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Vilago
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I was reading another thread when I noticed Andy's pictures and his wonderful, colorful suit in particular. That got me to thinking about my own setup. Usually I perform wearing a colorful sportscoat and black pants, but I've been wondering if I should change this to a more distinctive outfit...or maybe go to something just a little bit different, like a colorful vest.

Do you put a lot of thought into your costume, making it match with your character (if any), or do you just make sure you're well-dressed and presentable? And do you think it's really important? It certainly makes Andy look distinctive.

Smile
Mike Robbins
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I think you said it. It's important for your costume to match your character.
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
JSMagic
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I act very silly with the kids therefore I think I have a silly outfit...not as good as andys but black pants with a really colorful vest that brings out some character. Josh
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
victorkent
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Narnia
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One comment I get from some people who do hiring of variety acts is that the trend to move away from "distinctive" wear to more casual wear has been disappointing. Especially if you are a family or children's entertainer.

The entertainement buyers (for family/children markets) seem to want moer color, more memorable outfits. Corportate markets seem to like the less distinctive look for strolling and trade shows. But on stage they like the glitz as much as anyone else. Just don't go overboard...unless that's your style.
-vk
John 3:16
http://www.victorkent.com
http://www.kentfamilyillusionshow.com
[email]victor@victorkent.com[/email]
p.b.jones
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Hi,
I agree with Victor, A lot of clients ask if you wear a costume or dress brightly as they expect this. I have never had anyone ask "Please do not wear a costume" that said I normaly dress as a wizardbut when working for kids 10 yrs and up I wear a bright cabaret Jacket.

Phillip
Emazdad
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I wear a smart shirt and trousers with a bright waistcoat. I hate it when bookers ask "Do you dress as a clown?" I think in some peoples mind if you entertain children you must be a clown.
Yours Funfully
Clive "Emazdad" Hemsley
www.emazdad.com

"Magic is a secret, without the secret there is no magic"

Remember there are only 3 types of people in the world, those that can count and those that can't.
Vilago
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And of course, the trick selection also affects the costume (Me thinking out loud). Using a topit requires a jacket. Silk to egg requires a jacket also, or at least something baggy enough so as to not telegraph the 2nd egg waiting to be switched.
Andy Wonder
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I am instantly recognised as the magician when I arrive an event. No one ever asks me if I am the magician, they know I am. Unfortunately not everyone will remember my name but they do remember the yellow suit. I have the yellow suit cartoon on my business cards and in my yellow pages ad. Even if you don’t remember my name looking in the yellow pages you would know that you have seen me or heard about the guy in the yellow suit before. So it helps with word of mouth.

Having a distinctive outfit also enables me to have and use cartoon images of myself in my advertising more effectively. http://www.walkermagic.com/trading.htm
When I have performed without the yellow suit and I have given out the cards nobody recognised the cartoon character was me.

Of course it goes without saying that you want an outfit that matches your character and style. I wear a regular business suit in bright yellow. It is a nice mix between doing things the proper way and doing things the silly way.

The only problem I have with mine is it can get too hot to wear the jacket in summer time. In that case I often just arrive wearing the jacket then take it off just before I start the show, once everyone has seen me.

I am in the situation now where I am stuck with my choice. I am so known for my yellow suit and it features in all my promotional stuff, changing it would be like changing my name. So if you want to brand your character with a distinctive outfit then choose it carefully. When it wears out you will have to get another one the same.
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
Peter Marucci
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Clients, specifically parents who are hosting children's parties, want and expect the entertainment to LOOK like the entertainment (and not look like the cable guy or an Amway salesman!).
I wear red pants, an orange-black-and-white checked jacket, a black and white polka-dot shirt and a yellow, happy face tie that rolls up on command. (The kids go wild over the tie!)

After performing, I usually stop off in my local pub. Invariably, someone will say something like, "Did you have a show today?"

My response: "No, I always dress like this!"
or: "No, I was just at a clown's funeral!"

