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Topic: Does it ruin it if they see your lips move???
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Mar 29, 2005 12:42AM)
Hi..

I am just starting to get into vent stuff and have really good ideas to incorporate it into my shows. I splurged and bought myself an axtell laughing louie and cant wait to start practicing with him. I have been mentally picturing how the vent stuff will play to a crowd and I cant seem to get it right in my head.

At first for sure people will see my lips move from time to time, does it matter?? Does it ruin it for people??? Has ANYONE EVER come up to you after a show and said "i saw your lips move a couple times"

I know good routines and a good script will make it entertaining and funny..but the whole moving lips thing, is it crucial?? do you know what I mean?? Any tips to practice??? thanks much!!
Message: Posted by: Budihaha (Mar 29, 2005 03:41AM)
Well, this question will get 2 different side of pro and cons. And became a war in a couple ventriloquists internet society.
But both side aggree that to become a good ventriloquist someone should practise to mastering the lips control technique.

Is lips control the most important technique for good ventriloquist? The answer is no! Because good ventriloquist not only need good lips control, but also figure manipulation, timing, funny script and else.

How about a flapping ventriloquist is he/she ruin the art? Yes, because lips control IS the basic to create the illusion of a living figure. Is the audience complaining to the "ventriloquist"? Maybe yes, maybe not or maybe to other entertainer.

How about a beginner ventriloquist, is it OK to perform to an audience! It's OK, but please try as hard as you can, or bill your self as puppeteer.

Practising while you driving, in front of mirror, at the bathroom or else where when nobody there, or they might think that you are not OK! :)

The golden rule is practise, practise, and practise!

Regards,

Budi Ha Ha
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Mar 29, 2005 11:23AM)
Nice, thanks!!! I have no fear in practicing..after all.. I am a magician!! hehe thanks for your opinion..anyone else?
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Mar 29, 2005 08:45PM)
Good advice, Buddi. Another thing that can help is to work your dialog so that the first few minutes require no labials so while they are really focusing on your lip movement, there won't be any. Once they see your lips don't move they'll start watching the figure and focus on the funny routine.

I had a long commute while I was learning and I got a lot of practice in while driving. I still practice while I drive.

Oliver
Message: Posted by: ventman (Mar 29, 2005 11:21PM)
I forget the name of the Broadway musical or play, but the puppeteers make no pretense to even be ventriloquists and move their lips wildly-and there are no stages to hide behind either, yet the production won a Tony! Edger Bergan moved his lips like crazy, but everyone was so transfixed on Charlie and Mortimer and the character development was awesome. Occasionally you will have little kids that might catch your lips moving or a quiver....keep the dialogue lively and the figure animated realistically and that should misdirect most of the attention.
Do head toward technical excellence in regard to lip movement - sometimes, however, there will be people that just want to "burst your bubble" and say you moved your lips whether it is true or not....

Avenue Q...that's the musical.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Mar 30, 2005 12:30AM)
That's what I have been saying to myself.. If you got a tight script in the opening moments of your act, after everyone has gotten over the lips not moving, you're good to go. As a magician I have strong misdirection skills and if I make the puppet look lively and interesting it shouldnt be an issue afterwards..

Are there words EVERY vent tries to stay away from???
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Mar 30, 2005 12:45AM)
Ventriloquists often bring up Edgar Bergren as an example to use as an excuse for being lazy about lip control... Edgar made it really big on the radio!! He was already famous when he started doing movies and people actually saw that his technique was crap... If you are going to learn ventriloquism - learn Ventriloquism!
and regardless of how well you manipulate your puppet and how funny your script is - people are going to notice your lips are moving and it WILL reflect badly on your performance because when it all comes down to it - lip control is how lay people judge a ventriloquist.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Mar 30, 2005 02:11AM)
For sure... I defenitaly want to learn it well.. are there things or words to stay away from?
Message: Posted by: rden (Mar 30, 2005 12:38PM)
In defense of Mr. Bergen, I've never [i]seen[/i] him perform (other than a brief bit in The Muppet Movie filmed shortly before he died), but I have [i]heard[/i] many wonderful routines from his very entertaining radio show. To me, Charlie and Mortimer were so real that I can't imagine that seeing Edgar Bergen's lips move would detract much, if at all, from the whole experience. If a performance is viewed as an act of skill, then I agree that moving your lips, even a bit, would be considered a mistake. If a performance is judged more on one's ability to engage the audience, then I think Mr. Bergen, or someone like him, scores very high marks.

That being said, if you can do it all well, go for it!
Message: Posted by: Avrakdavra (Mar 30, 2005 01:36PM)
This question brings to mind Olympic figure skating. Everyone tunes in to see the skaters' full programs filled with dash, artistry, athleticism, and grace. What the cameras have seldom shown are the compulsory figure trials where the skaters have had to demonstrate their technical proficiency and mastery of basic figures and movements. That sort of mastery was not what people have wanted to see in a prime-time performance, but I think it is important for the skaters to do, both as the foundation for later skills and also as a demonstration that they had absorbed the history and skills basic to their sport/art. I think that many of the compulsory figures have been dropped now--a shame I think; a concession to a world that values the flashy, the shallow, and the novel over the substantive, the profound, and the traditional.
Not surprisingly, I personally prefer (i.e. appreciate and respect) a ventriloquist who has put in the time to master not moving his lips, even though I may stop paying attention to his face after the first ten seconds. Of course, these elements are a prerequisite, not a substitute for an entertaining and engaging performance.

