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Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1656 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod
Greetings-

Appreciate some advice from you all-
Those that know me here -I work pretty much all corporate shows
I have a Professional act that goes from 40-60 mins,Stage or Platform,cabaret etc

Ive always tried using 2 small ATA Type cases on Pro stands that look great
and at times a third working table toward the front,

I try & travel with the gear I use on stage-roll on cases not an option-too big for the travel I do..

my problem
is trying not to use a 4th case or drop case for effects after finished using them
and Im struggling a bit to pretty much pack small play big and make the whole show flow
and clear things as I finish & start the next effect without having everything out on the tables
but rather bring them out, perform then put away etc-looks more Professional with an uncluttered stage especially in the venues I work

my emphasis is Lots of comedy & entertainment plus a few wow factors, always leave them wanting more.....
I use my own PA,Speakers, Lights & the show has music throughout,overtures etc, all synched on computer..
Its a Pro show honed over years but I need to eliminate the clutter..appreciate any advice
The props I use arent big..
Silk to egg, bill in lemon,razorblades,snowstorm,bank night,Rings, McCombical deck etc...



Thanks in advance

Cheers
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22057 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Your list of tricks are all the kind that do not take up much if any room. So it must be the extras that are creating the bulk. Can you share your stage props you use with the tricks.

Example: Razorblades: champagne glass, wine bottle, razor blade stand, towel.

Silk to egg you can work out of your pockets even a finger bowl can be in a pocket.

Egg Bag can be in a pocket as well.

One suggestion is not to do away from a ditch box, but to modify it. Laflin sells a excellent on that fold up flat.

Here is Laflin's Utility Drop Box:
http://www.laflinmagicstore.com/products....../page/2/ Scroll to bottom of page.

I have seen these in person they make them with metal and they look great. Use them as small performance box on a table or use them as a ditch prop box on the floor. Velcro can be applied to the inside and your gimmicks such as dye tubes can be in a pill vial with the other side of the Velcro attached. Don't over look the use of a chair at the venue as a working table as well.

Best place for Linking Rings is on a hook of some kind, over the edge of the table or chair or from a hook in/on your table.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
TheAmbitiousCard
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Eternal Order
Northern California
13350 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
Aside from your sound/lights equipment it seems to me you have a briefcase show or close to it.

I used to have the same problem and it always added to my stress level
Until one day, several years ago when I was forced to do a show for 500 people with basically no props at all.
(The booking agent told me strolling. I showed up and the customer demanded a stand-up act and waved a headset mic in my face)

The agent was present and apologized. He wondered how long I could perform. I told him I was not sure, maybe 20 minutes.
He looked at me very nervously and asked "is there anything I can do? anything I can get you?"
I was frustrated and said nothing to him except... "Just get me a roll of toilet paper", and walked off toward my car.

I used the strolling props I had in the car that would play big and stuffed them into one of my pouches.
I walked back in, was handed the toilet paper and the microphone and was introduced. Brutal!

I set the pouch on a table, put on the mic and did what I'd done for years with each of the props.

Turned out to be my best show ever. There was nothing to think about except entertaining people.
I asked how long I was "on" and the booking agent smiled with relief and told me 'exactly 30 minutes. you were awesome.'

That day changed my life. Because of that event, I got rid of everything that was not essential.
I now can do the show (60+ minutes worth) out of a briefcase.

I am now stress-free before my shows. I can even sit in the audience and enjoy an act that goes on before me instead of pacing a hallway wondering if I've got all my stuff prepared, remembered and set up properly.

Not to mention the time reduction in packing, unpacking, setup, take-down, repacking and re-unpacking.
I also now use the house lights, sound guy and PA whenever possible.
Reduce, reduce, reduce....

So...

do you need 2 ATA cases? a front table and maybe a 4th case?
or do you really just need a small table up front and another to the side to hold your props?

do you carry "extra stuff just in case"? sometimes I do when I need to bring my PA. I try to leave that in the car.

could you switch to one slightly larger case and eliminate the need for 2 cases?
www.theambitiouscard.com Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Pete Biro
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1933 - 2018
18559 Posts

Profile of Pete Biro
Joaqin Ayala with hie big illusion show got to a destination to do a show for over 1,000 people.

HIS PROPS WERE ALL MISSING.

He went on with a deck of cards and KILLED for almost an hour.

