Brilliant Businesses of Tunbridge Wells - Adam Smith (Magic Ad)
“I was an engineer, working for a telecoms company in London, I did that for nearly nine years.
I enjoyed it, but it consumed my every hour.
I grew up in Rusthall, went to school there and then went to Huntleys in Tunbridge Wells, after that I went to college and then university where I did a degree in engineering.
There wasn’t much work in engineering at the time, so I went into Telecoms engineering – fibre optics design, one of my biggest projects was the TFL (Transport for London) network job.
I was leaving at 5am and not getting back home until 10pm, I was working weekends and sometimes doing 21 days on with 2 days off, it was killing me! At that time, my son was due to be born and I was really concerned that I wouldn’t see him grow up.
One weekend I was at a wedding and a guy did a magic trick on me, I said to him “how did you do that” I was hooked! I said; “do it again” and that was it – I wanted to be like that guy.
I then trained with one of the top sleight of hand magicians in the country, sleight of hand is hand manipulation with cards or other props, they always say the hand is quicker than the eye and sleight of hand proves it.
That was nearly 20 years ago, it was quite costly at the time but so very worthwhile.
I trained for a couple of years and I've been doing it full-time now for nearly 17 years!
I love the sleight of hand magic, I love that magic, where you can give me a deck of cards, give me a coin, or a Rubik's Cube and I'll make a magic trick out of it.
There are great tricks out there, that don't need sleight of hand, but I love it. I’m a member of the Magic Circle which is a club - It's a magic club but it's for what they class as the top magicians in the magic world.
You have to be nominated to be in it, you then have to do an exam and a test in front of other magicians, it's an amazing society to be part of.
I was at a wedding fair recently and someone saw the sign that I have saying that I’m in the magic circle – they came across really impressed saying “you must be bonafide then!” but that's how people see it!
There are hundreds of magicians out there, that aren’t in the magic circle that are unbelievable magicians, but, being in the magic circle is just a well, recognised thing to be part of, everyone has heard of it.
My main joy is being out there doing magic and seeing people's reactions, I get asked if I get bored - you’ve been doing this for so long, going to gigs 3 to 4 times per week - do you get bored, performing a magic trick.
I'll say how can you! With the reactions you get, every reaction is different, everybody acts completely different, you get sceptics, but by the time you’ve finished with them, they are your biggest fan and they want to follow you around everywhere you go.
Some people go from being an adult, to acting like a kid.
It’s great fun! I specialise in sleight of hand with playing cards, I love doing card manipulation – but I use other props like rope, coins and rubik's cubes.
I do stage theatre shows which I love, a bit of everything, but cards are my favourite and my bread and butter.
My tools are a pack of cards, I love them because you can pull out a coin and do a trick, but people look at it and question it, but, everybody knows a pack of cards, everyone knows the four of clubs and everyone know the seven of diamonds, you can still do a card trick to someone who speaks a different language, everyone knows what a card is, if you give someone a weird coin they can become sceptical.
I’m learning all the time and I try and practice 5 - 6 hours a day, there’s always a trick that I want to learn.
A couple of years ago I had a young girl come for a lesson with me, she was only 10 years old – I gave her some lessons, taught her some basic magic, she then asked if she could show me a trick – she showed me this trick and it was like being back as a kid again!
I said, how have you just done that?!
She completely baffled me with a card trick.
I didn’t have a clue how she had done it!
Luckily, she taught me how to do it! I’m always learning.
I love performance and I love learning, there are some moves out there that can take months and months just to get right, some of the moves I do took me six to seven months to get right.
It’s all down to OCD and dedication, I’m very OCD and the dedication for getting it right is what it's about. I love doing charity work, I do 48 hours non-stop magic marathons each year if I can.
I have three main charities that I fundraise for, my main one is multiple sclerosis, my Mum has MS.
I raise money for dementia, my Dad was recently diagnosed with Vascular Dementia so that’s a really important one for me and also, Mind and the mental health charities.
I do lectures on mental health and magic, how I went through a lot of bad times and how I got through them using magic, and also how it can help you be positive, I always wear my mental health badge and always try to support people when I can.
People can come to me to learn some basic magic, some basic card tricks to show their friends. From the ages of 9 to 10 years is when they can start, but I also had one gentleman of 92 who wanted to learn magic tricks to show to his grandchildren – just some basic stuff.
You’re never too old or too young to learn Magic!
People think that I started learning magic at a young age, but I didn't, I didn't pick up a deck of cards until I was 31 - That's pretty old to learn something new and make a career out of it, so if I can, then anything is possible."
Thank you to Nicholas Bryant from the Brilliant Businesses of Tunbridge Wells for doing this interview - If you would like to be part of the Brilliant Businesses of Tunbridge Wells then please get in contact with Nick at firstname.lastname@example.org