

5 Examples of Art That Will Make You Think About The World We Live In

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Santa Claus Slave Driver

Steve Cutts first came to my attention on Facebook. His art depicts and reflects a particular worldview which I think is hard to deny, at least to some level. I’ve become a big fan of his work because it makes me think.

Here are five of his best (in my opinion) pieces that make us question how we see the world. All titles in this article are thought up by me. Continue reading “5 Examples of Art That Will Make You Think About The World We Live In” »

December 1st, 2017

Top 10 Moments Of 2017 – My End of Year Review

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Cannes Film Festival Red Carpet Selfie

Well ladies and gentlemen, it’s December! The first snow has fallen, there are at least 2 Christmas songs in the UK top 40, and it’s that time of the year when I like to reminisce and practise gratitude. And on reflection, it’s been quite a year!

Thanks very much to everybody who has contributed to my successes!

Here are a few of my favourite moments of 2017… Continue reading “Top 10 Moments Of 2017 – My End of Year Review” »

November 15th, 2017

Changing Careers at Thirty: 5 Gems Of Wisdom From Somebody Who Did It

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career change - jumping the chasm

You’ve graduated university and got a job. Maybe you’re making good money. But the job that seemed like it would be fun when you went to university or when you applied for it straight after graduating, six or seven years down the road, is now dull, monotonous and ultimately boring. And you’re thinking, “Is this it? Is this it until I’m sixty-five?”

And then you have a mad idea, “Maybe I could change careers…?” So you think about it for a while and then type it into Google and wind up reading this…. Continue reading “Changing Careers at Thirty: 5 Gems Of Wisdom From Somebody Who Did It” »

November 14th, 2017

A Trick To Train Your Brain: How To Become A Positive Person

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How To Think Positive

There are a lot of reasons why being a positive person is, well, positive. Positive people are more attractive, they’re often more popular and you’re more likely to pursue your dreams if you believe that you can achieve them. Positive people are also happier and live longer. Need I continue?

So if you’re the kind of person who is a bit cynical when somebody talks about their lofty ambitions or your friends accuse you of being a pessimist, here’s a neat little trick based on genuine neuroscience that will make you more positive. Continue reading “A Trick To Train Your Brain: How To Become A Positive Person” »

October 27th, 2017

How To Overcome Performance Anxiety & Stage Fright for Performing Arts, Public Speaking Or Anything Else

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How To Overcome Performance Anxiety

Maybe a month or six weeks ago, somebody – a relative stranger – messaged me on Facebook for advice about how to get around performance anxiety. I did write out a whole long response in the chat window, but when I clicked send, apparently, said person had deactivated their account and could not receive messages. I have since forgotten the name of the person. And owing to the large number of random messages I receive on Facebook, trying to find it brings to mind the words ‘needle’ and ‘haystack’. So I thought it might be better to address the issue in a blog post.

So if you hate doing presentations at work, or giving speeches at weddings; or if talking to attractive women or strangers of any description delivers an overwhelming stab of stress to your gut, I’m about to detail exactly how I got over the stress, anxiety, nervousness and discomfort that for many, accompanies any or all of these situations.

There was a time when I thought I could never be a professional magician because I couldn’t cope with the anxiety I experienced when facing a crowd. Now I perform on a regular basis at weddings, parties, corporate events and, on occasion, in theatres around the country.

This article is about how I transitioned from shy, timid and virtually social phobic, to being more comfortable in front of a crowd than most. And you can too… Continue reading “How To Overcome Performance Anxiety & Stage Fright for Performing Arts, Public Speaking Or Anything Else” »

October 18th, 2017

What Happened At My First Gig

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ball table

Over the past few years since I became a professional magician, I have done magic at dozens of events from charity balls and house parties to weddings and corporate events. I’ve done magic on the radio, at the BBC, and at swanky awards after-parties. I’ve done things in the last three years I would never have believed I’d ever get to do. And on the whole, I’m not going to lie, it’s been a blast!

But everybody has to start somewhere, right?

So today I want to tell you the story of my first ever gig. Continue reading “What Happened At My First Gig” »

September 7th, 2017

How To Win The ‘Which Hand?’ Coin Game

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Coin Game Street Leeds

In this footage which ended up not making the final cut of ‘Adam Patel: Real Magic’, but did get circulated by a couple of media outlets, I play the famous ‘Which Hand?’ coin game and win five out of five times.

If you’re not familiar with it, the premise is this:

A participant is asked to enclose a coin inside one of their hands behind their back and then present their two identical looking hands in front of them. My job is then to determine which hand contains the coin. Every. Single.Time.

For such a simple game, it’s extremely fascinating.

