Pocket Management for Magicians
Updated: Nov 19, 2018
A STEP by STEP guide to pocket management for magicians, so you don't turn up looking like a stuffed turkey!
Got a BIG gig coming up?
Worried about what tricks to FILL your pockets with?
Not sure HOW many miracles you need?
Should you buy a pocket management GIZMO?
WHAT TO TAKE AND HOW MANY?
Right, so you've got a gig coming up, could be a wedding, mates BBQ, corporate gig or anything in between! Once you've managed to calm the nerves and excitement, you'll need to get your act together, I mean the tricks!
I always play by the rule of 3, which means that I have 3 tricks, forming 3 sets. It is important to remember that the trick is only a small part of the overall effect, it is your presentation that is key and will ultimately win the audience over.
"the trick is only a small part of the overall effect, it is your presentation that is key"
So, your first trick should be something quick, then a longer more structured effect for the second effect and finally, something to walk away proud with. I normally do a quick production with a fire wallet, paddle effect or change lottery tickets to money. That way you've got the ENGAGEMENT of the crowd and they know you mean business.
Next, I do a card trick, which might be my ambitious card routine, anniversary waltz or Chicago opener that lasts a lot longer, typically 5 MINUTES or so.
For the last trick, I might do a mind reading effect like Brainwave deck, that has been sealed in an envelope and given to someone to hold right from the beginning. Or even better, my book test called Mystify, which I designed to fit in your pocket so that i could carry it from gig to gig WITHOUT any hassle or memory work.
So have 3 sets of 3 different tricks, which will mean that you can table hop, mix and mingle without people thinking you only know 3 effects. You will normally have that one kid that will follow you around like you're god, so make sure you get him to tell everyone how awesome you are! People will then drag you around the venue, rather than you looking for people to perform to.
With a quick opener, a pack of cards, a few gaffs, a couple of sharpie pens, your business cards and of course Mystify book test. You are ready to rock and roll with LOADS of pocket space left for your phone, keys and money.
The above advice will make sure that you have enough material to cover 100 - 200 people easily for a couple of hours. Any more, you might need to replenish supplies or any less, you might need to develop a longer act with more audience interaction, rather than "look at what i can do"effects!
MY MATES ALWAYS TURN UP WITH A MASSIVE CASE!
Sorry to say this, but size doesn't matter in this game. Pro's carry less, newbies carry everything including the kitchen sink. Pack small, play large, remember it is your PRESENTATION that counts.
"Pro's carry less, newbies carry everything including the kitchen sink"
I know some magicians that have made a living with just with a pack of cards and a sharpie. They are always in demand and have released some amazing material. You don't need the latest smoke gadget, trick or prop to make you look good. If you don't practise and your presentation skills are lacking, nothing will save you, well maybe our modestly priced range of packet tricks... cough cough!
I always carry a small bag with backup effects and spares, however, in my whole time performing at gigs, I have never had to use anything from my backup bag. Keep this in your car, or hand it to the reception to look after, make sure you don't keep anything valuable in it, as sometime expensive looking bags or shiny metal carry cases can go WALKIES!
SHOULD I BUY A SHOULDER HOLSTER OR CARRY POUCH?
Normally, I would say that any further pocket management gadgets are only going to line the pockets of magic dealers and you might look a little strange walking around with a shoulder holster stuffed with cards, sponger balls and a manner of other things. You want to look natural, cool and act like you're in control. If you have too many effects, you might forget where something is, which will initiate nerves and inevitably filter into your performance.
You want to keep it snappy and the crowd engaged, you don't want to say
"hold on, I just need to find something, no it's the other pocket, hold on it's somewhere here i know it"!. This will make you look amateurish, you only have seconds to capture the attention of your audience!
A good idea is to get a phone holder, which can also carry your bank cards and clips on to your belt. That will free up some space in your packets and does not look too silly. You can pick these up from Amazon or Ebay for very cheap.
As you can see, I like to keep things super simple. In fact, I don't normally wear a jacket when I'm working, only a waistcoat to keep that professionalism and everything else strategically placed, so that I can get to it WITHOUT thinking.
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I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck!