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Topic: Are hats important?
Message: Posted by: Niko (Apr 8, 2004 05:31AM)
I was wondering - should you, as a magician wear a hat? Do you think it could improve the image, make the magician stand out or do you think it is old fashioned and stupid-looking?
What hats do you wear and what would you recommend for the close-up magician?
Message: Posted by: chrisrkline (Apr 8, 2004 06:47AM)
Of course you can do what you want, but if you are really old fashioned you would never wear a hat inside, so that would eliminate wearing it much of the time during the magic.
Message: Posted by: Chris H (Apr 8, 2004 08:06AM)
Please don't wear a hat!! Please!! And for goodness sake, never, EVER, pull a rabbit from anywhere.

The whole top hat thing is completely outdated, and would just give more fuel to my arguments and theories about...never mind. Check some of my old posts for those.

And I agree with Chris too. Hats should not really be worn inside, which would eliminate 95% of your performances.

-- Topher
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Apr 8, 2004 08:09AM)
Do you, anyone you know and more importantly...

Anyone you perform for wear a hat? Is a hat part of your performing character? Does your performing character desire to wear a hat? ASK THEM!

Seems more useful for each performer to actualize than to get all PC and insist on some sort of conformity.
Message: Posted by: El_Lamo (Apr 8, 2004 08:13AM)
I wear a spanish hat (like Zorro).

It is fun...

Plus when I am entertaining kids, I produce a plush rabbit from it at the very beginning of my show. It confirms to them that I am magic.

Cheers - El Lamo
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Apr 8, 2004 09:35AM)
The only two magicians that wear a hat and look good in them are Harry Anderson and Gazzo! Most people can't pull off the fedora look. But this is the opinion of one of the Geritol set who looks good in a hat!

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: JimMaloney (Apr 8, 2004 10:13AM)
On 2004-04-08 09:06, MagicTopher wrote:
The whole top hat thing is completly outdated, and would just give more fuel to my arguments and theories about...never mind. Check some of my old posts for those.

Dang, seems to work for Tamariz.

Then again, who said anything about a top hat? He just asked about hats in general. Jonathan's got the right idea. What would your character wear?

Message: Posted by: Ross W (Apr 8, 2004 11:02AM)
Nothing wrong with hats if you ask me - 'pends on the character, really.

And I completely fail to see the above poster's hatred of the "rabbit from a hat" trick.

Have you ever tried it? It's *immensely* difficult for two reasons:
1. As soon as an audience see a hat, especially a topper, they're waiting for a rabbit - you've lost the element of surprise. And,
2. Getting a live bunny into a hat when everyone's watching you - wow, that is hard.

Any magician who can do the rabbit-from-a-hat trick, well...I take my hat off to him!
Message: Posted by: Jacko (Apr 8, 2004 11:32AM)
Hats are a great way to show how much you care about your cranial temperature. And they look magical too!!
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Apr 8, 2004 11:47AM)
On 2004-04-08 09:09, Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Do you, [/quote]


[quote]anyone you know...[/quote]


[quote] and more importantly...

Anyone you perform for wear a hat? [/quote]

No, but check out my costume. I wouldn't expect my audience to look like me, that's why it's a [i]costume[/i]. I'm expected to look different than the guys in T-Shirt and shorts carrying a beer in one hand and a fake sword in the other.

[quote]Is a hat part of your performing character? Does your performing character desire to wear a hat? ASK THEM![/quote]

YES and YES!!!

[quote]Seems more useful for each performer to actualize than to get all PC and insist on some sort of conformity.

Absolutely! If it fits your "style" then go for it! It works for Gazzo, Harry Anderson, Tamariz,.... and me. If it doesn't work for you then simply don't.
Message: Posted by: enriqueenriquez (Apr 10, 2004 04:10PM)
I use hats all the time, because I love hats. I have like 50 different hats. Great designers these days makes great hats that have nothing to do with a magician’s top hat.

If I recall correctly, the first “civilian” hat was the three cornered hat. An interesting thing is that the rabbit from hat trick was created almost 70 years before the top hat. There are registers of the trick since around 1726 (even a nice story about a pregnat woman who got birth white rabbits, as a popular inspiration for the trick), but the top hat was created by a guy named John Etherington in 1797.

