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TrickyRicky
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TrickyRicky
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My very first roll on was Mak Magic case to table. Later on I graduated to a Ron Bishop's table taken from his book (Laughter all the way) which I used for over 10 years. For reasons that I can't explained, I started using the Lefler roll on case to table. It was quite heavy when loaded with props and as Dick Oslund stated in his last post---I ended up with a damaged wrist and shoulder.
I was lucky to be able to get a very lite roll on from Tony Clark about 15 years ago. It weighed 15 pounds empty and roughly 30 pounds loaded with my birthday party tricks.
The only large prop in my show now, is my plastic top hat. I don't carry too much props anymore. I found out that I don't need all the heavy stuffs.
I had my good magic friend and one of the best children's entertainer in Toronto customized the suite case with metal trimmings around the edges. I'm presently using that same case.
Tricky Ricky
TonyB2009
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I make one trip and I fill the room with magic. It's not about being lazy. It's about being true to our artistic vision .
bowers
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Sometimes one and then sometimes two trips.
According to the age group and lenth of the show.
Dick Oslund
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Hey Ricky! Welcome to "the club"!

We had a "motto" when I was a Boy Scout and, we went on many back packing hikes: "What you carry in your head, is a lot lighter than what you carry on your back!"

Our #2 "motto" was: "It don't take brains to be uncomfortable!"

I thought, back, in '70. that I would try a suit case table (Merv Taylor "style") A friend built one for me. The props stored and fit in just great. I used it for a season. and, "gave it away"! I spent more on chiropractors than the table was worth!

After THAT "mistake", I went back to my 13" x 20" x 8" fiber case (3 lbs) props (14 lbs) and, "tray stand" (5 lbs). It's actually, a converted stand from my old carrousel slide projector stand--on which I installed "industrial" wheels). I can drag the tray stand from the parking lot to the building, then, "open" the stand, put the case on top, and push it to the performing area. My back feels good again!

I think that fiber case has about 10,000 shows on it. It has seen the Gulf of Mexico, the Canadian border, the Atlantic and Pacific (and a whole bunch of kids!)

Merry Christmas!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
TheMightyRicardo
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Another vote for just 1 trip. I have 1 box inside another and what is in my pockets. Very efficient for setting up and packing away, especially for parlour shows, but works for my rare Stage shows as well. Over the years I've replaced beloved bulky items with pack small / play big.
Merry Christmas everyone.
Richard
Dick Oslund
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I told this story in my book, but, I think that it's worth repeating here.

In '51, I was in the Navy, in Norfolk, Va. Earl Edwards, co-owner of the EdMar Magic Shop, invited we sailors to store civilian clothes "upstairs" in the shop.
In return, we helped out behind the counter in the evening, when we had liberty.

I had joined the local Ring, and had noted that Milford Martin, co-owner with Earl, would book little club dates for a few of the ring members who did shows. My 30 minute act packed in a cigar box sized leather shaving kit. The Ring members liked what I did at meetings. I asked Milford to book a club date for me. He replied: "You don't have any equipment!" His idea of a magic show was a suitcase full of boxes, tubes, pans and cans.

I sent home for a suitcase full of the boxes, tubes, etc. that I had used when I was 15. It arrived, I showed the "apparatus" (!) to Milford. He booked a club date for a union meeting. Bill Knight, ventriloquist, and, I left the shop by taxi.

Arriving at the venue, we found a "backroom" and, I placed my big suitcase behind he door, and "set" my props in the little case. (Set? ha! I stuffed a silk into a dye tube, put a raw egg in my pocket, put a deck of cards in another pocket, a length of rope and scissors went into a coat pocket, and a set of multiplying balls were set in other pockets. Bill looked surprised, but, said nothing.

The show went fine, and the next day, Milford asked Bill how it went. Bill said that I had not even opened my suitcase. The client phoned and expressed appreciation. Martin gave up, and set more dates for me!

One trip in!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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P.S. THAT act WAS my act. I did it for lodge ladies nights, kid birthday parties, and, "everything in between"!

I had been trying to do a "swayve and deboner" act (white gloves, tails, cards (split fans)etc. but, it wasn't "selling". A local "vest pocket agent" set me a "showing date" at a Kiwanis meeting. It played OK. The agent asked, "Can't you make 'em laugh?" I said, "I think I can." He said, "Make 'em laugh, and, I'll get you work." I did, and he did.

