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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » Do you get upset by the prop guys.. WHY? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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muzicman
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Well, I'm certainly impressed you spotted that!

I don't lug all these around. I also have $15k in intelligent lighting and 3 size PA's for various venues. My largest PA fills a full size van or pickup alone! I also have a full BA stage and BA illusions that rival big box illusions. The time, cost, and expense of moving all this equipment makes it impossible to lug it all around.

Smaller shows with no lights, and just 1-2 props is fun.

I recently went to my local Guitar Center with my 14 y/o daughter and her friend. What started with just me playing to a backing track I dropped on my Rolly in their accoustic guitar room, turned into a room designed for 20 people filled with 30+ people and 3 of us trading off licks with the dancing egg. My daughter said as we were leaving, "Dad, you can pretty much entertain anywhere doing anything can't you"!

To me, it's not what you have, but what you are. I'm a born entertainer. I also enjoy entertaining myself, and these works of art are something to behold, and enjoy and own.

My props will soon be in their own theater, the way magic should be displayed. All the lights and sounds of "theater". BA illusions perfectly executed because the lights are spot on controlled along with the music from a central professional mixed 24bit computers PCI interface (digital 5.1 sound). The talking deer head is the emcee, Buster is the sidekick, all my glow wire and exotic costumes. No travel. This is the show I want and these props just reinforce my presentations and add visual variety. Not to mention they are reliable!!
Potty the Pirate
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Muzicman, your set-up sounds awesome! I sometimes wish I had my own pirate ship, with a built-in theatre!
In response to Kimmo's post, I'd suggest Kimmo, that you still are a big prop guy...at least if you still have two puppets, and the RC Drawing Board at your shows...along with your puppet trunks. With those you manage to fill the stage most effectively. What's very useful though, is that several of your routines are small items which play big, which means you give the impression of having a BIG show, without having to hump too much gear in.
If you think of puppets as large props, they can highly entertaining, and routines tend to be considerably longer than your average large magic prop.
8thking
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Props or no props it is about entertaining kids and if you can do that it doesn't matter either way the only way it matters is on your back lugging things in and out of your trunk
Jesus is alive:
Living proof you can’t keep a God man down
Alan Munro
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Quote:
On 2009-05-11 13:58, Kevinr wrote:
Quote:
On 2009-04-13 14:31, Alan Munro wrote:
People will pay more for the talented performer, rather than the prop guy.


Tell this to Copperfield and Lance Burton...

Known fact the nicer and larger props WITH (and I do mean with)a good story line will be percieved by the client as worth more money than a great magician with some rope, cards and a small bag of items...

I'd hardly call them untalented or mere prop guys! What I was talking about was the "performer" who uses a prop as a crutch. The performers that you mention are ones who dominate the props that they use - that's a skill in and of itself.
cardone
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Quote:
On 2009-04-14 12:59, solrak29 wrote:
I found this post interesting but there is something I am missing...

What is the definition of big prop guys (like what is a "Big Prop")?
My guess here is illusions and dove magic and giant size Fraidy Cat Rabbit.

What is the definition of the small prop guys?
Is the guy who works out of the case, and uses close up stuff...cards, coins,
smaller version of your standard kid show props...

Ken and Cardone seem to be big prop guys, but these guys do monstly
big type of shows. Ken, does a lot of schools with auditoriums and stage
type of performance and Cardone, from recent posts, tends to do the same
but at different venues. I can see where these guys tendancy are to
Big Props. I can also see where you fees would change for these type of
shows.

Myself, I perform in Middle America's living rooms where space is minimal
at best. Especially, if you need your audience situated properly. So in
my case, I can only see "small" prop being feasible in this case.

So I am guessing, it is where or what venue(s) you are catering too?


Yes I do large venues but I also do living room shows ... and I still book the large scale stuff ....Imagin 2 performers that both have great performing chops one has fancy gear and a back drop.. and the other uses a rope and a coloring book . Guess what ..the perceived value is going to be different . I know because I have booked living room shows in NYC at 3 times the rate of the highest paid famous kid show entertainer. Why ... people tell me after the show it was like a Vegas Magic show in their home ...and that the last show they had was overpriced for what they paid . Now my show was much more money ..but it didn't matter. Both are highly skilled entertainers . I just saw a need to send the show over the edge and give them a show of 1001 wonders that can happen in a small space and make more money doing so . I have a basic show but I book the bigger ones about %40 of the time ...

