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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The clothes we wear » » Costumes, Tuxedos, Etc. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
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I haven't read what the choices are for dress in your stage performance or Birthday Show.

I read different opinions on it. A black Tux is always appropriate. Colorful outfits are the 60's, we are not clowns...we are supposed to look like magicians...

What are your thoughts on this issue?
Dennis Michael
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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For a kids show, I usually wear a black sportcoat and slacks and a contrasting colored T-shirt or mock turtleneck.

For casual adult functions, I wouldn't wear the T-shirt unless it was very casual -- usually I wear the mock. For the business functions, I wear a buttondown broadcloth shirt with a tie, with the suit.

For the formal events, I have a tailored tux. If the event is semi-formal, I may wear a turtleneck or mock turtleneck, with the tux or sportcoat.

It helps to see what's in style, through the media. The styles seem to be getting more casual and expressive, as time goes on.
Smile
Peter Loughran
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Ontario, Canada
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Well, what does a magician look like?
Does society say we must look like a wizard with a pointy hat, or a waiter at a fine dining restaurant in a tux, or a vampire with a cape, or motorcyclist dressed in leather, or an a capella singer with a sequined jacket?

I think a magician can take any shape, form or dress he or she wishes to portray as their particular image. I feel sorry for magicians who wear a tux for the sole reason that they believe they must wear one in order to be accepted as a magician.

Wear what suits your particular image. If you want to portray yourself as a classic magician, then wear the tux and tails, if that's the image you're after. Just don't let society dictate what you wear or the effects that you perform, or you have will have lost all of your originallity.

P.
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malini
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The first thing people see when you arrive at a show or appear on stage is YOU and what you are wearing.
Your image is one of the most important things you need to and can control.
You do not wear the same performance costume to a birthday party that you use in a small adult stage show.

Some of us ONLY do kids shows, some of us NEVER do childrens shows, but most of us (me included) perform a mixture of different types of shows.

If you go to a bthday party to make the kids laugh and have fun, why wear a tuxedo?
I personally wear a bright red shirt with a colorful waistcoat and blackpants with dress shoes. This outfit enables me to perform at birthdays and also more adult functions wearing the same clothing and not looking out of place.

For stage work and manipulation I wear a proper jacket (with tails).

I remember some advice given to me by a professional entertainer on dress. He said to always dress equal or better than the audience you are dealing with.
I am a firm beilever in wearing bright and colorful costuming for children's shows; after all, you ARE the entertainer and not just any other regular person at the event.
Smile
Peter Loughran
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Malini,

Thats great advice, I agree very much in a lot of what you are saying. Well said.

P.
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Bird Brain
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Anyone know where I can find some tigerskin pants with good pockets? Lol!

5150,
Bird Brain, the rockstar magician
Yes I know my enemies
They're the teachers who taught me to fight me
Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite
All of which are American Dreams, All of which are American Dreams
Magique Hands
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Lincoln, NE.
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Your 'Costume' as it were, is a very important aspect to your performances! A HUGE amount of thought and planning, went into the development of my 'look'... as so it should be for anyone that performs for fees.

I am a magician, that primarily performs for the adult public (restaurants, stand-up, and a few stage venues.) The primary colors of my suit or 'costume' are black and purple. Very trendy look, but like I say, it took alot of forethought and planning to create the look I wanted to achieve.

Years ago, I performed in a tuxedo. I changed, because some of my routines display a little comedy, and I didn't feel comfortable with the mix of the tux and the humor (remember, I was the one that didn't feel comfortable with the mix... so I changed my attire.)

Those that perform in 'clown-attire', use an incredible amount of forethought, to develop their make-up look, and their clothing. Straight (for lack of a better word) magicians, should evoke just as much thought to their 'look' as well.

As a matter of fact, my entire wardrobe, is centered around my magician 'look'. When performing in casual settings, I can most times 'look the part'.

Magically,
- - Troy
"If you go around sprinkling Woofle Dust on everything... people will think 'My... What an odd character." www.magicmafia.com
Cornelius
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Canada
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I think it depends on your character. I wear a tux in my mentalism and cabaret magic performances and I just dress semi-formally when doing a close-up performance.

From,
Cornelius.
Smile
Harry Murphy
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Maryland
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Much like every one who has posted here, I tend to dress the character I am playing as well as for the venue I am playing.

