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Topic: One Trip from the Car
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Nov 16, 2002 11:41PM)
I think it is a huge benifit when performing at kids birthdays to be able to make just one trip from your car into the venue. When I started out I had so many different bits to carry. I remember having park up the street in the rain, then dropping of my props inside the clients house then running out to get the rest of my stuff. I hated doing this because young children could never understand why I left again so soon. They would also play with whatever equipment I left unattended when I was back out at my car. Then of course everytime I made my 1st trip back packing up agin the kids would be screaming 'Hey Mister you FORGOT your RABBIT!!!!"
Now I have one small box that contains everying except my rabbit production cage (that I have in my other hand). I designed this box myself & had it custom made. It can be used as a seat. It contains a battery operated stereo system with remote control. I even use it to have 2 or 3 kids standing on as a back row when everyone is crowded together for a group photo.
The opening flaps at the back & front are almost kiddie prof so they can't open it if they try.
It is a very unassuming style that just sort of blends in with the furniture. I am sure half the time people don't even notice I have it.
http://www.madjik.co.nz/multi-magic-box.htm

:thehat:
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Nov 17, 2002 02:42AM)
Do you carry the rabbit in the production cage then Andy? isn,t that a bit messy if he is in there all day?

My box is similar to yours but like a rolon table it has a fold up section and the back becomes the top. I have velcro around this and I attach Foil fabrics to decorate. this also alows the show to look different as I have a few designs. my rabbit production goes in the box. I carry the box in one hand my costume over my shoulder in a professional suit bag and the rabbit cage in the other hand. If I use amplification and I would not for up to 35 kids then I need a second journey.
Do you use a seperate sound system for large venues?
Working in front of your speakers is asking for feed back troubles at higher volume. I carefuly took my all in one system appart and put a top hat in the bottom. I carry a light wieght ali speaker stand and the system goes on that, as you can ajust the hight it is really good at almost all venues.

Phillip
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Nov 17, 2002 02:03PM)
I have a seperate amplification system that I don't usually use for kids parties. Actually it is broken right now and I plan to buy a new one soon. The box you see has a car CD player mounted inside. Some of my show and games require music. The rabbit gets loaded in his cage at my car right before I walk in & he has a 2nd larger cage that stays in the car.
As for my costume I wear it. My set up time is nil (other than loading the rabbit while still at my car). I allow 30 minutes between parties if they are on the same side of the city, 45 minutes if they are a little further away.
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Nov 17, 2002 02:25PM)
Hi,
I understand now Andy, I thought it was an amplification system for a mike
Phillip
Message: Posted by: danryb (Nov 17, 2002 02:32PM)
I just posted a new topic but missed this one,
Why don't you guys get a folding trolly like me? I do one short trip from the car. I made a "prop box" magic table. It can be carried in one hand if neccessery but I usualy just place it on my new folding trolly and on top I put a good looking and very effective amp system which I think is a must even if less then 35 kids because it just gets a great reaction from kids and parents for that matter who find this very proffesional. Also I can keep full control over the children and continue to offer it's use after the show when "mum" want's the kids to go outside and play or gather around for going away presents etc.
Still only one trip from the car! I also arrive ready dressed and have adapted my personality to simply not need the use of livestock to create a riot of a party. Why use and tend to the needs of animals (as small as they may be) if I can do without them.
Talking of which - I am contemplating a bunny in the hat or bird arm illusion - What would you suggest?
Message: Posted by: p.b.jones (Nov 17, 2002 02:55PM)
HI,
I have a folding trolly but only really use it at my hospital shows. at most other venues it would be more trouble wheeling the trolly than carrying the props. for the venues I work anway.

Quote: Why use and tend to the needs of animals (as small as they may be) if I can do without them.

I like animals I have 3 cats and 3 rabbits,
I would have them even if I was not a magicain. The live bunny is a large part of my show, I can and have worked without but they just add so much to a childrens show.
And it gives me someone to talk to in the car!
I often tell the kids that it's Frodo's turn to drive
Phillip


