Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rabbits for magic shows

Everybody makes a relation between a magician and a bunny pulled out of a hat. And people have expressions like: How Amazing! – How fun! – I want the magician with a rabbit for my party!

But before you ask for such a trick, there are some things to keep in mind.

Behind the stage the rabbits suffer. I respect my colleagues who choose to work with rabbits, and I hope that they are doing their best to take care of the animals.
But for me, as a magician, I do not work with rabbits because if I'm doing my best and the show is entertaining and the tricks outstanding, I don't need to resort to using a rabbit for people to remember my show.

Sleight of hand: the reality is not what you think.
Let me describe this situation before you decide to have a rabbit at your party. The regular magic shows are 30 to 45 minutes long. Making the rabbit appear at the beginning of the show is not going to work very well, unless you want the show to end quickly. That means the rabbit needs to be kept in a small box for anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes, with low oxygen and no light. The rabbit can’t move, the rabbit can’t jump, the rabbit can’t be free, etc… All of this because at the end of the show, the rabbit gets to be the "star" of the party and the children get to be amazed for about 2 minutes. Ok, let's make the rabbit appear -- wham! .. Oops. The rabbit is confused and dizzy, not because of the things I just mentioned, but because the magician shakes the box for the “magical effect.” (I say we all try it ourselves first to see how it feels.) After the rabbit appears, then what? The screaming and applause, of course, which is why the rabbit is there in the first place. The rabbit doesn't understand what's going on (as far as we know). But one thing we don't have to guess about is that the rabbit, at any moment, is going to be pooping and starting to smell bad. He's an animal, what do you expect? That the rabbit appears and says: "Sorry, guys, I pooped because I felt bad inside this tiny space, with no food, air or light. I hope you understand." Now that would be something!

Ok. Let’s assume that the rabbit is fine for some minutes and the rabbit is “trained” for many years to support this inhumane treatment because he is “an animal." You have to think about the other people at the party and if they might be allergic to the rabbit. "Hey, come to my party, and afterward, you'll have a great sinus infection!… OMG how fun!" Then if the rabbit is pooping and peeing, the magician can say, "Ok! Time for more fun! Time to clean the carpet and the floor." Then if you think that the guests are going to remember this party with a rabbit, you are right! And the memories will last for you, too -- along with the smell at your house for the next couple of days.

These are just a few examples of situations with "magic bunnies."

Before you hire a
magician with a rabbit, be sure to inquire about how the magician takes care of the rabbit or any animal for the show, and be sure that they have some extra insurance to protect your investment. And if you are still worried, then don't have a rabbit at your party -- that is probably the best insurance for the rabbit.
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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Preparing for magic

Ever since I was a little boy, nothing could call my attention like magic! I opened my eyes to magic early on in those days when I was a kid. Today I am here preparing magic shows, and it seems like nothing has changed. I am as in love with magic today as I was many years ago.

Preparing for a magic show is not only about magic tricks. It’s also about preparing for anything that could happen at the magic show. Since doing magic shows for 20 years, I’m still excited taking time to see tricks, repeating tricks again and again, keeping the routine in my mind, practice my timing and even some expressions. To be prepared for all of that is important. But on the date and at the time of the show, anything can happen. More or
fewer people might arrive than expected. The location might change at the last minute. Guests are late. Then there’s the rain. This is why as a magician, I need to be prepared to be prepared. For anything. My reality, my here and now, shows me that my experience of 20 years doing magic will mean nothing if I am not prepared for the fact that anything can happen at the shows.

A new show is a new experience and needs to be as special as shows before that moment. That’s why I enjoy what I do: magic, every day putting more effort into creating new routines, not only to surprise people, but also to surprise myself, and still be prepared to be prepared.