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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Vent mask ripped off ? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Servante
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It's like when I do magic with the kids...on rare occasion,I may sucker trick them once...but before they leave the stage THEY'VE done the magic and I'M the sucker and THEY get the applause.

-Philip
Howie Diddot
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Two good points, if I place a mask on a kid he, or she may react as David described.

If I place the mask on an adult, it may scare a younger kid in the audience, thinking it’s a monster; or a kid may be embarrassed thinking the parent is making a fool of him, or herself.

Not a big deal here, but interesting discussion on all the ramifications
Dickens & Dave
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When I had a mask, I used it in some school shows. I never even contemplated putting it on a kid, I corralled a teacher into it - the kids loved that.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Servante
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Exactly.

-Philip
Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2011-07-24 23:27, Servante wrote:
I'm pretty sure Bob was pullin' your leg, Buzz. Pretty sure. Smile

-Philip


Thanks, Philip. Yes, I was just making fun of myself!
Vegasvent
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Quote:
On 2011-07-21 00:57, Howie Diddot wrote:
Tom;



I remember a post in this forum that discussed Jeff Dunham picking up a figure at a convention and performing his original routine using the figure in front of other Ventriloquist’s; for some reason Jeff did not purchase the figure at that time, but eventually crafted a similar figure that he named Walter.


Jeff did the same thing at the Vegas Convention maybe ten years ago. There was a figure that Dan Horn had been playing with, I am quite sure he was contemplating it's purchase(he found it hard to put down). He finally set the figure down to stroll the rest of the Dealer's room while he "mulled it over". Jeff came by maybe 5 minutes later and the figure caught his eye. He picked it up did a quick bit with a random voice, and bought the figure. That became the origin of the original "Melvin the Super Hero"!
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Howie Diddot
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Seems Jeff has determination; when he makes up his mind he acts on it and moves forward.

A good quality; the others that just think about making a decision and think about moving forward sometimes lose out
Servante
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Got no beef with Jeff Dunham. The guy was instrumental in making vent a "thing" again. Can't quibble with that, eh?

-Phil
Howie Diddot
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I still have some questions about the mask
Xiqual
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Another problem is sometimes the kid will get up on stage, start to put on the mask and then when the others laugh, they will run off stage.
Always use an adult. Teacher, principal,parent, mother in law. I just did a show for my son's high school yesterday. These kids are much older so I used the class leader, they loved it. I have had kids run away though, dead time on stage, terible.
James

Quote:
On 2011-07-25 00:47, Mr. Pitts wrote:
You bring up a good point Buzz, and if I'd thought about it, I'd have mentioned this pages and pages ago. Probably the main reason I haven't bought a mask or two is that 90% of my shows are for kids. I'm not so much concerned about scaring them, I'm concerned about embarrassing them. If you do that, they are likely to walk off in the middle of the routine. I'm careful about not embarrassing my kid volunteers. Also, I think a kid might simply not like having a mask put on their face. I'd never try this routine on a kid younger than 9 or 10, and I'm not sure even with older kids. It works great for adult audiences. Adults are usually good sports. But kids don't care as much about being polite to the performer if they feel embarrassed or tricked (not happily fooled, like in a funny magic trick, but really tricked, made a fool of) . Little kids will leave you standing there alone with no way to finish the routine.
Still with the Chinese circus Smile
Chatterbox41
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Late reading the thread. A year or so after Bill Boley passed away and before anyone else was making the masks a friend of mine was doing a show. The child took off the mask and threw it on the floor breaking it into a lot of pieces.

I always used the mask with an adult, whether a teacher in the school, or the pastor of a church, etc. And I'm one who no longer uses it because so many people do. Most of the masks looke pretty much the same. I did make one for a friend in Canada that was a bit different and actually made it to his specifications. Knowing him, he had a good routine for it before it arrived and different from all the others I've seen.

Gary
Vegasvent
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Think that there are were a lot of Masks out there? How many "Mic Mouths" do you think have been sold just since Venthaven? Now they are back-ordered.
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Dickens & Dave
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Haha, I think it's possible there's already been near as many mic mouths ordered as masks are out there already, and one person has already put their their mic mouth up for sale in that section of the Café (don't bother looking, it was already sold).
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



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Bob Baker
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Well, I figure that the average person sees about 1.3 ventriloquists per lifetime, so the chance of someone seeing two of us do a mask or Mic Mouth routine is probably pretty small. And so what? If your routine is funny and original, what do you care if they've seen someone else's?

