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PhotobucketIn the Philippines, where the Christmas season qualifies as the longest in the world, the Yuletide is upon us again this early.

The onset of the Christmas season reminds me again of  Santa Claus, the world’s famous list-maker. By this time of the year, he must have finished making his annual list of who is naughty and who is nice.

List-making should not only be left to Santa.  Magicians in the Philippines like you and me should be doing it also. I have, but in some lackadaisical way, when I should be more purposeful and vigorous with this task.

PhotobucketIf you are like me, your magic show has become elaborate and grown bigger over the years.  That means you carry around a lot more stuff and lug around more props now than when you were still starting out.

More equipment to bring along to your shows means more brain bytes to use to keep tabs on all of them. If you don’t have a sharp memory, sooner than later you’ll leave props and tricks home. You will then have to improvise at the performance site once you discover you have not brought important things to use in the show.

That happened to me several times.  It causes aggravation, panic and hassle.  My remedy for poor memory is to make the following lists:

List of tricks to do. Most people call this the Program. It includes all the tricks I do in sequence. I put this list on top of my table, glance at it now and then, to make sure I don’t leave out routines or tricks.

PhotobucketMusic cue sheet.  In the past, when I still didn’t bring my spinner (or sound-man), this list saved me from a lot of troubles and aches. I just gave this list to whoever was controlling the music.  I then gave him a little explanation about the music I wanted played in particular spots of the show. In most cases the background music played with little miscues or none at all, specially if I happened to be working with a precocious sound technician.

Today, my assistant plays the music for me.  He stills uses the cue sheet, which comes in the form of the playlist of my IPod. This nifty musical device not only plays music on cue, it also prevents my assistant from getting lost in the shuffle, because it has easy-to-navigate menu and playlist.

Lighting cue sheet. If you need special lights for your floating effects, you may need to have this list to give to the technical people.  I don’t need special lighting except occasionally, so I don’t have good use for this sheet.

Introduction.  If you need to ask the MC to introduce you with your glowing credentials, you need to list everything you want included in your introduction.  I don’t want an elaborate introduction, so I do away with this list.

PhotobucketList of all props and equipment. This is important so that you will not leave important stuff behind, either when leaving home or leaving the venue after the performance.

This list also will save you time when performing at malls or hotels, where security will challenge everything you bring into and out of the premises. The guard on duty, apart from visually inspecting your equipment, will usually require you to fill out an ingress and egress (entrance, exit) passes, listing all the stuff you want in and out. If you already have pre-listed your equipment, all you need to do is attach the list instead of writing them down one by one at the security check.

Stay magical,