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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The clothes we wear » » Pulled back sleeves (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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bsears
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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I'm wondering if anyone has any strong feelings about working in a sport coat or suit and pulling the sleeves back?

This is the way I've done it for 10+ years. There is no doubt that it increses the level of deception. (I do mostly sleight of hand). But I've heard from a few people that it is very unfashionable. Well, I'm a magician, not a model, and nearly every show I do someone comments how "impossible" it is that I don't use my sleeves.

Seems worth it to me, just thought I'd throw it out there...
Jim Wilder
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Birmingham, AL
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When I have occasionally worked in a jacket, I pull the sleeves back. It, in my own mind, helps ease the audience into accepting that the magic is not dependant on my sleeves.
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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When you see me with pushed up sleeves it is usually to hide something. However, I do something else for closeup that is along the same lines. I put whatever is in my hands down on the table and take off my wrist watch. Then I put the watch on the table, pick up the props and start the real trick. It shows that there is nothing there without having to say it directly. Putting the watch back on also let's people know that the show is over. (At trade shows in particular, changing audiences can be important. It gives them a cue.)

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
bsears
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Bob - Maybe I missed your point. Could you explain how taking off your watch shows that you don't or won't use your sleeves?
Tyler_Magician
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Taking off your watch when doing magic is kind of like washing the dishes. Someone standing near you knows that you are going to wash the dishes because you are taking off your watch. After you are done, you put the watch back on and the person knows that you are done washing.
When you pull your sleeves up, it seems that you are more intimate with your audience. They can act natural because you are more of a normal person. With your sleeves down, you seem like a man than is a magician and they act like they don;t know you as much. I'm confusing myself here.
-Tyler
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Bsears,

To take the watch off my hands have to be empty. The audience needs to see that. In the process of taking the watch off, the audience has really seen that neither sleeve has anything to hide either.

Watch your audience. With no chatter, they will really look you over and burn your sleeves and hands in the process. Remember it isn't the magician who needs convincing. It is the audience that is looking for the trick.

A magician’s credibility is based on what he shows the audience much more than what he tells the audience. They frankly won’t see you as honest and the value of what you say is very small when it comes to trust.

After over forty years in the business, I see no value in telling the audience that there is nothing up my sleeve. (As a point of honor with me, often there are body loads all over me.) I’m an entertainer, not a court witness. (I’ve been paid very well for both, but I do not mix them.)

Among educated adults, pushing up the sleeves on a formal or business suit does indeed mark me as a busboy or waiter rather than an entertainer. It doesn’t fit my magic. I’m nearly sixty, not sixteen. (But I didn’t do it then either. When I started in the 1960s, only foreign magicians did that in America. Then it was essentially South American entertains that did that. By the late 1970s they quit it too.) It was also one of those little things that marked you as a nightclub magician and not a corporate magician. The dollars are very different.

However, whatever you do still depends on your audience, the venue and the scope of your experience and ability. It has to fit. I don't like to see coat sleeves pulled up to expose shirt sleeves. There are times (usually trade shows and sales meetings) when I wear a golf shirt under a coat. Then there are no shirt sleeves to show. I think that looks better.

Enjoy!

Bob
Magic By Sander


Tyler,

Lucy and I are in the Gainsville / Ocala area this week and we will be back for the end of February. That is as close as we will get to you until October. Any chance we will get to meet you?
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
David Neighbors
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I all ways Pull up My sleeves Or Roll them up if I am Just In a vest! And have done so for the last 40 years! Sounds Good to me!


Best David Neighbors
The Coinjurer
http://www.coinjurer.com
David Neighbors



The Coinjurer

www.coinjurer.com
bsears
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Bob - I see your point, but, for me, the sleeves go back because DURING the show if something vanishes, changes, or whatever, the spectators will often think of the sleeve. I can't blame them, really, it is the easiest explaination and its sooooo close to the hand. So I roll them up. (and sometimes get confused for the manager - not the waiter - waiters don't wear suit/sport coats usually).
BlackShadow
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I think it looks better if you wear tighter fitting sleeves and something like a waiscoat. For street performing anyway, but it could be smart enough for a resteraunt too. A waistcoat is good because it gives you pockets without the bulk of sleeves and a jacket as possible explanation for vanishes etc. So, if your sleights don't require it, why leave that explanation hanging?

