Packing for dummies
Time is a circus, always packing up and moving away -Ben Hecht
When I travelled in circus, I encountered many artists with acts that would perfectly suit a variety theatre or a cruise ship. However, if I watched how they moved around, they would definitely not fit. Too many props to carry or too much stuff to carry along. Working small venues or ships requires a different way of looking into what you carry along. If you are a juggler this is quite easy to do, when you are a magician it is something different.
It pays off to have a “pack small play big” show. You simply get more possibilities to be booked into smaller venues. In many variety theatres the space in the backstage is very limited and often your props will need to fit through a normal sized door or even carried up the staircase.
If you perform gala shows you will discover it is not only easier, but it’s also much more comfortable to travel “light” simply because:
- It saves space
- It saves money for transport (especially when flying)
- Time to pack
Using flight cases to protect your most valuable gear will save you time to clean your props (that also applies for circus) and your props will damage less quick. However, there is a downside to that: all those empty flight cases in the backstage are limiting space to rehearse or warm up.
Beside of the flight case it is rewarding to look at the design of your props. If (decoration) design and function allow it, you should definitely look at ways to deconstruct your props. It is worth to spend extra money on easier transport. When flying you do not only pay weight but also space, the more compact and light the cheaper the transport can become (until the basic fare). The money you save by cheaper transport or having to replace stuff is better in your own pockets and perhaps it pays for some webdesign or a new iPhone.