After that, I sent my Navy pay check home to the bank every two weeks.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
TrickyRicky
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I have nothing against using lots of props. It's just that, with a bad hand I can't carry much weight. That forced me to develop routines with small props.
I've discovered that tricks like the 20th Century Silks--Misers Dream--Egg Bag--sponge bunnies--rope--silk Cabby and the Silk wonder Box are still some of the best for adults and children. Oldies, that stood the test of time.
As the Mighty One say's (pack small play big).
Tricky Ricky
jakeg
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TonyB2009 put one of his shows up on this forum. Well worth watching. I'm completely impressed at how much he is able get out of a group of kids with a few simple props.
It's all personality and presentation.
TrickyRicky
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At our last Ring meeting a fellow magician and a member of the club said "Ricky, I know you don't carry much big props like I do, what do you tell them when they ask about you not bringing a house full of illusions?
I said "they never asked, It's me that they've booked and not the props, I'm the show". As we all know, it's not what you do, but it's how you do it.
The plastic hat and bunny is the largest item I carry with me.
Tricky Ricky
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 24, 2015, TrickyRicky wrote:
I have nothing against using lots of props. It's just that, with a bad hand I can't carry much weight. That forced me to develop routines with small props.
I've discovered that tricks like the 20th Century Silks--Misers Dream--Egg Bag--sponge bunnies--rope--silk Cabby and the Silk wonder Box are still some of the best for adults and children. Oldies, that stood the test of time.
As the Mighty One say's (pack small play big).
Tricky Ricky


INTERESTING!

Except for the silk cabby, and sponge bunnies and, with a few additions, like rope (knots and nitemare, "perpetual balls", 3 rings, color change silk, "Slydini" Knots, tip-cee bottle, that's about what I use, too. For high schools, I also do a comedy routine with wands and brakawa fan, and "fancy" card shuffles.

The "interesting" thing is that these are all "classics". Oh! add the mutilated parasol for the "munchkins".

When "we" published my book, many asked for a DVD of my school program. Norm Barnhart "cobbled" together several elementary school shows, shot over a "few" years by visiting magician friends. They are candid shots, not studio quality, but, they do show how small hand props can be effective.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 24, 2015, TrickyRicky wrote:
I have nothing against using lots of props. It's just that, with a bad hand I can't carry much weight. That forced me to develop routines with small props.
I've discovered that tricks like the 20th Century Silks--Misers Dream--Egg Bag--sponge bunnies--rope--silk Cabby and the Silk wonder Box are still some of the best for adults and children. Oldies, that stood the test of time.
As the Mighty One say's (pack small play big).
Tricky Ricky


INTERESTING!

Except for the silk cabby, and sponge bunnies and, with a few additions, like rope (knots and nitemare, "perpetual balls", 3 rings, color change silk, "Slydini" Knots, tip-cee bottle, that's about what I use, too. For high schools, I also do a comedy routine with wands and brakawa fan, and "fancy" card shuffles.

The "interesting" thing is that these are all "classics". Oh! add the mutilated parasol for the "munchkins".

When "we" published my book, many asked for a DVD of my school program. Norm Barnhart "cobbled" together several elementary school shows, shot over a "few" years by visiting magician friends. They are candid shots, not studio quality, but, they do show how small hand props can be effective.
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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Quote:
On Dec 24, 2015, jakeg wrote:
TonyB2009 put one of his shows up on this forum. Well worth watching. I'm completely impressed at how much he is able get out of a group of kids with a few simple props.
It's all personality and presentation.


Yup~! PERSONALITY AND PRESENTATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(KIS MIF!)
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Gerry Walkowski
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For starters, Merry Christmas everyone.

I have an interesting question for Tricky Ricky and Dick Oslund.

Here it goes:

If 2 magicians had EQUAL TALENT and GREAT PERSONALITIES but one carried a few extra flashy props, do you feel that THE CLIENT would still enjoy seeing a slightly bigger show with more bells and whistles?

I thinkg that they would.

I have seen some wonderful magicians in my life. I've seen Paul Daniels slay audiences with a chop cup, Professor's Nightmare and Linking Rings. Jay Marshall was just great with a hand puppet and Blackstone Jr. was a master with a vanishing bird cage, rope tie, etc.

Still, all things being equal, would an audience feel more endulged seeing a bigger show with more flash?

I think they would.

Look, I'm totally NOT in favor of carrying in extra stuff just to make me look better. That's why I would never transport a backdrop curtain. I just think that something like that is a little overboard.

My basic act would probably fit into a case the size that Dick Oslund transports, but still I like carrying in a few extra pieces that I feel are necessary in order to endulge my audiences and to brand my show in such a unique way that it makes it an unforgettable experience.

If you have 5 half-way decent magicians in your market and everyone of them are performing the Miser's Dream, 20th Century Silks, Professor's Nightmare, Liking Rings and the Mutilated Parasol, how can an agent or an audience tell one magician from another?

