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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Bairefoot at SAM Dove Act Public Apology » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bairefoot
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Hello everyone. I want to thank everyone at SAM who helped me realize on how to handle a situation that happened to me for the first time ever with my doves. What I am talking about is my stage dove act in the competition. Here is what happened the first bird was produced the right way then it flew to the curtains. I stopped and picked it up and gave it a kiss as I placed it back on the prop. My next bird came shaking like it was going crazy and fell to the ground. I stopped and picked it up and placed it into the cage. I did this staying up with my music and tempo of my act (wrong thing to do). This is the first time my doves have ever done this. I am telling everyone this so that they know that my bird is doing fine. After the show I felt bad becuase I knew I can do better. But, what I found out was that poeple were saying that I miss treat my birds. My birds live in my house with me. I was called bird killer and bird murder on some of the people choice awards ballots. I love my birds. In the judges room they really chewed me out. But, I have learned from this experience. So in the future if this happens again I will get out of charter and slow down with my birds to make sure they are ok. I am sorry if anyone thinks that I missed treat my birds. Michael Bairefoot
Dave Scribner
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Michael, it always amazes me when people criticize a dove act for mishandling. When a magician drops a billiard ball or a silk, or an effect doesn't work quite right, everyone just says "oh he made a mistake" or "he drop a silk". Noone is ready to take the guy out to the nearest tree and lynch him for mishandling the billiard ball.

I did a show once and one of my birds actually fell out of the pocket onto the floor. I was fortunate that noone was carrying a gun I guess. Don't get too upset about the comments that some misguided individuals made. You're dealing with live animals that often have a will of their own. Just keep practicing and working on your confidence by not dwelling on this situation. It will most likely never happen again.

I wasn't there and can't judege on whether you should have changed the tempo or not. Music is an important factor in a dove act and unless you picked up the doves and threw them onto a prop or something, I think you were correct in continuing your act as planned.
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KyletheGreat
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I met you at the WInter carnival of magic (we met and hung out at the close-up lounge)...man you are a great man of close up!

As for you stage act in the competition, I thought you had it in the bag. During the pas two years at that convention, I have begun to believe that there was improper judging and that the worst talents won. I seem to remember you bird flying up to and landing on the light rail in that performance.

Anyways, Good luck!

I still think you should have won that competition though!
Kyle
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Ben Proudfoot
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Hey Michael,

I met you at CAM and thought your dove act was impeccable! Whether or not a few crackpots thing you don't handle your doves with upmost respect is ridiculous. If the knew you they'd know otherwise. Don't worry about it, and congratulations on your awards at CAM.

Ben Proudfoot
Ron Reid
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Hello Michael:

I was not at the SAM and have not seen your act, but it sounds like you've learned an important lesson concerning when the show must NOT go on - so, well done in learning that important lesson.

I'm curious, though. Is what you've described above all that really happened? I find it REAL HARD to believe that people would react so negatively to the situation, as you've described it. Perhaps, there was more to it - maybe something you're not even realizing.

I think people can get a general idea when a magician has little regard for his animals - maybe people were picking up on a general way you handled your doves. I wish I had seen your act so I could give you more specific feedback, but I can tell you this - if I was receiving feedback such as "bird murderer" I would really evaluate my overall approach with the doves.

There really are too many guys in this world who do treat their birds like they would a billiard ball or silk. I hope you're not one of them.

Sincerely,

Ron Reid
hugmagic
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Michael, I must concur with Ron. I do not see what the problem was in picking up the bird and putting it in the cage. As you know I have seen your dove act at least 4 times, and never saw anything that cuased me concern over your treatment of the birds. Possibly, you made a facial expression (which is easy to do) that gave the wrong impression to the audience.

Is there any chance you got a tape of the act that it could be checked out further.

Richard
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kregg
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The experience will thicken your skin to public criticism. Critique is one thing, but, name calling is childish on their behalf. Did you find out what was wrong with your birds?