I also wear dark clothing. I'm a goth in any case so that's what I wear, but dark clothes give a good contrast for the props. Green and red silks or sponges look great against a black background but not so good against pale flesh. If you have darker skin, that's a natural advantage in this situation.
philblackmore
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Does it look smarter to have shirt sleeves rolled up or to have the sleeves cut off at the elbow and sewn so you have short sleeves?
I am going to be wearing a dress shirt (either with a bow-tie or neru/mandarin collar) under a waistcoat. What do you think? Short sleeves or rolled up?
bsears
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I think short sleeves can look OK in a vest, though I prefer to "roll" them. I saw a mentalist do a lecture at a convention and he had a short sleeved tux shirt on, by itself. I know, it sounds horrible, but it looked good on him. In fact, there were questions from the audience wondering where they could buy one! (it was custom made)

In a jacket, I have gone from "rolled up" to "pushed back" myself.
fccfp
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As Bob said, people do not generally push there sleeves back when wearing dress clothes.

However, you must do what works for you and fits your style. A lot may depend on the venue and the character you are creating.

I will show up to out door perf in my tux because that is "the uniform". I quickly shed the jacket and work in my vest w/ open collar dress shirt. If it is hot I will roll up my sleeves when setting up to do the handcuff release. I think that is natural since I am having volunteers put the cuffs on me. Once up, they stay up. As I get ready for the finale, which is a photo op, the jacket will come back (along with the cape. I usually don't bother rolling the sleeves back down at that point.

When I was a lot younger (& thinner) I worked a summer barbecue in a bathing suit just because the person hiring me said he did not think I could do it. (We won't talk about where I hid my body loads here in a family oriented forum.

On occasion when doing close up I have taken off my cuff links and rolled the shirt cuffs back over the jacket sleeves. I think it created a dramatic effect in that I was still neatly dreesed but the sleeves where higher than usual. I got the idea from seeing Sammy Davis Jr. do it in a tux on the old Merv Griffen show. (boy am I dating myself now).
A.K.A. Jay The Magician
www.jaythemagician.com
Dr_Stephen_Midnight
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Sleight-of-hand onstage or on a platform - yes.
Same at a close-up table - no.
Escape artists - yes.
Mentalists - NEVER.

Steve
Dr. Lao: "Do you know what wisdom is?"
Mike: "No."
Dr. Lao: "Wise answer."
Clifford the Red
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Don't proctologists roll up their sleeves as well? Yeow!

I think it really depends on how you are performing. If the audience is engaged at a puzzle level, then it is probably necessary to fool them.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
bsears
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Clifford: Its ALWAYS a good idea to fool them.
Clifford the Red
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Uh, no. It's necessary to entertain them. No one likes to be a fool.
"The universe is full of magical things, waiting for our wits to grow sharper." Eden Philpotts
bsears
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I do it nicely, of course Smile
redbull
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I am a huge believer in always working with sleeves rolled up for any sort of sleighht of hand magic. You will NEVER see me do an effect without my sleeves rolled up.

As for your sport coat. It's not the most stylish thing in the world but I have had to roll up my sport coat sleeves during some performances. I would suggest perhaps only rolling up your sleeves before those magic moments when the sleight could happen. So right before you place the coin in your hand to make it vanish, you roll up your sleeves, then make the coin vanish. Not only would it tell your audience that you don't use your sleeves but it will also say, "watch close, something magical is about to happen."
bsears
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Redbull: True!
TommyTheTremendous
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In my opinion, I think it is funny to see someone say that I have something up my sleeves. I hate working with sleeves because they can get in the way. If I want to hide something, I will do it somewhere where no one would expect it. The viewers should know that if the performer already knows the audience will probably blame a hidden object on his or her sleeves, than why hide it there? Just my 2 cents on sleeves.
- Tommy Magic
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