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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Polly wants a cracker... » » Vanishing Dove Cage (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

zaubern
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Seattle, Wa
335 Posts

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I currently use a Doves to Rabbit to vanish my doves, but would like to change to a more traditional style vanishing cage (e.g. Nielson style) but unfortunately I found most places stopped making them. I am thinking of ordering the Osborne plans for this effect. Does anyone know how good these are and perhaps you could PM me to talk further about any specific details. Any help is appreciated.
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sperris
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http://www.Anti-Conjuror.com
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Osborne plans can be hard to read and understand unless you're famialure with building. I really feel that if you're serious about your act then it is worth paying the extra money and putting in the time in researching and investing in a professionally built prop. Neilsen, last I heard, is still building his cages. I never go through a dealer if I know I can get in contact with the builder myself. Give Norm a call and I'm sure he'd be happy to set you up. I know that Owens makes a nice Channing Pollock style vanishing cage too, it looks beautiful.

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Scott Penrose
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London, England
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Further to what Dan has just said about the Osborne plans, I gather from the picture that accompanies the advert for the Paul Osborne Vanishing Birdcage that the method is slightly different from the usual one and is not necessarily better.

Tilford seem to make nice cages and also Vanishing Cages come up on magicauction.com very frequently...

All the best

Scott
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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Zaubern,

Vanishing dove cages are still very accessible. The good ones are not cheap. And the cheap ones are not…

There are several things to be considered in buying one. I really don’t think it would pay you to make just one good one, even if you own a NASCAR machine shop. They do wear out. Most people are slow to tell you that too! The better ones are adjustable for speed. That is very important. Hauling them, storing them, and using them makes adjusting necessary for almost every show. Otherwise, the magician works for the prop.

Of course, I do the trick too. I learned from Mercer Helms in the very early 1960s. I believe he was the first to do it on national TV and HBO. I do know it made his act easy to book. (I owned an agency.) But he was also a very good magician, showman and entertainer. There are venues where it will not play well. You need a real stage and plenty of room. You also either need to work in the dark (seldom an option except in nightclubs) or have an assistant. Know your lighting engineer well! I do not recommend the prop for working in the flat or with doves that will not stay perched.

Other features to consider are, does it really fit the show? An advantage of what you are already doing with the doves to rabbit (Lucy and I use three of them in a two-hour show) is that you have something (the rabbit) to take out into the audience when it is over. There is nothing left but a cloth with the vanishing dove cage table on stage with this one. How well do you manage under audience inspection of what’s left on stage? On TV we can cut to a commercial. In real life, you have to do something next and there is no zoom lens to take the heat off. The prop will experience a minor failure about 10% of the time. The audience seldom knows, but you need Plan B available. The best solution we have found is an assistant that is an equally talented magician. Mercer used lighting.

The prop itself comes with many variations. The most basic difference is a visible or invisible floor for the cage. An invisible floor exposes the trick. A visible floor brings its own set of additional problems. But I definitely recommend the visible floor. There are some really pretty new finishes available. If you are only going to perform a couple times a year, get one of the really pretty ones. If you perform every night, get the flat black metal ones you can repaint every week. I use disposable sparkling tape for trim. It is easy to put back after a new paint job. I haven’t seen one in years with bad footings. Today it seems like the abundance of good desk chair bases has improved magic props considerably. Buy a good packing case with the prop.

This is a beautiful trick in the right venue. It won’t play just anywhere and it is not as versatile or error-free as what you are doing. It will also separate you from some money. One that is not top drawer is much like an “almost perfect” tattoo. You’ll have to live with the results and others can see well. You may need the money you save. It is not one I recommend for early in a magic career. I think of it as a nice toy but not the show. Other more versatile props should come first. But never get to the end of the “want” list. Keep adding.

Bob Sanders
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e-man
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HILTON HEAD,SC
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The first cage vanish I saw was Tom & Sheri on TV in the early 70s Slydini was on the bill also I was impressed, pro-line makes a very nice model with a floor $1,695 as does Owens..$$$$ I think Norm Neilson still has a couple, It's $3,000 no floor, I remember seeing it at a Magi-Fest 75 when it was $850.00 inflation.
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ERIC HELVENSTON
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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E-man,

Although I live in Arkansas for years, I never performed that trick in Arkansas because I had a friend (Clev Brown) who did it there. Is Clev still a practicing magician there?

If Bill books me back for the Cavalcade of Magic in March maybe it's time I changed that.

I'm probably the only guy on earth to break a rib doing that trick. A couple of years ago in Atlanta I was rehearsing the trick for a comedy routine at a hotel. The line was that I nursed a dragging shoelace all through the act. In closing as I walked toward the audience I stepped on the shoelace and fell on the (vanished) cage. However, I broke a rib in the process. It just wasn't funny enough for me to do a gain!

I went back to doing it straight. It is a great closer.

Enjoy!

Bob
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e-man
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Did you appear to be walking toward the foot of the stage and then trip, aparently falling almost off the stage and then POOF! leaving yourself with only a foulard?
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ERIC HELVENSTON
Bob Sanders
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Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
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E-man,

Think of it as falling, landing on the foulard and mashing the cage through the stage floor as a consequence of stepping on the shoelace. Yes, I take the "cage" off the base and carry it towards the audience to vanish the cage. (Always standing from then on!)

I did not "fall" into the orchestra pit.

Bob
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz

AmazedWiz@Yahoo.com
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