By the by, it has been mentioned in other threads that Bergen apparently was quite proficient technically prior to making it big in radio, after which his skills atrophied.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 1, 2005 11:32AM)
Do you guys hear "i saw his lips move" from the crowd sometimes?? I am not saying someone shouting it out.. Just quietly.... does it happen??

I'll ask a 3rd time.. and words or phrases every vents tend to stay away from??
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 2, 2005 02:43PM)
Luckily, I usually get comments on my lips not moving. But I have had people comment on seeing my neck muscles moving.

With practice you can learn to say any phrase you need. Sometimes you need to reword a sentence so you don't get a really bad string of labials together. If you can say the same thing more easily, without sounding unnatural, then it's probably a good idea.

The hardest consonant combination for me is "Barbara" and others like that.

Oliver
Message: Posted by: ChrisJ (Apr 2, 2005 08:37PM)
I agree Oliver. If possible stay away from those words you have trouble with. I think each person might find different words harder. I have troubles with words beginning with FR like the word friend. The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to write your routine and then as you read through it with your figure,you will see which words might trouble you. then maybe put your thesaurus to use and find a different word for the time being. Does that answer in a round about way?

Chris
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Apr 2, 2005 11:30PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-30 13:38, rden wrote:
In defense of Mr. Bergen, I've never [i]seen[/i] him perform (other than a brief bit in The Muppet Movie filmed shortly before he died), but I have [i]heard[/i] many wonderful routines from his very entertaining radio show. To me, Charlie and Mortimer were so real that I can't imagine that seeing Edgar Bergen's lips move would detract much, if at all, from the whole experience. If a performance is viewed as an act of skill, then I agree that moving your lips, even a bit, would be considered a mistake. If a performance is judged more on one's ability to engage the audience, then I think Mr. Bergen, or someone like him, scores very high marks.

That being said, if you can do it all well, go for it!
[/quote]

You might want to find "Fun and Fancy Free." The second half has Edger Bergen thowing a party for the little girl who lives next door. (Apparently, Candice couldn't make it!) You really get an idea of Charlie's character with his come-backs.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 3, 2005 12:24AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-02 15:43, olivertwist wrote:
Luckily, I usually get comments on my lips not moving. But I have had people comment on seeing my neck muscles moving.

With practice you can learn to say any phrase you need. Sometimes you need to reword a sentence so you don't get a really bad string of labials together. If you can say the same thing more easily, without sounding unnatural, then it's probably a good idea.

The hardest consonant combination for me is "Barbara" and others like that.

Oliver
[/quote]

VERY good advice thank you.... I figured you could do your script to get a way with a few words, but I imagine its handy (and fun) to be able to improvise with the audience as well.. And having a good knowledge of the words you can use is key..

about the neck moving.. do you think that takes away from it?? I have seen a few guys who are excellent and yet you can sometimes see the neck muscles moving.. can a shirt and tie or turtle neck cover that?? is it REALLY that important? This thread is helping me a lot..thanks...
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 3, 2005 06:41PM)
Eric,

Other magicians who have watched me say that when I wear a turtleneck of formal shirt with a bow tie, they don't notice the neck movement. Ultimately, they know your doing the talking. Some kids think you're trying to fool them by making them think the puppet is alive. I think if the routine is funny and entertaining, the neck movement is not important. Steve Taylor's video "Humoring Your Dummy" has good advice on writing funny dialogues/

Oliver
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 3, 2005 09:27PM)
If you are not going to learn ventriloquism properly - one thing you can do is to bring attention to your short comings. That takes the power from the audience saying you suck and puts it back in your hands saying you suck by having YOU or your character saying it. For instance - make the puppet make fun of you or have it make a joke about your lips moving. That will disarm the audience and let them know that you know that your lips move. A far better alternative to ignoring it and making the audience think that you don't know that your technique isn't the best.. Good Luck
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 4, 2005 09:52AM)
I defenitaly had though of that, having the puppet laugh at me for my ventriloquism skills.. Thanks for confirming the turtle neck and bowtie theory.

I have another question, are there things that are OVERDONE in the world of ventriloquism? Like jokes or situational things that about EVERY unoriginal guy uses? I have seen maybe only 3 guys perform well with it and I am wondering if theres OLD gags that are overdone. Or maybe work really really well... I just want to cover all my bases before I start...
Message: Posted by: ChrisJ (Apr 4, 2005 03:09PM)
Eric,
In my opinion most people haven't ever seen a Ventriloquist live and haven't been exposed to the "norm" or over used stuff. A lot of folks are thrilled to see the figure/puppet and enjoy that. The things that come to my mind are when folks do a Jeff Dunham type bit with the grumpy Old man (Walter in Jeffs case) as he has been pretty visible to the public as well as Ronn Lucas with his fire breathing (snot shooting) Dragon Scorch. If you have fun and enjoy doing it they will enjoy your performance. It goes the same as with your magic shows. The basic do's and don't like hitting the figure or treating the figure badly still hold true for the most part. The audience will always want the little guy to get the best of you. I think if the vent gets a jab in from time to time is good to but not in a demeaning or hurtful way. But over all..what I am seeing is the old routines from the vent books still hold water even though on a dry read they seem not to to me. There are a great number of joke books and routine books out there. You might want to get a few routine books and then customize a routine to you and your partner. Hope it helps.

