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Tony James
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One thing which is personal to me but may help you. I do find it less easy to bring to life a picture card.

A flat cut out is much easier. You can move it and if not bring to life as you can a puppet, at least you can provide it with some limited animation.


Try it in a mirror, look at it, talk to it, react to it and imagine it as a puppet and react accordingly. You will make more reaction movements than the cut out but it will work. Or it should do.

It does for me and you know when the audience is hooked. Be careful not to do this and then put the thing on a stand and treat it as what it is - a prop.

Continue to work it, believe in it and it will appear to come to life - at least for the brief few minutes you are doing the effect.
Tony James

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mcharisse
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I have a live rabbit for kids show for many years. On those occasions I won't be using a rabbit, I don't use props with pictures of rabbits either way as not to raise expectations. For many children the rabbit is emblematic of magic and they expect it, I believe -- the trick is secondary here -- you could bring him out in a brown paper bag and it would still be the climax of the show...
Smarty Pants
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Mcharisse:

Are you Scottish? Your name intrigues me.
chris mcbrien
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I have a rabbit, but only use him when I wish...not every show.
He's a wonderful little creature, and we consider him a pet. However, it can be difficult to deal with him when staying overnight in a hotel room and he starts "foraging" in his cage and you have a hard time sleeping in hotels as it is....and I couldn't bring myself to simply leave him in the car outside.
Chris
Tony James
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When I was touring a rabbit I had a big barn roofed carrying case. The real thing like the rabbit breeders use only big. Over three feet long. Would have held a Californian breed with room to spare let alone my little Netherland Dwarf.

There was a small compartment at one end for on the road travel. In hotels I pulled up the slide out panel and so the bun had the whole three feet to call home. And I'd let him out in the room for exercise. Just watch for electric cables.

Once out they'll run around but don't try and catch the bun. You won't do it. they are quick! Gently move it back towards the box and provided it's used to it, the bun will jump back in. It's home and safe.

The carrier was too big for the car boot - had to travel on the back seat and I was bothered about someone breaking in, not knowing what it was. My old mate Billy McComb came up with a little cracker of a solution.

Fix a big printed sign on the top saying 'Danger - Snakes'.

No one' Billy said 'Will go anywhere near it.'

And do you know, he was right. Caused hell up in one hotel though during an IBM Convention when one of the hotel staff went into my room, saw the box, read the sign, heard the rabbit move inside and went screaming off up the corridor.

Nearly got slung out of there!
Tony James

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chris mcbrien
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...that's a great post, Tony!
Great solution(s), problem is, my rabbit likes to sing Frank Sinatra tunes and rehearses for Riverdance every night....
;)
Tony James
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Put the rabbit in a pie and get another.
Tony James

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Smarty Pants
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-Great solution(s), problem is, my rabbit likes to sing Frank Sinatra tunes-

Great Chris! Just so long as he does not decide to appear prematurely from your production box in the middle of a show singing "I did it my way!"
Bill Scarlett
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Quote:
On 2007-02-05 18:51, chris mcbrien wrote:
...that's a great post, Tony!
Great solution(s), problem is, my rabbit likes to sing Frank Sinatra tunes and rehearses for Riverdance every night....
;)


At least your rabbit has great taste in music!
Rupert Bair
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I love using the rabbit during the show....

I produce it near the end of the show with the b'day child

and then pictures time...

Then the rabbit sits on the roll on while the children line up to stroke the rabbit whilst having a chat and I make them a balloon model.

It works brilliantly.

Matt
Habu
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I had what I believe was called a California Giant or Californian, something like that. 30 years ago...I only got to use him in about 15 or so shows. A tour in the Air Force made me decide he was better off at a friends home.

Until the time I left for the military he was a wonderful part of the show. He was presented toward the end of the show being loaded just before the production. The loading was done by my assistant. He (rabbit, not assistant) was not trained or did anything special. (Come to think of it my assistant didn't do that much either, good thing we were married I guess) I also used a spring skunk that was extremely lifelike and even got gasps from parents...I would say "it's OK, he's fixed." But the live rabbit the children could see moving around and would have a chance to pet was a great treat for the kids.

In most cases I could tell the children that he had to take a nap for a while before they could see him again (time for a vanish) and the children were no problem.

I think I replied to the pertinent questions in the original thread.

For those of you who use live rabbits, what breed do you prefer and why?

I am wondering if you prefer larger rabbits or smaller more "manageable" size rabbits.

