One of the things that I don’t really do is perform as a character. What I mean by character is dressing up like a cowboy and being a “cowboy magician”. Some people perform as a popular movie character, or celebrity.
The main reason I don’t do this is that I can’t character act, and most magicians can’t either. Many think they can, without any acting training, and these are probably the same people that get upset when an actor learns a magic trick and people think that trick is amazing.
Doing a character is more that just a costume. For example here’s someone that performs “as Sponge Bob:
Unfortunately they don’t do a voice, they don’t do the trick that Sponge Bob would do. It’s a guy wearing a cheap outfit doing a normal show. This in my opinion is a cash grab, someone trying to make a buck and not giving a sh!t. I don’t know his life circumstance, maybe he really needs the money, but this is a very short sighted way to get it.
A better way would be to take some acting classes, learn whatever character you are going to be doing, select material that fits it. Here’s a good example of doing it right:
This performer is doing a Captain Jack Sparrow style character, however the costume is correct to the character. It’s not a halloween costume. Also look at the material selection, he’s using swords and it looks like a sword basket in the background. This is a show that makes sense with the character.
If you do a character, do it right. If you care, audiences will care.