Every now and then I get my hands on something and have to purchase it for myself! Dave Powell’s Balloon to Dove Chest is an example of magic that I would classify as definitive! And the very cool thing…
You can use it to have a chest full of cash magically appear!
Sometimes, in an effort to better cash flow, especially these days, we drop ship the more expensive items. If I know the builder and I’m familiar with their work, I have no problem selling a prop sight unseen. I don’t do this often, but I’ve come to respect and love the quality of work I’ve seen in the last few years from Dave Powell.
After we ran this item for a while, I decided to purchase one for myself. This piece will replace a Mikame Money Chest I’ve incorporated into a new formal show. I’m using the chest full of money concept as a finale to my Bye George routine.
The piece arrived today and after a little while assembling the plexi case I tested it out! Wow! It’s absolutely perfect!
The base is fabricated from Walnut wood. The finish couldn’t be nicer! The hardware combined with the base make this piece look sleek and elegant. The electronics run on 2 9V batteries. It comes with a back-up remote, too. It is sure-fire so long as your batteries are fresh. When Dave called me when he was thinking about making this gem, I asked him to put in a manual release as well. Not that I doubt his electronics, but should we forget to change the batteries I wanted to see a fail-safe method as back-up. I asked for this knowing I’d purchase one for my own use. While I’m certain Dave cursed me a few times when adding the fail-safe feature, it works like a charm!
Most parlor or stage workers don’t work with doves today. Dove From Balloon Tray versions used to be a constant part of my stage show for years. As I pulled a balloon from my pocket and began to blow it up, Rose would enter from stage right with the tray. She’d spin it once proving it empty and allowing the audience to see all sides. I’d walk toward her and affix the balloon on the tray. I’d walk back to the other side of the stage and shape my hand like a gun and aim it towards the balloon. Just as the music hit the crescendo, a large fireball would shoot from my finger tip across the stage and just as it got to the balloon, the balloon burst and in its place a live dove! It always got ooohs and aaahs from the audience! Indeed it was a startling routine.
Today I no longer work with birds. And while I miss that routine, the use of the dove tray concept came back with Dave’s new version. I do like the plexi encasing so if you’re working with birds, they don’t fly away on you. That almost happened to me about 20 years ago at an outdoor show at a yacht club in Maryland. Thankfully I was quicker then and got the dove before he got too far! A quick comment about a sexy duck across the pond amused the audience and saved what was almost an embarrassing moment!
Spring bills make a perfect appearance piece for this device. Due to the largeness of the prop, four or five packages of spring bills will fill the entire space. I like to mix a few real bills in with the spring bills. While the spring bills look real at a very close distance, it adds to the realism. In my routine, Bye George, I start by borrowing a dollar bill from someone. In a series of moves, 8 quarters are produced from their bill and then a jumbo coin! The natural progression of the effect had me create the ultimate finale by placing their bill into the chest and then having it replicate itself what appears to be 100 fold! I then reach into the pile of bills and return the borrowed bill to them bringing the entire routine home!