Chris
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 5, 2005 09:43AM)
Thanks!! I just got my laughing Louie and I love him!! Its instantly funny when I bring him out... My friends and family laughed so hard, and I was just messing around with him.. I think I fell in love with a new art form!!! I am so excited
Message: Posted by: Sonny Vegas (Apr 5, 2005 02:21PM)
Where can you order Axtell puppets? I've seen a few, but do they have a website?
Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (Apr 5, 2005 02:25PM)
http://www.axtell.com/
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 5, 2005 07:37PM)
Eric,

Congratulations! You got a great response with your new figure. I know the feeling. The same thing happened when I started using Vern the bird. Once I started I was hooked.

Oliver
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 6, 2005 12:41AM)
I think I will be too.. This may sound crazy, but I cant stop thinking about him!! haha... how he is, what he likes, what he wants to wear..hes undressed at the moment waiting to be pimped up..

I had an idea while practicing today and I would like to know if its been done... The puppet does impersonations, like of famous singers, I am OK at impressions and I am tryng to master them with no lip movement.. have you ever seen anything like that before in the vent world?
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 6, 2005 01:22PM)
I have seen several vents do impressions. It can be a funny bit and if your impressions are not dead on - it's no big deal. Several vents use visual impressions as well - like the bit of doing an impression of the movie 'Godzilla' and moving the mouth out of sinc (to copy the dubbed appearance). If you can do a lot of voices - it might be a good bit to have the audience get involved by yelling out celebrities for the puppet to immitate. That way - if your puppet can do some of the voices they yell out; good - if not; he can do some wise crack jokes about not being able to do those particular voices. I have worked with a few impressionists that do this and its funny how night after night, audience after audience - the audience usually yells out the same voice requests..
You are in Ontario - if you ever have the chance to see comic/impressionist 'Mark Walker' - check him out. He does one of the best bits I have seen where he reads a children's book - each page as a different audience requested celebrity - VERY funny!
Good Luck,
Damien
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 7, 2005 09:52PM)
Pete Michaels does a funny routine using masks that look like Sonny and Cher. He puts them on two members of the audience (the guy plays Cher, the girl plays Sonny) and he sings a comedy version of "I Got You, Babe". He does their voices so well you'd think it was the original until you realize the words are all wrong. Very vunny routine.

I wish I could do impressions. I'd use them all the time.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 9, 2005 01:24AM)
Yes Oliver that's exactly what I meant.. I wasnt talking about godzilla or elmer fudd impressions..I meant like "micheal jackson" or "rod stewart" songs performed and sung as they would.. Get the dummy to do it.. Its something I have never seen and it looks really good!

Secondly, I am having a hard time finding what I want him to wear.. Do ventriloquists have a varied wardrobe for their dummies?
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 9, 2005 02:58PM)
I've seen dummies in everything from tuxedos to swim suits. Perormers pick the outfits to go with the character the want to portray. David Turner has a figure named "Harley" who's a real tough biker. If you have a chance to go to Venthaven you'll see hundreds of ventriloquists of all skill levels. You'll see great acts and bad acts, but it's a lot of fun and you can learn a lot. It's in July, near Cinncinatti Ohio.

Oliver
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 10, 2005 09:28AM)
So you DO have more than one outfit for your dummy? Or once you find one you like you stick with it?
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 10, 2005 07:50PM)
The animals never have costumes. Dodger has worn a Cub Scout Uniform. But usually he has his Tuxedo. He usually doesn't wear a top hat. I got him a childs (2T) tux on ebay. It worked out fine. His look compliments my look.
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Apr 10, 2005 09:40PM)
Once a while I'll let my puppets wear costume that will compliment mine, to give it 'freshness' to my show.

Very important when I have repeated customers who may have seen my show again and again. Instead of buying a new puppet, I'll dress up my current one to make it look different. :)

Yes, I do let my animal puppets wear costume. It can look pretty cute.
Message: Posted by: BIlly James (Apr 13, 2005 07:02AM)
Hi Eric,

Congratulations on your purchase of Laughing Louie. He is a fantastic puppet and works a lot like a traditional vent figure. I bet you got a surprise when you opened the box, all the Axtell puppets look SO much better in the flesh (or in the latex) than they do in pictures or on the website.

Generally when you start your routine people will glance across at your lips (regardless of your animation skills in a lot of cases) during the first couple of minutes of your act. Once they see that your lips are not moving they will not bother to watch your lips but will settle into enjoying your puppet partner.

So, it's best to keep labials out of your first few exchanges with your puppet, then gradually introduce them more and more as the routine progresses.

As far as stuff that's overdone for vents I must agree with...I think it was Joseph (it was over the page), the vast majority of people haven't had the opportunity of seeing a vent in person and so most of the classic vent stuff still flies really well.

I identify with your excitement about entering into this fantastic new world of vent, the good thing is that you're never alone, your partner (Louie in your case) shoulders at least half of the act and there is just something intrinsically very funny a bout a vent act, don't ask me what it is because I don't think you can quantify it, I'm just grateful that it exists, and with puppets the standard of the Axtells you can't lose.

