(Close Window)
Topic: Your looks... How important is it to your Magic?
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 25, 2002 06:10PM)
Do you do anything to keep looking good? Do you work out and stay in shape? Do you seriously keep your looks in check? Fashion?I think this is important regardless of your branch of Magic. What say you?

Btw, DB, DC, S&R, L.Burton all have evolved with fashion trends and keep their physiques in check. How important is this to you?
Message: Posted by: Hideo Kato (Dec 25, 2002 09:58PM)
Wonderful post! I think this is the best post I encountered in the Magic Cafť.

I was acquainted with Mr.Tenko (not Princess Tenko, but original Tenko), and he was very careful about his fashion. I believe it is an unavoidable necessity to keep good sense in fashion if you are a pro. Why? First impression is very importatnt as well as your first trick after you appeared on stage.

Hideo Kato
Message: Posted by: marko (Dec 26, 2002 01:15AM)
This is a very important but largely overlooked topic. I try to keep a neutral look. I don't want to look like one of those creepy or nerdy magicians who look way too eager to impress people and not very eager to comb their hair or buy some decent clothes. I would also like to avoid that way too fashionable, sauve, I'm-too-hip-for-my-double-lift look. Basically, at the end of the day, I just want to look like Paul McCartney. Don't ask.
Message: Posted by: Dave Egleston (Dec 26, 2002 09:46AM)
Demeanor more than looks is important to presentation - Look at Blaine - His stage attitude is exactly what the coveted demographric for TV is looking for and he portrays it perfectly - Otherwise half the people on this forum wouldn't watch him do three tricks at a convention - Actually, without camera editing - he might not do three tricks - (just a personal opinion)
So, looks are important but can be overcome -

Message: Posted by: Kathryn Novak (Dec 26, 2002 11:59AM)
It depends on what kind of character you have. I present myself as an easygoing, nice woman who just seems to have a large amount of magical activity going on around her. I do my best to look nice, but I don't have to follow the latest trends and styles to do that. It may be different for other magicians, but for me it's not so important.
Message: Posted by: Justin Flom (Dec 26, 2002 01:08PM)
Copperfield used to have more classy outfits and changed about every other trick. Now he always wears that blue button-up shirt and doesn't change. I personally like it when someone changes throughout the show. Rick Thomas, Rick Wilcox, and/or the Majetix are some people who are good at this. What do you think?

Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Dec 26, 2002 01:17PM)
Ice Raven beat me to it!

It should all be based on your character. Hideo Kato says correctly that the first impression is very important, but let's not assume that every performer should be giving the same impression!

I'll also add that your target market should influence this as well.

Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 26, 2002 01:32PM)
Thanks Hideo for the compliment! Glad someone else does see the importance...

I definitely agree with following your character. A clown would look strange all buffed up (although padding can be used). However, the question is exactly that, regarding your character's looks, do you pay as much attention to it as say, your effects.

If you look at other more popular branches of entertainment such as film and music, actors and singers go out of their way to look good. I was just wondering if you find it important too as a magician?

If you do, WHAT do you do? What regiments of exercise and diet? What fashion sources do you refer to to keep up to date with your character's fashion (regardless even if you're a clown)?

Thanks for the replies everyone! :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Mike Robbins (Dec 26, 2002 04:04PM)
On 2002-12-26 14:32, Pakar Ilusi wrote:

If you look at other more popular branches of entertainment such as film and music, actors and singers go out of their way to look good. I was just wondering if you find it important too as a Magician?

"Good" is just too subjective a term. I find it important that my appearance is consistent with my character. Consistency is the key.

If you do, WHAT do you do? What regiments of exercise and diet? What fashion sources do you refer to to keep up to date with your character's fashion (regardless even if you're a clown)?

My main audiences are corporate and families.

Since I'm a funny, laid back, everyday man I normally dress in an average suit with no tie and a shirt with the collar open (there are actually technical reasons in my show for this as well) for my comedy magic show.

For my mentalist show I'm a funny, laid back, everyday man. I dress the same way, except I wear a turtle neck shirt.

Both of these manners of dress are consistent with my character, mannerisms, and speech. I find that exercise and eating habits have little to do with my character and so I ignore exercise and eat as I like. :cheers: :cheers:

Message: Posted by: Vaclav (Dec 27, 2002 03:47AM)
What Ice Raven ?
A character?
For a show?
:wow: :lol:
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 27, 2002 05:16AM)
When you are performing for the public, you usually stand out from the crowd (at least, I hope you do!). The same should apply when you're not "on".

Pakar Ilusi says ". . . actors and singers go out of their way to look good." Magicians who are moaning over the decline in magic should read that statement again. Particularly the ones referred to earlier: the creepy, nerdy ones, and the over-glitzed type who look like rejected Vegas lounge singers.

We're not talking high fashion here; just simple common sense; a shower, clean clothes, deodorant, clean fingernails, that sort of thing goes a long way. So how come so many wannabes overlook that feature? They spend more time cleaning their sponge rabbits than their bodies!

