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Topic: How many cases do you carry for your show??
Message: Posted by: Steven True (May 3, 2006 02:47AM)
I have been posting in here trying to find cases for my new act. The size of my props have grown and it is hard to find the right size cases needed.
Sorry I have actually gotten off of my post here. I would like to know from anyone,how many cases, or maybe just case, you use in transporting your birthday shows. And also how do you use in transporting the act to a school? Just kind of curious.

Thank you
Steven
Message: Posted by: sethb (May 3, 2006 02:26PM)
I use two cases. One is the size of an attache' case, for small stuff and little gaffs that would otherwise get lost. It's actually a little aluminum suitcase that I got at Home Depot for about $20, and it has inserts that you can use to subdivide the inside any way you like. Very handy, durable and also good-looking.

My other case is a large heavy-duty plastic hamper, also from Home Depot. Both cases fit onto a folding wheeled carrier ($25 in KMart), making it very easy to transport everything.

I have also discovered that the more often I packed and repacked, the more compact everything became, simply because I became more efficient at it. When I started, I had double the amount of boxes/crates that I do now. There's nothing like actually doing it to figure out the best way to handle this. SETH
Message: Posted by: mws7020 (May 3, 2006 03:22PM)
I transport all my effects in two breif cases.
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 3, 2006 03:51PM)
Too many.
Message: Posted by: RickyD (May 3, 2006 04:04PM)
Right now, I use one case (sounds like it's the same one [b]sethb[/b] is talking about, a $20 aluminum "tool case" from Home Depot) plus one or two things that don't fit into the case (my magic hat, complete with a plush rabbit, and the Joker Box thingy that goes along with my Strat-O-Spheres. My Strat-O-Sphere tubes and balls fit into the case just fine along with everything else.) In fact, I keep most of my magic stored up in the case between shows, so it's ready to go.

I also have my magic table, which folds up and can be carried very easily.

If I'm doing balloons, I also carry a "gift bag" that holds my balloons and my balloon pump.

And honestly, that's it. I can usually make it from my car to wherever I'm performing in one trip, and I have more than enough magic to do my show, with some spare tricks just in case I need them.
Message: Posted by: todsky (May 3, 2006 10:28PM)
One case for birthday parties, two for school shows. I use a Lefler suitcase table, as well as one of those aluminum tool cases. They're both great!
Message: Posted by: Steven True (May 5, 2006 01:46AM)
Mws7020 don't ever talk to me again, hehehe just kidding.

2 small cases, I wish I could. This new kids show that I am putting together is makeing me a little crazy. First, I am having trouble finding the kinds of cases that I would like to use as well as finding ones to hold the act. I can get cases for my props but I am trying to use as few as possible. Let me tell you my act so far:

Hippty Hop Rabbits-they are big..20" tall and 6" wide each.
Stratospher
Jumbo the Performing Pachyderm
12" tall Square Circle
13"x9" Tear A Part Vanish
2 Small plastic boxes with silk effects in them
1 Main table-made from Mark Wilson Course
1 Side table-this breaks down to almost fit in a breif case.

So that is my delima, as of now. There will be some things added as time goes on for school shows. I have been told "well your act is just to big","just do close-up","call David Copperfield and see how he does it".

Now I am not kidding here,these are actual answers to my posts. They have come in private messages. I will say that 2 of them said they were just kidding but really didn't offer any advice.

Regan, you don't have to say but I would really like to know how many you need. And Todsky, what are the dimensions of the suitcase table? I have thought about that also because that would eleminate some of the cases and also replace one table.

Now I have been to Eagles Hardware and looked for those cases and I could never find them. Where are they located at in the store?

I want to thank you all who have posted because I really need the advice. The act is not ready for the shows yet but it will be within 4 to 5 months and that is why I wanted to tackle the case situation now and not wait until I have it all ready and then realize I don't have any way to get it to the gig.

Thanks
Steven
Message: Posted by: AndrewBarbour (May 6, 2006 06:25AM)
My recommendations/thoughts:
- never carry more than two cases (if you can't make it in one run to the car it is too much stuff!)
- whatever you put your effects in also needs to function as a table so get rid of the main table or the side table.
- if one of your larger effects is relatively flat and sturdy (e.g. hippety hop rabbits) have a canvas bag/sleeve made and strap this to the outside of your case. I also do this for my performance shoes and side table base as they take up too much valuable storage space
- the individuals that said pack light - were right

my opinionated $0.02

andrew
Message: Posted by: Ron Reid (May 6, 2006 12:22PM)
Hi:

I carry my birthday party act in one case (the larger Lefler suitcase table) and my balloons in a Doctor's Bag.

Ron
Message: Posted by: Steven True (May 6, 2006 10:31PM)
Well, I made a mistake with my last post and I said I have looked for cases at Eagles Hardware which has been out of business here in WA for a while now. I meant I have looked at Lowes Hardware.

Andrew, thank you for the advice on the table situation and the bag for the rabbits, never really thought about using a bag like that. And by the way your 2 cents was greatly appreciated.

I have talked to a lot of people that have used the suitcase tables and they really love them. I am just going to have to check into one. I know they come in a few sizes and I want to get the best one,maybe not the biggest,that will work for me.
All of you here have been a store house of information and help. Thank you all.

