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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The side walk shuffle » » Height of table/podium (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Joshua Lozoff
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Chapel Hill, NC
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Hi friends,

I'm making myself a little table to stand behind and put a mat on. Is there a standard or recommended height for such a thing?

Thanks.
Joshua Lozoff

joshualozoff.com
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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Standard table height (like a kitchen table) is approximately 30". Waiter tray stands, common with busker's are available in 32" and 38".

I made mine at 38", so as not to have to bend over so much, but it is too tall for kids to see the top. Bases such as the Eureka base are adjustable.

Go with what you are comfortable with.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
BroDavid
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America’s North Coast, Ohio
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That is a pretty personal thing.

For general magic, if I am not doing cups and balls, I use a table where my closeup pad stands just a bit above my waist. My table has a shelf that I can use as servante and ditch to steal items. It also keeps the items I have just used, out of sight.

I like to be able to go innocently behind my table, and go to my pocket or the shelf/servante without being seen.

As for a good height for being seen by the spectators, as long as it isn't too high, you have a lot of flexibility. I like being able to have them look down and focus on what is going on, if they are closeup, as it gives me more opportunities to use misdirection.

So, don't make it too high, or they wont be able to see. Don't make it too low, or your back will give out, after a day learning over it. Set a comfortable height for you and the specs, and see how it goes.

Then, if necessary, adjust it.

My cups and balls table is totally different. It stands right at about waist height but has rather than being topped with a closeup pad, it has a carpeted harder top with a frame around it. I use a pouch and I am in and out of it all the way through my routine. Everything goes into my pouch, so I don't need a shelf, so I don't have this table as high as my other one. I also don't need the table for cover as to going to my pockets, because the pouch actually ends up giving me cover to go to my pants pockets if I want, and I don't need to for as much for cups and balls.

So as you can see, it comes down to what do you want to do on the table?

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Kondini
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Years ago as a plumbing apprentice, the option height for personal use in all fittings was known as C high. This seems to work for magic tables just the same. The C stands for----well, use your imagination. !).
Danny Hustle
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Boston, MA USA
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A keyboard stand will give you the flexibility that a tray jack will not. I would adjust it to your comfort and the audience view point. That is usually about C high for most people. Smile

Thanks for that Kondini! I got a good chuckle out of that one. Smile

Best,

Dan-
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Tilman
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Hi Joshua,

I found that if you intend to perform the cups and balls on the table (and for many other purposes), a good height would be just above wrist level, when your arms are hanging down at your side, that is. You surely do not want to have a lower table. For if your table is just above wrist level, the table top will shield your hands when they are dirty (loads, etc.). Also, you will not have to lean over too much that way.

If you wear a pouch, you should also pay attention to the relation between table height and height of the opening of the pouch. If the opening of the pouch is below table level, this will facilitate loads a lot. If your arms are long, the opening of the pouch will be higher than your wrists. Then you should also go for a table higher than wrist level.

Cheers,

Tilman
Joshua Lozoff
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Thanks for the posts. I made a table 36", and then was feeling it was too high. It sounds like it may be all right. I'll try it out and see how it feels. I don't perform for kids, but of course there are many families at the outdoor locations where I perform, and I don't want to exclude the little ones. (Actually I DO want to exclude them, but I can't let people know that.)

I'll try this one out for a while, because it would be a hassle to take it back to my shop, disassemble it, and cut it down.

Thanks for all the advice.
Joshua Lozoff

joshualozoff.com
TheAmbitiousCard
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Northern California
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I have not tried this myself, but if you do perform for kids it's possible to put something under the table top at the performers side to tilt it toward the spectators a bit. Like I say, I've never tried it but it would make visibility better.

I would guess that if it's done by just an inch or so, it should not affect the effect, so to speak.

Frank
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JamesinLA
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Los Angeles
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I make my own tables, and I make them all about 36 inches. That's my ideal table height. Everyone's ideal is different of course.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Michael Baker
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If you work in public, you can't avoid having kids in the audience. They just seem to pop out of nowhere sometimes. (I think people in the back row are breeding.)

The encountered problem with table too high for kids is that when I am working tight closeup, they have a way of grabbing the edge of the table to pull themselves up to a higher vantage point. You can only drop so many eight balls on their fingers before it doesn't look like an accident. Gazzo saw my stand folded and laying flat in the back of my truck and immediately said, "Is that your table? It's too high."

... and then he bit me on the ankle.

Actually, his statement made me rethink why I made it a certain height to begin with. It was for my comfort and convenience. Wrong reason, although I felt justified at the time. Audience comfort and convenience should be a higher priority. I'm now toying with a design to make a wooden stand be easily adjustable. Maybe I can get the best of both worlds.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
S2000magician
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For what it's worth, it's not a podium, it's a lectern. A podium is a small dais on which someone (as an orchestra conductor) stands. It would probably be too short.

;)
chrisrkline
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Little Rock
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My table is also fairly high, about 35 inches, and I have the same problem with little kids in close up situations. I have to lay a rope down several feet away even for close-up and really train my audience. Sometime the excited little boogers still come forward and grab the table.

I was looking at some of Gazzo's performance pictures, and his table seems fairly low, and he wears his pouch considerably higher than the table top. So obviously he can load above the line of the table. I am going by what it "looks" like, but that is what I see. My pouch currently is worn below the top of the table and I have to wear it somewhat like a movie old west gun slinger to get it that low. I works fine, but I am not sure it is optimal.
Chris
cstreet_1986
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I do tricks which don't concern the table too much. Nevertheless, I have the Eureka Table Base stand (a bit pricey, though), which is adjustable. I personally like the table at waist height.

