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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The clothes we wear » » Your looks... How important is it to your Magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Pakar Ilusi
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Mr. Jones, I see your points sir. Good points they are. I'm biased to these "Dance illusionist" type of performers as I am one and was asking more towards their persona.

I've heard that joke before Thomas! Smile

Hackmonkey, have to ask? Just ONE contact lense? In just one eye? Btw, you're the perfect person to ask this. Do you try to keep in shape (good shape that is!) as your looks are an asset as you've mentioned and what do you do? Fashion wise, how do you keep up?

Thanks for the replies everyone! Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Scott F. Guinn
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"Great Scott!" aka "Palms of Putty" & "Poof Daddy G"
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I find that my looks can actually be detrimental to my magic. I am so pretty, people have a hard time concentrating on what I am saying and doing! Smile
"Love God, laugh more, spend more time with the ones you love, play with children, do good to those in need, and eat more ice cream. There is more to life than magic tricks." - Scott F. Guinn
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Stephen Long
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You poor, unfortunate soul, Scott.
To be cursed in such a manner must severely hinder your attempts at creating effective magic.
And you have my sympathy.

I believe Mike Robbins hit it on the head when he said this:
Quote:
I find it important that my appearance is consistent with my character. Consistency is the key.

Consistency is the key.
It is only important to keep up with "fashion" (whatever that is) if it ties in with the persona you are attempting to create.

As a performer of magic you have a very unique power over your audience: whether you play up to this or not should be reflected in your attitude which should be, in turn, reflected by your appearance.

Not all magicians should be muscular, debonair, and sophisticated rougues.

Consistency - with your magic, with yourself, with your audience, and with the venue in which you are performing.

:coolspot:
Hello.
dpe666
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Looks are very important to me. My looks instantly tell my audiences that I am a spooky, freaky kinda guy. My looks usually let me get away with more than I would otherwise. Smile
Reg Rozee
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A question regarding a specific area of appearance - I read a long time ago that if you were a card worker or close-up artist, a manicure was a really good idea since people would be mostly looking at your hands. Do you feel this is necessary, or are self-maintained hands (still clean and trimmed) sufficient? I have never had one and must admit I am somewhat leery of trying it.

-bigwolf {*}
Reality is what doesn't go away when you stop believing in it. -Phillip K. Dick



Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes? -Chico Marx
Donny Orbit
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Bigwolf,

As far as the manicure goes, IMO, it isn't necessary. I myself wear black fingernail polish and no one has said anything about my fingernails. Granted, your nails and cuticles should be kept clean, but they don't have to be buffed to a glossy shine. Sometimes when I used to perform in the North where it was cold the skin around my cuticles would crack and bleed, and I still got paying gigs. In that case, you just have to make sure your magic more than compensates for your hands.

Kraft
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Chad Sanborn
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As they say, the clothes make the man!
I personally always look neat when I go out. As stated before, you never know when you will meet a client. I always tuck in my shirt and wear a belt. Even if I am just in jeans and a t-shirt. Neatness counts. As a general rule, I have 2 sets of clothes. Performing clothes and street clothes. I never mix the two. The clothes I wear when I perform make a statement about who and what I am and also stay within the fashionable guidelines of the day. They also set me apart from my audience. I can safely say, that I will always be dressed differently than anyone in my audience. (except that time when I performed at the nudist camp!) My street clothes are normal everyday clothes, but are kept neatly folded and pressed. They may not make me stand out from the crowd, but how I wear them does.

Chad
John Clarkson
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Quote:
On 2002-12-26 14:08, Justin Flom wrote:
Copperfield used to have more classy outfits and changed about every other trick. Now he always wears that blue button-up shirt and doesn't change. I personally like it when someone changes throughout the show. Rick Thomas, Rick Wilcox, and/or the Majetix are some people who are good at this. What do you think?

Justin


The first time I tried to change clothes in the middle of my act, I was escorted out of the building before I could pull my trousers back up. I was performing a close-up routine in the Hat and Hare Pub at The Castle.

So, I guess it depends upon your venue...

Smile
John D. Clarkson, S.O.B. (Sacred Omphaloskeptic Brotherhood)
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"There is nothing more important to a magician than keeping secrets. Probably because so many of them are Gay."
—Peggy, from King of the Hill (Sleight of Hank)
Thoughtreader
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Like it or not, this IS Show business. The first word being "Show" which does entail how you look. As you drive up to your show, you will be sized up just by what you drive up in. If it is a rusting old hulk, they automatically assume that business has not been so good, BUT when you drive up in a beautiful new soprts car, they know that you must be good to be able to pay for this. When you approach the building they begin to judge you just by your appearance. Remember, if you are wearing a $3000 designer suit, expensive jewlery, they already know you must be good as well as they can immediately tell from your looks that the very high fee you are charging MUST be worth it. This is all decided BEFORE you even begin your performance.

This is ALL part of the business we are in. You may not like it BUT that is how it works. Perception is everything in show business which like it or not is a dirty, lie, a cheat of a business BUT that is how you must play the game. I have an extensive essay on this very subject if anyone is interested which is in my last book. Just to finish, I will remind you that Al Koran used to tell people that you must dress one step higher than your audience and dress in clothes that while it may cost you a meal or two to lose was an investment. Remember, if you are working for Fortune 500 companies, you have to dress for it!