Thanks
Steven
Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (May 7, 2006 09:00AM)
I carry most of my props for a kids show in a large plastic tote. I have to carry in the chair suspension, separately.

I carry the props for my show for adults in a large duffle bag.

I carry in additional support equipment, depending on what I need: tray stand for holding the prop case, a duffle with the speaker stand and backdrop frame, a plumber's bag with the backdrop curtains and a long extension cord, a sample case with my microphones and sound cables, my Crate Limo amp, my lights in a case the size of a suitcase.
Message: Posted by: Steven True (May 8, 2006 04:01AM)
How many trips do you make to your vehicle to get all of your props to the performance area? I have not even figured in a back drop or sound system, I was just thinking about the magic props. Wow, a lot to learn here for me. I love it when we can get a good thread going here at the Café' and bring up so many things other helpful information.

Steven
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (May 8, 2006 11:33AM)
In a home-type birthday party, I don't use a "sound system" or backdrop. I will occasionally use a jam box type, but not my full ShowTech with amp and speakers. I usually use my large Lefler table and maybe 1 more case with an effect inside (Khyber Kobra or Jumbo Sidekick), and sometimes my Wacky Wolf "Funhouse". Usually no more than 2 trips, most shows just 1 trip. Bigger shows....NOW we're talking trips!

Steve
Message: Posted by: Steven True (May 9, 2006 03:18AM)
I just went to Home Depot today and finally found one of the metal breifcase. It would be perfect for carrying small items in and it has the foam already in it. I am going back tomorrow to pick one up. It was $24.99 and from the looks of it it will be great. Still not the big case that I am looking for but it will do nicely. Thanks for the tip off about the case.

Thanks
Steven
Message: Posted by: boppies2 (May 12, 2006 09:01PM)
Hi Steven,
I use the large Lefler Table/Case for all my birthday parties. A special bag for my bunny cage. I had debated on the smaller Lefler case, glad I got the large one since it fits easily into my car.

Max
Message: Posted by: todd75 (May 15, 2006 05:19PM)
One trip to every show.

B-day parties= 1 trip

School shows= 1 trip

Church shows= 1 trip

Library shows= 1 trip

You get the idea! My rule of thumb...if it don't fit in the case, it don't go in the show!
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (May 15, 2006 09:53PM)
I love my large Lefler table. I also have a Viking "Pro-Table", which is very similar. My problem is that the Lefler will fit in the back of my car, standing up, but the Pro-Table is too tall. I drive a Toyota Matrix (a C-U-V) with a cargo area in the back. Just wish the Viking table were a little shorter. It makes up for it with durability, the drawers, locking cabinet and sturdier construction, though.

Steve Thomas
Message: Posted by: Daniel Faith (May 19, 2006 10:30AM)
In my deluxe show package, I wouldn't want to short my show
by making rules of one trip from the car. No way!
I'm not lazy and don't mind making several trips if needed.
For example I use a live rabbit in every show.
It's obviously in a separate carrier.
If I use a backdrop and audio then there's another trip.
I even have lighting if it's needed.
I carry all the props in a Pro Table.
My approach is to bring theater into the home.
So what's in a few trips? It doesn't waste enough time to worry about.
I can charge a lot more for the top show package too.
So it all just depends on the situation of the particular show.
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 19, 2006 11:03AM)
I hadn't been here in a long time. Steven, sorry it took so long to give you a straight answer. I must a lot like Daniel, because it takes me more than one trip also.

I take my accessory/emergency kit to every show. It's small, but separate. I have a rabbit carrier at most every show, sometimes two. I have 1 large footlocker that is filled with my table tops and shelves that goes to most all shows. I sometimes have a second one if I am doing puppetry or to carry certain props. I have a box filled with my table tripods. I have an old VHS camcorder case I customized into an minidisc case. I have one of the larger Vaultz cases that doubles as a drop box on stage. My wireless mic is in it's own case. Then there's my Fender Passport and 2 tripod speaker stands. I also carry extra speaker cable, connectors, mics, etc. in a seperate box. If I use my backdrop then it is in a case, along with my orange floor-marker cones. If I need the backdrop I also have to take 2 more tripod stands and the cross rod. I also have a small tupperware-type box that goes to most every show, sometimes two. Also a medium sized duffle bag.

It's hard to give an exact number of cases I carry to each show. The type and length of the show will change the number of cases that are required. The particular routines I am doing for a particular show also makes a difference. Certain routines I do are packed in individual cases, from the aluminum briefcase type to the tupperware type. Sometimes the smaller cases can be packed within a footlocker or larger case, but other times they will have to be carried in separately. It just depends upon the show and the routines involved.

The PA system and the curtain take up lot's of room. If I am doing a small show, I sometimes use a boombox instead of all the sound equipment. It saves a lot of load/transport/unload/set-up/tear-down/load/unload time.

Regan
Message: Posted by: Steven True (May 19, 2006 04:30PM)
It has been awhile since I posted,sorry been sick here. I am getting the idea from all who have posted that it really varies on how many cases you carry even to the same size show. I have it finally down to 2 cases and a small cases from Home Depot. I am sure as time goes on I will be changing this setup as my show changes. It is kind of funny when I started putting my new show together,I paid way more attention to the props and way to little to the packing of it. I hate that I have to learn from experiance,I am talking about mine and not anyones here. At least I don't have to worry about a show the size of DC. Everyone here have been a great help, and I thank each and everyone of you.

