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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Table hoppers & party strollers » » Pocket management when strolling - Please advice!! (15 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Montana76
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Hi all!
I have settled on a set that I am comfortable with but I am really struggling with pocket management.
First, let me tell you my 3 sets of 3;

Set 1
Crazy mans handcuffs
Slop shuffle Triumph
Ambitious card, phantom deck, phantom pen and card to wallet ending (Real Mans wallet)

Set 2
Sponge Balls
Dr Daleys last trick (in a separate gaff card wallet)
One Cup Routine (the regular "three small balls" and two final loads (lime/billiard ball)

Set 3
One Coin Flurry & Jumbo Coin Production (based on Ammars routine)
Torched and Restored (only ten cards)
Invisible Deck

I have the following questions;

1. How on earth can I pocket manage this? I am wearing a suit..
2. Does "do more with less" apply here? Should I ditch some routines? Do more with cards?
3. The final loads are REALLY bulky. Should I only do this for "special" occasions? (Would hate that..)

ANY feedback is GREATLY appreciated.. I am really stressed out trying to make this work. I have a tendency to overthink and this often forces me into lesser creative periods..
I am currently very unorganized when doing gigs because of my cluttered pockets, but every effort to "unclutter" them only leads to me going around with lesser diversity in my effects.

Please please chime in everyone.. If only with a couple of words. I need help!
drmagico
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You may want to think about trimming down the number of effects if you can get away without 3 sets of 3. You can do Daley's last trick by just taking out the cards from full deck so as to eliminate the separate wallet (gaffed?) I usually use the jumbo coin to end a one coin routine. I have it on a clip in the back of the suit and can easily reload it in the clip after going from one group to another. This frees up a back pocket. Usually in a suit there is a small pocket on the lower left inside which I use for a few cards so you can use it for the torched cards. One regular deck in the upper inner pocket and the wallet in the other upper pocket. Sponge balls in outer coat pocket with the rubber bands. The invisible deck in the other outer coat pocket. Coins and loads in pants pockets. If you are performing at tables then just put the cup down at the start.
Chamberlain
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My suggestion is to combine them into 2 acts of 4, and drop the one cup routine - I'd love to do chop cup strolling, but half the time either there's no table nearby or its too crowded. Sure, you could place the cup on their hand but in my opinion it's not worth the effort of being weighted down/bulging suit hiding a lime/8 ball

Set 1

-CMH
-Slop Shuffle
-Ambitious card > Wallet > Phantom Deck (theres greater cover switching deck whilst they are removing the card from your wallet)
-Sponge Balls (depending on the routine you use, I'd suggest sponge bunnies in its place)

Set 2
-One Coin Flurry (check out Bag4Life for a great way of getting into a one coin flurry)
-Daley Last Trick -take them from a regular deck, and use the same deck to segueway into..
-Torched and Restored
-Invisible Deck

Pocket Management
-Elastic Bands (right wrist)
-Deck of Cards (right jacket outside pocket)
-Invisible Deck (left inside pocket)
-Phantom Deck (left jacket pocket)
-Sponge Balls (right trouser pocket)
-Loose Half Dollar (left trouser pocket)
-Lighter for Torched and restored (left trouser pocket)
-Jumbo Half (left back trouser pocket/belt waistline)

That leaves your right inside pocket spare for holding your phone/keys/sharpie, your ticket pocket for holding business cards, and your breast pocket for holding spare gaffs for torched and restored
Chamberlain
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Don't your fingers get covered in ash performing Torched and Restored?
Dannydoyle
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I would learn to do more with less.

Have some coins have some cards and maybe ring string stuff and work from there. No pocket management necessary.

You can do several card things or coin things or mix them up and so forth. Pretty easy really. I would start to learn utility moves and not routines. This way you can have hundreds of routines literally.

I have heard this 3 sets of 3 quoted and ir is a good starting point. But sticking to it like dogma makes no sense to me personally.