It may sound ridiculous (and it is!) but it is also unforgettable.
Cheshire Cat
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Funnily enough after so many years I am thinking about more of an 'identity' with my outfit. Sue already has one as she always wears black trousers, red jacket or sparkly waistcoat, whereas I have always just gone for a nice bright short sleeved shirt and dark trousers. Working marionettes - (large ones as the pink suited Michael Jackson on avatar) does need a certain amount of comfort and as little as possible to snag strings on. Also carrying a lot (too much!) equipment needs comfort and ease of dress. Will probably go for more of a waistcoat identity as feel the heat in summer very much! I would not want to stop at the filling station with a yellow suit on personally (and certainly not as a clown!), but I quite admire and certainly would not criticise those who do. A hat is also an identity, i.e. take the German guy who publicly cuts up bodies to paying audiences (not that I compare any of us to him!). One UK TV interviewer latched on to his 'hat gimmick' and said: "you're just a showman, - you wear a hat" which I don't think he liked! Smile Smile

PS: Those silky baggy shirts with lace up neck that musicians used (maybe still do?) wear were also a good image for any spec. act. Very cool to wear too. There was a quick shot on UK TV the other night of some entertainer at a 'Hello Henry' function in some stately home somewhere, dressed in cord trousers with flies coming undone and a ghastly paisley shirt that looked as though it had not seen a wash for weeks. I think this can give not just a shoddy - but also these days 'questionable' image to the public (I am sure you know what I mean!)
Billy Whizz
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Plymouth, UK
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Andy, have you thought about a yellow waistcoat to match your suit for summertime, instead of your jacket?

Billy Smile
Andy Wonder
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That is a good idea Billy, why didn’t I think of that!

Peter, where did you get your smile face tie?
Andy Wonder, Auckland, New Zealand
p.b.jones
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Peter,
sometimes when I have my wizards outfit on without the hat (It looks like a Dress)I will get a strange look or comment and I always say to the person " this outfit is nothing to do with the show I just like waring it!" and smile.
Phillip
Peter Marucci
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Andy,
The smiley face tie was given to me by the owner of a used-clothing store—on the (joking) understanding that I NEVER send it back to him! (If you saw how wild the tie is, you'd understand even better!)
Smile <-- picture this, times about 100!
JSMagic
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Hey Andy-Im not sure if its the same ting Peter has but theres one called a pop up tie i;ve seen. Do a search it might be what your looking for! Josh
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
Peter Marucci
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Andy,
Sorry, I may have misunderstood. Were you asking about the design of the tie or the roll-up feature that Josh refers to?

BTW, Josh, it's not quite the same thing but the effect is similar; the pop-up tie is a standard gimmick available from most dealers; the roll-up feature is something I made up myself.

Smile (<-- NOT a roll-up tie! <G>)
magibrad
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I enjoy wearing a button-down shirt with cards, as well as black pants for most shows. To give a casual feel to the show. Serious stage shows, or by special request i wear a jacket with black shirt and tie, and pants. I've been coined as the man in black before by some customers. Smile it's al about leaving an impression i suppose.

-Brad
Jewls
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As you can see by my photo I take this topic very seriously! I also have a jugglers persona. I think it is a must!!

Andy what about a yellow vest for the summer months?
El_Lamo
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I dress like Zorro.

I wear black pants and black shirt.
Usually a tie with playing cards on it.
I have a cape (sewn by my very patient wife) with a wonderful assortment of hidden pockets.
I have a spanish hat and mask.
I have a prop sword (plastic) that I have painted black with white tips to resemble a wand.

I walk out in my shirt and tie when introduced. As I start to talk to the audience, I put the cape, sword, hat, and lastly mask on.

I do this so that I don't scare the living daylights out of little ones. I have learned from fifteen years of helping Santa that I must tread very carefully when in costume.

It works. Older children focus a bit more on the nutbar, younger children enjoy the fantasy. Everyone is entertained.

But only wear what you are comfortable with. There are lots of costumes that would be much harder for me to wear.

Because I am comfortable with El Lamo, I can have lots of fun. He is a nice fit. And he is memorable to everyone he visits.

Have a great day!
Life is a system of circumstance presented coincidently in an illusory way.
NJJ
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I believe the most important factor in wearing wacky costumes is for it to look like you MEANT to dress that way. I.e. you should be silly...wacky...crazy...original but not stupid...ugly...embarrassing.

I've seen guys with the same busy pattern on EVERY bit of their costume or clothes that don't match properly or the wrong sizes or things which don't work.

Andy and Ace's costumes work because they are thought out and show a degree of restraint and forethought.
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