Thanks
Steven
Message: Posted by: Christopher Starr (May 20, 2006 09:55AM)
I knew that this would be an interesting thread.

There are a great many magicians that subscribe to the "Pack Small - Play Big" style of performing. And for the smaller shows, like birthday parties, I suppose that is ok. In a living room situation, there isn't a lot of room to begin with.

However, if you do a larger act, with birds, illusions, box tricks, etc. you are going to want to take a serious look at packing and organization. For example, if you are doing an illusion, then you better have a decent ATA style case for it, and add casters to the bottom of it. That way you can pile other cases on top of it, and roll several items at a time into the venue.

Also, look into getting an inexpensive hand truck, or two wheel dolly.

You can find reasonable deals on cases. For years I used an ata style guitar case to carry all of the items for my one-man shows. I got the thing used from a friend who needed cash (a common plight amongst many musicians). I cut out the foam inside from the guitar shape to more rectangular, and had a great case, which stored my die box, linking rings, dove pan, accessories, etc., and I could carry the whole show in at one time. I purchased a folding keyboard stand, and rested the case on it. Now I could access it during the show while standing. That case, and a side table, and I had it made.
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 20, 2006 12:19PM)
Hey Chris,

Those keyboard stands are great. I forgot to mention them, but I sometimes take 1 or 2 of those to my shows. I use them to sit my footlocker cases on. One is my puppet case, and it makes it easy to work right out of the case.

Great post, except for the part about the needy musicians...I am one of those myself..,musician, that is, not a needy one at the moment. HAHAHA :)

Regan
Message: Posted by: indysmagic (Jun 2, 2006 03:13AM)
After trying many cases and not finding just the right case, I decided to take the plunge and have one made. I layed out my birthday show props and designed a case around them. I went to a local ATA case builder and gave him my plans. He made some suggestions that I didn't think of and now I have the perfect case- for me.

It is ATA style, rolls in with a retractible handle, and has built in wheels. It has built in shelves that fit my props so I can roll in, open up (it opens like a fridge)and perform. The tricks go right back to their little cranny as I perform so that I can close and go after the show. It acts as a case/table.

It cost me around $500 to have made. It looks good, does exactly what I need it to do and fits me. It has been the best money I've spent in magic.
Message: Posted by: afun14u (Jun 8, 2006 06:20PM)
I too, feel too many, however, just can't live with out them. When I signed off my last ship I only had 21 ATA cases plus my luggage. Most of the ATA's were actually small enough to put a person in too. Now I keep up with my cases and props with an inventory list - not really sure how many I now have. Still I love it.

Robert
Message: Posted by: One Man (Jul 19, 2006 03:36PM)
If you were a mime you would only need one invisible suitcase.....and maybe a handtruck to carry the invisible box.

Just posted this elswhere but check out http://www.casesbysource.com

I have bought a couple of nice cases from them and they have a pretty good clearance section.

Kevin
Message: Posted by: pradell (Jul 21, 2006 03:05PM)
Cases aren't the only thing that is important. Packing also includes the type of vehicle you use to get to the show, how far from the stage your vehicle will be for loading purposes, how easy is the packing in/packing out, whether or not a sound system is required, how far away the audience will be, what climate you live in and what types of tricks you will need to entertain your audience effectively, etc.

Older magi must deal with the physical limitations of themselves and their abilities to easily move items, or hire others to move the loads. So there are a lot of factors involved. As a DJ, musician, and magician I've done all kinds of shows for all sizes of audiences of all ages. What is important is to plan things out in advance and have alternatives to attempt to avoid unforseen problems.

Is there a reason you have the large sized Hippity Hop rabbits? You may want to use these for school shows but take a small sized set to birthday parties. Or substitute fraidy cat rabbit-type tricks for hippity hops, becasue this is basically the same trick with 1/2 the props! I've taken a briefcase and a table that folds up into a briefcase sized container to some smaller shows. However, I have a Toyota Tundra pick up truck and the biggest Leer shell over the load compartment because I need a covered load as large as possible for the big events. I recently purchased a trailer, in part for the big illusions, moving, storing, managing, etc. A good dolly that converts from two wheels to four wheels for bigger loads is a lifesaver if you pack heavy. Fender's Passport amp systems (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/home/navigation?q=passport) provde great sound and all the pieces (speakers, amp, mikes, cords) assemble together so you can carry the whole system in one hand, or buy the added package which includes its own dolly.
The Lefler table is a godsend. There's enough room in there to take some extra tricks for other aged audience members in the event there are lots of kids at your adult show or visa versa. Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: magicman226 (Jul 24, 2006 02:39PM)
I only use that Home Depot briefcase. It is terrific! I would love to have some kind of thing to put props in once I'm done. Sometimes, the props get a little mixed up. Other than that, the briefcase suits me perfectly. Plus it's no where near a "female-dog" to get around.

Michael
Message: Posted by: Stanyon (Jul 26, 2006 11:30AM)
Only one, but keeps the deck from shuffling in my coat pocket.