Cheers
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 13, 2005 09:22AM)
Great advice, thanks!! I like the fact the puppet can say things and you can have a look on your face like "as if he just said that". I love that he takes all the blame!! As for not saying labials in the first few minutes, that's a great idea.

I find my hand really stinks after playing with Louie (that sounded bad) cause of the Latex. Also, I am having problems finding something for him to wear.

To come up with a name for him I find difficult as well. Obviously his name would be mentioned in the first part of the act so it would have to be easy to pronounce, right?

I cant stop thinking about it!!! I am addicted
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 13, 2005 12:44PM)
Hey Eric,
It's so true about the puppet being able to say things that you can't. Back about 7 years ago, I used to do a lot of road work in the one nighter comedy curcuit. I remember playing a pretty rough biker bar (you gotta love agents who will send a performer ANYWHERE just so that they can get there commish!) where the week prior - the comic got beat up very badly due to insulting the wrong guy (who had just been released from prison THAT day). Well, my puppet let the bikers have it - NO holds barred! They loved it!
If a person would have said some of those things - well, lets just say that they would probably still be missing...
In regards to your hand smelling - latex is adversely affected by sweat and the oils in your hands.. Axtel puppets will degrade over time because of this. you might want to try performing with a glove. I know that Ronn Lucas works with a glove with Scorch (who is made out of Foam Latex - the same stuff used for a lot of Special Effects prosthetics in movies) and one of his foam latex scorches lasted for over 12 years (which is unheard of for foam latex - I make my own foam latex skins for my puppets and I usually have to replace them at least every 5 months or so).
As for a name - how about... um... Pippin McMuppinpip?? Just an idea...
kidding - good luck!
Damien

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention... in regards to clothes; If you know someone who sews, they can custom make something to fit your puppet specificly. Otherwise - check out value Village. You can get cheap kids clothes there and alter them to fit as needed.
Damien

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention... in regards to clothes; If you know someone who sews, they can custom make something to fit your puppet specificly. Otherwise - check out value Village. You can get cheap kids clothes there and alter them to fit as needed.
Damien

Hey Eric,
It's so true about the puppet being able to say things that you can't. Back about 7 years ago, I used to do a lot of road work in the one nighter comedy curcuit. I remember playing a pretty rough biker bar (you gotta love agents who will send a performer ANYWHERE just so that they can get there commish!) where the week prior - the comic got beat up very badly due to insulting the wrong guy (who had just been released from prison THAT day). Well, my puppet let the bikers have it - NO holds barred! They loved it!
If a person would have said some of those things - well, lets just say that they would probably still be missing...
In regards to your hand smelling - latex is adversely affected by sweat and the oils in your hands.. Axtel puppets will degrade over time because of this. you might want to try performing with a glove. I know that Ronn Lucas works with a glove with Scorch (who is made out of Foam Latex - the same stuff used for a lot of Special Effects prosthetics in movies) and one of his foam latex scorches lasted for over 12 years (which is unheard of for foam latex - I make my own foam latex skins for my puppets and I usually have to replace them at least every 5 months or so).
As for a name - how about... um... Pippin McMuppinpip?? Just an idea...
kidding - good luck!
Damien
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 13, 2005 01:38PM)
How long does an axtell puppet usually last? and what happenes when it starts to degrade? I mean physically?? I paid a lot of money for this puppet (came to 450 canadian) and I want it longer than 5 years!! what do you think.. can anyone answer this?
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 13, 2005 04:07PM)
I used an Axtel old man storyteller before I started making all of my own puppets and it lasted for probably about 2.5 years before starting to 'rot'- that was pretty much constant use... I should have replaced it even sooner, but I was lazy. (I was eventually forced to make a replacement 'old guy' when it was stolen at one of my shows... but that's another story)!
When latex degrades, it starts getting kind of 'gooey' and the surface starts to get sticky and rot and can pick up dirt and lint a lot which can cause discoloration.
With proper care - it could last you quite a while - but latex, unfortunately, is not the perfect material for constant usage puppets... environment such as sunlight, temperature and oils from the hands causes it to degrade even faster.
It has pros like being Extremely cheap for the puppet builder and is usually a light weight finished product to cast puppet skins and props in, but it has just as many downfalls going for it too...
THe puppets that I make for my own use have animatronic grade silicone skins which is heavier and more expensive than latex rubber, but it lasts forever and has a much more skin like appearance and movement to it.
Just be sure to keep your latex puppet stored carefully when not in use and avoid touching (and other people touching) the outside surface latex as much as possible... and you will get the maximum amount of life out of it!
Good luck
Damien
By the way - does naybody know what the heck is going on when I have double posts up there???
Damien
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 13, 2005 05:23PM)
Wow, 2.5 years..... That really hurts me to read... The money I paid for it just dosent justify a 3 year lifespan. Constant usage is what, 3 times a week? Practice time included? I am so worried for my Louie!!! hehehe anyone else?
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Apr 13, 2005 06:39PM)
Geez Eric - I didn't mean to deter you from using your new puppet - just be warned that Axtel puppets do not last forever - and you have to treat it with care in order to get the most out of it... Plus - Axtel's are cheap enough to buy that replacement every few years won't completely break you.
As a touring professional - my puppets are put through the gambit of road rigors - Flying and being treated roughly in the airports and cargo holds, out doors, inclimate weather, different humidities and temperatures, cigarette smoke filled bars (well not so much of that anymore - thankfully), etc etc...
In my past postings - I was trying to convey that the latex used to make puppets just needs extra care. I know that Steve Axtel usually sends out a 'How to Care for your Puppet Page' - just follow the suggestions on that for maximum life of Louie. By all means - Use your puppet, Practise with your puppet, entertain with your puppet, enjoy your puppet and when it needs replacing - replace your puppet. Its like a magic prop - sometimes you have to replace it when it gets too shabby.
Don't worry about your Louie - if you are good to him; he will be good to you.
Good Luck,
Damien
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 14, 2005 07:36AM)
Thanks Damien..