English stage magician the late Harold Taylor would walk across Trafalgar Square in London; if at least half the people he passed did not glance at him, he figured he wasn't dramatically enough dressed! Harold was a flamboyant type and could carry it off; I'm not suggesting you have to do the same but you get the idea.

IBM Gold Cups winner Oscar Munoz told me at a magic convention that he never leaves the house without looking his best, because you never know when you will run into a potential client.

Now, the nice thing about all this is that you don't have to take the advice of two top professionals; you can do what you want. (You will anyway!)

But you have been warned! :nod:
Message: Posted by: hitmouse (Dec 27, 2002 07:32AM)
On 2002-12-26 14:08, Justin Flom wrote:
Copperfield used to have more classy outfits and changed about every other trick. Now he always wears that blue button-up shirt and doesn't change.

David Copperfield, fashion icon. Now that is a funny thought.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 27, 2002 12:52PM)
Thanks Peter for the examples! I was thinking along the same lines...

Thanks everyone for your responses...
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 27, 2002 02:45PM)
I think that yes you must be clean, tidy and dress appropriately. But I do not think that you have to be good looking, trim or at all in shape to be successful. Some of the most popular entertainers here in the UK are far from good looking or physically fit looking.

Magicians Tommy cooper, Paul Daniels, Geoffry Durham are no oil paintings also other entertainers/presenters such as Ken Dodd, Ester Ranson or Les Dawson all had their little quirks.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 27, 2002 03:22PM)
I see your point p.b.jones.

You certainly don't have to be good-looking, but it does help. Ask DB, DC, S&R, Lance, Bret Daniels, Jonathan David Bass, Jonathan Pendragon etc. I'm quite sure they'll agree.

Anyway, keeping in shape is good for you regardless IMHO.

But I do agree that you can be successful regardless of your looks. Penn & Teller are no models but they're successful.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 27, 2002 05:37PM)
There are also those that use any outstanding features as something to play their act off. For example British shield (IBM) winners Jimmy Carlo and Crystal play off the fact that Jimmy is a large man.
Message: Posted by: Thomas Wayne (Dec 28, 2002 04:30AM)
There is a local performer - complete with poor posture and a very high percentage of body fat - who says: "I like to stay in shape. [pause for laughter to subside] ROUND is a shape!"

It's the only funny thing he says in his act, and sometimes he forgets to use the line.

Thomas Wayne
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Dec 28, 2002 05:45AM)
You certainly don't have to be good-looking, but it does help.
Ask DB, DC, S&R, Lance, Bret Daniels, Jonathan David Bass, Jonathan Pendragon etc. I'm quite sure they'll agree.

Looking at your list above out of the names I know (I do not know them all) these are all what I refer to as Dance around illusionists and I think that being good looking could be an advantage in this field. but here in the UK Talking usually comedy magicians/ mentalists are the really sucessfull ones other than for entertaining
magicains. I think that this is why our opinions differ somewhat.
Message: Posted by: hackmonkey (Dec 28, 2002 03:28PM)
When I perform I have a 'character', I dress and act differently than my normal 'self'.
I wear a white shirt or long-sleeved top, smart trousers and black shoes, a bowler hat, one black contact lense and a large silver neck chain with a silver card hanging on it. People certainly remember me, as I walk away I hear people say "that guy made me feel all tingely". I find the black contact lense helps with my menatlism effects, people say things like "Even when you just look at me I feel weird". I do sometimes wear a suite depending on the venue. I find having a different personality helps when doing magic, it helps create an atmostphere or aura around you. People see you from across the room and call you over "Can we please see some magic?" It's good for the guy who hired you to hear that. :magicrabbit:
I have been told that I am quiet good looking, and I find this helps when performing to groups of girls...They seem likely to interupt you or mess-up your trick. I once saw a group of girls who I had performed to earlier with great sucess, totally rip apart my chubby mate half an hour later. And he is as good if not better than me, I guess looks matter. Ummm that sounded a bit big-headed....sorry
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 28, 2002 04:15PM)
The idea of the black contact, especially for mentalism, is brilliant!
It would create a mood that would get you halfway there without even trying!
Great thinking.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 29, 2002 02:53PM)
Mr. Jones, I see your points sir. Good points they are. I'm biased to these "Dance illusionist" type of performers as I am one and was asking more towards their persona.

I've heard that joke before Thomas! :rotf:

Hackmonkey, have to ask? Just ONE contact lense? In just one eye? Btw, you're the perfect person to ask this. Do you try to keep in shape (good shape that is!) as your looks are an asset as you've mentioned and what do you do? Fashion wise, how do you keep up?

Thanks for the replies everyone! :wavey:
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Dec 29, 2002 04:38PM)
I find that my looks can actually be detrimental to my magic. I am so pretty, people have a hard time concentrating on what I am saying and doing! ;)
Message: Posted by: Stephen Long (Dec 29, 2002 05:11PM)
You poor, unfortunate soul, Scott.
To be cursed in such a manner must severely hinder your attempts at creating effective magic.
And you have my sympathy.