FWIW

Cheers! ;)
Message: Posted by: EggMan (Aug 7, 2006 12:01AM)
Hi,
I guess your best solution is to custom build a case that is big enough to fit your show, yet is small enough to transport easily. That's what I do for my birthday shows.
Message: Posted by: SmallCheeto (Aug 7, 2006 11:20AM)
Hi,
Let's see, 2 X-Large Breif cases,1 plastic storage box, 2 small boxes,and 1 Artist Portfolio(For my axtell board).

It doesn't seem like that much to me, but when I go into someone's living room to do a show, they look at me and think ... "What kind of show is this kid gonna do?!"

Magically,
Matthew Toner
Message: Posted by: Steven True (Aug 11, 2006 01:30AM)
Sorry it has been so long since I got in here and posted but an injury sidelined me and still is for awhile. Lots of great ideas here as always. EggMan, you maybe very close to what I am looking to do. Packing is very important no matter how far you are away from the stage or room you are performing in. The suitcase tables are great and I have purchased one for this new act.
Matthew you are going to be needing a road crew pretty soon with all that stuff. Hahahaha.
Thanks again for all of the posts here and the continuing ones too.

Happy Magic
Steven
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Aug 11, 2006 01:45AM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-19 11:30, Daniel Faith wrote:
In my deluxe show package, I wouldn't want to short my show
by making rules of one trip from the car. No way!
I'm not lazy and don't mind making several trips if needed.
For example I use a live rabbit in every show.
It's obviously in a separate carrier.
If I use a backdrop and audio then there's another trip.
I even have lighting if it's needed.
I carry all the props in a Pro Table.
My approach is to bring theater into the home.
So what's in a few trips? It doesn't waste enough time to worry about.
I can charge a lot more for the top show package too.
So it all just depends on the situation of the particular show.
[/quote]
I agree with this completely.

Packs small/Plays big sounds nifty but if you're doing a show for 500 people you need sound, lighting, a backdrop, etc. Unless you know everything is already set up and perfect (which I don't recall ever happening), walking in with just a briefcase seems a bit hopeful to me.

The more I bring to a show, the less stressed out I am. A couple extra trips to the car is worth it, knowing your sound system works, there's no feedback from the mic, the stage will be well lit, etc. (Which is why I'm looking into getting some lighting).

The only thing I've learned to count on is that the stage they point you to when you ask "So where do you want me to perform?", is cluttered with xmas presents, band gear from 2 bands, a DJ right center stage all set up for a week's stay, no lighting, and speakers positioned specifically for feedback maximus. No only that, you've just been informed that there will be a loud jet engine demonstration where everyone gets a chance to rev the engine and the loudest gets a $1,000 prize... and it starts about 3 minutes before your act at the opposite end of the room.

Sure enough a lady announces " ... So if you want to watch the magic show come over here and if you wish to make a helluva lot of noise and have a helluva lot of fun and win $1,000 go to the other end of the room."

That is what I basically plan on happening at larger shows.
Message: Posted by: ades888 (Sep 28, 2006 04:15AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-11 02:45, Frank Starsini wrote:
[quote]
On 2006-05-19 11:30, Daniel Faith wrote:
In my deluxe show package, I wouldn't want to short my show
by making rules of one trip from the car. No way!
I'm not lazy and don't mind making several trips if needed.
For example I use a live rabbit in every show.
It's obviously in a separate carrier.
If I use a backdrop and audio then there's another trip.
I even have lighting if it's needed.
I carry all the props in a Pro Table.
My approach is to bring theater into the home.
So what's in a few trips? It doesn't waste enough time to worry about.
I can charge a lot more for the top show package too.
So it all just depends on the situation of the particular show.
[/quote]
I agree with this completely.

Packs small/Plays big sounds nifty but if you're doing a show for 500 people you need sound, lighting, a backdrop, etc. Unless you know everything is already set up and perfect (which I don't recall ever happening), walking in with just a briefcase seems a bit hopeful to me.

The more I bring to a show, the less stressed out I am. A couple extra trips to the car is worth it, knowing your sound system works, there's no feedback from the mic, the stage will be well lit, etc. (Which is why I'm looking into getting some lighting).

The only thing I've learned to count on is that the stage they point you to when you ask "So where do you want me to perform?", is cluttered with xmas presents, band gear from 2 bands, a DJ right center stage all set up for a week's stay, no lighting, and speakers positioned specifically for feedback maximus. No only that, you've just been informed that there will be a loud jet engine demonstration where everyone gets a chance to rev the engine and the loudest gets a $1,000 prize... and it starts about 3 minutes before your act at the opposite end of the room.

Sure enough a lady announces " ... So if you want to watch the magic show come over here and if you wish to make a helluva lot of noise and have a helluva lot of fun and win $1,000 go to the other end of the room."

That is what I basically plan on happening at larger shows.
[/quote]
On this note, was wondering how you guys handle doing corporate gigs where there is a dinner and you are the after dinner entertainment. You need to walk in and do your show but you don't want to be seen to be "setting up". Do you guys come hours earlier or do you have assistants do the work for you so you can stay in the waiting room? Do you walk in with your case(s) or have them set up hours ahead of time before guests arrive? (I am a little conscious of doing this due to curious/prying eyes)

I ask because I have a gig in which I will be performing after dinner and am not sure how to handle this aspect (lighting, audio, cases etc.)
Message: Posted by: Christopher Starr (Sep 29, 2006 08:57PM)
[b]ades888[/b]:

Without a doubt, setting up [i]before[/i] the dinner is the best route to go. I always check to see when I can gain access to my performing area, often shared with a band, etc. But since I usually do a larger style program, with a backdrop, illusions, etc. I need to have advance access.

