Using Costumes & Makeup In Magic Shows

By: Ryan Even


The field of magic, like any other show business, has different departments created to specialize on a special production process in order to make sure that everything is in order and systematized. One of these special queues is the costume and make up department. Although they belong to the same department, each has their own set of crews to work with.

The costume department crew serves as the performance dressers. Their task is not only to assist the performers for the magic show but should be up beat, systematic, and organized in everything that needs to be prepared. The costumes and the people involved can vary from one show to another. The costume designer should then be flexible and able to adapt the perfomers' personalities to their costumes.

The whole costume department involves the beaders, sewers, make-up artists up to the hair and wigs. This special set of people working behind the stage report to the head of the wardrobe department every meeting. They should be very energetic since their work demands a lot of walking around from one set to another.

A wardrobe assistant should always have the following handy:

A small box or pouch of safety pins. One can even identify a wardrobe crew by the safety pins pinned on their clothes.
Needles with ready black or white threads for on the spot repairs.
Pencil
Pair of scissors

They are also assigned to different areas of responsibility such as laundry, ironing, steaming, sorting and hanging of costumes, unpacking, costume repair, purchasing team for supplies, collecting and polishing of shoes, carrying make up cases, delivering and picking up of costumes from the dry cleaners, brushing of fur and wigs, and the setting up of dressing rooms. They also assist the magic show performers change into their costumes while others are the ones who collect all the materials used and return them to the right packages. There will also be a different set of people who will be doing all the emergency repairs.

The show must have dress tracks wherein all costume assistants should have a copy since there are so many shows everyday that might cause confusion. Dead costume is the term used to call wardrobes that will not be used again on the same show.

The members of the make up crew are the ones who set up the changing rooms and double check if the performers' make up is not to heavy nor too light for a show. A make-up designer collects and pulls up all the supplies needed for face and body painting. These set of people undergo training in applying and maintaining the quality of the cosmetics.

The following are the best make up selections used by professional magic show business owners:

Ben Nye Theatrical Make up - promises make up in action and consistent quality.
Color Cake Foundation Makeup - it easily blends to the skin that gives a more perfect look. This is great for oily and sensitive types of skin.
Proscenium Series Creme Foundation - ideal for stage and on film for it naturally changes the skin tone.
Ben Nye Eye Shadow - this creates a dramatic eye style. Matte finish that adds stunning and shimmering array of colors for richer eye effects.
Cream Highlights - it emphasizes the texture of the facial skin. Conceals black under eyes and also projects hollowed cheek illusion.
Mellow Orange Concealer - provides enough natural color to hide, tattoos, eyebags, scars, veins, etc.

This part of the magic show business is very vital to giving life and color to the magic presented on stage. The aesthetic development of the show and the business lies in their hands. Each performer, actor, magician, assistants have to be thankful, for they could never do their performance at the right time and poise without the entire costume and make up department. Business owners should never falter in providing enough budget and support for the members of the wardrobe crews just to make sure that everything will be beautifully in place for the big show.

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Ryan Even teaches magic tricks, mentalism and illusions similar to those done by Criss Angel and David Blaine. Visit his site How To Learn Mentalism.

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