Final Kid Show of the Summer!

In the summers I do shows for kid’s summer camps. I just did my last one of the summer! My goal this year was to create a show that was something that I could set up and pack up in 10 minutes.

kid magic show

The case that the show fit into is the size that fits into the overhead bin of an airplane. I don’t fly with this show, but wanted it to take up minimal space in my car.

The tricks in this show don’t borrow props for any other show that I do, so what’s in the case stays in that case and it has it’s own audio gear. The only thing in that show that I use that’s in other shows is the speaker.

It’s super hand to just grab the case and go!


Leaving Your Magic Gear

When travelling on the road with my show, one of the biggest pains in the butt is when I’m at a hotel for one night just to sleep and having to completely unload my car. The full unpack was to make sure I don’t lose my show if my car get broken into.

This year I started locking my gear to my car and leaving it in the car.

Magic show cases

The theory is the person going through the parking lot of the hotel is looking for a quick smash and grab, not something involved. The longer they’re there, the more likely they’ll get caught breaking into cars.

All of my shows cases are locked shut and then the cases are all locked to my car. I then cover all of this with a black cloth, so it’s hard to see at night if you’re looking in the window of my car. Sure someone with bolt cutters could get this stuff, but I’m going to make them work for it, it’s not going to be easy!

I’ve been doing this since January and while I’m unaware of anyone trying to break into my car, I personally feel confident in this system!


Carry On Audio Box

The last time I flew, I had some of my audio equipment damaged that was in my checked luggage. What I think happed was when TSA screened my show case, they did a horrible job of repacking my stuff, which led to some stuff being damaged.

I’ve decided that I’m going to carry on my audio gear from now on…or until I get lazy. I went out to harbor freight and bought a Pelican Style hard sided case that has foam inside.

live show audio

I’ve used the “pick n’ pluck” style foam before and it has never really lasted for me. For this audio box, I cut cardboard to reenforce the foam walls, and hopefully this will add some durability to the foam.

I’ve just finished my first round trip flight with this case and it seems to be holding up…


Fair Magic Show Set Up

It’s always interesting to look into other magicians prop cases. Last week I did my first fair of the year and here’s what my set up look like.

First the bin that sits on my table:

And here’s the prop case that sits on the floor to my left:

That’s a 45 minute stage show and it all can pack down into the prop case. The fully loaded case is just under 50 pounds, so I can check it on the plane as luggage for no additional fees!


The Road Giveth and The Road Taketh

I started the tour on Monday and had to cancel all of Tuesday’s show because my radiator had a hole magically appear! I had to do some sweet talking to the mechanic in a small town to get him to fit me into his schedule. It helps that his grandchild was at my show, and liked the show.

travelling magician

I’ve often said that magic is problem solving, so is magic on the road. In my first show on this tour I use Phil Smith’s Quinta Force and did the very basic math incorrectly in my head and forced the wrong object. With some quick thinking and a solid foundation in magic and mentalism principles I was able to make the trick work and no one knew that I had majorly screwed up the trick!

The moral of today’s blog post is that you need to be flexible, not just in your magic show, but in life.


Simplifying Show Set Up

I’m trying to carry less stuff with me when I’m on the road with my show. I used to carry a powerbank, USB micro cord, lightning cord and a USB wall adapter. I use this to plug in the show’s iphone that I run my music off of.

Recently someone showed me a powerbank that has the wall adapter and cords built in!

The nice thing is everything folds into the power bank, so I’ve eliminated carrying two cord and a wall adapter. I’m a fan of this, simplifying what I carry to it’s more direct to set up and strike the show. Sure eliminating two cords and a wall adapter isn’t much…but it’s less to haul.


The Road to FISM

Yesterday was travel day to get to Quebec City for FISM. It’s been quite a journey, I bought tickets when they first when on sale, so I’ve had me ticket for around 4 years! This is a bucket list item for me, and I’m glad I get to attend!

There have been a lot of challenges just to physically get there. I was performing outside of Reno and booked a flight from Reno to Quebec City. That flight got cancelled and the airline moved my departure airport to Sacramento, about 3 hours drive. Then my flight got cancelled again and the only way to get to Quebec City was to drive almost 6 hours at night to San Francisco to get on a 6am flight yesterday!

I finished my shows Sunday and drove into the night and slept a few hours in my car at the airport. I got to the airport and I have a lounge pass, and when I went into the lounge for a cup of coffee, I noticed they had SHOWERS!

I was probably really stinky from doing three shows in the sun, then driving all night and sleeping in my my car. The shower refreshed me!

This is one of the little things that having a luxury like an airline’s lounge pass gets you. I was able to take a shower at the airport and now my travel day was way less depressing! If you travel by airplane frequently, I highly recommend getting a lounge pass. Do some research and figure out which one is best for you. I use the Alaska Plus lounge pass, as my home airport has three Alaska airlines lounges and I can usually use American Airlines lounges as well. they’re not cheap, but I get my value out of them with the amount I fly.

I missed the first day of FISM as it was my travel day, but I’m excited for today!

Cutting Up Jackpots…

One of the trends in the county/state fair market is the fair putting the performers up in a house like an Air BnB instead of a hotel. Usually this is a great thing, I haven’t been housed with anyone I don’t get along with…yet.

The camaraderie that’s built hanging out at night BS’ing over a few beers around the table is one of my favorite things. In the carnival world that call it “cutting up jackpots

This is also where a lot of networking and creative brainstorming happens. I know some performers like a space to themselves, but they are missing out one of my favorite parts of working on the road!


Save Your Back…

For about 4 years I’ve used a Pelican 1615 Air as the main case for my show. I like 97% of the things about this case. The 3% I don’t like is that I think it could be a little bit bigger and still not be oversize for checked luggage.

pelican 1615 air

My case has travelled all across North America, from Panama to Alaska and from Seattle to Florida. I noticed last week that the wheels were getting sluggish. I think the bearings were going bad. I got a set of replacement wheels and in 5 mins I was up and running again!

Moving your gear around is one of the things that will wear you out, and having good wheels that reduce effort is important! Keep up on the maintenance of your gear, your back will thank you!

Quarantining With Props….

Yesterday I mentioned that I’m out of town performing. I had to fly to this gig and it’s been a while since I’ve had to fly. Here’s the gear I use to fly:

The Pelican Air 1615 carries my show props, then the suitcase holds my costumes, non show clothes and other personal items. The particular gig I’m out for right now required me to go from the airport to the hotel and quarantine for two days. Then I have to go direct from the hotel to the gig…in addition to passing several COVID tests over the course of about a week.

This has presented some unusual challenges. Normally I would buy a few of the “grocery store” props once I got to the city I’m performing in. That’s not an option for this gig due to the quarantine. I had carry onto the plane some items that are semi fragile.

One of the hard things was travelling with bananas that I intend to use several days later was finding green bananas (that would be nice and yellow in three days). I ended up having to go to a restaurant supply place and had to buy a box of green bananas!

I could have had the production provide the bananas, however in the past when I’ve had them provided for me, they always give me the worst bananas. Same with the crackers…I rarely get exactly what I ask for. The trick is pretty specific to what I need. For example, I use unsalted crackers as they are easier to write on than salted crackers. I’m just trying to eliminate a headache before it happens.