I believe Mike Robbins hit it on the head when he said this:
I find it important that my appearance is consistent with my character. Consistency is the key.
Consistency [i]is[/i] the key.
It is only important to keep up with "fashion" (whatever that is) if it ties in with the persona you are attempting to create.

As a performer of magic you have a very unique power over your audience: whether you play up to this or not should be reflected in your attitude which should be, in turn, reflected by your appearance.

Not all magicians should be muscular, debonair, and sophisticated rougues.

[b]Consistency[/b] - with your magic, with yourself, with your audience, and with the venue in which you are performing.

Message: Posted by: dpe666 (Dec 29, 2002 10:55PM)
Looks are very important to me. My looks instantly tell my audiences that I am a spooky, freaky kinda guy. My looks usually let me get away with more than I would otherwise. :devilish:
Message: Posted by: Reg Rozee (Dec 30, 2002 12:41PM)
A question regarding a specific area of appearance - I read a long time ago that if you were a card worker or close-up artist, a manicure was a really good idea since people would be mostly looking at your hands. Do you feel this is necessary, or are self-maintained hands (still clean and trimmed) sufficient? I have never had one and must admit I am somewhat leery of trying it.

-bigwolf {*}
Message: Posted by: Donny Orbit (Dec 31, 2002 02:01AM)

As far as the manicure goes, IMO, it isn't necessary. I myself wear black fingernail polish and no one has said anything about my fingernails. Granted, your nails and cuticles should be kept clean, but they don't have to be buffed to a glossy shine. Sometimes when I used to perform in the North where it was cold the skin around my cuticles would crack and bleed, and I still got paying gigs. In that case, you just have to make sure your magic more than compensates for your hands.

Message: Posted by: Chad Sanborn (Jan 1, 2003 10:33AM)
As they say, the clothes make the man!
I personally always look neat when I go out. As stated before, you never know when you will meet a client. I always tuck in my shirt and wear a belt. Even if I am just in jeans and a t-shirt. Neatness counts. As a general rule, I have 2 sets of clothes. Performing clothes and street clothes. I never mix the two. The clothes I wear when I perform make a statement about who and what I am and also stay within the fashionable guidelines of the day. They also set me apart from my audience. I can safely say, that I will always be dressed differently than anyone in my audience. (except that time when I performed at the nudist camp!) My street clothes are normal everyday clothes, but are kept neatly folded and pressed. They may not make me stand out from the crowd, but how I wear them does.

Message: Posted by: John Clarkson (Jan 1, 2003 10:44AM)
On 2002-12-26 14:08, Justin Flom wrote:
Copperfield used to have more classy outfits and changed about every other trick. Now he always wears that blue button-up shirt and doesn't change. I personally like it when someone changes throughout the show. Rick Thomas, Rick Wilcox, and/or the Majetix are some people who are good at this. What do you think?


The first time I tried to change clothes in the middle of my act, I was escorted out of the building before I could pull my trousers back up. I was performing a close-up routine in the Hat and Hare Pub at The Castle.

So, I guess it depends upon your venue...

Message: Posted by: Thoughtreader (Jan 1, 2003 04:10PM)
Like it or not, this IS Show business. The first word being "Show" which does entail how you look. As you drive up to your show, you will be sized up just by what you drive up in. If it is a rusting old hulk, they automatically assume that business has not been so good, BUT when you drive up in a beautiful new soprts car, they know that you must be good to be able to pay for this. When you approach the building they begin to judge you just by your appearance. Remember, if you are wearing a $3000 designer suit, expensive jewlery, they already know you must be good as well as they can immediately tell from your looks that the very high fee you are charging MUST be worth it. This is all decided BEFORE you even begin your performance.

This is ALL part of the business we are in. You may not like it BUT that is how it works. Perception is everything in show business which like it or not is a dirty, lie, a cheat of a business BUT that is how you must play the game. I have an extensive essay on this very subject if anyone is interested which is in my last book. Just to finish, I will remind you that Al Koran used to tell people that you must dress one step higher than your audience and dress in clothes that while it may cost you a meal or two to lose was an investment. Remember, if you are working for Fortune 500 companies, you have to dress for it!

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
Message: Posted by: markjens (Jan 3, 2003 03:17PM)
I have seen the extremes being voiced here, and I know that there will be resistance in either direction. I don't care, I am a wild man, I am just going to wade in regardless. :winker:

I don't believe I need to rent a Ferrari to do a walk around gig for a birthday party, nor do I think Armani is a real necessity. While ignoring this letter of the law, I must enforce the spirit of itópeople really ARE going to make snap judgements about you as you drive up. They really are going to make assumptions about you as they look at you for the first time. If you aren't dressed well, they will assume that you are likely not top drawer, but perhaps 'affordable.' Probably not the image any of us wants, as someone who is a bargain basement magician for hire.