As for prying eyes, I try to keep everything behind my backdrop. We load everything up, and slowly move the opening pieces out front as our showtime nears.

In your case, sometimes you have no other choice than to be setting up while the dinner is proceeding. That's the way it goes.

Chris
Message: Posted by: Doug Arden (Sep 30, 2006 05:22PM)
I [b]always[/b] set up before the dinner. I think most corporate clients would find ir very annoying if I were hauling things in, setting up and doing a sound check during their dinner.

I have custom made tables that lock and that keeps prying eyes away. After dinner and just a few minutes before the show starts, I unlock the tables and do a final set-up, which takes no more than 5 minutes.

This may not work for everyone but it does for me.
Message: Posted by: MintonMagic (Oct 15, 2006 01:05AM)
I have 2 cases. One for my bday act and a closeup case. They both hold everything I need and are very nice. I built the one for the bday and bought the other one. They work nice!
Message: Posted by: SeaDawg (Oct 15, 2006 07:36AM)
I found a contractors bag for taking to shows at Walmart in the tools section. If has a bunch of pockets for card decks and easy access as servant and ditch combo.

Trying to minimize trips is good, but like Frank points out, having the gear is necessary and reduces stress.
Message: Posted by: Bill Scott (Nov 15, 2006 05:44PM)
I use 2. The large Lefler suitcase/table and the other is an aluminum suitcase from Home Depot for the little little stuff that could easily get lost. My small "Pignose" little PA and wireless mic fit in the suitcase table.
Message: Posted by: JeffMac (Nov 16, 2006 11:51AM)
Coolest pack job I ever saw was a Musician he built a troll like a Ambulance Gurney but wider. pulled it out of the back of his van and the wheels popped down to hit the ground. Rolled 2 monitors 2 Speakers, set of congos, 3 Guitars, and a Bass and a bass Amp. One trip. After the show threw everything back on straped it all in rolled it right back inside his van
Message: Posted by: mcharisse (Jan 7, 2007 08:53AM)
I have two cases - one is my magic trunk, from K-Mart, turned on its side as a table (more on this in suitcase table thread).
The other is an old beat up black suitcase , a little deeper than an attache case, I picked up in a junk store. I put a Magic is a Vanishing Art bumper sticker on it and it looks cool and old and more than one spectator has commented, Wow that looks like a real magic case, or words to that effect.
I also have one of those portable legs wait staff in restaurants use to set large trays on. the suitcase goes on top of that and its a performing surface as well. It has little side pockets for small stuff, and the props go back inside as I'm done with them. That's what I use for adult, or less formal shows when a bunch of props are not expected anyway. (I never take both cases to the same show -- good discipline for me not to lug every prop to every show. I figure I should be able to pull off a birthday party or small stage show with what I can fit in a single storage trunk.)
Message: Posted by: TheGiz (Jan 13, 2007 10:56PM)
I have the small & large Lefler tables. The best money I ever spent in magic. I'm organized and self contained. No more suitcases!!! I'm in the process of building a close-up pad that I can set on top of each table for classy closeup routines, as the tables do talk with silver dollars or final loads. Get the Lefler table. You'll thank me later.
Message: Posted by: Magic of Dan (Jan 17, 2007 10:54AM)
I use a rubbermaid tub that has wheels and a handle on it. I can pack everything in it for the birthday and daycare shows I do. The only thing that doesn't fit is my folding table base that I built.
Message: Posted by: Keith Brown (Jan 17, 2007 02:26PM)
I carry one large suitcase with my custom-made wood dump box, it's matching wood center post and removable feet, a few extra show items and the curtains for my backdrop. My floating table, which matches my dumpbox table pretty closely, is in a small aluminum case and my backdrop stand is in it's own carrying bag. Everything goes in one trip. Yesterday, I used this to entertain 317 people for 45 minutes on a large stage. Since I also use standup comedy...it requires a little less magic. They already had the sound system although I have a large portable one of those too.

I like the big stuff but believe that a quality entertainer can make due with a lot less...even for bigger crowds.

Just my .02.
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Jan 18, 2007 07:29AM)
I will have one suitcase one appearing table bag and a folding table, to put my suitcase on.

The suitcase was for an old vhs camcorder that doesn't work any more. Its padded and has wells in it to hold stuff in place. The table is one of thos old wooden dinner tables that you would see in the seventies that people would use to eat in front of the tv.

I am ordering a mak magic appearing table this afternoon.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 21, 2007 09:26AM)
Your question was specific to Birthday Shows and I very rarely do one except in connection with some other client relationship. However, two brief cases is usually as small as I travel without doves.