:rotf:
Message: Posted by: Andy Wonder (Nov 17, 2002 03:05PM)
I can't visualise this folding trolly. Do you have a photo of it? I have to think very carefully how I am still going to manage my one trip once I add mic & amp.
As for my bunny I would not be without him. As far as I am concerned he is worth his weight in gold. I have had parents book my show just to have the bunny. One woman called me recently and asked if she could hire a bunny for he daughter birthday party.
:bunny2:
Message: Posted by: kaznzak (Nov 18, 2002 06:38AM)
I use a folding trolly as well as a bright pink suitcase which is lockable and on wheels. being a clown as well I seem to have to carry much more stuff than a straight (or otherwise magician)! In my folding trolly I carry a collapsible table, folding chair, large tool box with face painting gear, a portable CD player, stuff for games, giant change bag and prize bag. In my very clowny small pink suitcase I pack a 45 minute magic show. If I am doing the rabbit production I also have to carry the rabbit in the box (large cage in car fro travelling). I can mostly make it in one trip - I use the trolly to save my back and it does a really good job. I am always looking for better ways of doing it or reducing the amount I have to carry, but that is the best I can do at present!
Cheers
Kaz :sun:
Message: Posted by: danryb (Nov 18, 2002 04:05PM)
sorry, no picture of the trolly. I had one built for me and it lasted 8 solid years. It is still going strong (except for the wheels - they are a bit small and starting to wear). I walked into a d.i.y store and came across a great trolly with massive soft wheel which are ideal for climbing kerbs and steps and when you push the handle down and pull up the front portion that holds my box the wheels close in flat at the back. You have to look around for these things.
I would imagine using livestock is somewhat promoting and interesting for kid shows. I also tend to talk to myself during the short ride from show to show but just can't seem to realy want to add one to the outfit.
Again - what are your opinions of bird arm illusions and/or rabbit in hat or other puppets?
Message: Posted by: ageo (Dec 22, 2015 10:38PM)
Does anybody have designs and/or photos of their carry cases or wheeled trolleys? I certainly would like to find information about that. Such topic is seldom addressed in magic textobooks and is crucial for an effective show. Time spent setting up can be significantly reduced when a suitable carry case-table is used.
I am a geologist from Colombia, and am retaking my magical career, after 21 years of dedication to my profession.
It is great to find that there is so much information available, and that the "support group" is that large and talkative.
Alberto Mago Tato.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Dec 23, 2015 01:03AM)
I make 4 or 5 trips from my car to carry in my show; I fill the house with magic, a large Jeff Jones backdrop covers the wall, colorful tricks everywhere; when the guests come in the room they all go wooo.... how nice!!!

I know magicians in my area that brag about carrying in a briefcase to a kids show filled with card, rope and coin tricks because " it's too much work to carry things into a house" then they go to the gym for $60.00 a month to get exercise... go figure....

I always end my show with trip number 5, a live rabbit production.

