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Tony James
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Teeth trimming is usually required due to a lower jaw displacement. A breed fault that seems to affect dwarfs in particular. The lower teeth grow up in front of the face which is obvious and the upper teeth grow down the throat which is not so obvious.

Be careful trimming as there is a nerve and blood supply up the teeth. Trimming the teeth causes the blood supply and nerve to recede so careful as you go to start with.

On diet, whatever you feed ensure a good supply of hay. It's essential, not only to wear down the teeth but the digestive system. Rabbits have a digestive that requires a continual supply of bulk fibre intake. There is no substitute for hay.

Root vegetables - which most love - are preferable to greens which should only be fed lightly or you can get stomach upsets and a rabbit out of the hat with diarrhoea takes some explaining! Lettuce is a particular offender. Avoid it.

As Richard mentions teeth problems will also occur when the natural diet is denied. Sometimes a trim and correct diet will put things right but usually once the trouble starts it continues.
Tony James

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Bill Palmer
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For many years, I offered a rabbit production in my show as an option. I had a routine for doing a rabbit out of the hat that did not endanger the rabbit or make him uncomfortable. My first worker was a blue-eyed white Polish dwarf, that lasted me for about six years, before he went to the big carrot patch in the sky. The second was a blue-eyed white Netherlands dwarf that lasted me a dozen years before he finally went pinin' for the fjords.

I had a schnauzer named Wizard that used to play with the Netherlands dwarf. They were great pals. And the rabbit was more than just a prop. He was a pet and a friend. He was quite affectionate, and liked being petted.

However, I developed a horrible allergy to him. I couldn't even touch him. I broke out in hives, my hands itched and I eventually got to the point that I went into anaphylactic shock when I cleaned out his cage.

We kept him, but we had to confine him to his cage whenever I was in town. When I wasn't in town, my wife gave him the run of the house like we always had done before.

But my experience with allergies was the main thing that convinced me of the potential dangers of using livestock. One kid with an allergy to rabbits, and you might as well kiss your career goodbye. This is especially true if you run across someone who is a litigation manipulator. If a parent thinks that her kid is having a reaction to your livestock, you'd better hope you have excellent liability insurance.

And woe to the person who has an audience member go into anaphylactic shock. It's not a pretty sight.
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Tom Riddle
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It seems to me that the production of a rabbit is getting less and less popular by the day over in Blighty. Is this also the case in America? A well known children's entertainer from Sheffield has just removed his rabbit from the act, and finds it no longer a selling point. Cruelty to animals is a big issue on this side of the pond.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
TrickyRicky
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This argument has been going on for years.
I still feature the rabbit from the hat in my performance.
Once in 40 years did I ever encountered a child that was allergic to the bunny at the party.
I did 2 Fall Fairs on the weekend where the bunny was the hit. The line up was endless to pet the bunny.
My hat production does not require the bunny to be kept in a bag at all. As a matter of fact,the bunny is free to run around until the production.
Richard.
btedeski
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I use the rabbit for an up sell on my show, offer two packages one includes the rabbit one with out.

I have never sold the package with out the rabbit.

A live rabbit in my area is a deal clincher.
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Regan
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Richard, I have had about the same results as you. I use my rabbit(s) in about 90% of my shows and people love them. Like you, I also had one child that was allergic but it was really a non-issue. The kids were petting the bunny after the show and a little boy was staying back. I thought he was shy and I asked him if he would like to pet the bunny and he shook his head, "no". His mom was there and she told me that he was allergic to rabbits. Other than not wanting to get too close to the rabbit, neither the boy nor his mother seemed to have a problem with it.

I don't feel the argument about cruelty to animals is really legitimate, but I know animal rights advocates will try to use that. However, I have never encountered a problem with it so far....knock on wood. (Pounding on my head!)

The magicians I know that use rabbits treat them very, very well. I try to take extra special care of mine because they are such a special part of my show and my life. I think most magicians probably feel the same way. I own a dog too, and he rides in the car and on the lawn mower, he will obey commands and run and jump through my arms when I ask him too, etc. I don't feel that what I do with my rabbits is cruel any more than I feel what I do with my dog is cruel.

I love rabbits and I would really hate to not be able to use them, but to each his own. If you don't want to use rabbits in your show then by all means, don't. Rabbits do require some care just like any pet. I happen to be fortunate enough to live in a location where keeping them is not a problem. My biggest problem is that I am allergic to rabbits myself. Nothing major, but if I handle them a lot my allergies will flare up. It mostly just stuffs me up badly. The worst for me is when I brush them during the shedding season. Other than that it isn't too bad.

Regan
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kimmo
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Quote:
On 2007-09-26 14:21, Tom Riddle wrote:
It seems to me that the production of a rabbit is getting less and less popular by the day over in Blighty. Is this also the case in America? A well known children's entertainer from Sheffield has just removed his rabbit from the act, and finds it no longer a selling point. Cruelty to animals is a big issue on this side of the pond.