Being raised as a cowboy, I equate the two cases to the drawer on a chuckwagon for odd items that are still needed. Old ranch hands call it the "possibilities" drawer. I can usually invent what ever show is needed from them.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: dmagic (Jan 23, 2007 08:01AM)
Ok now me -

1 background spider
1 suitcase table small
1 all my stand and cable
1 for another magic ( fantasy magician, wands,ball juggling)
1 bigger wands
1 general magic (mouth coils, tape, glue, gifts and more...)
1 case bogunia routine 3
1 for chair
1 case microphone headset sure
1 pa system

It's a lot or not?
All this you can see in this picture
http://www.planetnana.co.il/dudumagic/setup.JPG
http://www.planetnana.co.il/dudumagic/withwand1.JPG

Dudu
Message: Posted by: Steven True (Jan 26, 2007 04:14PM)
Dmagic

Who did your art work on your table. Love the look. Is it air brushed or what?

Steven
Message: Posted by: dmagic (Jan 28, 2007 07:59AM)
My friend make the picture .
It's called "air brush" I think ...

Dudu
Message: Posted by: gadfly3d (Feb 13, 2007 11:31AM)
For my corporate show just one catalogue case and for my kids show one slightly larger case with a tray jack, the corporate show case just sits on a chair. Namely of my gigs are in situations where anything more would become very difficult.

Gil Scott
Message: Posted by: GWSchott (Jul 10, 2007 11:11PM)
I guess I just can't make it work with the 'pack small, play big' philosophy, so I end up taking a lot of stuff to each show...For starters, I use a large Lefler suitcase table; then I have a small bag that carries my speaker and microphone; another bag to hold my MP3Tech; and then of course there's the speaker stand; and whoops! Can't forget the Elusive Bunny Box!
For me, trying to cut back on the 'luggage' would be nothing more than laziness on my part. I figure I'm getting paid good money for just an hour of my time, so the least I could do is invest another few minutes and not skimp on the props.
Message: Posted by: btedeski (Jul 22, 2007 07:38AM)
Depends on the Show,

for a b-day party or small show (30 min show)

Lefler suitcase table
Gator Speaker bag for the Rabbit tricks (2)
Spider table
Small folding table
Open top box for a couple of tricks

Larger show (Small club) 50 to 60 min show

All of above Plus (with different content)
A power yard blower
Fairchild Dirt extractor

Next year
A trailer full (lights, sound, backdrop, props)
Message: Posted by: Stevethomas (Jul 22, 2007 12:13PM)
Does anybody use a Viking "Pro-Table"? I have a Lefler table, too. Comments?

Steve
Message: Posted by: Matthew W (Jul 22, 2007 12:27PM)
[quote]
On 2007-01-18 08:29, Matthew W wrote:
I will have one suitcase one appearing table bag and a folding table, to put my suitcase on.

The suitcase was for an old vhs camcorder that doesn't work any more. Its padded and has wells in it to hold stuff in place. The table is one of thos old wooden dinner tables that you would see in the seventies that people would use to eat in front of the tv.

I am ordering a mak magic appearing table this afternoon.
[/quote]

The appearing table never happened, instead a built a Lefler style table that's extra wide and will still use the folding table. So I will have the suitcase and stand, lefler style table, and folding table

I will be carrying that for every show, The suitcase has the same props for every show and the lefler table will have props switched out depending on the show.

Including a cd player, I will be carrying 5 things. Everything rolls in strapped to the lefler table with bungee cords that I use with the suitcase. I find it necessary.

Go ahead, tell me I have too much stuff, lol.
Message: Posted by: Cody Comet (Jul 27, 2007 09:55PM)
Right now for my act,I use 1 briefcase,but since my act is getting bigger,i'll soon need another breifcase.
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Jul 30, 2007 09:19PM)
2 cases -Handheld & 2 tables for all shows not involving Illusions
which is a whole different game!!!
Message: Posted by: bentley (Aug 2, 2007 05:51PM)
I carry ONE Bag and ONE Table and a cd player. Not much.
Message: Posted by: HowaboutBob (Aug 6, 2007 11:03AM)
Two cases. Pull from the one on the right and ditch to the one on the left.
Resets the show as I go. These are the home depot cases with my signs on the front. Two small collapsible tables for the cases and a small pa with Ipod.

Bob
Message: Posted by: Steven True (Aug 10, 2007 01:41AM)
WOW!!!!! The Thread that refuses to die....I think this is great. This has held on for a long time. So many posts and great ideas. I originaly started it to find out how many cases you carried with you because I was trying to put my new show together. Well after about 10 different re workings of the act I can finaly say that..I am no closer to finding out how many cases I am needing than when I started this venture. I can at least say it is still a work in progress and the act is pretty much done. I have learned to say, "pretty much done" with this crazy act. I am working on getting the right cases but I know after reading the posts here that there are so many different variations on, "the right cases" as there are carpenter ants at my parents house...Sorry an inside joke there.
I do have a question for anyone that wants to answer, and I hope this will not kill the thread, but what do you think of the soft luggage cases on wheels that they sell at places like WalMart? I found a 29" one that lookes like it would hold just about the whole act minus my table and sound system. Oh yes and my square circle, my Performing Pachaderm, my...well you get the idea. What does anyone think about these cases. I was thinking about the big 29" one with a lineing of medium thick foam for protection.
Anyway thanks for all the posts and I look forward to reading more.

Thank you
Steven
Message: Posted by: Sam Pearce (Aug 13, 2007 11:54PM)
If its a smaller stand-up type show, I try to keep it down to 2-3 cases.