.
Message: Posted by: jay leslie (Dec 23, 2015 05:54AM)
I carry whatever size show is needed
If I'm in a park, one case
On a stage in a school, 3 trips
At a home it could be 2 or 3 trips depending on how much room I have.
Message: Posted by: noland (Dec 23, 2015 06:40AM)
I'm definitely a single-trip magician. Since I perform mainly at kids' parties, it really helps to be able to pack up and take off for the next gig as quickly as possible.
Message: Posted by: Michael Messing (Dec 23, 2015 07:28AM)
I don't have a photo of what I bring in but it's usually one or two trips (depending on whether there are any steps or not.) I use two large Lefler Pro Suitcase tables and I put my Jeff Jones Magic backdrop on top of one of the tables and my small PA system (in a case) on top of the other and roll both cases in. If there are several steps, I roll one in at a time. This is for birthday parties and small shows. For larger groups requiring a larger PA system and a larger prop like my Elite Chair Suspension, it will take two to three trips.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Dec 23, 2015 09:03AM)
One trip guy here. I am "on" the second I walk through the door. I carry a large Lefler table, JJ backdrop, and small Paso PA. That covers me for a very energetic 90-minute party. For in-home birthday parties, if I can't carry it in one trip, it doesn't go. I personally see no reason or value in transforming a living room into a Vegas show palace.
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Dec 23, 2015 09:13AM)
The rolling cart thing doesn't seem to make too much sense for birthday parties, or am I wrong? I haven't tried it. There are jut so many obstacles between , steps, etc, that a cart just seems like more bother than it's worth. Now at a school, or something then that makes sense to me. I make 2 or 3 trips to the car, depending on if there is there is room to carry 2 boxes at a time - 1 in each hand on my sides. I have a small Lefler suitcase and a Showtime cube table and base. I used to use an extra large Lefler style suitcase table and a trunk, but they are too big & heavy for bringing down stairways into basements. I'd like to find lighter weight solutions that do the same thing and that look nice, but I've stuck out so far. I'd also like to find lighter weight solutions to bring in the soft puppets, I think I'll start a thread on that.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Dec 23, 2015 09:31AM)
I tried to build a one trip show, but it just doesn't work for me. Trip 1 is a medium heavy suitcase, 2 is for a tray stand, small side table and puppet. I'd love to use a live rabbit, (I'm partial to the Blue Dutch), but it's just not practical for me. I tell the mothers that because we can't be sure about kid's allergies, I stopped using livestock. Sounds feasible.
Message: Posted by: noland (Dec 23, 2015 04:24PM)
For birthday parties, I walk in with a small Lefler table in one hand, an over-sized brief case in the other (it will eventually rest on top of the Lefler table during my performance) and my Happy Amp slung over my shoulder (in it's carrying case). Like Dan, I find there are too many steps in houses to be able to roll stuff in on a cart. At a school or similar building, I put every thing on a small hand truck to roll the same stuff in, but then also use the upright hand truck as a stand for my Happy Amp.
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Dec 23, 2015 05:14PM)
Lefler sure sold a lot of tables.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 23, 2015 05:30PM)
Lefler also helped increase the practices of many CHIROPRACTORS!
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Dec 23, 2015 10:47PM)
My very first roll on was Mak Magic case to table. Later on I graduated to a Ron Bishop's table taken from his book (Laughter all the way) which I used for over 10 years. For reasons that I can't explained, I started using the Lefler roll on case to table. It was quite heavy when loaded with props and as Dick Oslund stated in his last post---I ended up with a damaged wrist and shoulder.
I was lucky to be able to get a very lite roll on from Tony Clark about 15 years ago. It weighed 15 pounds empty and roughly 30 pounds loaded with my birthday party tricks.
The only large prop in my show now, is my plastic top hat. I don't carry too much props anymore. I found out that I don't need all the heavy stuffs.
I had my good magic friend and one of the best children's entertainer in Toronto customized the suite case with metal trimmings around the edges. I'm presently using that same case.
Tricky Ricky
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Dec 24, 2015 10:05AM)
I make one trip and I fill the room with magic. It's not about being lazy. It's about being true to our artistic vision .
Message: Posted by: bowers (Dec 24, 2015 10:47AM)
Sometimes one and then sometimes two trips.
According to the age group and lenth of the show.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 24, 2015 11:42AM)
Hey Ricky! Welcome to "the club"!

We had a "motto" when I was a Boy Scout and, we went on many back packing hikes: "What you carry in your head, is a lot lighter than what you carry on your back!"

Our #2 "motto" was: "It don't take brains to be uncomfortable!"

I thought, back, in '70. that I would try a suit case table (Merv Taylor "style") A friend built one for me. The props stored and fit in just great. I used it for a season. and, "gave it away"! I spent more on chiropractors than the table was worth!

After THAT "mistake", I went back to my 13" x 20" x 8" fiber case (3 lbs) props (14 lbs) and, "tray stand" (5 lbs). It's actually, a converted stand from my old carrousel slide projector stand--on which I installed "industrial" wheels). I can drag the tray stand from the parking lot to the building, then, "open" the stand, put the case on top, and push it to the performing area. My back feels good again!

I think that fiber case has about 10,000 shows on it. It has seen the Gulf of Mexico, the Canadian border, the Atlantic and Pacific (and a whole bunch of kids!)

Merry Christmas!
Message: Posted by: TheMightyRicardo (Dec 24, 2015 01:55PM)
Another vote for just 1 trip. I have 1 box inside another and what is in my pockets. Very efficient for setting up and packing away, especially for parlour shows, but works for my rare Stage shows as well. Over the years I've replaced beloved bulky items with pack small / play big.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Richard
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 24, 2015 07:34PM)
I told this story in my book, but, I think that it's worth repeating here.

In '51, I was in the Navy, in Norfolk, Va. Earl Edwards, co-owner of the EdMar Magic Shop, invited we sailors to store civilian clothes "upstairs" in the shop.
In return, we helped out behind the counter in the evening, when we had liberty.

I had joined the local Ring, and had noted that Milford Martin, co-owner with Earl, would book little club dates for a few of the ring members who did shows. My 30 minute act packed in a cigar box sized leather shaving kit. The Ring members liked what I did at meetings. I asked Milford to book a club date for me. He replied: "You don't have any equipment!" His idea of a magic show was a suitcase full of boxes, tubes, pans and cans.