Consistency is important to the act you present, but if you are a close up magician, either get a manicure, or befriend one, hire him or her to give you one and be frank. "I can't afford to come here once a week, I am a poor working man, can you teach me how to maintain my hands?" This is very important to both you and your audience. The condition of your hands tells them something about you, and the confidence and pride that are inside you will be reflected in your magic.

I am assuming here that you are a disciplined sort whose practice sessions far exceed his performances. The real pros in magic are very conscious of the impression that they project. It isn't by accident that Burger wears all black against his gray beard. It isn't by accident that turtlenecks in various colors are used.

I wouldn't dare make assumptions about any one of you or your dress, but I would say take a look at yourself, your dress, your hands, and be the person that you want your audience to see.
Message: Posted by: Deal A Deuce (Jan 3, 2003 05:28PM)
Be yourself. You can be amazing in a tee shirt or tail; it doesn't affect your magic. However people DO decide whether or not they are going to like our show before we even start!
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 15, 2003 02:42AM)
Good points all! :thumbsup:

Will take note... :thanx:
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Jun 15, 2003 11:28AM)
Looks?? Basic appearance perhaps can impact your professional career. The basic questions are:

How do you present yourself in business context?

How to you present yourself in social context?

How do you present yourself when in performing character?

These are seperate questions. Each is important to your career as a magician.

Being effective involves getting results. The results can be particular to your approach to business/social intercourse/performing, and your goals.

Oh, here is the biggie: What do you want to happen? ie What is your desired outcome from the situation?

Questions, always questions...

Me.... well my answers are evident from the stories you may have heard and the works that are published and perhaps the posts I've made on this BBS.

It's your life and your answers to the questions above are a big part of how you move in the world. Until someone states their preferred outcomes I can't offer any constructive feedback.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 18, 2003 10:03AM)
Ah...Questions... :worry:

"How do you present yourself when in performing character?" AND what do you do to maintain and improve on it?

This is the question I'm gravitating towards in this post...

Thanks JonTown! :online:
Message: Posted by: Schaden (Jun 18, 2003 10:23AM)
I believe so...

I can't stand to look at Malone. He always manages to make me sick to my stomach.

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jun 18, 2003 11:23AM)
Okay, so you can't afford an Armani suit; nobody said you had to have one. But the one you wear should be cleaned and pressed. And you should be clean, too. I can't believe that there is anyone here who can't afford a bar of soap, a toothbrush, and some deodorant!

You can argue all you want that the important thing is what you do. But the reality is: You WILL be judged by the very people you want to impress (your audience, your client, etc.) within 30 seconds of showing up and long before you have done anything! And that judgment will be on what you look like! You and your clothes should -- nay, MUST -- be clean.

So you can't afford a gym or personal trainer to stay in shape; walking is FREE and just as effective. Discipline and common sense is all that is needed. Unfortunately, today discipline is a "bad" word and common sense is very uncommon.
Message: Posted by: ChrisZampese (Jun 18, 2003 04:10PM)
Definitely agree with Peter on this one,

You have to wear what suits your character. Just look at the difference between David Blaine and David Copperfield. Two very successful magicians, two very different styles...
No matter what you wear, you must be clean, well groomed and pleasantly odoured!

I am sure DB, despite his 'average Joe' persona, does not go out on the streets smelling of stale sweat and alcohol with bacon fat and dried ketchup all over his hands, bloodshot eyes and long hairs hanging out of his nose!

It is impossible to say 'you must wear *****' because we are all so different, but it is possible to say you must wear it well.
Message: Posted by: Diavo (Jun 20, 2003 02:11PM)
I'm a 22 year old swing kid, so I'm always dressed in black slacks and lounge shirts. I always tend to look a little better than those around me, and that helps attract attention when I have a deck of cards in my hand in public!
It's like an aura. I wouldn't dare lose it.

--Diavo :dance:
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Jun 25, 2003 07:35AM)
Everything Peter said! :ohyes:
Message: Posted by: Scott Ocheltree (Jun 29, 2003 07:44PM)
Your looks... How important is it to your Magic?

Very. It may be superficial but I think it does matter. Do you have to be a dashing poster boy? No.

But you have to pay attention to it.

I worry about the look of all my props, tables, etc. as well we my clothes and personal hygene.

Most of my magic work is for children at birthday parties and libraries. I want to look like a magician. It may be a bit of a caricature, but I want to present an image that says "Magician".

My avatar picture is from a performance for the Christmas dinner of the company I work for. I'm wearing a grey business suit with a black dress shirt and a Jerry Garcia tie. But for most performances I wear black slacks, black tuxedo vest, collarless white shirt with jeweled button cover, sleeves rolled up. I think my role/character is clearly communicated.

I'm not trying to be David Blaine.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Aug 18, 2003 10:34AM)
Nor should you be trying to be Blaine, Scott!

"Better that you are a first rate version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else." -Someone wiser than me-

Good replies everyone!

Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Oct 30, 2003 08:36PM)
The Costume is a Walking Credential

Dressing the role is most definitely part of the role. I am fortunate that my hometown, Montgomery, Alabama, is also the only location of the Shakespeare Festival with its own Post Office, Shakespeare Station. When I was a university professor, I made it a point to take my Marketing students to see the operation of the Shakespeare Festival off stage. They we constantly amazed to learn that the costume manufacturing function was larger than the part of the facility where the plays were performed. It made a point I could never sell in the classroom. The actor is the most important part of the stage. And the actor's costume is the most available information about the actor's role.

Zoom cameras are used on television but not in real live productions. The viewer sees the whole picture all the time. The struggle for meaningful attention needs all the help it can get. Note that in professional showmanship we change the contents of the costume (the actor) more frequently than the costume. The costume has more job security than the actor for a very good reason. The delivery of its lines is more reliable. Costumes add certainty and continuity to the production. The costume is a walking credential.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
The Amazed Wiz
Message: Posted by: hackmonkey (Nov 2, 2003 04:10PM)
Sorry for the late reply guys I forgot about this thread. Peter thanks for the kind words, I tried a few different lens types, white-out (all white eyes, just black pupils), cats eyes etc.. Black is subtle enough to be spooky but not obviously 'fake', and just having just one gives the 'David Bowie effect' and just seemed to work better having two made me look like a vampire.

Pakar I do work out somewhat enough that my arms look good in a tank top, but I am no Calvin Klein underwear model. If you body is in good shape your cloths look better on you. As for keeping up with fashion, I find black and white never go out of fashion. Black shirts, white T-shirts and a combination of both are good. A 'fitted' white T-shirt can look very smart when combined with black trousers and shoes. I rarely wear a suite except when doing weddings for obvious reasons. But your clothes should always be well ironed and clean and well as your hands/nails/hair.

Message: Posted by: DarryltheWizard (Apr 17, 2004 08:03PM)
I think that every performer is a product of the people he has met in the past. In my case , I met Liberace in my teen years and was strongly influenced by his fantastic showmanship and his wonderful outfits. I still dress in black with a flame- patterned sequined vest( I can't afford the diamond buttons yet!) People not only remember me for my clothes , but I physically ressemble Robin Williams and Joe Pesci(I'm not good spelling Italian names, sorry Peter.) Kids for some uncanny reason feel that they've met me before. In fact , I've even signed an autograph once in a mall.) I'm not just another pretty face, but one with that leaves the audience with a memorable impression. I also change during the show into a card-sequined vest, and into a striped red and white jacket for my Miser's dream. During my adult shows ,I look at the rings of some of the ladies in the audience and say, " My stone isn't quite a big, but I didn't have to do anything to get it!" I stole that line from Lee himself.
Darryl the Flashy Wizard
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (May 23, 2004 02:28PM)
Thanks for all the replies!

Agreed, Hackmonkey, clothes do look better on us when we're in shape.

I've learnt lots here. Thanks, everyone!
Message: Posted by: The Wicked Mr. Grey (May 23, 2004 07:50PM)
I only perform on stage, and I give a lot of thought as to what I wear and what my assistants will wear. I take into consideration whether I need to be wearing a certain type or material in order to do certain types of effects and so on.

For example, I just had a show and used a little black art. For that reason I wore black pants and a white sweater, choosing to hide the white sweater rather than to be wearing all black on a black stage.

Also take into account, if you're doing close-up, what types of tricks you will be doing. I mean, don't use ITR while wearing a white shirt. Wear a black shirt. And you'll see that you can get away with doing ITR even in relative sunlight (read: you don't have to wait for low light conditions but can perform in pre-dusk type of light) as long as the thread is 'against' your body.

In the show that I'm currently putting together for a tour of Canada, I'll be wearing a white pair of pants, a white T-shirt and then a white trench coat. The coat is tailor made for a look that I wanted. I basically took the coat that Neo wears in the Matrix Reloaded, had it made all in white but also designed it so that it would stay fairly close to my body even though the front is completely open (unlike in the movie where his coat is done up). This costume really works for me and whenever I get into it to rehearse I get this feeling as if I really am a real magician (read: real magic not...'our' magic), or angel (which is kind of what I'm supposed to be in the show).

I find that if you get this feeling from wearing the clothes, then your performance actually improves. At least it did in my experience.

Dorian Grey
Message: Posted by: Angela (Jul 2, 2004 06:04PM)
I agree with a lot of the first posts on here that the clothes you wear should be based on your character. It's all about creating an image for yourself. In my business, I have seen a ton of people dishing out big bucks to image consultants. I personally think that this is a big waste of money. The main point is just to look good and feel comfortable. :)
Message: Posted by: alextsui (Jul 8, 2004 10:34AM)
Wow, this is a really long thread. I guess this topic must really hit a nerve with magicians.

Basically, I agree with the comments that you have to look clean, neat and smell nice with trim fingernails. These are the little things that adds up to a big impression.