When it comes to our larger scale show, everything is transported in a 12 foot, enclosed Haulmark trailer. In our current show, we use around 20-30 road cases, give or take, plus other miscellaneous items, extra BOR merch., personal luggage, etc.
We travel with an entirely self-contained show that can be set-up just about anywhere. We carry our own backdrops, sound system, lighting...

It is a lot of work to set up, and I'm glad I have the help from our crew, if it wasn't for that, the show would take me forever to setup!

The best advice that I can give everyone, this includes small to large performances... Plan out your setup on paper. When we arrive at the venue, we all have our own list of things to do to get the show setup fairly fast!

For an example, here's a couple simple lists that keep us organized...


My assistants list

1. Load in
2. Co-ordinate helpers
3. Backdrops
4. Hang fixtures & hazer
5. Run electrical and DMX
6. Test tech & focus fixtures
7. Crank up truss
8. Tape cords
9. Jumbo sidekick
10. Arrange backstage
11. Set up small props
12. Sub-trunk
12. Organize


My list

Load in
Co-ordinate helpers
Move cases
Guillotine
Lighting Tech
Sound Tech
Focus fixtures
Wiz-kote
Silk to egg table
Floating table
Appearance illusion
Organize!

Most of the cases we use are custom-made, so everything fits great, and we have yet to damage anything during transport!

Hope this helped!

Sam
Message: Posted by: Steven True (Aug 17, 2007 03:05AM)
Samp321 One of these days I might have a show that large. I don't know, it would be nice. A lot of good info in your post also. Lots of performers don't really give a lot of attention to the load in and load out sequence. Well a lot of performers I know that is. It must be tough to carry a full show like that on a regular basis. I had a show years ago that was pretty good size but still small in comparison to yours. Loved it so much and wish I still had it going, or at least one like it. I really enjoyed the travel and setting up. Got to be a lot of work but it was still a lot of fun when I did it. I was a WHOLE lot younger then too but still I look back on it with awe and great acheivement. I got out of magic for a lot of years and decided to get back in a different mode this time. A lot ssmaller then before but I am finding out not as easy as I though it might be. Thanks for the post. Good luck with your show and let us know here when you are in the area of Seattle, if at all. Thanks again.
Happy Magic
Steven
Message: Posted by: Sam Pearce (Aug 19, 2007 12:31PM)
I cannot stress how important I have found to have a list and know what you are doing when you show up!
Up until a month ago or so, we would arrive at the venue, scramble around and try to get the show set-up. There is so much time wasted when you have no idea what to do... It helps so much when you have a list.

Steven, we do not really have a traditional illusion show, we are slowly building and getting more illusions all the time. Although it is not really an 'illusion show' we travel with quite a big lighting setup in my opinion, and of course sound, etc.

Because of the list, we have been able to get the show setup in a little less than 3 hours, using just two people who know what they are doing, and usually one or to other helpers from the venue.

Like I said, almost everything in the show has a very strong road case. This is so important when you are not just traveling, but also letting others handle your props. Road cases are great!
But when you show up at the airport with a large case, they sure take you into the back and talk with you about the case, and x-ray everything... At least that's my experience. When you are flying, it may be better to travel with your props in a normal looking suitcase.

Also, sometimes it is important to watch what other helpers touch, when trying to help load-in the show. For example, I'm the only one that is aloud to open the case to, and set-up the floating table. I do let my assistant carry it, but she knows how careful she must be, and the cost of it.

The show is a ton of fun to do and I love to travel with it, but it is hard work. No one likes striking the show after a hard day's work, but its all part of the job.

One other point I want to touch on, which is kind of straying from the topic, but rather advice on traveling and packing in general. The easier and more 'idiot proof' you can make your setup, the better.
We once traveled with all are PAR's in one road case, and to setup you had to individually bolt all the fixtures to the stand. This took forever!
In the very near future, we are having some system cages built for us (out of lightweight aluminum) for our PAR's. For those of you who do not know what system cages are, let me explain... In a nutshell it is a large rectangular cage structure which houses four PAR's, and the dimmer. The advantage of this is that the cages have a socket on the bottom, so they are easily put in place onto of a light stand, other advantages are that there is no set-up time required, as all the fixtures are permanently bolted into the cage, plus since they are in the cage, they are protected from damage for the most part.
I will be getting these built in the next month of so and I'll post some pictures when I get them in.

Enjoy.

Sam
Message: Posted by: Brent McLeod (Sep 2, 2007 05:33PM)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
[/quote]
On this note, was wondering how you guys handle doing corporate gigs where there is a dinner and you are the after dinner entertainment. You need to walk in and do your show but you don't want to be seen to be "setting up". Do you guys come hours earlier or do you have assistants do the work for you so you can stay in the waiting room? Do you walk in with your case(s) or have them set up hours ahead of time before guests arrive? (I am a little conscious of doing this due to curious/prying eyes)

I ask because I have a gig in which I will be performing after dinner and am not sure how to handle this aspect (lighting, audio, cases etc.)
[/quote]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi-

I always arrive at theses events 2-3 hrs before the first guests arrive, a few trips to the car-sound equipment checks etc all take time, you must be so professional at these corporate events

The hour before the show is when you mentally convert from prop man to Professional corporate entertainer! Very important-no rush-you need to relax in this time-not be fixing stuff 5 mins before you are on!!

Always arrive early!!