I presume Tom is referring to me as there aren't any other well known children's entertainers in Sheffield (JOKE!!!)
I made the decision to cut the rabbit from my act and replace him with a new puppet character (Jambo the Gorilla) back in June. I noticed a definite change in the attitude of the parents once the rabbit appeared and it started to make me feel uncomfortable. On top of that, another guy who lives just a couple of miles from me proudly told me that he was going to start using the same rabbit vanish as I do and I didn't like the idea that part of our acts would be the same. I've always strived to be original and stand out from the other guys. In short, I was no longer looking forward to his appearance and for me that meant it was time to let him go. Last weekend I did seven shows without the bunny and Jambo proved even more popular than I could have hoped. Sheffield council, for whom I do a lot of work rang me yesterday and told me that they had received a complaint about cruelty to the rabbit after a show I did in the central library, which has convinced me all the more that I've made the right decision!
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Tom Riddle
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Yes, Kimmo, it was indeed your good self to whom I referred. It is really beyond me why anyone would want to use a live rabbit these days, when there are so many magical moments that a good children's entertainer can acomplish in their programme without the concerns outlined in this thread.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
Eric Paul
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What a humerous post to say the least!

Find what your customer wants and give it to them!

If your performing character would produce a rabbit from a hat, then produce a rabbit from the hat. If not, don't.

I have been using a rabbit very successfully for over 20 years now (not the same rabbit-#4 to be exact) and he has gotten me more shows than I can even count.

Yes, I have an incredibly strong act that I would put up against anyone's. But the fact of the matter is, my clients LOVE the rabbit. The kids love him. I love him. And my family loves him.

Chris Capehart says it well in his lectures; "If you don't use a live rabbit in your children's shows, you have no idea how much work you are giving away." And thank you, because Chris and I are both quite busy with our rabbits and we're in the same market!

Here's to Harvey,

EP
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Tom Riddle
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"What a humerous post to say the least!

Find what your customer wants and give it to them!"

I respectfully disagree, Eric. In the world of children's entertainment, the customer frequently does not know what they want. They may think they want a live rabbit, but the truth is that a cardboard rabbit or a puppet rabbit, in the hands of a master, can be better than the production of a live rabbit in a Supreme or Chance Wolf production box.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
Dennis Michael
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I've gotten many many bookings because of the Rabbit. I've lost count the number of times I've been told that was one of the reasons they booked my show. (I charge more than most magicians in my area.)

I don't produce it, the child does. This month I had a parent who asked me if their son can produced it but not touch it because he has allergies to rabbits. (So does my Son and Daughter.) I explained how they produce it and she thought it was great!

Yes, there are many reasons for not having a live rabbit, just like there are many reasons to have a rabbit. The single most logical reason is their care and up-keep. They do have to be feed when I go on vacation, like other pets, they do tie one down.

Of the 32 Members in our Local KIDabra Chapter, 13 of them work full time as a Children's Entertainer, 11 of THEM use rabbits and 3 of them also use doves.

Of the 32 Members in our Local KIDabra Chapter, 22 work full or Part-time, of THEM, 16 use rabbits.

Of the 32 KIDabra Members, 19 own the "Rabbit in the Hat" puppet. Those that use a live Rabbit, perfer the live rabbit over the puppet "Rabbit in the Hat", however, some use both dependent on the show. Some of them who do Daycare will tell you that the puppet does so much more, and as what was said above is true... It is a very powerful routine.

One of our KIDabra Chapter members produces and markets the "Rabbit in the Hat" Internationally, through several dealers.

When I do schools, many times the teacher will have the kids send me a Thank you Card made by them. Most remember, the live rabbit and that picture is on the cover, coming in second is the snake in the basket, boys like that "scary" moment.

Eric Paul, who is not a member of or local group (Lives to far away from it), and five others from our chapter have taken the "Classic Magician" character, which we all feel, a rabbit production is part of that character.

Chris Caphart buys his rabbit by putting a deck of cards in it's face, the one that pulls a card, that's the one for him. Chris is a Master at using the rabbit in his act for numerous really funny one-lines and as a magic rabbit, the rabbit picks the volunteers selected card.

What does all this mean? The full-timers, in my area, like the live rabbit, and we all love the "Rabbit In The Hat Routine". Both have their pluses and minuses and most importantly, it is an individual choice. The Rabbit is still symbolic to the magician! The live rabbit is easy to use in a show and it IS the highlight of the show, its up to the entertainer to make sure it doesn't "overpower" the name recognition of the entertainer. Also, it is well worth the effort to learn the "Rabbit Puppet in the Hat" routine.
Dennis Michael
Dynamike
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I have been using live animals in my shows for about 15 years now. I have no problem with it. When I get a phone call, I always mentions the pets I use. Most customers tell me their kids love animals.