But fir pocket management having less to worry about managing seems prudent to me.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
spatrick
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I can help with some advice. I stroll currently with 13-14 different effects in my pockets. Now this seems like allot, but I have done some major long strolling events and I love the fact that I have everything on me and most of my routines require no (or very little) table space. On top of that, having more than you need can sometimes feel like a safety net that can boost your confidence and professionalism when performing.

Now, with all that said, I usually stick to 3 sets of 3 like you do. I keep the rest for backup if I need to pull something else out.

First I use a waiters apron that I got from a kitchen supply place. My wife sewed another seam down the middle creating a three pocket pouch for my larger props that don't fit in a pocket. When I set this up I place the apron on me in back so that it lays over my butt. I tie it in the front and tuck the strings into my pants. they are hidden behind my tie and belt. I wear a suit jacket over this which covers the apron in back. If I need a prop I just reach back, under my suit jacket, and pull out the prop. It goes back the same way. Smooth.

Next I wear three cell phone cases with card decks in them. The main one I wear in front is a double wide case which has a side pouch on each side. This case is big enough for two decks of cards, a deck of ESP cards, a small notebook, a hot rod in one side, 3-4 pens on the other side. These cases are clipped onto my belt in various locations. The two small cases are hooked to my belt and under the flaps of my suit jacket.

Now for my jacket. I place a deck of cards in each outer jacket pocket. In the right jacket pocket I have two small inner pockets that each hold a chinese coin. each inside breast pocket of the jacket is loaded with 2-3 routines. I have a lower pocket towards the bottom left side of the coat to hold a small item, such as a ring and chain, or a pouch, or a ring and string setup. If I am wearing a dress shirt with a breast pocket I load my celebrity smart ass setup in there. I then place three routines into the outside breast pocket of my suit jacket.

Now for the pants. I take my keys and wallet out of my pants and place them into my close-up case which I store in a private location at the gig, or in my car. Now I can load all four pockets with routines. Usually my haunted key, lighter, and some platic toy rings (which I give away as a prize for a mentalism routine), in the left pocket, a set of sponge balls and my pyro perception gimmick in the right pants pocket, a cheek to cheek deck in my back left pocket(next to my cheek - that's how I remember its there), and if I want to use my invisible deck, I place that in my right back pocket.

Now I also wear black cargo pants with extra lower pockets as part of my attire which affords me two extra pockets in which to place replacement envelopes (for another mentalism routine), and my set of professors nightmare. You may not wear dress cargo pants so this one may not be for you.

Lastly I wear rubberbands on both wrists and more up the sleeves, under the suit jacket sleeves for CMH.

So as an exaggeration, you can see that I can really load myself up with over 25 routines. Depending on the event I may only load 10-13 routines, and some events I may load all twenty five. (most times I don't).


So, now let me address your sets. You have a ton of room for your stuff.

I would wear the rubber bands on your wrists under the suit jacket. Get some cell phone cases for your gimmicked decks and your regular decks. Your packet tricks can go into your shirt pocket or in another cell phone case.

Place your sponge balls in one pants pocket, the coin routine in the other pants pocket, or use these pockets for your chop cup final loads.

You can also get the apron like I have to put larger items. You might even be able to store your chop cup behind you that way.

You have allot less stuff than I do so you should have no trouble placing it all. The key is to place it in the same place all the time. Get used to setting up your stuff the same way, in the exact same location every time, as well as pulling everything out of your pockets and back into your close-up case after the gig ends the same way everytime. After a few gigs you'll become anal about it and that's where you want to be. Once you get used to pocket management you'll never go back to clutter.

I hope I have helped, even a little bit.