I play Renaissance Fairs and smaller reenactment groups and have an entire wardrobe of costumes for that venue. I play adult parties and Coat and tie or Tux is the norm, depending on the party.

I play several (3 to 5) family reunions each year and wear a colorful t-shirt under my Hawaiian shirt (with Topit sewn in) I wear the shirt open like a sports coat. In fact, I have been playing one family reunion for over 8 years, they think that I am part of the family, about 200 folks show up each year!

I also work a series of bar venues, both stand-up and table-hopping. Then I wear a Sports coat over t-shirt, over Dockers or jeans. Always have the coat, because it is my case for the act. It fits in even in a “Red-Neck” bar (where I usually play!).

I do play a redneck character in most of my bar stand-up gigs. Buffbillybobburt-just call me Buff, wears jeans, cowboy boots, a long sleeve imprinted shirt (either with a football team or NASCAR driver and number) and a ball cap (Sports team or NASCAR number) covered by a black blazer (Dressed for a wedding don’tjaknow!). It works!

Different acts call for different costumes; different venues call for different costumes. I take as much care about the look (including tables and props) of my act as the effects that will be performed in it.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
ELS
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Chicagoland area, IL
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I have to say one time I went to see David C. live in the Chicagoland area, paid a good $$ to get in (times 2 as I took my wife), and was totally amazed that he had the nerve to come out in blue jeans and a white dress shirt!! No coat, and the sleves were even rolled up, like it was more a weekend walk in the mall.

I came to see a performer, an entertainer, and I might of been more dressed up then he was.

To top it off, and I was really ticked at this, he took a 25 minute break and lowered a big screen, so that all of us who paid a good $$$ (think it was about $45 a piece),
we all got to watch tapes of his TV performances for 25 minutes.

Well that was the last time I would dish out any money to watch him, nor have I watched any more of his shows, as I felt ripped off.

Smile
If your going to play the part, look the part!!!
ELS
Were the border between the natural and the supernatural will be nothing any more but fuzzy. http://edwardshanahan.com
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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David Cooperfield is not alone in this dress format for Magicians. He even dressed this way for his TV special. I am trying to understand it. Musicians do this all the time.

The logic seems to be a "down to earth, every day nice guy" costume. I also paid $75 x 3 for the same performance in Atlantic City. This is why I asked the question above. What is the the appropriate costume?

Am I a Magician doing magic. Am I an ordinary man doing amazing, seemingly near impossible, illusions? I am NOT Harry Potter. What am I when I do magic? The classic perception of Magic? Am I an entertainer or comedian who uses magic to connect with the audience?

This issue of what to wear is perplexing. A dinner tux? Look at the "World's Greatest Magicians" series. Few Old fashion tuxes, strange clothes, bare chested, few suits.

Reviewing Jonie Spina Tapes, the Act requires the appropriate dress for the individual based on a multitude of factors. Being 55 Years old, I would look silly in my sons clothes, I am not "Sylvester the Jester". Fitzkee's "Showmanship for Magicians" says the youth look is important.

What do you think?
Dennis Michael
LeeAlex2002
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Well guys, can't help you out on this issue - I am a nudist and play for all the naked folks at the naturist park. Everyone looks the same in their nice skin - some more tight fitting than others I can tell you!

Seriously, wear what you will, but the important thing is how appropriate your dress is. Like others I was amazed at Copperfield when I saw him in Istanbul. The venue he played was for 5,000 people and was the first show ever put on there. One thing that I really noticed was how creased his shirt was after the Fearson Lazer cutting!

The whole show was rather plain with no real magical feel., so maybe the choice of costume was appropriate.

Take a look at Siegfried and Roy - their show is their costumes and decor! Glitzy glamour and outrageous Liberace style. True spectacle.

When you watch somenone like David Blaine you expect his basic casual dress - a street performer.

Many of my shows are corporate and so the costumes are made according to the theme of the concept - this could be anything from suit and open neck shirt, to Snow Prince, to Indian Fakir, to Flaming Devil, to birthday suit!

Just as someone once said "You are what you eat" I am am strong believer in "You are what you wear!"
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

http://www.magic2wear.com
Telemus
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Everett WA
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I like to dress a little better than the "the room" even if that means throwing a blazer on over the jeans and t-shirt. The jeans are new and fit well. The t-shirt is usually short sleeve mock Turtleneck, silk (black most of the time).

