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Potty the Pirate
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This summer may be the first time I really have to worry about this issue! It's rarely hot enough in the UK for sweating to be a problem for me, but last weekend, boy, I was pouring! We're having a (wonderfully welcome) heatwave in England, and I LOVE it! I'd definitely use my Inexhaustible Sponge for this as a running gag, if hot days were a regular thing in England.
But thanks Eldon, your line fits my character perfectly, a nice gag for those family shows!
Potty Smile
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Towelling off during a hot performance is a great idea. Why not have fun with it?

First time you do it, wipe yourself off and then say, offstage, "Which one of you clowns have been using my towel?" Then turn the towel around and show a streaky clown face left in the towel by makeup.

Make the towel in the form of a "Good night banner" or "Black hand gag" towel and show a different set of markings on the other side.

Show the audience how to make a plucked chicken out of the towel.

Show the audience how to make an elephant chicken out of the towel.

Weight the outer edges of the towel with a small chain and spin it like a pizza -- you should be able to spin it on your finger tip for an extended period.

Sew two towels together to make a devil's hank and use it in an effect (Vanishing bandana?).

Any other ideas? I think that as long as you have the towel up on stage with you, you should make it do more than act absorbent.
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For what it's worth, I think that ducking and hiding to wipe would look somewhat suspicious to the audience. I know if I were watching, I'd be thinking, "what's he doing back there, must be loading up for a trick..."

Just wipe and move on...don't really have to call much attention to it, and the spectators will know exactly what's going on...

I love the sponge idea...
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Profile of MikeBent
I've used the sponge
Cesar Munoz
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Thanks for all of the great ideas!
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I have been thinking of working some sort of head band routine into the middle of the show right when the water works really start and then popping the head band onto my head for the rest of the show! maybe even have some made up with my colors and logos cheaply and give them to my helpers as they leave the stage....hmmm a headband is another great place for something to get stuck (magic wand etc.) were I can not see it but the kids can! just a thought!
"Its a magic wouldn't understand"
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Sammy patrick smith has a headband blendo trick he sells...
Randy Burtis
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Profile of Dynamike
On 2009-06-23 17:36, Bradley Roberts wrote:
If you are a comedy magician you could turn it into a running gag. Maybe with the towel you also have the Inexaustible Sponge. Below is the information on it.

The Inexaustible Sponge by Gaetan Bloom
At anytime you can wipe your forehead with the sponge and squeeze it over a bucket, producing large amounts of water from the sponge! You leave the sponge on the tray and with no cover, switch or suspicious moves, you are able to repeat the effect just moments later. This is a great running gag. You can repeat as many times as you wish. It also comes with ideas for several surprise endings. The water in the bucket can become confetti, turn into a block of ice with a selected card inside or just vanish. Comes with tray, special sponge and instructions. You supply the bucket and water.

Hope that helps.

I like that one the most.

You guys better start doubling your towels because of global warming. Smile
John C
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Keep a kid on stage, a kid that REALLY wants to help and use his shirt to wipe your sweat. I know it sounds mean but it works.

The ULTIMATE Routine Series: rebirth soon!
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There's a book of rubber band magic somewhere where I believe the author uses headbands in place of rubber bands...the name escapes me now...RubberBandTrix maybe?

I can't remember...someboday help me...
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Profile of MatBlack
I'm also a hyper-hydrator - I'm ordering am inexhaustable sponge today! Thanks heaps for the tips and lines guys!

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Here's an idea that comes from something "Presto" Johnson used to do in his show, but not for sweat. He used to use a lota bowl and have his little toy dog Spot sit on it. Throughout the show, he would go and empty it so Spot could be set back on top and refil it.

Why not, after using the towel, fold it and set it on top. The next time you use it, you "Notice" that the bowel is full and empty it. This can begin the running gag.

With some thought to the gag lines you can deliver each time, this has some possibilities.
Nathan Alexander
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I found years ago that I would instantly pop into a sweat if something went a little off, but as that was from being newer to the kinds of shows I was doing it has faded with experience...

However, I got a great running gag out of it. For kid and family shows I now do the following.

I had one end of 20th century silks(?) with a big hankie and underwear tied to the one end that you all know (is that the same trick?) but lost the other end. I started to wipe my face off behind my table/case but then turned it into some fun.

I would come out and frankly just say "you know, sometimes I get really nervous doing these shows and man I just sweat (before I was sweating at all early on) so hang on one sec..."

