“Psst.. Over here… Listen! I’ve got some advice that you need to know. You won’t hear it from your family and friends, your agent probably assumes you already do it, and your clients don’t really want to think about it… It’s your fingernails, seriously, you need to do something about them!”
What would you think, if someone took you aside on a gig and told you that? It would be very embarrassing, but it does need to be said.
If you perform close up magic tricks in restaurants or at tables, you need to make sure your hands look good. I’m not just being metrosexual here, it’s a basic level of professionalism and hygiene that really should be followed if your hands are on show. A restaurant puts a lot of care and attention to every detail of the table, the plates, the cutlery and the food. Your hands also form part of that display and should be pleasing to look at.
I was working at trade show recently with another magician and got into conversation about how often he changes his deck of cards. The magician told me he makes sure he uses a new deck of bicycle playing cards at every gig, as his cards go grey at the edges and he feels they don’t look professional. I couldn’t help noticing the state his hands were in. His nails were a homage to a gardening TV show hosted by Freddy Krueger.
Your hands are the tools of your trade, showing pride in them is not vanity, it’s something that reflects on your whole act.
Many barber shops now offer a nail service too. You can get your nails done and cuticles removed every other week with your haircut. If you are nervous about going to a nail bar to have a manicure, there really isn’t any need to. Most of their customers are female, but they all have a LOT of male customers too. Just tell them you are a close up magician and relax. If you prefer, do a quick google search and it will bring up a load of mobile manicurists that can pop over to your home and fix your nails in private. You can even do it yourself.
Check out this guide for the perfect magicians fingernails
There’s no need to have clear vanish applied to your nails, although many professional men do, but you should at least have them trimmed shaped and the cuticles removed.
Still think it’s only for girls? Just be aware of it for a few days:
- Notice how many of the male TV presenters have perfect nails.
- If you have a stack of magic DVDs go though them and sort out the ones featuring top working professional magicians. Check out their hands.
- Watch the shopping channels and look at the hands of the presenters. Even the DIY guys have great looking nails.
While I’m on the subject of personal hygiene and magicians fingernails, I should also add that a clothes brush, and can of deodorant should also be in your close up magic case. Sometimes a long gig in a marque can get very hot. And looking and smelling your best should be a standard feature, not an added bonus.
There… I’ve said it… I’m glad we could have this little chat…