As for the style/ fashion of clothing to wear for doing magic, it's interesting to note that magicians worldwide seem to be forever struggling with this issue with lots of different viewpoints.

I don't perform as any character (for example, a clown). I perform routines as myself and I must admit I still ask myself sometimes whether I'm overdressed or underdressed for my shows.

It's always good to keep fit and exercise (for health reasons). However, I don't think you should go out of the way and work out for your shows. Just work with what you have.

Instead of trying to change your body to fit your routines, why not customize your routines to fit your body shape and personality? By the way, this is much easier.

For example, if you're plump and have a round chubby face, it might not be a good idea to do a romantic illusion-dance routine. A comedic routine might complement you better. Please don't be offended if you're plump with a round chubby face. :) I'm just illustrating the point that you should select routines and tricks to fit you.

Magical Regards,
Alex Tsui
Message: Posted by: Dizzy (Jul 8, 2004 09:44PM)
For those of you who saw the 'greastest magic tricks' series (I can't remeber which one it was) there was a comment made by a British, supposedly 'comic magician' towards a female illusionist. Yes this girl really was beatiful with a stunning figure but her sarcastic comment of "its like Barbi does magic" hasn't helped young female magicians like myself to be taken seriously. Sometimes good looks goes against you.
I find it hard to get the males in my audience to taken me seriously, I normally have to challenge them to a few poker hands on the basis that if I win then they have to watch me perform.
If I'm honest then
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jul 8, 2004 09:48PM)
Dizzy writes: "Sometimes good looks goes against you."

Yes, I know what you mean; I'm tired of being looked on as just a sex symbol!

Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Jul 26, 2004 01:12PM)
As Jay Marshall said, "Look healthy and energetic."

Message: Posted by: RBerteig (Jul 28, 2004 02:58AM)
I read once that the goal was to always be recognizably "the magician". I.e., when you walk into the room cold, people should know (but possibly without knowing why the know) that you are there to perform. (I may be taking T. A. Waters out of context here, but it really does apply!)

I take that to mean that my costume(s) can and should reflect the role I am playing. It also means that what I wear "off stage" should be just a bit different from everyone else. I achieve this mostly by dressing neatly, but with some care to [i]avoid[/i] whatever is in fashion.

I do this in my day job as a consultant. I find that if I walk in to a client's site dressed exactly to their dress code, I am treated just like one of their own employees and hence don't get heard. If I make a point of dressing differently (colored shirts, never a suit and tie) then I don't fit in, and my advice is heard. This phenomenon is well known in the consulting field, and is a variation of costuming to suit the role. Here the role is as [i]consultant[/i] not [i]employee[/i].

The hygene advice should go without saying, but probably bears seconding as well.

As for physique, "All things in moderation, including moderation" has been my motto for a long time. Health is important. So is happiness. Walk a mile or two occasionally. Remember to wander around in that big room with the high ceilings, unpredicatable weather, and the occasional leak overhead and argue with the (tamer sorts of) wildlife occasionaly.

Above all, know the role you play, and play it completely.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Aug 5, 2004 12:27AM)
Thanks again for all the advice... :)
Message: Posted by: Hoelderlin (Aug 5, 2004 08:19AM)
On 2003-01-03 18:28, Deal A Deuce wrote:
Be yourself.

Or, at least, not less than what you are ;)
Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Aug 8, 2004 07:44PM)
On 2002-12-29 17:38, Scott F. Guinn wrote:
I find that my looks can actually be detrimental to my magic. I am so pretty, people have a hard time concentrating on what I am saying and doing! ;)

Scott, Big Daddy Cool has the same problem!

Actually, looks and physical appearance are pretty important. I'm a big guy and have some socially accepted stereotypes to over come. Both in and out of costume.

Out of costume, anytime I go out in public I dress as a successful, busy, show biz businessman. I dress casual sharp, or business casual and try to stay current with hip fashions. I want potential clients and employees to have confidence in me and feel good about doing business with me. I do work out and excercise and am trying to get back to college weight. I've lost nearly 100 lbs in 2 years. As I've slimmed down, my business has expanded.

On stage Big Daddy must evoke a certain response. I spent the money to buy the best quality clothes and make-up. In college, I trained how to apply theatrical make-up, so I look good.

Appearance makes a huge difference!
Message: Posted by: DrBob (Aug 16, 2004 07:13PM)
Someone once gave this advice about how to dress to do magic: "always dress as if you have someplace even more important to be after you've completed the show you're at"
Message: Posted by: dpe666 (Aug 16, 2004 07:50PM)
On 2004-08-05 09:19, Hoelderlin wrote:
On 2003-01-03 18:28, Deal A Deuce wrote:
Be yourself.

Or, at least, not less than what you are ;)

But what if you are a total jerk? :devilish:
Message: Posted by: Laughing Otter (Aug 18, 2004 04:20PM)
We're not talking high fashion here; just simple common sense; a shower, clean clothes, deodorant, clean fingernails, that sort of thing goes a long way. So how come so many wannabes overlook that feature? They spend more time cleaning their sponge rabbits than their bodies!

