travelling by plane

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Postby Seb Talbot » 05/03/08 11:55 PM

Hey folks,

I have to travel by plane for a trade show gig at the end of the month. I'm not used to flying by plane so heres the thing;

1)Is there anything in a closeup magic case that could cause a problem at the airport? I'm thinking flash paper, fire wallet (along with the lighter fluid!!)? Probably but if so...what do you recommend I do?

2) How do I get my suit to destination in good-looking condition? I cant just fold that up in my suitcase , can I?

3) My case probably looks like the one everybody has; "Deal Or No Deal" kinda suitcase. Is that allowed on the plane? Cos' I certainly dont want to take the risk to lose it somewhere.

Thanks in advance for your recommendations,
Seb
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Postby David Alexander » 05/04/08 12:16 AM

Buy Randy Pryor's book "Road Warriors." It contains a wealth of information by many of us who have gone down the same road you're about to start traveling.

Doug Dyment has an award-winning website that covers this topic extensively. See http://www.onebag.com/ Doug has saved me a lot of grief over the years. His site is worth more than a quick read. It's worth studying.

Forget about ANYTHING flamable on the plane, either in your carry-on or in checked baggage. That includes flash paper which, if old enough, can spontaneously combust.

If you try and take such items on the plane you will find a number of completely non-humorous security people inviting you to stay around for awhile.

High quality clothes resist wrinkles. My Oxxford tuxes come out of the bag looking like they were just pressed. Absent the high-end clothes, buy a travel steamer. You'll find a great list of resources at Doug's website.

You don't say how long the trade show will be and how much work you're going to be doing, so it's difficult to determine how much you'll need for the gig. A suit is good, but so is a sport coat that goes with different trousers. A Navy blazer is a requirement. Don't forget quality ties...Brioni is a good brand.

You can also ship additional clothes and such ahead of time which lessens the possibility that you'll be stuck if your bags are lost. Tipping the Sky Cap when you check in is also a good idea.

When I flew I always took my irreplaceable items with me on the plane in a briefcase. I never had a problem.
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Postby Seb Talbot » 05/04/08 09:55 PM

Thanks David,
That helped me a little.

I'll make sure to check out the link. And I'll be over there for 3 days only, so I'll just bring one suit and a few extra shirts in case.

As for the flash paper issue..... couldnt I just take the chance and put a few fresh sheets somewhere between the pages of a book or something? I'd hate to get to Calgary and try and find flash paper over there.... I mean.... Flash paper is indispensable right? :) What do you think?

Seb
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Postby Jim Martin » 05/04/08 10:24 PM

I'm in agreement with David's advice.

Carry on only the irreplaceable items (I prefer FedEx everything else to your hotel).

Regarding the flash paper - neither in your luggage nor carry on.

Here's a link to a magic shop in Calgary; an email could answer if they have flash paper.

http://www.shopincalgary.com/The-Vanish ... 352035.htm
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Postby DanV » 05/05/08 10:05 AM

I strongly agree with David's recommendation of www.onebag.com. Doug Dyment, working closely with Redoxx.com, helped to create a carry-on bag called the "Airboss"...it is phenomenal. I travel frequently in my work as a computer trainer, and I've packed my 17" laptop, several large computer manuals, enough clothes for a week (including a change of shoes), MP3 player, assorted cables and a couple of books into the Airboss. It all fits very neatly (especially if you follow Doug's folding instructions), and I've put it both in the overhead bin and once underneath my seat without any problems.

Imagine the show equipment you could pack, along with your suit and shoes.

I also highly recommend Redoxx.com's CPA briefcase, for those of you who don't need to travel but just need a very roomy and functional briefcase that'll never rip...I have it also and love it.

Amazing stuff.
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Postby Brandon Hall » 05/05/08 11:25 AM

Seb Talbot wrote:I'm not used to flying by plane


It's the preferred method
"Hope I Die Before I Get Old"
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Postby Seb Talbot » 05/05/08 01:18 PM

Thx Jim.
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Postby David Alexander » 05/05/08 01:58 PM

Seb Talbot wrote:Thanks David,
That helped me a little.

I'll make sure to check out the link. And I'll be over there for 3 days only, so I'll just bring one suit and a few extra shirts in case.

As for the flash paper issue..... couldnt I just take the chance and put a few fresh sheets somewhere between the pages of a book or something? I'd hate to get to Calgary and try and find flash paper over there.... I mean.... Flash paper is indispensable right? :) What do you think?

Seb


Seb,

Actually, I helped you a lot.

Now, with what you're suggesting about trying to smuggle an explosive on board a post-9/11 air flight, since you're not in front of me asking this question I cannot determine if you're joking or painfully foolish.

Flash paper is know by its correct name: Nitrocellulose. It is the major component of smokelss gunpowder. Airports usually have bomb sniffing dogs on staff. Should one of those nice puppies sniff out your contraband, you will be lucky if all that happens is you miss your flight.

If you are caught and the Canadian equivalent of the TSA here in the States fails to see the need and/or humor in your situation, you will be arrested. The court system takes a dim view of people deliberately violating the law in cases like this. I have no idea what Canadian prisons are like, but if they let you have access to a computer, perhaps you can drop us a line and let us know.

Oh yes, one other thing, in prison you'll learn a whole new meaning to the word "trick."
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Postby Seb Talbot » 05/05/08 05:17 PM

Hahaha! Ok David... I get your point... I wasnt even joking about it :( Its best if I leave the stuff at home, I guess, then... Damn. Youre right. I guess you did help me a lot... Flash paper is nothing to some of us cos' we use it all the time I guess... I must've been painfully foolish, yeah :crazy: But you didnt have to scare me with your prison stories... or did you? ;)

Thx,
Seb
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Postby David Alexander » 05/05/08 07:33 PM

Glad my points were taken in the spirit I wrote them. We don't need another magician in jail.

Flash paper should never be taken for granted, even if you're familiar with it. Old flash paper can become unstable and spontaneously combust. You should keep it in a tightly sealed metal container. I don't know if there's a test to determine its stability. Others more familiar with chemistry might know and post here.

Good luck with the trade show gig.
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Postby Seb Talbot » 05/05/08 09:55 PM

Thx David,
I guess I'll just fedex a few sheets over there before I leave. Thanks for the advice,
Seb
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/05/08 10:15 PM

I believe it is against the law to fedex explosive material.
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Postby Jim Martin » 05/05/08 10:25 PM

My previous post was suggesting to FedEx non-flashpaper items. It is illegal to send flashpaper.

The link I included was for a magic shop in Calgary; I'm sure you could purchase it there.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 05/05/08 11:40 PM

I was responding to Seb Talbot's remark at the top of this page.
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Postby Seb Talbot » 05/06/08 08:28 AM

Damn.
Cant I do anything right? :grin:

I'll try and visit the magic shop over there if time permits cos' my schedule is pretty tight once I get there. Thx for the link Jim!

Aaaaaaaaand on with the show :)

Seb
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Postby Tony Riveral » 05/10/08 08:46 PM

Whenever I travel to the Philippines or China and back to America, I personally carry similar items in my luggage all the time. When security looks through it, they ask me what it's for and I just tell them I perform magic and they have no problem.

Sorry, I'm not sure if your "deal or no deal" luggage would pass inspection though.

Hope that helps a little bit.

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Postby Mark Collier » 05/12/08 09:30 AM

Seb,
I would suggest ordering and paying for the flash paper from the magic shop in Calgary and then asking the contact for the trade show if someone could pick up a package for you and have it at the show when you arrive.

In the future, you can put it in your contract as something you require them to provide. Jugglers do it all the time with torch fuel.

David Alexander is right; there is very little leeway for flammables on airplanes these days. Even if you didn't go to prison, you would probably miss the gig.

Good luck,
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Postby NCMarsh » 05/12/08 11:22 AM

Someone (TheatreFX?) is licensed to ship flash paper or it could never be sold in magic shops. I'd find out who and have it sent to the hotel.

As for the packed schedule:
I have only done one trade show; so it may not always be possible, but I found it extremely helpful to arrive the day prior to the first exhibit session...meet with the client while the booth is being set up, have that night as social time to build the relationship with the client, and -- most importantly -- have a 24 hr, minimum, buffer in case of flight delay, luggage delay, delay checking in to get the badge, or needing to take a cab to the local magic shop for flash paper...

I, personally, would not ask a client to drive to a magic shop to purchase flash paper.

Best,

N.
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Postby Mitch Dutton » 05/12/08 07:47 PM

I believe flash paper can be shipped WET. I requires drying out before use, but is not a big deal. I think that is how it is shipped to dealers.
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Postby Naphtalia » 05/13/08 05:10 PM

I can confirm that it is shipped to the shop where I work wet. We store it wet and allow our customers to dry it out. Our general recommendation if one needs to dry it quickly is to lay it out on a piece of newspaper and let it dry. Depending on weather, it will take a couple of hours or overnight. If people buy the small booklets of flash paper, we recommend removing the staple and laying out to dry.

If there is no rush, just let it sit out and it will eventually dry out.
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Postby David Alexander » 05/13/08 05:39 PM

One of his items the late Brian Flora used to sell was "flash cotton," which in reality, was gun cotton. He would ship it in a zip-lock bag filled with enough water to make it soaking wet. I don't believe he ever had a problem.

One day I found a handful of the stuff and took it out onto the street where I put a fuse to it. I had no intention of holding it in my hand.

It was fairly old and when it ignited it did not burn with a flash. It exploded....and so efficiently that I could feel a small concussion wave six feet away.
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Postby Seb Talbot » 05/15/08 10:14 PM

Thx for the recommendations. I think I'll just forget about the flash paper for that particular gig, though. I'll be there for 2 days and I can live without it this time. But I'll certainly remember this thread the next time I have to take the plane!

Thx,
Seb
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