If it is a slacks and button shirt type event, I will put on slacks and a tie with a nice jacket --cashmere or a nice wool blend. If it is a businness suit, I use A navy blue suit with matching suspenders, silk shirts and tie. All the way up to a black tux.

I also do ren faires. there I dress as a celtic/druid/wizard type charachter --the robes are full and flowing simple design, tailored well, and very nice silk or wool blends fabric.

The theme I am going for in all the venues is to get a "there is something a little special the way that guy dresses/looks." not "Oh my god look at that! Who the hell does he think he is???" I want to be noticed but not "cut from the herd"
Does that make sense?

Telemus
james_magic
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Australia
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Well, I have 2 different costumes: one is a tuxedo, and the other is black pants, black t-shirt and a white shirt that is unbuttoned.
Since I'm younger I have been told that I should dress more casual, so the second one was my casual one.
Cheers,
James
Alan Munro
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Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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I performed at a birthday party, a few weeks back, and a five year old was talking about a magician he saw before, who he said didn't look like a magician. I was dressed in a black two piece suit with a mock turtleneck and I asked what a magician looks like. He said, "You."

It's hard to go wrong when you wear black.
Bascomb Grecian
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Redding, Ca.
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I knew I hit paydirt when the host of a private party I performed at said, "I have never seen a 15 piece suit!"

I dress "above" and "beyond" the crowd I perform for. This is a personality decision, I just feel better being dressed really sharp. I tried a casual look once.

I looked like a casual guy who shops at Mervyn's who does magic.

Ask yourself, if I was performing for the most important person in the world, (whoever that is)how would I dress?

Would I wear a t-shirt and jeans? ...I think not. Would you dress like a kid or a professional?
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magiciandude
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Utah
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I just wanted to say that I am very impressed with the results of this forum. Your appearance as a magician, makes a big impression on your spectators. If you are dressed like a slob, then they will assume your magic is worse than that of a chimpanzee.

Your clothing should reflect your attitude. If you dress like an astronaut and you have more of a clown personality, then you will make your audience think twice about coming back to your performances. Dress for success.

Lance R. Wilson
Smile Smile Smile Smile Smile
Magic is the psychology of the audience.
-Lance Wilson
Chessmann
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Your dress should always take into consideration:

1) Who is your audience
2) What your performance theme is
3) Will my dress interfere/enhance your performance technically and/or theatrically
My ex-cat was named "Muffin". "Vomit" would be a better name for her. AKA "The Evil Ball of Fur".
Shadow
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Akron, OH
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I relate to Bascomb, I always dress up.
If you would wear a tux to perform for the President, how do you tell little Johnnie he's not as special.
The MOST important person in the world
IS the one I’m working for NOW


Besides, I look marvelous in a tux.
Smile
MagiBob
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My two cents are to first define your character/persona then your dress/costume/outfit should be a no-brainer, just think what would my character wear??

If you are a corporate exec...a suit.
If you're a rock musician look for inspiration on MTV or local concerts.
If you're a traditional Robert-Houdin/Cardini type,...by all means tux and tails!!!!
David Blaine is a trendy everyman so his costume is very "normal" street clothes!
He KNOWS his character and dresses congruently.
Copperfield seems to me to be dressing down to be more "friendly" so his comedy will work and he won't seem so elitist. He dressed more like an 80's rock star back in the 80's. He is keeping up with the times and maintaining integrity.

If you happen to be a balding overweight mid 50's gentleman, it might be embarrasing to dress in spandex and pretend to be a young hot stud. But if you dress to look like a mid 50's gentleman, you would have congruence and would be well on your way to making the audience feel at ease in your company and trust you as a performer which is half the battle.

So, go with your strengths.
I read recently in a book... but I can't remember who wrote it, arrrgghhh...anyway, the author suggested you dress like you are going someplace just a little nicer once you leave where you are. That way you show the client you care about how you look but are not "over" dressing which might appear condescending.

But hey, If you look like Paula Paul or Lance Burton or S&R or Melinda...Go for it!!!

Just some thoughts.



Figure out who your performing personna is and then dress accordingly. Smile
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