This kind of thing is so common that Michael Finney felt the need to spend about five minutes on it when he lectured at Abbott's recently. Breath was something else he felt compelled to mention.

What a sad, sad thing it is that ordinary, everyday people require prompting about such things. The need to remind *performing entertainers* is nothing short of tragic.
Message: Posted by: Mike Wild (Aug 21, 2004 03:23PM)
The question is easily bounced back to the asker, "How important are looks to you regarding:

1. A hostess or waiter/waitress

2. A business associate that you must entrust with money.

3. A teacher or mentor to whom you look for direction

4. A singer or musician that you've hired for a function.

We, as performers, fill all or some of these positions at one time or another, so how important is your look?

My looks are pretty **** important to my overall act. If I didn't have the tattoos and the long hair, and the wild shirts, I'd have to work 300% harder to establish who I am when it's time for me to make things vanish.

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Aug 22, 2004 06:33AM)
WildStone makes a good, valid, and very important point in his post.

When you appear in public as a performer, what you wear and what you look like only reflects on you for a short time; but your character reflects on the person who hired you for a very long time!

If you have ANY respect at all for your clients, you will want to put them in the best possible light. Therefore, you should dress, look, and act in character. And, whether your character is in a tuxedo, a clown outfit, or tatoos and chains, cleanliness and quality should always be at the forefront -- for the reasons expressed above!
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Aug 25, 2004 04:38PM)
I always tell people I AM in shape...after all...round is a shape :)
Message: Posted by: Laughing Otter (Aug 28, 2004 01:57PM)
On 2002-12-27 16:22, Pakar Ilusi wrote:
You certainly don't have to be good-looking, but it does help. Ask DB, DC, S&R, Lance, Bret Daniels, Jonathan David Bass, Jonathan Pendragon etc. I'm quite sure they'll agree.
But I do agree that you can be successful regardless of your looks. Penn & Teller are no models but they're successful.

You certainly do not need to look like a fashion model to be successful. I think, though, that it is important to look YOUR very best, whatever that may be.
Message: Posted by: King Of Pop (Sep 15, 2004 08:30AM)
It`s good to wear something they will remember and it`s also good, if it`s unique, so when you become famous you are going to see people dressing like you more and more, that should be fun :)

God Bless You, I Love You
Message: Posted by: Jaz (Oct 9, 2004 04:13PM)
The clothes can make or break the woman, man or character.

I once saw a short, balding, very heavy magician, wearing a nice tuxedo and doing a Linking Rings routine. He was sweating profusely. For some reason the whole thing just didn't seem right.

Basically, be neat, clean, know your role and dress accordingly.
Message: Posted by: dpe666 (Oct 9, 2004 05:25PM)
On 2002-12-27 16:22, Pakar Ilusi wrote:

You certainly don't have to be good-looking [/quote]

Thats for *** sure. :devilish:
Message: Posted by: MaGiShN46 (Oct 9, 2004 10:07PM)
I do a dual magic show and we wear a suit jacket black pants, top hats, and a white dress shirt no tie with top button undone. Is this acceptable?
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 27, 2004 12:16AM)
The proof is in the pudding!

However, to me wearing a top hat with a suit coat is much like a lady wearing wool socks with slinky high heels. They just don't go together. It seems as out of place as a pilot's helmet.

I would ditch the top hat for something that would go with a suit coat. Even a cowboy hat would be a better match. But I'm sure you can beat that. If your hats are noticeably different from each other, the audience can identify you better too. Perhaps one straw and one felt? Pick hats people wear with suit coats.

My vote is to ditch the top hat, but experiment with other hats until you can identify yourselves. It could be fun.

Good luck! Iím sure you will find something good.

Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: amerigo (Jan 15, 2005 10:44PM)
The best advice in magic and everything else in life is Be Yourself , in other words find what works for you .
Message: Posted by: TommyTheTremendous (Feb 1, 2005 01:31AM)
I find it important to dress formally when I am doing a paid show or any charity shows. I am getting paid, it won't hurt to look my best and for charity....well just looking nice for charity gives an aura of respect about you.

For every-day stuff, I usually wear casual clothing (jeans or shorts, white t-shirt, and than a riffled tux shirt [I just like wearing tux shirt]).
Message: Posted by: Parsoni (Feb 3, 2005 04:34PM)
When I walk into A room there is no doubt as to which person is the magician I always wear a tux. If you are going to be there be the best dress man in the house.
Message: Posted by: Stephen Thompson (Feb 3, 2005 05:55PM)
Wear what suits you character.

Guy Hollingworth would look ridiculous in what Tamariz wears and vice versa.

Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Feb 27, 2005 04:00AM)
On 2004-10-09 17:13, Jaz wrote:
I once saw a short, balding, very heavy magician, wearing a nice tuxedo and doing a Linking Rings routine. He was sweating profusely. For some reason the whole thing just didn't seem right.

