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Topic: Travelling mentalist
Message: Posted by: danbastianelli (Jul 29, 2014 06:35AM)
I do a stage show and my usual carrying case looks a bit tatty, for mentalism what do you recommend to have on stage to contain equipment like envelopes, jumbo esp cards, pads of paper etc. I want to invest in a new case but I want advice on what type to get. Do you have a favorite type?
Message: Posted by: Chaz93 (Jul 29, 2014 07:49AM)
I just a leather document holder. Looks nice, is easy to carry, and has enough room to carry sketchpads, envelopes, cards, notepads, index cards, pens, and the like.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Jul 29, 2014 07:51AM)
When I do my stage show none of my cases are visible on stage.

That said my current stage show requires 13 flight cases.

Back in simpler times.... When all I did was corporates & didn't use video or any other AV I used a couple of standard cheap flight cases from Maplins http://www.maplin.co.uk/p/flight-case-triple-pack-with-dividers-n50ju?gclid=CjwKEAjwjN2eBRDbyPWl0JLY5lYSJACPo0UiOXwJcY1lRNI511WuGNf3bRJTwvX6E5rI6XrEYgzgwRoCVm7w_wcB but even then I wouldn't have them on stage. The only things that should be on stage is you & your props.
(In fact I still use the cases but I have more expensive items in better quality cases)
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 29, 2014 11:28AM)
I don't think it looks very professional at all to bring your case on stage and openly remove and replace props as you need them

Makes you look like a traveling salesman, not a professional entertainer.

My cases are well worn and beaten (that's probably why no one ever thinks to steal them) but the audience never sees them.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 29, 2014 12:28PM)
In case anyone is interested...here is something you can use as a table. You could put a piece of painted-black wood on the top or a briefcase or whatever you'd like. It rolls and it is STURDY! 69.00 shipped to your door!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/152997-REG/QuikLok_QL_400_QL_400_Roll_Around_Stand.html
Message: Posted by: IbiMania (Jul 29, 2014 01:00PM)
A document holder plus a flipboard with a stand is all I need. The stand with a flip board is installed before I come on.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 29, 2014 01:03PM)
I rarely carry a table or stand to any non-theatrical performances. I just put my few props on a stool, chair, or a small table if one is available at the venue.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Jul 29, 2014 01:17PM)
For corporate show's I have one or two tables with props on depending on length of show. I use two of Colin Rose's http://www.fiveofheartsmagic.co.uk/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=99 and (again depending on show length) possibly four folding chairs which I bring. I may also use a screen and projector if they already have one there.

On the last theatre tour the stage set looked like this: http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y514/Doug_Segal/Mentalist-6_zps0dc0fc04.jpg
http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y514/Doug_Segal/Mentalist-16_zps89191c2a.jpg

and took a full four hours get in.

For comedy clubs I just have a stool or chair from the club like Bob does.
Message: Posted by: IbiMania (Jul 30, 2014 03:20AM)
[quote]On Jul 29, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
I rarely carry a table or stand to any non-theatrical performances. I just put my few props on a stool, chair, or a small table if one is available at the venue. [/quote]

I was speaking for stage shows for a 500 plus audience. I find the stand with the flipboard on it helpful in creating the atmosphere.
Message: Posted by: Magical Dimensions (Jul 30, 2014 04:29AM)
I have always carried my own things. I remember working at a dinner club and sharing the bill with another entertainer. We didn't work the same nights just different days throughout the month. It was just him and me. Anyway, he didn't have his own table and always had to use a big azz heavy round table that for some reason was back stage. The first few times that it was my time to perform, I would have to move this darn heavy table because he would leave it where he placed it. I can still remember the club owner once saying to me, "He is a profession and can't even afford his own table".




Ray
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 30, 2014 04:58AM)
I often carry my own mic, but an open case with a sign on it seems a bit too reminiscent of a medicine show or magic act for me.
Message: Posted by: Investigative Mentalist (Jul 31, 2014 01:59AM)
[quote]On Jul 29, 2014, mastermindreader wrote:
I don't think it looks very professional at all to bring your case on stage and openly remove and replace props as you need them

Makes you look like a traveling salesman, not a professional entertainer.

My cases are well worn and beaten (that's probably why no one ever thinks to steal them) but the audience never sees them. [/quote]

In most of the performance videos that I have seen of Richard Osterlind, he always has his "traveling salesman" case on stage with him.
Including on his DVD "Live Without a Net" which shows Richard performing before a real casino audience rather than those hammy paid audiences
for the L&L magic videos.

I actually thought the case looked like a nice professional way to carry your stuff on stage and I was considering getting one.

Now Bob has me rethinking that idea.

