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Raum
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Hi everyone.
I am an amateur and I'm thinking about getting a wooden old suitcase for my show.
I talked to the carpenter from my city, told him my wishes, and he gave me an approximate sketch with the sizes.But I'm not sure whether my desires are right and whether it will not create problems for me in the future. I will write my wishes here, and if you point out mistakes or give advice - I will be very grateful to you.
1) The bottom of the suitcase will be made of oak, compartments and the lid - from plywood.
2) The whole suitcase will be aged, leather straps will be attached to it, the handle will also be leather.
3) I would like to see a "Ouija board" painted on the lid of the suitcase. I think it will look nice, and I can use it in my show like single effect or like backup
4) The size of the suitcase is 45 cm by 55 cm. The depth is 7.5 cm. Big compartments is suitable to fit a notepad a3. I think the notepad is useful to me if I perform in front of a large audience.
5) The rest compartments serve to keep all small items there. Like Tarot Cards, crystal balls, pendulums, envelopes and etc.
The first image is a similar suitcase. The second is a sketch.
Image
Image
MentalistCreationLab
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Putting the Ouija board on the outside may look fine for visual display but you may be better off to make the case big enough to hold the board in the lid of the case. Just a thought. Also if you building a case for a specific show then build it with the show in mind leaving a little space for add on items. If you building a case for general stuff then have a plan as to what will fit the most stuff. I am telling you this form experience over the years its best to build the case for specific reasons in most cases than to go about this haphazardly as in the end you have something you can use for years to come. Also do not use cheap materials.

I built many of these over the years and sold off some of them in the past when I realized I did not include something important. Just saying think long and hard about what you want then get exactly what you want and no lees.
Raum
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This suitcase is for general. I just do not like metal or plastic, they are some "soulless" and do not fit into my image of a person who reads thoughts.
bowers
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Hi Raum
I bought one that looks very close to your picture.
From Hobby Lobby and only paid about 25 bucks for it.
I love mind and it is also aged.It doesn't have any dividers
in it but they could be added easy enough.
Todd
Raum
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I would like a better quality, it's just remotely similar, nothing more. The main thing that excites me - maybe this suitcase is too big? If I perform in a room where the suitcase will have to be put on a chair, then the standard suitcase will lie perfectly on the chair. But this one will stick out at half and probably will not be stable.
George Hunter
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Raum:

I like your suitcase idea, and the photo, but some (or many) of us carry our stuff in a catalog case. Richard Osterlind gives the reasons for this in his Field Manual for mentalists. You should be able to get a good leatherette or corduroy nylon catalog case for less than $100.00. They have several convenient compartments and sections, and being able to access all of your props from the top is a plus compared to having to open a horizontal suitcase. You can see a range of useful catalog cases at a place like Staples or Office Depot, or do an internet search.

George
Magical Dimensions
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Quote:
On Apr 2, 2017, George Hunter wrote:
Raum:

I like your suitcase idea, and the photo, but some (or many) of us carry our stuff in a catalog case. Richard Osterlind gives the reasons for this in his Field Manual for mentalists. You should be able to get a good leatherette or corduroy nylon catalog case for less than $100.00. They have several convenient compartments and sections, and being able to access all of your props from the top is a plus compared to having to open a horizontal suitcase. You can see a range of useful catalog cases at a place like Staples or Office Depot, or do an internet search.

George



I think that maybe he has a different idea than to be like everyone else. I believe that he is going with what he sees his character to be. I have an Elephant bag (a term that was used in the Army in the last unit that I was in) and I have never used it for mentalism. An elephant bag is the same as an catalog case.

I like using a doctor bag that is 30 years old and a little beat up. Why? Because I want to be different for one thing.

The suitcase can be used to good results. I would also place pockets and areas inside of the lid to place things in. Think of a mixture of a suitcase and a brifecase.

Then dress with just a hint of being a little odd, different, interesting, so that he can stand out from the crowd in a good way so that it will enhance his character. But I can already hear people saying, "Mentalism is done wearing a suit and tie at paid gigs. After all that is what (fill in the name) does"... Now, I didn't say dress like a weirdo. I said dress with a hint of being interesting.


R
TEB3
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Think about Dr. Jaks and his book.

TEB3
Magical Dimensions
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Quote:
On Apr 3, 2017, TEB3 wrote:
Think about Dr. Jaks and his book.

TEB3


Oh Yes, I forget about his book that he called, "The Book of Mystery". Thanks for bringing that up...



Ray
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I'm a HUGE fan of Dr Jaks... I bought once a wooden box that looks like a book on the outside. I don't know the name for this but it's a fairly common home-decoration home thing were I live (I don't know if someone actually uses this in his house, but it's fairly common to see it in stores...)

