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James Fortune
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I have used a Practical Magic Roll On Table for many years but, as it is made of wood, I'm finding it heavier and heavier as the years go on.

I do have a very 'propy' show and need a table such as this but one made in a light material such as aluminum.

Does anyone have any URLs they can point me to?
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
Daveandrews
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James, an aluminium table, similar to a rolon/su table, with all the added extras that could be included (as it's metal) is a brilliant idea.
If anyone is thinking of making one, consider that to be two orders already.

Dave
http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk

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disneywld
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I wonder if aluminium will look good. I can see it being less than spectacular. Something lightweight would be nice though.
The Magic of Christopher Manos
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James Fortune
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Disneywld,

My thinking was that the front of the table could be covered by a sign/colour board or whatever so that the audience is not staring at shiny silver, which I accept would be horrid.
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
KC Cameron
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There is a material that is lighter, thinner, and stronger than wood, it looks like metal corrigated cardboard. Ask Chance, he would know. (WolfMagic.com)
NJJ
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I've experimented with several designs/ideas over the years and here are the various ideas you can try.

1) Get a nice rolon table with nice signage and have a canvas workshop make a nice cover for it. It will be protected in the car but won't fly.

2) Get a crappy road case style one and have a curtain skirting made for it. Simply covering with a cloth will NOT do. It looks dodgy. This will look very nice, fly well but doesn't have nice signage on it.

3) Get a roadcase style one and use a pop up banner to cover the front. This adds weight but looks great.

I've just purchased the last ozillusion rolon case in existence. It has a tray that brings your props into the top half when needed as well as a special designed that makes the top the same size as the bottom! http://www.ozillusions.com/autorolon.html
Tom Riddle
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James.......why not cut down on the props, and work out of a small suitcase? Children are not really interested in lots of heavy props. All they want is to laugh, be amazed, and be entertained. The props are secondary.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
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Potty the Pirate
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I have a Billy McComb table, which is made of a very light plastic material. There have been problems with the rivets popping out, and I've had to systematically replace nearly all of them with bolts. But the table still looks like brand new, folds down to the size of a large briefcase, and is very quick to set up. I don;t know if these tables are still available, and if they are,they're VERY expensive. But the basic design is excellent.
Tom, I don't agree about working out of a small case. Kids LOVE big props. In fact, when I was four years old, I was incredibly disappointed when a magician didn't have any big boxes and props - those were the things I saw as "real" magic. When the magician made things happen in his hands - or even when he just had loads of gags, with almost no magic, it seemed far less than magical to me!
My preference is a good balance between comedy, magic, and visual stimulation. That's partly why I'm such a fan of Wolf's magic and Axtell's puppets, even though I do have a few shows that I can work from a small case (I can also entertain without any sort of table case or bag - just using items I take from my pockets. But I think if I did this for a Birthday party, my clients would feel short-changed.)
James Fortune
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Polly, I totally agree. As a child I always remember a magic show I went to where the entertainer had lots of colourful props laid out and I was agog before the show had even started. that is how I have done my children's magic for 20 years and the response from them (letters) and their parents (comments and re-bookings) tells me I'm doing the right thing.
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
Tony James
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Let's get something straight. When you work for children as a feature act - here an hour is normal - you need a focal point. And you need to give the punter something to see for their money. That something is a prop or props. Sorry if you prefer sponge balls and working on the hoof but I'm talking about a static performance.

So a table is an initial focal point and can start out with one or more props on it. That creates interest and anticipation.

You can put away and bring out subsequent props as needed. Or you can keep one on view throughout till you get to it. It's up to you.But a table of this sort is practical, a good hiding place and carrier all in one. A good advertisement too.

The table can at least display your name and logo. Even the children who can read will then remember who you are!

Be careful of aluminium or any metal. Sounds wonderful but in practise very thin aluminium is unforgiving. Metal always scratches, dents, buckles and bends and paintwork on metal scratches off and can quickly look poor. Bumps and dents are very difficult to remove. Thick aluminium is surprisingly heavy as is most plastic sheet material.

