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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » Wooden suitcase (7 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Magical Dimensions
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This is all common sense. Planning is what I call blocking.... Anyone that has walked the boards long enough, just knowns about creating an act where you can set up in ten minutes and once a prop has been used, it goes right back in the same spot in the case or in a pocket to keep the flow of the act moving. You leave out routines where you have to make or construct things the night before.. This way your act is set and ready to rock and roll. Do your program, close the lid (after you empty a pocket or two) and you are now ready to do another program. No fuss at all.


Many entertainers set a trunk type of box on a table with a chair in front. And work that way.

As far as the guy in an earlier post stating that he would never place his case/bag on a chair, he is thinking like a magician. So it would be out of place for him to do so. I guess this thinking comes from working with a magic table all the time. But for a mentalist, this is common practice to place their bag/case on a chair. Using everyday items is an element that a mentalist wants.

Someone also hit on the idea of placing things on their person. This is common sense again but worth talking about. Run through your act to block it. Stop at the end of each routine and noticed where you are. Are you now up front and commanding the stage/platform? Do you really have to return to your case/box/trunk? Can you place items that you are holding in a pocket and work from another pocket to create an on going balance to your act? Or if you return to your case and replace your item, can you just walk forward as you go into your transition and simply start your next routine by removing an item from your pocket or secertly get to it? I like to work from the base of getting props (lack for a better word) and going south with the idea of it being almost invisible. I have a friend who would move so naturally from one routine to another, that it seem like some of his props simply appeared from thin air. I admired the thinking.

I like the idea of not having to go to your case/box for every routine. To me it becomes, the (in this case) magician and his case/box. You need to block or as others have said, plan, your program so that everything has a flow to it.

Ever after all these years I still use what I call a dummy sheet. There have been times where I only had minutes to set up and do a sound check.. Here is what I mean, and once again it is just common sense..... When I did magic, I would open my table or case and remove two pieces of paper. On one there would be a drawing of my case or table with all the props and where they go. I would look at the paper and then quickly check to see if the prop was in fact in that location in my case or table. I could check my act in seconds without the fear of missing something. Once that was done, I looked at the other paper. Their I had a drawing of my trousers, short, vest and jacket. Off to the side I have listed props with lines and arrows pointing to where they go on my person. With a quick pat down, I knew that I had everything in place and could now concentrate on something else if I needed to. Was this Overkill? I don't think so. It just a few moments, I was 100% sure that my act was set and ready to go. Might sound goofy, but it is what it is.


Ray
Rook
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I recall looking all over for the 'perfect' carrying for my character, and a wooden suitcase seemed to work wonderfully. Alas, the cost to have something made to my specs was a bit more than I was willing to lay out. Decorative suitcases seemed to be a bit flimsy and actual antique cases were generally in poor enough condition to where I wasn't confident in entrusting my show. In the end, I found that a newer catalog case with travel stickers (purchased cheaply enough on Amazon) aged with teabags worked quite well.

I suppose where I'm going is where many of you already were. Rather than reinventing the wheel, modify what already works.
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
Raum
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I bought an old looking leather suitcase from ebay. I discover two shops that specialise on restoring and selling old leather things. I decided to cancel my order of wooden suitcase because leather suitcase looked much better. Thank you all for your suggestions.
daav0
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I found a 1941 Doctor's bag at a local swap meet for $20. I then had a local leather guy refurb it for $160 and it is in great great condition. The top swivels open to two closed compartments on each side and the bottom is deep and holds a lot of stuff. I normally put a tech caddy inside of that and larger apparatus. For bigger parlor shows I carry an old (1940's) striped tweed suitcase and wrap all the apparatus in black bags made out of dishtowels.I will put some photos up soon.
Rook
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Quote:
On Jun 21, 2017, daav0 wrote:
I found a 1941 Doctor's bag at a local swap meet for $20. I then had a local leather guy refurb it for $160 and it is in great great condition. The top swivels open to two closed compartments on each side and the bottom is deep and holds a lot of stuff. I normally put a tech caddy inside of that and larger apparatus. For bigger parlor shows I carry an old (1940's) striped tweed suitcase and wrap all the apparatus in black bags made out of dishtowels.I will put some photos up soon.



I must confess to turning a bit green with envy! Looking forward to the photos!
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
MentalMik
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Quote:
On Jun 21, 2017, daav0 wrote:
I found a 1941 Doctor's bag at a local swap meet for $20. I then had a local leather guy refurb it for $160 and it is in great great condition. The top swivels open to two closed compartments on each side and the bottom is deep and holds a lot of stuff. I normally put a tech caddy inside of that and larger apparatus. For bigger parlor shows I carry an old (1940's) striped tweed suitcase and wrap all the apparatus in black bags made out of dishtowels.I will put some photos up soon.


I'd like to see the photos too. I once had a vintage Gladstone doctors bag, wish I had kept it.
From the mind of Mik
Howie Diddot
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My small props for my walk around shows can all fit into pockets while I perform and a good part of my shows require that I wear a tuxedo or a performance jacket.

