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Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Thanks, Your post is excellent advice.
Dennis Michael
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Profile of magicguy88
This is SUCH a great topic. I wrote a HUGE post that I accidently deleted.

I've seen such SLOVENLY dressed magicians that it makes me sick. Fat belly hanging out of an untucked t-shirt, dirty jeans, unshaven, dirty hands and unkept fingernails. It REALLY irritates me.
So long as the Copperfield's of the world are playing to sold out houses and the Blaine's of the world are creating high-rating tv specials they probably don't care what other magicians think. There jeans, t-shirts, and hairstyles probably cost more than three of our tuxedo's and were probably picked out by some highly paid wardrobe consultant.

I really think that unless you are to this level.. you need to put your client/audience first. I do a lot of corporate work. I try to dress equal to or above my client. I usually (for corporate) will wear a vest and a tie but something a little sharper. i.e. silver tie and vest with a midnight blue shirt. Although I recommend something silly and more laid back for birthday's if the mother wants a tux, I wear a tux. (Cursing) D@#$ I have to dress like a farmer this weekend to do balloons for a fall fest. I AM NOT looking forward to it. But this is for a client who always calls me and gets me more prestigous gigs throughout the year.

If you haven't downloaded "the poem" from Michael Ammar's site DO IT!

Here is an excerpt:

"am I one who's tearing down as I carelessly make my way around? Or am I one who builds with care? So my family, my community is just a little bit better because I was there."

The next time you dress for a gig... really question how you are representing your art and your fellow artists. That's just my two cents.



Oh yes... one more thing. I am a goofy looking guyI am really goofy. It would be funny to get the fog machines, wind in my hair, and leather pants but I honestly think that it would look funny while I do my spring raccoon routine. I'll stick to the corporate get-up.

Ryan Smile
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Hamilton, NZ
341 Posts

Profile of ChrisZampese
I am reminded of a story from my youth... I attended a conference run by an overseas magician (Dave Lord from australia). He was speaking on self promotion and asked us how many of us had noticed his shoes when he came in the room (he had 'magical' looking shoes). 90% of the magicians attending raised their hands. I know that people notice the way we present ourselves. Whatever your persona make sure that you present yourself well
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are
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Profile of SnakeBabe
Whether it is kid shows or adult show I try never to wear what the audience could be wearing.
Steve (August) once told me “Never wear anything off the rack. They pay good money to see a show not a pair of jeans and a T-shirt” (sorry David Blaine)

This is not true for all shows but I still find that it is good practice to dress as a show person if you are a show person.

I also go back to thoughts of Ricky Dunn the pickpocket. He was such a showman that before the show, once he got in his tux he would not even sit down in fear of wrinkling his pants. He wanted to project an image and he truly did. To me, that’s a pro.

The current Magic show I am taping went against all that when they required me to wear street clothes. Yes the magic was the focus and it really was a lot of fun but I wanted to be a total package and I felt I was lacking in all that I could be wearing street clothes.

Hugs and Hissessss,
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Profile of mvmagic
How one dresses always communicates something and when a performer dresses properly also I think shows respect towards the audience.

When the situation calls for it, it's always a tux for me. For a bit less formal occasions I wear a suit. I have a great dislike for ties so I always wear a shirt with a japanese-style collar.

When doing illusions I don't feel comfortable in a suit and all my stage clothing is Versace which is certainly different from what people here generally wear. It's a neat combination of somewhat casual look with a distinct flavor of design.
Sent from my Typewriter
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Lehi, UT, USA
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Jim Cellini did a street show for years with a very colorful costume, very flowing to draw attention. He later changed to a suit coat and round derby hat. As a street performer, he needed to keep cool and dress as to attract and keep an audience. I imagine that any type of outdoor performance would have the same needs.

He made a point in his lecture about how a magician used to be recognized immediately by his clothes.

I think that when putting on a show, you should dress like your putting on a show. Traditional shows and presentation require traditional dress, low key performances should dress low key. Kids performances and dress should attract kids.
Magic is fun!!!
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Lakeland, FL
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Profile of belfazar
My rule of thumb is to dress like I'm going somewhere BETTER later. Smile
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Profile of chmara
I guess Father Daniel Roland (The Spiritual Magic of Father Daniel - touring Arizona, California and Oregon this summer) is one of the few of us who has basic costuming licked. He's a bona-fide Roman Catholic Priest... O.D.

Last year the Arizona State Magician of the Year Contest (IBM & SAM sponsored by all chapters) was won by the Great Zamboni -- loud shirt, plastic cape, faux buck teeth and all.

Kerry Pollak keeps working in everything from a sports shirt (in Hawaii) to a Tux when needed -- and Billy McComb has some specific (more than opinions) on what magicians should and SHOULD NOT wear. His advice on how to maintain tuxedos and shirts is invaluable.

I have always thought Harry Blackstone Jr.s' take on costumes worked well --- always in charge of the stage in a tux -- and putting on costume robes OVER the evening dress.

I have had some success (locally) in using an old ploy from cabaret performers I saw in the 1940s and 50's when I was growing up. Dress to the nines (formal) and change character with hats (Carsoni was a take off on this and Blackstone) and putting audience members in turbans (originally from Foxxy one) alway brought more audience participation.

