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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #1 
What is your story? In a play, or a movie the main character has a story, they dress and think a certain way and follow a certain path.

Avner the Eccentric raised a question which I've considered a few times in my life: "What story are you telling, and why are you telling it?"

Now in some respects this is similar to a question RayJ posed, but I feel it is a little different as it asks what story you are telling, and why. Now perhaps this is something you have not ever considered, perhaps you're just doing your card and coin tricks with no objective other than to entertain - and that's cool, there's nothing wrong with that.

In the past I've just thought my tricks are a way to make a unique connection with another person. And as I previously mentioned the ability to perform card tricks has allowed me to travel to many different places and meet lots of different people from lots of different social classes.

Most of my magic with cards works on simple techniques combined with psychology and memory. My preference is for the Matt Schulien approach to cards, simple and direct, for me it's all about connecting with people.

Sometimes I wondered about a uniform, you know a Top-Hat is the standard item of clothing associated with the magician, or a black suit with a silk handkerchief or two... it just doesn't feel right for me to dress up, I've always just done my magic tricks in normal clothing, even in paid gigs I refused to dress to type.

About 5yrs back I was in a bar and somebody asked me to perform a few tricks. It was cool with me, I was handed a deck of cards and I spent the next twenty minutes or so surrounded. People were having a great time and afterwards the owner asked me if I would do a paid gig, I said "sure no problem but I'm expensive and I don't wear a suit" 😁 it was no issue to them either.

I often wonder if our magic is stronger when we are not dressed the part - it has always felt that way to me. Anyway what is my story and why am I telling it? Hmmm I'm still considering that one.

Have you any thoughts on yours?
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Michaelblue

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Reply with quote  #2 
I have always performed in a tee shirt and jeans, sometimes with  some kind of jacket. i think the magic. at least for me, seems more magical than if i were to be in a tuxedo and top hat and that kind of outfit. 
This is not to say i am a "street" performer. i once worked at a school doing a half hour performance for classroom in Chicago.  The first time i was there the teacher told me i dont look much like a magician. But half way thru it all i looked at her and she was smiling because the kids were having a good time. i just stood behind a desk and did closeup. And i was asked back many times.

The kids   had their names on paper taped to their desks. I looked at some of them. As i was packing up, a girl nearest me very sweetly thanked me for coming over. I said, "Thank you for inviting me, Shayla."
She turned to the boy next to her and said, "He knew my name and he didnt even look at my desk."

A little impromptu mentalism.


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RayJ

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Reply with quote  #3 
Socrates, to me it depends upon the type of performance.  On stage I wore a full-on tuxedo with tails.  I could have gotten by with a suit coat, but I wanted to achieve a certain look and pay homage to performers such as Channing Pollock, who always wore elegant attire.

For formal close-up shows, I generally wore a sport coat.  Rarely a full suit, but I did sometimes.  Trade shows were sport coat events for me.  If it got hot or everyone else was in T-shirts, then I'd ditch the jacket.

As far as "your story" is concerned, I think it is a great thing to think about.  I attended a sales training seminar many moons ago where the presenter wore black.  I mean everything was black.  Shoes, socks, pants, belt, shirt, etc.  I didn't feel the need to check or ask about the unmentionables.  

His story was that as a traveling speaker, he became fond of wearing black because it doesn't show dirt.  So from then on he wore only black.  He became known for it, remembered by it.  It became part of his story.  He was the Johnny Cash of the speaking circuit.

Clothes can truly help make a person's image.  But you have to be comfortable in them.  If you dress for effect and aren't comfortable, it shows.  There are nearly always options.  If you absolutely hate ties, then look for dressy alternatives.  Bruce Cervon wore an ascot.  I'm not recommending it, but hey, if you can pull it off, go for it.  Or maybe you are a turtleneck sort of person.

Nowadays there is a tendency for folks to dress down, not up.  Even companies that used to be "shirt and tie" have dropped the tie.  And most companies seem to have casual Friday.  Nobody dresses to get on an airplane as they did when I was younger.  My rule of thumb is to dress one level above whomever I'm performing for.  If it becomes necessary I can always remove a jacket, tie, roll up my sleeves, etc. in order to come down a bit.  I've always felt a performer shows respect for the audience when they dress up.  That doesn't mean I judge folks that perform in T-shirt and jeans, but it doesn't feel right for myself.  So I guess I have a slightly different view of it than Socrates.  And that's OK, everyone has to decide what works for themselves.  Audiences sniff out pretenders pretty quickly.

Some take it to the extreme and their clothing becomes akin to a uniform.  They always wear the same basic thing.  Garrett Thomas wears a vest usually.  It has multiple pockets which he uses to his advantage.  He talks about that on one of the Reel Magic episodes.


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Socrates

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Reply with quote  #4 
Garrett Thomas has much of value to share on the topic of being a magician. His 'At the Table' lecture was great and I've also heard a couple of very informative podcasts featuring his thoughts and philosophies on magic...

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/ep-39-garrett-thomas/id1113860073?i=1000380444279

Much of my time performing has been in cafes, bars, festivals, and private functions where I have able to wear whatever I've pleased - my approach to being a magician is somewhat unorthodox and allows me to be more flexible in my work. My main interest is people and communicating ideas... I have never felt comfortable in a suit and tie, or top and tails.
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Paco Nagata

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Reply with quote  #5 
My personal (magic) story can be described by a single word:
Christmas.

I've been taking advantage of the great family Christmas Eve party gathetings,
as well as New Year's Eve, to organise my little magic shows, since I'm 9 (from 1985).
I had been called "The Christmas Magician" for a while by my relatives.
Because of that, many of my little shows were related to Christmas themes and stories, specially with cards.
I used to wear a kind of "magic uniform" to do my shows. It was imitating my idol Juan Tamariz who used to wear on (Spanish) TV shows a red T-shirt with a black waistcoat.
One of my others nick-names were "The little Tamariz."
My last show of this kind was in 2010; two years before getting married.

Due to having been a family magician, the only moments I've worn a suit to do magic was on weddings and events like that, (and because everybody wore suit).


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