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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Bravo! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of twist86
I'm new to the forum and this is my first post. I've "dabbled" in magic on and off for the last decade, but being only 20 now, I never really looked into animal magic. A couple days ago I saw The Prestige and was absolutely horrified by the method used in the vanishing bird act. I assured my friend that this was no longer how things are done. I know the methods used in the movie may have actually been used in the past, but I know they most likely are not employed today. Today I stumbled upon this section of the forum and learned an even greater truth. To read about shipping worries and the encouragment of researching a bird before purchasing it is really great for an animal lover like myself. I myself own a parrot and know the work involved. I will admit that I believed that birds owned by magicians may not get the greatest treatment, but that has now changed. Another thing I'd like to point out that has occured to me is that the use of a parrot (I cannot speak on the subject of doves) in a magic act, when treated properly, is extremely nourishing mentally for these birds who have the intelligence of 3 year old children. I just wanted to say how great I feel this is. Bravo!
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Profile of Spellbinder
To the best of my knowledge, the methods used in the movie "The Prestige" for vanishing a bird in a birdcage were NEVER used by anyone. Bautier de Kolta is credited with inventing the vanishing birdcage and it was never a canary killer, and it never used a mechanical backpack contraption to cause the vanish. There was just no need.

But to make the case for the plot of The Prestige (that of killing off a doppelganger) the killing of canaries was a necessary logical plot element. But it's just a scary movie and complete science fiction (as far as Tesla's work was concerned, although it is based on SOME true historic facts about Edison and Tesla to make you believe in the horrific fictional parts that come out later in the story).

Magicians who use animals in their acts have to be animal lovers and treat their pets as partners, or it just doesn't work.
Professor Spellbinder

Professor Emeritus at the Turkey Buzzard Academy of Magik, Witchcraft and Wizardry


Publisher of The Wizards' Journals
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Profile of twist86
Great to hear! Thanks for easing my worries!
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Profile of mattmccoy
Actually, it is dated back in history that birds were killed to perform certain tricks. I learned this from a very wise man many years ago before the prestige came out. But luckily these methods are not practiced anymore. It does help the parrots to use them in magic. It excercises their mind and develops their intelligence further. I am not a "bird guy" by all means, but twist86, you are excactly right.

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Profile of damien666
I know of modern day magician's also killing/harming birds and animals (maybe not exactly as in 'The Prestige', but for sure by putting them in unsafe equipment or by intentional misuse). I know that it is politically correct for magicians to say they treat their birds and animals well, but I have seen first hand and have worked with several big names that treat their animals terribly. I won't name names but some of them are the same people who tell people that they love and treat their animals extremely well. None of them would admit to it of course.
But For as many magicians who claim to treat their animals well and do - there are just as many who say they treat their animals well, but don't.
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