I saw him do about 45 minutes one night ON STAGE with just a deck of cards.
I asked him where he learned that. He told me about the first incident and realized he could do it.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1656 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod
Wmhegbli-
Thank you so much for that link-that maybe a great option Im looking for,some shows have more props as you mention..excess
Thanks as always for great advice-cheers

Pete Biro-
Thanks for that-great advice
I wish I could also do that with cards.... but I did find That 1 very strong mentalism routine for adults
packs small & gets max entertainment, also surprisingly Egg Bag with shot glass of juice finale played well..

Frank Starsini-

Your advice also sounds like the problem Im having now..
After many years doing this -I guess we get blinkers on & miss the obvious
which is why Its at times drives me nuts-I know I can improve but Im a bit stuck..
Thanks so much that's very practical
your comment- is me exactly..LOL
-------------------------------------------------------------
That day changed my life. Because of that event, I got rid of everything that was not essential.
I now can do the show (60+ minutes worth) out of a briefcase.

I am now stress-free before my shows. I can even sit in the audience and enjoy an act that goes on before me instead of pacing a hallway wondering if I've got all my stuff prepared, remembered and set up properly.

Not to mention the time reduction in packing, unpacking, setup, take-down, repacking and re-unpacking.
I also now use the house lights, sound guy and PA whenever possible.
Reduce, reduce, reduce....
--------------------------------------------------------------

I dis a fabulous corporate show on Fri Night -it really went well for an hr
all the Sound system,mic,PA and my gear but at the end of the night I was really shattered
from all the loading,packing, & unloading-more from the magic gear not the Sound system
which is crucial & takes about 7 mins to set up so need that no problems


Again thanks all for a start for me to iron out a few problems
really appreciated so far...

Brent
Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1656 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod
Wmhegbli-

Having gone through everything today-You are right its the extras
that are creating problems-razor holders, champagne glass, broken egg in bowl etc...
Im sorting it slowly...
thanks again
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5700 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
I use a catalog case for prop storage and use a teachers' tote bag for dumping some props. The tote is on the floor. I use a folding bar stool to put the catalog case on. I can get on and off rather easily.

As for changing the props, the egg could be broken into a glass, which is put into the case and a rubber ball is pushed into the top of the glass to seal it. A different method could be used to display the blades - fanned in the hand, put into a glass, held fanned in a single clip on the end of a stick that's wedged in the case. I seem to remember a prop that David Hoy used to handle billets that may work well with razor blades, and it wouldn't take up much space.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22057 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Quote:
On 2011-12-18 10:55, Brent McLeod wrote:
Wmhegbli-

Having gone through everything today-You are right its the extras
that are creating problems-razor holders, champagne glass, broken egg in bowl etc...
Im sorting it slowly...
thanks again


Alan Munro's comments of the years influenced me to seek out a case as he suggested. He and Harry Murphy were right, it is a good choice to pursue.

If you would like to consider a pilot/salesman case. this is the best I have found for magic purposes, lots of pockets and the inside can be fixed up with holders and bags, and it will even hold 12" Linking Rings. It will take some rehearsal, but if you learn to remove and put then put things back in the same place after a trick, it is a perfect solution for an act using small props. What I like about the case is that it is large and with the side pockets can hole you jumbo cards, the outside folio can hold things like the large Baby Gag.

It should be easy to set up the inside for your props. You can make shelves to be able to use the entire interior. Lastly, it looks sharp and very professional. Just walk in a put it on a chair, open and begin. I have also tried less expensive one and wasted my money, they were very small and not much good. Plus, the dump box I noted previously will fit in it as well, if you like.

Just takes some prop management and you are all set.

Here is the one I purchased.
http://www.overstock.com/Luggage-Bags/Ma......uct.html

I use to use a Suit-case table and this is much better for small props. Neater, because things are out of the way.

It all boils down to how much effort you want to put in your show. If you want it to look big, the Roll-on type table with 4 shelves and each trick on a tray, so they can be moved to the top working service, then after performance moved down and the next tray moved for performance.

Interested in what you find for your solutions.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Alan Munro
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Inner circle
Kentwood, Michigan, USA
5700 Posts

Profile of Alan Munro
Some wonder why I use a catalog case for adult shows and plastic totes for family shows. It's simple. I don't have to duck behind something, like a suitcase table, just to put a prop away or to retrieve one. I put the last prop down into the case and lift up the next one. There are no awkward movements. A performer should look like he's eliminated the rough spots in his act. When I see a guy using a suitcase table, I usually see an unpolished performer.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22057 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
Polish in an act is a choice the performer makes. Most do not take the time to realize that each movement should be thought out in detail. If you have and use a Su-Table or a Roll-on table, there is no reason to stand behind it, stoop down to get retrieve thing or put them away. It is just a matter of a little thought.

