Don’t Believe Me, Just Watch: A Glamour Praxis

It must be done carefully, delicately.  Too much and you’ll tip your hand that you’re an imposer.  Too little and you are clearly just a poseur.  There are always places that are forbidden to you – the velvet rope, the back room, the after party, the inner circle.

And I say fuck that.

If we’re doing glamour, we need to be able to smash down that door until the sheer force of our presence, our charm, our beauty overtakes the gatekeepers and we are in the center of the universe (which is always seated between our hearts and tummies, some days it’s easier to find than others).

It started as it usually does.  A heist, led by my blond Midwestern Protestant sandbox love.  She saw the means and gave me the opportunity to sweet talk the cabana boy into letting me steal The Key.  I held it for a couple of years, we were never there when the actual cabana club would be open.  Wood decks, bronzed nymphs and athletes, cerulean blue pools that were warmer than bathwater.  Cocktails made with fresh herbs and St. Germain served by shirtless boys and bikinied girls.  A little cove that gave a sprinkle of water as if you were caught in a sudden April shower.  A jungle of greenery to keep the prying eyes away.

I kept it in my beach bag, a talisman.

Last weekend, it was perfectly sunny and I was down the shore with Jow.  My sweet husband who hated mischief and dealing with gatekeepers.  He frowned upon the holy trinity of Vogue, Carrie and Gucci, only slightly swayed if I could give a convincing argument about craftsmanship.  He had no interest in any (non magical) place that was kept from him.

That’s not the point, I hissed impatiently.  It’s not about the nominal status that being seen in a place like this offers.  The point is to prove that you can do it.  That you can get in without proper credentials.  Glamour has always been about being noticed at the right times and not noticed at the not-right times.  Don’t you want to do magic to this?  See what happens?  Besides, B. started it and it was her idea.  We can send her pictures if it works.

(Wellllllllll . . .if it’s for B. . .)

We started out confidently.  We tried an entrance from the bar with no gatekeeper.  Locked.  Fine.  We then found an entrance with a older security guard.  Older guys tend to think I’m the bee’s knees, so this boded well.  I flashed a smile.  He said we needed a wristband.  A wristband?  Fuck.  I did not look back to Jow, knowing that he would punk out at this sudden wrinkle.  I strode over to the main desk, after smoothing down my little black dress that was made more casual by the floral kimono I had carelessly thrown over it.  I smeared another coat of MAC Sugar Rimmed gloss on and took a breath.  I focused my intention on the key.  The worst that could happen would be that they told me no and confiscated my purloined key.

I strode up to the desk and flashed the key.

That key looks like a different key.

(It does?  Fuck.  Was this never the right key to begin with?  Younger chicks are rarely into my glamour and she is a young)

What to do?  Charm or aggression?  Three seconds to make a decision, Deb.  How are you going to play this?

I put an annoyed don’t make me go back to get the proper key look on my face.  I shrugged.  “It’s what they gave me at the desk,” I said huffily.

She sighed and waved us through to an afternoon of forbidden cocktails, scantily clad youngs and sun that was made a little more brilliant for the effort.


Now It’s Your Turn.

1. Identify your target.  A place that you are not currently permitted to be in, a discount you want from a store, attention from a particularly beautiful person, something that is outside your usual grasp.  Meat-space only.  We’re doing science here.  Save the astral romp for your dream journal.

2. Figure out what will make your objective easier to obtain.  How you dress, how you smell, the pitch of your voice and how you react will be important here as are the people you will interact with.  Some people are generally going to be more inclined to like you/help you over others.  Make a contingency plan if something goes awry.  Fleeing counts as a potential contingency place but try to have something better before that point.  See if you can make it past the first no.  Obvi: don’t shop lift, don’t coerce people into boning you, don’t juggle hedgehogs.  You will sometimes only have a split second to decide how to play your hand.  Be decisive.  Fully commit to your role.

3. Use your glamour (enchant an object, breathe your objective into the universe, whatever you do to make people like you/want to help you more magically, you’re the captain of your own ship).

3. Did you meet your objective?  Pics/comments* or it never happened!  I v. much welcome stories of epic fails as well as epic wins!

* Comment directly to the blog if you want me and others to see it. 



Deborah Castellano
Deborah Castellano's book Glamour Magic: The Witchcraft Revolution to Get What You Want is available for purchase through Amazon, Llewellyn and Barnes and Noble.
Her frequently updated catalogue of published work is available on Author Central.

She writes about Glamour Magic here at Charmed, I'm Sure. Her podcast appearances are available here.

Her craft shop, The Mermaid & The Crow specializes in old-world style workshop from 100% local, sustainable sources featuring tempting small batch ritual oils and hand-spun hand-dyed yarn in luxe fibers and more!

In a previous life, Deborah founded the first Neo-Victorian/Steampunk convention, SalonCon which received rave reviews from con-goers and interviews from the New York Times and MTV.

She resides in New Jersey with her husband, Jow and their cat, Max II. She has a terrible reality television habit she can't shake and likes St. Germain liquor, record players and typewriters.  


4 Responses

  1. Yes, yes, yes!!
    Like a hacker who breaks in only to leave a (n electronic) footprint. The outcome is not chaos, anarchy and disorder ( although they have their place).
    It is to say, “Damn your locks, your barriers, your fences, your ‘us and them’ !”
    To prove to yourself, and anyone actually watching, that you are the universe, on a good day, and everything is possible, even if not probable..

    Part of my job/life was working with livestock, and I can tell you that it is 98% pure bluff!! If the sheep and cattle wanted to, or knew it was possible, they could jack up and tell us to get stuffed, and everyone would be eating lentils and tofu.
    Society is structured exactly the same way. You hold all the power, and the people you envy are the ones who figured that out………

  2. I got 30% off a microphone the other day, all dolled up and challenged the price on it (also 20% off a diva cup, but I *know* that was an accident).
    Not actually sure if I was working glamour, mind you. I mean, I had my glamour *on*, but I wasn’t Wammying the store clerk on purpose, so… no sure if it counts.
    Meliad recently posted..The year of the Pig – Part 2: A Week of Francis (Summer Solstice Version)My Profile

  3. Also got free pizza.
    And potentially a publisher.
    Maybe. (Gotta pitch it first, but they liked the one-sentence version…)

    I’m starting to notice a pattern. 🙂
    Meliad recently posted..Experiments in Glamour… Ish?My Profile

  4. You know, until I read your posts on glamour, I never had a name for doing this – except well ‘psychology’. I’ve gotten private bus stops (the driver leaving somewhere off-route which makes my commute waaayyyy easier), extra discounts at stores (even free shipping/delivery a couple of times) and even a few random items like one time at a street fair where I got a free tote bag I’d been eyeing. I’ve always had this disgustingly “good, sweet, innocent” aura going, so sometimes people dote on me a bit. In my mind and heart (and apparently star chart) I am Ultimate BadAss, but if a little simpering gets me a break, I’m not above simpering.

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