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chris mcbrien
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Profile of chris mcbrien

Hey, if it works with your character and you are presenting it in a way that works, go for it! I just don't personally want to do it for my own reasons that I stated above. As they say, there are all kinds of art...I respect yours as much as my own. Just a personal opinion. Heck, I do Hippity Hop Rabbits! Many magicians can't believe I still use them...but guess what..for my character and the place it has in my show, and for the way I play off it, people literally call me up and ask "can you please bring your rabbit trick again?".
As I said, if you've got a way to work it out, go for it and break a leg!
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Profile of KyletheGreat

I also use the Hippity Hop Rabbits, and other magicians have said the same to me about not being able to believe I still use them...

That is awesome...

You are the only other person I have heard of besides a few others that still use them besides me!!
Kyle Jarrard
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James Munton
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Dallas, TX
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Profile of James Munton

I think you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned character. Many magicians can pull it off in a cartoon-style comic way without ever upsetting a child. Kids know that cartoons aren't real because of the funny characters. Now, Max Maven doing an arm chopper at a birthday party would be a truly scary thing!

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Profile of GetMental64
A very old thread... and here is my take: when I did kids shows I would never do an arm chopper or anything alike for the aforementioned reasons.

BUT... now I just put together a short Halloween show for my son and his class (about twenty 9/10 year old kids) and I am going to show a French Arm Chopper using their TEACHER (I am a Middle/High School teacher myself).

Even on Halloween I would never use a chopper on a KID, but I would use it on an adult person in a Halloween show, where I think it is an acceptable and appropriate trick.

Nevertheless, I would advise parents with very young kids not to attend mine or anyone`s Halloween show, since the subject matter is really not for young kids anyhow. They can do trick and treating and have fun wearing a costum, but a Halloween show by definition is a scary and bloody affair...

Just my 10 cents.
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Profile of RNK
As many here stated- I agree that it's a character thing as to whether or not to perform this for kids. I use a double wrist chopper in majority of my shows for kids starting at age 7 or 8 and everyone truly enjoys it. It's a solid piece in my show that is super funny and intense at the last moment before the blade is thrust thru their wrists!
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Profile of Julie
We used U.F. Grant's/MAK's(?) "chopper" for kids. it was called SAFARI. This is a cartoonish and colorful relatively large prop made with a tiger design. The holes for the child's arm are represented by a tiger's mouth. 'Not scary at all and very safe for the child.

We had a fail-safe built into our pre-show contact with the sponsor or parents...we'd ask them to recommend a well-behaved girl to help with a special trick. We always pre-selected a girl because girls are generally better behaved and more cooperative than boys, at least initially.

Additionally, before the show we would meet the girl and explain exactly what was going to happen. Then we would invite her behind the backdrop to run through a very simple and non-threatening dress rehearsal. At this point we told her she would receive a magic gift as a thank-you for helping out with the show. Never had a problem and no one got hurt!
Donald Dunphy
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Victoria, BC, Canada
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I once owned a MAK "Safari" prop. I'm sure they are harder to find nowadays.

The good news is that Smoky Mountain Magic now makes a similar prop, and the bonus is that it has interchangeable themes.

Dan Wolfe calls his a "Wrist Chopper", but it uses a chopper panel with a hole, like Safari.

Themes listed on the website are: Shark, Alien, Dino-Dragon, Frankenstein, Steampunk, Tiger, Wolf, Wood-look Panel, & Yeti.

When I saw the photo of the Tiger version, I was instantly reminded of "Safari".

- Donald
Donald Dunphy is a Victoria Magician, British Columbia, Canada.
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Profile of jimhlou
Wolf’s Wolf chopper. I use it quite frequently. Not very threatening and goes over really well
Clinton W. Gray
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Profile of Clinton W. Gray
Thanks for the advice, Bill. I saw some guy get on Penn & Teller Fool Us with that Disecto prop. Maybe it's good enough for my show?

On Nov 30, 2003, Bilwonder wrote:
If Disecto is used correctly, no one should get cut. There is supposed to be a "locking" device that holds the spectators wrist out of harms way. I have noticed some versions lacking this lock, perhaps so a "fatter" wrist could fit in (it does take a narrow wrist).

I have also found that this version is more effective if done SLOWLY, as if slicing throught thick baloney. Besides being more effective, it is SAFER, as you can make any adjustment if something is wrong.

As for preferences in choppers, I've had many and each fits a different style of performance. The French Arm Chopper takes up a lot more space, is more "angley," and requires more managment of the spectator, but I use it at repeat gigs.

The "classic" Choppers such as those from India work well and give a nice "slam" climax. I like the ones that open so you can remove and show the blade. It seems to set it apart from the ever popular "finger choppers" that I think most kids have had or seen (cheap plastic ones are given away in many party favors).

Those having trouble with the blade, I've had problems too at times. Be sure to push smoothly straight down and keep the spectators wrist at the top of the hole (you don't need to stick the whole arm in). I have also tapered the "slot" for the gimmick to guide it in better.

Disecto in many ways is safer if used correctly and has a unique "feel" and look in performance.

I hope this helps.
Clinton W. Gray
Magician in Vancouver BC
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