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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Do you use Rabbits in your Shows? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Dennis Michael
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Inner circle
Southern, NJ
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I am surprised no one has mentioned using rabbits in their act.



Do you use Rabbits? If not, why not?



Smile Smile







_________________

Dennis Dowhy (800) 927-6671

www.Magic-Magic.com

[email]DennisDowhy@magic-magic.com[/email]
Dennis Michael
Magicduck
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Washington State
484 Posts

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I have used at least one rabbit in my show for the past 25 years. They are easy to use, cooperate well. Rabbits are quiet and like tight, dark places so they are naturals for magic apparatus. The biggest hassle is just keeping them in a cage or hutch. My rabbits live in hutches in the back yard. They are not much trouble but require cleaning and feeding in the worst weather too.



quack
malini
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One of the more difficult problems is getting your rabbit to an event, (especially if you're a birthday party magician) without giving away the secret that you will produce a rabbit!! You have to either take it in a covered carrying pet case or an non-suspicious looking box, then you have to load the rabbit into whatever you'll produce it from.

Very hard work Smile
Kenz Krazy
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Kent in the U.K
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Malini, I think you are right in what you say. Smile
Magicduck
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Washington State
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I have never found it a problem to produce a rabbit, and surprise them. Same with the duck. Now my big dog, she can be a bit difficult to get in without someone noticing, but I have managed that too.



For the rabbit and duck I just built two square box carrying cases out of plywood. They have air holes at the top and latch. They have handles. Other than that they are not remarkable. I keep the rabbit or duck in this case in my vehicle and setup the rest of the show. A few minutes before the show I get the rabbit loaded in his prod box, which is comfortable for him, and bring him in. Then I get the duck ready in a bucket or other device. Both carrying cases are also brought in.



I produce the duck right away as he is not in as spacious a quarters. After they are produced, unless I do a vanish, I put them both back in the carrying cases.



I have never had a problem with it being telegraphed that the animals were there at either stage/platform shows or living rooms. On stage of course it is easier. Just bring everything in and load the animal in the wings.



PS.. the hardest part about a rabbit is taking care of it and cleaning it's cage.

It is best if it can live in a hutch outside so you have it live in the right place, unless it lives in a box in your house. Rabbits like to chew, on electric wires and furniture, so this is something you need to really consider, especially if you are a teen with parents watching over you.



quack
Joe
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Sunny UK
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I use a Netherland Dwarf but he's always complaining about the pay! But seriously though, I use the rabbit in all my kids shows and he's worth his weight in gold.

I keep him indoors (they are supposed to live longer that way) in a large plastic based cage with metal bars above. He is litter trained which makes cleaning very easy and gets to run around my magic room but I had to make it chew proof first. I think the hardest part is finding one that will sit still and quiet in the prod box, and keeping him a secret when transfering him from carry case to box (done in the back of my car)

Joe Smile
Magicduck
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Washington State
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Joe,



I make all my own livestock production items. I do not know what you use, but here is a tip that may apply. In the load chamber I always attach a piece of cardboard on the wooden floor and then put fabric, usually felt, over that. I put fabric on the sides as well. This insulation from toe nails on wood really helps if the animal moves about. The only downside is if the rabbit has an accident, which I have always been able to wash off adequately although it is not as easy to clean as solid wood.



The other key....rabbits like tight, dark and quiet places, so the tighter the load space, within reason, the better it suits the rabbit and the magician.

quack
Joe
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Sunny UK
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Thanks for the info Duck

I have been lucky myself, I have a very well behaved rabbit in all respects. He comes from a family of performing rabbits so it must be in his blood. But I know people who have tried and given up for the above reasons so your idea may solve this.

Joe

Smile
Kenz Krazy
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Kent in the U.K
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What type of rabbit is best is it the Netherland Dwarf.
Joe
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Sunny UK
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I have read a couple of books that say they make good pets for children and they're not the aggressive type. Plus they don't grow very big and look really cute. There are lots of breeds to choose from but the Netherland Dwarf is the only one I know a bit about.

Joe Smile
Magicduck
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The Netherland dwarf is a good magic choice. Many of the dealer items, made for rabbits, are made for this type of small rabbit. Just like many of the duck items are made for a smaller duck...typically the Indian Runner.



If you make your own props you can use a bigger rabbit, but they eat more and take more space. My current rabbit is about the size of a cat, probably 8-10 pounds.



The dutch is a good breed, that is a bit bigger than the dwarf. They come in chocolate and gray...pretty kind of like a jersey cow.



One factor to take into account: get a rabbit that will showup. I am not crazy about rabbits that are white with pink eyes, but they do show up. I have one black rabbit, and I only have one production box where I can use him...it is a cage. Anything that uses black art is out, because a very black rabbit coming from the darkness just does not cut it. It almost telegraphs the method actually...this is not true with a white rabbit. So think about size and color, because rabbits come in almost every color, from redish to black, white and most in between.



quack
p.b.jones
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Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
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Hi,

An expert will tell you that a Netherland Dwarf is not the best rabbit to buy for a child or as a house rabbit (but for magic they're great - I have 3 Oscar, Jasper and Frodo).

The reasons for not being the best are as follows:

  • Because they are small they are easier to injure by accident.



  • They are more active than say a lop or bigger rabbit and need more exercise.