What you really need is Birch plywood. The plies are very, very thin. Birch ply just over one eighth of an inch thick can be 5 ply and a quarter inch thick can be nine ply. So forget about ordinary coarse, cheap, heavy 3 ply.

Because the plies are so thin and there are so many of them the resultant sheet is very strong so you can use a much thinner sheet. Thinner of course is lighter. And Birch ply has a surface that quickly rubs to a perfect finish ready for paint. This is why professional prop builders have traditionally used birch ply.In the UK it is not easy to buy. DIY stores don't stock it. You need a specialist timber supplier. The sheets are very big and it is expensive. But it's the best.

Unlike metal, timber forgives. It will take a knock which won't show. To protect in transit just cover the finished table with a thick, soft fabric fitted cover and over that a second cover, made from a quilted fabric with a shower proof fabric one side. This will provide extra protection from knocks and prevent the covers from becoming wet in inclement weather.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
James Fortune
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Dear Tony,

What an interesting post. Does anybody make roll on tables out of this special ply?
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2007-12-03 00:58, Potty the Pirate wrote:
Tom, I don't agree about working out of a small case. Kids LOVE big props. In fact, when I was four years old, I was incredibly disappointed when a magician didn't have any big boxes and props - those were the things I saw as "real" magic.


And I disagree with you. At every other show I do I have to listen to how awful magician X was last year or how, "We saw magician X at another show and he was awful. Just a bunch of big boxes no magic." You are the exception not the rule. My show looks just as big as anybody else's I just don't have to wreck somebodies lounge to get it in the house. A lot of people do not appreciate a guy who makes 10 trips to the car and still has a problem entertaining the kids. And the kids don't care as long as you are magical, colorful, and fun. You may have seen boxes as real magic but I can tell you as a guy who does between 8 and 10 shows a weekend the kids sure don't.

Let's not turn this into a debate as to which is better. Because that is crap, if it's good it's good regardless of what you bring. Bringing more junk does not make for a better show.

To answer the original question, Tony Clark Makes one here:
http://www.tonyclarkmagic.com/storefront......evstart=

Best,

Dan-
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Tony James
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Of course quantity is no substitute for quality Dan. I quite agree.

But one Roll On style table is still a good focal point and can contain everything. No you don't need loads of big props. But you need some props.

You also need somewhere to keep them , out of sight, and somewhere to put some of them whilst using and somewhere to put them when they're finished with. My table is of a height which permits a child to take a prop from the table, or work it there. That's important. It provides an uncluttered working space. It might hold a cut-out of a figure or animal. The helper may be talking to that cut out during the routine.

I've found on the table works better in these circumstances than in the hand. And in isolation on the table the magic has more impact than something which happens in the hand. Not always of course, but generally.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
James Fortune
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Just for interests sake, if you click here and go down to the bottom of the page, you will see how I lay out my show.
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
Danny Hustle
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Quote:
On 2007-12-03 06:47, Tony James wrote:
Of course quantity is no substitute for quality Dan. I quite agree.

But one Roll On style table is still a good focal point and can contain everything. No you don't need loads of big props. But you need some props.

You also need somewhere to keep them , out of sight, and somewhere to put some of them whilst using and somewhere to put them when they're finished with. My table is of a height which permits a child to take a prop from the table, or work it there. That's important. It provides an uncluttered working space. It might hold a cut-out of a figure or animal. The helper may be talking to that cut out during the routine.

I've found on the table works better in these circumstances than in the hand. And in isolation on the table the magic has more impact than something which happens in the hand. Not always of course, but generally.


I use a folding table, one suitcase, and a jump stool. It's one trip from the car, my table looks filled with color, and my show plays just as big, if not bigger than many of the guys I know that bring a yard sale. I also know guys who bring a yard sale that have a great show as well, I am not saying one is better than the other. As a matter of fact I'm saying the opposite, a good show is a good show no matter what you bring. I have nothing against prop heavy shows, I just don't think props will make you a better performer and props alone will not book you more shows or put you ahead of the other guy. Having a good show no matter what you bring will.