I whipped him out at last night's magic meeting and got a really good response.. So the best way to store him is in a huge plastic bag? I love to display hiom for my guests to see in my home, but I will defenitaly store him if its better for him.. I feel like a dad.....lol
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Apr 14, 2005 09:40AM)
I have several axtell puppets and they don't last that long. Yes it's about 3 to 4 years at the most unless you store it in a fridge just like storing latex balloons or if you live in a cold environment. That might add more years to it. Armor All doesn't help at all.
But Steve Axtell has been kind enough to just sell me the head and hands replacement at a lower price. I also do my own painting so I get the right skin tone for my Axtell puppets.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 14, 2005 06:46PM)
How much does just a head go for?
Message: Posted by: BIlly James (Apr 16, 2005 05:10PM)
Eric,

Just on the topic of storage, Steve Axtell mentioned (on another forum) that you can store your puppets the same way you would store an assistant, that being tehy can sit on a chair in your house if you choose to and that's fine.

Axtell sell little inserts for the puppets, they slip over your hand and they will protect the latex. I'm not quite sure how much they go for but I think they're reasonably cheap.

Cheers

I also meant to add some thoughts about Louies name.

If you are going to ask Louie to introduce himself, then it would probably be better to steer away from a 'labial laden' name.

However, you could introduce him to the audience yourself, that way there's no need to say his name ventriloquially. Another idea is to ask him his name, but he can't remember, or he delibrately gives you some ridiculous (labial free) correct by saying," Come on now, you're name is....." or something like that.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 19, 2005 09:52PM)
Do you find yourself making different scripts for different events you are booked at? I got a magic show at a ladies night at an exclusive golf club and I want to try a little vent work for my first time. Jokes about golf and men would work really well so I try and incorporate words I can say and go around that, I cant really freestyle with the puppet yet and do casual conversation... do you guys do that a lot by the way?
Message: Posted by: poesjenel (Apr 21, 2005 01:16PM)
Hi Eric,

I work a lot with latex puppets in our local puppettheatre. They last a lot longer than 5 years but except for the performances they are all the time in the dark. Maybe that is the reason why they last longer, latex hates sunlight. You should become a member of "Worldvents" a yahoo group of vent addicts.

Have fun,

Jacques
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Apr 21, 2005 01:35PM)
Back to your original question...

While you should always strive for lip control, I have heard people say to a friend "I saw his lips move" to have the friend answer "Well what do you expect, the puppet to actually talk to him".

Funny to me anyway.

Little kids are most likely to say it out loud,even if they didn't see it, much like "I know how you did that" to a magic trick.
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 21, 2005 06:06PM)
To be honest, my lips do move when I perform, but people tell me they were watching and didn't see me move my lips. One thing I do when I need to say a difficult word is I have the figure make a dramatic gesture, like snapping his head to look at me. At the same time I turn my head to look at him. The big movement covers the small.
Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Apr 21, 2005 08:24PM)
Eric, I have a Louie puppet and one of the funniest parts is when his baseball cap accidentally falls off when he moves abruptly to show that he is bald. Then you can proceed with bald jokes or talk about someone in the audience who is bald and looks like him.
Message: Posted by: Jimeuax (Apr 22, 2005 08:32PM)
I use a a brown "jersey" glove in my latex peppets and it stops the smell, and protects the puppet.I am about half-way alergic to latex so it is a must for me---keep them in the dark---Axtell says to use "Armour All" every six months---but I don't always-- The TRUTH is--you should try your best NOT to move your lips---we all do to some extent--BUT-- that is pretty much the definiton of the art--talking without moving your lips--you know---kinda like "Can I do this magic trick--even though I am flashing all the moves"? well----you CAN---but do you want to?----------cheers!---Jimeuax
Message: Posted by: fr3ky magick (Apr 23, 2005 11:38AM)
Hiya all, Belinda here aka Bd,
I am a girl!!!,I am a stage mamgician, children's entertainer and also do balloon modelling.
Just noticed the topic, I personally do not do vent. I guess I feel someone will say 'her hand is up his bum' or something, but then very young children would not know unless someone has told them!.Though it would be nice to do vent.
I do have puppet's but I don't put my hand up it, I have a rabbit in a hat, and I place my scafs in it, rarely put in my routine about the rabbit saying something, if the rabbit later on magically has a spectator's card or something..
I have a Leon the lion puppet but have not really used him much also I bought a bugs bunny toy, it isn't a puppet as such but it's aimed more at children.
WITH VENT. U HAVE TO BE CAREFUL ON CERTAIN WORDS AND LETTERS,AS IT IS DIFFICULT TO PRONOUCE WITH GOOD DICTION WORDS AT THE SAME TIME, PLUS B'S AND P'S ARE 2 OF SOME OF THE LETTER'S HARD TO SAY AND NEED GOOD PRACTICE IN ORDER TO STOP YOUR LIPS REALLY MOVING WHEN SAYING THEM/WORDS!!
I belong to a magic club, and regulary receive magazines. Seeing the topic made me think about the articles they had in it about Vent. There is a article by David Blyth.
In his article it shows pictures of vents and their puppets (v) is the vent, (p) is the puppet; Bergen(v) and Mortimer(p), Bergen(v) and McCarthy(p),Peter Brough(v) and Archie Andrews(p),Edgare(v) and Charlie(p) and Paul Zerdin(v) with some of his puppet's.
Towards the end of the article Blyth reveals how lots of people ask him how to become a vent and when did it first start?. Then he explains and also describes in detail how to master the breathing in order to achieve the best vent voice.
Overall it is a very interesting article.
If you would like a copy, feel free ot ask ,and we're fix up a way, I'll have to scan it to the comp and send it as a email.

Best wishes,
Regards,
Belinda - keeping magic secret and alive
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 26, 2005 10:37AM)
GREAT advice in this thread!! Thanks so much...

Well I did it, I booked my first vent gig after a month and a half of practising.. Was that stupid of me? No, I don't think so, I have a lot of experience on stage and I am sure I can handle it with a nice funny script and routine.

Oliver, I think you said it well when you said a big action covers a small one. I think I can use my magic skills in my vent work because magic is ALL about misdirection. When I have problems saying a crucial phrase, I find mysely "fixing" my own hair. And even though I am not covering my mouth at all, the lip movement alost dissepears with that action, I love it.. Cant seem to find clothes that I like for him though, the people at the salvation army near my house think I am crazy buying childrens clothes every weekend then returnung them the same day..hahahaha Thanks again
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Apr 26, 2005 07:10PM)
It sounds like you're doing great, Eric.
Good luck with the show.
Message: Posted by: fr3ky magick (Apr 29, 2005 03:45PM)
When is your performance Eric? Glad my adivice has been of interest and help to you, and others?

Hey guys, I have just seen two posts that may be of interest to you vents. Its still under Carnival, but the posts in that topic that I thought you could help the guys out on are; Learning Vent. and Ventriliquists this is for you.

Ventriliquists listen up and Learning Ventriliquism.
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Apr 29, 2005 04:46PM)
My show is in 2 weeks and is in front of a crowd full of women at a posh golf club. I would like to thank everyone for their REAL advice and ideas you shared with me in this forum. I appreciate it greatly, cheers!
Message: Posted by: fr3ky magick (Apr 30, 2005 09:54AM)
Aww WOMEN hey, your be a ladies man for the day then.I heard somewhere that GOLF stood for Golf Only Ladies Forbidden, thisi s like one of many sexist/humerous jokes!. Good luck with it.
Message: Posted by: axtell (May 13, 2005 09:59AM)
Greetings!

For those of you who don't do ventriloquism, you might know about our AxTrax routines on CD. You can perform with them and the voice of the puppet, music and sound effects are on the recording. We just revamped the concept to be "Wide-Open" with 5 different voice options per CD so now you have a lot more routines to choose from. Enjoy! http://www.axtell.com/axtrax.html

Ax
Message: Posted by: cardone (May 24, 2005 10:15PM)
Puppeteers are different than ventriloquists......guess what makes them different .........
Message: Posted by: cstreet_1986 (May 31, 2005 11:33AM)
As someone who isn't a ventriloquist, I hope I can provide an outside perspective.

Although of course we know the puppets don't talk (or do they...), I think the puppet does have a personality of its own, and by seeing the ventriloquist's lips moving ruins the perceived persona of the puppet, and it feels like there is a conversation going on with your right-hand (or left, you get the idea)

Chase
Message: Posted by: sluggo (Jun 2, 2005 12:14AM)
Eric,
If you are going to do the show in front of kids you better believe they will tell you if they see your lips move or "You are talking."
Get a course on Venting, you will be suprised just how quickly you will learn. I put in hours everyday and it pays off. You get what you put into it.
I've never had anyone say that they saw my lips move but I did have kids come up and ask me how the bird was talking. Now that is the reaction you want. Here is a site that you should find everything you need. http://www.venthaven.com
Axtell's is a great place also,besides figures he has objects you can use. He has a great drawing board that talks & moves his eyes. I added that in my show last year when I bought it from him at the Vent Haven Convention, the kids go wild over it. Practice..practice..practice!
Best of luck.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Jul 16, 2005 03:18PM)
I would say the best compliment I ever got was after a show at a local mall, a lady wanted to know where the tape recorder was. I guess my lip control was alright.
Message: Posted by: sbroomheadsr (Jul 16, 2005 09:16PM)
Don't forget that Edgar Bergren was a vaudevillian first. It has been said that he "lost" his control after going into radio.