I sent home for a suitcase full of the boxes, tubes, etc. that I had used when I was 15. It arrived, I showed the "apparatus" (!) to Milford. He booked a club date for a union meeting. Bill Knight, ventriloquist, and, I left the shop by taxi.

Arriving at the venue, we found a "backroom" and, I placed my big suitcase behind he door, and "set" my props in the little case. (Set? ha! I stuffed a silk into a dye tube, put a raw egg in my pocket, put a deck of cards in another pocket, a length of rope and scissors went into a coat pocket, and a set of multiplying balls were set in other pockets. Bill looked surprised, but, said nothing.

The show went fine, and the next day, Milford asked Bill how it went. Bill said that I had not even opened my suitcase. The client phoned and expressed appreciation. Martin gave up, and set more dates for me!

One trip in!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 24, 2015 07:49PM)
P.S. THAT act WAS my act. I did it for lodge ladies nights, kid birthday parties, and, "everything in between"!

I had been trying to do a "swayve and deboner" act (white gloves, tails, cards (split fans)etc. but, it wasn't "selling". A local "vest pocket agent" set me a "showing date" at a Kiwanis meeting. It played OK. The agent asked, "Can't you make 'em laugh?" I said, "I think I can." He said, "Make 'em laugh, and, I'll get you work." I did, and he did.

After that, I sent my Navy pay check home to the bank every two weeks.
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Dec 24, 2015 08:21PM)
I have nothing against using lots of props. It's just that, with a bad hand I can't carry much weight. That forced me to develop routines with small props.
I've discovered that tricks like the 20th Century Silks--Misers Dream--Egg Bag--sponge bunnies--rope--silk Cabby and the Silk wonder Box are still some of the best for adults and children. Oldies, that stood the test of time.
As the Mighty One say's (pack small play big).
Tricky Ricky
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Dec 24, 2015 08:45PM)
TonyB2009 put one of his shows up on this forum. Well worth watching. I'm completely impressed at how much he is able get out of a group of kids with a few simple props.
It's all personality and presentation.
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Dec 24, 2015 09:21PM)
At our last Ring meeting a fellow magician and a member of the club said "Ricky, I know you don't carry much big props like I do, what do you tell them when they ask about you not bringing a house full of illusions?
I said "they never asked, It's me that they've booked and not the props, I'm the show". As we all know, it's not what you do, but it's how you do it.
The plastic hat and bunny is the largest item I carry with me.
Tricky Ricky
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 25, 2015 05:27AM)
[quote]On Dec 24, 2015, TrickyRicky wrote:
I have nothing against using lots of props. It's just that, with a bad hand I can't carry much weight. That forced me to develop routines with small props.
I've discovered that tricks like the 20th Century Silks--Misers Dream--Egg Bag--sponge bunnies--rope--silk Cabby and the Silk wonder Box are still some of the best for adults and children. Oldies, that stood the test of time.
As the Mighty One say's (pack small play big).
Tricky Ricky [/quote]

INTERESTING!

Except for the silk cabby, and sponge bunnies and, with a few additions, like rope (knots and nitemare, "perpetual balls", 3 rings, color change silk, "Slydini" Knots, tip-cee bottle, that's about what I use, too. For high schools, I also do a comedy routine with wands and brakawa fan, and "fancy" card shuffles.

The "interesting" thing is that these are all "classics". Oh! add the mutilated parasol for the "munchkins".

When "we" published my book, many asked for a DVD of my school program. Norm Barnhart "cobbled" together several elementary school shows, shot over a "few" years by visiting magician friends. They are candid shots, not studio quality, but, they do show how small hand props can be effective.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 25, 2015 05:42AM)
[quote]On Dec 24, 2015, TrickyRicky wrote:
I have nothing against using lots of props. It's just that, with a bad hand I can't carry much weight. That forced me to develop routines with small props.
I've discovered that tricks like the 20th Century Silks--Misers Dream--Egg Bag--sponge bunnies--rope--silk Cabby and the Silk wonder Box are still some of the best for adults and children. Oldies, that stood the test of time.
As the Mighty One say's (pack small play big).
Tricky Ricky [/quote]

INTERESTING!

Except for the silk cabby, and sponge bunnies and, with a few additions, like rope (knots and nitemare, "perpetual balls", 3 rings, color change silk, "Slydini" Knots, tip-cee bottle, that's about what I use, too. For high schools, I also do a comedy routine with wands and brakawa fan, and "fancy" card shuffles.