  • Because they're livelier they're more likely to be dropped and badly/fatally hurt.







some tips:



  • Rabbits do not like slippery surfaces this makes them scratch and dig to get a grip.



  • If you are removing your rabbit from a carrier with a door at one end remove him bum first then he won't kick and scramble.



  • If you handle him every day for just 10 mins or so you will not have problems in handling. 10 mins a day is better than 20 or 30 mins twice a week or similar.



  • When you aproach your rabbit to pick him up do not approach his face first, to allow him to smell you as you might a cat or dog,

    they do not like things in front of their face. Their vision is not terrific close up and they tend to pounce and claw/bite anything moving quickly in the area to identify it.






:dancing: Smile
Magicduck
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That all sounds like good advice. Also, I have had, over more than 20 years, a number of different rabbits. Of the ones I had, the Netherland Dwarf was the shortest lived. As an average my rabbits live about 8 years. The one I have now is over ten. The Netherland, and it might have been a fluke, only lived about 4 as I recall. Since he was a pound resuce I suppose he could have been older when I got him, but I doubt it. I think he was a turned back Easter pet.He was great when I had him. I have a whole set of effects I have not used in years, because all my other bunnies are too big for the stuff I used him in.



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vovin
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Columbus,Oh
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I think magic is steering away from doves and rabbits.
malini
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No way!!!

At my kids parties the big reaction always comes from the production of my Rabbit - it usually draws clapping too which doesn't happen that often at the kids parties.

Producing animals like doves is great too, because they are sooo unexpected. You can get MANY repeat bookings by using animals in your show.
Dennis Michael
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Southern, NJ
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Rabbits and Doves will be around for a long time! What will not be is those who copy others acts with doves.



Rabbits are WORK in upkeep and many do not like that part of it! Birds are subject to many things that could kill them. I painted my house and a day later, I brought the birds back in. Opps, to soon!

Smile





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Dennis Dowhy (800) 927-6671

www.Magic-Magic.com

[email]DennisDowhy@magic-magic.com[/email]
Dennis Michael
Dave Lewis
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Anaheim, California
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The first rabbit I got was back in 1971. I had him for nine years until I gave him to a breeder so he could use his unbelieveably over-active rabbit libido on something other than my arm or leg!



My current assistant Max, a white Netherland dwarf with black around his eyes (like Max Maven) is a great little performer. He travels in a catalog case until we arrive at the venue. I carry my trunk, stand and case into the house, set up the regular show, and load Max into the mirror box as the last step. He stays there for 25 to 30 minutes until he makes his appearance as the last effect of the show.



He lives in my garage, where no cars are parked, in a rabbit hutch made of wood. He poops like crazy and leaks in such a way that the urine drips down one of the legs of the hutch. I'm in the process of designing and building a new home for Max and my two doves, where the wee-wee stays in the catch tub and not on the floor.



The rabbit is very easy to care for. He eats rabbit pellets, alfalfa hay and dried corn on the cob. His water bottle is always full and that's it, except for emptying the tub and re-lining it with newspaper. I pick him up by cradling his whole rear end in both hands so he cannot move and struggle with his hind legs. He feels secure and doesn't move. He does NOT like to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck the way his Mom carried him. He must have issues with her.



I use a human nail clipper to trim his nails, which is easy due to his being white -- you can see right through the clear nails.



The kids LOVE to see Max arrive and thrill to being able to touch him and tell me about the rabbits THEY have at home. He's well worth the minimal work it takes to keep him fed and happy!



Dave Smile
funmagic
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Patrick Cordier
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As a Professional Magician working Schools, Libraries,Birthday Parties as well as Shopping Centres I use both Doves and Rabbits and firmly believe that they are essential if you wish to make a name for yourself, however, in my experience you should NEVER vanish an animal without producing it later in your programme or 'Turning' it into another animal...for example turning a Black Rabbit into a White Rabbit or Rabbit into a Dove etc etc.

I have also made it a point to save the production of a Rabbit for the end of my performance as once it appears the children are only interested in getting close enough to pat the Bunny. In the case of my Dove production, I do this about the middle of my

performance.
kingsnqueens
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Oklahoma
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Hi,

I just got back from Magi-Fest where I saw some great work with doves & rabbits.

If magician's are moving a way from using these wonderful assistants they are missing out.

The non magician audience still sighs, and chuckle when these little stars are produced.

Should all magician's use live stock? NO, No,no! An audience can tell if the performer, and thier critter's love, and repect one another. If they don't the audience will let them know.

I recently saw a young magician produce a bird with an invisable harness. The poor dove had no idea what was going on, and helplessly flapped around as it hung from the young lady's thumb by a string as she tried to yoyo it back on to her hand.

At the same show I saw a pro who borrowed a couple birds for the show. He rehearsed with them for a couple days, and performed beautiful magic with them.

Point: If you don't really like animals, Don't use them.

If you do like animals, try it out. Just don't put them in the act until you, and they feel comfortable with what your asking of them.

Well that's my opinion on the subject. Watch your angles, and make MAGIC!

Manyfingers
Beaudini Magic
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Ohio
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All audiences love animals. I am just about to get a rabbit, and my kids show kids love my doves. I dont believe that animals are going out at all. On the other hand i do believe that you have got to be creative with them.
-Beau Alexander
"Make the Path, Others will Follow"
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