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Veteran user
Texas / Alabama
393 Posts

Profile of Habu
This is an idea I have for a traveling stage show for parties or events presented in the front yard (or back yard when practical) of a clients home. Smile

See image below: A truck or van is modified to allow a stage to drop down from one side of the vehicle and an awning to extend over the stage area. Doors are made in the side of the truck on the stage side to allow for access to and from the truck cargo area. A stage curtain is hung over that side of the truck for a stage backdrop, and a skirt is put around the platform to complete the appearance of a stage.

Depending on the size and height of the truck, you may need to design it so that the platform is lower than the base of the truck, and steps or ramps used to gain entrance to the cargo area.

The concept is that you can tell your host that you will perform the show from your mobile stage and have it in the front yard from the drive way...or other truck accessible area. Benches could be stored so that you can control the seating area.

And for when it rains, you can always have a tent available or arrange it with the host to provide one.

I am planning on building this monster down the road, but I'd love to hear pros and mostly cons on the idea before I head down that road.

Thx for any comments: Smile


Click here to view attached image.
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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Veteran user
Texas / Alabama
393 Posts

Profile of Habu
I forgot to mention the reasons I wanted to do this:

Stage show size parties (gold level show).

Props are set and ready to go in the order of the show.

Props can be brought out and put away without problems associated with poor setup locations.

Control of the environment...

Here is a pic of the set up ready to go.

So anyway, give me your thoughts if you will.


Click here to view attached image.
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!
Donald Dunphy
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Inner circle
Victoria, BC, Canada
7418 Posts

Profile of Donald Dunphy
This idea has been around for a while (at least since the 70's).

I've seen some in person, I've seen some on magic auction websites, I've read about some in magic magazine articles. Some are a trailer towed behind a vehicle, some are part of a cube van.

Some of the most common applications are for fairs, festivals, picnics, malls (shows in parking lots), etc. Some performers use the stage for their show only, some allow rental to the customer, for use by other performers the same day.

Have fun with it.

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20514 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
This is a great rig for military bases and small fairs. I've never had one but been very tempted many times.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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Eternal Order
Philadelphia, PA
15111 Posts

Profile of magic4u02
This has indeed been around before, and it is a great thing to have and be able to offer to your clients. It can indeed be a selling point to them. You just have to think and make sure that you are doing enough shows of this type that you would be using this staging more often throughout your performance year.

If you are like my wife and I, performing numerous festivals and fairs each year, then this becomes a very worth while thing to have and offer. However, if you perform inside more often, then this may be an investment that does not add up for you.

Another thing to consider is that if you have this for use in a front yard or backyard of a home, keep in mind that the client may not want you driving in their lawn and destroying it with tire tracks and marks. I only say this cause I have seen others try and do this at events, and it always seemed to cause a problem. Just something to check out and make sure it is OK first with the said client.

Also, if this application is mainly for b-day parties and such at a home, chances are, many are held indoors for a reason and most may not have access you need for moving this into place.

These are all just things to think about ahead of time.

Kyle Peron

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Inner circle
4070 Posts

Profile of Starrpower
McDonald's have some great ones that Ronald uses. They have dressing rooms, built-in sound systems, the works. I saw one up for sale about a year ago, but they are very expensive...make sure you have enough work to warrant a purchase this large.

An alternative might be to have a cargo trailer customized, as this would be much less expensive than a truck. They already make trailers almost like this for use by auctioneers and "roach coaches". I'll bet your local Haulmark (or similar) dealer could give you some guidance.

Also, consider the height of such a vehicle. Look at your must allow a 6-1/2' minimum from awning to stage floor, and a foot more would probably be desirable. This makes for an AWFULLY tall truck.
Mr Amazeo
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Regular user
186 Posts

Profile of Mr Amazeo
It's certainly a cool idea. One thing that came to my mind, which you may have already considered, would be making the rig weather tight for while you're on the road. You wouldn't want to rolling down the highway on the way to a gig and have a rain storm leaking in on your act at 70 mph.

For family parties, maybe there's a strong market, maybe not. But I think it would a unique marketing point for things like county fairs, street/block parties, car meets, and other similar outdoor events. In our town, there's an event somewhere just about every weekend in the summer. I'm sure towns in your area do the same. Contact your Parks and Recreation Department (or similar) and see if you can get a feel for what they have going on that could be a potential event for your services. Good luck.
Skip Way
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Inner circle
3771 Posts

Profile of Skip Way
The best version of this I ever saw was a 1992 36' Volvo bookmobile with a 7.5 kw diesel generator power-converter w/heater and AC. The side was converted into a drop down stage. The computer-driven remote sound and light systems were built into the truck along with storage and living compartments. My buddy bought the unit second-hand from a library for $5000 and did most of the conversion himself. He included a parachute-type awning that stretched way out beyond the stage for sun and minor rain protection for the audience. Beautiful and big ticket idea for fairs, festivals, and community events. I've always thought that one of these Int'l Harvester panel vans would make a great conversion. Hope you do it some day, Habu!
How you leave others feeling after an Experience with you becomes your Trademark.

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