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Topic: Too much baggage
Message: Posted by: Beowulf (Apr 5, 2013 11:43AM)
Guess it's the age catching up with me, but I've managed to leave a number of things behind over the years. Left my Filbert in a parking garage once and sitting in a mall atrium another time. Left a jumping stool at a venue 700+ miles from home. It was actually sitting on stage one year later when I was back for another performance.

So I went to Staples the other day and bought some self-sealing luggage tags. They come w little lanyards to attach them to just about anything. Got one on the pump. On the rabbit's show box. On my balloon apron, and the Anchor sound system and stand. Pretty much anything that isn't in the steamer trunk.

Used my business card, and on the reverse in big letters I put the mobile number hoping a stage manager or security guard might call me before I get too far.

Now if I can just remember where I put the extras...
Message: Posted by: drewer (Apr 5, 2013 02:27PM)
A checklist would prevent you from needing the luggage tags in the first place (If you don't already use one. I use one and still have forgotten stuff before, but only a few miles away).
Message: Posted by: MagiCol (Apr 5, 2013 03:06PM)
Beowulf - good idea to label stuff.

A checklist when packing getting ready for a Show is a good idea, preferably written because going from memory can sometimes result in forgetting to include an article. Just before I leave, or As I'm leaving home, to go to my street magic venue I go through a mental checklist working from my hat down to my footwear. And then thinking of my routine props. That said, I went without any hat one day and ended up buying a cheapie hat for people to put money for me in.
When I've finished working on the street magic I pack up my gear and load it on my trolley and always take a last look around to check that nothing's got left on the footpath/pavement.
Message: Posted by: Leland (Apr 5, 2013 05:33PM)
Yea a list would help but I cant count the number of times that I've left smaller props on site. Either due to rushing out of there or just me being old! LOL!
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Apr 5, 2013 06:43PM)
Advice from Ken Griffin in his great book, "Illusion Show Know-How"... He keeps smaller items in special trunks that have a bag and a compartment for each item. Inside the lid is a list. If a bag or compartment is empty, you immediately know what is missing. You can even take this further and make a "map" of the trunk, showing where every prop is to go. This can help if you ever have an assistant pack the show.

Of course if you're one of those guys that unloads everything at home and spreads it all over the house, and then decides what to pack before each next show, then you are increasing your risk of losing a prop. It's hard to remember everything if the list is different every time you go do a show.

Above all...always.... ALWAYS do a dummy check before leaving the venue. Once everything is packed and loaded out to the vehicle, go back and scan the entire performing area, behind curtains, under tables and chairs... anywhere a misplaced prop might be hiding.
Message: Posted by: MagicalMotivator (Apr 5, 2013 06:51PM)
Michael,

We do the same thing on our larger shows - only we call it IC - Idiot Check - and we typically have more than one person do it. Still mistakes happen.

Rick
Message: Posted by: Beowulf (Apr 6, 2013 02:22PM)
What finally led me to the luggage tags was another performer leaving behind his pump after the monthly jam at a Roy Rogers, Luckily one of the twisters had the guy's mobile number, and we caught him just a few miles down the road.

On the checklist: love 'em. Always use one for packing and for unpacking/resetting back at the house. But sometimes (4 libraries in a day or the next act trying to get right on stage as you're breaking down)things do get overlooked. Generally subscribe to the everything in its place method. On a balloon job I count pieces as I go out the door: apron, pump. case. eureka, table top. Five pieces and good-to-go.

Old but not yet dead.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Apr 7, 2013 07:39PM)
With a circus, it's called 'READING THE LOT'! When everything is 'in the wagon', you 'read the lot'. I.e.: you walk the entire lot, looking mainly for things like side poles or stakes, which can 'hide' in the grass. Stakes that are left behind, cost you at least $10.to replace, and poles more.

My school show, after a few years, trouped in one case. Plus a waiters tray stand. The case has cardboard dividers so each prop has a place. In the 2 minute backstage set up, a few items are placed in various pockets. Otherwise, as the show progresses, a prop is picked up, used and replaced 'where it belongs'. With one exception, the pocket items are replaced in the case after use.

When I leave, they don't know that I've been there!
Message: Posted by: Leland (Apr 8, 2013 06:24PM)
Michael great advice to have bags well marked. I use silks in my act and there's nothing like getting to the next show to find out I lost a silk. I can see now that by using bags (Clear bags?)I can find what's missing and then look for it.

Great advice!
Message: Posted by: harris (Apr 10, 2013 07:55AM)
Check and quadruple check.

I learned the hard way, when I left one of my marionettes in another town.

I also learned the hard way, when I didn't bring some items to a gig.

Harris
who is thinking about a routine that I do for mental health clinicians, on another type of "baggage"