The "interesting" thing is that these are all "classics". Oh! add the mutilated parasol for the "munchkins".

When "we" published my book, many asked for a DVD of my school program. Norm Barnhart "cobbled" together several elementary school shows, shot over a "few" years by visiting magician friends. They are candid shots, not studio quality, but, they do show how small hand props can be effective.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 25, 2015 05:44AM)
[quote]On Dec 24, 2015, jakeg wrote:
TonyB2009 put one of his shows up on this forum. Well worth watching. I'm completely impressed at how much he is able get out of a group of kids with a few simple props.
It's all personality and presentation. [/quote]

Yup~! PERSONALITY AND PRESENTATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(KIS MIF!)
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Dec 25, 2015 06:38AM)
For starters, Merry Christmas everyone.

I have an interesting question for Tricky Ricky and Dick Oslund.

Here it goes:

If 2 magicians had EQUAL TALENT and GREAT PERSONALITIES but one carried a few extra flashy props, do you feel that THE CLIENT would still enjoy seeing a slightly bigger show with more bells and whistles?

I thinkg that they would.

I have seen some wonderful magicians in my life. I've seen Paul Daniels slay audiences with a chop cup, Professor's Nightmare and Linking Rings. Jay Marshall was just great with a hand puppet and Blackstone Jr. was a master with a vanishing bird cage, rope tie, etc.

Still, all things being equal, would an audience feel more endulged seeing a bigger show with more flash?

I think they would.

Look, I'm totally NOT in favor of carrying in extra stuff just to make me look better. That's why I would never transport a backdrop curtain. I just think that something like that is a little overboard.

My basic act would probably fit into a case the size that Dick Oslund transports, but still I like carrying in a few extra pieces that I feel are necessary in order to endulge my audiences and to brand my show in such a unique way that it makes it an unforgettable experience.

If you have 5 half-way decent magicians in your market and everyone of them are performing the Miser's Dream, 20th Century Silks, Professor's Nightmare, Liking Rings and the Mutilated Parasol, how can an agent or an audience tell one magician from another?

I don't think they can.

I know we all say PERSONALITY and PRESENTATION, but not every performer is a terrible entertainer.

It's something to think about.

Gerry
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Dec 25, 2015 07:29AM)
Hi Gerry. Good question.
I used to have large props at one time, nothing is wrong with using them, as long you have a good presentation with it and the audience enjoy what you do. As in my last post, I had no choice, I had to carry a lighter load and that forced me to start thinking out the box and to be creative.
Yes, quite a lot of magicians do the standard as you've mentioned--Misers dream, 20Th Century Silks, Linking Rings--and funny that Oslung mention (Mutilated Parasol) it's one of my all time favorite, again I try to put a different spin on the routine--it's the presentation that does the trick. The Misers Dream is a staple in my everyday show. How many times someone would walk up and said "I've seen you do that coin catching with the children many times and they can't get enough of all of that funny stuff--they had a blast".
Tricky Ricky
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 25, 2015 09:01AM)
Hi Gerry! Yup, GOOD question!

Because I CHOSE the school assembly field, it was necessary to produce and present, a program that could (and would) entertain almost anyone, almost anywhere! The Lyceum magician performs for every conceivable age group in schools, PLUS, in later years (about 1975--)senior citizen assisted living residences, nursing homes, etc. PLUS, mental hospitals, teen age reformatories --AND, PRISONS.

Itineraries, schedules, physical conditions, ETC. also are part of the challenge!

The props carried must be able to help, with good presentation, produce entertaining effects that will meet the above situations!

I wrote up a "hundred" anecdotes in my book to illustrate these points! To a "non roadie", many of the stories will be unbelievable!

The skills you carry in your head are much more practical than the props in your case. (If I had had to carry special props for all those different situations, I would have needed a semi truck!

"Forty miler magicians" have different challenges (e.g.: competition!) So! You may find it necessary to have a "box office" trick! (or two!) --and, if I were in your situation, it's very likely that I would, too.

So, it's an "apples & oranges" discussion!!
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Dec 25, 2015 09:19AM)
P.S.! My agent, Howard Schultz (later, his son, Mark) sold ME, not the tricks that I did! My manager(s) (school assembly "bureaus") sold PERSONALITIES with TALENTS. I also worked with several bureaus as a "talent consultant" (salesman).