I think a lot of guys think more about props and flash than they do about their show, character (and do the tricks SUIT that character), and the theater aspects that make a show good. But that is a whole other topic, and I don't want to derail the table thread. I do not own Tony Clark's table but I do own a lot of his other products and they are excellent.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
Danny Hustle
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Hi James,

I have a lefler table and stopped using it in my birthday party shows because it is just so darn heavy. I looked at your photos and it looks like you might be able to use a suitcase and a folding table. If you use a folding table I would suggest a banner of some kind to hang from the front and it will give the illusion of a much larger table. That's what I do. It is a LOT lighter than lugging a suitcase table. You put the suitcase on a jump stool (with your name on the front of the suitcase) set your props on the table and as each trick is finished it resets back in the suitcase. At the end of the show, your table is clear, you put the banner in the suitcase, fold up the table, and you are off to the next show.

Best,

Dan-
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"MT is one of the reasons we started this board! I’m so sick of posts being deleted without any reason given, and by unknown people at that." - Steve Brooks Sep 7, 2001 8:38pm
©1999-2014 Daniel Denney all rights reserved.
mrmarvel
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There seems to be two trains of thought here. Either you have lots of props and look great but are not in fact a very good entertainer. Or you work from a suitcase and are brilliant at entertaining. Nobody seems to have thought about the other two options. You could work from a case and be rubbish. Not good. But and this always the one that strikes me as the best, is tto have a great set and be brilliant. Surely that's the best solution.

Matthew
James Fortune
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Quote:
On 2007-12-03 09:54, mrmarvel wrote:
this always the one that strikes me as the best, is to have a great set and be brilliant. Surely that's the best solution.

Matthew


Absolutely Matthew!

Dan,
Your idea it that I replace my roll table (the purple 'box' to the left of the photo) with a large suitcase on collapsible 'legs' (such as a jump stool), right?

Hmm. Interesting.
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
derrick
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James,

I think your current set up looks great and I can see how you would have a hard time changing the look of it. Like you, I have not been very successful trying to lighten my show. I've changed it up a bit and have a great show that packs flat in one case, but I still feel like I need my lefler and two side tables to give the show the look, feel, and balance of a big show. Maybe it is just my personal vision of what a show ought to look like that is holding me back from totally retiring my lefler. I'll be interested in hearing what you decide to do.

I guess one day when I can no longer lift it out of my trunk, I’ll change my show set up. That or hire someone to go with me.

Good luck,

Derrick
Potty the Pirate
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The Billy McComb table is made of a very similar material to the stuff Chance Wolf used a while back. I use that and a roll-on flight case, which serves to carry my props in, keep puppets in for the performance, and dump used props as the show progresses. For me it's a far better solution than a Roro table which I used previously. I couldn't imagine not having my flight cases, which stack atop each other to bring in everything for a whole party.
On the matter of props or not (again, I wonder why this is such a favourite topic?) When I plan a show, I give NO THOUGHT initially to which props or routines I should use. The skeleton of my show is about fundamental elements: I need a good opener, a warm-up, a trick with the birthday kid, a quick bit of "flashy" magic, a trick that includes animation....the list goes on. There are several layers of work that go into the planning of the show, and it's only once a show is almost completely ready that I start to consider how portable the show is. After all, if the show absoulutely rocks, I'm often happy to tolerate the inconvenience of a prop heavy show for a while. Christmas shows are typical of this for me, my Exploding Christmas Tree is quite a faff to set up and clean up, but it really makes the show, so why not use it every third year, say?
If I only had one show, it would be my main pirate show "Magic Island", which is fairly prop heavy. Yet I have lots of shows with far fewer props, hey I could put a 15 minute balloon twisting routine into my shows and carry almost no props at all, but I choose not to.
Realistically I need at least one table for most shows, which is great 'cos it's an advertisement too. Sometimes I have two or even three tables, in addition I often have my Drawing Board on it's easel. The point is, I don't write my shows thinking "I'm going to use lots of big props"....but inevitably, sometimes things work out that way. Ideally I like to have each routine bettering the previous one. Big colourful boxes and puppets create this illusion. So you can follow a good audience participation trick that uses sleight of hand with a simple production box, because the box is big and bright and says in a subtle way: "There's plenty more where that came from", or "If you liked that, wait till you see this".....
It's horses for courses, whatever works for you.
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