Monday, December 6, 2010

The Expendables

The average magic act has expendables coming out the wazoo. Things like mouth coils, flash paper, rope, cards, confetti, paper pads, fruit, hat tears, newspaper, sharpies, pens, pencils, (bent) cutlery, milk, paper cones, wax, lunch bags, snowstorms, etc. are all expendable items that take their toll on the environment and our pocket books.

In my attempt to 'go green' I have had to rethink the necessity of some of the expendables in my act. The recession has also been another factor in reconsidering the investment in things that will be inevitably be trashed after a single performance.

Question your expendables:
1. Can this thing be reused?
2. Can this expendable be replaced with a reusable?
3. Do I need to continue to perform this effect/routine?

Be honest and ask yourself if you want add anything to your act that has an expendable involved? Is it cost effective? Is it good to the world we share? Is it sending a good message to our audiences and clients?

Consider the expendables.


  1. I know if my show involves expendables, I add them into my show cost. My expendables cost me about $4 a show. If were really worried about the green factor for our shows, we would not drive or fly to our engagements because according to the "experts" that would damage the environment more. I believe the only green the "green movement" is about is money. I don't think this is going to change the way I perform.

  2. Interesting perspective, and I agree that if your expendables cost you $4 per show, that's beyond reasonable. For me it's less about what someone has told me to do, and more about what I feel as a performer, person and individual. I agree that the 'green movement' is monetarily motivated but I feel that there is some merit in considering our expendables as performers. Even it is only about the expense alone.

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  4. If it adds to the entertainment value of the show it becomes a win, win situation. At least in the US, it's a tax exemption for us and a more enjoyable experience for the audience. Especially if it's something that gets into the hands of a spectator to keep.

  5. Bill, I don't know if these comments are going in the direction you expected, but I suspect I must be a bit less jaded '8) I do care about expendables and I can say for my own concern, MY green movement is not financially driven. As long as people keep worrying about who is making money from 'green' they will never really care about what a unified population could do for the future. With an increasing poplulation and a gargantually increasing amount of junk cast aside by each of us, how can we refuse to believe there is a problem? Okay, if you don't believe in the green movement you can at least feel responsible for your own 'stuff.' In answer to your question Bill, I do care about expendables and I do try to use things in my magic that are reuseable. I don't use much in the way of disposables in my magic. Thanks for caring Bill!

  6. not going to use throw away lines anymore and I am recycling Bill's old jokes...

    As for saving the world, I think the world is just fine without us... the quicker we destroy it for human habitation the better off the world will be.

  7. If I could re-use snow storms I would. But this is one expendable that is just too valuable to my show.