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My Cases and Staging

I am always looking for the "perfect" case. I keep finding it and and then I find another. Probably the search for the "perfect" case is like the search for the "Holy Grail", I'll probably never find it!  I keep looking and getting better ones. Here is the latest.

Cases and staging are unique to each performer. What is "right" for one may not be for another. I put these up to show what I use and give you ideas for finding what is best for you.

Here is a JanSport Messenger Case that I use for Walk-Arounds and shows. It holds my main puppets and magic plus other misc equipment. I have an over the shoulder strap and an extra strap (shown going to the right). I carry it over my left shoulder and the extra strap goes over my right shoulder. This extra strap stablizes the case when I bend over so it doesn't hit a child I'm working with. It also allows me to pull the case forward to get magic out. The case rides low so my body can be straight. This is comfortable for long Walk-Arounds.

This is a "Performance Case" that I have used. 

(1) Is the case closed with the handle extended. It is a 29" case. 


(2) The case is open. In the lid are material that I carry with me and the MDB in a pocket. In the case itself, at the upper left is my magic box. This holds most of the magic props I need in a show. The red is a folding magic stand. Just below is the Sekaku sound system. On the right, covered in black cloth, is Krag. The blue at the bottom is the drape for on stage. 


(3) is the case with Krag exposed. 


(4) is the case from the front with the drape and the magic box on top. To the right is the magic stand. At the beginning of the show I pull this out of the magic box.


(5) Shows the case set up from the back side. The two open sections are for magic props that don't fit in the magic box (top) and a place to put used magic props (bottom).


Drango and Romy are is a separate "Drango" case detailed below.



This is my "Drango" case. I call it a modular case because there are pieces (modules) that I can add or take away as needed. I got the case at K-Mart, one of my favorite places for soft cases. The case is small and light weight. Drango and accessories fit inside plus there are pockets for some magic tricks. 

The top part of the picture shows all the modules. At the upper left and canter are the main modules. These two fit back to back and are identical. Six heavy duty snaps allow the cases to snap together. The module at the upper right snaps on the front. It is thinner and has many pockets. Below at the left is a small case (actually was a waist pack) that can snap to the side. Next to that is the Mini-MDB. This has snaps on both side and can be snapped between the two main modules. To the right are the shoulder straps. This can be over the shoulder, two straps for a low riding back pack, or two straps configured like the Walk-Around case discussed above.


At the center left is the fully configured case. Below that is the typical configuration of the two main modules and the front module. In the picture I am carrying the fully configured case with all modules including the Mini-MDB. In practice I use the modules that I deed for any given situation. Using this case I can pack a full hour show in a carry on case. I can use the case for walk-arounds or put the lighter Walk-Around case in it to use on location. 



I do many Walk-Arounds doing both characters and magic. I need to have several characters plus magic tricks with me. It is not always practical to be able to have a central point for storage. This is especially true on my weekly visits to Wishard Hospital.

I use a light nylon case with a special strapping that I have worked out. I use a single main strap over the shoulder. A second strap goes from the back to a small loop that slips over the main strap. This can ride up and down the main strap. I serves three purposes. (1) It keeps the case from slipping off my shoulder. (2) It keeps the case from falling forward when bending over to work with children or seated people. (3) It allows the case to be pulled forward to get things out of it.


At the left are pictures of the walk-around case system. At the top center is Drango and me and to the right I'm doing magic. The case hangs to my right. At the left is the system from behind. In the center I have pulled the straps out so you can see them better. The second strap rides high on the main strap. At the bottom left I am bending over. Note the case stays in place held by the second strap. At the bottom right I am pulling the case out to get a magic trick out. Because the second strap is riding high, it allows the case to be pulled well forward.


The cases are available many places. They are often used a giveaways. I found most of mine at garage sales.




My old stage case is a large suitcase with wheels and a handle. I've used this for quite a while. On stage my sign hangs from the handle with my magic supplied hidden behind. I also have a curtain I use with it sometimes which can be seen later on this page. It the left top can be seen the case with the sign in place and fully closed.

Below the case is open. The MDB is at the left and the sign on top to the right. Note that the MDB you see is the ungimmicked one with the real one hidden under it. The black case that comes with the MDB is between them.


The next pix is with the sign removed. The case with the Sekaku sound system, all the mics, cables, and adapters is at the bottom. Drango's case is at the top (left). I have changed from the Boarding Bag described later to a similar case that has vertical sections. This allows more magic to be carried that the Boarding Bag, and when used alone, Drango fits in also. During shows, as I use magic the used items can be dropped into the section where Drango goes to be reset later.


The next Pix shows the MDB section from the outside. The MDB slides in and out of the outer section. The ungimmicked one can be slid out if needed and while packing up after the show, that is the one that is visible. 








For my Verna Troll (Krag) I chose a Rolling Duffel case from "Route 66 made for K-Mart. The nice thing is that it opens all the way. I made two small pillows (the bright blue) that nestle around the head and lower bottom for protection. The pix at the left show the Rolling Duffel closed and open with the Troll inside with the blue pillows.

This case is wide enough for the Magic Drawing Board. The pockets can hold Magic supplies and some soft puppets including Drango can be carried in the case with Krag.




On stage I lay the case on its side with the lid open toward the audience. I use a short stand to hold the case open with the lid up. The stand is a music stand that has been modified so the legs open flat. The tip is padded and slips into an outside pocket to hold the lid.




I place Krag on the ground behind on his side. I use the pillows to hold the head up for easy entry. Magic and other supplies are in the case for easy access. The inside pockets can be used also. During the show magic can be thrown back in the case.


In the pix at the left you can see the case ready for a show. The bright blue is a cloth to cover up the puppets and magic. At the lower right the case is seen with the cloth in place.


At the lower left is a detail of the stand going into the pocket to hold up the lid.


At the end of a show it is easy to put everything in the case, close it, and leave.