Maybe Bob and Richard can argue this point on their upcoming joint Penguin lecture. I can't wait for that one!
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Jul 31, 2014 03:15AM)
Good suggestion! (But it's worse when I see a performer walk onto the stage carrying his briefcase. Your props should be there before you are.)
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Jul 31, 2014 04:38AM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, SeattleSteve wrote:

I actually thought the case looked like a nice professional way to carry your stuff on stage and I was considering getting one.
[/quote]

The professional way to "carry your stuff on stage" is to never do so in front of an audience, either have it set before they arrive or have a stage hand take it on.

When did you last see an actor walk on stage in his day clothes clutching a suit bag and dress as the character in front of you? Or a ballerina come on in sneakers, dump a kit bag and strap on her dancing shoes? Or a cellist uncase & tune his cello before starting?

When my audiences walk in they see this: http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y514/Doug_Segal/imagejpg1_zps1d800b7c.jpg if it's a public theatre show or this: http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y514/Doug_Segal/imagejpg2_zps7b306ccd.jpg if it's a corporate.

If I'm playing a comedy club I'm either headlining or opening so I can set up before or during the break but I use very few props that I can't keep in my pocket in my comedy club set.

Cabaret shows and festivals like comedy clubs present a situation where you are one act on a bill so can't set before hand but they always have stage hands. Top tip for using stage hands - as well as spiking your tables etc during the get in. Take photos of how you want the smaller props positioned. It makes it easier for them.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jul 31, 2014 01:15PM)
There are reasons why I use my case on stage. NO, I never carry it on, and I also have either a chair or table, but the case is part of the show. It has a definate purpose.

That's the problem with broad statements.
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Jul 31, 2014 01:17PM)
What's the reason Richard?
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jul 31, 2014 01:53PM)
OK, first, my stage is normally a corporate stage with a projection screen in back, set up in a banquet room, with lots of other stuff going on. The "look" is usually very busy already. I can put my case on a chair and just direct someone to move it into place before I am announced. Very often I have to wait backstage for as long as an hour while other speeches and awards are going on. I don't want to take any chances of someone touching anything, or knocking something over, before I am introduced.

The handle of my case can be raised to support my blackboard in an open display for my 2 predictions.

The case holds my jumbo cards which I do NOT want to be seen beforehand, because I have a joke when I take them out.

The case is necessary for some "work" during my Thoughtscan routine. It is VITAL for that.

Finally, if other things are happening after my show, I want to be able to pick up my case and LEAVE and not be stuck off stage waiting for the end. Worse yet would be scrambling around gathering up my stuff while they waited for me to get off.

After doing this show for about 40 years, trust me, I have it down, and meeting planners really appreciate the way I work and how easy it is to produce my show. All they have to worry about is my lights and sound.
Message: Posted by: Investigative Mentalist (Jul 31, 2014 02:14PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Richard Osterlind wrote:
OK, first, my stage is normally a corporate stage with a projection screen in back, set up in a banquet room, with lots of other stuff going on. The "look" is usually very busy already. I can put my case on a chair and just direct someone to move it into place before I am announced. Very often I have to wait backstage for as long as an hour while other speeches and awards are going on. I don't want to take any chances of someone touching anything, or knocking something over, before I am introduced.

The handle of my case can be raised to support my blackboard in an open display for my 2 predictions.

The case holds my jumbo cards which I do NOT want to be seen beforehand, because I have a joke when I take them out.

The case is necessary for some "work" during my Thoughtscan routine. It is VITAL for that.

Finally, if other things are happening after my show, I want to be able to pick up my case and LEAVE and not be stuck off stage waiting for the end. Worse yet would be scrambling around gathering up my stuff while they waited for me to get off.

After doing this show for about 40 years, trust me, I have it down, and meeting planners really appreciate the way I work and how easy it is to produce my show. All they have to worry about is my lights and sound. [/quote]

Thanks for the explanation, makes a lot of sense.

I knew there had to be a reason why that case was always on stage with you.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jul 31, 2014 02:22PM)
Steve,

Thanks. It has been my experience that event planners want basically 2 things. They want an act that entertains and intriques their client without anything done that could embarasses or upset anyone; and they want an act that is easy to produce with the basic equipment they already have in place for their other presentations.

They want surefire and easy.

Richard
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Jul 31, 2014 02:32PM)
[Quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Richard Osterlind wrote:
OK, first, my stage is normally a corporate stage with a projection screen in back, set up in a banquet room, with lots of other stuff going on. The "look" is usually very busy already. I can put my case on a chair and just direct someone to move it into place before I am announced. Very often I have to wait backstage for as long as an hour while other speeches and awards are going on. [/quote]

You're lucky, for corporates normally I'm there by 5pm and end up going on stage anywhere between 9pm & 11pm.