In this article, I let you behind the curtain as I share some of the techniques I use. Continue reading “How To Win The ‘Which Hand?’ Coin Game” »

August 28th, 2017

The Tea & Coffee Story: How We Made A Short Film With A Name Actor In Two Weeks Flat For Less Than £2k

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Bhasker Patel & Shyam Bhatt filming 'Tea & Coffee' (2017)

“How did it go?” I asked as I met Maaya in Central London, “What did he say?”

Maaya’s face dropped, “He said it doesn’t work,” she replied, tangible disappointment in her voice.

Taking a knock-back on a passion project is never easy and it’s one of the things that new writers have a really hard time with. When you tell a writer their project ‘needs work’, all they hear is, “Your writing is crap and you’ll never amount to anything,” Which isn’t true and certainly wasn’t true in Maaya’s case.

She continued, “I was thinking on the tube about everything I’ve ever written and I suddenly realised I’ve never really written anything proper. I’m not a proper writer.”

I put my arm around her shoulder to console her, “Hey hey hey. We cannot have that behaviour in this establishment!” The line from a track by The Streets had become a long-running in-joke between us, “You’re a perfectly good writer. It’s just that…”

The truth was I had known that her project had conceptual and structural issues since the week we’d met when she first told me about it. I had tried to politely bring them to her attention and that, amongst other things, had given me a reputation for pessimism. And when she’d started developing it with her mentor from Channel 4, I’d decided it wasn’t my place to comment. However, as unhappy and frustrated as it had made her, I was glad he had finally told her. Once she cheered up, she would be able to move forward with her project.

However, in my position as boyfriend, it was now my job to cheer her up. So in a change to the advertised schedule, we took a U-turn away from Piccadilly and headed for somewhere I knew would put a smile on her face.

Maaya has two greats loves. One of them is pizza. And Pizza Pilgrims on Leicester Square do exceptional pizza at affordable prices – which is rare in Central London.

So we sat there eating the best blend of bread, tomato sauce and mozzarella that money can buy while Maaya unloaded her frustrations.

It Started With A Soap Star

Over the course of the week I began to think about what I could do to build Maaya’s confidence. I thought she needed to see something she’d written become real. She needed somebody who is somebody to tell her that her writing was good. Which got me thinking…

Continue reading “The Tea & Coffee Story: How We Made A Short Film With A Name Actor In Two Weeks Flat For Less Than £2k” »

August 28th, 2017

6 Types Of Spectators Every Magician Has To Deal With

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Shocked Spectator

When I’m asked, mostly by journalists, why I do magic, my common response has to do with it providing me with a means of connecting with people very quickly. After all, everybody responds to magic. But to paraphrase George Orwell, some respond more than others.

In this article, which is mainly for magicians, we count down the 6 spectator types every working magician meets on a daily basis… Continue reading “6 Types Of Spectators Every Magician Has To Deal With” »

August 11th, 2017

My 2018 Tour: Your Tour Questions Answered

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Real Magic LIVE Blog ad

Since last Thursday when I went public about my upcoming tour, my various inboxes have been bombarded with questions about the show. So it seems fitting to spend this week’s blog post answering those questions.

So here we go… Continue reading “My 2018 Tour: Your Tour Questions Answered” »

August 2nd, 2017

Breaking Down and Growing Up

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Break Down

Last Wednesday night, I was driving down the A1, a little way past Worksop on a routine trip back to London when I felt my engine was losing power. To lose power on a road with no hard shoulder was a less than attractive prospect, so when I saw a lay-by up ahead of me, I stopped. It seemed to make sense to do so while I still had some choice over where. It would be better to stop in a lay-by than a hundred yards past one and unable to do anything about it. Coming to a rather abrupt halt, between two lorries, I stopped the engine for a few seconds, hoping to simply restart it and crack on.

But when I turned the key the second time, the engine did not start. It made that noise that engines make that sounds like an eighty-five year old with emphysema coughing their guts out. But it did not start. And at that moment, I knew that I was not going to London tonight. It was just gone 10pm when I rang the AA, which made it a little concerning when they said it could be midnight before they arrived. I was stranded on a rather unattractive stretch of the A1 with no street lighting, and it would be dark in ten minutes.

Isn’t this how most horror movies start? Continue reading “Breaking Down and Growing Up” »

July 20th, 2017

A Question of Worth: BBC Talent, The Gender Pay Gap & How Money Really Works

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BBC Top Earners

I’ve never worked for the BBC (though it is certainly a dream for the future), but I have certainly dabbled in related fields and let me tell you – presenting television is not as easy as it looks. It only looks easy because it’s being done by a professional.

The social media response to this report seemed to be anger. And I really don’t understand why. They get paid a lot. Good for them. I think we have a real problem in this country at the moment of demonising the rich. And the psychology at the root of that is dragging everybody down.

Are they worth it? Well… yes… and here’s why. Continue reading “A Question of Worth: BBC Talent, The Gender Pay Gap & How Money Really Works” »