I also tell the stories of principals who would ask, "Is THAT all you have?" when they saw my prop case, in the book!

I was always in the 'top 3' of a 12 program list, and, I've even 'topped' the list at the end of the season! --as a result, I never had to 'ask' for work! On my first tour for Dakota Assemblies, my program topped ALL of the other magicians that had played that circuit.

Merry Christmas!

Dick
Message: Posted by: danfreed (Dec 25, 2015 09:58AM)
I don't like the idea of choosing my stuff (up to a point!) based around what packs flat/light. Everyone has a point at which they draw the line. I have a Jeff Jones backdrop, but I hardly use it, it would often mean an extra trip to the car, extra set-up time (often in a rush between gigs), etc. Some people feel like stuff like that is worth it, I can understand why, but enough is enough, that's where I draw the line. Also, a rabbit, there is strong benefits to that as well, but no thanks, not worth it for me personally (plus I don't want to stress out an animal).
However, for shows where most kids are 8 & under, I bring at least 2 puppets, and they take up a fair amount of space. Plus, I have a small PA that I use half the time, I can get by without it, but it's really nice to have it. Then, my closer is usually a large comedy square circle routine, I love doing it and it gets great reactions, so I can't see not doing it. Misers dream bucket, a few things like that and it really adds up quick. But I can do a show out of my buskers pouch, and it's also very entertaining. My show for 9-10 year olds happens to be smaller/light weight, 1 small Lefler table and that's it.
On the subject of doing the classics, there isn't a right or wrong, but Fitke has a book call Magic by Misdirection, and he has some very interesting thoughts on the subject that some people might have a problem with. I can't really explain it well without going into several paragraphs, so bare with me, but he is stating that the classics became a classic because 1 guy did it then a bunch of other people starting doing it, that doesn't mean it will work for you and your approach, skill set and personality. So don't automaticly do something just because it's a classic. Hey, I'm just the messenger on that topic, you can form your own ideas.
Message: Posted by: jakeg (Dec 25, 2015 11:08AM)
When I did school fund raisers, I felt that it was absolutely necessary to fill the stage with colorful props, use livestock, and at least 1 illusion. I still feel that way. I think that there was a direct correlation between the eye wash, and the perceived value. I don't think that's necessary for most other venues, and sometime, it's detrimental.
Hey, it's Christmas Day, and it's going up to 72 degrees in NY/NJ.
Message: Posted by: Dan Ford (Dec 25, 2015 12:16PM)
3 trips is normal for my shows and I love it!
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Dec 25, 2015 01:44PM)
Hey Dick,

I read you book and I LOVED IT. I've re-read it several times.

In your particular situation, your portable school show made a lot of sense to me. I honestly don't know how else you could have performed so many shows in one day.

And Ricky, what you did made perfect sense to me as well.

Both of you are smart men and I admire you both.

Again, for the most part everyone has to do what feels right for them.

I set out to create a very unique show. It required me to carry a few extra things, but that's all part of my branding efforts. The show I created fit my personality, yet I still don't carry any illusions, backdrop curtains, etc.

Thanks,

Gerry
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Dec 25, 2015 07:45PM)
This is the type of case I use, I can roll both cases with wheels up the stairs just fine

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Gator/GK-Lightweight-Keyboard-Case-on-Wheels.gc


This looks interesting, I am going to look at it

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Gator/GK-LT-25W-Rolling-Laptop-MIDI-Controller-Bag.gc
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Dec 28, 2015 08:43AM)
[quote]On Dec 25, 2015, Gerry Walkowski wrote:
If 2 magicians had EQUAL TALENT and GREAT PERSONALITIES but one carried a few extra flashy props, do you feel that THE CLIENT would still enjoy seeing a slightly bigger show with more bells and whistles?

I thinkg that they would.

I have seen some wonderful magicians in my life. I've seen Paul Daniels slay audiences with a chop cup, Professor's Nightmare and Linking Rings. Jay Marshall was just great with a hand puppet and Blackstone Jr. was a master with a vanishing bird cage, rope tie, etc.

Still, all things being equal, would an audience feel more indulged seeing a bigger show with more flash?

I think they would.[/quote]
I don't think it would matter to them. You cite two great magicians, both of whom I have not only seen live and talked to. I even shared a stage with Blackstone once at a convention. Big day for me, just another day at the office for the great one.