When I costume for mentalism I think of what an anthropologist who has searched the world for psychic secrets would wear (I sure wish I could look as good as Sean Connery as Indiana Jones Senior did.

Weddings, Bar Mitzvahs are tux events -- once in a lifetime for most couples. Let the DJ be casual --- I want to project special.

Character costumes -- Ala Eric Buss, Rudy Koby and Sylvester come with their limitations... and challenges.

I sure would hate to show up at a ren faire in a tux -- and I feel Merlinesque is overdone. What else did alchemists wear??? Since "King Tut" the album by the great Flydini has anyone SUCESSFULLY pulled of an old Egyptian character?

And what more can be said than "Ali Bongo."

Gregg Chmara Smile Smile
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ

C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
Daniel Faith
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Neenah, Wisconsin
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I think it is important to dress to your image. Of course there is more to think about. I do almost exclusively children and family type shows. I wear various things but my favorite is my bright blue sport coat with black pants.

Sometimes I wear a colorful vest instead of a jacket.

I am putting together a new character named Merlin the magic clown for which I am having a custom outfit made. Yes it's bright and combines both clown and wizard into it.

Don't worry about stereotypes. Just dress to your character.

Dress matters less now than ever before. Look how Copperfield dresses for his current tour. A white t-shirt and a blue shirt unbuttoned and the tail out.

There is another school of thought that says always dress one step better than the group you are performing for. I am not so sure this is valid any more. Perhaps for adult shows.
Daniel Faith
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Profile of BlackSalt
Your costume must represent your persona, the caliber of your act, and wherever possible, leave a memorable impression. Thus, "dress a level up from the group for which you're performing."

I believe in wearing tuxes if you are performing at a black tie affair and if your tux costs $3000.00 or more. The quality of tuxes range widely and people who wear them socially know the difference.

As a corporate entertainer, I personally do not wear a tux and rarely don my jacket. My stage wardrobe is built with quality suits, patent leather shoes, and shirts and ties deliberately chosen for quality of manufacture and distinctive appearance. The cost per shirt and tie is extravagant, but I neither look like anyone else in the audience nor out of place standing beside the CEO.
Michael BlackSalt
A Vacation For The Mind!
Vibono Magic
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Profile of Vibono Magic
I beleve that most kids has a certain image on how a magician will look that is way of the I most of the time I use a tux however i Also use a tail coat in some shows.
When working in a tux for children you don't have to be to clasical so i sometimes for tthe older kids were a red and black desiner shirt (black on ons side and red on the other).
Vibono Mirage
Magic entertainer and Balloon artist
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Profile of RiffClown
On 2002-03-30 09:15, DenDowhy wrote:
we are not clowns...we are supposed to look like magicians...

What are your thoughts on this issue?

AHEM - - - Smile

Some of us are.
Rob "Riff, the Magical Clown" Eubank aka RiffClown
<BR>Magic is not the method, but the presentation.
Peter Marucci
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Profile of Peter Marucci
Hats off (if you wear one!) to C. H. Mara for his insighful comment: "Let the DJ be casual --- I want to project special."

That's it in a nutshell!

Project special! Because it IS a special occasion for your audience; it may not be for you but who cares? You're not the one paying the freight!

But, remember, special doesn't mean ridiculous! If you look like a middle-aged bank president, then chains and leather are probably not for you; if you are a teenager into Goth, then a powder-blue tux isn't for you (was it EVER for ANYBODY?)

Your outfit must not only be special but also believable, in a certain, perverse and weird way.

For example, after doing a kids' show, I will stop off at my favorite pub to unwind. I'm still in the clothes that I have worn to the show. And the invariable comment is, "Have you been working?" to which I reply, "Yes, I hope you don't think I always dress like this!" or "No, I've been to a clown's funeral!"

The outfit for kids' shows is an orange, white, and black checked jacket; red pants; a plaid shirt; a roll-up "happy face" tie; in other words, "traffic stopping" without actually dressed like a clown!

Of course, for adult or corporate shows, obviously it's not the same!

However, if you are under about 20 years old, a tux is probably not right for you. Sure, there are exceptions (and you probably are one!)

But -- AND THIS IS IMPORTANT -- if you are going to wear a tux, DO IT RIGHT!

1: Despite the fact that there is a jacket button, the jacket is NEVER worn buttoned up.

2: If you wear a cummerbund, rather than a vest, the openings on the pleats go up, not down (look at the pleats as little pockets).

3: Never, ever wear a top hat with a tuxedo. A top hat is worn ONLY with white tie and tails.

4: Never, ever wear a white tie with a tux or a black tie with tails (in the first case, you'll look ridiculous; in the second case, you'll look like a waiter).

5: With both a tux and tails, French cuffs and cuff links ONLY (no buttons, please!)

6: Ideally, patent leather shoes, but polished black shoes, in any case. No brown, no scuff marks, no sneakers!

There are more but if you stick with the above, you'll be okay.
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Profile of schmitty65
I go for the David Blaine look, T-shirt and pants.
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Profile of WizzBang
Dress neatly and for a purpose. First impressions count but once the magic starts this is the time to show what you're really made of. No sloppiness in Magic right.
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