I don’t wear hats because I’m a magician. I wear hats because I like hats. Is not part of a costume, or a show, or a magic trick.

If you get inside a place, you take your hat off. that's the way it is.

So, if you like hats, wear a hat, in the same way you use a jean jacket if you like one. Just don’t wear a hat because you saw David Blaine wearig one, or anything like that. Please!

Be real.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Aug 3, 2004 09:18PM)
I wear a black felt "Gandalf" wizard hat when performing for children.

For adults I usually perform without headgear.

Exception: when busking I perform in a safari shirt and khaki Australian "Anzac" slouch hat to keep my skull from baking in the Summer sun.

Message: Posted by: Scott Xavier (Aug 3, 2004 11:54PM)
Buskers should, theres lots of reasons for one pm me for more.
Message: Posted by: procyonrising (Aug 4, 2004 01:12AM)
Sylvester the Jester does - and it works really well for him.

Hats should be a function of personal style. If you'd never wear a hat when meeting friends, it's probably not a good idea (costumes notwithstanding).
Message: Posted by: Dan Monroe (Aug 8, 2004 11:17AM)
If you feel a hat fits your style then wear it. Only you can decide if it is right for you. Don't let others tell you yes or no. Be yourself and if it feels right do it.

Message: Posted by: Big Daddy Cool (Aug 8, 2004 07:29PM)
My fedora is a big part of my character. it says a lot to the audience before I say a word. And yeah, Big Daddy can carry it. It's cool!

Here's the deal on hats - if your character needs to wear a hat, then wear one!
Message: Posted by: Regan (Aug 8, 2004 11:28PM)
I don't wear one, but I think they're ok if they fit you. (Your character, I mean)

I love the rabbit from the hat trick also. It is not old fashioned to me, it is tradition.

Message: Posted by: Whiterabbit (Aug 9, 2004 06:11PM)
Hats ridiculous, unusual and serious are great if you are a street, renfaire or children's performer as they can complement the genre. For the other genres that's dependent on your style and identity.

Not essential for street, renfaire or children's, but usually great if you can match one to what you're wearing and performing...

They're also a bit of misdirection which keeps the attention on your smiling face and helps you connect...
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Aug 12, 2004 12:29AM)
On 2004-04-08 09:06, MagicTopher wrote:
Please don't wear a hat!! Please!! And for goodness sake, never, EVER, pull a rabbit from anywhere.

The whole top hat thing is completely outdated, and would just give more fuel to my arguments and theories about...never mind. Check some of my old posts for those.

And I agree with Chris too. Hats should not really be worn inside, which would eliminate 95% of your performances.

-- Topher

How do you know where any one of us happens to perform? You are being quite presumptuous.

I did 90% of my performing outdoors, and as long as I was performing either my Merlin character or my Victorian character, the hat was an integral part of the costume.

Of course, these were old-fashioned characters. But this goes to show you that you can't make a flat statement about everyone else's performing situations or needs.
Message: Posted by: Mark Rough (Aug 12, 2004 07:30AM)
If I didn't wear a hat, I'd probably have to cut my day busking very short due to sunstroke. So NOT wearing a hat would cut out about 95% of MY performances. Not everybody works inside.

Oh, and by the way, if you read up on the history of pulling a rabbit out of a hat, you won't find the effect so cheesy. What we see in that effect now, is only the last few moments of a grusome routine. Something along the lines of Bosco's ripped and restored pigeon. It's quite fascinating. You should look it up before you write it off.

Message: Posted by: Chevrie (Aug 12, 2004 10:36PM)
I'm from Texas. Hats are quite commonplace around here. Truth is, if the hat fits, wear it.
Message: Posted by: PyroJeffNic (Aug 15, 2004 01:04PM)
I used to use a top hat to produce a ball but since then, I have left that idea. I realized that most magicians don't wear hats. I now produce the ball with a little manipulation.
Message: Posted by: prettylady1990 (Aug 16, 2004 08:01AM)
It's up to your characters style
Message: Posted by: Snidini (Aug 26, 2004 02:02AM)
As a kids magician, I think hats work for me most of the time. I use it in a couple of routines, so it is just natural that it is a part of my show and I show it by wearing it. Just ask "silly billy" about his hat. He'll tell you it's part of his character I'm sure. Hats/caps do make up your character and look. If that isn't you then don't worry about it.

