The title says it all. But it doesn’t mean that you should rip punchline after punchline while performing magic (although of course you can do that). Rather, I mean the stage set-up or the performance area and how to organise your props so that you can perform the whole act standing up at the microphone stand.
The goal is clear. A microphone stand to which I have attached a few props that enable me to perform a show that lasts about forty minutes. And that on the smallest platform, possibly surrounded by spectators!
The microphone stand
This is the most important part of the set-up, as it has (besides the microphone) a small table top and a hook for a paper bag to hold props.
Of course, working with a stand microphone requires practice, but the effort is worth it, because you are free of transmitters, receivers and headsets. Another advantage is that a wired microphone is less susceptible to interference. In combination with one of the modern loudspeaker combi-boxes, you have your complete sound equipment, including background music, compactly with you and are not dependent on the building services. The ideal solution for smaller performances at weddings or similar events.
Mine is made of 4 mm plywood, which I covered with black felt. I prefer the round shape because then I don’t get stuck at the corners and can move around the microphone stand better. There is a slightly larger hole in the plate (there could be two) into which I can put, for example, two polycarbonate pint glasses stacked inside each other. With this I can perform a stand-up version of the map walk or other tricks with glasses. The plate is attached to the stand with a glass holder for microphone stands (music store).
The paper bag
This serves as a storage place for larger props and at the same time as a collection container for used props. I got myself a nice paper bag and reinforced it with cardboard on the inside. I made sure that it could be folded flat to save space in the suitcase. It’s more durable that way and it’s easier to add a few compartments to keep the props reasonably tidy.
This bag hangs from a headphone bracket that you can attach to a tripod. You can get headphone holders like this (and a decent microphone stand) at any well-stocked music shop.
The bulldog clip
This is also very easy to attach to the microphone stand and is very practical if you want to place a large envelope with a prediction on display in a clearly visible place.
Suggestions for effects
By the way, I recommend my workbook 80/20 for this, in which you will find over a hundred suggestions for effects with the simplest props that take up little space but are still visible to many audience members and have a good effect.
Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started:
- Disappearing microphone (Finn Jon)
- Cut and restored microphone cable
- Three ring routine (or Dai Vernon Symphony of the Rings)
- Comedy Prediction
- Chinese Sticks
- Torn and restored newspaper
- Rope routines
- Banknote in lemon
- Egg bag
- Invisible Deck
- Ring on stick
- Ring Box (or ring in nest of bags)
- Water in Newspaper
- Superquiz (Boretti)
- Torn & restored tissue paper with mock explanation (JUNO)
- Silk in apple (de Cova)
- Express card trick (de Cova)
There are so many tricks that can easily be performed standing at a microphone stand and can fill a small stage very well.