S. Patrick
patrick flanagan
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Montana,
I've talked about this here before. It was common for me to do 25-32 different routines in a 3 hour shift. I had several (10) special pockets put into all my suits. Cost me an additional $100/suit. Why did I do that many routines? Because I could. I loved learning new things and figured if I can do it...I should. Then I got tired of spending the extra $$$ every time I bought a new suit and went with one of those holsters. I can't remember who made it, but I bought it used from a guy (in a yellow suit) here. I used that for more than a few years, but discarded it recently. Now, I just go with the suit as is. And, if something doesn't fit, I don't use it. If I add something new that requires more "pocket", then something else goes out or the new thing doesn't get added.
Another thing, I've never been a fan of having rubber bands on my wrists. I dunno, I think being dressed up in a suit and tie and wearing rubber bands on the wrist just looks badly. My opinion, only. When I was doing rubber band magic, I would conceal them in the cuffs of my rolled up sleeves. I work with my sleeves rolled up over the sleeve bottom of my jacket.
As far as the loads for the chop cup, I'd suggest getting ball holders. They pin on to the lining of your jacket and lay nicely...so no pocket needed. I carry a lime around in that manner. For the Jumbo Coin production, I slide mine under my belt. It is tight enough to stay there and easy to retrieve.
Finally, I always buy dress shirt that have a breast pocket. That helps tremendously.
Hope that helps
Patrick
Dannydoyle
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I tell ya Flanagan is the man when it comes to this stuff.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
MeetMagicMike
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At some point near the end of my event I take a short break and re-load. That way I can end with the Chop Cup or something else special.
Magic Mike

MeetMagicMike.com



I took the Pledge
patrick flanagan
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Montana,
I just thought of a couple other touches. I use the real man's wallet, also. However, I found that it drops too low in the back pocket. That makes it difficult to load. So, I had my left rear pants pocket sewn about an inch or so higher. Just fold up the lower portion of the pocket until the wallet sticks out from the top edge of the pocket enough to make it easier to load. Also, my rear right pocket is sewn in half vertically. this splits the pocket in half creating, in essence, two pockets. In one side I keep a very long butterfly knife for a card stab. In the other side is...well....i can't remember the name of the prop but it is a ring flight without the reel.
hope that helps
and thanks Danny....lol
Patrick
Theodore Lawton
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I abandoned the 3 sets of 3 idea as soon as I stepped into a real situation to perform. It may work for some, but it's not my style; it seemed way to limiting and was too much to think about.

I would just have about 8-10 things with me that I could do in my sleep and freestyle it from there.

Building rapport was always the most important and chatting with the folks combined with the time limits of working in a restaurant or strolling at a party quickly eliminated the notion of strict sets. I just made sure that every effect was a powerful closer if need be.

I would always open with my chop cup routine and choose what would follow based on the people at the table, their reactions, etc.

Was I approaching a table of ladies? Maybe go into sponge bunnies or at least know that would be my closer.

Are there kids at the table? Go into a TT trick or sponge balls.

Working men or do the people seem skeptical about magicians? Go right into C/S/B as there is no explanation or backtracking possible.

Just some examples and real life thinking behind my methods. YMMV.

Theodore-

Also- this "freedom" allowed me to stay with people longer if time permitted and allowed me to still be flexible enough to stop whenever I wanted or needed without having to think about my "sets." Staying with people longer was one of the most fun things!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Montana76
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WOW!!
Thank you all for helping out! I will study each and every post and if needed come back with more detailed questions.

Thank you so much:)
pepka
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Montana, ditch half that stuff! Props that you only do one thing with are of no real use in a strolling situation.

I'm with Theodore. I don't do the 3 sets of 3. I have about 30 working pieces to pick and choose from that I can do with a normal deck, 2 coin sets that go into one purse, a sharpie, my wallet and a separate wallet to carry jokers and stranger cards. I reset as I go from one table to another. In my bag I keep a few extra decks, chop cup, Unshuffled, ring and string, and other odds and ends that if I see a lot of repeat customers I can grab quickly.

Look into finding a copy of the book Pocket Power by Jarle Lierpoll. One of the best books on close up magic. Pocket management, ditching, switching etc.
Theodore Lawton
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Pocket Power sounds like a good read! My gosh, thanks for sharing that Pepka; I've got it on my short list. They have it at Lybrary for only 13 dollars.

http://www.lybrary.com/pocket-power-p-147.html

Smile
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On May 4, 2015, Dannydoyle wrote:
I tell ya Flanagan is the man when it comes to this stuff.


