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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » How do you keep your Props in order at home? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of magicjody
Organized??? I have magic in every room of my house, in both of my cars. Hmmm, … might try that.
Insomniacs Dream
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Port Glasgow in scotland
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Profile of Insomniacs Dream
At my house, I use my chest of drawers for magic.

If i never sleep wy does it feel like im dreaming
Mr. Muggle
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Profile of Mr. Muggle
Concerned about friends or family seeing what they aren't supposed to, I have a room with an oversized closet that holds my library on bookshelves, my props have hangers for them, and I have organizers for effects based on type. I keep coins sorted, etc. DVD and Video's are in a TV cabinet, and both the closet and cabinet are locked so that they cannot be accessed.

But I ran out of room and keep other items in storage below my house.

However you keep them, I suggest locking them up to keep secrets from the lay audience.

"Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it because you're not really looking. You don't really want to know the secret... You want to be fooled." - The Prestige (2006)
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Profile of Spatula545
I keep all of my instructions to tricks in plastic sleeves in a 3 ring binder. I keep all of my magical material in a desk with three shelves.
12 pennies stacked equals the hight of a dime.
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Eternal Order
Look mom! I've got
14062 Posts

Profile of daffydoug
I am the most organized of all.

All my large props are on metal shelves I obtained at auctions, my smaller ones are in plastic divider drawers I got at the dollar store, my card efects are stacked on end in boxes just the right size to hold six apiece, complete in alphabetical order with index cards indicating which is which. My library has dvds and vhs on a separate metal shelf, and book shelves hold my books.

It all fits in one room of my small trailer. Miraculous is what it is. Smile
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
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Inner circle
Thousand Oaks, CA
1023 Posts

Profile of GeorgeG
My wife recently decided to have a company install custom shelves/hangers in a good sized walk-in closet. She obviously asked me what I wanted for "my" side. I quickly responded with "lots of adjustible shelves and only a small double decker hanger for my clothes". After the new closet was finished I began moving my magic apparatus and books in there. Why a closet? First, it's dark, so the spines on my books will not fade as it would elsewhere. Second, it keeps my magic stuff away from curious hands when I have visitors. Third, I have plenty of space to consolidate all my "scattered" pieces throughout the house. It's become my "magic hideout"
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Profile of *Bro*
Everything thing in Zip Locs.
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Profile of DarryltheWizard
After reading these posts, I now realize what I should have been doing to better organize my props all these years. I have a rare disorder known as Nefarious Tableitus where I am constantly trying to make or buy the perfect magic table or case. I have a case for every occasion and show. One suitcase table(Lefler for birthday shows, two for industrial shows, etc. Props that I buy , but don't use are stored on shelves, drawers . Every room has magic even my bathroom has a large square circle and a guillotine. Every time I can't find a prop or gimmick, it's a real adventure looking through my drawers , cabinets and shelves, for it brings back memories. It can also be a nightmare when you can't find one little gimmick, etc. I guess the advantage of being single is you are not limited to one room. Every married magician who has visited me is very envious, for I live in my own little world of magic. My slogan, " If furniture gets in the way , then donate it to the Salvation Army."
Darryl the Wizard
"Life without mystery is like a candle
with a snuffed out flame." Albert Einstein
Eric Woods
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Kansas City
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Profile of Eric Woods
Thank you DenDowhy! Some great suggestions there. I too use the Rubermaid system silks, cards, sponge balls, ect... My books and magazines are in seperate excel files, but the scaning of instructions, that's golden!!--a project I intend to get started on soon. One suggestion for you coin lovers. I purchased a lot of gimmicked coins at an auction that was in a nut and bolt type case with a lable on top for the content of each drawer, thankfully that work was done for me but it sure takes the quess work out of finding what you need, of course it could be used for more than coins.
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Profile of carbone1853
I find it is helpful to have two of all the props in my show. That way the show stays packed up in its cases ready to be grabbed and taken to a gig. While the other set in my basement to practice with, develop new material, or just incase a prop gets lost or damaged.

When I started out in magic I was always taking stuff out of my cases to work on and getting to a gig only to find out some key prop was back home.

Mario Morris
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Mario Morris
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Profile of Mario Morris
I have a magic den in my house, but it still gets messy never mind what I do, but it is an interesting mess.
Miracle Man Show
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Profile of Miracle Man Show
I use clear plastic boxes and label them with as to contents (silk fountain routine) as well as a box designation (i.e. A1, A2, B1, B2, etc.) The reason for the box designation is that I have been trying to inventory my stuff with ShowMan, show management software.

