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134 Posts

Profile of TiendaMagia
What I usually use in my performances is this:

Deck of cards.
Rubber bands.
50 Euro bill

This I carry with me all the time and is the only props I have. Then at my desk, I have always different elements in wich I am working at that moment, for exemple, magnets, IT and a lot of things that I think
"or maybe I can do something with this"
I need organizing Smile

Mariano Sosa

Magic Store in Europe


Foro de magia en Castellano!

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405 Posts

Profile of Allan
I agree with most of the previous answers. I will encourage one thing. Many of the posts mention going to your storage & then packing for each show. I would like to suggest to close-up workers that you always keep one bag/attache packed at all times with all the props & accessories that you normally go out to perform with. I know that that will require you to have duplicates of the items you may like to carry with you on a daily basis, but it is worth the investment.

I am a full time close-up worker. I am fortunate to have a large overflow of jobs that I hire other magicicans to work. I also hire close-up magicians to work with me on large corporate jobs. Sometimes 5 or 6 on one job. I can't begin to tell you how often I hear the comment "I forgot to pack such & such into my bag" Sometimes they forget the props for their best effect. Always keep one bag/attache case fully loaded & ready to go. If you don't, you will be very prone to forgetting something that you really need.
Daniel Faith
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Inner circle
Neenah, Wisconsin
1526 Posts

Profile of Daniel Faith
I have lots of magic so I have stacks of Rubbermaid containers of various sizes all labeled so I can get right to whatever I need. The larger stuff I keep in a special cabinet for apparatus. I don't have any real large illusions so I don't have that complication. I sure wish I had a room I could dedicate to magic like in the basement.
That must be very nice indeed.
Daniel Faith
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
Prop Management

Books-I have Two Locations:

  • 1. My Kids books, Tarbell, Rice's Encyclopedias of Silks, Showmanship and Presentation, Comedy Books, Ventriloquism Books & Booklets surrounding my computer for quick access.
  • 2. Most of the larger hard back books, Illusion Books, take four shelves of my 5-foot Oak Bookcase in my Recreation room.

In a three ring Binder, alphabetically by Prop Name and a copy in a sub-category, such as wands, silks, coins, etc.

Instructions for Routines are scanned in my computer, and placed on a routine and stage form (self-designed) and altered to my routine patter along with notes. If a trick routine crosses other categories (Kid Shows, Christmas Shows Birthday Party Shows), then a copy is placed in that category. So I can find a trick instruction easily I cross reference them and also enter them in a database.

Booking Binder:
I have a booking form and calendar in another 3-ring binder. As I get a call and complete the form, I make three copies. I file one in the binder by Person Booking the show (Client Name), One by Corporation (Organization, if corporate show), and one by Month (Monthly- Great for next year's bookings). Attached to each is a post review of the show listing effects and relevant information.

Promotion/Advertising Binder
This binder contains ideas and promotional material, by me and by other magicians. It is in three sections, one which promotes the shows, such as free giveaways, business cards, Large and small bills, wand certificates, etc. The second section contains those advertising flyers, brochures, letters, etc. that have limited "lifespan" and are costly. No advertising/no Bookings. The third section contains copies of testimonials. (Originals are filed in filing cabinet.)

Index Card Box:
This box contain index cards of all my Magic, Routines, Props, Illusions filed by name and Category. It is a quick access and a hard copy of what I own.

I have about Twelve thousand (12,000) oneliners in my one of my databases. This allows for instant routine development. Other Databases include, listing of tricks by Tarbell, listings of Illusion Plans I own (over 250), listings of video/DVD tapes and tricks on them, listings of tricks in the many of the books which I own, Indexes and Table of Contents of the books and video. There are also other databases.

My Illusions are in two locations, my outdoor well built shed or my trailer (To big for the house.) Illusions that break down easily, like the 3-in-1, Princess, Pole, and Sword Suspension etc., are stored in the trailer and easy to travel with.

My illusionettes are shelved in my trailer. Illusionettes are larger prop magic, like Rabbit Wringer, Rabbit Washer, Head Chopper, etc.

Stage Magic:
Like the Illusionettes, but smaller, like the Zombie, Dancing Hank, Hippy Hop Rabbits, etc. Are in assorted sized plastic containers on shelves in the trailer. Milk/Liquid Tricks, Cards, Silks, Comedy Props, Zombie, Wands, etc.

Close-up Magic
I have my most powerful closeup tricks in a Close-up Case. Which contains cups and balls, Cards, Thread Magic, Sponge Rabbits, TTs, and a few other props.

Other close-up props are in another plastic container.