Message: Posted by: Rob Johnston (Aug 26, 2004 02:48PM)
I don't wear one, it just isn't in my character.
Message: Posted by: King Of Pop (Sep 15, 2004 08:21AM)
No, they are not important, I use hats like Michael Jackson in his videos, but I usually throw them away in the beginning :)

God Bless You, I Love You All
Message: Posted by: kaytracy (Sep 15, 2004 06:00PM)
Okay, so my two cents, or pence on hats:
It depends on your style, and character as well as your prop needs, a Hat can be useful, it can act as a servante, or a ditch for props you are done with and do not want left out as a distraction.
It may even be part of your routine- I have a change Tarbush (Fez for the tourists) that I use in a middle eastern set of effects.
The key is, is it part of the routine, or does it detract from what you are doing.
Hats for YOU should be of the right style to look good when you wear them. Some folks just cannot wear a cowboy hat, or if they can, it must be a certain style to "look right" You have to look at the entire package, not just say "WOW! cool hat, I gotta have it" . Also consider that the image portrayed with hats can be used to make a pre-judgement about you,(sort of cold reading if you will) if you keep it pulled low, are you "hiding", or holding back.
Pushed back on the head, never take it off, wear it backwards, etc. think about what opinions if any you make when you see folks in hats on the street.
The concept of protection from the elements is not new, but also not universal it seems!
Now that that is said, I do know a number of folks who use hats in their performances, and many I have seen who do not. Some perhaps do not use their hat to best effect and should avoid it, but that is my opinion alone.

Only you and your audience will know for sure! Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (Sep 24, 2004 10:18PM)
Don't listen to others. There are no written or unwritten laws. Except for maybe do what works for YOU.
If it fits what you want to do then do it.
I have seen hats used plenty.

A couple more magicians not yet mentioned that wear a hat...Doc Eason and Doug Anderson (cowboy hat), Robert Baxt. And I know there's more!
Message: Posted by: Marco S. (Nov 12, 2004 09:27AM)
I think you should never ever wear a hat as a magician. I know one who does, and to me this looks just stupid.
Message: Posted by: Clifford the Red (Nov 15, 2004 07:29PM)
I think you should never listen to magicians, you don't even know, who think they know how to dress you.
Message: Posted by: magicgeorge (Nov 25, 2004 02:17PM)
Firstly saying a magician should never wear a hat is daft, just as daft as saying a magician should always whear a hat. There are no rules, horses for courses. I like them though.
I've a red fedora like Daddy Cool's, a sparkly topper (a bit like another Café member: Jewls) and the turquoise bowler you can see opposite.
I think they look different and interesting but also you can have a lot of fun with a hat they're very versatile props. I've a 10 minute routine with just me and a hat in one of my shows.

Message: Posted by: Mike Wild (Nov 26, 2004 08:27PM)
Hats are the most important thing in magic... period, end of story.

Well... socks are important too... So hats and socks, and that's all any magician ever needs to know.

... and a comfortable pair of slacks... but that's definitely all there is to it.

:huh: :hysteric:

Wear what you want to wear Niko. There are no rules or guidelines that dictate what clothes or accessories you can or cannot wear.

Message: Posted by: daleshrimpton (Nov 29, 2004 02:59AM)
It helps hide the bald spot
Message: Posted by: Marco S. (Dec 2, 2004 05:44AM)
Clifford`s post says it all. Decide for yourself. Still, I think hats look stupid.
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Dec 2, 2004 05:20PM)
Well, one does not want to be thought of as just another pretty fez after all!

Just couldn't resist that one...!

