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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The clothes we wear » » Taking off your shoes. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
935 Posts

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I work mostly for children's parties, and I have noticed at some homes the big pile of shoes at the door. Do you usually take off your shoes or leave them on? I've never been asked to take mine off, but when I see no one else has theirs on, I wonder. FYI- my shoes are always immaculately clean and are sharp! They are a pair of black and white Doc Martin Wingtips. Just wondered!
Edd
Visit the Wizard of Sorts at http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
Ron Reid
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Phoenix, Arizona
2733 Posts

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Hi Edd:

I always wear mine in these situations; however, you have me thinking. Some people are awfully particular about their carpets... maybe it's proper ettiquette to offer to remove the shoes.

I'll be curious to see what others say.

Ron
boltt223
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Arizona, USA
175 Posts

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Edd,
Same as Ron, I always leave mine on and have not been asked to remove them. I did ask at one party because the carpet was pure white, but the host answered "of course not." Smile
daniel1113
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I would just keep them on, but make sure they are clean. Surely the host doesn't expect a magician that is all dressed up, ready to perform, to remove his shoes.

And, if for some reason you get the carpet dirty, don't worry about it. After all, you're a magician... Smile
Daniel M. Carrico
RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
1989 Posts

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Play it safe and ask if they'd like to have you perform with or without shoes. I'm sure, in most cases, they'd insist you keep them on. You can then proceed knowing that you at least offered to indulge them.
Alex Linian
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Peru
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My aunt is one of those Clean Carpet freaks (lol). Everytime I perform at her house, I already know that I have to take off my shoes. However, If I were performing at someone else's house, I'd probably ask too.
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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I always carry my shoes with me. If I see shoes at the door, I remove my street shoes as a courtesy, no questions asked. I put my performance shoes on just before I begin. It's not the shoes on the carpet, but the dirt on the shoes that the host is trying to avoid.
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BonzoTheClown
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I must give a strong word of warning here:

In some cultures and countries it is deemed extremely offensive to walk into a house wearing outdoor shoes:

These include Japanese and Russian households. You will usually be provided with indoor guest slippers. In a Russian household, there is usually a clear demarkation after you step through the front door, beyond which you must not cross wearing outdoor shoes.

Other places, it's considered extremely offensive to remove your shoes and show your feet.

Exercise common sense. The easiest thing to do is to see what the host of the party is wearing on their feet and follow suit.

Marc Climens
ChrisZampese
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Hamilton, NZ
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I used to do kids' shows, and on occasion I had to cross wet/muddy paths to get to a front dorr. In this case, I always removed my shoes when I went inside. I used to wear socks with pom poms, or toe socks (the ones with individual toes, like gloves). At least that way my socks were still 'magical'.

Carrying your performance shoes with you is a good idea too (nice one Dave).
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
wizardofsorts
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Chicago, IL
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I haven't checked back on this post in awhile. Thanks for the answers guys. Carrying your shoes makes sense and keeps them from getting dirty anyway. Which I'm always trying to prevent.
Edd
Edd Fairman, Wizard of Sorts is a corporate magician available for your next trade show, hospitality suite, client luncheon, or company event. http://www.wizardofsorts.com
itsmagic
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middle earth
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It really depends on the host and their traditions. Most Asians would be offended if you wore your shoes in the house, whether the house is carpeted or not. Even if you bring "performance shoes" (which is an excellent idea by the way), if the host's culture is to be barefooted in a house, you must oblige. They may not say anything to you if you wore your shoes in the house, however, it's a cultural courtesy you extend to your clients.
Bob T.
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I like Dave's idea of carrying your shoes. I also agree with Chris, wearing funny socks. I wear two different clown socks and when the kids notice, I look confused for a second then say "That's funny. I have another pair just like these at home." I think the best thing is be polite and ask if they would like you to remove your shoes.
Review King
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Eternal Order
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What a FANTASTIC question. I never thought of it. This is what I will do. I'll ask if they prefer guests to remove their shoes. IF they say no, it's ok. If they do, they will appreciate the thoughtfulness!

Edd, good job!!!!
"Of all words of tongue and pen,
the saddest are, "It might have been"

..........John Greenleaf Whittier
Rob Johnston
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Utah
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I am completely opinionated about this subject. I have a pet peeve when someone invites me into their home then makes me take off my shoes (I am one of those guys that treasure my shoes and never take them off).

