Many magicians in the Philippines love to perform dove magic. Leodini is one of them.
Yet, launching oneself into dove magic is a difficult enterprise. First, you have to buy those doves—not just any type of doves, but the kind that God made for magic.
Second, you have to keep the doves happy. That means you have to provide them a comfortable home, feed them well, treat them kindly. All this requires money, time and effort to do.
Next, you have to train them, so they will perform according to your show’s script. You don’t want them to be singing a bird song while they are hidden in the load chamber, waiting for their cue to appear. That will forewarn the audience what is going to happen next. Also, you don’t want the doves to come out of the production boxes before it’s time for them to appear. That will give the trick away and turn you into a laughing stock in front of your audience.
While I love to perform dove magic, training the birds is one department I lag behind. My birds are untrained—or to put it more correctly, untrainable. They refuse to be trained. It is either they are dumb to understand my instructions, or stubborn to follow them.
I always wanted to perform the sleeve toss after seeing Lance Burton’s mesmerizing dove act. But to do the dove toss elegantly, I have first to put my doves on a rigorous “return flight” training. That means, I have to teach them to fly back to me after the toss, instead of flying away to unknown destinations.
After spending hours in practice and training, my doves would simply not do what I want them to do. Sometime they would fly back to me, sometimes they would not.
At one birthday party held outdoor, one of my doves flew away and perched atop a tall tree. I had to dangle a P100 bill to a clown to go after it. The audience was entertained watching a clown swinging from one branch to another in pursuit of an escaped dove. They even applauded the clown after he caught it.
It’s been years since I gave up on developing the “dove toss” and “return flight” techniques. I realized I had been using the wrong kind of dove for the toss. But once I discovered the right one, the dove flies back to me after each and every toss.
Here’s the dove I’m now using for the “dove toss” and “return flight” routine:
Needless to say (but I will still say it), I have painful bumps on my forehead every time I perform the “dove toss.”