A lot of our customers ask us which deck of playing cards they should pick, and our answer is usually the same. Because all of our decks have some of the best stock, finish and handling in the business, we recommend that people choose the deck that best fits their performance character.
That’s a fancy way of saying this: Match your style.
Not everyone can use a deck of Arcanes in black, for example. The iconography lends itself to a darker, more mysterious style. Someone who seeks an elegant, refined design will lean toward Artifice, and someone who sticks with table demonstrations will be best served with a deck of Dealers.
We encourage people to treat deck selections like clothing, in a sense, because the same philosophy applies to wardrobe. And that’s something you should be carefully considering, because part of entertaining is looking the part. Nothing enhances your appeal and professionalism like the right wardrobe (consider it your costume), and a magician who does not dress like a pro will find it difficult to score repeat bookings.
We’ll assume you’re familiar with the basics, such as pants, and get right into advanced-class material — you should be thinking about accessories. These enhancements to our clothes also offer performance advantages for the right kinds of effects, as well. (If you really must know what we think about pants, we highly recommend wearing them.)
Whether you are selecting a wardrobe for professional gigs or you want to dress to be magical anywhere anytime, here’s four accessories you should consider as part of your performance character:
Wristbands such as the Halo Fiber Optik could also fit in this category. But watches and timepieces have an understated allure and elegance — especially with the wide selection available today. Most people keep track of time with cellphones, which makes a watch even more a statement of style. As for magical uses, they come in handy as a great hiding place for a coin or folded card. They hide loops of invisible thread. And there are even tricks such as Eric Jones’ Entrapment that require the use of a watch or bracelet.
Pro tip: This is an area where an investment in quality can pay off. A cheap-looking watch may take your style statement in the wrong direction, and may be damaged more easily. While saving up for a true timepiece may not be practical, there are plenty of great watches that will add to your style, not take away. Also, make sure the face is big enough to hide a Mercury-folded card.
We’d be hard pressed to find a magician who doesn’t have a ring of some sort. It’s the perfect piece of jewelry for a magician — because our hands are constantly inspected. a ring becomes a place to make a subtle style statement. The amount of magical things that can be done with rings is dizzying, because everyone’s familiarity with a band of metal helps lay groundwork presentation without saying a word. We have our idea of what makes a good ring. But there are also trick rings that can be found with even more functionality for devious doings.
Pro tip: Fit is important. The ring needs to fit snugly but not tightly. Many jewelers will gladly size your fingers, so you can get an exact fit.
Some say hats are coming back, but we say they have never left. We’ve never observed a lull in lids — this is one of the few areas of fashion where guys get a larger than normal pool of selection. The right hat puts a crown jewel on your style, and may have qualities that can be used for sleight of hand. No one rocks a flat-bill cap like Eric Jones, and no one pulls off a top hat like Messado.
Pro tip: There’s no way to overthink this one. Because there are so many varieties of hat, there are plenty of wrong ones, but the right one makes a night-and-day difference.
Really? Shoes are accessories? We’d argue that shoes are a necessity that should be treated ALSO like an accessory. Give a lot of thought to the kind of shoe that fits best with your style. Comfort can be enhanced with special insoles, so a look that feels painful at the shoe store can be fixed. Also, keep in mind that slip-on shoes can be used for a variety of tricks, including Justin Miller’s Card to Shoe.
Pro tip: Learn to polish, and polish often. You’ll keep your shoes looking sharp until the day the soles wear out.
FOUR POINTS is a regular feature that celebrates magicians’ favorite number by highlighting four critical bits of importance, awesomeness or otherwise. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.