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magicbilly
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I'm a close up worker and I've only ever seen animals used on stage in big stage shows. Recently I've been pondering the idea of using animals in a close up act. Obviously I can see many many reasons why NOT to use animals in close up but I also have some ideas about teir use in a close up enviroment. Has anyone ever used animals in close up or does anybody know of a closeup animal act. Any input would be welcomed.

MB
JustinDavid
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Well there have been hamsters used in the cups and balls routine..

I guess it's not such a bad idea, but there are two flaws that come to mind:

If you are doing a close up show at a restaurant, or anywhere people are eating for that matter, I'm sure they aren't going to want a hamster to come rolling out into their pork fried rice.. or their falet mingon.. nevermind if one of them were to leave a hamster treat for them.

Two.. it would be hard to keep an animal hidden that close, and where would you put it when you were done.. you can't just stick it back in your pocket..

There are more I'm sure and I will leave it up to the rest on here to point them out LOL.. but hey if you can do it, and the animals are safe, and the people enjoy it, more power to you.. that foundation of magic is imagination.. and to come up with original material is golden.. have fun, and remember they are you pets before your props.

Justin David Smile
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Scott Penrose
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Justin David is right, producing animals at the dinner table may be condsidered bad taste and unhygenic if the guests are eating their dinner. However, there have been times when I have produced a dove at the table in close-up and it knocks the guests dead. You have to choose your moment and pick the right audience for this. Once you have produced a dove the whole room will know what you have done and there will be no element of surprise if you go to repeat the trick at another table. Furthermore it would not be fair on the bird to do the trick twenty times in a night! So with this in mind I might do the dove production at the top table for the bride and groom at a wedding reception - this would be the last trick of the evening.

Another alternative is the goldfish production from a borrowed bill....and dropping it into a large goblet of water. Goldfish in a glass can hardly be considered unhygenic at the dinner table. However, this is trick that I know little about and would not know what gimmicks to recommend.

Hope this helps....

Scott
sperris
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Any time I've seen animals used in a close up act it has been in magic competitons. And in those acts they don't appear to be likely to be very commercial outside of doing a magic convention or place like the Castle or something like that. The COOLEST effect, hands down I've ever seen that used an animal close up that he can do any time and it looks like real magic is Andrew Goldenher's Butterfly. I watched him do it in the close-up gallery when I was working the Magic Castle and it is beautiful. Other than that I haven't seen any close up animal magic that has really impressed me or held a candle to that effect. Andrew's also a really cool and nice guy too!

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Harry Murphy
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There are a number of performers that use livestock of some nature in their close-up acts. Typically these performers are not table-hopping in restaurants. Johnny Ace Palmer will use his chick load finale to his Cups and Balls routine in non-competition performances.

Back in the late 50’s and early 60’s General Grant Murphy used to do a sit-down close-up routine. He had his own version of what is now being referred to as the Slydini's Knot routine. It ended with the production of a Dove.

I know of a couple of guy’s that will produce a guinea pig as part of their close-up act. Pat Page used to produce one close-up working in a Pub in England (from under a borrowed hat). I know one young lady that produces a hamster in her close-up act.

I think that many performers don’t even consider using livestock in close-up venues because there are so few venues where a performer actually does a sit-down close-up act. Most close-up magic seems to be the walk-around, stand-up variety. Livestock simply is a royal pain to use in such a venue.

So there are a few performers adding to their shows by using livestock. There just doesn’t seem to be many of them.
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magicbilly
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Thanks for the input guys. You're all right that animals in a table hopping enviroment would have to be dealt with very carefully and I had foreseen this problem when I originally posted.

Harry, you mentioned Pat Page producing a guinea pig from a borrowed hat and when I read this I was reminded of David Blaines production of the snake in one of his shows. Do you know if there is any literature that deals with this particular type of effect or was it an idea that Pat Page developed himself?

Thanks again and anybody's continued interest would be gratefully welcomed.

MB
Harry Murphy
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If I remember my discussion with Patrick on this, he actually watched someone else do this first and developed his own handling. In fact he did not use any special holder or pocket. The critter was in his coat pocket and loaded (a la cups and balls load) using only the most basic of misdirection.

