Have you looked at the temperature and wondered how I would keep cool at today’s gig?
Remember taking that great action shot that would be your next great promotional picture, to see underarm sweat rings that encompass the entire length of your shirt?
Have you tried wearing clothing stuffed with ice packs just to be annoyed by the condensation that, when combined with sweat, looks like you’ve had a victory Gator bath?
One afternoon, I learned a solution to this problem of keeping cool on hot days.
I had just completed a library show and a fellow entertainer, Craig, approached. “Man, I was happy to see you pull out a handkerchief and wipe the sweat from your brow. I thought I was the only one who sweats on stage.”
Now, I was hot with beads of sweat on my head, but my shirt was still dry. “Craig, what do you wear on stage?” I asked.
Typically, I have a vest and dress shirt on, but sometimes when it’s hot, I wear a shirt and lose the vest.
For all those reading this, entertainers love vests. An effortless way to stand out among the crowd of people is to wear a vest. However, adding one extra layer of clothing over your chest, where your vital organs are kept, increases body heat. Not good on those hot summer days.
That is when I shared my newly discovered secret about how to keep cool on hot days.
Early in the year, I talked with a veteran entertainer who does many events like a costumed character on stilts, and I asked him… “Frank, how do you keep cool while entertaining in the costumes on stilts? I’m doing several stage shows outside, and I’m concerned about the heat and looking fresh on stage.”
I heard silence, and then could hear the chuckle in his voice when he said…”Under Armour.”
Just two weeks before that, I was visiting my in-laws in Boca Ramon, FL, and my father-in-law handed me a shirt and said, “Wear this when we go golfing. It’ll keep you cooler, and it pulls the sweat away from your body.” “OK,” I said, but to be honest, it didn’t help my golf game at all.
Under Armour – clothing designed to keep hunters and sportspeople cooler and warmer. Now that sounds like a better solution than tossing on a hunting vest and stuffing it with 10 lbs of ice packs that constantly sweat and makes it difficult to move, let alone look professional.
At Bass Pro shop, I found a really nice fishing shirt (World Wide Sportsman) that is Therma-Cool™ with UPF 50+ UV protection. This ultra quick-drying shirt helps moisture evaporate quicker, and this brand’s antimicrobial finish resists odor-causing bacteria; plus, it has a vented cape back. The cost was $29.99 for the shirt, but it would be well worth the investment if it did what it claimed to do. This manufacturer is not exclusive to men; they do have a lady’s appeal too.
My local Wal-Mart has Starter short sleeve fitted shirts that are Dir-Sar® Wickis moisture and are cool zone venting shirts for $9.96. I found these shirts in the active area clothing, and they claim they have 15 UV protection.
I like fitted shirts, and since I have been working out, I might show off the body when I can. However, they do have regular cut shirts too. The one big difference I found in the fitted versus the regular cut is the armpit material’s length. The fitted cut stays closer to my body, and when I raise my arms, nothing pulls. I wouldn’t say I like it when I have a shirt tucked into my pants, and when I lift my arms, the shirt tugs and pulls out, making me feel messy.
My wife bought a shirt for me on Father’s day – a Wicki moisture shirt that when I raise my arm, the entire shirt rises. It’s a relaxed fit. There seems to be very little flex in the armpit area. This isn’t a new problem; I have a couple of floral short sleeve shirts that do the same thing. I’m personally leaning towards the fitted over a regular cut.
The Bass Pro Shirt is extremely comfortable and did keep me cool during my show. After the show, I felt cooler. The shirt was dry, and when I was done with my show felt 100 times better than I did wearing a cotton t-shirt.
Wal-Mart shirts are impressive too. I bought solid white and black shirts to start with. I want to make sure they work first before buying a closet full of new shirts.
I wore the Wal-Mart Starter shirt while setting up my show on a warm day. The shirt kept me cool, and I looked fresh, not all sweaty like in the past. The Starter did wick the moisture away from my body. Yes, I did sweat, but I looked fresh, felt cooler, and dried much faster.
So the solution I tell my entertainer friends is…keep the ice packs in the freezer, toss out your old cotton shirts, and invest in Wicki moisture, Therma-cool shirts that look great, keep you cool, and are a nice solution to an age-old problem of overheating.