Harry could do the small stuff brilliantly. But he also handled the big illusions well. Paul was far more at home with the small stuff. And he rarely toured with the big illusions, reserving them for TV specials, etc. Yet he was every bit as successful, over a very long period. We didn't come to see the illusions; we came to see him. We still do.

Comedians typically earn more than magicians and circus acts, but use far less props, generally none.

The most successful ventriloquists (Jeff Dunham, Nina Conti, etc) tour with minimal flash. But some earn millions a year and draw full houses. I genuinely believe it is about personality; they want you, not what you bring.

If it is part of your personality to do the flashy stuff, then go for it. I can't imagine David Copperfield doing the parlour tricks that Paul Daniels excels at. But they are a sort of extension of you, not something extra that puts you ahead of the guy who doesn't use them because they do not suit his personality. They are going for the whole package, not the add-ons, and at the centre of the package is your personality.
Message: Posted by: Ken Northridge (Dec 31, 2015 10:42AM)
[quote]On Dec 24, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
I make one trip and I fill the room with magic. It's not about being lazy. It's about being true to our artistic vision. [/quote]

I agree. I have considered downscaling many times, but my artistic vision of having large colorful props, animals, etc. will not allow it.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Dec 31, 2015 02:01PM)
[quote]On Dec 31, 2015, Ken Northridge wrote:
[quote]On Dec 24, 2015, TonyB2009 wrote:
I make one trip and I fill the room with magic. It's not about being lazy. It's about being true to our artistic vision. [/quote]

I agree. I have considered downscaling many times, but my artistic vision of having large colorful props, animals, etc. will not allow it. [/quote]
Ken, as that is your artistic vision I fully respect it. I am sure your show is better for following your instincts.

The ones I don't respect are those who go portable because they are lazy, or those who go big and flashy to make up for a lack of talent. Those following their vision generally get it right. Big or small doesn't matter. Integrity matters. Audiences and bookers get it.
Message: Posted by: Gerry Walkowski (Jan 1, 2016 07:03AM)
Tony,

The way you described that was perfect. I agree with you 100%.

Gerry
Message: Posted by: Geoff Akins (Jan 2, 2016 12:26AM)
Many years ago I attended my first KidAbara convention and one of the presenters mentioned how he used a Rock-n-Roller cart by multi-cart. I thought it was brilliant and that idea alone was worth the cost of the convention because up to that point I'd been making multiple trips to my car to bring things in.

It was also at that same convention that Jeff Jones debuted his Magic Backdrops! I ended up buying two sizes from him over the years.

For the last six years I've stopped doing birthday parties at people's homes. I will still do an occasional birthday for special clients or for the children of other sorts of clients. Getting in and out of homes with stairs and basements trying not to ding up walls, etc...I don't miss that headache.

My focus is mostly on schools, libraries, museums, and things along those lines and I have it down to a science bringing everything inside in a single trip. My clients remark how that in itself is quite magical!

Some libraries allow me to vend after the show so those performances include a second trip to the car to load up on items I sell afterward.
Message: Posted by: lurker (Jan 4, 2016 10:26PM)
I work out of a briefcase and can hold a kid show audience up to an hour although I think 45 minutes is preferable. Having said that I do recognise there are certain advantages to having a lot of stuff. Well, actually only one advantage of any consequence. That is that the kids love the flash and it builds anticipation at the beginning. The main advantage though is that the parents are terribly impressed when you bring all that stuff in. They delude themselves that they are going to see a great show. And on rare occasions they actually do. However, you still actually have to DO the show and very often the colour and flash isn't enough to get away with it. It is often a sign that the performer lacks talent and in desperation buys a ton of fancy props to make up for his lack of ability. Not always of course but sadly I do have to say, more often than not.

But the disadvantages of having all that stuff outweighs the advantages. Several trips to the car in bad weather. Going up flights of stairs with large props. All that time to set up and pack away. You have to arrive so early to do that.

No thanks. I arrive 5 minutes before the show, set up in 5 minutes and away I go. At the end I am out of the house within 5 minutes. I am not a social type and don't hang about althought it is good business to do so for a little while. For a larger event I arrive 30 minutes early so they don't have to panic but I hardly have to set up anything.