For a cheaper alternative I have thought about an ironing board stand (which I was told by someone on this forum not to use) and a stand used for holding music on.

Chris
Joshua Lozoff
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Chapel Hill, NC
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Quote:
On 2005-02-02 01:31, S2000magician wrote:
For what it's worth, it's not a podium, it's a lecturn. A podium is a small dais on which someone (as an orchestra conductor) stands. It would probably be too short.

;)


It's worth very little...
Joshua Lozoff

joshualozoff.com
Michael Baker
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Not sure what Chris paid for a Eureka base, but in my experience, the durability of these things is magnificent. I've used the same one in my shows, including much sidewalk/outdoor work and it has been with me for at least 12 years or more, a few hundred shows a year. I thought that was a pretty good investment, even at twice the price. If one show covers the cost of any prop that I'll be able to use awhile, it's a good deal and beyond. I've had to do minor repairs from time to time, but that doesn't mean it's trashed, nor a bad investment. You tend to get what you pay for, and in this case, I think, more. Nice table base.

A few months ago, I made a more traditional "street" table. ("X" legs, larger size tray top). That makes six tables (I've trashed more over the years) that I currently have in my arsenal at home. Each has a specific purpose, and gets used when those specific needs arise. One size doesn't fit all, and it's not necessary that everyone need to conform to some stupid standard. In the name of simplicity and economy, I can well understand anyone's reasoning for wanting a multi-tasking table. This usually will come with the price tag known as "compromise".

As far back as Hoffman, discussions of table height specified that they should be higher than a standard table. This is obviously to facilitate certain actions. Those actions will naturally be specified on an individual basis, unless everyone is doing the same act (sometimes you'd tend to think so...). If there is reason to suspect that greater problems arise concerning the table height, based upon one's own individual act, then they should reconsider the height. What must be factored in is not only the height of the performer, but also the particular act, and the venue in which it will likely be used.

If it inconveniences the audience too much, you may not have an audience. It it inconveniences you, you may like your job less each day. Figure it out.

Until one's own close-to-perfect solution presents itself, they should just do the best with what they have. While details are important, we shouldn't lose sight of the forest for the trees.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
BroDavid
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I had actually forgotten about kids. And I try to forget about them as much as possible. When I go to a restaurant, and they ask, "Smoking or no Smoking?", I always say, "I want the No Children Section please". I have one child, a son. And when we figured out what caused him, we stopped it immediately.

But doing shows, you do have to deal with them. When I am busking, I pretty much work out in front of my table, and dash around it to ditch something or grab the next thing from the shelf at the back of it. So I am at the level of whomever is involved. I make a point to never hide behind the table when busking.

But when doing festivals or other types of close-up events where you will be stationary for the duration, and they have large crowds and lots of kiddies, I take an extra table to set up next to my suitcase table.

This table folds in the middle and is heavy black plastic, about 3 1/2' X 7' and about 27" high. I throw a black drape over it, and red folding close-up pad onto it. If I need to get down for a child, I have the come up close and guess what, everyone else moves in closer too Smile . But they can see anything/everything I am doing on the table.

I probably only use it 5-10 times a night when I take it, but for those times, it makes the difference. The rest of time, I am doing highly visual stuff up high or at least at waist high, with me surrounded by the crowd. But like I said, for those times you need to work on the pad, the lower table is great. It is something else to carry, and just fits behind the front seats of my Saab, in front of the rear sets. So I wouldn't even consider taking it busking where I have to find a spot, and set up, and maybe move if the traffic is not good.

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
Joshua Lozoff
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Actually, Webster's agrees and disagrees with you. One definition of a podium is a dais for someone to stand on, and the other is a lectern for someone to stand behind, or put papers on to give a speech.


Quote:
On 2005-02-02 01:31, S2000magician wrote:
For what it's worth, it's not a podium, it's a lectern. A podium is a small dais on which someone (as an orchestra conductor) stands. It would probably be too short.

;)
Joshua Lozoff

joshualozoff.com
tabman
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I make and sell a lot of tables and the going heights ordered range between 33" and 36" if that gives you any help!! Tallest one I've made for a magician was 38.5".

-=tabman
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

http://Sefalaljia.com
BroDavid
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Wow, 38 inches high! That must be for Luke Stilt-Walker!

BroDavid
If you stand for nothing, you will fall for anything.
S2000magician
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Yorba Linda, CA
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Quote:
On 2005-02-03 17:36, Joshua Lozoff wrote:
Actually, Webster's agrees and disagrees with you. One definition of a podium is a dais for someone to stand on, and the other is a lectern for someone to stand behind, or put papers on to give a speech.


I know. This is one of those irritating cases where dictionaries have decided to allow popular mis-usage to become standard. They do the same with "unique", allowing that it merely means "rare" rather than "one-of-a-kind", and, worse, "decimate", allowing that it means "completely destroy", rather than "reduce by one-tenth" (thus, leaving 90% intact). The root of "podium" is "pod" which means "foot"; the root of "unique" is "uni" which means "one"; the root of "decimate" is "deci" which means "one-tenth".

Sigh.

(OK, I'll jump off my soapbox - my podium - now. Smile)

By the way, best of luck on your table. Really.
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