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Profile of DarryltheWizard
How many performers have finished with a prop, thrown it inside your case or table on top of another prop, and then when you need it, you have to rummage through your props, a real dead wait in front of an audience.

Why does this happen?

The magician is too cheap to make or buy a decent table or case. The case is too disorganized, for all props are simply thrown inside. You can't see inside a black suitcase table to find the prop. Your memory is going! You don't know from one show to the next where a prop is.

How to overcome some of these problems?

Paint the inside of a case a light colour or use a portable light. Use dividers inside a briefcase or suitcase for each prop. I use ladies make-up bags with zippers in various colours and put the names of the props in permanent markers on each bag.

I made a ditching bag from a plastic pool rack, attaching a felt black bag to it. It attaches to the back or side of my velcro compatible table.

I use a see through folding garbage can from Ikea. (it collapses to 1" in thickness) for a mere $19.95 Canadian. It's good for larger props I can drape silk over the opening, etc.

In my show, I use a center working table and for larger shows I have side ditching tables. I also have a map of where each prop is placed and a list on each case of what is packed within. That way, for a new show, you never misplace props and your set-up time is reduced dramatically.

Some performers even pack things into the opposite end of their suitcases so that when the show is done they are packed and ready to go. Hope these ideas help you to discover that "Order is the first law of heaven"

Darryl the detail Wizard Smile
"Life without mystery is like a candle
with a snuffed out flame." Albert Einstein
Allen Gittelson
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Profile of Allen Gittelson

There's some good tips in your post. However, even with these methods, the true way to know that everything will work for you is something you mentioned, but not very explicitly. I'll just make it a bit more explicit (no need to shudder about these explicit thoughts) Smile

If a performer plans the act, and rehearses it with everything just as it will be performed at a real show, then the performer can learn about and prevent these types of problems from occuring when an audience is present.

One method that I planned into my shows is to have a large trash bin strategically placed and worked into the show. After something is performed, the props go into this. As I perform mostly mentalism for formal shows, this works very well. Most of what you might consider props are pieces of paper, envelopes, cards, etc.

I don't assign any importance to them, as they are just incidental items in the presentations. My throwing them in the trash helps reinforce that idea and also that there is nothing special about the props. It is my audience, me, and our time spent together that are special.

Some items are specifically not put into the trash as these are mementos of the occasion and are nicely presented to the appropriate participants.

In thoughts,
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Seattle Magic
221 Posts

Profile of TOBIAS
I have a good idea stop using so many props.
Unless you have a normal gig, K.I.S.S. Make it make sense. I keep a very neat case, very,very,very neat case. Although I am a neat freak when it comes to magic. Don't leave me alone with your case or I straighten it out. I hate to see magic things taken so poorly of.

Point being,
Be true to your art, and it will be true to you... Smile
Be true to your art, and it will be true to you
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Profile of Scott
Some good ideas Darryl and Allen I love the Idea of the dustbin (trash can) on stage to ditch billets and evelopes etc during a mentalism act.

With regards to carrying equipment my standup act is from one large briefcase on a special roll on stand. the interior is split into sections and so the props come out are used and then go back in the same place.

As for close up I used to carry all my props in an old laptop bag but have just bought a video carry case. Even though it appears much smaller it has more pockets better padding and I can fit everything in it with ease. It keeps all my props safe and together until I get to the venue and fill up my pockets. At the moment I wear a waistcoat for close up with numerous pockets in it as I like to keep my jacket pockets empty as packs of cards etc ruin a good suit.

However I am tempted to get the Pocket Pocket mentioned in another post.

Scott Creasey - Mind Reader

Original Routines With A Mental Flavour
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