So, for example, if I'm looking for a dye tube, I go to the database, and see that I have a dye tube stored in box D3 (the silk fountain routine box).

Does anybody know of another program like ShowMan that would integrate routines, performances and inventory? Does anybody else use ShowMan?
Tom McCormick
"The Miracle Man Show"
There's only one Miracle Man, that's Jesus Christ; I just get to do a show about HIM.
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St-Hubert, Quebec, Canada.
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Profile of x303
I used antique looking boxes, cases, small and big trunks/chests and one dresser.

Usually bought at garage sales and the likes!
Store instructions in binders, and books videos in one dresser drawer!

And I still can't find whatever I'm looking for?

jezza pk magic
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bristol uk
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Profile of jezza pk magic
Hi all,

I use a few round tubs (plastic paperbins),shoe boxes for paperwork, and on top is, hmmm...well, I'd say it's some kind of shoe shine tray, or a cleaners tray, about 10 compartments, and a handle in the middle. Oh, and on top the freezer is a large washing-up bowl, full of magnets, which really gets on the wife's nerves as they are all rare earth ones, so things fly in this house. Beware with a toy box and a half of videos and DVDs.

Oops! re plastic paper bins, eh? I mean plastic WASTE paper bins. That's better. :o)

how many times must i say,"i wish i thought of that"?
Scott Wells
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Houston, TX
1024 Posts

Profile of Scott Wells
I bought translucent plastic shoe boxes from the Container Store. I put a 3" x 4" sticker on the ends of them where I wrote the contents. These stack on top of each other so I can pull out what I need without disturbing the rest.

In fact I would recommend going to the Container Store (physical location or online) and take a look at all the types of boxes they have. You might find something that will inspire you to get organized!

"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

The Magic Word podcast: http://themagicwordpodcast.com Listen to convention coverage, interviews with magicians, pictures, videos and more.

Magic Inspirations website for all things Banachek: www.magicinspirations.net
David Todd
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Profile of David Todd
I'm trying to get my magic room more organized.

At the moment I call it "Tribute to Al Flosso's Back Room"
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Profile of magicjames1
I have a whoe built in wardrobe dedicted to my my magic. In side its all lined with black and red velvet. All the close up magic is lined up in their packets on about 2 shelves. All the stage magic is then laid out like a display cabinet because I like to open my wardrobe and have that magical feel when I see all the silver equipment (like dove pans and comedy funnel) presented in one section e.t.c. I have hangers for silks and things like the sword for the sword thru neck.

If you have your magic organised it always makes you feel more excited when you sit down and dig out all those good magic tricks that you've had for years and never prfected!

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Inner circle
Tucson, AZ
1904 Posts

Profile of chmara
It took them 60 years to diagnose my ADD. That means for 50 years my table top == spilling onto the floor -- and it must be here somewhere system is being compensated for and some traits "unlearned.

I have the feeling the sleightofhand1 may not be kidding -- as my lady of 14 years and did come apart recently so I moved the whole collection to my home of 5000 square feet in the Tucson mountains -- and have spent the last seven months renovating to add storage, rehearsal and building facility to a living and reading space. The place now includes:

1. A seance room and venue seating 15 plus performer. This room also contains all psychic reading props, Egyptian Sand Reading props and fortune telling props. All are out in visible shelves (in ethnic category) to compensate for the proclivity of "out of sight, out of mind" that ADD engenders.

2. A magic rehearsal/storage and craft room with a tool room attached.
The tools are in three chests by vague category that keeps my rooting through them to a minimum -- if I remeber to put them back. Also sound and lighting controls and wiring are kept in the tool room -- the lighting masts and instruments in the trailer ourside.

3. The rehearsal room has an alcove bounded by an 8' high and 12 ' wide proscenium. The alcove space contains two Black and Decker Double Locker rigs for the current act's small props and supplies, confetti, etc. A wonderful Costco import tool chest (two parts) of wood contains close-up stuff -- and narrow stuff like ice picks, wands packet stage size stuff. Also in the alcove is a custom 24 drawer (each drawer 24 deep, 10 across and 10 deep for silks, pulls, straight jacket, cuffs, wallets, etc. These are screened from the seating area by a portable BG screen and performance can be done in the proscenium to a depth of 7 feet back.

In the audience area -- if I move the craft tables out where I build and modify props, I can seat 20 comfortably -- and the walls are lined with three rows of 18' long shelves -- above the floor high enough that my illusions and fully cased routines can fit on the wall below the shelves. These routine are labeled in big lettered tags -- knowing my ADD lets me forget which is in each. On the shelves are other props and tricks I have acquired and sometimes throw into a show for theme purposes -- but they arer all where I can see them displayed. 14 books of ring-bound instruction sheets are also now on these shelves.

