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Profile of aussiemagic
In a couple of months time, I'm going backpacking. The plan is to spend about a year travelling the world. I want to perform as much as possible while I travel, but I will be taking a backpack so I won't have much room for big props and don't want to be carrying heavy props.

I am looking for suggestions for effects that may be appropriate for my situation. I thought this would be a good place to ask. I have already given this some thought and have a list of effects that I have some experience with and are planning on taking. If you can add anything, please let me know. They don't have to be instant reset effects, just effects that pack small and play big.

Gypsy thread
Card effects - 6 card repeat, cards across, TOD, etc
Color changing hank
Egg bag
Slydini silks
TT effects
Rope effects without scissors

I think with these effects alone, I could do a pretty good stand-up show. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions, though.

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David Bond
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Linking Rings Smile Just kidding.

If you have a finger ring, how about ring and string effects or Ring on Wand/Stick/Straw?
Coin tricks using the local coins; I've also seen coin assemblies using bottle caps, but you need to find a surface to work on.
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Check out the Fiber Optics routine...
Crazy people take the psycho-path thru the forest...
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Profile of Julie
A couple of jumbo cards for Don Alan's Big Deal; jumbo 52 on 1 with force card on back; sponges with the jumbo ball finale; real currency set-up for the Six Bill Repeat; tissues for sucker torn and restored effect (and in case you catch a cold Smile ).

Have fun!

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There have been several past threads on creating a small show that fits into an Altoids mint tin. Here are a couple of links you can peruse. This would be perfect for backpacking.

You might also give thought to what can be done, seemingly impromptu, with things you will find along the way. Napkins, matches, silverware, etc...found in restaurants or bars immediately come to mind.

With a little thought and preparation, you'll be able to easily entertain everywhere you go.

Have fun...and be safe out there. Mark.
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Profile of aussiemagic
Thanks for the ideas:

Sucker torn & restored tissue, Fiber Optics, and ring on string sound like good effects to consider.
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I can't believe no one mentioned spongeballs! It is my most requested routine, and it plays big/packs small. And like Mark Wilson said, "Spongeballs break every language barrier." I have done this for a few different ethnic groups, and they all love it...without words, too!

Good Luck and Be Safe!!!
nick nickolas
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All the above are good ideas, though sponge balls blow away...
No-one has mentioned rope?? Rope is great; you can use it to make a circle edge, cut and restored, escapes...and it packs small.
Also, a table may be a good idea. A waiter's stand/milk crates/cardboard boxes can all be used for 'the legs'. As for the top, any decent piece of wood (I used a kitchen cupboard door I found in a skip for a couple of months once) or a tray...all these things are disposable. You just need a nice looking cloth to cover it all, which can double as prop bag for travelling.
And of course, old faithful, the magic wand. I have used metal bars, copper pipe now, on to the drumstick wrapped in tape.
Work out some sort of structure for your show, as well as a beginning, middle, and end, etc.
Modelling balloons are a good giveaway for a kid bit. Also, the balloon swallow is a great street bit.
And, of course, the old faithful TT.
What part of Aussie are you in?
I will be in Geelong this weekend for Skandia festival. Pop down if you are close by.
Cheers and good luck,
Bill Palmer
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Re-read the original post. The seventh item is Rope effects without scissors.


Julie mentioned sponges. We can assume she meant sponge balls and not those things that live on the ocean floor.
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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
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Some great ideas and it is a great way to become involved with locals when you travel.

For the past 9 years I have spend up to 5 weeks in Indonesia in the Aussie winter and I take this type of show in a shoulder bag and keep modifying it. I have performed in a wide range of situations from close up in the street to schools and whole local communities in their meeting place.

All the above ideas including your own will work for you. Sponge balls have been very strong and the 260Q balloons are something that some people never come across. You might consider a basic egg bag, the comedy type performance where the egg appears to be under your arm works well across language barriers. A small set of cups and balls, or a single chop cup does not take up much room and are strong effects. With cups a balls you need to organize the show before a meal and then eat the props or share them with the audience.

One time on a trip that included East Timor I took the smallest dove pan and borrowed a local day old chicken. This was hilarious as the chicken chirped while waiting to perform so I had to hold the pan and keep it moving slightly and then when I opened it the chicken would always run of - this was funny and not every body noticed that the chicken had come out of the "empty" tin. I do not recommend the dove pan and chicken - stick with pack flat.

