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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » Advice for not loosing or not using props during a performance (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

DarryltheWizard
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When I perform , I always try to incorporate extra gags , etc into the routine; however, during the actual performance, I sometimes forget to use a gag or I misplace part of a prop. When it happens, the audience rarely notices the difference, but I consider it a major magical error. Some examples would be: In my milkshake on head trick, I have the audience shout, We are Canadian! while my helper with the milk waves a small Canadian flag. I sometimes get so carried away with the audience's reaction , I forget to use the flag. Here are some suggestions on how I solved the problem.
I attached the flag with a small strip of velcro to the side of my Lefler table so that it is visible to me.
2. I sometimes print little reminders on the back or the bottom of props with a labeller.
3. I sometimes use little laminated cards on the table behind the props. They contain new gags I'm trying to put in.
4. I have made little semicircular shelves that attach to the side of my table so that the small item doesn't get covered by a silk or other prop. It's very easy to cover a prop or gimmick with a prop or silk without giving it a second thought; however, when you require the prop, it seems to have vanished in thin air!
5. When I'm breaking in new effects, I alway make a little labelled diagram of the table , showing where each prop goes and where it is ditched.
die box= top shelf, left to ditch bag on R.side.
6.When I arrange my show I always go from left to right . In other words start on the left hand table and then tricks on the first, bottom shelf, then righthand table top , etc.
7. I walk through any show I do physically as I look at my sliding list. I try to eliminate any unnecessary movements and try not to walk in front of a helper to obtain a prop. My sliding list is two pieces of cardboard with a half inch by 4 inch opening near the top.
A three by 12 laminated paper with my show order is inserted between the two taped cards, the advantage being that only one effect shows through the window at a time. This is velcroed to the top of the table.
Now it's your turn. How do you not loose small props, and gags during a show. And how do you remember to use new bits during a new routine?
Darryl the Forgetful,older Wizard

I, apparently am the only magician who will admit to using extra cue cards and labels to assist me in remembering to use extra props and gags. When you do a lot of repeat shows , I try to change about one-third of my act each year, and then every third year , I go back to my first routine. I have discovered that if you change too many of your signature items, the audience will be a bit disappointed. I usually do the Zombie for a Hallowe'en party with a floating skull climax; however, I decided not to do it two years in a row. The person who hired me said that they would have liked to have seen the floating ball. A few of the kids also asked me about the floating ball as well. Repeating some good signature effects is important.
Darryl,the Wizard who responds to his own question.
DarryltheWizard
"Life without mystery is like a candle
with a snuffed out flame." Albert Einstein
mcharisse
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York. PA
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These are good ideas. Darryl. I'll admit to skipping over something on accossion as I am forever trying to tinker and improve. I keep a prop list taped inside my table, but hadn't thought to take it a step further. Thanks.

Marc the Magic Man
TheAmbitiousCard
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Need it or not, I usually have a "trick list" sitting on my table to peek at. Sometimes I put a deck of cards over it that I could slide away if needed.

I have been using "clipline" in my show for many years and the news clipping always comes out of an envelope. on the envelope I have written a hint of the gags I use.
As I come up with a new one, I pencil it on the envelope with the rest.
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Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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I know how good my memory isn't. There are idiot notes everywhere!

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Doug Arden
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I also use a "set list." If I'm introducing a new gag and don't want to forget it, I'll make a note beside the effect on the list, as a reminder.
Bill Palmer
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Gene Anderson suggests that you make an audio recording of your show. Then play it on the way to the next gig. You should, of course, listen to it after the gig, so you can see where you left out bits of business, etc.
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Bob Sanders
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That is a great suggestion and it keeps the timing.

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cartoon cowboy
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Lancaster, PA
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Marty Martin gave me good tips yaers ago when I took lessons from him at Philadelphia Magic Company. He had me trace the outlines of my props on the plywood shelves of my table with a sharpie. They always went right there with no thinking. Also, he had me tape a 5x8 inch setlist right to the table top. I protested but he said nobody would ever see or question it and he was right!
Happy Trails,
- CC Smile
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ssucahyo
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indonesia
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This is great advice...thanks Darryl.