I plan to adopt a new friend in a few months and want to make an educated decision.
www.magicbyhabu.com
Real name: Rick Jackson
Habu: Taken from SR-71 spy plane I worked on. It's name came from a poisonous snake on Okinawa. Hope my magic isn't poisonous!
Regan
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Rick,

I use and love Netherland Dwarf bunnies. I currently have 3 males: A Blue-Eyed White, a Himalayan, and a Smoke Pearl Marten.

Regan
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Tony James
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Regan

I've always found bucks handle consistently easier than does. Do you find the same?

The Himalayans are delightful though occasionally one gets an untrustworthy one. I think these ahve a little too much Polish in them at some point. The Polish can be nasty.
The smoke pearl martens are lovely. You got a good breeder somewhere to supply you?
Tony James

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Regan
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Tony,

I do prefer bucks. I only owned one Netherland doe, and she was not good to handle. She was a little moody to say the least. I have found 2 excellent breeders. One (the best one) is pretty far away from me but I trust him and he will bring various bunnies to show me on his way to shows and such. All I have to do is call and tell him what I want. We try to meet in the middle somewhere. I got my Himalayan and the Smoke Pearl Marten from him.

The Himalayan is the best bunny I have owned. I already had the Blue-Eyed White as a main magic bunny, and I wanted another as a backup, so to speak. Well, it didn't take long until the Himalayan was my main magic show partner. He seems to know when it's showtime. I paid a little more for him than any other rabbit I have ever bought, but I'm glad I got him. He is a show bunny with a tattooed ear. He is not a top-quality show bunny, but I was told he would be great for kids to show. His markings are slightly light in color for him to be a top-quality show bunny. I love him!!!

Regan
Mister Mystery
Smarty Pants
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I am new to this. What is the average life-span of a rabbit, and at what age should they be before they are used in a show?
Tony James
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Regan

There's all sorts of fine reasons why they don't make the rabbit show grade - colour quite not right, position of or extent of markings plus size of the beast of course.

I have found that the Hims (and also over here some Dutch marked) dwarfs brilliant for switches. It's surprising how much more impact there is with a coloured rabbit. I suppose a white rabbit is a white rabbit but matched markings add impact to the vanish/production sequence.

I've always believed that with children it's fine to vanish the beast provided you bring it back.

Smartie Pants.

I've started using them around four months old having handled them daily prior to this. Age duration is something you can only guess at.

8 or 10 years is excellent for dwarfs. I had a rabbit called Flannigan who was as big as corgi dog - the sort the Queen keeps. Thumping great big thing he was and he lasted nearly 12 years with me and he was already somewhere between 3 and 4 when I got him. That's very unusual.

If they can keep dry and not too cold they can last a long time. Damp is their enemy and of course draught. It's not always obvious to us that there is a draught affecting an animal.

Rabbits do best in a hutch where they have a place to hide where draughts cannot reach. Like a box within. They thrive in a clean, dry ventilated confined space though when the weather is good they like the great outdoors, too provided they can get back to the safety of their hutch.
Tony James

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Bill Scarlett
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I had a cute little Netherland Dwarf, but the darn thing peed all over my circus box and bit me, chewed my furniture and left little pellets all over the place. Add that to the fact that most moms in this part of the US are animal rights people and get sad upon seeing a live rabbit and I gave away that little rabbit to a good home.
Tony James
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Bill

Peeing is something an uncomfortable rabbit will do. They usually settle. Did the Netherland Dwarf have a narrower face than the norm? Usually a sign of Polish in the blood and they are often nasty biters. They'll jump to bite.
Tony James

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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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One of the most unusual photos I have saved related to magic shows a huge rabbit held in someones arms. At first I thought it was a hoax, but have been told other wise.

Seems as historically I have heard of something to do with fertility as the start of the production. This morning I started a thread asking about spring rabbit puppets. No response so far. When I was on the west coast I used assorted birds, but only used them for a short time when I returned to the midwest in about 84.

Seems as if a lecturer suggested a rabbit as a draw to his street routines.
A parallel question would be are some kid show performers using things like tarantulas (sic), snakes or other more non traditional animals.

Although I do go occassionally to lectures and conventions, I find going to theatre, improv, small gatherings for brainstorming, and even other types of entertainers such as drummers and other musicians.... valueable learning tools.(at least for this nearly normal guy.

Harris (still growing, glowing and learning) Deutsch
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Tony James
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Weren't there also cats that went ferlump in peoples arms? Some congenital defect I think. Sounded awful.

You can buy dead, stuffed cats which breath and move. Some internal elctronics work the thing. Look reasonable. People buy them. Have you thought of using one of those in your show?

If you cut the tailshort and made it into two long ears it could pass as a rabbit, if you handled it with skill.

And afterwards you just sling in the bag till next time.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
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