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Topic: Producing a stuffed rabbit
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Sep 2, 2007 05:32AM)
I have an idea for a routine which involves ultimately producing a live hamster from a tipover box. But to get there I want a bit of "magician in trouble" business. So, I have a deck of cards which has pictures of 52 different pets, including a hamster. I force the hamster card, but pretend that the volunteer has chosen the rabbit card. He protests that it says hamster not rabbit. I make out that I am in trouble, plead to be allowed to produce a rabbit, and go on to produce the stuffed rabbit anyway, but pretend it's a hamster (flattening the ears and tail, insisting it's a hamster). The kids don't buy this, and eventually I produce the real hamster.

My question is how to produce the stuffed rabbit in a fairly simple way that doesn't detract from the magic of the real hamster appearing from an empty box. It barely has to be magical, just magician-ish.
Message: Posted by: mcharisse (Sep 2, 2007 06:09AM)
How about producing the rabbit from a hat (switch hats behind table as you put the cards away, perhaps), then transforming the stuffed rabbit into the live hamster, if your tipover box is big enough?

Marc the Magic Man
Message: Posted by: rossmacrae (Sep 2, 2007 06:40AM)
How about producing a rabbit-picture silk ... you could even try to "get away with" pretending you have produced a rabbit ... "See? It's a rabbit!"
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Sep 2, 2007 07:01AM)
Produce a large card with a rabbit on it, on the back is the stuffed rabbit. You could easily drop that rabbit in a magic hat and produce it that way.

The only caution of concern is the disappointment the kids will have by NOT producing a real rabbit, the magician's trademark.

Your routine sounds nice but I would use a spring skunk or rocky the racoon instead of the rabbit. Either one of these has lots of bits of business, ending with the surprise it wasn't the selected aninmal and then produce the live hampster. This avoids that expected real rabbit production.

If a rabbit is what you want then make it a puppet in the hat routine and do it earlier in the program, eliminating the disappointment of a rabbit production.

Just my thoughts related to your routine.
Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Sep 2, 2007 07:15AM)
Thanks for the advice so far.
I want to do it early on in the show, possibly as an opener, so the hamster isn't confined too long.
I don't have a hat big enough for my rabbit, so would prefer to avoid hats.
I (or rather my children) have quite a few other stuffed animals so it probably doesn't have to be a rabbit, but the rabbit/hamster business would probably be easiest to pull off.
Message: Posted by: Danny Hustle (Sep 2, 2007 10:19AM)

Your original premise is brilliant. The kids will not be disappointed that you do not produce a live rabbit if your comedy chops are up to par and to conceive of a routine like this I have no doubt that your chops are fine!

When the kiddies see the live hamster they will forget all about the bunny. You are still producing a live animal.

I am going to answer your production comment in a PM as I do not want to discuss methods in a public forum. I think your premise is brilliant!



Posted: Sep 2, 2007 12:17pm
...Another thought on the cards, I would cut the number down to about 6 or 8 jumbo cards. 52 animal cards is a lot of animals.

Also with a half dozen cards you can write a gag or joke for each of the animals.


Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Sep 2, 2007 12:18PM)
Yes I'm going to reduce the number of cards. This also more easily allows for the force (whose name I don't know) in which you and the volunteer eliminate the cards until only the forced one is left. I think this is more child-friendly than more conventional forces (and I'm rubbish with cards anyway).

I think I might just produce the rabbit using ye olde squared circle and also do that bit of business in which it initially looks as if the rabbit is real.
Message: Posted by: kimmo (Sep 2, 2007 01:05PM)
Nice Idea,

I think you are probably talking about the P-A-T-E-O force. (Point At Two, Eliminate one).

It would also be quite funny to do a twist on the McCombical deck with a deck of cards which all bear the word 'rabbit' - then the child somehow manages to get 'Hamster'
Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Sep 2, 2007 01:42PM)
I would use Rocky Raccoon too. I do a similar premise with rabbit appearance - first appearing a silk with a skunk, then a spring raccoon, and finally, at the end of the show, the trademark rabbit. I find that the spring animals are much more versatile as you can produce through most "dove appearance" boxes (fairly small and light). I use a "livestock vanish" (Mak?) really made for doves (too small for rabbit - good for hamster) and also use to "appear" Rocky. I haven't tried a dove tray, but have used a standard drawer box, which would fit a coiled spring animal and a hamster too. I also use the hat (Elope large hat for "appearing" large rabbits available direct from them), and like the idea of a rabbit card and a stuffed rabbit. Practical Magic has a Bicycle-backed rabbit card I'm hoping to use, and will let you know.

One question for you: where do you get the "pets" cards? That sounds like a great deck for kids.

Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Sep 2, 2007 03:35PM)
Kimmo - thanks for "PATEO", that's the one.

The pets cards are here:


You can also get them from some magic dealers.
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (Sep 2, 2007 04:05PM)
This is an excellent idea and a fine example of how to develop a routine for children.

Perhaps a Temple Screen made with rabbit cartoons instead of those bogus Chinese letters would work to produce the stuffed rabbit. It would also be less bulky than a Square Circle.

Message: Posted by: Mumblemore (Sep 2, 2007 07:40PM)
Thanks for the link.

While I hadn't found pets, here's a great more general animal deck from a site which also has card decks of scientists and explorers (if you want to get away from the usual celebrity worship in your kid shows . . .):

Message: Posted by: jolyonjenkins (Sep 8, 2007 04:25PM)
Tried it out for the first time today as an opener on a real audience of children - it went pretty well. I used the square circle and forced the card using a double back force in Mark Wilson - mechanical but got the job done. From then on it went as I had hoped, and the appearance of the real hamster certainly got the right reaction. Although I do think it might possibly be better to produce hamster and rabbit the same way.