This week photographer Sarah Blais literally stepped on a stage to find out what was up the sleeves of Toronto’s Magicians. From mentalist to escape artist, they all bring their own style to their performance – in this weeks edition of The Uniform Project.
Magic is similar to the music industry— just as certain written music can be purchased and used by another musician, so can a trick. Magic Mike was 10-years-old when he first came into possession of magic, and now has a collection of tricks. In addition to the tricks, he also collects vintage Magician posters, and other magic paraphernalia (including a Houdini-signed telegraph!). As for his wardrobe, he’s got suits and robes, but what he wears always depends on who the show is for. When he gets things custom made, he wants the material to be very light to deal with the heat of stage lights and performing in general. The robe in the photograph was hand stitched in India; he’ll wear it at a bigger theatre show, but won’t wear any of his watches (which he also collects). In this photograph he’s donning a Guess watch, and a black ring he purchased when he was just 16-years-old with his first bit of magic money that he wears til this day.
Bobby Motta has been messing with minds for the past 10 years, but first got into magic when his uncle would trick him as a child. He doesn’t buy a lot of his tricks, but actually invents many of them (Criss Angel apparently uses one of Bobby’s tricks in his show!). His all-time favorite magician is Darren Brown, and his favorite place to shop is Guess. At a show, Bobby rocks a t-shirt and jeans with some converse sneakers– he likes to bend and break the rules of what’s expected of a magician and says he’s an “F*** you sort of guy.” He was wearing diamond-looking earrings at his show last week, but claims they’re not real. He had a trick before where he would take one of the real diamonds out of his ear, swallow it, then pull it out of his eye. He lost quite a few real diamond earrings doing the trick, so now he sticks to the fake ones… you can check out Bobby weekly at The Annex Live (just know he might make you hold a rat…).
27-year-old Scott Hammell was a 12-year-old juggling at a busker festival when he met Dan Truesdale, who showed him magic. Scott says you don’t get into magic, magic gets into you… and from that trick on, he was hooked. Scott had developed Osgood-Schlatter disease in his knees, making the muscles in his legs too strong for his knees, and forcing the tissue to the front. Sitting down and practicing with a deck of cards worked to distract him at the time. For his uniform, Scott started with the tailcoat as a boy, but noticed he looked like the doormen at the swanky hotels and decided to switch it up. He evolved into dress pants, a blue shirt, and a gold vest… and then into the 1920 gangster pinstripe suit with a fedora during high school. Now Scott has a closet rich with beautiful vintage suits he gets from places like Cabaret Vintage on Queen Street, or King of Kensington. His glasses are Ardetta, but he also owns some vintage frames. Warby Parker are the next spectacles he’s going to purchase for their price point and social component (which you can find out more about here). The bowtie in the photo was purchased at a vintage shop in Waterloo when Scott was in high school, and the pocket square was cut from a Kimoto… very cool!