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: whoton (Dec 25, 2004 05:40AM)
I do Larry Jenning's Card to Hat with a bowler hat, such a great routine, if ever I needed incentive to wear a hat busking, there it was! Also good for doing flourishes etc. whilst gathering a crowd and establishing yr skill level. Obviously it also provides another load receptacle for the cups and balls finale. Also on the street when you take your final bow it creates a nice picture if you remove your hat at the same time, providing a convenient receptable for your audience to throw money into.
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 29, 2004 09:22AM)
What a bunch of hokey pokey. Costumes are what seperates the entertainers from the audience. Anything that makes you stand out the crowd is valid. If you don't want to wear a hat don't. My stage character absolutely needs a top hat, and I would feel naked with out one.
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Dec 29, 2004 05:41PM)
I recently added the Caroler's Top Hat to my costume and have gotten great response from all my audiences with it. But it really suits my 'Oliver Twist' character. Another friend performs in a derby. As juggleral says, it separates you from the audience and says you're someone special.
Message: Posted by: Dr_Stephen_Midnight (Dec 29, 2004 05:59PM)
If I'm doing childrens' shows as a Rowling-esque wizard, I wear a black felt 'Gandalf' hat; it's essential to the character, being part of that costume.

As a mentalist or escape artist, however, I wear no hat (except when busking in the Summer, where I wear an Anzac type slouch hat to protect me from the sun).

Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Dec 30, 2004 08:04AM)
When I do walk around magic with my hat on I am the tallest person in the room, and the center of attention. Isn't that what it's all about?
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: Magique Hands (Jan 3, 2005 02:12PM)
Hats should not be worn or used as a prop, just because you may see other entertainers using them. The only reasons, and stress ONLY reasons I USE a hat (fedora) as a prop, is because it is part of my dancing cane routine... and the fact that my entertainment group is The Magic Mafia. So, there is a certain 'gangster' personna that audience members expect to be able to relate to. They see the fedora, which makes sense to them. Jay Humann (one of the other performers in The Magic Mafia) does wear a hat. He wears it for publicity photos only (again, there has to be something our audience members can relate to as being 'gangster' or "mob'ish"). You're more than welcome to go to http://www.magicmafia.com and see what I'm referring to. You may think hats look stupid, and that's your opinion. But to the person with a hat, it is there for a great reason (performance character/completes the costume, goes with the illusion, or used as a stage prop.)

Many, many magicians wear hats (David Mann and Jaxon, just to name two from the Café here). Jeff McBride wears numerous different styles of hats, giving a certain 'look' to the routines he's performing. The hats they've chosen to wear as part of their performance personna, matches their characters very well. Rocco Silano used to perform his 'Light in Flight' routine, by walking on stage carrying his fedora. He needed the hat for a very specific reason before setting it down onto his side table.

I do not wear the fedora at any time during my show. It is merely a prop (along with my Dancing Cane) that I carry on stage from the beginning. Then, the fedora acts as a receptacle to place my production items (billiard balls) into, AFTER they've been produced (makes perfect sense to the audience as WHY I have a hat in the first place.) They soon forget about the fedora, until my final routine (Dancing Cane), in which the fedora is taken off the hat rack as I finish the cane routine. I then walk off stage, just as I entered (holding the fedora and cane).

Hats can either compliment a particular costume, enhancing the entertainment value of the show/routine... or look completely out of place. I wish for all performers using hats in their acts, use the hat to enchance their entertainment value.

Take Care,
- - Troy
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 3, 2005 05:16PM)
Dear Troy
I do magic tricks with my hat, I juggle my hat, I do comedy routines with my hat, I do flourishes with my hat, I flip my hat from my head to my foot, I flip my hat from my foot to my head, I pass my hat through the crowd when busking, I also wear my hat to look like a professional. All of the above, and probibly a few I forgot are valid reasons to wear a fine hat.
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: Magique Hands (Jan 3, 2005 06:36PM)

Sounds like you understand the importance of 'Entertainment Value'. Even though I do not wear a hat while performing, I do advocate the wearing of hats, as long as it helps create a deeper/better/funnier experience for the audience. It also sounds like your hat is a main part of the juggling you perform, as it should be.

I've seen magicians wear hats (many different styles), and many of those hats do not match, or have anything to do with the performer's act/style/routines, etc... Makes me think they are wearing them just to look cool.