Then I would bring out the underwear balled up in the hank as I would mop my face then inadvertently let the underwear drop out. As I brought it up and "displayed" the underwear to be see clearly seen I would say "ew" and stuff and frown.

Then I would turn it around and display the back side which had brown crayon staining it. This would really get the kids giggling/grossed out and a bigger "yuck" look from me.

Then I'd just shrug as if to say "oh well," and just pat down my forhead. Throughout the show I'd go back and mop myself down, and occasionaly It'd be used for just that purpose but I'd still get laughs.

And sprinkled throughout a few times I'd say "hey you look kinda sweaty!" and I'd fling/snap the underwear close to them or approach real obvious like and pretend to mop their face. The reactions are always priceless as they always squirm away fast. I'd also dig around out of site behind the case when I'd wipe down then pop up over the table looking confused with the underwear on my head and this big blue hank hanging down the side of my head while looking around for it.

Really grosses them out in a fun way and I get to legitamitly wipe down any sweat too!
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Profile of thescienceworks

Here I was Saturday at an outdoor sidewalk sale event. It's cloudy and slightly cool just before I get there. As I am setting up the sun comes out with a vengeance and it instantly turns to about 90 degrees with no wind. With fifty children and their parents watching me I start to sweat a little.
Searching in my trunk-table for the towel I brought's in the car. My supply of bandannas I keep around for odd the wash at home. Paper towels...there is one.
I was going with the behind-the-table method to start, but gave up halfway through as the paper towel was wetter than I was. Needless to say by the end of the show I felt like I had been wringing myself out for 60 minutes straight.

So whatever method you do use, be prepared!!!
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Profile of Engine
I made a couple bags with Velcro on the outside that were big enough to hold blue ice packs. Then I sewed Velcro to the inside of some suspenders and viola' I have a portable cooling system! They ride in the small of my back so they are largely unnoticed. (I'm in the hits 120 here...)

I've also carried them in my back pockets....My friend actually sewed a vest with special pockets all over for them (he wears a full zoot suit in this heat!)
Sam Sandler
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I will give you a few of my tips for indoors.

I perform from my full stage illusion show under hot lights to the private parties and the very first thing is on my contract I require them to keep the room cool. for t heatres I tell them what temp it needs to be and for private home parties I ask that they keep the room as cool as posible recomending that it be 60-62 degrees in the room I am performing in. I point out that my show is physicaly demanding. NOw I knwo some peopel then sayt hats to cold and I qucikly point out hat once you have 25sugar rushed kids and all the parents packed into th e livingroom or bsement it can get real hot real fast. th is has helped a lot but of course does not solve the whole problem as we are still physical performers so I also have the towl with me and use it to wipe at certain moments Ie volunteer walking back to seat with applause. I have also used my worlds larget underpants as a towl for kids shows I too use it like a towl and let it drop open and it gets great laughs.

just my thoughts

sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
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Like many of you my skin leaks when I get warm. I close my show with Slydini's Flight of the Paper Balls. I make my paper balls from single ply paper napkins that are on my back table throughout the show. I also use some of those napkins to wide sweat with so by the time I get to the trick the audience is used to the paper napkins being on stage.
Dal Sanders International Comedy Magician and Illusionist Based In Dallas, TX

The Society of American Magicians Past National President
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Profile of Clownboy
See, I just buy that Antiperspirant "Dri Idea" And roll it all over my body and I'm good all day!

As the Frogs say "Times Fun when you're having Flies" Smile
Scott Burton
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I found that the absolutely best thing I've ever done for hot weather is to invest in show clothing purchased from golf stores (dress pants and a golf-style shirt for my kids shows). These clothes are made of "technical" clothing meaning that they are designed to instantly wick away sweat, keep you cool, and keep you looking good (just as a pro golfer would need). Example: most of my clothing is made by Nike.

I will NEVER go back to wearing anything containing cotton in outdoor settings. Night and day difference - seriously.

Simply changing the fabrics that my clothes are made from makes it so that I no longer visibly sweat even in very hot weather. The reason is that the clothes wick away the sweat so quickly that it evaporates and keeps you cool. While this is very much the same technology used from runner's clothing, it's amazing how great it looks as dress clothing. So, to answer the question, I find I don't need to wipe any sweat from my face believe it or not once I made this change (and it gets very hot and humid here in the summer).

And, just to add, if you work on making sure that you are in shape and eating well your body with become more effective at cooling itself and heat becomes much more comfortable. This helps as well.
Nathan Alexander
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I love your idea Scott. Not bad at all.
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