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Topic: Producing them a-flappin
Message: Posted by: DJ Trix (Oct 28, 2003 10:21PM)
Hey guys,

I know this might seem stupid to most but please understand, I just got my birds months ago and they finally are understanding their bags and harnesses. My question is, when the bag is opened the bird just walks out of it and pirches on my hand. How do I get the bird to come out flapping? If I had my hand at a 45 degree angle and then as he walked out I turned it palm towards my stomach, whould that work? What do you guys do, and some methods you have heard of to do this?

Also how do you get your bird to flap once it is produced, I know Tony Clarck turns his hand and the bird flaps but is there anything where the hand does not move???

Also, I am concerned about the placement of the pockets in my jacket. I have General Grants pockets and I have them quite far back in my coat so there is no flashes of the bird in the jacket for those on a bad angle. I have it about 3 or 4 inches from the opening of the coat and when I wear the coat it is open about 2 inches (2 inches of my shirt showing). It seems to be ok but when I produce I have to remove the bird right against my chest then out for the last third of the bird (is this right?).

And how do you get your production to not land with a thud? Does stealing him at an angle work, like 45 degrees?

Thanks again all,

Message: Posted by: sperris (Oct 29, 2003 10:11AM)
The best advice I can give you is to just work them out with your hand and as they are crawling out lift up some of your fingers so the dove will feel slightly off balance. This will help to make them flap their wings a little more.

Sperris :stare:
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (Oct 29, 2003 12:54PM)
Let's take the easy one first. A trick not alot of performers know about is that when the bird is just about out of the harness or sitting on your finger, if you move your thumb slightly up the back of it's leg, 9 times out of 10, it will flap it's wings. Also, as you're producing the bird, drop your hands just a little after the wings clear the bag and it will flap it's wings.

For placement of the pockets, and this is just a preference regardless of what type of pockets you are using, 4 inches is too far back. Mine are set back just 2 inches. The bird should be entirely inside the pocket which will prevent flashing especially since you say you only have your jacket open 2 inches. You should be able to pull the harness out all the way in one smooth move.

With the pockets so far back, it sounds like your line is too long. To get the proper length, lay your silk down on a table. Place the harness or holder in the center of the silk. The line and loop should end at the corner of the silk. This will give you the proper length and let you pull the bird out with a single motion directly into your hand. There are exceptions to this but it is a good rule of thumb.

I'm not sure what you mean about the production landing with a thud. The bird should slide out of the pocket directly into your waiting hand.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Dec 29, 2003 11:40AM)
Photographers ask me how we make them flap too! (I don't tell them.) My method is hardly brain surgery. On cue, I just drop the birds a little (less than two inches) but NEVER lose contact with their feet. Both you and your birds will learn the timing there. If you hold their feet, they will fight you. If you take the contact away, they might fly. Timing is everything. In two weeks, you will both have ESP (That's an Extra Spectacular Production).

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Message: Posted by: glodmagic (Jan 1, 2004 09:26PM)
Also transferring them from one hand to another with a finger under the belly will do the trick.

It's a little hard to explain but simple to do. If the bird thinks you are slighly releasing it the instinct will be to prepare for flight....but not too much. If you are concerned it will start to take off, simply place the other hand on the back and gently contact the wings to stop the movement.
Message: Posted by: Bob Sanders (Jan 5, 2004 02:02AM)

The second part I ignored answering. However, I'm not sure it isn't the more important of the two questions. Your coat pockets don't sound very ready for use. Body loading requires a boldness that does give a lot of magicians problems. Pockets that stand zero chance of ever being seen won't make your act very easy to perform.

Everyone is different. (Thank God!) In my case, the pockets are very forward but deep. (Remember I'm the guy who leaves doves' tails and wings like they are in the picture. Deep is a basic requirement.) Unless I bend forward there is nothing to see. If you watched my long show you would catch on to the fact that sometimes I bend forward and sometimes I essentially squat down to do things. (Part of it just because the old cowboy's knees hurt.) The given reason is because I am loaded or unloaded. Once unloaded I protect my knees and bend. Unless you try it you will never believe that a bird deep in the pocket is no more trouble to produce than one up front. Mother Nature will prove that to you when you lean over too far and dump one out.

What it does change is the loop distance. The longer the loop the larger cover (silk) that will be required. Dave gave you the measurement you need to make. That is that the hanging load should be at the widest part of the cover. This can be confusing because a high load will take a smaller silk than a lower load. If you will number or letter or mark your harnesses in some way that will allow you to always "draw" them from the same pocket, you will only have to adjust them once. Two inches difference is too much difference. Take the adjustments very seriously.

Many years ago (in a far away land), George Schindler was kind enough to teach me how to use a new prop on the market, THIS. We both did magic for organizations that sold bottled beverages. George did magic for the WineGrowers of New York State and I did magic for a company out west that bottled a refreshment made from mountain spring water for cowboys. THIS allowed us to show three different single silks and then reach into the silks and get a large full bottle of our clients' product. The gimmick itself with the weight of the bottle caused the widest part to be about four inches below the real center of the 24' silks. This added distance allowed me to produce and extra dove much lower than usual because of the long cover. I could use a much lower pocket than usual. So I could show the separate silks, produce a dove and then immediately produce a bottle of product. However, that harness loop measured for that effect could not be used elsewhere. The loop was way too long and my arms were also too short. The moral of this story is that, if you do a lot of dove magic, you need a lot of harnesses that match the pocket from which it is "drawn" and the size of the cover available. Otherwise, you will spend more time making adjustments than producing doves for an audience. The loop adjustment is usually very critical. Don't forget that coming from different sides of the body also change distances.

This may explain why dove magicians are least likely to change a good routine. One of the things that I felt like was just honest about Pete Peterson's Dove Harnesses is that the wire came in a roll. There was no way to use the prop without having an opportunity to properly adjust the distance. If the loop is already on the harness, odds are it is adjusted incorrectly for your application. Adjust it for its application. Perhaps the rule for body loaded magic is "Keep your distance."

Good luck with your dove magic. We hope it works as well for you as it has for others.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander