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scarylarry
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How do you keep your magic collection organized??

I wasn't quite sure where to post this question, but hopefully this works.

Over the years I have amassed a HUGE collection of tricks, books, decks, etc & I thought that having a set of drawers similar to a dresser would be a sufficient way to store everything that is magic related. Unfortunately, I outgrew that long ago and I am overrun with it all. Sadly, I have many many effects/decks etc that are unrecognizable now and separated from their instructions. The drawers look more like the classic "junk drawer" *sighs*

I would like to hear from other magicians how they manage their massive collections. How do you find your effects when you need them? Do you keep the instructions/booklets etc with each trick, or do you file those separately? Do you use a certain type of cabinet or organizer? When you come home from a performance does everything go back into a specific place? , or do you keep your briefcase/bag loaded and ready at all times?

I REALLY need direction in this area, and specific methods and suggestions would be most appreciated!

Thanks so much!
WalkerMagic
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Try posting this in the "where to put it all" section.
BCS
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Larry... After many years I find it best to keep instructions separate in a notebook binder (3 rings). I keep each sheet in plastic sleeves to keep them in good shape. I also scanned each as a pdf file... that way I can print when needed.
As to props, I have found photo boxes to work well... they are about the same size as shoe boxes and they stack well on bookshelves or in cabinets. I have each box identified by catogry... coins, cards, close-up, etc.

Good luck,
Bruce
flimflams
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I have everything in a database with mfg. and how much I bought it for listed.
You have to keep it updated.
the instruction are in a 3 ring binder.
AGMagic
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Cailf.
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I have a music cabinet that is the size of an upright piano that once belonged to my grandmother. It has 2 sets of 11 drawers and three 12 inch by 24 inch shelves that are behind glass doors. Much of the smaller and more collectible magic is in it. Some is stored on top of the music cabinet or on the two shelves above it. Books, tapes and DVDs are located on the bookcase next to the music cabinet.

I keep the original instruction sheets in a file cabinet and a photocopy in notebooks. Recently, I have been saving the receipts for magic bought with the original instructions. Unfortunately there is still some magic in boxes and along with some larger pieces on the floor of my office.

Unbuilt magic is stored on the lumber racks in the garage shop.
Tim Silver - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Magic-Woodshop/122578214436546

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

Visualize Whirled Peas!
Wizard of Oz
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That sounds like a beautiful piece of furniture AGMagic.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
Father Photius
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Well, except for Mark and Nani's sub trunk, which won't fit, I have mine all in a couple of glass doored bookcases. Keeps dust off and makes them visible.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Jim Sparx
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Quote:
On 2012-05-22 23:57, Father Photius wrote:
Well, except for Mark and Nani's sub trunk, which won't fit, I have mine all in a couple of glass doored bookcases. Keeps dust off and makes them visible.


There's a rumor going around that you had to shore up the foundation of your house for your book collection, is that true?
Father Photius
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Well, I've seen smaller libraries in Universities. LOL.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Jim Sparx
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Here is the famous Fr. Photius library. We had someone sneak in and take pictures while he was at church. This is only the first and second level, there is more behind the hidden door and on the third and fourth floor..

http://i222.photobucket.com/albums/dd275......d935.png
Ihop
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Quote:
On 2012-05-03 17:37, flimflams wrote:
I have everything in a database with mfg. and how much I bought it for listed.
You have to keep it updated.
the instruction are in a 3 ring binder.

Which database program do you use for your magic?

Does your database store photos, PDFs, Word, etc.?
I know of one on the market. (MagicBase Pro)MBP
I was thinking of writing my own database so that it is customized for my use.
If there is another database which is cheaper than MBP, I may be interested.
Writing my own is gratifying but time consuming.

Ihor
Ihor
matinex
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[QUOTE]Which database program do you use for your magic?

Does your database store photos, PDFs, Word, etc.?
I know of one on the market. (MagicBase Pro)MBP
I was thinking of writing my own database so that it is customized for my use.
If there is another database which is cheaper than MBP, I may be interested.
Writing my own is gratifying but time consuming.
[quote]
A very good database you can use (if you have a Mac) is Bento from Filemaker/Apple. You can easily customize your own database with your own fields. You can attach PDFs, photos, and even videos. And there are iPhone and iPad versions for just a little extra that can sync with your Mac so you can take your Magic database with you everywhere. I quickly created a simple database that tracks all the effects I know, along with PDF instructions and other stuff.

http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/

The only drawback is that Bento is not a relational database, so you can't do complex searching. Hope that helps.

Good luck.

Cheers
-David
cafezingo
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Prop Storage: I use a few narrow 4-drawer high plastic drawer stacks from Wal-Mart for all of my smaller props. Each drawer (or drawers) is for a specific kind of effect ... coins, cards, lights, etc. The most-used props are kept in my travel cases, for immediate use. The Container Store has stacks of much larger drawers, if needed.

Computer files: I keep a Word file that is categorized by effect, prop, or device (vanishing, reveal, gimmick, etc.). This file listing allows me to quickly put together combinations of effects and devices for routines. It also reminds me of items that I haven't used in a while. I also have files for each performance, listing the effects that worked in each one. (This saves a lot of time preparing for similar events.) And, finally, I keep files of step-by-step write-ups of many effects, together with related notes.

Instructions: I'll have to go to a 3-ring binder with plastic sleeves in order to file the various-size instruction pages. Right now, its a somewhat cluttered combination of several filing methods. It's sometimes difficult to categorize some effects, as they cross over categories.

DVDs: In order to save space, I take them out of their original boxes, and place them in a DVD/CD binder that's allocated exclusively to magic titles. Each DVD is placed in the binder with a list of those tracks that are of interest to me (usually only a few on a DVD that contains many effects ... right?)

The "Prices Paid" Word doc idea posted earlier is great .... too bad I didn't start that a long time ago.

Hope this helps!
Magician Shaun
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Wow, you guys have an amazing assortment of magic. I personally do not "Collect" magic. I find that collecting magic is a bottomless pit of sorts. Every single "trick" I own can fit into a single dresser drawer, plus my Tarbell Course in Magic, Royal Road, Expert Card Technique, Bobo's Coin Magic, Erdnase EATCT, Card Manipulations, and a few videos that I have on DVD and the rest are stored on my PC and backed up either in the cloud or an external drive for safety. I think if you are performing, then less is more. How many tricks do you do in a show? For example, I saw Copperfield perform once when I was 15, 15+ years later (recently) I saw him perform again. You know what? It was the same show, with one or two changes. You know what that tells me? It isn't the trick that makes the Magic, it is the Magician that makes the Magic. Also there is that story of the amateur who told the Great performer with enthusiasm, "Sir, I have been practicing and practicing and I know over 200 tricks" the Magician replied "Really, that's great, I know 10." I guess what I am saying is that for me, if I have so much stuff (and it isn't duplicates or backups) that I can't figure out where to put it, or if I need a database to keep up with it, then I have way to much junk that I can't perform anyway. I recently watched Gazzo perform the Cups and Balls on Pen and Teller Fool Us. One of the best acts I have ever seen. Guess what, Just about every YouTube video of Gazzo, has him performing the same Cups and Balls routine, with the same patter. That guy is awesome. I would guess he doesn't have that problem.

To each his own, but I think everyone with this sort of problem should rethink why they have so much stuff ask themselves "Do I need a new trick, or new or better material for my show?" I think that if less magicians fell for the sales pitch and worked on their show (notice I didn't say magic) more, there would be a lot more successful Magicians out there. Ok, I will get off my soapbox now.
murray
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Quote:
A very good database you can use (if you have a Mac) is Bento from Filemaker/Apple. You can easily customize your own database with your own fields. You can attach PDFs, photos, and even videos. And there are iPhone and iPad versions for just a little extra that can sync with your Mac so you can take your Magic database with you everywhere. I quickly created a simple database that tracks all the effects I know, along with PDF instructions and other stuff.

http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/

The only drawback is that Bento is not a relational database, so you can't do complex searching. Hope that helps.

Are you willing to share your Bento template?
Magician Shaun
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You could always get SQL lite, its free, powerful, and fast. I mean if you needed a database.
matinex
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San Jose, CA
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Quote:
On 2012-06-08 11:40, murray wrote:
Quote:
A very good database you can use (if you have a Mac) is Bento from Filemaker/Apple. You can easily customize your own database with your own fields. You can attach PDFs, photos, and even videos. And there are iPhone and iPad versions for just a little extra that can sync with your Mac so you can take your Magic database with you everywhere. I quickly created a simple database that tracks all the effects I know, along with PDF instructions and other stuff.

http://www.filemaker.com/products/bento/

The only drawback is that Bento is not a relational database, so you can't do complex searching. Hope that helps.

Are you willing to share your Bento template?


Sure, I'll share the Bento template with anyone. Just PM me.

Cheers
-David
Alan Munro
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I prefer to keep the instructions with the props, simply because some props, like specialty decks, don't give me enough info on what they are. The best setup, I think, is to put the props in an envelope or a ziplock bag, with instructions or an index card telling what the item is.

I keep like items together, so that I can find them quickly. Some are in clear, stackable boxes. Others are in clear drawers, totes or cardboard boxes. Things are in transition as I find better ways to organize what I have.

I keep the established stand-up shows in their prop cases, ready to go. My close-up material is in clear plastic boxes, in a catalog case. I swap out boxes when varying my set. For my newer stand-up material, I swap props from a large plastic tote to a duffle bag that I use on stage.
John McLaughlin
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David, I've started using Bento (and onsidering upgrading to Filemaker (for the search capabilites mostly), and it's working out great. Have it on the iMac, iPhone and iPad. On of my favorite features in the ability to drag a video into the form, so If I forgot a routine or move I can just pull it up. I'm going to PM you to see if I can get your template. Also would like to see if Bento it will store my scripts in the form as a PDF or DOC. Right now I'm just using the notes field for that.
...NSA John McLaughlin, not CIA John McLaughlin
Brad Sheppard
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Wow - You guys are amazing! Thanks for the great tips. I had not thought about making PDF files for instructions. Thanks John for adding that you can save video files in the form.
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