Bob Latta (aka Troppo Bob)
Doc Dixon
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Congrats, magical Jack Kerouac. Your trip sounds wonderful. Regarding magic, here's a different tack to take. Right now it seems like you're looking for what amounts to a prop list. Instead, look for a prop that can give you maximum mileage. Remember, backpackers have to count ounces, not pounds. The first prop that comes to mind is a deck of cards. Depending on your skill/experience level, getting 20-30 minutes out of a deck a very attainable goal.

Also, here's a book suggestion which I think would be tailor-made for your quest -- Bob Read's "Thanks To Pepys". Here's segment from its forward:

"To me, the ENTERTAINING magician is one who can join a group of friends at a bar, and with a few simple articles create a pollishe routine act.

"No boxes, no glitter, no music -- but dexterity, mystery and humor to 'hold' an audience.

"The aim of this pamphlet is to provide a 12 minute spot, with plenty of laughs and magic. The only requirements are a knowledge of basic sleight of hand, and the ability to steal a newspaper, 2 hats, a bottle of wine, a knife, a pack of cards, a crust of bread, 5 coins, a thin hankerchief, a brush and comb, a half pint beer mug"

The book was published in 1973, hard to find, but worth tracking down.

Hope these suggestions help.

“For centuries we’ve said playing cards – even a single playing card – could reveal a person’s innermost thoughts.
Now you can prove it!”
P.T. Murphy
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My Aussie Brother from Another Mother!
When are you coming through Chicago? Drop me an e-mail, you know you and the missus are always welcome! Better yet...I will send you one now!
P.T. Murphy
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Bring some coins, a marker (Super Sharpie?), a pad (Impession?) or wallet(Outlaw?), a bandana (useful in many ways plus "Five Minutes with a Hankerchief"), elastic bands.
Brent McLeod
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Aussie Magic-

Hi there

I backpacked for 6 years worldwide &did many impromptu shows from Ferrys in Greek Islands to Kibbutz in Israel, Bars, Private houses Parks & restaurants in Asia etc etc

That was the 90's - I used cards 2-3 really good effects-David Regal etc-even Invisible deck played anywhere strongly

I had an 8 inch set of 4 Linking Rings-

Razorblade routine & thread etc- Plays well indoors,outdoors in bars etc-

Thumbtips many as possible- for Banknite type effects, Bill switch, 20Th Century silks

Any nick nacks,envelopes pick up etc on your travels for mentalist routines , had much fun with confabulation type effects predicting names of peoples families etc we just met etc etc-

Anything like this we did on quiet days on board ships, at hostels, after a few drinks in a bar-

The good thing is the people you meet & the contacts through your magic

Kids in poorer countries are brilliant to perform for!!

I kept everything in a light box for the rings-was no trouble at all

All packed flat-played big

Have fun

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Profile of aussiemagic

That is exactly the thing Im hoping to do. Thanks for the post.

Thanks to everyone for their posts. Some great suggestions.

In regards to the suggestion on Bob Read's "Thanks To Pepys", I don't have that booklet but I love Bob Read and I am fortunate to have two videos of him performing and explaining a number of routines which were mentioned. Great stuff!!!

In Japan now, where I live, back to Australia in April then on to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia for first leg of trip. Excited!

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P.T. Murphy
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I got your e-mail and will try to respond soon. Here is an idea concerning my effect "Eugene's Last Dollar" which you e-mailed me about. If you are creative you can construct a gimmick that will allow you to perform this effect with virtually ANY bill. I mean ANY. I have done this with U.S. Dollars, English Pound notes, Euros, Chinese Yuan. The instructions come with a U.S. gaff and details on how to construct the gaff using Pounds and Euros. The great thing about this si that many countries have contrasting colors for the different denomonations. The switch is made even more magical when there is a color change involved! This effect is perfect for the traveller. It will require some work on your part but I think it is well worth it! Anybody who is interested should PM me. I would love to share these ideas.
P.T. Murphy
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Thanks Patrick, that sounds great! I have a yen gimmick and US dollar gimmick in my wallet now. I would love to hear more about this.

Anyone who hasn't tried this trick shoul definitely give it a go! It is great!
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Michael Bilkis
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May I also suggest a few mentalism routines. A few pieces of paper and and few miracles

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