[quote] I don't want to take any chances of someone touching anything, or knocking something over, before I am introduced. [/quote]

Fair enough. It's not happened to me in the 14 years I've been doing corporate shows but you've been doing this over twice as long as me.

[quote] The handle of my case can be raised to support my blackboard in an open display for my 2 predictions. [/quote]

Again fair enough, I use a display.

[quote]The case holds my jumbo cards which I do NOT want to be seen beforehand, because I have a joke when I take them out. [/quote]

I have something similar. I just place them under my other props.

[quote]The case is necessary for some "work" during my Thoughtscan routine. It is VITAL for that. [/quote]

I don't do a Q&A though I do have your Thoughtscan routine so I know what you mean. I'd do it as I passed behind something but that's just me.

[quote]Finally, if other things are happening after my show, I want to be able to pick up my case and LEAVE and not be stuck off stage waiting for the end. Worse yet would be scrambling around gathering up my stuff while they waited for me to get off. [/quote]

I've never had another act on after me at a corporate. I've once had an act on before me. It was Four Poofs And A Piano. The stage hands just pushed the piano back after their act and brought on my stuff to where I'd spiked it. https://www.dropbox.com/s/97qht7474jv9tk2/IMG_9876%20copy.jpg As it was a short 20min set I just hand a stand with an envelope hanging on it and a table with my props https://www.dropbox.com/s/wxbotn0c26ugqla/IMG_9927.JPG

Even my full hour after dinner show only takes 3 mins to clear off stage though I will confess it takes 15mins to pack away but I always do that away from the stage. I have two "boss bags" http://www.amazon.co.uk/Silverline-589689-Pop-Up-Sack-690mm/dp/B000LFVTA4/ref=pd_sxp_grid_i_0_0 hidden either behind my two banners or just offstage. I throw stuff into them as I'm done with them to make get out faster.


[/quote] After doing this show for about 40 years, trust me, I have it down, and meeting planners really appreciate the way I work and how easy it is to produce my show. All they have to worry about is my lights and sound. [/quote]

I'm sure you do. To be fair event planners say the same thing to me.
Personally I just found as my show began to look.... I dunno..... "Slicker"??.... not sure if that's the word I want..... my fees quadrupled and I started getting bigger, more prestigious corporates.

But hey! You've made a 40 year career out of doing it your way - I'd consider myself very fortunate if I manage the same.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 31, 2014 02:52PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Suffolk wrote:

Personally I just found as my show began to look.... I dunno..... "Slicker"??.... not sure if that's the word I want..... my fees quadrupled and I started getting bigger, more prestigious corporates.
[/quote]

I'm not sure what your fees were quadrupled from, but that's the WHOLE POINT! I'm completely with you on your setup. It's show biz after all. That stuff makes a BIG difference in the way you are perceived. I dig what you're doing. Good for you for putting in the extra effort to make that happen.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jul 31, 2014 02:59PM)
Sorry, my show is not up for debate.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 31, 2014 03:14PM)
I hope my post didn't come off the wrong way. Richard, I mean't no disrespect to you in any way.

I love the idea of the Grander Illusion. We're illusionists of the mind. Why not take it to the max... and make a little more $$$ while you're at it.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jul 31, 2014 03:17PM)
No sandsjr, no offense. I was just answering a question.

If that's what makes you more money, more power to you.

Peace,
Richard
Message: Posted by: Tony Iacoviello (Jul 31, 2014 03:26PM)
I prefer the easy on/easy off type show.

Richard's setup seems just about perfect and as streamlined as one can get.

Thank you for sharing this!
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 31, 2014 03:26PM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, Richard Osterlind wrote:
If that's what makes you more money, all power to you.
[/quote]

I wouldn't say that's what makes you more money in and of itself. I would say if you are GOOD at what you do, it certainly can.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jul 31, 2014 03:38PM)
Thank you, Tony. As you know, every step of my act, including all the equipment and why I use it, is totally explained in my recent Field Manual. I stand by everything I said.
Message: Posted by: Investigative Mentalist (Jul 31, 2014 04:06PM)
Richard, what brand and model of traveling bag are you using on stage?

I was searching online last night and there are many different styles and brands.

I couldn't figure out which one you are using.
Message: Posted by: Richard Osterlind (Jul 31, 2014 05:35PM)
Steve,

The ones I have been using lately are these: http://www.staples.com/SOLO-Leather-Look-Rolling-Catalog-Case-Black-154/product_555696

They are the right size, seem to hold up well, and yet are not too expensive to replace when they get messed up at gate-checking.