Dear Raum: your case looks very beautiful. Is it not too heavy?
Have a nice day
Maxyedid
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I just did a search in amazon for "wooden old suitcase" and there are some very cool things indeed... have you tried that yet?
Have a nice day
Raum
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Not, no so much. It will not be entirely of oak.
I would say that he is 80% similar to Spiritus Magnus Case.
I was looking there, but Amazon does not sell unique items, only mass-produced items. But I found on ebay two stores that sell unique old things, including wooden suitcases or trunks.If you interested:
http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Vintage-Interio......75.l2563
http://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/nick1974sellin......75.l2559
Tony Thomas
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One thing I would think about is access to the case during a performance. I like a case that opens typically, like yours, and also has an alternative opening method. Picture a piano hinge down the middle of the case top, allowing the flat part of the case to open by folding over on itself, which creates a small performing area, or place to set things during a routine. Also, this allows access into the box in the middle of a routine, to ditch things, or pick something up (with a hold out), etc. Half of the case top is a performing area, and half is open access into the box.

Another thing to think about is the depth of the box. I started with a box that looked like a suitcase. But then progressed to a similar design, but the case was deeper and more the size of a small trunk. This allows tall things to fit in the box, like a crystal silk cylinder or stratosphere.

Finally, I would never perform by putting a case on a chair. I would make the case set on a stand of some sort, either a TV tray type stand (busker style), or a music / cymbal stand. There are lots of typical options.

One last comment... I would keep the outer design something that appeals to all audiences. Many parents would not let their children play or interact with ouji boards. Might create distance to some in your audience for little gain. There are design options that are equally cool and not offensive to anyone. Good luck.
From the Encouraging Magic of...

Tony Thomas

www.magictonythomas.com
Bill Hegbli
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Forget using oak, that is a waste of money, and oak will make it to heavy. Just use good birch plywood. Get a restaurant waiters stand, and the have a cloth sewn so it goes over the opened lid, with your name in big letters on it.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Dick Oslund
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The young man whom I am mentoring, asked about buying or making a prop case that he could work out of. (Ha! another Charlie Miller! (I finished the sentence with a preposition.)

He had studied my DVD, which in one show, shows me working out of a small case. All the props for the entire 45 minute program, except the mutilated parasol, which travels in a zipper nylon "tube", are in the small case.

The case is never unpacked. Props are in "pigeon holes", and, are picked up, the trick is performed, and the prop(s)are replaced.

There is NO DITCH BAG! IMHO, ditch bags are for those who don't PLAN! Some props "double" in different routines. One of the silks used in the color change, is also used in the ball routine. The long rope for Professor's Nightmare, is used for the Ovette knot, several rope/knot bits, and the YOYO. There is a second long rope for the Lazy Magician routine, which is used to pad out the 45 minute school assembly program, to the 60 minute evening family show.

I told Colton that he should first assemble all the props needed for his act, and draw up a plan showing where each prop would be. Then, walk through the act, MENTALLY, to see if the various props go in and out without any problems. Then, make a cardboard case of the appropriate dimensions, and, make cheap simple paste board pigeon holes. Install the props, and, rehearse the act. If there are no problems. build or buy a case of appropriate size. Install good pigeon holes, for the props. When he had done all the planning and rehearsing, he needed a case about the size of mine. I had a spare case of those dimensions. I'm retired. I gave him my spare!

Now, use the case for a few shows. Make notes after each show, and, make minor adjustments as needed. If after a half dozen shows, EVERYTHING "works". you are ready to hit the road.

To build a roof for your new home, BEFORE you build the foundation, and framework of the house, would seem rather foolish to me. The OP seems to be overly concerned with the prop case. He hasn't even mentioned the props! I think he is making the roof before the foundation and the walls.

Karrell Fox was "framing" his "W.C. Fields" act for the college circuit. To add "character" to the act, after, he had the props "set". He bought a small trunk. He decorated the exterior with HOTEL STICKERS to suggest an old vaudevilian's trunk. During the show, the trunk "sat" on a luggage rack that looked like a short waiters' tray stand. I know, 'cuz I provided the hotel labels which I had picked up on a European vacation tour.

(I had decorated the doves' road case with similar labels. When the kids asked about the labels, I explained that the doves went on their own vacation, without me!)

Karrell worked out of the trunk. When the show was over, He could close the lid, and haul it to the car.
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Bill Hegbli
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Clearly, Raum, has not given any thought to why he even needs a case. The show material he mentions are all down on the table materials, and mostly close-up props. The fact that he wants to have a Ouija board on the top of the lid, is proof, this is a close up case. All the items mentioned should be carried in his pockets, not in a box, as that only draws suspicion to everything he will use in his mentalism Occult performance.

Being he has not been back to clarify anything, I think it would be good for him to learn from experience. I don't know where he thinks he is going to put a huge suitcase while people are eating, but I am sure he will figure it out.

