shipping big stuff

Discuss your favorite platform magic and illusions.

Postby Guest » 08/27/02 07:33 AM

So, for the first time ever (after like 20 years in magic - but all of it was close-up, carry-on stuff), we need to ship our entire act across country. Since Mark Phillips and I (Thin Air Productions) are doing a big-ass stage show these days (soon to include some of those illusion-things) we need to find a way to get some of it flown across the country since we don't want to drive everywhere. We drove to and from Minnesota and that was painful enough (two and 1/2 days in a car - blech). If anyone has case recommendations, we would really appreciate it. Of course, we waited until the last minute to do this - we need to be in LA on the 19th of Sept. with our show - so the sooner you can give us your advice the better. Thanks.

Postby Curtis Kam » 08/27/02 12:38 PM


Many years ago, I had some cases built for some of those "illusion thingies" (e.g. a Shadowbox, 4'X 4'X 2')by a company known as "Encore cases". They were less expensive than an Anvil case, and held up very well under light-to-medium usage.

Given your deadline, however, and the fact that you're not (yet) transporting illusions, it would be possible to purchase something commercially available, like luggage, if your props aren't too large, or delicate, or oddly shaped.

Obviously, really large and heavy stuff that you aren't using every night can be shipped ahead.

Sometimes it's cheaper to duplicate the props, so that you can do that, instead of paying for premium transport for your one essential item (of which you really should have two, anyway)

Also, what conceiveable magic prop can't you get in L.A.? It might be easier to rent, or buy there, then send it back to yourself for use as backup.

What is a "big-ass" stage show without illusions? You doin' Blackstone's "Spouting fountains" or Pavel's "Walking knot" held by two Bengal tigers?
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Postby Mitch Dutton » 08/28/02 05:50 AM

Karen, you might try a music store. I am a drummer, and I have found that many of the road cases sold to drummers make great magic containers too. These are NOT the ATA type things, so you need to pack carefully - but they are cheaper and available off the shelf. Ask to see some hardware cases for drummers at a larger music store and see if they will suffice. Good Luck! --Mitch
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Postby Guest » 08/28/02 06:55 AM

Thanks Curtis,

Yes, we know it is cheaper to duplicate props - and we would if we could. I guess "big ass" show isn't the right word. We have a comedy magic show with a number of original effects - some big some small. But it is a full hour show that we can do on stage for a couple hundred folks. Unfortunately, many of the props are made by us and hard to duplicate. Some we can pack in our suitcases, but we need a solution for getting it all safely to different parts of the world. We will probably duplicate some of it for the LA show, but we figured now was as good a time as any to begin figuring out a way to pack it all together and ship it. Thanks for your tips. The Encore Cases look pretty good - so we'll look more into that, too.

Postby Pete Biro » 08/28/02 05:26 PM

You might contact the airlines and find out if you can buy/rent one of their aluminum 'CONTAINERS' and you can load it and ship it -- we did that with race car engines.

I think Harry Blackstone Jr. had his own air freight container, as when I booked him to work in Hawaii, he told me there was some space in it and if anyone wanted to put some props in to get in touch with him.
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Postby David Fletcher » 10/15/02 04:17 AM

First off - Mark, Congratulations on the nuptials. No more double reeds for this act.
If I have the time I send my big stuff via Amtrak freight.
If your destination city has an Amtrak station I highly recommend this mode. from your old NYC pal, David Fletcher
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