Another of "those darn clever Irishmen"! I think that Jim Ryan would be proud!!!

Patrick: "If it doesn't fit in my prop case, it 'aint' in the act!" Welcome to the "club"!!!

Dick
Sneaky, underhanded, devious and surreptitious itinerant mountebank
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Montana76
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Thanks for all the wonderful suggestions! I really have to take some time reading through it all and devouring it!

Jarle Leirpoll is actually a member of the same Magic Society as I (Magic Circle Norway) so I have actually discussed his book with him in person.
I think rather than buying the Lybrary version we should purchase it directly from the author. You can do so and support Jarle here: http://www.leirpoll.com/pocket.htm

I am putting in my order today!!
Theodore Lawton
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Nice!
Magic is the bacon in the breakfast of life.

............................................

God bless you and have a magical day
Dick Oslund
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THEODORE & PEPKA! YES!!!!!!!!!!!

I learned early to "go" with GENERIC props. (rope, ring, two "polys" (not silk) for knots, a few coins,sponge balls & purse frame, TT, etc.) Occasionally, I might have an egg bag.

I also learned early that a definite routine was too limiting. FREESTYLE! --and nothing to re set.

I haven't table hopped in years. I did a lot of hospitality rooms, and cocktail parties before banquets. A couple years ago in New Orleans for a corporate Holiday Cocktail Hour (before banquet)I spent an hour vanishing lit matches in a TT! (Very dark party room.) I used up about 4 books of matches!!! The client was happy!

Nate Leipzig's tricks were ALL "closers".

Dick
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Zephury
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Here's my line up and my pocket management. I know it's not quite directing your set, but perhaps you may get an idea. Plus, I have a couple thoughts.

Firstly, I like to do 3 sets of three different types of tricks. I usually open with a coin trick, then I'll do an off-beat (different sort of object trick) and a card trick. Depending on the tricks ability to close will judge rather it's in the middle, or the last trick. So if the card trick is killer, I'll close with it, if I feel the ring and string or whichever is stronger, I'll close with that instead. I also have up to 3 stand-alone effects specifically for good tippers, repeat customers who always treat me well, and VIP's.

Set 1:
Flash production one coin routine ending with the jumbo coin finale
The Ambitious Card
Card to Real Man's Wallet Finale.

(Set 1 is a short and sweet set that always kills, I count the third as the card to wallet, just for the purpose of being short and sweet.)

Set 2:
Coins across (my own version, uses a duplicate coin, no shell)
The Chicago Opener (Again, a personal version of my own that is psychologically refined and intensively thought out.)
Ring and String (Finger ring and a leather lace. Source for the ring and string is diamond jim tyler's collateral dvd of which has a modular ring and string routine that I took parts of and later made refinements and additions of my own. I then close with either the collateral transposition, or a ring flight.)

Set 3:
3-fly (A modified version, similar to Ponta the Smiths, though I devised my own methods for producing the coins before beginning the routine.
Fiber Optics based rope routine. (A professor's nightmare of sorts that is created from Richard Sander's Fiber Optics, also adding refinements. However, I only do this if I really want the set to be long. Most of the time I just skip this trick because the next one is so long)
My own Cards to Pocket with Triumphant Finale. (Kinda hard to explain but it's a Francis Carlyle classic cards to pocket with refinements and I fuse the teaching of J.C Wagner. I finish it out with the in the hands Triumph that he taught on the International Magic Lecture DVD.)

Stand Alone effects (I don't always have them with me, and they are often swapped out with new tricks for testing)
Derek Dingle's Color Stunner. It's a Triumph with color changing deck finale. Absolutely one of the most mind blowing color changing decks in existence when performed well, no doubt.
Daniel Madison's Angle Z to a lemon or lime... One of the very few Ellusionist tricks I think is actually worth the money.
Color changing knives.. Pretty classical version



Now for the pocket management.