For someone that lives in Europe, why he refuses to visit all the vintage stores, is really a mystery. I am sure he could find a suitable case in a place that prides themselves on history and vintage items that were part of everyday life.
Vietnam Veteran 1967, Sgt. E-5

Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

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Chatterbox41
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Quote:
On Apr 11, 2017, Dick Oslund wrote:

I told Colton that he should first assemble all the props needed for his act, and draw up a plan showing where each prop would be. Then, walk through the act, MENTALLY, to see if the various props go in and out without any problems. Then, make a cardboard case of the appropriate dimensions, and, make cheap simple paste board pigeon holes. Install the props, and, rehearse the act. If there are no problems. build or buy a case of appropriate size. Install good pigeon holes, for the props.

Now, use the case for a few shows. Make notes after each show, and, make minor adjustments as needed. If after a half dozen shows, EVERYTHING "works". you are ready to hit the road.

To build a roof for your new home, BEFORE you build the foundation, and framework of the house, would seem rather foolish to me. The OP seems to be overly concerned with the prop case. He hasn't even mentioned the props! I think he is making the roof before the foundation and the walls.

Karrell Fox was "framing" his "W.C. Fields" act for the college circuit. To add "character" to the act, after, he had the props "set". He bought a small trunk. He decorated the exterior with HOTEL STICKERS to suggest an old vaudevilian's trunk. During the show, the trunk "sat" on a luggage rack that looked like a short waiters' tray stand. I know, 'cuz I provided the hotel labels which I had picked up on a European vacation tour.

(I had decorated the doves' road case with similar labels. When the kids asked about the labels, I explained that the doves went on their own vacation, without me!)

Karrell worked out of the trunk. When the show was over, He could close the lid, and haul it to the car.



Wonderful information from a Pro! Thanks Dick!

I remember when I first read Ganson's books on close up magic and saw the section on using a brief case for a close up case. I bought a cheap brief case at Wal-Mart and actually fit 2 45 minute close up shows in that little case including a place for an old cassette player, a couple cassettes for each show, a set of cups and a chop cup, etc. Good planning can make performing a simple pleasure!

Later, that same case served to hold my complete stand up show with room to spare.

Gary
Dick Oslund
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Thank you, Gary, for your most kind words!

Yup! PLANNING is the KEY! To have a smooth running act, having no awkward stalls is critical to one's success. EVERY prop, must be instantly accessible! (Time, timing, and TEMPO!). --When doing 3-4 shows per day, the need to sort out the stuff in a ditch bag, before the next show, is a WASTE OF TIME! ("Time is $$$$!)

I vividly remember, about 40 years ago, when I experimented with a "suitcase table". It was a Merv Taylor case, somewhat like a "Lefler" case. I had taken a two week vacation to go deer hunting in Upper Michigan. I didn't manage to get a deer! --I sat on a stump in the woods, and, MENTALLY "walked" through the 45 minute act, planning the storage, handling, and restoring of EACH prop!

When I hit the road, later, I had not a single problem. I did go back to my little case and waiter's tray stand, though. That @#$% suitcase table weighed more than the props!!! (Chiropractors charge $$ for "adjustments"!)
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Chatterbox41
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Dick, I know what you mean! I have a suitcase table in the attic... hasn't been used in probably 35 years.

I bought a waiters tray stand and made a wooden top that fits it exactly. Looks great on stage. If I want to do close up, a pad fits nicely too. And also have used the stand when doing my vent act to hold the suitcase. Much more portable (and cheaper) than a suitcase table!

Gary
Dick Oslund
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Yeah!

In a thrift shop in Illinois, about 20 years ago, I found a waiter's tray stand TYPE of table for about $5.00. It's about 27" tall. With my "fat attache" prop case (13" x 20" x 8") it's 35" tall. I'm about 5" 10 and a 1/2" tall. (I was 6', but, as I've aged, I've "shrunk". (Maybe I stand in the shower too long! hee hee!) 35" is just fine, as, no props "work" on a table top. The lid is opened when I start, and stays open throughout the act.

The "table" from the thrift shop had a metal tray which sat on the top, and must have "had a use" for someone! I red lighted the tray! A few years later at one of the "flea markets" at Abbott's Get Together, I found another to match. IIRC, I paid $10.00 for it. It was useful when I did the 60 minute evening show in schools, and, wanted a few "flash props" like the tambourine silk production. The case which carried the silks AND, the tambourine rings, and a small table top, added FLASH to the show, and were well worth the extra two pieces to load in and out!

About two years before I retired from the road, I found an old "waiter tray stand" TYPE of table. It had been used for a 35mm slide projector (remember those?). I stripped all the electrical stuff, and had big casters installed.

When I got inside the school, I could "open" the table, set the prop case on top, and push it down the hall to the auditorium or gymnasium. I was 76 on that last tour in 2008, and appreciated not having to carry that 22 lb prop case!!!
SNEAKY, UNDERHANDED, DEVIOUS,& SURREPTITIOUS ITINERANT MOUNTEBANK
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