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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The little darlings » » A Realistic Rabbit in the Hat Puppet » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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ventman
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This is a super, high quality puppet. I love the ease of use and the realistic head movement and the wiggle tail feature (kids really like the wiggling tail as the rabbit is reaching for a prop). I absolutely LOVE this and highly recommend it. I would like to hear what gags others use in their rabbit in the hat routines.
Chris Capstone
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Thanks ventman,

I glad you like it. Since you asked for gags I'll give one of mine. This skit uses a awesome prop. It's a miniature Nintendo Wii controller. It's about half the size of a real one. It was a candy dispenser but it's an exact replica of a Wii controller. You can find these specialty candy stores or sometimes drugstores like CVS or Walgreen's. My rabbit's name is Buster. Kids and adults love this skit:

Magician looks down into hat: "Hey Buster, where are you? You're supposed to be up here entertaining the folks."

Magician turns to audience: "I bet he's paying Nintendo again. He just can't help himself, HE"S ADDICTED!"

Magician looks down into hat: "Buster, you better NOT be playing Wii again. You know you're supposed to be grounded from Nintendo! I know you're playing again. You better stop right now and hand over that Wii controller!"

Magician turns to audience: "That crazy rabbit plays Super Mario Galaxy 24/7."

Magician looks down into hat: "Alright Buster, you better get up before I count to 3 or you gonna in deep yogurt! 1---2--------2&1/2-------2&3/4-----------2&7/8, That's it you're DOUBLE GROUNDED NOW, MR. SMARTYPANTS!"

Rabbit pops up holding Wii controller and shaking his head "no" vigorously.

Magician: "Ah Ha! I knew! Hand it over Buster."

Rabbit continues shaking head "no.

Magician grabs controller form rabbit and a fast paced back and forth ensues with the controller. This will get lots of laughs but don't overplay it. Finally the magician ends up with the controller.

Magician: "Why don't you do your job and entertain the folks instead of entertaining yourself with video games."

Rabbit Whispers in Magician's ear

Magician translates: "That would be good, he wants to tell a joke. What kind of joke Buster?"

Rabbit whispers in magician's ear

Magician translates: "A NINTENDO JOKE? Why am I not surprised. OK tell your joke, AND IT BETTER BE A GOOD ONE!"

Rabbit Whispers in Magician's ear

Magician translates: "What did the rabbit say when he wanted to play Nintendo in the forest? I don't know. What did the rabbit say when he wanted to play Nintendo in the forest?"

Rabbit Whispers in Magician's ear

Magician translates: "I want to go WEE IN THE WOODS!"

Sorry I have no class.
Chris Capstone
kimmo
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Fantastic! Agree with Chris that it's the best I've seen! I'm very interested if you have these for sale - PM me any details please.
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Chris Capstone
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Thanks kimmo,

I'm glad you like it. If you're like me, you've seen a lot of rabbit puppets over the years. There have been some great cartoon style rabbits like Axtell's Rodney and of course the puppet that Terry Herbert used for Horace (Supreme Magic?), but I've never been able to find a good quality rabbit that looks real which is why I decided to do this.

I feel a realistic rabbit puppet fits well with the character of the naughty or mischievous little bunny who is silent like a real rabbit would be. A cartoon style rabbit seem to me that it fits better as a goofy or zany talking character. I guess that's why the two I mentioned have movable mouths but of course one can still do a "silent whisper" dialog routine with those types of puppets. I just think the realistic rabbit is a more natural fit for the silent character.
Chris Capstone
ventman
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Chris, the "wee in the woods". Anyone else have any gags to add?
LMLipman
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The fact that you actually can wear the hat is nothing short of "magic." I have a rabbit-in-hat puppet that I've been toying with using for a couple of years. One reason I haven't is that my good friend and fellow magi, Noland Montgomery, has a really good comedy kids routine with a rabbit in hat and I don't want to look like I'm copying him--even if I did different material. We're in the same market and often send each other shows.
Larry Lipman
Lorenzo the Great
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Chris Capstone
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Hey ventman,

Parents in my audiences can really identify with the "you're grounded from Nintendo" bit. I think they like it more than the kids.

Thanks LMLipman,

The fact that the rabbit appears in the actual hat that I wear is one of the most important features of this puppet for me. There were a couple of times during the process of developing it that I almost gave up on my vision of a puppet that could be installed in a real hat. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

One of the toughest challenges was figuring out how to get my hand into the puppet without the use of the other hand. Normally you need two hands to get this type and size of puppet onto your hand. It was also difficult to be able to get my hand in quickly without a lot of fumbling and adjusting which I think would spoil the illusion.
Chris Capstone
ventman
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I thought of a gag to use when showing your hat empty. You say would you like for me to make a rabbit appear from the hat? Then you remove the hat, look in and around the hat...no rabbit. Finally pull out a tube or can of Rogain and say I keep this around so I won't keep losing my "hare". Waa Waa Waa
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Quote:
On 2010-06-18 11:24, chriscapstone wrote:

Thanks Mr. Pitts, Yes, you will notice I show the hat all round in the video. I'd prefer not to reveal that aspect of it on a public forum as it was something that took a long time of trial and error to develop (and I ruined a $70 top hat in the process.)



Of course, I shouldn't have asked, thank you though. Again, a beautiful puppet!
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
Powermagic
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I like the hat wearing aspect. However I do not feel the movement is realistic nor is the look. It is a puppet and looks and moves like a puppet even though it might be a better quality than what others ahve put out.
Like I said, the hidden hole for the manipulation is what I like but the rest I would not pay extra for since once you start doing a puppet routine ANY realism is lost.

Have rabbits and they just do not move or look in the manner you called realistic.

