One of my least favorite tropes in magic ads is “packs flat and plays big“. I don’t like it because you should be selecting material that is right for your show, not right for the size of a case that fits under the seat of an airplane. I had a saying, “fits my artistic vision and packs as small as it can“. Some props are simply large and there’s no realistic way to make them any smaller. If that big prop is part of your art, then lug it around.
In the past, for a specific gig I needed a “briefcase magic show” that I could carry onto an airplane and when I got to the gig all I had to do was open the case and it was good to go. It worked for that gig, and I used it for a few more gigs. What I didn’t like was a lot of the material was selected for its size and lack of set up at the show. I wasn’t picking tricks because they were best for the show, but best for the travel and set up.
One of the things I want to work on right now is making a briefcase magic show that can live in the trunk of my car and has minimal set up when I arrive at the gig. I’m going to start the show length at 30 mins and hopefully work it up to 45 mins. The goal is for the show to have some texture. Most of the pack flat, play big shows I’ve seen lack texture. Most of the props are flat cards, and the show (to me) feels flat.
The other goal for the show would be something that could play in a black box theater, so up to about 100 people, and could be done with just a handheld microphone. That would allow me to not have to bring audio and spend time setting it up. I’m hoping for a 5 min set up and 5 min take down.
Quick set up, that plays big, that’s the goal.