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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Suit or Tails/Tux (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

RVM7
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Hello everyone,


I am beginning on my stage magic and I am thinking of either a suit or a tails/tux. In my act I have card manipulations, rope, escape, some other things and doves.
I'm just going to produce them. So which do you think is better? A suit or tails/tux


Thanks.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
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We really need to see you in the suits to say which better fits your body build. A tails suit should be really custom made, to take on off the rack and try to convert it for dove productions is really difficult.

I have found the best type of jacket is one that is a converted casual jacket that is worn like wind breakers and such with a zipper down the front. Remove the Zipper, install shoulder pads, remove the any elastic on wrist and waist. Making it like a short version of a suit jacket. Additional inside structering may need to be installed to have the jacket fall correctly. A good seemstress can easily convert a casual sport jacket to an unusual stylish jacket for a magician.

If you decide to purchase an off the rack suit jacket, then you have to get a size bigger then you wear. Thus some padding and tailoring still may need to be done to have it fall correctly.

It also depends how many dove you are planning to produce. A tails suite can produce 9 or 10 doves and a suit coat can produce 8 or 9 doves.

Good luck on your choice, it will be expensive any way you choose to go. My best advice is to see a 'real' mens store to get the best fitting advice when you go to purchase a suit. Proper fitting is the most important factor. Do not go to Wal-Mart and buy one of those oversize poorly made suits. Just saying ...
Graduate of Chavez School of Prestidigitation and Showmanship
tropicalillusions
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A lot of this would also depend on the sort of character or personality that you are going to exhibit. The dress accordingly. Just make sure you look clean and sharp. The outfit should accentuate the character. Chris Angel, David Blaine, David Copperfield, Rick Thomas, see how they all differ in some way to represent who they are with their clothing style? Get on the net, look over all the different styles of acts out there, and see how their outfits tailor to their performing market. Try to find your market you want to approach, then attack it head on, good luck.
RVM7
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I will have it custom tailored what I'm really thinking about is which one should I pick. I'm going to produce the doves from the sleeves. If I'm going for the suit I want it to look chic and really sharp when I wear it (like slim fit). What would be a good size of the sleeve (the opening)? I'm still deciding on either suit or tux.

Thanks everyone
dahih beik
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palestine
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If you are tall go for the tails .
RVM7
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I'm not tall though. Do you think a slim fit suit will work? I meant what would be a good size of the sleeve (opening). But I'm still open for your suggestions.

Thanks a lot
Bill Hegbli
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If you want a slim suit, you can forget dove magic using body loads and use the other methods like dove from ribbons and the like.

The way the sleeves have to be designed would not look right on a regular suit.

I suggest you get Tony Clark's DVD on the garment. From your comments, it sounds you have no knowledge of what you are getting into. To save yourself some wasted money, get the information 1st.
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RVM7
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I have Tony Clark's Behind the Seams, how about a body load like from a vest. And that's why I'm here because I'm starting out and learning.

Thanks
Dave Scribner
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There are very few performing situations now where a tails outfit fits. There are exceptions. If General Grant were to change from tails to a regular tux, he would look out of place because of the type of act he does. Because of the elaborate productions that Lance Burton does, he looks natural in some settings with tails.

The average performer however, doesn't work under those conditions. Personally, I wouldn't dress in a regular suit to do dove magic. A normal tux presents a sleek, smooth appearance and sets you apart from the audience.

The jacket, regardless of what you decide, must be larger than what you normally wear. I always recommend 2 sized larger if you are going to do body loads. You need to put large shoulder pads in it however so it looks the same before and after your productions.

From your post however, it sounds like you are just interested in using your sleeves. In most cases, that would be 1 bird in each sleeve. It is possible to load 2 but only a few performers do this and it takes some getting used to.

The standard rule of thumb is to increase the opening of the sleeve by about 3". You said you have Tony Clarks video so you know you cut the sleeve at the seam, insert a triangular piece of matching material approx 5" to 6" in length and resew it.

That's a rule of thumb. If you are going to have the jacket custom made, then take your dove with you to the tailor and have the sleeve enlarged to fit the dove. You only need enough space to slide the dove in and out smoothly.

It really isn't that noticeable from the audiences point of view. Noone is going to say, "hey, look how big his sleeves are". It just doesn't register with them. One reason is that the sleeve stays the same size before and after the production.

One cover up for this is after the sleeve production, you roll your shirt sleeve over the end of the sleeve but only if this fits your act.

Most of the "suits" I have worn over the years have been tuxes right off the rack at a men's store. I then have a tailor add the shoulder pads, sleeve inserts etc and the suits look just fine.
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dahih beik
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palestine
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You have to know were are you going to perform , I work with tails this was my desigion some time ago , myself I cant do the rest of the show in tails so I do the dove act then I go and change to something more comfortable if you can do this or the venue alaws you to ok otherwise it not practical but I love the feeling of wearing the tails I am a big guy .
amazing eric
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Amazing Eric
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I love working with the tails personally. I have only performed without the tails on a couple of occasions and that was because of the venue. Sleeve loads are nice but I have found that I don't really need it. I believe Master Shimada uses more than two doves with his sleeve loads
Dave Scribner
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Eric, I believe it would be almost impossible to load more than 2 doves in one sleeve and still have it look natural. You would have to make the sleeves very wide and overlap the doves inside but that's going to provide quite a buldge.
Where the magic begins
Bob Sanders
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One of the first decisions I recommend making is to decide if it is to be professional formal dress or a stage costume. They have very little in common and simply don't mix.

Rules for professional formal dress are pretty rigid. It takes some concerted effort to get it down right. If your audiences know the differences and you don't, it can be embarrassing to them and you. (Shoes are often a dead give away!)

Stage costumes are seldom appropriate at the mall but can really add to the show on stage. They give a lot of latitude.

The differences in white tie (tails) and black tie (tux) are carved in stone. I see many entertainers demonstrate that they don't know the dress rules there. If you don't know the dress rules there, avoid the embarrassment of proving it.

Street clothes are the safest for many. It is hard to argue with a sport coat and slacks. On stage, I often need the vest. Therefore, I do dress more formally.

Trivia note: during daylight hours a gentleman does not wear tails for formal events. The proper formal suit for that is a stroller and those are a long coat (not like tails) with striped grey trousers and grey hat. Rarely do you see that done properly. (Watch the Kentucky Derby formal events for pointers!)

Often, the safest yet flashy costume is a dinner jacket (tux coat - suit coat length jacket) and vest or even a cummerbund. (Never a hat!) It is allowable to use some color with these costumes yet you look like you take the event seriously as an adult. It is also forgivable at a formal dinner.

It is a very good question. There are good reasons why pros hire experts in this area.

Bob Sanders
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