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Ryan Price
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winnipeg, MB, Canada
641 Posts

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Hi guys,

I am slowly working on my bird act. I hope to have something presentable for next November. I am primarily a children's/family entertainer so I want a solid combination of funny and amazing throughout the show. Has anyone seen a bird act that is funny? If so what was included? or failing that What would you include?

I do have a few ideas that I have been tinkering with but would like to know the thoughts of the more experienced bird workers.

thanks
Father Photius
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Grammar Host
El Paso, TX (Formerly Amarillo)
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Take it you never heard of a guy named Rick Thomas.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
Ryan Price
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winnipeg, MB, Canada
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I have seen Rick Thomas on YouTube from the videos there is only one element that could really be called "funny". That being the silk on the pull.

But thanks for the suggestion, any others would also be appreciated.
Zakari Asiago
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Panhandle of Florida
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Check out the Great Tomsoni.
Zakari Asiago

401 South Ave.

Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
MichaelOzMagic
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Des Moines, Iowa
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Check out Fielding West Bob the Bird Routine. I have never seen the Great Tomsoni bird routine but I heard it was funny and Fielding uses some elements of the Great Tomsoni's Routine.

Michael
Ryan Price
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winnipeg, MB, Canada
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Thanks so far guys, I have always wanted to see the Great Tomsoni. I finally saw him on YouTube. A couple of the elements from his act could potentially work.

I haven't seen Fielding West, he was supposed to come here on a lecture tour but got stopped at the border. Isn't his routine more of a talking piece with one bird?

The act I'm thinking of will have three doves, a couple parakeets, and the finale is a medium sized parrot. All the birds have been used in solo pieces but have not been used together in a full act yet.
Cyberqat
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Sounds cool.

My cockatiel knows how to say "Bird make turd!" The one time he's been on stage with me so far he didn't say it, sticking to "pretty birdie" and such. But it was a show for young kids so I figured if it happened they'd find it funny and that was fine,

Bathroom humor is big with 4 to 6 yr olds...
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
mysterious JO
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My tiel says his name only and whistles Andy Griffith and x files! Kids love animals and animals in magic acts always makes the kiddies smile and giggle and they remember it always! Smile
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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I do not think the actual bird could be funny, as the reaction of the audience is one of cute and loving sounds from the audience. Funny usually means being nasty in some way, to or with the bird and that will only get BOOs from the audience.

It is a living animal and thus to for a human to be inhuman to the a defenseless animal, would not be funny at all.

The jokes from Thomasoni are the bird pooping on him, that is not the bird being funny, but something happening that just happens to be funny.

Fielding West is more the use of a Latex dove and again, it is a shock to the audience, then they realize it is not a real bird to relieve the tension. This then becomes funny.

Both these bits are the property of their creators within their acts, I would not think to borrow another professional performers material. Many have, but that does not make it okay.

If you are looking for humor with birds you have a big job ahead of you. Making something of beauty and grace funny is very difficult. Not saying it cannot be done, but takes a full situation and story to build on.
James Adamson
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Deatsville - Holtville - Slapout, AL
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Having done dove work for kid shows there are two strong effects that I would suggest.

A> Produce a Latex Dove from a silk "using your favorite method" Smile and then use you hand make the dove "fly" then on the off beat steal the real dove and produce.

B> Using a Knots Off Silk do that routine and after the hole is revealed steal the dove ala Gen Grant.

I use both of these with great reactions.

James
Be remembered for performing what looks like MAGIC, not skill.
Ryan Price
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winnipeg, MB, Canada
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LIke I mentioned I am looking for elements that will be part of a larger act. I do have some ideas as I perform close to 300 children's shows annually.

Of course I wont give the idea of being "nasty" to the birds. I think most of the humour may come from the bits between the birds. I will be using the dancing hank within the context of the act as well as some simple but funny (too children) billiard ball manipulation.

Any other elements you guys can suggest would be appreciated as this will be a long road.
Cyberqat
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I think the trick is to reverse it. You aren't nasty to the bird, the bird is nasty to you. That's why pooping on you works. (and I don't think anyone can lay claim to owning the idea of a bird pooping on its handler except perhaps The Creator...) Kids love when animals seem to be pushing the boundaries with their owners... I believe it because they identify with the animal and map it to their relationship with authority figures.

Having said that, it's a pretty smart bird to learn enough routine to pull that off. You could do it with a large hook bill like a Macaw or African grey.
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Yes, the great Thomasoni has the bird pooping on his shoulder, and the late Neil Foster use the poop on the floor after the production of the bird in the hands, he would lift his foot so as to not get the poop on his shoe. Very funny. He only used a piece of crumbled paper, but the bit was priceless. He liked to use it with the rubber dove in the Dovan Effect that Abbott's made and sold. This helped prove the bird was real.
mysterious JO
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I saw a friend use a african grey parrot and potty trained him/her for his first show ever <beginner> and what he did was SOOO clever and thought I pass it along! he used key words! while he would use the bird in his show talking about it etc doing magic with it etc he would say something like would it be funny if spanky went poopies on me the kids YELLED yeah as he motioned for the next trick the bird went on him and the kids LAUGHED! I cracked up laughing and at the time he looked at the bird then looked away, the bird let out a laugh and said something the kids again ROLLED with laughter! I thought it was tooo funny! I havent seen him since don't know if changed his act or not but it was funny.

Gotta love animals and the smiles they leave on a person!
Cyberqat
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Yup. Flip side of performing with animals is you need to have a reasonably strong ego because they ALWAYS steal the show Smile
It is always darkest just before you are eaten by a grue.
cardphreak
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orange county CA
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I'm not an expert on bird magic but it might be funny to hace an egg drop from one of the birds. and then perhaps using that egg to produce a bird.
Dave Scribner
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Lake Hopatcong, NJ
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Nice idea, cardphreak. So nice that several dove workers actually already perform with this routine. In most case, the egg turns into a billiard ball to connect that routine.
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