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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Finger/stage manipulation » » Half Masks (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Luke Sherratt
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Loyal user
The Isle Of Wight, England
246 Posts

Profile of Luke Sherratt
Hi, I am curious as to what your opinion is. I have been performing with half masks since I was 14. I am now almost 17 so I have been using half masks for awhile tied in with a Phantom Of The Opera theme. The other day I got Tony Clarke behind the scenes only to find out he has been using them for years much longer than me so my question is should I keep using them? This may sound like a stupid question but many people I know have been telling me to stop using them as I did not think of it first.

Best,

Luke
We're 106 miles from Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
18558 Posts

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First? Masks have been around for almost forever... is your routine unique to you? Why stop? Is everyone in your neighborhood doing masks?

Do you do it well?
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22410 Posts

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The other consideration is, do people relate to your wearing the mask? The Phantom of the Opera was a broadway show that was re-released. It has moved on. That is the problem with this type of "Unique" presentation. It is a fad that comes and goes.

Your wearing of masks should have nothing to do with the play or movie or TV series.

Jeff McBride does a mask routine in his shows. It has nothing to do with the Phantom of the Opera.

I believe Tony Clark has stopped the mask opening.

Lastly, as Pete brought up, if you are doing this in your area and not going worldwide, it matters little.
Luke Sherratt
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Loyal user
The Isle Of Wight, England
246 Posts

Profile of Luke Sherratt
No, luckily nobody else does them around my area. Well I wear the mask for the whole manipulation act 10-12 mins unlike Tony Clarke who seems to take it off within the first few moments which never made much sense to me. Well I make sure people know what I am trying to convey. In the publicity stuff I have most of the pictures in my brochures. I am either holding the mask or wearing the mask and I mention that it is based on the play which I prefer to point out because what sense would it make to just be wearing a half mask? I mean McBride can wear masks because it fits his style. Thanks very much for putting it in perspective. You're right; if it's not going to huge audience than it matters little.

Thanks Again,

Luke
We're 106 miles from Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses
NickJegor
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Elite user
Lithuania
466 Posts

Profile of NickJegor
In whole over the World there are magicians using mask for they act!
I think there is no problem becouse nobody could judgge you.
By the way I have my own routine with the Half mask.
The Phantom of Illusions that is!
If you are wondering you could visit my web site, but it is in Lithuanian language so far.
http://www.njmagic.lt
Nikolajus Jegorovas
Kaunas, Lithuania
Web: http://www.nicholaskin.com
George Ledo
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Magic Café Columnist
SF Bay Area
2877 Posts

Profile of George Ledo
I think the bigger question here is, why a mask? How does it tie in with your persona and your presentation? How does your act tie in with Phantom of the Opera? Is it a real tie-in or just a copied theme?

As Pete said, masks and half masks have been used since forever. Just one "for instance:" they were used in the Italian Renaissance at big formal balls and also in Commedia dell'Arte. However, the Phantom's mask was more of a prosthesis than a mask; back in those days, people tended to be afraid of deformed individuals, or to consider them outcasts, so he wanted to conceal his burns. For some reason, we're led to believe that a half mask was less noticeable (and/or more acceptable) than the burns.

What I'm getting at is, find a real reason for your mask, and how it fits in with your character, and then go for it. It'll become yours.
That's our departed buddy Burt, aka The Great Burtini, doing his famous Cups and Mice routine
www.georgefledo.net

Latest column: "Sorry about the photos in my posts here"
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