“Or how to have a bad hair day is one easy step!”
This form of entertainment became popular is the mid-1800’s and reached its peak around the WWII era. Though it has declined in popularity since that time, it remains a fascinating and unique variation of magical entertainment that would be well worth learning.
The toughest part of Chapeaugraphy is not the hat folds themselves, but rather the acting ability on the part of the magician to become the characters that the hats portray. This can be a very novel and entertaining act if the magician gives the presentation a little thought and effort.
There is but one drawback as I see it concerning the art of Chapeaugraphy. And that is that is really messes up your hair…and I mean BAD! So keep a brush handy or use the act as the FINALE of your show!
To obtain a Chapeaugraphy ring (or brim as it is known), you can either purchase one from a reputable magic company, or make one yourself. Just get a few pieces of fairly stiff fabric. Felt works great. Layer them on top of one another so you get nice solid ring that will fold easily. Cut it out in the shape of a ring. The hole in the center should be just large enough to stick your head through. Have a seamstress hem the edges and you are set. The one you see in the photo’s was manufactured by Props Unlimited. Abbott’s Magic also has a fine brim available.
The following digital photo’s were taken during Bobby J.Gallo’s acclaimed summer camp series where he teaches magic to literally dozens of students every summer. What you do not see here is the vast room full of laughing magic students who were throughly entertained as these were being taken.