Packing Small and Playing Big!!

I love the fact and I am very lucky that I can earn my living doing something I genuinely love doing. I’ve had some naff jobs in my time growing up so to be a Pro Magician is great!

No matter how much you love your job though, there are always some parts that you like more than others.

I love the performing side of things, the meeting people, the places I get to see and the travelling side of my job but not so much the ‘to-ing and fro-ing’ from the airport and living out of a suitcase – and this is something I have learned to dislike quite a bit!

When I get contracted for a gig on a cruise ship, it all sounds wonderful on paper, and it is once you are onboard……but getting there and being onboard though is quite a different story altogether!

My plane ticket always allows me to fly with 2 suitcases as well as my hand luggage. Sounds like a lot if all you have to take is some summer clothes and sun tan lotion, but I don’t have that luxury.

Well, I’m usually on a ship for around 3-5 days at a time and have to perform 2×45 minute magic shows twice (that’s 4 shows if you’re as bad as maths as me), so 2 cases is very limiting indeed and you need to pack strategically to get in everything you’re going to need – you need to Pack small and Play Big.

I recently worked on the Adventure of the Seas for Royal Caribbean, check this bad boy out .

I had heard about the size of the stage I had to perform on, a 1700 seater – that gives the Hammersmith Apollo an run for it’s money, now that’s a big stage and all I had was 2 cases??!?!?

Well, with a stage like that you get lots of technology with it so the wifi, screens and projectors help to fill the space somewhat with my camera pointing straight down on my hands for some powerful Close Up Magic. The lighting rig, video effects and sound play a big part too, so good solid cue sheets are essential.

I pack whatever illusions I can into my case for some well rehearsed appearances…… of them being a bowling ball! Yep, a bowling ball, the lightest I could find was 6kgs so that’s a chunk of my flight allowance taken up already. I previously learned (rather embarrassingly in a security check) that bowling balls can’t be in your hand luggage stowed above other passengers heads, so that’s not an option anymore, in the case it goes!

Another trick I perform uses a Samurai sword that I have to take with me. It gets worse doesn’t it?! But surprisingly, this has never been an issue in an airport as it’s always in my checked luggage. That is until I arrive at the port Terminal, the local customs officials right before I can walk up the gangway of the ship I’m joining. These can be hit or miss, but the Port Terminals in Spain though, now they really go for it, this time took forever!!!

I had to get it out, (the sword that is) and prove it was a prop, not sharp at all. I am made to stand to the side so everyone can see this new guy joining the ship and the entire contents of his luggage splayed out on a table, and if you were to see inside one of my cases when I travel to do a Magic gig, it does look rather odd I can tell you. Then after they get it and some translation is done, the security of the ship I’m joining comes down and says that they are expecting me, and that they have to confiscate the sword so I can have it only right before my show only to be taken away from me right after!

It’s a nightmare! Is it worth it, well, yes, it’s a good routine that gets a good laugh so it kind of is and surprisingly easier to explain to customs than 3 dead doves and 2 horny rabbits – only kidding!

It’s not often that bad, but it does happen now and then. I do like to put on a solid and professional show and it’s those details that really make it and gets those laughs, so it’s always worth it.

Right well I had better sign off this blog and get back to my packing as I have taken a job onboard the Oceana, I must be a glutton for punishment…..Barcelona here I come!

If you would like a Magician to perform some incredibly visual and fun Close Up Magic at an event for your guests, please do contact me here, call Adam on 07901777418 or email for a quick response.

Follow me on Twitter @Adamheppy

#packsmallplaybig #londonmagician #closeupmagic

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