His character development should be required study for vents.
Message: Posted by: sluggo (Jul 19, 2005 10:08AM)
Ax,
Missed you at the Vent haven convention!
Message: Posted by: danryb (Jul 29, 2005 02:57AM)
I just got my first ever puppets from axtell.
I put a new show together called "the Coola Buba Show"
I have had no prior experience with puppets nor vent but have done magic for children professionally for over 12 years.

a week or two after I recieved the goods - I dived straight in and performed my premiere for a local b.day party. since then I have done about a show a day with the puppets and get excellent feedback.

I have a set of peepers together with loudmouth (he is "safi" and myself singing the "coola buba song" (for that I don't need to vent).
then I have slippy the seal (he is "Coola") performing tricks, stunts and impersonations without talking (for that I don't need vent)
then I have buba the bullfrog (he is "chief") making very funny faces and tuning a kid into a rabbit with the rabbit wand as his main act, and he whispers in my ear to tell me what he wants (for that I don't need vent)
then I have verne (he is "Tofi the strange bird") introduce himself, eating nuts, drinking water, talking and even prducing a string of foam sausages and eventualy a large smiley the clown silk from an empty bag. He doesn't stop talking but I mouth the words in a lower voice (for that I don't need vent).

What I'm getting at here is that I have produced a show with 4 entirely different characters - all very very funny but none need vent.
I bought the maher course but havent had time to get around to it cause I'm always performing. maybe in the winter.

enjoy,
Dani the magician and the coola buba show
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Aug 7, 2005 10:56AM)
[quote]
On 2005-04-03 19:41, olivertwist wrote:
Eric,

Other magicians who have watched me say that when I wear a turtleneck of formal shirt with a bow tie, they don't notice the neck movement. Ultimately, they know your doing the talking. Some kids think you're trying to fool them by making them think the puppet is alive. I think if the routine is funny and entertaining, the neck movement is not important. Steve Taylor's video "Humoring Your Dummy" has good advice on writing funny dialogues/

Oliver
[/quote]

Where is that video available?

[quote]
On 2005-04-22 21:32, Jimeuax wrote:
I use a a brown "jersey" glove in my latex peppets and it stops the smell, and protects the puppet.I am about half-way alergic to latex so it is a must for me---keep them in the dark---Axtell says to use "Armour All" every six months---but I don't always-- The TRUTH is--you should try your best NOT to move your lips---we all do to some extent--BUT-- that is pretty much the definiton of the art--talking without moving your lips--you know---kinda like "Can I do this magic trick--even though I am flashing all the moves"? well----you CAN---but do you want to?----------cheers!---Jimeuax
[/quote]

I've always wonderd about that, because I believe Armor all contains alcohol, and alcohol tends to dry out vinyl, does it not?
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Sep 5, 2005 11:18PM)
[quote]
On 2005-07-19 11:08, sluggo wrote:
Ax,
Missed you at the Vent haven convention!
[/quote]

When and where is this annual convention held? I really want to find out more!
Message: Posted by: NMaggio (Sep 6, 2005 08:40PM)
When I was actively doing vent, it never occured to be to be overly conscious of lip control. Yes, I got the basics out of the way early with a great deal of practice. After that, having a fun time, figure control and scripting occupied most of my attention. This is not a brag, but a negative comment about my lip control from an audience member never surfaced. Most of the time I was too busy being fascinated by the antics of "JD", my alter ego. Try to think of your performance as any thing other than a challenge to "watch my lips." As corny as it sounds, if you don't make an issue out of it, no one else will. Your audience will be mesmerized with your vent figure and not you, if you keep the movement going and your eyes on the figure.

Nick Maggio
Message: Posted by: cardone (Sep 7, 2005 07:36AM)
You should hear the comments if they don't move at all........
Message: Posted by: sluggo (Oct 2, 2005 10:03PM)
Daffy doug,
The Vent Haven convention is held every year in Ft. Mitchel Ky. It's in July I believe the 2nd week of the month, It's fantastic!
You can go on their site and get all the info you need. http://www.venthaven.com
Next year it's the 12th thru the 15th of July.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Oct 28, 2005 06:09AM)
[quote]
On 2005-08-07 11:56, daffydoug wrote:
[quote]
On 2005-04-22 21:32, Jimeuax wrote:
I use a a brown "jersey" glove in my latex peppets and it stops the smell, and protects the puppet.I am about half-way alergic to latex so it is a must for me---keep them in the dark---Axtell says to use "Armour All" every six months---but I don't always-- The TRUTH is--you should try your best NOT to move your lips---we all do to some extent--BUT-- that is pretty much the definiton of the art--talking without moving your lips--you know---kinda like "Can I do this magic trick--even though I am flashing all the moves"? well----you CAN---but do you want to?----------cheers!---Jimeuax
[/quote]

I've always wonderd about that, because I believe Armor all contains alcohol, and alcohol tends to dry out vinyl, does it not?
[/quote]

Apparently the Axtell people say to use Armor-All, but the Armor-All people say it isn't made for and not recommended for latex. While I'm certain the Axtell people are being sincere, I would trust the Armor-All people myself, I'm sure they've made the tests.
Message: Posted by: cardone (Nov 1, 2005 08:52AM)
I like the flashing anaolgy used by Jimeaux...... What is the definition of a ventriloquist ? I think most people would say if you own a "dummy' then you are one ..... Let make up a good definition....
Message: Posted by: MagicalPirate (Nov 1, 2005 01:35PM)
If moving the lips is a major stumbling block, then why vent. If you have an assistant and you do many voices then let the puppet take center stage. You could step off stage as your assistant enters and then up pops the puppet through the backdrop and interacts with your assistant. All the same elements of the vent act could be used and no one would see your lips move since they didn't see you at all. Just one way to handle this situation.