Producing an animal is not all that difficult in concept (yes it is difficult to make look magical, but that’s another story). In essence a critter is held-out hidden somewhere, then is stolen using a cover and/or misdirection, and loaded to be produced, then finally produced.

The first production I ever performed was simply a dove wrapped in a silk hank, the silk gathered and held by a spring type of clothes-pin and hung from the back of a table by a short nail. It was stolen under the cover of picking up a bunch of silk scarves. It was not elegant, but it worked (and was all I used for years!).

I can (and do) produce a dove or a parrot from my lap. I do use a simple harness (one hand opening style, no loop and no Velcro – too noisy) that I simply pick it up at the end of a silk routine. The bird is produced from the silks.

Tony Clark has an interesting load and steal from a small box (can’t say more without tipping his idea).

There are dozens of idea in print that speaks to this kind of production. Trouble is that it is spread out all over the place. Ian Adair’s “Encyclopedia of Dove Magic” has a lot of ideas included. Many of the people discussed elsewhere on this section of the Café have an idea or two in their books or tapes.

I doubt if you need to buy anything. Think about what you want to produce, when it the routine you want to produce it, and then work out the misdirection/cover needed to produce it. That line of thinking will tell you what options you have in placing the animal prior to the steal. Basically keep it simple.
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
Dynamike
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I never seen anyone use a sugar glider. They are from Australia. They are very cute. They like to stay tucked in a comfortable area, meaning you will have no problem with them trying to escape. They are quiet and small also.

Imagine the response you will get if you made one appear and glide through the air.
highmagic
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Quote:
On 2003-09-22 00:24, sperris wrote:
The COOLEST effect, hands down I've ever seen that used an animal close up that he can do any time and it looks like real magic is Andrew Goldenher's Butterfly.
Sperris


Sperris, could you tell us more about this effect? Is it commercially available?

Thanks,

Ken
taddo
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I just used a parakeet in a close-up competition, but like Dan says it isn't practicle for anywhere else.

taddo
Daniel Faith
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Paul Harris has an effect called Creation in his Art of Astonishment Book 1. It uses a live mothand is done in a close up situation.

Forget about animals at restaurants!
Daniel Faith
DrDale
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I saw Goldenhirsh (SPELLING?) pull a rabbit form his hair in the Castles Close up room
magicleland
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"Two.. it would be hard to keep an animal hidden that close, and where would you put it when you were done.. you can't just stick it back in your pocket.. "

Actually you can! I stick it in my coat pocket for the rest of the close up!
I use dwarf hamsters for my evening illusion show ala zombie ball to hamster ball or use the dwarf hamster as a load to cups and fruit or a devil hank Dwarfs hamsters can even be palmed!
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Maro Anglero
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Johnny Ace Palmer is one Magician that I have seen
work with small animals in his close up act and it is a
fantastic act.
For the Magician: The hard must become habit, The habit must become easy, The easy must become Beautiful



Doug Henning
Daniel Faith
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In fact John Ace Palmer won first place at FISM using baby chicks as a final load in his cups and balls and then produced 2 doves at the very end.
Daniel Faith
Vinnie Laraway
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Quote:
On 2003-09-21 11:58, JustinDavid wrote:
and where would you put it when you were done.. you can't just stick it back in your pocket..


Justin,

I see where your coming from on this one... But with a little bit of thought, this may be a fun routine to pull off... How about this:

Lets say you only used ONE hamster for the FINAL load... You obviously have to get rid of it... Like you said, you can't put it back in your pocket, so why not topit it? Smile I mean, it really shouldn't hurt the animal if you provide some extra cushion and padding at the bottom of the topit.. I think this would look very magical: Doing your whole cups and balls routine, producing 3 (lets say) hamster treats [such as blocks of wood shaped as carrots, etc.], and then for the final load, You produce the hamster... You pick it up, and (with a little bit of thought about the patter) topit it...

Just a wild idea... Probably has been thought up before...
Hows that sound guys?
-Vinnie
JustinDavid
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It could end up very very sick if pulled off right. But I would be worried about the inexperienced magician vs. the nerves, shoving the little guy in there too hard.

Other than that a topit should do the trick. It would look amazing.

Justin
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