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Topic: What to wear as a kids/family magician?
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Dec 21, 2003 06:32PM)
It's that time of year where I look at my show to determine what works and what doesn't.

I am thinking I need a wardrobe change. My clown is no problem but as a magician, I want to find something different.

I want to focus on the kid/family market, and although there will always be shows where the tux or suit is right, I am looking for something...well...different.

Suggestions? Also suggestions on where to find these type of wardrobes?
Message: Posted by: JamesinLA (Dec 22, 2003 05:22AM)
My "costume" fits my character. That is my best, albeit brief, suggestion.

Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Dec 23, 2003 04:55PM)
That's what I am working on. What costume best fits my character?

As a magician, it is the big, funny uncle-type. Lots of jokes, tricks and even a little teasing.
Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Dec 23, 2003 06:01PM)

For the type of character you are designing (much like mine, for kids' shows) you might want to check out used-clothing stores, Goodwill, Value Village (if they have them on the west coast), that sort of thing, for slightly (not a lot) oversized and LOUD sports jackets, brightly colored or checked pants (yes, unfortunately, they make them NEW, too), and anything that purposely doesn't match but clashes with everything else.

For example, I wear red pants, a black, white and orange checked jacket, a dark plaid shirt and a bright yellow happy face tie that rolls up on command! And almost all of it came from used-clothing stores!

Sure, you can buy outfits from costume houses and bigger magic shops but this way it's cheaper and, more important, you don't end up looking like everyone else in the market area!

Peter Marucci
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Jan 30, 2004 04:58PM)
Be careful when buying clothes that mismatch or clash. You want to appear as if your CHARACTER can't dress yourself...not YOU!

Think about the difference between a tramp and a tramp clown. One smells and his unshaven and dirty. The other is a PARODY of someone who smells and is unshaven and dirty.
Message: Posted by: dreidy (Jan 30, 2004 08:03PM)
If you're after big, funny uncle type clothing, copy from Hollywood. Have a look at John Candy in Uncle Buck.

Message: Posted by: Peter Marucci (Jan 30, 2004 10:43PM)
Nicholas makes a good point when he writes: "Be careful when buying clothes that mismatch or clash. You want to appear as if your CHARACTER can't dress yourself...not YOU!"

My stuff is SO extreme that it is obvious nobody could wear it thinking that it looked good -- not in your wildest dreams (which is about what the outfit looks like: someone's wildest dreams! LOL)

But heed Nicholas' warning and don't try to be too subtle.
:kewl: <-- sartorial splendor!
Message: Posted by: NJJ (Feb 13, 2004 10:20PM)
I've been thinking about changing my kid's costume because the weather is TOO hot! I did four shows in one day last week and almost passed out!

I was thinking of wearing smart black pants, blacks shows and a casual cut (ie. not tucked in) long sleeve bowling shirt with the cuffs turned up. I was imagining it to be black with bright blue panels, cuffs and coller

It will be a casual style but custom made so it fits snugly, looks professional and it will also have extra pieces of snazziness such as silver buttons, 'Tricky Nick' monogramed on the left breast and bright fabrics.
Message: Posted by: snedglow (Mar 4, 2004 02:41PM)
What do you guys think of the traditional "Mark Wilson" style tuxedo magician's look?

I am still new at doing paid shows and wardrobe is something I haven't mapped out yet. I have refinancing escrow money coming next week and I was planning on buying a used tux [with tails!] (keeps the cost down) because I think that look just says "Magician!"

I would sincerely appreciate your thoughts!

Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 4, 2004 04:51PM)
Richard & Neale,

First and formost, what character are you going to present? If your doing and focusing on Harry Potter Stuff then theme yourself as such.

If you want do Merlin the Magician Stuff then that is fine too.

To a group of kids ask them what a magician looks like and all they can tell you is what they read in their library books, TV cartoon shows, etc. Most of them display the classical magician with tails. This is appropriate for kids but this does not conform to the "Dress one step above the client" philosophy.

That's OK because Kids magic is a whole different type of audience than say an adult audience.

With Kids, there is no one correct dress. Let me say that again, when performing for Kids, there is not one correct costume!!!

Peter above is fine and so is Andy Walker with his signature Yellow Suit and Yellow Hat.

I too, dress the Classical Magician because I do a lot of the classics which are still just as powerful today as they were 50 years ago! It is also what kids expect a magician should look like. I've had kids say, "Look, he's a real magician!" Now were did they, at that tender age, get the idea what a real magician looks like? Books and TV representations.

As for Family Audiences, that a whole new topic in itself. You dress the part you play to the theme show you are doing, or if its magic, then you should have a common link between routines which say YOU and unites the show. Your Dress can be anywhere from the David Blaine Street Clothes, to the Jazzy sequenced outfits of Sigfried & Roy, as long as it is in character with YOU and the show.
Message: Posted by: Steven Steele (Mar 6, 2004 08:43PM)
This sure brings back memories...when I was developing my act, my wife was (and still is) in charge of my wardrobe. She would have an idea and put me in it and see how it worked out. I've been in most everything from a tux to sweats.

What I have right now is perfect and it evolves, here and there, tweaking it to improve the response I get from my audiences. This particular costume works regardless of the venue, due to the effects I do and my character. But for your information, I wear black slacks a blue long sleeved shirt and a black vest, buttoned. No tie. It is a fairly formal casual, if you can understand that. This even works with the 5 year olds. I don't understand why, but it might have to do with my comfort level too.
Message: Posted by: snedglow (Mar 7, 2004 04:00PM)

I don't think I necessarily portray a specific kind of character in my shows other than just being a magician.

You're right about where kids got the impression that a guy or gal in a tuxedo and top hat is a magician. But when I'm performing birthday parties (my primary market right now) I just want to be perceived as a magician and not so much a different character.

I have no problem dressing up in a costume if I'm doing something specific. I used to volunteer at a haunted forest as a guide and half the fun was putting on a different scary face every night. I had a blast! And the best part of that was pulling my face off for some teenaged girl when we walked the last group out of the forest - always got a couple of great screams from that!

Anyway, for doing birthday shows, strictly as a magician who's coming to visit, you think the classic tux works??

Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Mar 8, 2004 02:12AM)
Just about anything works. Take a look at Ken Scott, he's young, and handsome and uses modern music. He dresses fashionable and works over 300 parties a year.

If you're playing a character or doing a theme party, then dress the part.

I have a personal favorite for kids parties and it is the tux with tails! Its a personal preference.