Although I don't have much extra weight on me, I generate a lot of body heat. I wear worsted wool jackets, with T-shirts or banded collar shirts (I hate the strangled feeling of wearing a tie), with lightweight dress slacks. I wear light clothes even in the dead of winter, because I have to be comfortable to have fun. I think it's more important to look comfortable in what you wear, otherwise the audience starts to get uneasy when watching you perform.

As for Copperfield's look, wouldn't that be considered "grundge chic"? lol Can't knock it, it works for him.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Mar 10, 2005 04:00PM)
All great Advice!

Will Heed!

Thanks! :)
Message: Posted by: Burnt (Mar 12, 2005 07:57PM)
I find looks rather important to my magic. I basically look good in black and feel comfortable in it in general so normally itís black. A bit of a cleshay I know.
Iím careful to try and stay average weight though iím currently trying tslim down a bit (Iím an average 8:10 but I feel I would feel better as an 8:05). My magic Ďstyleí is quite graceful and smooth and so I find that it works best not to be to bulky in appearance for my character.

Normally I try to look individual as I am aware a lot of magicians now a days wear black suits so I resort to a more casual slightly gothic appearance. I am lucky I have a rather slender and pale skinned (anemic) and so I never wear gloves so my hands and face are large focus points.
I design costumes sometimes and the other day I found a watch in an antique place and turned it into a pendant which seems to have become a signature (subtle gold on silver chain, grey back with old roman numerals, quite nice really!). And I have a fair collection of jewellery which suits my clothes Ė none of which is gothic but rather mysterious and charitable.
I cut my hair short a while ago as I found the pony tail far to common amongst girls so I cut shortish it and died it black with red highlights. Being a female magician in a male dominated profession it really helps show a separation from the few female magicians I have seen with long hair.
Itís hard to explain but everything I wear I just make sure it is individual yet not intimidating. Black long sleeved t-shirt, black bondage jeans and a few accessories such a a beret, ring, pendant etc works wonders for me. I just think its important to look individual yet not over the top.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Aug 12, 2005 08:47AM)
Looking back at this thread, I remembered the "rules of etiquette" as my rodeo-producer uncle taught them to me.

My favorite event was bareback broncs. (Short guys have an advantage in that event. I'm 5' 9".) He always suggested, in spite of the fact that whether or not I made the 8 seconds odds of getting my shirt dirty were high, that I wear a white shirt. It was "taking care of business". The prize money came from people who bought tickets. They were due the respect.

Now at age sixty, I wonder how many other things it did for me too. Did it influence my confidence, the judges' opinions, and the spectators' support? In plainspoken "cowboy", I think the answer is "Yep!"

It applies to magic too.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Sep 23, 2005 01:36PM)
I weigh the same as I did when I was in high school 180 lbs. As a rule magicians are mainly interested in a taupe that looks like a dead squirl, and as much flashy gold jewelry as possible, which is why I call myself a juggler who does magic.

Pride in your apearance starts at the waist line.
Message: Posted by: Zac Vee (Sep 24, 2005 04:51AM)
This a big thread and also great one, as many have said it already in here , I just want to add my two cents. Well, you have to be clean certainly but that is not only in magic you have to be clean anyway whatever you do. I once went to a magic lecture and there was about 40 people 35 of them were those too busy practising and doing magic and have no time to take shower, shave, dress properly or clean their yellow fingers from burned nicotine, it was summer quite hot in there and the whole place smelled like "bookies". THe bottom line is be yourself , but if being yourself makes you take shower once a month or a week, the you certainly have to not be yourself and start taking shower everyday,or at least before you do a show or perform for people.

Looking fit, healthy and good adds points to your overall appearance obviously, but some people cant help it, in that case try and look neat and presentable and consistent.

Message: Posted by: JohnWolf (Nov 12, 2006 08:10AM)
Advice I was given and agree with highly. Just be yourself! Having your own style, presentation etc will help you stand out. If youíre good that's a good thing if not you get the idea. But you won't have to worry about what fits since it's natural for you.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Nov 12, 2006 08:38AM)
You not only want to be in good physical shape, but I feel you must be the best dressed man in the room. I also like to be the loudest dressed man in the room, so they see me coming, but that's just my style.
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: Comedy Writer (Nov 12, 2006 02:47PM)
A great thread. I agree with what is being said. I would only add that I toss my cotsume shirts the minute they start to show any wear. And yes, use an both a steamer and a lint brush.
Message: Posted by: ibm_usa (Feb 18, 2007 08:28PM)
I don't have a character when I perform, I act like I do in real life, and I dress up like I do normally (everyday) for a show. People realize that, when I'm performing, I'm doing very little acting and it freaks them out, they believe what they are seeing and are very scared to approach me. The point is, do as little acting as possible and be yourself. People don't view me as a magician, they think I'm a shaman or something.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Feb 18, 2007 09:11PM)
You'll never get tipped if you look ordinary. "Freak out" HMMMM, I'm surprised no one has ask you for a refund.
Al Angello