One thing I do know. If you can do a show out of a briefcase the odds are you are a good performer. The opposite tends to apply when you bring in everything but the kitchen sink. Not always but 75% of the time since it is a sign you don't have the personality to carry it off.
Message: Posted by: TrickyRicky (Jan 7, 2016 04:26PM)
Well said Lurker.
Please remember that it is the entertainer(Magician)they are booking and not the tricks--tricks are just the tools to entertain the children with.
Almost 90% of the customers will say "I'd like to book you to come over and entertain the children".
I too know of a good friend that only uses a carrying case, using minimum props. He even use that small case to entertain the kids at the start.
To see him perform is a lesson on entertaining children with small props.
Tricky Ricky
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 7, 2016 09:07PM)
Karrell Fox's birthday party show was carried in a neat case about the size of a shoe box.

T&R napkin, Prof. Nightmare, egg bag Chinese Sticks, 2 silks and a TT, and a few other small props that I can't remember.

He did a half hour. He had all the work that he wanted.
Message: Posted by: ageo (Jan 8, 2016 08:15AM)
What do you mean by "TT", Dick?
Message: Posted by: ageo (Jan 8, 2016 08:15AM)
When working as a geologist in remote locations, I´ve had to manufacture entire magic shows out of material that I could obtain along the way. Cord tricks and other simple equipment which could be improvised or made along the way “did the trick”. The following effects are the ones that I have used the most. Shoe knot tie-tangle, three cords of the same length that change into one, what English-speaking people call the “Professor´s Nightmare”, color changing discs, water that disappears and appears on a newspaper, cut and restored rope, cups and balls, six-count repeat using cards and/or gimmicked bills, “Chinese Paper Mystery” after Tarbell (pages 297 to 301 of volume 1), torn and restored napkins, ping-pong balls routine with ball in mouth, a brassier or set of panties or panty-hose appearing between two handkerchiefs (akin to XX Century silks), one-thimble routines, and simple card tricks using borrowed decks.

At a gold mine, in Huancavelica, Peru, at around 4000 meters above sea level, I did three forty five minute shows in a day (one per shift of workers) to celebrate Carmel Virgin´s Day. The show included all of the above plus an effect with a borrowed ring. The cups used were crucibles borrowed from the assay laboratory and balls cut from styrofoam. Discs were cut from color cardboard obtained from used folders. The bills were used miner´s food ration bills. Cords were leftovers obtained from a dump. The bag for the water that disappears/appears inside the newspaper was made using a comb, matches and a plastic sample bag. Should anybody want further explanations about how to make the bag, I can ellaborate.

All of the “props” can be made using a pocketknife, its scissors, a comb, and everyday items such as your own handkerchiefs, borrowed ping-pong balls, and simple travel equipment such as thread, needle and thimble. Things like old brassiers, panties and panti-hose, can be obtained almost anywhere. Preparing the cords is a simple task, and obtaining cotton or nylon cords is possible in any part of the world.

That type of effects and equipment has enabled me to entertain crowds in many places that I visit. Very little preparation work is required and little to no cost. The props can be carried around for a while or left behind if extra weight is out of question. Cords, and a deck of cards go a long way in a camp.

During two, 2-month-long trips driving a 4WD (bakkie in Afrikaans) through remote locations of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia, I did cord tricks to all sorts of kids and adult audiences in dozens of villages. All the “props” came out of a pocket in my field vest. A sort of sign language was used to present the effects, because I was not fluent enough in the multiple African vernacular tongues. My “patter” was accompanied by many vocal noises, grunts and mimic. Many human ways to express the basic things are universal. I was happilly surprised to be able to entertain people from so varied backgrounds. Such improptu shows were always a great hit. They enabled me to carry out my mineral exploration, sampling and mapping job. Such good public relations produced a friendly atmosphere wherever I went.

Kids (and for that matter, humans) are the same anywhere. No matter the language. Laughter brought about by surprise is the same all over the world.

I agree with what many have stated on this forum before. It´s not the props but the entertainer and way in which the effects are presented that matter.

It would be great to know what types of tricks other colleagues use in these situations.

Cordially,

Alberto Lobo-Guerrero S. (Mago Tato)
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Jan 25, 2016 01:50AM)
I've found making some simple props takes more effort than just carrying the light-weight ones. Finding the right kind of rope [flexible, wide, strippable, PVA on ends of ropes] for Professor's Nightmare can be hit and miss. Same for trying to make sponge balls. Having to buy suitable scissors. Where to make/find TT and a small silk?
In most circumstances it's easier to take a few small light props 'just in case' of needing/wanting to perform in emergencies.
In most cases, the number and type of props is whatever we choose or end up dragging from place to place.