Mr T writes: ‘Where can I buy a suitable Multi colour jacket for close up? P.s Ideally cheap.’
Firstly, I should say that this is my own personal opinion, and I don’t want to offend any magicians here… Well, maybe I shouldn’t care about that..?
PLEASE DON”T BUY A ‘SHOWBIZ’ SUIT
Seriously, resist this temptation at all costs. It may seem like a wonderful idea to find a multi coloured suit, or one that’s all twinkly. You want to stand out and be seen instantly as an entertainer. But, if you ask me (Yes, I know you didn’t!), that’s the wrong way to go about it. The time when that looked good has long gone, and is now reserved for children’s entertainers and comedy magic acts.
Stand out in the right way.
When you walk around a close-up gig, you are already standing out. You are entertaining crowds and people are applauding, laughing, and maybe even screaming. Trust me, they already know you are the magician. You don’t need a flashing sign like a glittering or multi-coloured suit.
Today, the top close-up magicians look well dressed at their gigs.They tend to look like the clients that they entertain. That’s what is expected when a close-up magician is booked.
Let your magic and personality make you stand out, not a strange suite or playing cards tie. Those outfits will come across as cheesy for a lot of people.
Here’s something embarrassing I’m going to share with you. I love to eat junk food on the way to my gigs. I fill up the car with petrol and don’t like to leave without a packet of crisps, a red bull and a chocolate bar. When I’m bored I snack, and driving to gigs every night is very very boring. Result – last June I went to put on the suit I had chosen to take that day, just before a gig, and I couldn’t fit in it. Now that’s a horrible thing to happen at any time, even worse to find out in a hotel room, 40 minutes before the start of a gig. That added panic into the mix as well.Nasty surprises at close up magic gigs are never fun.
Solution: I couldn’t bring myself to buy an expensive suit for the gig, as I know I would be back to my normal size with some healthy eating, and I didn’t want to spend my entire fee on an expensive temporary suite just for this gig. So I went to an ASDA that was close by and brought a complete black tie suit for less than £45. It was fine, and the gig went well. The booking was for a very high profile private bank, and I’m pretty sure most of the guests were wearing suits more expensive than an MP’s expenses claim. But nobody commented, and chances are, nobody even took the time to notice.
I do normally wear good suits. It’s a business expense and as important as any other aspect of being a professional magician. But you don’t need to spend a load of money on one. Buying a decent averaged price suit is fine, and you can throw it away and replace it when needed.
The suit does not need to be expensive, but it does need to look smart and fit the style of the event more than the style of being a magician.
When it’s OK to stand out and when it’s not.
Sometimes it’s OK to stand out. If you have a specific persona, or perform to a specific audience that will also dress to fit your theme. A comedy magician can look quirky as he is trying to be an object of fun. A children’s entertainer can wear the craziest outfit, as that’s the role he is playing. Dynamo is fine in a hoodie, and Dee Christopher can dress as a goth, because that’s his theme and it fit’s his market. But a professional close-up magician, booked to mix with guests at a dinner party, wedding or corporate event, needs to fit in with that theme just as much.