Cheers

-Brent
Message: Posted by: Sam Pearce (Sep 22, 2007 08:36PM)
The System Cubs/Cages just cam in, complete with LED fixtures! They are great and will speed up set-up alot!

Is anyone interested to seeing pictures, or should I not bother?

Sam
Message: Posted by: adam christopher (Oct 1, 2007 04:30PM)
A pic would be awesome Sam!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hilly (Dec 23, 2007 02:37PM)
Since I have a ton of stuff to load in, I got one of these a few years ago.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Rock-n-Roller-R12-AllTerrain-Cart?sku=699404

It'll hold a 12U SKU rack, two Peavey PR-12 speakers a footlocker, a suitcase, 3 instrument cases, speaker stands, two folding tables & a folding chair.

Or 2 footlockers, a large Lefler box, 2 instrument cases, two Crate PE-10 speakers, speaker stands, the tabels & chair.

Without a doubt, one of the best investments I ever made.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Dec 23, 2007 11:53PM)
I have one of those too and it is FANTASTIC
Message: Posted by: Magic1962 (Jan 6, 2008 12:40PM)
[quote]
On 2006-05-19 12:03, Regan wrote:
I hadn't been here in a long time. Steven, sorry it took so long to give you a straight answer. I must a lot like Daniel, because it takes me more than one trip also.

I take my accessory/emergency kit to every show. It's small, but separate. I have a rabbit carrier at most every show, sometimes two. I have 1 large footlocker that is filled with my table tops and shelves that goes to most all shows. I sometimes have a second one if I am doing puppetry or to carry certain props. I have a box filled with my table tripods. I have an old VHS camcorder case I customized into an minidisc case. I have one of the larger Vaultz cases that doubles as a drop box on stage. My wireless mic is in it's own case. Then there's my Fender Passport and 2 tripod speaker stands. I also carry extra speaker cable, connectors, mics, etc. in a seperate box. If I use my backdrop then it is in a case, along with my orange floor-marker cones. If I need the backdrop I also have to take 2 more tripod stands and the cross rod. I also have a small tupperware-type box that goes to most every show, sometimes two. Also a medium sized duffle bag.

It's hard to give an exact number of cases I carry to each show. The type and length of the show will change the number of cases that are required. The particular routines I am doing for a particular show also makes a difference. Certain routines I do are packed in individual cases, from the aluminum briefcase type to the tupperware type. Sometimes the smaller cases can be packed within a footlocker or larger case, but other times they will have to be carried in separately. It just depends upon the show and the routines involved.

The PA system and the curtain take up lot's of room. If I am doing a small show, I sometimes use a boombox instead of all the sound equipment. It saves a lot of load/transport/unload/set-up/tear-down/load/unload time.

Regan
[/quote]


I have been told that my show is way to big... I do carry it in a 6x8 trailer... Like I have stated before I do a lot of Walt Shepards illusions and those really don't break down that much... for schools, fairs, corporations and festivals it can take an hour to set up... I use doves and rabbits in the show... I don't do ALOT of shows but when I do, I like to do a full WOW show but recently after talking to a number of magicians... even from on here, I am thinking of having a smaller show to do some birthday parties... I am just not sure what to put in it yet... Happy New Year to ALL............. Dave
Message: Posted by: donrodrigo (Jan 21, 2008 11:00AM)
Hi there Steven,
Todd75 Gave all of us here a web.WWW.makeupkits.com. Check to see if it's good for you. Through the years I have made my own for each piece of equipment I have.
That is if your handy in wood shop working or alike. You may simply have them made, Check also in the musical stores. Moving companies,storage companies ect.
Hope it helps. Best rgards DonRodrigo.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Feb 7, 2008 05:35PM)
[quote]
On 2007-12-23 15:37, Beano wrote:
Since I have a ton of stuff to load in, I got one of these a few years ago.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Rock-n-Roller-R12-AllTerrain-Cart?sku=699404

It'll hold a 12U SKU rack, two Peavey PR-12 speakers a footlocker, a suitcase, 3 instrument cases, speaker stands, two folding tables & a folding chair.

Or 2 footlockers, a large Lefler box, 2 instrument cases, two Crate PE-10 speakers, speaker stands, the tabels & chair.

Without a doubt, one of the best investments I ever made.
[/quote]

These are great carts. Just one piece of advice. Replace the pneumatic wheels with solid rubber ones. You will have to replace the whole wheel, not just the tire. I learned this the hard way. A friend of mine was helping me, and he plunked my levitation straight down on the frame right above the pneumatic wheels. I had two flats, simultaneously. Now that can't happen.

What I carry depends on the show. Sometimes, it's a vanful. Sometimes it's one trunk. Sometimes I work out of my pockets.

For Renaissance festivals, I built a big wooden trunk out of marine grade plywood. It is finished with marine varnish and it is on wooden skids. It's too heavy for a vandal or thief to lift by himself. I put a big lock on it, and I can lock my toys away during the week.

I cover it with a plastic tarp when the park is closed.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Feb 8, 2008 10:39AM)
Bill, I have a flat on one of my tires right now. I need to try and fix it, but I may check into the solid wheels. The air-filled tires are easy to roll though, and that is one reason I opted for them in the first place. Do the solid rubber tires make much difference in how easy the Rock 'N Roller rolls?

Regan