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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Where to put it all... » » Bending down (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Aptaker
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Regular user
Boston
113 Posts

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When using a table of the suitcase or nightclub manner and need to get to props on lower shelves is there a way to do this without bending down? If not how might I organize it (there are 3 shelves) so that I don't need to bend down at inopertune moments?
Thanks,
Aaron
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Aaron,

The fact that this bothers you tells me a lot about the quality of your show. It is a very significant part of what your audience sees. You are wise to deal with it.

I wish I had the total solution. There are several things that help. One is to put those props somewhere else. (Even if you have to put a chair on stage with you.) Another is to actually change the routine and make it unnecessary. The worst solution is to "reset the table" top from time to time throughout the show.

The best solution is to have an assistant to handle those things for you while you are down stage. Sometimes, even that won't work!

Hang in there!

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
Aptaker
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Regular user
Boston
113 Posts

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Thanks for the reply. I can try to keep my show on the top shelf as well as in other places. The other option is to bring items out of my ditch case. I have the table as well as a road case on the other side of the performance area, it is rbed I a colorful forlard (sp.) I could have a few items there and as I walk over to ditch a prop I can pick up another. That would make a nice balance. I don't really perform behind the table ever, I'm always to the side or infront of it using it as mainly a surface and storage. So using the ata case to store might work.

A wild idea I had is to recycle which shelf is the top one. This would take some work, and I'm not sure if I have the patience to do it but if we could attach the shelves to a pulley once I used all of hte items on the top shelf You could use the pulley (maybe battery powered) and it would bring the old top shelf up against the table top and the other shelf up to the top position. ANy ideas on how I might work this if possible? I don't want anything overcomplicated or hard which this idea sounds,

any other ideas on how to store my show? Possibly other places to store props besides the table.

Thankyou
mgical
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I would avoid the complicated route...it just is a huge risk if it jams.

If you don't work behind the table, would it be possilbe to extend the top shelf (fold out with supports?).
Aptaker
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Boston
113 Posts

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Hmm... that's a good idea, jamming would be a problem so I'm going to steer clear of that, it was always a maybe I never planned on doing it. I do go behind the table but don't perform behind it, people aren't paying to see a table their paying to see me. So if I did extend it it would have to be a small difference, although I'm going to work with the idea. It got me thinking about the possibility of having a shelf come out of the side of the table in full view to have for some open storage of props (it would work on a pivot hinge) and I could put some decorative props there. I'm not sure if this idea would fit my show so I might not do it but it is an idea to others.
I might extend hte top shelf.
THANKS and keep the advice coming,
A
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
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I stopped using a suitcase table - used them for years. I now use a plastic tote or duffle bag on a tray stand. I never have to bend down. I just pull the prop right out of the case. I use a Viking tripod, with a cutting board mounted on it, as a table. This setup is much less expensive and lighter than any suitcase table.
Aptaker
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Boston
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Hmm that's a good Idea Mr. Munro, do you have any surface space to put props or does the duffle take up the whole stand,? I recently aquired a mak suitcase table which is why I posed the question. I was using a custom built table (the one form Mark Wilson course in magic) however the space wasn't enough and a very cheap used suitcase table appeared on ebay so, I purchased it. I know many reccomend Lefler however I am going to completely redo the tacky top hat and gloves design customized to me and my sho. I've also already added a few features. What I might do is have a tote on the lower shelf in my suitcase table. I can attach a peice of velcro to the handle as well as myt op shelf to keep the stap reachable and when I use up all of the top shelf props I can grap the handle and pull the tote up to the top shelf. Then like you said pull all other props out of there. A duffle bag might not be ideal for this but rather a case that opens up (Suitcase style) to give me easier viewing acces of my props. What do you guys think? I'll experiment witht his however it may be easier to just use the top shelf and my ditch case for props.
Thanks,
Aaron
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5734 Posts

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The duffle that I use is about the size of a footlocker. The tray stand (i.e. restaurant tray jack) doesn't have a table top.

I use the tripod table as my table. I have the Viking tripod, with the cutting board top, at the edge of the stage area until I need it. The tripod will fold down to fit in your hip pocket, although it will stick out. But, I store the tripod in the duffle, along with the table top, when transporting the props.

One thing that you could do for a table top is to use a plastic tote and pull the lid off and place it under the prop tote, with half of the lid sticking out as a table top. But, that wouldn't work well for getting on the stage quickly and easily. The tote that I use for the kids show is about the size of a large footlocker.

When I used a suitcase table, I decorated a small plastic tote and placed it on the top as a prop case. A little table space remained.

I built a Mark Wilson table when I was in high school, but sold it because it wasn't practical for my show - too heavy and it toppled easily. The black velvet art well was great because it was deceptive from only inches away.
Michael Taggert
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Fredericksburg Virginia
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Some great suggestions all. First it is BAD theater to go behind the table and "disappear from sight." I'll admit that there are just times where it may be unavoidable. at these RARE times you have to keep connected with the audience through your communication with them. My solutions have been to display the stage with the props that I will need throughout the show unless my assistant is working with me then she brings out the props and sets the table as I work either down stage or across the stage from her. she is very good at being descreet while on my upstage. Note everything you do or that moves on the stage has to be rehearsed.
for years I used a MAK Magic Ureka table and base. I have now moved toward a pair of tables that are relativly larg that where built from some plywood, plumbers pipe and flanges. I added ornamental feet that where actually curtain rod finials with table cloths in my show colors. They stay mid stage right and left and at about the curtain line. I also use a back table That is made up of a trunk that the lid becomes the base and two sets of pipes (4 total) support the open trunk base as my "ditch trunk" I only use this when working solo. I ensure that I know exactly where every thing is and where it will end up.
This method is a very old way of presenting magic wherby the magician would place lots of extranious junk on tables behind him and then select a few to perform for the audience. I do not promote the idea of displaying every prop you own on stage. however if you need it on stage it should be there and accesible. all of this will take considerable thought.Think about how you set up your show and what your venue is. I have been know at an evening livingroom parties to places props around the room in key places and then as I work the room the props are at my hands all the time. caution this is dangerous as it leaves your props exposed to unintended use or tampering.
finaly remeber every place you play from a family room to the Kennedy center is a stage. bets of luck with this age old problem.
Mike Taggert Fredericksburg VA
"Out of the Ordinary"
Believe you then that I do strange things
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