Emergency Show Props

When I did an overnight flight on Quantas Airline, they gave us little fabric cases with a couple of toiletry items. I thought the case might be useful as a holder for some prop, so I kept it. They measure about 6.5 x 4.5 inches, but about half an inch on the short side isn’t really usable due to where the snap closure is located.

emergency magic show case

The goal was to put together an emergency show that could be performed close up or for a stand up venue like a black box theater (up to 100 seats). Everything used in the show has to be contained within the fabric case, so you can’t borrow anything from the venue or audience like a cup or dollar bill. The reason for that is you can’t 100% guarantee someone will have a dollar bill for your to borrow, or that the venue will have a clear pint glass.

Another condition is you must be able to perform with a corded mic in a stand. If I needed to use a hands free mic holder, that will need to fit into the fabric case.

Any props you normally carry on your person are bonus, and don’t count towards this. For example, if you normally have a set of B’wave cards in your wallet, you would need to put another one in the fabric case if you wanted to do it in this show.

Here’s what I came up with:

magic show props

The props are:

  • Jumbo Linking Pins
  • Mismade Bill
  • Regular Bill
  • Throw Coil
  • Production Coil
  • Thumb Tip
  • 4 Sheets of Tissue Paper
  • Business Cards (that are blank on one side)
  • Sharpie
  • White 9 inch silk

And here’s the show list:

Everything on the list are tricks/routines that I currently do or have done in the past. There’s no learning curve for these, I can grab the prop and immediately do the trick. I chose to add the production coil and throw coil as things to add production value to the show, so it doesn’t feel like things were cobbled together. The also add texture to the show, it’s not all flat props.

When putting together the list I also had to factor in not duplicating effects. For example, if I did gypsy thread and torn and restored tissue paper, they are essentially the same trick.

The premise is that this is an emergency set up, so it’s a show I’m forced to do, not a show that I want to do. Artistically, this isn’t necessarily my current voice, but it’ll get me through the emergency situation.

This pack currently lives in the trunk of my car.


Summer Day Camp Shows…

When I was a lot younger I used to do a ton of summer day camps. By a lot, I mean 2-3 a day all summer. Now I do about a dozen or two a summer. I really enjoy doing them, however I’m trying to get 5-14 day contracts and having a single day camp show can get in the way of booking those longer contracts.

Here’s my case from one that I recently did:

While this show isn’t what I would consider what “my art” is, it still has a lot of things in it that I find interesting. One of those is my hat coil routine. It runs about 5 mins and is what currently is closing the show. There’s not much to it, it uses a hat, electric deck, two loose cards and a hat coil.

A while ago I had a use for hat coils and had bought a bunch of them, then stopped doing the routine, it just wasn’t playing how I wanted it to. So they sat for a while and I decided I wanted to get rid of them, so I started throwing a couple in my case to try to find a use for them. Over a few years I eventually came up with a routine that works.

One the surface, hat coils are expensive at about $4-$5 each retail plus any shipping. However, I had bought a bunch of them initially, so I didn’t pay that much for them. Now whenever I’m at magic swap meets, frequently I can find them and pay virtually nothing for them. Enough old time magicians have these in their collections to keep me doing this routine for a while! Even if I have to pay retail, the routine is worth it!


Pelican Briefcase Magic Show…

It’s taken forever, but I’m getting to work on assembling a briefcase magic show. I dug out of the shed an old Pelican 1525 case that I bought for a specific gig a while ago, then used for my outdoor kid shows in the summer of 2020.

This case had a flange on the bottom, and I took that off. It used to have a bunch of custom 3d printed holders in it, but I took them out when I started using the case for the kid shows. I did leave my Sharpie holder in the case. This is a pretty creative solution to keeping pens easily accessible. The yellow holder has magnets in it, and so do the pens. They will pretty securely in the holder, but are easy to reach in and remove.

I’m starting to play with the layout of things in the case:

I have to make some choices, like using poker size cards, or moving up to parlour or jumbo sized cards. I think that choice will end up being made for me by what props/routines end up in the show.