Axtell Animals, and Puppets
These critters are all in one oversized case, that right now, I haven't found a good place to put them. They are under my Computer desk counter top with the plastic boxes (Closeup tricks, Fire Effects because it is to Hot in trailer/shed for them, Liquids because they freeze in the winter).

My table saws, drills, and wood shop tools are in my father-in-laws large basement. (No room in my house!)

Corporate Stuff
Since half my Recreational room is converted into a corporate office, besides my magic books, bookshelves, I have my file cabinets, phones, copy machine, office storage supplies closet, desks, etc. Makes for ease of publicity/advertising/promotional materials etc.

I want to make several Leftler type tables to contain my various shows, and re-organize my props to match my shows, rather than putting the show together from the various bins. "Ready to Run" shows.

Now, for beginners, all this did not happen over night, nor is it complete. It took years of "real" work, not magic work, to accumulate the funds to do this, and learning to organize. It still needs work, and time to practice. I still do freebies to try out new tricks and work out the bugs. I love to read, work on the computer, outline, categorize and analyize my VHS/DVDs. Fortunately, I am retired with a good pension and family benefits to allow me to do this. Now I am fighting the years left to perform.

Hopefully, this will give others some ideas on prop management and organization.
Dennis Michael
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Kirksville, Missouri
134 Posts

Profile of tkuhns
Closeup magic in a groovy metal suitcase, big stuff in a large Rubbermaid tub. Everything else sits on a shelf in the closet.
Harry Murphy
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Inner circle
5370 Posts

Profile of Harry Murphy
My entire house is the storehouse of my magic “stuff”. Every room has visible magic props and illusions. I have to put them somewhere. Of course I live alone in a modest three-bedroom cottage.

One large closet is reserved and full of costumes.

You will find two head choppers and a head twister plus a nice collection of hand made wooden magic props/tricks (wooden chop cup, stop trick, etc.) in my living room. A sword basket, a suitcase table, a very menacing home made French Hand chopper, a couple of Rydal made props from the 50’s and my Kayak are in the dining room (OK, where would you keep your Kayak?). Yes there is plenty of room for a formal dining room table [with a collection of cups for cups and balls, a close-up pad, and the Dennis Loomis mini chop cup set-up (I’m practicing that one) cover the table] and a china closet.

One bedroom is a magic library/studio. Three walls of bookshelves (still not enough room for my books and videos/DVD's!), both a practice close up table and chairs and several tables used in other acts. There are three (three!) closets in this particular room. Each is full of magic paraphernalia in labeled boxes.

My bedroom has my street table setup and the entire street act (including Giberciere fully loaded and ready to go) several plastic tubs full of tricks that I am playing with. There is aslo a large bookcase full of the magic books that I am currently interested in.

Of course I have a collection of armor and swords, three manikins in costume, and a ton of fantasy art all spread around the house.

Hummmmm…maybe that’s why I live alone!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
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2134 Posts

Profile of KingStardog
Boy Harry,

I thought I had a problem. I finally got everything contained except the stuff I am playing with at the time. All in rolling suitcases with extending handles except for a big wooden trunk in the garage and my carry around cases and close up case. I have two army surplus computer cases in the garage but they are too big for just me to carry by myself. The bigger things go inside of those.

Wife is kind of touchy about having the spare bed cleared off. Smile
...think not that all wisdom is in your school. You may have studied other paths,but, it is important to remember that no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always more to learn.
Donny Orbit
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944 Posts

Profile of Donny Orbit
I wish I could say I was as organized as everyone else. I will practice my magic wherever I go, so there is usually a few decks of cards just laying around the house. I will carry a book with me, then remember another similar effect, leave the book where I was at, then go get another book. Usually I have at least 10 books laying around, not to mention all the torn cards. I am going to go to Menards (a hardware store) and buy an industrial strength tool shelf. Its 27 dollars and holds 1200 pounds per shelf. I think it was intended for use in a garage, but it should fit my magical needs nicely.

do magic

Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
6018 Posts

Profile of Dennis Michael
I didn't say I was organized, I got a place for it but it doesn't mean it's there! If it's "there" in it's place, I can't play with it!
Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Has written
1307 Posts

Profile of mvmagic
I have a separate magic room which contains everything else except illusions which are stored in my garage (I have a 6 car garage) which is modified a bit to act as a storage.

I have videos and books on a shelf and bigger props on shelves as well. For other stuff I just have storage boxes (about the size of a microwave oven). 3 boxes for silks, 1 for sponges, 1 for normal decks, 1 for card tricks requiring special cards or set-up, 1 for general close-up stuff, 1 for gimmicks (D´Lites, TT´s, ITRs, pulls, holders etc.)

