The 100 Props Challenge

Another challenge in the wide range of the self-optimisation field, and this is called the “How to Live With 100 Things” challenge. This is about minimalism in life, and it is certainly not everybody’s cup of tea (and it is certainly unnecessary for all of us). But—it has a certain charm, and it is a challenge for magicians.

If you had to decide on only 100 pieces of equipment for the rest of your magic life, which would these be?

In the original challenge, a common opinion is not to stick to the actual number of things, but to see the value things have for you. You can make up your own rules and limitations.

The important thing is that you decide on things that offer joy, fulfilment, and that are useful to you. Stuff that helps you live a life with much more freedom and awareness, freeing you from wasting your time on shopping for unnecessary things, paying for unnecessary things, and, finally, maintaining and caring for these unnecessary things.

In magic, there are tons of things we don’t need. Lots of money has been burned and is burnt every day. But what things would fit? Of course, we don’t have to limit ourselves to just one hundred props (although this wouldn’t be a bad thing), but we could start with by striving to a streamlined selection of material and strip off the unnecessary consequently.

I suggest:

Some good, timeless books about theory, presentation, sleight-of-hand, and a few selected tricks.

A solid repertoire of sleights, subtleties and routines that you have mastered, and that you can do in almost any performance situation.

Only a few well chosen, practical gimmicks that can be used with over one trick.

Impromptu magic.

That way, you’ll get rid of the dependency of props that work only for one effect. It will reduce the amount of crap in your closet, limit the choice of what you can do, and therefore make you better with the lesser things you do.

Easy?

No, it will take some time, and demand great effort. But you can do it.