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chris mcbrien
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Inner circle
Chicago
1235 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-12-04 19:51, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
I think it is entirely stupid to equate the quality of an act by the number of props they do or do not have. Jay Marshall was not a great performer because of his lack of props just as Copperfield is not great because he needs three semi trailers and a jumbo jet and an battleship just to hold his dancing girls.

The silly bragging about how few props you NEED to entertain children is just as pointless as the obsessive collecting of bigger and bolder props.

The number of props does not decide the type show. The type of show decides the number of props.

I'm not saying what you're stating above "less props means better" as an "end all be all". What I'm saying is that you have to consider conveinence to the client and also look at those before you who did well. Copperfield's not doing birthdays, schools or libraries last I checked, though....
I suppose this may be a better way to put what I'm saying:
They're there to see you...and as "me" I want their experience to be as entertaining and conveinent as possible so they remember my great performance AND how easy it was to have me there...
I also want to know if those who lug all the boxes around really enjoy this and think it's worth their back strain at the end of the day. Would they secretely like to walk in with a briefcase and a small PA system? How would they feel arriving, setting up in less than a minute, performing, getting paid the SAME AMOUNT and perhaps a better tip because of the performance AND conveinence aspect..and packing in a minute and driving away with the same money for the same performance time...
THAT I would like to hear....
Chris
James Fortune
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Special user
UK
509 Posts

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So ... my roll on/box question? Smile
Warmest regards
James

James Fortune MIMC
www.comedymagiciansurrey.co.uk
www.bestweddingmagician.co.uk
chris mcbrien
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Inner circle
Chicago
1235 Posts

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Quote:
On 2007-12-04 20:15, James Fortune wrote:
So ... my roll on/box question? Smile

Well, you posted this before I could add that basically I'm giving Dennis a hard time and understand his desire to be the magician kids want to see...it's really a matter of artistic vision I suppose..and at the same time I'm not kidding, people don't want to wait for you to set up and set down in a busy area....
Ok, your table...

http://www.nnmagic.com/magicitems/stagemagicpage_mz.htm
I also know this is probably now what you meant! It's all I could find.
NJJ
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Sorry James - to answer your question, the rolon table is usually heavy because of it's size. Even when the box itself is light, the size of box means all your props will weigh it down. You might consider using TWO boxes that sit on top of each other to make a table and splitting your props between them.
Danny Hustle
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Boston, MA USA
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Quote:
On 2007-12-04 19:51, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:
I think it is entirely stupid to equate the quality of an act by the number of props they do or do not have. Jay Marshall was not a great performer because of his lack of props just as Copperfield is not great because he needs three semi trailers and a jumbo jet and an battleship just to hold his dancing girls.

The silly bragging about how few props you NEED to entertain children is just as pointless as the obsessive collecting of bigger and bolder props.

The number of props does not decide the type show. The type of show decides the number of props.


Nick,
That is what I have been saying all along. I don't think anyone is bragging about how few props they use. Show to suit the venue. That's the way I feel about it.

Others have been boasting that if you do not bring the bigger props you do not care about your show, which is also a load of crap.

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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Boston, MA USA
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Quote:
On 2007-12-04 20:15, James Fortune wrote:
So ... my roll on/box question? Smile


God James, I'm sincerely sorry about that. It always seems to turn into this, anytime this topic comes up.

Judging by what I saw on your table, run rabbit run looked like the biggest prop. I think you could get away with a much smaller case and table. Perhaps even both. Chris Capeharts new video has him working a show out of one case on a eureka base with a skirt around it. It looks great! In Chris' show he is doing Fraidy cat rabbit, misers dream, Bruce Calver's shrinking head, and some other decent size props. He probably has more stuff than you. He even brings a rabbit. But he's able to work it out of the one case, and it looks pretty snazzy to boot. I would HIGHLY recommend that video to you.

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.
Potty the Pirate
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My suggestion is that, like me, folks try out having a "Packs small plays big" show out of a suitcase (I use these shows for hospitals mainly, where I often have to give several short shows of five minutes or less in different wards, other times I need to give a full one-hour show from the same case. The ages of the audience are also unpredictable here, so I need stuff that caters for ALL ages from toddler up to 16-year olds. Last week I had a show in a local hospital, and I had two 2 year olds, one 3 year-old, a 12 year-old, and a 15 year-old. I chose material from my case that played well for ALL these kids, and the show lasted 45 minutes.)
As well as your pack small show, create a show that uses the props you know will really fire the imaginations of the kids. I'm lucky enough to still remember EXACTLY how I reacted to magicians and their props when I was very young, so it's easy for me to do this. As I've said before, when I was a kid, the stuff I loved most of all was always the big, colourful boxes, Run Rabbit, Giddy Guardsman, etc.
As for folks worrying about how much gear you haul into their house, well, I think it really comes down to how entertaining your show is. When I set up Magic Island in a small town house, I have a Rolling flight case, standard looking magician's table (the Billy McComb one), and my Flying Carpet (which looks beautiful, as I've had the "carpet" re-covered with colourful pirate material.) There is a BIG treasure chest, a very large treasure map, a bucket for "Passing Water", as well as a large Axtell puppet, a sound system, my balloon bag and pump, my guitar, and my costume. I think that's it.
All of this can fit into an incredibly small space, as all the big stuff is on wheels, and if neccessary can be tucked in a corner, and moved into place at the appropriate time in the show.
The show was written without any thought as to portability, and when completed, I simply had my flight cases made to accommodate the props I use. And because, of all my shows, this one is the most invoved (there is a narrative running through the whole one-hour show, which is very carefully scripted), it's my top show for 5 and 6 year-olds.
So I'd agree that to start out with the notion that it's the SIZE of your show that's important is nonsense; it's the SHOW itself that is of primary concern. Get the show down, then if you really feel there are too many big props, find a way to adjust that. Equally, if you feel there aren't enough big props, find a way to include a few more.
And think about having shows that pack small AND shows that pack big, naturally you charge a lot more for the big shows.
Danny works 4 shows a day, which I find incredible! I work a maximum of 2 shows a day, but I do earn 2 or 3 times what most of the other local entertainers charge per show, so I don't lose out financially. For me, the hassle of driving around the countryside to FOUR venues in a day is MUCH harder work than simply wheeling in another case of props to a venue that I'm already at.
Again, there are no rights or wrongs here, but I do think it's worth trying both approaches, and finding out what works for you. Personally, I feel it's essential that I can offer shows both big and small. And for the record, my BIG shows are the ones that have made my reputation, and which the clients request.
NJJ
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James - I also saw a aluminium rolon table like the one you are suggesting but it was just as heavy as a wooden one.
Ratty Roberts
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I have read the threads posted. They are all good. Does anyone have any plans that they can share for a box? I will be making a new one in January. The one I have in mind is a box, it has a front that folds up, with "wings" that are on hinges that make the sides. The back comes off , so you can get into the box, and that becomes the top, or lid to the whole shebang!
Ratty Roberts
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Can anyone help with plans for a table/box. I have described what I'm looking for, but on page two!
Stephen Barney
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UK
130 Posts

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James your just getting too old and wrinkley Smile lifting your heavy box will keep you fit. How are you by the way.

Do you remember the cardboard table alli made for David Nixon looked like a really plush thing but was all card I think he bought it to one of the summer schoold at the Circle, although cardboard would not be very practical for constant use
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