When you are performing, there should not be a problem, and usually no one will ask you to take off your shoes.

A carpet is meant to be walked on, with or without shoes. Enjoy it.
"Genius is another word for magic, and the whole point of magic is that it is inexplicable." - Margot Fonteyn
snedglow
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Pine Grove, PA
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There's a great opportunity for a warm-up production here: reach into thin air and produce a pair of slippers while asking if you should take your shoes off!
-Randy
[email]rsnedden@closeupmagic.org[/email]
Smile
~~~~~
“Chance is but the pseudonym of God for those particular cases which He does not choose to subscribe to openly with His own signature ... ”
itsmagic
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middle earth
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Astinus, that's fine you feel that way. Just remember that not everyone feels the way you do. It's personal courtesy you extend to your host or client. I'm sure if you explain to them that you ALWAYS prefer to perform with your shoes on, they may oblige your request, however, some clients will not invite you back.

I know it's just shoes on carpets for crying out loud, but then again, it's deeper than that. Some traditions feel bringing shoes into the house is bad luck. Furthermore, there are super clean freaks out there who are deadly paranoid of dirt and other unclean things on their carpet. These are people you see who are barefooted in there house.

No one can change your opinion about shoes on carpet, and remember you can't change others' traditions or preference either.
JesterMan
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Maryland, USA
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For those who have their own opinion about removing (or NOT) shoes, remember these two questions:

1) Whose house is it?

2) Who's paying you?

You are a guest in their home, and you must abide by their household policies. You should not even question them about YOU being allowed to keep your shoes on as you prepare to step over the multitude of other's shoes surrounding the entry. If that is too big a problem, then I suggest you ask before you get there, and suggest they find someone else if they insist that you do like everyone else in their home, and you can't.

This is the custom in many (not just Asian) countries. Actually, the first time I was asked to remove my shoes was in a small town in 'Coal Country', Appalachia.

While living in Japan, I had the perfect answer for maintaining my character, who wears mis-matched shoes and socks. I took my own mis-matched indoor-only slippers. If you are THAT hung up on footwear, this may be an answer that meets your quirks, and the boss' demand that you abide by their rules. (Slippers are allowed/expected/usually provided there, except in 'tatami' rooms, rooms with a thatched matting floor.)

In the end, you do what you want at your house, but follow the booker's rules at theirs. It really matters not whether it is a clean thing or a cultural thing. It's THEIR thing, and they are paying you, so you leave YOUR thing at the door.

(Astinus) I do agree with you on the first line. I am (also) opinionated on this subject. Even if my home were not a shoe-free zone, it is the opinion of the owner of the home you are in that matters.

By the way, don't your shoes get soggy and moldy in the shower. Smile (I wear my shoes in homes where others do, even though I feel odd not removing them at the door, so I DO understand giving up our own personal habits, too.)

(Dave S) Sometimes it IS the shoes in the house (carpet or not), so the question should still be asked, even about "performance shoes". For the homes where it is not cultural, that is a great compromise.

(Daniel) What? Please tell me that you are joking. (By the way, I live in a house with two people named Carrico.)

(Itsmagic) You are SOOO right... they may not say anything, so as to not embarrass you, but you WILL be considered a clod by the audience if you don't at least ask.

JM Smile Smile
JM Smile Smile

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RandyStewart
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Texas (USA)
1989 Posts

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It's been a while since I checked back on this topic. For those of us living stateside I find this topic very strange. I personally have never been asked to take my shoes off and I've visited with very diverse people and family.

My sister's home is like a museum - CAN'T TOUCH OR SIT ON ANYTHING! One area of the house I've never set foot on as I refuse to take my shoes off. I insisted if you can't enjoy it by using it then don't bother with it.

However I can understand some have severe allergies and attempt to minimize dirt brought into the home.
NJJ
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I've removed my shoes ONCE for a show and I was wearing odd socks! (both black but one thick hiking style and one business style)

No one notice but I felt like a twit.

And the smell..... Smile

I do Bill Malones bill to lemon which involves removing the shoe. I always wear clean socks for it!
Skinny Man
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UK
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Quote:
On 2003-12-16 16:48, ChrisZampese wrote: I used to wear socks with pom poms, or toe socks (the ones with individual toes, like gloves). At least that way my socks were still 'magical'.
I beg to differ!! These socks may be many things, but 'magical' they ain't! Clown-esque perhaps, childish maybe, but magical...? Smile
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