Best Wishes,
Kregg
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puckmagic
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Hey Michael,

We just met at the past Florida State Convention and you seemed like a nice guy. I was working the SAM Centenial Convention In NYC when I had a bird fly off during the double. I stopped and as you did picked him up and placed him in the cage. This alone evoked a large ovation from the crowd. The comments afterwards were how considerate I was for stopping the action to care for my bird. I don't understand why things were different for you? I can only assume that you did this very hastily, and out of control. This will give the impression that you are mistreating the birds simply out of nervousness.

I hope that this experience stays with you in the future if something similar should happen again and it will.(LOL) Simply slowing down gives you the air of control. I had my act go down hill once at a magic convention earlier in my career in front of one of my magic idols, Mark Wilson. Mark said to me if it's going to happen be glad that it happened here. At the time I was devistated but later realized that it was in front of my peers who know performing and magic. They are much more understanding for if they are professionals it has certainly happened to them as well. Keep that in mind and you will be much more comfortable in front of magicians.

Puck
sperris
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Hey Michael,
We've known each other for years and I'll take your word for it. I've seen magicians get all wound up over the silliest things. I do know that you are still pretty new to dove magic and Im sure the inexperience in situations like this reflected in your performance. It will come with practice and performance, don't let it get you down. The real pro dove workers all have stories like this, it is bound to happen at some point. It has been my experience that it is the amature dove pan magicians who think they know what they're talking about to throw the first stone. You know your doves and they know you, its not like you produced them dead on live French television like one celebrated dove magician did early in his career, I'm sure some of you have a copy of the video too. Keep practicing and it will come. Practice doesn't make perfect, but it will make you better.
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JTW
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Quote:
Dave Scribner wrote: "Noone is ready to take the guy out to the nearest tree and lynch him for mishandling the billiard ball."


that's because the billiard ball isn't alive Dave. I'm not even sure how to respond to that sentence. I'm shocked.
Dave Scribner
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JTW, I think you're missing the point. Sorry if I mislead you. I'm just saying that noone cares is you drop a prop and the thought of mishandling it never enters their mind, but the least little thing that happens with a dove and they're ready to kill. I saw a magician last year actually back into his table spilling his dove pan and everything else on the floor. He dropped several items during his routine and the only comments heard from the audience were, "oh he's having a bad day". If one of his doves had flown to the floor, they would have had a different comment I'm sure.

Yes the birds are alive and audience members are oversympathetic sometimes. That's why we have so much trouble with Peta. If you've read my other posts in this forum, you'd see I'm probably one of the most caring people with my birds. I treat them just as Dan does with his. They're part of my family but once in awhile things happen that are beyond our control. That doesn't mean we mistreat our doves in any way.
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funny_gecko
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Same thing with dogs... sometimes your dog falls down the stairs etc... is only because you perform with the doves... it makes it seems they ar eprops... but they are not props. But I suggest thsat whatever bird was shaken don't be used in show for a while.. proabably just had a spasm after being in a small space.
JTW
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Quote:
I'm just saying that noone cares is you drop a prop and the thought of mishandling it never enters their mind, but the least little thing that happens with a dove and they're ready to kill.

I don't think you mislead me Dave because you repeated yourself. So I'll have to say it again, It's because the a Dove is a live animal. Using your example, if I drop a rope and step on it no one cares, if I drop a snake and step on it most people are going to be upset. Do you see the difference? If an audience percieves that you are causing harm to your animals you are. Their perception dictates their reality.

The way I see Michael's problem is that he continued the act. If one of my animals ever came out shaking like it was having a seizure you can be D$%$ sure the show is over. The animal and I are going to a vet to see what is wrong. I know it is hammered into our heads that the show must go on but there are exceptions and this situation in my mind is one of them.
Just my opinion of course.
funny_gecko
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I agree 110% with JTW... you have no idea what could be going on with that bird.. would it be worth the $ for the show to see ur bird go? no way!
Ross W
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Funny Gecko says "You have no idea what could be going on with that bird", yet in his previous post confidently states that "it probably had a spasm after being in a small space."