Walking in carring a catalog case or a suitcase in my opinion kills the fascinating aura of mystery, awe, and power of a mentalist.

I have decided to carry my props to a show in a violin case, it's classy and perfectly fits the wearing of formal clothing; everyone thinks I'm part of the orchestra when I walk in and are presently surprised when I persent myself as the evenings entertainment
paul180
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At one time I used and a wooden artist case similar to this one http://www.thebrokentoken.com/unfinished......zer-set/ It was unfinished so I could do what I want with it. All the dividers made storing things a breeze.
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Jun 21, 2017, daav0 wrote:
I found a 1941 Doctor's bag at a local swap meet for $20. I then had a local leather guy refurb it for $160 and it is in great great condition. The top swivels open to two closed compartments on each side and the bottom is deep and holds a lot of stuff. I normally put a tech caddy inside of that and larger apparatus. For bigger parlor shows I carry an old (1940's) striped tweed suitcase and wrap all the apparatus in black bags made out of dishtowels.I will put some photos up soon.


Aha! You must be at least 200 years old!!!

In the beginning of the 'age of science', most of the magicians had been working in the streets, or village square. It was time for a change! The buskers had their suit cleaned and pressed, put on a clean shirt, and, became 'doctors' and 'professors'!

Instead of performing a 'show', they demonstrated 'experiments in high class prestidigitation and illusionary science'. In the parlor of their host, a table was set, 'upstage center'. The table could be borrowed, covered with an elaborately decorated velvet cloth, or a beautifully made and decorated table (complete with 'trap doors', as needed). Two tripod 'plant stands' were placed 'down left, and down right". Crystal glass and beautifully decorated tubes and boxes, cans and pans, had now become 'PARAPHERNALIA, AND APPARATUS which were used to demonstrate the experiments, and the APPARATUS for each 'experiment' could be moved to the plant stands, for the 'experiment' and returned to the center 'laboratory' table, when the experiment was completed. The pace of living was much slower 'in those days', so relatively few 'experiments' could provide an evening's entertainment.

TIMES HAVE CHANGED! In the 'theater', PROPS are used in the PERFORMANCE of TRICKS! We aren't 'professors' or 'doctors' anymore!

In those ancient days, transportation was a horse drawn wagon over primitive roads. In the vaudeville era, baggage cars on a train was the common means of moving the show, 'down the road'. It was necessary to pack the PROPS, carefully in little cloth bags, to insure that they wouldn't arrive at the next town, in pieces!

When I began performing, in the mid '40s, many magicians carried a center table, and two side tables (tripods) and, packed the PROPS in little cloth bags. C.Thomas Magrum, at one point in the late '40s and early '50s schlepped into the school, (Clem was a school show magician) ten cases of props, for a Lyceum program. Set up time was at least 30 minutes, and pack up time, the same, for a 50 minute program. When I was 18 (1950) I visited for a day or two on the show. "We" did as many as FOUR SHOWS IN ONE DAY, IN DIFFERENT SCHOOLS (not always in the same town!)!!!

When I 'turned full time pro. in the mid '60s, I had been trouping the 'apparatus' (!!!!!) in little cloth bags, in several cases, with several tables onstage. That, was changed, before I hit the road!

I wrote up my prop case "situation" above in this thread. I averaged at least 13 programs a week. I often did 16 and 17! $show bu$ine$$ is a bit different than it was in the 1700s!

At cardician Jon Racherbaumer's insistence, I wrote a book about my life on the road, playing the 'knowledge boxes' on the 'kerosene lamp circuit'. (Yes, it's still in print, and I've mailed copies to four different CONTINENTS.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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On Apr 6, 2017, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Forget using oak, that is a waste of money, and oak will make it to heavy. Just use good birch plywood. Get a restaurant waiters stand, and the have a cloth sewn so it goes over the opened lid, with your name in big letters on it.


Right Bill! I was using an attache case way back in the '60s. Then I picked up somewhere and old Ireland "1944 "YEARBOOK". Frances Marshall suggested a "slip cover", somewhat like a pillow case, to flash the lid of the case when opened up. I have used that sort of "flash cover" ever since. Abbott's usta sell gold plastic letters (made of "drum shell material) that were easy to glue on the cloth.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Someone noted above that he wouldn't put his case on a chair. JAY MARSHALL, for about the last half of his life, never carried, or borrowed, a table. He borrowed a chair, for club dates when he needed to do 30 minutes. If he was doing 10 - 15 minutes, he had everything on his person (including his 5 rings--in a cloth bag that hung on his back.)E He could access the rings with one hand.

Everything else was in his pockets.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Cleverpaws
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Here's a small close-up case I made for a magician. He had a larger case but wanted this to be small enough that he could put inside a suitcase when traveling. It keeps the items secure, and organized.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/it6pmmj9m24z5b......png?dl=0

This photo shows the color of the case much better.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/w4ctsme17iv243......png?dl=0
Rook
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Lovely work!
Those who don't believe in magic will never find it.

-Roald Dahl
Cleverpaws
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Thanks!
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