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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Clear vs Traditional Doves to Rabbit (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Christopher Moro
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What does everyone think of the traditional Chalet Doves to Rabbit versus the clear lexan version? Of course, the traditional is visible, whereas the other needs cover...the sides drop down on the traditional but don't on the clear one..I assume. Any experiences? Any thoughts on audience reaction?
Magic Blinds
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Chris,

Are you talking about the girl to lion method?
Christopher Moro
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That's right. Check out http://www.chaletmagic.com Basically the clear one is made of lexan, 4 clear sides with a cloth draped on the back and half of the sides. You cover it, whisk it away ala girl to lion and there you have the change. This is different however from one that George makes which is essentially a cage, not a clear box and is like a mini girl to lion. Just curious to hear other people's thoughts on the effect of this version versus the traditional.
Magic Blinds
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I would ask George for a pic of the prop. I am not sure why he would have the walls made out of lexan. He may be able to build a cage with the girl to lion method that would look cleaner. Having lexan walls make the prop look like an aquarium.

Just my 2 cents.
Crispy
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I performed with the Chalet version for many years and got a very strong reaction. However, over the years I began replacing the equiptment in my opening "livestock" act with Walt Sheppard apparatus, and the Chalet version just looked too modern for all the Okito skyled apparatus. I eventually had Walt build me one of his version, which is the lion's bride type. I found the advantage with it is that you can comfortably fit more birds into it (up to five) and the load chamber is large enough to use a duck or a gigantic rabbit. I've also seen a poodle used!

Cris
Christopher Moro
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Thanks, Cris. I'm very interested in hearing about this version because the chamber is large enough for a duck. Can you tell me how to get in touch with Walt Sheppard? I am unable to find him on the internet. -- Now, you said this is a cage version, ala girl to lion, not with clear lexan?

Chris
Crispy
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Walt was a successor of Okito and retired from building magic. His props were built in the oriental Okito style and were works of art. I had mine built by him probably 11 or 12 years ago not long before he stopped building.

You might be able to find one from someone who sells collectable magic. The prop is a red wooden cage with brass bars atop an oriental table, if that helps. (Walt refused to paint this prop any color but red because he said that was the only color this illusion looked good in. We had an exchange on the phone about this when I wanted mine painted blue to match the color scheme of my act. He agreed to paint it blue, but when I showed up to pick up the illusion, guess what color it was!) They had one of these on magic auction for the longest time, but finally sold it. The great thing about Sheppard apparatus is that they are collectable and durable enough to use too.

There is a Sheppard Doves to Rabbit in the American Museum of Magic up in Michigan, but I doubt they want to par with it ;-) Also, Walt agreed to paint that particular one black to make it more unique for the museum.

Cris

You already sound familiar with the versions Chalet offers. If you want the "cage" version and not a clear version, go to Chalet's site and scroll down to "Dove to Cat." http://www.chaletmagic.com/catalog.html This is the one like the mini-lion's bride.

Here's what I think about a comparison of the version where the sides fall down and the cage version. When all the sides fall down and you have even a small rabbit atop the table, it still looks impressive because the rabbit is there in the open air all by itself. It's not confined in by any apparatus. With the cage version, for it to be impressive, you better make sure that you have some type of larger animal in the cage. You can place five doves in the cage and they can all vanish, but when the result is a tiny little rabbit in large cage, the end result isn't that impressive. Also, rabbits sit very close to the ground which also leaves a lot of empty space in the cage creating an underwhelming effect. If you use an animal in the cage that stands more upright (like a cat or duck), the animal appears to take up more if the cage, which creates a more impressive effect. I do use a rabbit in mine, but she's very large. So large, in fact, she is now named "Horse."

Obviously, worrying about filling up the empty space of the cage for an impressive conclusion is less of an issue with the clear box, and not an issue at all with the version where the sides fall down.

But if you can find a Sheppard Dove to Rabbit, snatch it up!

Sorry if I was not much of a help.

Cris
Christopher Moro
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Your posts has been terrific help. Thanks for your opinion on the clear box/cage versus the version where the sides fall down. That's the kind of thoughts I was interested in hearing when I started this post. Very good stuff!
Jason Purdy
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P.S. I believe the wall do fall down with the clear version as well! After the cloth is removed, the cover is taken off and the sides drop.
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I have done business with Chalet for years. George is truly a master craftsperson and a super guy. I have orders in for a Wiz Kote and a replacement Doves to Rabbits now.

My first Doves to Rabbits lasted nearly twenty years and is still going. (I just am getting the new one as back-up in a different color.) Amazing, after 5,000+ shows, 600+ domestic flights, 50+ international flights, 40+ times lost in luggage, (not to mention the time a union stage hand dropped it OFF a procenium stage saying "Whoa! Dude, did you know this thing comes apart...") and that trick is still going strong!

As for the Lexan version, well I was also intrigued. I wonder if over time there will be marks on the sides where the special door falls? My doves to rabbits always gets this after numerous uses but I paint over the marks and it is no problem.

Also, my crystal casket has the same problem and it IS made out of lexan (plexiglass). I think there is something you can buy to buff out the marks, (it is sold for skylights) but the marks on my CC still can't be seen from stage. So this is what made me order the plain old doves to rabbit when I replaced mine. So maybe this is something to consider.

Either way, George sure makes some GOOD magic! He takes a bit longer to get your prop made, but it is sure worth the wait.
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
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