When I seen Don Lawton use of a box table with an open back on his tape, I came to realize proper thught will usually result in good stage presence. What a smooth act Don Lawton had, not a thing wrong with his talk stand-up act.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1656 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod
Well I have tried some of the priciples mentioned by you all-Thanks Alan as well
I too have a 1 movement put down & pick up theory..

I tried some of the advice/eliminating bags/containers in the case etc
in a series of corporate shows over the weekend & recieved this late last night

Thanks to you all.....

-------------------------------------------------------------
To:
"Brent McLeod" <brent.mcleod@yahoo.co.nz>
Monday 19th Dec 2011

Hi Brent,
Thank you for your email. We all had a wonderful night all the staff thoroughly enjoyed your humor, magic and overall performance. They enjoyed it more than our party last year, and couldn't praise the overall night more.

Fantastic audience interaction, humor and showmanship ensure we all had a fantastic night and were thoroughly entertained.

Thanks again!
Have a great Christmas!

Kind regards

Emma Radley
Author-it Software Co.
--------------------------------------------------------------

I worked hard over a few days to sort the problem-Ive started-so will keep at It.. few tweaks to go..
The act & movements must be polished & easy.....

Cheers
Leland
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Inner circle
St Louis
1180 Posts

Profile of Leland
Frank, loved the story.

Just goes to show you that you know more than what you think you do and you can do more with less. Time to find some scissors and cut out the fat in my act.
Life of Magic!
Brent McLeod
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Inner circle
New Zealand
1656 Posts

Profile of Brent McLeod
I agree-Franks Story is just a classic...
That happens quite often,
Great result too...

Cheers
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
22057 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
All this of course depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

I once met a very nice magician. He invented some gag magic items, way back when. He invented a dancing toilet plunger for his feature of his act. That plunger he set up a 20 foot curtain set, spot lights and stage lights. It was a very funny and mystifying trick and he looked very professional in front of those curtains.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Leland
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Inner circle
St Louis
1180 Posts

Profile of Leland
Frank- I forgot to ask,

Why the toilet paper? Mouth coils?
Life of Magic!
WalkerMagic
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Regular user
Littleton, CO
105 Posts

Profile of WalkerMagic
Quote:
On 2011-12-18 21:08, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Quote:
On 2011-12-18 10:55, Brent McLeod wrote:
Wmhegbli-

Having gone through everything today-You are right its the extras
that are creating problems-razor holders, champagne glass, broken egg in bowl etc...
Im sorting it slowly...
thanks again


Alan Munro's comments of the years influenced me to seek out a case as he suggested. He and Harry Murphy were right, it is a good choice to pursue.

If you would like to consider a pilot/salesman case. this is the best I have found for magic purposes, lots of pockets and the inside can be fixed up with holders and bags, and it will even hold 12" Linking Rings. It will take some rehearsal, but if you learn to remove and put then put things back in the same place after a trick, it is a perfect solution for an act using small props. What I like about the case is that it is large and with the side pockets can hole you jumbo cards, the outside folio can hold things like the large Baby Gag.

It should be easy to set up the inside for your props. You can make shelves to be able to use the entire interior. Lastly, it looks sharp and very professional. Just walk in a put it on a chair, open and begin. I have also tried less expensive one and wasted my money, they were very small and not much good. Plus, the dump box I noted previously will fit in it as well, if you like.

Just takes some prop management and you are all set.

Here is the one I purchased.
http://www.overstock.com/Luggage-Bags/Ma......uct.html

I use to use a Suit-case table and this is much better for small props. Neater, because things are out of the way.

It all boils down to how much effort you want to put in your show. If you want it to look big, the Roll-on type table with 4 shelves and each trick on a tray, so they can be moved to the top working service, then after performance moved down and the next tray moved for performance.

Interested in what you find for your solutions.

Thanks for the link.
Mark Boody Illusionist
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Inner circle
1193 Posts

Profile of Mark Boody Illusionist
I have found that this table has done wonders for streamlining my shows. A suitcase table with an open top & a side table all in one. It can also be checked luggage for flying.http://flipdisc.com/UltGigCase/ultimate_gig_case.htm

Mark
Tamariz
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New user
45 Posts

Profile of Tamariz
I need two trips to the car and it's just painful. I so need to downsize.!
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