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
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markjens
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I have seen the extremes being voiced here, and I know that there will be resistance in either direction. I don't care, I am a wild man, I am just going to wade in regardless. Smile

I don't believe I need to rent a Ferrari to do a walk around gig for a birthday party, nor do I think Armani is a real necessity. While ignoring this letter of the law, I must enforce the spirit of it—people really ARE going to make snap judgements about you as you drive up. They really are going to make assumptions about you as they look at you for the first time. If you aren't dressed well, they will assume that you are likely not top drawer, but perhaps 'affordable.' Probably not the image any of us wants, as someone who is a bargain basement magician for hire.

Consistency is important to the act you present, but if you are a close up magician, either get a manicure, or befriend one, hire him or her to give you one and be frank. "I can't afford to come here once a week, I am a poor working man, can you teach me how to maintain my hands?" This is very important to both you and your audience. The condition of your hands tells them something about you, and the confidence and pride that are inside you will be reflected in your magic.

I am assuming here that you are a disciplined sort whose practice sessions far exceed his performances. The real pros in magic are very conscious of the impression that they project. It isn't by accident that Burger wears all black against his gray beard. It isn't by accident that turtlenecks in various colors are used.

I wouldn't dare make assumptions about any one of you or your dress, but I would say take a look at yourself, your dress, your hands, and be the person that you want your audience to see.
Deal A Deuce
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Be yourself. You can be amazing in a tee shirt or tail; it doesn't affect your magic. However people DO decide whether or not they are going to like our show before we even start!
Pakar Ilusi
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Good points all! Smile

Will take note... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Jonathan Townsend
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Looks?? Basic appearance perhaps can impact your professional career. The basic questions are:

How do you present yourself in business context?

How to you present yourself in social context?

How do you present yourself when in performing character?

These are seperate questions. Each is important to your career as a magician.

Being effective involves getting results. The results can be particular to your approach to business/social intercourse/performing, and your goals.

Oh, here is the biggie: What do you want to happen? ie What is your desired outcome from the situation?

Questions, always questions...

Me.... well my answers are evident from the stories you may have heard and the works that are published and perhaps the posts I've made on this BBS.

It's your life and your answers to the questions above are a big part of how you move in the world. Until someone states their preferred outcomes I can't offer any constructive feedback.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Pakar Ilusi
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Ah...Questions... Smile

"How do you present yourself when in performing character?" AND what do you do to maintain and improve on it?

This is the question I'm gravitating towards in this post...

Thanks JonTown! Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Schaden
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I believe so...

I can't stand to look at Malone. He always manages to make me sick to my stomach.

Lee
Peter Marucci
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Okay, so you can't afford an Armani suit; nobody said you had to have one. But the one you wear should be cleaned and pressed. And you should be clean, too. I can't believe that there is anyone here who can't afford a bar of soap, a toothbrush, and some deodorant!

You can argue all you want that the important thing is what you do. But the reality is: You WILL be judged by the very people you want to impress (your audience, your client, etc.) within 30 seconds of showing up and long before you have done anything! And that judgment will be on what you look like! You and your clothes should -- nay, MUST -- be clean.

So you can't afford a gym or personal trainer to stay in shape; walking is FREE and just as effective. Discipline and common sense is all that is needed. Unfortunately, today discipline is a "bad" word and common sense is very uncommon.
Smile
ChrisZampese
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Definitely agree with Peter on this one,

You have to wear what suits your character. Just look at the difference between David Blaine and David Copperfield. Two very successful magicians, two very different styles...
BUT
No matter what you wear, you must be clean, well groomed and pleasantly odoured!

I am sure DB, despite his 'average Joe' persona, does not go out on the streets smelling of stale sweat and alcohol with bacon fat and dried ketchup all over his hands, bloodshot eyes and long hairs hanging out of his nose!

It is impossible to say 'you must wear *****' because we are all so different, but it is possible to say you must wear it 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
Diavo
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I'm a 22 year old swing kid, so I'm always dressed in black slacks and lounge shirts. I always tend to look a little better than those around me, and that helps attract attention when I have a deck of cards in my hand in public!
It's like an aura. I wouldn't dare lose it.

--Diavo Smile
I'm not just a magician, I'm an interpreter of Reality.
Underground, above ground, whatever. I don't need a label, thanks.
Pakar Ilusi
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Everything Peter said! Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Scott Ocheltree
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Your looks... How important is it to your Magic?

Very. It may be superficial but I think it does matter. Do you have to be a dashing poster boy? No.

But you have to pay attention to it.

I worry about the look of all my props, tables, etc. as well we my clothes and personal hygene.

Most of my magic work is for children at birthday parties and libraries. I want to look like a magician. It may be a bit of a caricature, but I want to present an image that says "Magician".

My avatar picture is from a performance for the Christmas dinner of the company I work for. I'm wearing a grey business suit with a black dress shirt and a Jerry Garcia tie. But for most performances I wear black slacks, black tuxedo vest, collarless white shirt with jeweled button cover, sleeves rolled up. I think my role/character is clearly communicated.

I'm not trying to be David Blaine.
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