The pockets on the inside are perfect for my Ultra Board and Thoughtscan, so I think they would be good for a lot of simliar type slates and pads.
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Jul 31, 2014 07:01PM)
For whoever is looking for a "Catalog" style case...

Here's one I have to hold all my supplies while on the road. It's bigger than the one from staples though (you may or may not want that). It's a nicely made piece.

https://www.overstock.com/Luggage-Bags/Manchester-Deluxe-Leatherette-Black-Catalog-Case/4819621/product.html?fp=f&cid=212975&token=212975-2129752014021413923739067992779067212096255097-1-0f2ce2&fp=f&TRACK=emailcusts



I don't know how much room you need but my show takes up very little space. This case is small but holds all I need for my 50-minute show. Even though it's inexpensive it's held up so far for 50 or 60 shows with no problems.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TZ-ALUMINUM-ATTACHE-GUN-PISTOL-TOOL-BRIEFCASE-ELECTRONIC-WORK-UTILITY-HOBBY-CASE-/200662585418?pt=US_Laptop_Cases_Bags&hash=item2eb86c104a
Message: Posted by: Richtofen (Aug 1, 2014 07:11AM)
[quote]On Jul 31, 2014, sandsjr



I don't know how much room you need but my show takes up very little space. This case is small but holds all I need for my 50-minute show. Even though it's inexpensive it's held up so far for 50 or 60 shows with no problems.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TZ-ALUMINUM-ATTACHE-GUN-PISTOL-TOOL-BRIEFCASE-ELECTRONIC-WORK-UTILITY-HOBBY-CASE-/200662585418?pt=US_Laptop_Cases_Bags&hash=item2eb86c104a [/quote]

a magic forum is something fascinating.., you look like a big expert but the choice of you suitcase reveal lot of thing about how you are a professional...
I'll read you with a smile now:-)
Message: Posted by: lucavolpe (Aug 1, 2014 08:37AM)
In this box I have one hour (stage) show...
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152219677677341&set=a.25042217340.46425.597202340&type=1&theater
Message: Posted by: David Thiel (Aug 1, 2014 08:53AM)
My show packs into a small catalogue style case as well. It's a wonderful set up. Now if I could only figure out how to get the sound equipment in there... :)

David
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 1, 2014 09:13AM)
My two hour theatre show packs down into this: http://i1278.photobucket.com/albums/y514/Doug_Segal/23DAECEE-231C-48BB-94D8-9320BF65349D_zpshfzhhchb.jpg
Actually there's a few cases missing as this was taken during load out.

On the one hand it's a lot on, the other it's wom two major awards.
None of it is visible on stage (except the Brainmatizer 3000 seen in the foreground)
Message: Posted by: sandsjr (Aug 1, 2014 11:07AM)
[quote]On Aug 1, 2014, Richtofen wrote:
I'll read you with a smile now:-) [/quote]

Just keep your hands on the keyboard.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Aug 1, 2014 11:11AM)
I carry my entire act in a laptop bag with a shoulder strap. When I'm on the roadI have most of my materials packed in my regular suitcases. But a lot of that is extra supplies like envelopes, index cards, a gross of pencils, scissor, glue, paperclips, a ream of paper, markers, etc. The computer comes out of the bag at the hotel. The materials I will actually use in that night's performance go into the computer bag, and off I go to the venue.

Last time I worked the Castle, I noticed that a lot of other guys use this system as well.
Message: Posted by: IAIN (Aug 1, 2014 06:02PM)
Papilion
Message: Posted by: Suffolk (Aug 2, 2014 02:31AM)
During the month long run at the Edinburgh Festival I use a similar system to Bob.
The props for the show are stored at the venue and everything I need for resets and guest spots on other shows I keep at my digs.
You only have a 15min turn around between shows so there is no time to reset at the venue.
My resets & the stuff I need to do a 20-30min guest spot at the festival I carry in a A3 portfolio http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B0013F8576/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?qid=1406963920&sr=8-2&pi=SY200_QL40 (A4 pad, jumbo marker, my jumbo version of Silent Treatment) and this bag http://www.truffleshuffle.co.uk/store/batman-retro-bag-p-2579.html for the other props.

I use the same portfolio/bag combo when I play comedy clubs or cabaret shows.
Obviously neither are present on stage.

I find that an A3 pad is the minimum size for revealations if you are playing to more than 50 people.
If anyone has a better solution for carrying it around and protecting it from rain than a portfolio I'd welcome the suggestion. What do you guys carry your large pads in?
For the stage show they go in a flight case with my table tops but that's too heavy to justify using for a 30-40min headline spot at a comedy club.