I don't think they can.

I know we all say PERSONALITY and PRESENTATION, but not every performer is a terrible entertainer.

It's something to think about.

Gerry
TrickyRicky
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Hi Gerry. Good question.
I used to have large props at one time, nothing is wrong with using them, as long you have a good presentation with it and the audience enjoy what you do. As in my last post, I had no choice, I had to carry a lighter load and that forced me to start thinking out the box and to be creative.
Yes, quite a lot of magicians do the standard as you've mentioned--Misers dream, 20Th Century Silks, Linking Rings--and funny that Oslung mention (Mutilated Parasol) it's one of my all time favorite, again I try to put a different spin on the routine--it's the presentation that does the trick. The Misers Dream is a staple in my everyday show. How many times someone would walk up and said "I've seen you do that coin catching with the children many times and they can't get enough of all of that funny stuff--they had a blast".
Tricky Ricky
Dick Oslund
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Hi Gerry! Yup, GOOD question!

Because I CHOSE the school assembly field, it was necessary to produce and present, a program that could (and would) entertain almost anyone, almost anywhere! The Lyceum magician performs for every conceivable age group in schools, PLUS, in later years (about 1975--)senior citizen assisted living residences, nursing homes, etc. PLUS, mental hospitals, teen age reformatories --AND, PRISONS.

Itineraries, schedules, physical conditions, ETC. also are part of the challenge!

The props carried must be able to help, with good presentation, produce entertaining effects that will meet the above situations!

I wrote up a "hundred" anecdotes in my book to illustrate these points! To a "non roadie", many of the stories will be unbelievable!

The skills you carry in your head are much more practical than the props in your case. (If I had had to carry special props for all those different situations, I would have needed a semi truck!

"Forty miler magicians" have different challenges (e.g.: competition!) So! You may find it necessary to have a "box office" trick! (or two!) --and, if I were in your situation, it's very likely that I would, too.

So, it's an "apples & oranges" discussion!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
Dick Oslund
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P.S.! My agent, Howard Schultz (later, his son, Mark) sold ME, not the tricks that I did! My manager(s) (school assembly "bureaus") sold PERSONALITIES with TALENTS. I also worked with several bureaus as a "talent consultant" (salesman).

I also tell the stories of principals who would ask, "Is THAT all you have?" when they saw my prop case, in the book!

I was always in the 'top 3' of a 12 program list, and, I've even 'topped' the list at the end of the season! --as a result, I never had to 'ask' for work! On my first tour for Dakota Assemblies, my program topped ALL of the other magicians that had played that circuit.

Merry Christmas!

Dick
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danfreed
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I don't like the idea of choosing my stuff (up to a point!) based around what packs flat/light. Everyone has a point at which they draw the line. I have a Jeff Jones backdrop, but I hardly use it, it would often mean an extra trip to the car, extra set-up time (often in a rush between gigs), etc. Some people feel like stuff like that is worth it, I can understand why, but enough is enough, that's where I draw the line. Also, a rabbit, there is strong benefits to that as well, but no thanks, not worth it for me personally (plus I don't want to stress out an animal).
However, for shows where most kids are 8 & under, I bring at least 2 puppets, and they take up a fair amount of space. Plus, I have a small PA that I use half the time, I can get by without it, but it's really nice to have it. Then, my closer is usually a large comedy square circle routine, I love doing it and it gets great reactions, so I can't see not doing it. Misers dream bucket, a few things like that and it really adds up quick. But I can do a show out of my buskers pouch, and it's also very entertaining. My show for 9-10 year olds happens to be smaller/light weight, 1 small Lefler table and that's it.
On the subject of doing the classics, there isn't a right or wrong, but Fitke has a book call Magic by Misdirection, and he has some very interesting thoughts on the subject that some people might have a problem with. I can't really explain it well without going into several paragraphs, so bare with me, but he is stating that the classics became a classic because 1 guy did it then a bunch of other people starting doing it, that doesn't mean it will work for you and your approach, skill set and personality. So don't automaticly do something just because it's a classic. Hey, I'm just the messenger on that topic, you can form your own ideas.
jakeg
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When I did school fund raisers, I felt that it was absolutely necessary to fill the stage with colorful props, use livestock, and at least 1 illusion. I still feel that way. I think that there was a direct correlation between the eye wash, and the perceived value. I don't think that's necessary for most other venues, and sometime, it's detrimental.
Hey, it's Christmas Day, and it's going up to 72 degrees in NY/NJ.
Dan Ford
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3 trips is normal for my shows and I love it!
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