CC
Creator of the "High Voltage Gimmick" and Shaman's spirit table
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TheAmbitiousCard
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Quote:
On 2007-03-21 05:02, Bill Palmer wrote:
Gene Anderson suggests that you make an audio recording of your show. Then play it on the way to the next gig. You should, of course, listen to it after the gig, so you can see where you left out bits of business, etc.



I've done this with a cheap voice recorder. Not during the gig but when rehearsing or whatever. You can even rehearse your patter in the car and listen to the recorded version and see how good/bad it is and what you've forgotten/missed and still need work on. I thought it was a good idea and seemed to make things "production ready" much more quickly.
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JamesTong
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Besides the "list" and "reminder recorder" I also firmly believe in full and complete rehearsal of the entire act over and over again.

I do admit that at times I am also lazy over this - hence the practise session which does not includes the audience or assistant 'by-play' or 'gag'. But when you rehearse over and over again (the full and complete act that includes everything) - you would not miss out anything.
squando
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I have a good memory but I have left out gems. I make notes but only once did I really go to them. In that situation I thought I was having about twenty minutes but got the five minutes sign. I might try the notes on props, I would notice them.
Frank
ALASKA MAGIC
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Only once did I forget to load a prop. Luckily I wasn't too far from my store. A quick phone call and I had it delivered. Now I have a list on top of my magic box. Everything fits into one box except that one prop and my sign. As far as "little things" I keep them in organized in a rubber-made container in my magic box. I also have a list in order of which to perform in what order-with a few notes off to the side.

Working in a new trick is always strange. I feel new again, with butterflies.
My biggest challenge is re-packing everything quickly the same way it came out while people are still there.
BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE!
Mr. Muggle
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I have show checklist that details my entire show with a sub listing/checklist for each effect. On the effect sheets I have the effect name, props needed, where they are to be located, and what they should be next to.

By keeping the sheets in my performance folder I can easily verify I have everything for the show and that it's where it should be for performance.

I also have a clean up check sheet and follow it when breaking down. The original set up time is worth the effort I can ensure you. To date, I have not 'forgot' or 'lost' anything for or at a show. (knock on wood)
"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)
Darkwing
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I have a show check list. It includes everything I need for each effect.

I also have a dry erase board that is velcroed to my dump box. If I am doing multiple birthday parties that day, I include the name of the child and the age. I got the idea from Duane Laflin.
Dustin Baker
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I have a printed list of effects that are the scripted show.
Under each I've placed "side effects" that I could use if I wanted/needed to. The show list is in typical outline format with indents on the side effects.


I don't bother writing out my gags and jokes, as those are easy for me to "member", I can even "member" them twice if I want.
Think inside the box. . . it's less crowded.
Brent McLeod
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I write every show out in my master log book & 2 copies of the show-1 to tape to floor or back of case etc

the second copy is for the music segments of the show ,usually assistant operating PA etc., which act as ques for effects as well

don't always use it but if I do -its a safety net I suppose!!!!
Habu
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My shows are designed to flow one to another, building as much as possible on previous tricks or running gags.

I also used the list and have a marked case. This really helps when you use an assistant (my wife or one of my two daughters now that they are older).

So what do you do when you realize you have left off a trick that was supposed to tie in to the one coming up? For instance, using rabbit out of a hat silk routine earlier in the show to set up producing a live rabbit.

I guess this is where true showmanship and knowledge of the tricks comes in. I do remember once a long time ago, 30 years or so, that I was doing a mixed show for girlscouts and senior citizens at a senior citizens home. I had to use a silk which I should have produced via a production box (do not remember the name of the box, but it had two sides hinged at the top so you could show it empty by lifting the back side while the load remained behind the front side). Anyway, I got to the point where I was going to use a silk for a cut n restored silk but didn't have the matching silk to start the routine.

I remember breaking out into a sweat, standing silently for a moment (seemed much longer) and looking for where that trick was. It was on the table beside me and I finally collected myself and ingeniously came up with, "OH here's something I forgot to show you . . ." I think I could have been smoother!

And by the way, I really wish there was a spell checker on this forum! Smile
www.magicbyhabu.com
Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
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