Costumes are soft goods are in one double closet in this room -- the other has cases and some personal memorabelia.

Plastic see through boxes (double or triple shoe box size) inhabit the floor when I am workiong on prop building or modification -- each "job" with the parts in its own box.

4. Exceptionally confidential materials on readings and mentalism, my seance materials and the like are libraried in my locked (albeit small) bedroom on three bookcases of 36x48. All current routines and planned use routinmes have been copied into 20 ring binders of from 1-3" size. (Just how many living and dead tests does one person need.) One or two very special props for mentalism where I knoiw only 1-5 versions exist in the world are in here too.

The living room holds 2 8' high 48 wide golden oac shelf set that house my illusion and general magic book collection -- minus the seance and mentalism. In a glassed 48x60 "legal" bookcase -- and along the top of the library cases are non exposing displays of the works of Paul Fox, Owen Magic Supreme, P&A metalwork (rarely seen), Jim Riser, Creekmore, Thayer, Okito/Nielsen, Harrakahn and other collectable but sometimes used (always useable) pieces. Again- open for use in sight.

Another 8' bookcase has my collection of graphic novels and bound manga -- while the shelves under the long window house JB Shaw, TR, Mark Train, O'Henry and Ayn Rand collections -- well read. A mexican revolution collection is also wedged in, with an accent on Pancho Villa.

The office room is more mundane -- housing only magic CDs, a Mac and two printers, copiers, fire proof files and regular files...and the DVD production stuff. Oh yes - one CD rack 60x30 contains royalty free music I have purchased and used. (My opera, classical and now narrowed VHS collections fill similar racks in the back hall....)

On the big desk -- there are still piles of pape4rwork -- but I can usually find everything now rather quickly. I have indeed filed catalogs, tax papers, etc. out of sight -- but spent the time to label them for a quick find.

5. Down in the shed -- (20x25 metal) I have my table saw, drill press, jig and band saws along with a supply of Baltic Birch plywood.

6. The trailer holds my levitations, lighting instruments, Magician's revenge, Wiz-Kote (complete withn ATA cases and fire extinguisher) my mad scientist lights thru rig -- pipe and drape curtains -- a snake basket trick I have been workiong on for 5 years and still do not like -- confetti canons, and "suitcase" tables for show roll-ons -- and a 1500 watt spotlight in ATA case.

NOW -- THOSE OF YOU WITHOUT THE HANDICAP (and it is a handicap) OF ADD probably laugh at having to keep all this stuff "in sight." I have cut the visual confusion down by making sure everything is kept neat and accessible by -- what to me -- is great and concentrated effort. Now, too -- I can focus on performance with what I have.

Several years ago -- Jeff McBride shared with me a method he sometimes uses to develop a routine. He puts on some music of the mood he wants to create -- dumps his magical toys onto the floor where he can see them -- and starts playing with them. Often they come together in a new idea or routine. But he has to see them to use them.

So -- I have made my whole home into an orderly "Jeff's Floor."

--Oh yes -- I do not use all 5000 feet of the house. I care for my 91 year old dad (still has his marbles -- but not his legs) in a part we have made into an 1800 square foot apartment with kitchen for him.

In my years in magic -- I realize that many restless -- seemingly disorganized but very sharp magicians -- suffer from varying degrees of ADD. It is not a personality fault -- but many tend to accept blame for the lack of orderliness as a social failing -- rather than a manifestation of a mind that may move too fast to be "orderly."

I have been fortunate so far in having the means to put this together. Now it is time to get back on the road -- and get my admin side of the business under control. Any suggestions for a good filing system?????


PS- pardon spelling anf grammar -- I did not proof the above -- I have to pour some foam for props tonight -- and messed up my last batch.
Gregg (C. H. Mara) Chmara

Commercial Operations, LLC

Tucson, AZ

C. H. Mara Illusion & Psychic Entertainments
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Profile of q
My magic stuff is mixed in with my clothing and random papers going back to 4th grade homework all in a bonfire-like pile. In fact, it was through pure luck I found my computer to respond to the question
Bill Palmer
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Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
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Profile of Bill Palmer
I have two rental storage warehouses that contain the remnants of the Merlin act, as well as some of the PA gear. That stuff is very precisely organized in categories determined by which piece hit the floor of the warehouse first.

My "office" contains my magic books, about 2500 of them, plus magazines, some sorted, some not, and my synthesizers.

Upstairs is another room that contains miscellaneous other things filed away in shoeboxes.

Oh, yes, and the garage contains various tools and props sorted by Brownian motion.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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