Sorry.
Chris Capstone
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Hi Mr. Pitts,

I knew your question was just an oversight. I took no offense, in fact I've done that myself before too. Thanks for your nice comment on my puppet.

it's off topic but, I took a look at your website, VERY NICE! I assume that you must have drawn the cartoons because your bio says you're an artist as well. I really admire your creativity and talent.

I was especially impressed with your "philosophy of family entertainment." That was one of the best things I have ever read on a magician's website.
Chris Capstone
Chris Capstone
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Hi LMLipman,

I really respect you for not wanting to to do a rabbit in the hat puppet because another magician/friend in your area already does it. I wish more people in our field had your attitude.

Here's something to think about: If you really want to add a Rabbit in the Hat Puppet to your show, maybe you could discuss it with your friend. I'm sure you could easily come up with a completely different routine from what he is doing.

That's one of the great things about a rabbit in the hat puppet. The possibilities for routine ideas are endless and it's easy to express your personal style and vision.

As magicians, we see so much magic that we forget this stuff is not old to our audiences. Ask 100 people off the street if they have seen a live performance by a magician in the past year. What do think would be the response? And of the ones that had seen a magician lately, how many could tell you actual details about what the magician did, or the magician's name?

A long time ago I would get concerned about doing classics like the cups & balls, linking rings, egg bag, etc... because so many others did those effects. As I got older I began to realize that I could bring my own style to those classics.

That's when the show started becoming more about my character and less about the tricks. In the last 10 years nearly all of my focus in on the character I play. In fact, every new prop, costume element, or routine script is looked at through the filter of "does this fit the character?"

You still may not want to risk stepping on your friend's toes or feeling like a copy cat but it just something to think about.

Chris
Chris Capstone
Chris Capstone
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I just discovered some interesting possibilities by using a second, duplicate puppet. I work with a trunk on a low stand and a table beside it. (You can see a photo of this set-up on my website.) A fun routine can be developed by first taking off my hat (with rabbit A) looking inside and pretending the rabbit is not there. Place the hat back on my head

Then I can begin to look for him in the trunk. While looking down in the trunk a duplicate (rabbit B) can appear at the top edge of the trunk lid. A little "look don't see" can happen 2 or 3 times.

Then I can tell the kids I think they are tricking me and he never was in trunk. I can take off the hat and then do some more "look don't see" with rabbit A in the hat.

I'm just beginning to think about and try out ideas using a duplicate. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has ideas of how a duplicate puppet could be used in conjunction with the one in the hat.

Chris Capstone
Chris Capstone
ventman
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The quality and action of this rabbit puppet is more fully appreciated when viewing it in person. The side to side head action is not just the typical "flip flop" of the head as others utilize. To me this ads realism-not that I'm trying to trick any audience member into thinking it is a "real rabbit" by any means-though doing so from stage could be done easily if your puppeteering skills are up to par as well as your observations of realistic rabbit movement. Frankly, I don't care if they think it's real or not. I just think the actions of this particular puppet are unique compared to what I've seen in the past.
Chris Capstone
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Hi ventman,

Your are absolutely correct. My point was that in order to look from side to side or shake the head "no", a typical glove puppet (Punch & Judy style or Mr. Rogers style) must rotate it's entire body. This gives it a very stiff puppet like movement. That type of puppet cannot shake its independent of it's body because the index finger is the head and the thumb and middle finer are the arms.

Because of the design this puppet it can look from side to side or shake it's head "no" without rotating its entire body. This combined with the fur, glass eyes, air brushed ears, etc... make for a more realistic presentation.

Obviously I am not claiming to fool audiences into thinking the puppet is a real rabbit. I do a pretty traditional comedy routine with the rabbit doing things like hiding his eyes and peeking, whispering in my ear, and bringing small props up out of the hat.

By the way, I was wondering how the synthetic fur might clean in the event that it got dirty so I tested various substances. Everything I tested came off with Dawn liquid and cold water except paint. So I used odorless mineral spirits and the paint came off! Then I washed the mineral spirits off with the soap and water. The only thing to remember about the fur is DO NOT expose it direct heat like a hot blow dryer.

Chris
Chris Capstone
themagiciansapprentice
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I do Rabbit in the Hat every show. I like your version.
Have wand will travel! Performing children's magic in the UK for Winter 2014 and Spring 2015.
Chris Capstone
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Thanks themagiciansapprentice,

Did you make your own puppet? Care to share any rabbit in the hat gags or bits of business?

Chris
Chris Capstone
MagicSanta
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Is the ventman who is commenting the ventman from Oklahoma?
JamesinLA
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Powermagic,
I believe you are taking our meaning a bit too literally. I don't believe it was Chris's intention to make it move like a truely real rabbit, but rather to imbue a puppet rabbit with more varied and realistic aspects. This is the type of hyper reality that Disney achieved in its early animated features like Bambi. The animators studied real deer but then they used that as a departure to create their "realistic" cartoon characters. It's a stylised realism and one that is full of communicative potential. I real deer cannot speak and a real rabbit cannot whisper in your ear. But if they could, that's how it would look. It sounds like you on the other hand are working on the production of something that is suposed to be taken for a real creature.

Jim
Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Thanks about the site. Yes, I did the art. I'm in the process of redesigning it. I'm going to keep the cartoon element, but it needs much more content. You can't fool the Google algorithms these days, you gotta have relevant content and plenty of it. Plus, I need to imbed my video and add my testimonials.

I use a plain ol' Folkmanis rabbit-in-the-hat puppet, precisely because he's a toy, something a kid might have dragged out of his own toybox. Many of my props are like that. They fit the act.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
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