Posted: Jun 14, 2009 12:06pm
Oh by the way ...this is a great thread and we can all learn from these posts and find ways to raise the value of what we do .....I think some of the best biz chat on the Café is on" The Little Darlings ".... thoughts?
Potty the Pirate
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Don't forget that for many entertainers, a big show is the result of years of performing. As you can afford to add new props, backdrops, and so forth, you can do so. It kinda goes hand in hand with moving up to bigger shows than your average living room... though these shows are so common, they can always be relied upon for a basic income.
muzicman
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It's really easy to get into buying props if you are naturally entertaining and making excess money from your shows. My wife, who is also my accountant, advised me last November that I needed to spend nearly $6k before the end of the year or be prepared to give a large chunk of it to the IRS. It just so happened that Steve Axtell was making these new Hands Free Puppets. I like supporting the manufacturers of quality products that I like and can use.

When I was 6 years old, I talked my mom into trading 6 books of S&H Green Stamps for a full size, 6 string accoustic guitar. The guitar was terrible quality, and had big fat strings that were 1/2 inch off the fret board. I did not know how to play it. I did not think of myself as a musician, but I had to start somewhere.

I learned how to play chords and finally songs I liked. Soon I was making my own music. By the time I was 8, I was ready to get a new guitar. A Fender accoustic was my choice. I got a shoeshine box with 4 1/2 S&H Green Stamps books. Instead of getting up and watching cartoons like other kids my age, I'd head to my towns auto row early in the morning and convince every car salesman that they needed a shine. I only charged .25 cents. Some would give me .50, some would give me $1. One gave me $10 (cause he sold 3 cars that day!).

It took me 3 weekends to get enough money to get that new Fender guitar, and I loved it and I still have it. I bought it in 1969 when I was 8 years old.

Now some people can entertain with an old beatup garage sale guitar, I am one of them. I actually tuned and played a cheap guitar recently that was NAILED TO A WALL in a mexican restaurant. When I played it, it resonated against the wall. All the staff that worked there, including the owner could not believe it. They had never seen anyone do that before and was quite surprised how good it sounded. I did 3 encores at their insistance!!

Now I could entertained them with my 1967 S&H Green Stamp guitar, or my 1969 Fender I bought with my hard earned money, or any of the other 14 electric and accoustic guitars I have in my collection. But I didn't have them with me. Also, the quality guitars I own sound better and are easier to play that that first one I got, or the one nailed to the wall in my local Mexican Restaurant. Keep in mind, I CAN ENTERTAIN WITH THEM, but I prefer my better quality, more expensive guitar if I'm being paid to perform. I don't need it, but I prefer it, and I believe in the end, my audiences will appreciate it, and my clients will feel they got their moneys worth.

The same is true with my props in magic.

By the way, S&H Green Stamps were given by retailers for purchasing products back in the 60's. From gas to groceries, you seemed to always get them. You could pick products with books that you would fill with these things. Anyone else remember these things? My mom would put them in a drawer in the kitchen and I'd lick them and stick them in a book and look at the catalogue to see what I could get. I was really poor back then, and money was tight. Both those items I got changed my life, but only because I worked at it. A guitar is like a magic prop to me and vice versa. Just because you have it, does not make it entertaining. What makes it entertaining is what I do with it.
themagiciansapprentice
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An amusing tale
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
Ken Northridge
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Muzicman,

I like the way you put that and yes, I have similar memories about Green Stamps.
"Love is the real magic." -Doug Henning
www.KenNorthridge.com
Potty the Pirate
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Muzicman, in the UK we called them "Green Shield Stamps". I still remember chucking out about a million of them years after the company folded! You obviously had a great love of music as a kid. When I was that age, I used to spend all my cash on magic props! Sadly I didn't realise the joys of things like guitars back then, and magic props were rare as hens' teeth - so Green Shield Stamps could offer nothing to me....
:(
magoben
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I believe the cutting edge magician and the best combination to get the most of your show is combining props, talent and image.

I'm studying advertising, and if we think in the "commercial" part of magic we all are like a product. For example, when you are in a supermarket and you are searching for a new product, you'll tend to choose the product that look best and seems to solve "your problem". It's the same with us, if the people doesn't know us they will search for the atributtes and benefits that may solve their "entertainment problem".
Kevinr
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Quote:
On 2009-06-26 18:40, magoben wrote:

I'm studying advertising, and if we think in the "commercial" part of magic we all are like a product. For example, when you are in a supermarket and you are searching for a new product, you'll tend to choose the product that look best and seems to solve "your problem". It's the same with us, if the people doesn't know us they will search for the atributtes and benefits that may solve their "entertainment problem".


True.. I think the days of caring in a "bag of tricks" and wearing a pair of jeans and white shirt and saying we are the best are long gone..
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