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Topic: Fighting the Hoarding Instict
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jan 14, 2011 10:26PM)
I noted one day that I have hundreds of props. HUNDREDS. They were getting out of control, crammed into drawers and forgotten on shelves. So one day I decided I was going to change that. I have moved a TON of stuff on eBay, and used the money to buy more stuff. **sigh**

But every prop's a potential Great Thing for me. Since I am always on the look out for Great Things, I am a sucker for anything that sounds like it will fit my close-up show...or my stage show.

Since that day, I have worked to reduce the Crap I Keep.

There is an Active Crap Area...and a Potential Active Crap area.


I have one small black shoulder bag for kids close-up. It's repacked after each show.

I have another one for adults. Also repacked and restocked.

My stage show travels in a fair sized suitcase and I perform with a glitter fringed card table, one of two headset mics and one of two sound systems. I keep all of these together and ready to go, so I can grab them and...well...go!


My props are organized in three different shelving areas: Those I USE fairly frequently, Those I am learning and not quite sure about and the Shelf of Crap Probably Headed for eBay.

I am constantly at war with the hoarding instinct: that if I get rid of a prop, I will REALLY need it an hour later. In over 20 years of performing, this has never been the case. I still fight with me about what to keep and what to turf. But if I haven't been able to make it fit my show in two years...it really needs to go. **sigh** One of these days...I'll get to it. Really.


Message: Posted by: mrunge (Jan 14, 2011 10:30PM)
Ahhh...the life of a magician!

Message: Posted by: Alan Munro (Jan 15, 2011 04:08PM)
I know what you mean. I store like props together, in clear plastic totes, so that they're easier to find. The working props are in show cases, whether plastic totes or catalog cases.

I have a lot of stuff that I should just sell off, but there is a lot of it, and most are small props. I even have a mostly completed Zig-Zag Illusion, which I'll never finish. I should make a project of selling off the stuff I'll never use.
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Jan 15, 2011 04:56PM)
Yeah. Me too...someday.
Message: Posted by: dbolan (Jan 18, 2011 05:23PM)
The primary problem with not-so-good props is getting in the way and keeping the forgotten gems buried for too long.
Message: Posted by: Magic1 (Feb 20, 2011 11:29PM)
Clear Ziplock bags, plastic drawer boxes and inventory lists...
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 21, 2011 03:38AM)
At least you all don't have David Copperfield's problem, housing a huge warehouse and attendants to take care of it all.

I never see my props as crap, although I have been known to refer to them as such.

The true answer is to face reality, are you actually going to use them. That of course means booking more shows and repeat shows for the same audiences. Forcing you to create a show out of the props.

I have sold most of my props, and of course it is true, as soon as you get rid of it you need it, but I have stead fast at not replacing it again. It is hard force myself to use another prop in its place.

Good luck on your decisions, it is difficult and expensive.