Firstly, I wear a three-piece suit when I perform. So, Jacket, pants and vest. Depending on how hot I get, I sometimes remove the jacket. There is also one contraption attached to my belt. It's Joshua Jay's Pro Carrier which I HIGHLY recommend for pocket management.

Back Right Pants Pocket: Real Man's Wallet with a Jumbo coin laying aside it on the innermost side of the wallet.

Front right Pants Pocket: You know those Jeweler pouches that are just big enough to fit a few morgan dollars in? The type with the draw strings. When I purchased my Morgans, they gave me one of those draw string bags, so I use that to keep 4 Morgans inside. Adding to that, I keep 1 loose Morgan in my pocket too so that I finger palm the lose coin and remove the pouch, dumping those coins in to my left hand so that I have a 5th coin concealed in my hand that they don't know about for my coins across. When I want to do my three-fly, I use the 4 coins in side of the pouch.

Front left Pants Pocket: 1 Coin and a coin Purse containing many very small pieces of flash paper. I use the left pocket to hold props for my one-coin flash production. I introduce a coin purse, and take a piece of paper out instead of a coin. I put the coin purse back away and hold the piece of flash paper in my right hand. As I put the coin purse away, I get the coin in to Edge Grip and come back out with the coin concealed, putting the piece of flash paper in my left hand, it looks very natural and open at this point. I go in to my vest pocket (Which I'll get to in a second) and get a lighter to light the flash paper and then produce the coin from edge grip. An extremely eye popping opener for a coin flurry.

Right front vest pocket, 1 Finger Ring, one leather lace, and a lighter.

Joshua Jay's Pro Carrier, orientated to my left hip on the belt: This is where I keep my cards. It has two slots for decks of cards. Usually it remains covered by my jacket when I get a deck of cards out. So when I finish up a routine with a deck, I have every intention of doing another trick, but I pretend to be done by putting the cards away. At that point I say alright-- I'll do one more. I get the deck out set-up for Derek Dingle's Color Stunner out and they think it's the same deck because it looks like it's coming from the same place--Right where I just put the deck back. At the end of the color stunner, they always comment saying that they just saw me perform with an entirely blue deck that is now red-- Unbelievable. the Color Stunner takes a lot of practice, but it's totally worth the reactions in my opinion!

If I'm gonna do fiber optics, I just toss the ropes in to my left jacket pocket. But, that's the extent of my pocket management. The pro carrier really makes things all compact. I still have free pockets for other things if need be! I still have the left vest pocket, right jacket pocket, top jacket pocket, top vest pocket, top shirt pocket all freed up, not that I'd use the jacket one for anything but a pocket square.

Cup routines and other things really would take up a lot of room in my pockets, so that's not really a part of my act. However, there's one thing I really think you should try out from this, regardless of rather you want to put in the effort for the color stunner or not if you're interested. It's the Joshua Jay Pro Carrier. I practically carry my whole act with me every day cause I have plenty of space for all my coin stuff and a deck of cards in just a regular pair of pants and the carrier. And ah, I forgot one thing.. a Sharpie in my top left vest pocket!

Good luck.
patrick flanagan
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Agreed with Theodore and Pepka, 3 sets of 3 is good in theory, but after your first table you will abandon that theory quickly. In time, you will be able to "read" a table in a matter of seconds....because that's all the time you have. In that time, you will determine who is the "alpha" or "voice" of the table (because that is whom you will direct your request to perform), and you will be able to determine which effects will work for that particular table. It just takes time. So, yes, being able to freelance, in my opinion, is the way to go.
So many times, while performing an opener, I've had to call an audible and change the game plan for what I had "planned" for my 2nd and 3rd routines.
Dick....I'm actually mostly Italian. I know....with a name like Patrick Flanagan...lol
I've been working that plan for my parlor shows also. I've been working on putting a show together that I call "One Trip". That means, it takes me one trip from the car to the venue to set up, and one trip from the venue to the car to leave. So, I've ditched a lot of routines which I had performed for years because of my new rule. I don't know. Maybe the older I get, the less I want to carry...lol
Patrick
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