Take Care,
- - Troy
Message: Posted by: Al Angello (Jan 3, 2005 08:10PM)
My hat is used in one fourth of my act, and I wear out two hats a year.
Thank you and good luck
Al Angello
Message: Posted by: Tom Stevens (Jan 7, 2005 08:15PM)
I think I look stupid without a hat. I may also look stupid with a hat, but at least its a distictive stupid look.
Message: Posted by: rhinomax (Jan 10, 2005 10:12PM)
In kid show I think its a must

walk around at expos and fairs yes

stage.... dispite my rapidly retreating hair line I don't

Message: Posted by: ClouDsss (Jan 11, 2005 01:42AM)
In kids show I think its good to wear a hat as they tend to associate magicians to be people in hats and jackets with a magic wand. It helps them to identify you jus like santa claus is to christmas to them :P

For walk around I usually don as IMO wearing as casual as possible remoevs the suspicion that you are hiding stuff behind hats etc. But of cos, if the performance requires, then by all means wear it

In all, I think jus do wat you feel suits ur personality. Its good to be comfortable with yourself before performing as that way you can really concentrate on the act.

Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jan 11, 2005 10:18PM)
My hat has had a noticeable effect on the audience response to my act. It may be that it rounds out my character, or perhaps it just covers my thinning hair and bald spot, but for me it works.

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Feb 10, 2005 08:15PM)
If the hat fits, wear it!

As Max the Magician, I perform silent-comedy magic and I am comfortable in my bowler hat. Audiences seem to rememebr Max and his hat years later.

As Jack the Gambler, I wear my dealer's visor.

As Dr. Zee, the mind reader, no hat, but half-glasses.

If it is an extension of your persona, and suits your style, the right head gear can make a strong statement and memmorable impression.

Besides, if you eventually lose your hair, you won't be as vunerable to catching cold.
Message: Posted by: Burnt (Mar 6, 2005 07:39AM)
I don't normally wear a hat during a stage show but I walk on wearing one. It's really become part of my individual style just to wear a hat. I like to dress the style of my magic. And then when I get on stage I do the old appearing cane and put the hat on that at some point and put it down.
There is no rule restricting you to a specific hat e.g a tophat. Wear what suits you and your magic.
I ither wear a trilby or a beret or sometimes something else but I find the beret suits the most (that reminds me, I must update old avatar!). I just like the hats as an accesory which are just as suitable as nice cufflinks, pendants, earings, ties etc
Message: Posted by: Lee Darrow (Mar 8, 2005 03:07AM)
I used to wear a Shriner's-type hat, but my wife wanted me to be something more than just another pretty fez... Dese odder guys may be a magic mafia, but I am de master of Pun-fu...!


However, I will use one if I can borrow one for the Benson Bowl routine...

Lee Darrow, C.H.
Message: Posted by: scottasf (Mar 9, 2005 02:55PM)

Any magician who can do the rabbit-from-a-hat trick, well...I take my hat off to him!


How about the Hat-from-around-a-rabbit trick?

Fedoras are cool looking, especially the one I got from the hat guys in Oakland, Ca.

I will wear it as I walk onstage than take it off as I start the act.

Message: Posted by: Doc Pepper (Mar 11, 2005 10:18PM)
If a hat is a part of your `look' by all means wear it. Someone saying a magician should not wear a hat is ridiculous. Mind your own look and we hat wearers will mind ours. Doc
Message: Posted by: Flec (Mar 13, 2005 02:04PM)
Doc Eason wears his trademark derby hat, and his multiple selection routine always ends up with the final card being in his hat, after showing his hands completly bare.

I have seen street magicians who wear baseball caps and use similar routines. Like many have said, if the glove fits, why not?

Hats suit some people, and don't suit others. Im not keen on them if I can help it, but maybe you can work a trick into your hat nik?
Message: Posted by: Static (Mar 14, 2005 03:18PM)
I almost always wear a hat when preforming on the streets, but I don't think I would ever wear one inside if I was doing resteraunt. I usually wear a trucker or Red Sox baseball hat when out on the streets. Love my hats, But it would be odd if I was inside I think. I would never wear a top hat, just because it doesn't work for my character. All about who you are, and what you want to do.