Hmm...a contradiction of sorts?
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Dave Scribner
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JTW, obviously my thought is not being communicated properly to you so we should drop the discussion at this point.

As for what Michael should have done, that's hard to tell since most of us did not see the act. What exactly was a "spasm". Birds can get over excited and if that was the case, it would not be unusual for it to lose it's balance and fall to the floor. What happened after he picked it up and put it in the cage? Did it settle down or continue the spasm? We don't know so it's hard to say what he should have done. He did say that the bird was doing fine now.

I think he fell into a situation this time. His first bird flew off, his next bird dropped to the floor. Yes this would create an impression on the audience. If only one incident had occurred, most audiences would have accepted it as a mistake.

Michael's original post was in reaction to the audience's perception of him. People can be cruel and it's possible that their written statements of "bird killer" etc weren't exactly what they were really trying to get across. He needs to remember that the the people's choice award comes from the audience. Many performers have a lot of supporters watching them and the comments made could very possibly have come from some of the those supporters in order to boost their choice. Competitions are a learning experience. Most of the replies here are trying to support him and make him feel better.
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sperris
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Well said Dave
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DaveWomach
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Hey Michael,

I wouldn’t let these people bother you. You obviously care about your birds, or you wouldn’t have posted a public apology. You’ll find that the people who will bring you down the most in this café, are the people who aren’t willing to post pictures of themselves or use their real names. In my opinion these people could quite possibly be nothing more than Dove Pan magicians, and there’s really no way of knowing. They are also the people who will take what you wrote, and change it around to possibly try to insult you.

The important thing is that you went out and did your best. You really can’t help it if you birds do something wrong. This doesn’t mean that you didn’t train your birds well, and it certainly does not mean that you mistreat your animals! People that can not understand that, quite honestly have not performed enough with birds, or other animals, to know what it’s like.

Just this past Sunday, my toucan flew off during one of his tricks. I cued the sound guy to cut the music. I went out into the audience and picked up the bird, and came back on stage. The audience could see that I cared for my bird. I pet it, placed him back on the prop, cued the music, and continued on with the show. Because of this, the audience saw I cared for my animals, and I received a standing ovation.

All professionals will tell you that this stuff happens on a semi-regular basis. Hopefully you can use the example of what I did to give you an idea of how to recover in the future. I understand how you may not be able to do that in a competition, but the most important thing is that you have learned, and you will now have many ideas of how to solve this in the future.

If I remember right, Dan Sperry got deducted points for kissing his bird on stage at IBM one year… You’ll never please everyone.

If I offended anyone, I apologize, but I am tired of these accusations continuously happening in the magic community.

Regards,
Dave Womach
JTW
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I'm guesing that your referring to Funny Gecko and myself Dave W concerning posting pictures of themselves. Truth is I don't feel like bothering with compressing a photo of myself to fit the Café standards. I can asssure you I do more than a dove pan on stage, which by the way should have no bearing on my opinion. The accusations that happen within the community are consistently leveled at the animal handlers. I think because for the most part the people doing these shows have no education in animal husbandry or training animals. Every pro will tell you these things happen. The difference is what you do when the situation arises. I have had Rats bail off of running a hemp rope during a show. An abysinian ground hornbill was coming onto stage and I had to pick up the Aby and crate him in order to save a rat. I have nixed a hawk flight for the same reason. My show suffered but an animal lived. THAT gentleman is the crux here. We are potentially harming animals for the sake of a show and that is where I call foul (no pun intended, well maybe a bit)

Dave Scribner, yes you are failing to make your point. I would be glad to drop the proceeding back and forth arguments.
Johnnie Blaze
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JTW you have your opinion you stated it. This is the type of posting that makes me not want to use animals in shows. You can properly sanitize a cage , and provide an adequate diet, attending facilities like teaching or animal training zoo's, but that does not make you a good handler. I understand I have stated the obvious here. Dave gives a lot of valuable advice here I for one like to read his opinion. You coulc learn from him, but instead you do this ??????
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