I always have my tables and close-up case empty and fill them as needed. For maintenance I have an steam iron and ironing board and a sink so I can wash and iron silks.

One thing I especially love is a curtain display rack I salvaged from a defunct curtain store. I have all my foulards and BIG silks and such hanging there.
Sent from my Typewriter
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Maryland, USA
114 Posts

Profile of Zorak
I don't have a wife, so the interior of my house is furnished by Rubbermaid, Bookshelves, VCRs, DVDs, and computers.

Decorations by Tannen, Abbotts, Hank Lee, Yogi magic Mart, The Fun House, and 35 years of buying (I keep telling myself I'm not a collector), etc. I also have one of each product manufactured by Majart Studios for its 5 year existence. (My products) I worked as a demoman in 3 different magic shops, so when something cool came in...

If furniture gets in the way, I just throw it out!
Magic is in the hearts of children from 1 to 101
Please check out my Website: kiddiekazam.com
MAGIC CARTOONS all drawn by Zorak
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Profile of Merlin!
I'm mostly into close-up magic, though I do do some stage work. I have a closet (I have a lot of these) where I store the majority of my supplies, I've made a number of shelves (though Rubbermaid organizers would do the trick), which helps me organize my tricks, I have, basically, one shelf for each form of magic (i.e. coins, hankerchief/silks, mental magic, etc).
Mr A
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54 Posts

Profile of Mr A
I like to keep my books in large Rubbermaid type box, in a closet away from prying eyes. If I am in the process of using a book I keep it in a drawer near my bed.
I have 3 bags that I can take with me. All 3 are always packed and ready to go out the door.

1. A soft-sided briefcase type bag, I use this when I am going out informally or just to practice.
2. A lockable catalog case, when I am going to a paid gig. It has a few more things in it.
3. An small 12X6X6 tackle box, also for a paid gig I leave this in the car, it contains Sharpies, band-aids, gloves (in case of a flat on the way got to keep those hands clean), rubber cement. Etc.
I keep all of the instructions for my effects that I buy in an expandable file.
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Twinsburg, Ohio
533 Posts

Profile of WilliamWHolcomb
I used to keep my stuff spread throughout the house. One day my girlfriend decided to be nice and arrange everything neatly for me. She did a great job...all except for the Raven which she neatly placed on top of several videos!

Now everything is locked in a file cabinet!
William Holcomb
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London, UK www.MatthewLaskey.com
250 Posts

Profile of m@t
I just have lots and lots of shelves in my room! The only problem is that I have to put a big sheet over all the shelves when friends come over!
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Astoria, NY
192 Posts

Profile of Torkova
I spent last week putting up lots of shelving and buying plastic boxes to put on them. Living in a small apartment in New York City makes this a necessity and am glad I finally had a chance to do it. Labeling the boxes is the next step. Here's to a more organized New Year!
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Inner circle
St Louis
1180 Posts

Profile of Leland
Embarrassed to admit it, but shoes boxes. Although they are well labled and I have never had problems locating what I needed. I plan on improving my storage, sometime when I have time to do it.
Life of Magic!
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Las Vegas
73 Posts

Profile of Stedwick
I get along with cardboard boxes. But they are long and wide and shallow, because if they are deep you could never find anything =P

I also keep a few drawers full of stuff I use all the time.

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Inner circle
1552 Posts

Profile of Chrystal
I'm fortunate to have a room in my home which I refer to as my magic room... everything is stored there on hangers, shelves, boxes and folders. When it is organized I am able to walk in at a moment's notice and pick up what I need. However, approximately once a year (after the Christmas rush usually) I have to reorganize everything as it's in a bit of a chaotic state. Books, I prefer to have on a shelf in my bedroom closet so I can grab one from time to time for night time reading. Some I can verify will put a person to sleep even with lots of coffee drunk beforehand!
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Central California
1793 Posts

Profile of kaytracy
Would you believe it, those plastic hang up shoe organizers will work nicely in any bit of closet space to hold videos, small to medium props, the clear plastic storage compartment boxes with the coins or other really small items, numerous decks of cards (with the practice and tearing packs at the bottom row)?

The little windows are clear so you can see what is in them. They hang up well and if you get one or two and cut them down a bit, you can have one pre-set for a show and be able to hang your costume or vest or whatever on the hanger over it.

Okay, so I made one out of fabric to fit the hanger and my vest, (which is only for working and the pockets are always loaded). I can hang it in the car to travel. It has little velcro buttons on the pocket tops to keep things inside in case of rough handling or tumbling.

Hope this helps
Kay and Tory
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