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8 February 2016

Fame, Witchcraft And Poppycock

By Adam Patel

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Since my publicist put out the first press release for this year’s first project a couple of weeks back, I have started to receive a small amount of attention from the general public and… well… it’s a bit weird. I won’t lie. When I was younger, fame appealed to me enormously. As a  teenager I wanted to be the biggest name on the planet. But as I’ve grown and matured that has become less and less the case. Until present day where it doesn’t really appeal to me at all. I see fame nowadays as a necessary part of being a successful artist. In the eyes of the public, skill and talent correlates with fame. But in today’s world it can be as destructively invasive as it can be fun. The cons can easily out-weigh the pros.

Now, I don’t want you to think I’m getting ahead of myself. While, almost a year in to this career, I feel comfortable now at dinner parties and gatherings introducing myself to people as an illusionist, I am very apprehensive to term myself ‘famous’. There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is simply that I’m not. While my social media following is building nicely and it appears that my work is now being discussed on certain parts of the Internet, I don’t consider that fame. Fame is when you get recognised walking down the street and when/if that happens, I’ll certainly mention it.

What I can tell you, is that it is very weird to find a video clip of yourself posted on a Facebook group that you have nothing to do with, and where people who do not know you and have never met you, are forming opinions and talking about you based on video clips. But that’s exactly what happened…

Adam Patel accused of witchcraft

When I found it, as a performer, my first natural question was, “Did they like it?”

And, as I’m sure you’ll find with the response to anything, some people will like it, some won’t, most won’t care, and somebody (there’s always one) will be deliberately nasty.

But magic & illusion is unusual as an art form. There’s usually more to it than the face dramatic value.

As much as it astounds me, some people, even in the 21st century, still believe it to be ‘real’.

Now on the one hand, as a magician, in a way I’m flattered that I’ve been accused nine times of what amounts to witchcraft. It comes across as a back-handed way of people telling me I’m good, but strangely also simultaneously that they do not approve of it – which is an odd combination.

But on the other hand as a rational human, I find it unnerving. Of course, I know as fact that I did not elicit the assistance of demons or jinn as they are called in Islam, to bring about the stunts and effects seen in the video; and I appreciate that everybody doesn’t know that. But I think anybody with any common sense knows that while it’s impressive and magical, it is not supernatural in nature and to accuse me of witchcraft in the 21st century astounds me.

It reminds me of a night last December where I was performing at a function and I met an English woman who genuinely believed in psychics and spirit mediums. I *think* she thought I was the real deal too but I’m not going to push that one because she never actually went as far as saying it plainly.

I guess that as a largely secular guy I never know how to respond to what I firmly believe – and in some cases as mentioned above, KNOW – is poppycock.

Still, they were both fairly weird incidents.


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