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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The clothes we wear » » Information Wanted Regarding Costume Changes (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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First let me apologize if I have posted this in the wrong area. I was trying to find the appropriate forum but really did not find anything that fit.

Anyway, I am a leader of the Philadelphia Society of Young Magicians. Each year it always comes up that an act idea for one of the kids involves the use of a costume change or switch.

The problem is that this is an area I really know nothing about. I hate to hinder any type of creativity.

I was hoping to learn more about this area of magic and wanted to know if anyone can point me in the right direction.

Are there any books on the subject? Any lecture notes that may be of interest? Also, is there any web sites that can give me insight on this topic and finally, what has worked for any of you?

Thanks in advance. I appreciate it.
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Ty Argo
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Columbus, Ohio
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The main book/video on quick change costumes.

http://costumemagic.netfirms.com/
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-The Scot-
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People on the boards say this book and video is more for female costumes - for an assistant.

I don't know - I don't have the book.
alexkrey
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RUSSIA
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I have this book and video. Only suits for women are described in them.

Smile
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Ty Argo
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Oh. I did not know that. Thanks for telling us. You could probably still use it to get the mechanical aspects.
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magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Thanks guys. I really appreciate this. This may get me at least started in regards to learning the basic principles behind them. My wife is part of my show and we could certainly use that information in our own show. I will take a look at it.

Does anyopne else know of any books or other information on costume changes? Also, does anyone else use a costume change in their own act? If so, then what has worked for you.

Thanks again.
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Al Desmond
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I have also been told that this book does not go into the "real work." I have been spending a good amount of time looking into this (since I am using a quick change in a show I am producing in Sept.) and from what I gather, the real work is in the hands of a few people, mainly 3 or 4 Russian families who have passed the art down over the last 150 years. Arturo Brachetti is one of the "outsiders" who has managed to get the dig up the info.

Monica's book is very simple. As Arturo has said in interviews, if it has velcro, it's not the real thing.

And if you have ever seen Arturo perform, you'd understand that comment.
Marshall Thornside
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I don't know how my dad learned about constume changes in general. But then my dad sewed almost all my costumes including the ones I did costume changes to. So he may have learned on his own.
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magic4u02
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Marshall:
That is fascinating. Would you care to share with us some of what you know from your father in regards to how some of your costume changes worked and what worked well for you and what to avoid? Any information is so very helpful to me. Thanks in advanced, and I can understand if some of these secrets you may want to keep to yourself.
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LeeAlex2002
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I have the "real secret" of the costume changes (as used by the Russians and David and Dania). This is a very precious highly regarded secret that very few people know about - however I do believe that Kevin James will be blowing the lid on this shortly.... Smile
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

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magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Lee:
Thanks for your post and I can certainly understand about keeping close knit secrets. I also would not expect you to give away any of this information.

I am simply trying to find any resources on the topic and where I can learn more about them. It has always fascinated me and I figured it was worth exploring.
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LeeAlex2002
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It certainly is worth exploring, but there is very little ( if any) information out there either in book form, or on the net.
Although I have never seen first hand the details contained within the video and book mentioned above, I have only heard bad things about both. Another Indian company offers some very poorly made costumes at a very cheap price.

In the US I know that the costume makers to Lance Burton ( Betty) are able to make quick change costumes but again I can not confirm whether they use the Russian methods ( and they are extremely expensive!).
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

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Eldon
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See if you can contact Maria Schweiter. SP? She is Mike Powers wife. I see his post from time to time. She does an amazing costume change in her act. The fastest I've ever seen.
magic4u02
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Lee: Thanks for your post and your information. I have heard the book and video mentioned but the price seems vary high to me for what you get. I guess I will just have to ask around some more and talk to some people who may have tried some of the on stage costume switches.

I know there is not much information out there on the subject, but the idea of doing a costume change during an act, always comes up year after year.

I am attending the SAM National Convention next week and perhaps I may be able to gather some information then. Thanks again.

Eldon:
Thanks so much. I may have to look into that.
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Slim King
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I'd love to hear anything from the convention about Quick Change Costumes. I hope you'll post what you find.
Dave
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LeeAlex2002
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An English Magician, Martin Scott Price, (credited also with the "Quad Zag" - the classic Zig-Zag, but the lady is divided into four), used to produce full plans with patterns for a dress change illusion (rather like a one girl sub-trunk where the assistant changed costumes instead of the people exchanging places). These plans were available from David Hemingway of Preston UK, but I do not have any further information as to whether these are still produced. (Maybe someone in the UK can help?).

The method was not the Russian one, but it came pretty close to it. The plans for the trunk for the dress and the dress patterns were extremely detailed and good value at £25.00 (back then).

Other commercial things available that may give you hints are from Hocus Pocus. They have an item where the assistant changes clothes (although this is not a full costume, but more like an apron affair), look at some silk blendo effects, the old "Gag Bag or Chameleon Bag", colour changing giant silk streamer etc.

These methods can all be applied to costumes if you use your imagination.

I can assure you there is no Velcro or Press studs /poppers on the Russian costumes! (Velcro actually hinders the speed of costume change!)...
Yours Magically,
Lee Alex

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magic4u02
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Philadelphia, PA
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Lee:
Thank you so much for your valuable insight and information. It has been very helpful to me in gathering information and in learning as well.

If I find out any information while at the convention, I will be sure to post it here for all of you. Thanks again.
Kyle Peron

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Marshall Thornside
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Quote:
On 2003-07-03 03:14, LeeAlex2002 wrote:
An English Magician Martin Scott Price ( credited also with the "Quad Zag" ( the classic Zig-Zag, but the lady is divided into four) ...

Sorry for taking so long to get back, but I did the costume change with the zig zag and the hindu basket. All I can say is that the costume is a standard Chinese pajama costume.
Dad used pulls and eyes for the pants and snaps on the top. There is a way that it's done, like choreagraphed in some way.

I'll try to figure a way to explain it much more. Its more of a doing it/visual thing.

Hope it helps in some way.
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Ron Reid
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Marshall:

Who is your dad?

Ron Reid
magic4u02
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
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Marshall:
Thanks so much. I would be intersted in hearing more about that. =)
Kyle Peron

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