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Tom Riddle
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"Of the 32 Members in our Local KIDabra Chapter, 13 of them work full time as a Children's Entertainer, 11 of THEM use rabbits and 3 of them also use doves"

I feel rather sorry for the mothers in your area who are trying to find a children's entertainer who does not use a live rabbit!
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
Dynamike
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No need to feel sorry. The other magicians are good performers too.
kimmo
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Well, I'll keep you posted on how my bookings are going now I've dropped the rabbit! I'm quite happy to be the guinea pig in this experiment. I've just changed my website and taken out the rabbit pictures. I've also changed the reply to the 'Do you use live animals?' question on my F.A.Q. page:

http://www.kimmo.co.uk

Dennis and Dynamike - I'm pretty sure that you are so busy because you are good at what you do and people want to see YOU.
I came to the conclusion that it would be a really sorry state of affairs if people were only booking me so that they could pet the bunny. Danny Hustle, Roger and Chris McBrien have been telling me this all along - I'm really glad I finally listened to them because I'm confident that my show is now even better than it was before!
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Dynamike
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Kimmo, I know you are a professional performer because I saw a demo of your act before. You know more about your act than anyone else. Whatever you do, I'm sure you are making the best decission.

When I first started performing I had no pets in my act. I was getting good applause. I tried a rabbit later. I wanted to keep her in my act because it pleased me, not because of anyone else. Next, I fell in love with other animals. I love pets.

Some magicians wear ties and tuxedos. That is not my style. If I got denials from not wearing a tux, I still would not change my outfit. I what to stay being myself.

I have tried multiple tricks in the past. Some I fell in love with, some got dusty in my closet. I only perform with what pleases me. And that is what will please the audience.

If a magician could not entertain an audience without a rabbit, then that person has a problem. A magician should not have to rely on a rabbit. To me, a rabbit is just "part" of my act.

Giving out a birthday gift is something the parents would like more. I tried that in the past. I quit doing that a long time ago because it does not please me.

If a person gets good applause because of his/her performance. I bet that person is professional. He/she knows what he/she is doing.

In the future I might take out all my pets. But I will have to wait until that interest me first.

Kimmo, I feel you, Danny Hustle, Roger, Chris McBrien, Dennis and I are in the same circle. We are all professionals. Smile
kimmo
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Couldn't agree more Dynamike. That was an excellent post. I have actually turned jobs down in the past because they asked me to wear a colourful costume - it's just not ME. It was my choice to perform with a rabbit - I didn't do it to fill any gap in the market. After over 20 years of performing with one I am ready to move on. I have absolutely no problem with anyone else who wishes to use animals. It is a fantastic selling point, but in actual fact my vent characters had overtaken my rabbit in that respect years ago. I am far more likely to get customers asking me to 'make sure that I bring Charlie along' than they would the rabbit. Dropping the bunny has led to me creating a new vent character and I am enjoying performing more than I have in years. That's what it's all about. If I have fun - so will my audience.
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Dennis Michael
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Another thing I haven't see here mentioned. Producing a rabbit is not just done for the KIDs, it is also done for ME. Just look in their eyes and watch their mouths as that awe inspiring gleem just flows from them. I just perpetuated that ageless belief where a magician and rabbit go together. (It really is the Birthday Child.) I call that moment a "lifetime memory", etched forever in thier minds.

It is that memory I saw as a child. I don't remember the magician or what other tricks he performed, but I do remember that rabbit production. How many children have I done this too? Every now and then I run into an adult, who remembers me and eventually, that rabbit enters the conversation.

As for Kimmo's choice, I'm sure he will do fine without the rabbit. Puppets are just as powerful. Laughter too, has proven to have something to do with the ability to remember much longer.

In the scheme of life, or should I say, In the "Scheme of Performance" what is that motivation that keeps us performing. Is it the Rabbit? Is it the Money? or is it the "love for what we do?" When you walk away from a performance, HOW DO YOU FEEL? ... I KNOW I burned lifetime memories.

In these five pages of should you or should you not use a rabbit, it really doesn't matter what others think or say, the marketing aspect is a bonus for me, and it is not the reason I use a rabbit.

Whether you use a rabbit or not, what is it YOU want to accomplish from your performance? If we both can (Rabbit or no rabbit) accomplish that inner drive for why we do what we do, then it is a Win-Win situation for everyone.
Dennis Michael
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I agree with Dennis about the memories you and your rabbit can make. Also, as a practical function, my rabbit conducts crowd control. After the finale, my assistant moves the rabbit to where the kids will be leaving, picks her up and lets kids pet her backside as they file out. This leaves me to clean up quietly and alone.

To me the mere existence of this thread with so many strong arguments against having a rabbit demonstrates how central it is to the whole enterprise. What can I say? It's expensive and labor-intensive, but she's also a pet and part of the family. And she makes kids smile more than anything else I do, and I can live with that.
Tom Riddle
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"As for Kimmo's choice, I'm sure he will do fine without the rabbit. Puppets are just as powerful"

It seems to me, Dennis, that by making this statement you have squashed your own argument. You have admitted that puppets are just as powerful as a live rabbit.
"Yes, Virginia, there really are people named Riddle...isn't that AMAZING! And to think of all the royalties I'm missing out on! SCANDALOUS!"

Thomas Williamson Riddle III
Chelsea, UK
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