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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Should I get doves or pigeons for my hobo clown act? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of juggernaut187
I've been working on a bird act for about half a year now -- been practicing with socks loaded in my holders/pockets, and I think I'm to the level that I need to get some actual birds to train now. I thought I'd get some advice from some of my peers, though. I'm toying around with a hobo clown act and think it would fit the character a little better to produce pigeons, since pigeons and hobos sadly seem to be seen quite often together. Problem is, I know pigeons are larger and my be a little tougher to train. I'm not so worried about the size, since my jacket is so over-sized and dirty and lumpy anyways. Also, I am concerned about the visibility from stage, since pigeons are darker. The act starts with me in hobo costume sleeping with a newspaper, I do a few effects with the paper, then the bird portion begins with a bird begin produced via the newspaper. It's a comical act, so I think doves might be a little too "classy" for my character.

As far as living quarters go I'm not too worried, I live in the country and have a huge rabbit barn I'm converting over for birds.
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Profile of Dave Scribner
Your coat may be large enough to hide pigeon loads but you will need to have custom holder. Standard marketed holders and pockets won't be large enough. Also, if you plan to use any dove props, they may have to be modified for size as well.

If you decide to use doves instead, you don't want to use pure white ones. You are correct, they wouldn't fit your hobo character but you can get doves in a variety of colors. One variety is called pied. These are birds that are colored like dalmation dogs. They are normally white with brown patches but they come in grey, blue, peach and other variations as well.

I believe you have a good idea with your act. It would be different and regardless of whether you decide on doves or pigeons, your act would be you and unique and that is important.
Where the magic begins
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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I think pied (spotted) doves would be perfect! It has been years since I have had any. However, I had a funny routine in which the spots were washed off them. You might want to go the other way and get white doves "dirty". (It was all "Box Magic".)

Bob Sanders
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Bob Sanders

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Tulsa Okla
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Profile of tropicalillusions
Sounds like these guys got it right on the nail here, the pied in different colors are great, these will still come across as pigeons to your audience. it is like painting a mental picture with your actions, the way you dress, etc, this will help you say "PIGEONS" to your audiences. Remember if you cant find the pied doves, there is always dove Dyeing, do the edges of the wings, top of head, basically just model it off of some photos when you do the dying. Bob and Dave will have some great tips for dyeing
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Profile of juggernaut187
Thanks for all the tips guys. I think you're all right and dove are the way to go. I went to a local breeder this morning and found some awesome looking gray doves that'll be perfect. They have that pigeon look but will still be visable from stage. Thanks again.
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In California we had "pigeons" that are smaller and are sometimes referred to as "rock doves."

Their coloration is just like a traditional pigeon though.

Maybe you could find those?
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
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Profile of juggernaut187
Funny you should mention that, I live in CA, and I think those are the type of doves I saw at the breeder. I go back tomorrow to make my final choice.
John T. Sheets
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Las Vegas, USA
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I too would suggest the Pied Doves. Smile

See the "Quantum Bender 3.0" trailer here...

See my Dove Act here...

See the "Energy Bender" trailer here...

See the "Table of Death" in Las Vegas trailer here...
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Profile of magicmanila
I'm also a hobo clown, had the same idea with using pigeons, settled for a rat instead.
PERFORM MAGIC AND NOT "PUZZLES" so the audience wont try to "figure out how its done".

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Profile of Dynamike
I would recommend using black or gray dye on white doves. For some reason you might want to use white doves for a special occasion. Take off the dye. You will be getting two in one with the dye.
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Profile of MagicalMotivator
If I had a dollar for everytime I did a show (over 30 years) that someone said "oh you have pigeons", when seeing my white doves - well lets just say I would be pretty well off by now.

To the real audience - a - white - grey - white/grey - dove like bird IS a pigeon.

The "acting" of your character will SELL this (what you believe they are) to your audience. So don't worry about using a pigeon - use a dove (worked with both - doves are better for what you want to achieve in many ways).

I would also keep them pure white - unless this is a close up routine - so they are the most visible - after all, if your audience can't see the magic, magic doesn't happen. Keep the contrast in colour and character in mind.

KISS. Just my opinion.
Rick Rossini The Magical Motivator
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Profile of DanielCoyne
I love the idea of your act. Keep us posted on your progress. Also, I would love to see a video -- even a rough practice video. Good luck!

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