Bob
(Provocateur)
Dickens & Dave
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Interesting number, 1.3, I don't know how you came up with that number or who took the poll, (or maybe that's one full size vent and one midget vent?), but I would assume that's supposed to be a number for how many vents people see live. But let us not forget the internet - there's a lot of mask videos out there, and a lot of them have a lot of hits. And now you have Terry Fator doing a mask bit, and he's in the national eye, I saw his mask bit on youtube - repeatedly.
And really, are any of the routines original? What's being said may be different, but it's the same basic bit - if they have a guy volunteer, they give him a high pitched girlie voice, and if it's a female, she gets a deep man voice, and in both, they have them acting accordingly.
Even Terry's bit, he's got something a little different going doing a Cher impersonation, but it's on a guy volunteer, so still basically the same old, same old.
The mask is a novelty bit and a it's value came from being something fresh and different - it's not any more. It's kind of gotten to be a lot like that tired old joke that's been done to death a thousand times over about having a "hand up the puppet's butt" - no matter how differently it's worded, you heard it so many times you want to run screaming from the room when you hear someone start to use it.
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"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
KeithS
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There are some good points being made here. Perhaps this should be the focus of a separate thread, but I think it has some bearing on this discussion on “the mask.” Basically, I think what makes a vent act “unique” or “original” is bringing one’s own personality and perspective to the act.

Let's face it, unless you are doing something completely avant-garde in a dark NYC loft, where about 10 people will see you and think you brilliant, most of us will be doing pretty standard vent acts for people who will have certain expectations for what they will see. That’s part of why vent acts are fun and enjoyable. Even those few contemporary famous vent acts are basically doing that. Peanut, although a purple creature called a Woozle, is still the standard cheeky boy character. Walter, who I absolutely love, is also an archetype. Look at theater history and you’ll see these standard stock characters in ancient Greek theater, Commedia dell'arte, Punch and Judy, as well as in Shakespeare. David Strassman who is thought to be an original is doing similar things with his characters, as is Terry Fator, Dan Horn, Otto Petersen, Jay Johnson, and just about every other popular vent act. But I think what makes these and other vents unique and interesting is that they have brought their own personalities and visions to their acts. I mean, how many vents out there have fuzzy monkey puppets? But Nina Conti has brought something a bit different that makes her stand out. Senor Wences also comes to mind, as does Carla Rhodes with her one-woman show. All have taken the standard vent act and made it their own.

That’s one of the reasons why I am completely not interested in doing a mask bit. That and the fact that I think it has a creepy and weird “Big Brother” aspect to it. I am certainly not saying that I’m so different and unique. Hell, I’m currently having a cute little girl figure made that will, again, be the basic cheeky boy character. However, I hope to bring my own personality to it and do it slightly different.

Clinton recently posted on his blog my favorite quote from Taylor Mason's book, which I think is worth repeating:

"It is very easy to want to imitate or copy what you've seen someone else do. Perhaps you were inspired by a ventriloquist you saw on stage or in a video, and thought, I want to do that! Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but it won't get you very far when you're trying to forge a career path. Most agents, bookers, and audiences want to see something original - something they haven't seen elsewhere. Sure, they probably like the same act you saw, but doing someone else's act with your figure really isn't flattering - it's plagiarizing. That doesn't just apply to material; don't buy a figure that will have you doing the exact same act someone else does, either."

This should be our mantra.
Howie Diddot
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Blueshawk1;

I have figured it out; 1.3 means the average person Bob was referring to, went to see a ventriloquist and enjoyed the show so much, he went to see another ventriloquist that was horrible because his lips were moving and he walked out about one third into the routine and never went to a vent show again for the rest of his life.

And you can’t say “midget”, it’s not PC, you now have to say “little People”
Dickens & Dave
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Sorry, I don't do "PC".
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Howie Diddot
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So you own a Mac?
Dickens & Dave
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Okay, you got me, I have a PC, but I don't do PC, but I did used to shop at P&C and another store who's initials were PC.
(sorry, that's all I got for now, I just got up.)
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
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