I was raised by a ventriloquist. When I was 2 I'm told I did whatever Jerry Mahoney told me to do. Terrible things are foisted upon the young :>) I can do the vent but I have never been satisfied with my lip movement so I have never made a public appearance doing vent. I think I may use this suggestion myself.

Martin :pirate:
Message: Posted by: Eric Leclerc (Nov 1, 2005 06:59PM)
Would you guys say the illusion is amplified if your voice and the dummy's are VERY different? I have Laughing Louie and the only way I can make him talk (the way I hear him in my head) is very similar to my own voice. I find myself having to change my normal voice to get more of a contrast... Is this right?? Any thoughts?
Message: Posted by: Budihaha (Nov 11, 2005 05:11AM)
Eric, you are so right! So nobody would say that your figure voice is just like yours.

Try to raise or lower your pitch when speak for your figure. Or better use your nasal or falsetto or grunt voice. Another idea is use different language manner/dialect for your figure.

Hope this help.

Regards,

Budi Ha Ha
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Nov 18, 2005 07:39PM)
After being inspired by video performances of Ron Lucas and David Pendelton and the posts of Cardone I saw that it was possible to do vent without your lips moving. So I worked at it for several months and was able to get to that next level. The effort level was similar to what I encountered at the beginning but I got it. This post is just to encourage others to put in the work because it can be done.

Oliver
Message: Posted by: cardone (Nov 18, 2005 08:40PM)
Congratulations Oliver ...Good luck and let us know how it is going.......
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Jan 30, 2006 12:15PM)
Just my take BUT: (also posted elsewhere but fits here)

Hope for those that can't attain Lip Control...while it IS a wonderful skill to attain, Edgar Bergan and Max Terhune weren't all that concerned with still lips and then there's what may be the funniest act (but Blue) in the biz Waylon Flowers and Madame. Waylon would wildly act out his dialogs with Madame and never even attempted to hold his lips still...funny thing was as with many true Vent acts you didn't watch him any way...you watched Madame almost as if you weren't supposed to see Waylon at her side. He was a master at the two hand rods which he manipulated with his left hand as Madame rode his right. One of the great puppeteers of all time.

On the DVD of 'The Aristocrats' there is a vent (missed his name) who made the cut and who's MOUTH moves up and down...not the lips...the whole mouth...obviously he works his act regardless and good for him!

I had a Ventrilloquist perform at the house Jan 3rd (Joe Gandelman) and his lip control is excellent (I peeked) but after the show I asked my Wife if she noticed how good his control was and she said "Didn't notice...I wasn't looking at him!)

So if your lips wiggle a bit, don't let it stop you from getting out there and performing whenever you can...strong material and a well designed and animated figure can overcome a lot of lip action while you learn or attain the best you can do. We can't all be Ron Lucas and technically perfect but we can all be entertaining! I admire both.

Doug



By the way...I did Oliver's prerecorded Intros and I understand that no one in the audience can see my lips move as he's introduced! Nothing like audio only eh Bergan? :)
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Jan 30, 2006 06:16PM)
Doug,
One kid said he saw MY lips move during your intro. : )

Oliver
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Nov 1, 2006 11:46PM)
Hi Eric...I'm Wanlu and I started doing ventriloquism just barely 2 months ago.

I noticed that it's been more than a year since you posted this topic. I just want to ask how you are doing now as far as lip contol, animations and routines are concerned. :)


Thanks

Wanlu
Message: Posted by: kimmo (Nov 2, 2006 10:53AM)
I've been doing vent for about 10 years now and I think my lip control is pretty good. I recently found an old video of a show from 6 or 7 years ago and was amazed at how much my lips are moving during the vent routines!! Funny thing is, the audience reaction was pretty much the same and none of the children paid much attention to my poor technique! I have made no real effort to improve my lip control but it has obviously developed over time.

B.T.W. I recently had to have my vent puppet say - 'it's nice to be here in Sprotbrough!' Try saying that one without moving your lips!!!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Dec 4, 2010 01:15PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-29 04:41, Budihaha wrote:
Well, this question will get 2 different side of pro and cons. And became a war in a couple ventriloquists internet society.
But both side agree that to become a good ventriloquist someone should practice to mastering the lips control technique.
How about a flapping ventriloquist is he/she ruin the art? Yes, because lips control IS the basic to create the illusion of a living figure. Is the audience complaining to the "ventriloquist"? Maybe yes, maybe not or maybe to other entertainer.
How about a beginner ventriloquist, is it OK to perform to an audience! It's OK, but please try as hard as you can, or bill your self as puppeteer.
The golden rule is practice, practice, and practice![/quote]

Excellent comments Budi!
Okay, here's an old topic that is probably dangerous to resurrect, and I say "dangerous" because I remember many of the "wars" Budi mentioned.
One of the things that used to drive me crazy was someone saying something like, "I'm of the school of ventriloquism that doesn't consider lip control important."
Huh? Say again?
ANY instructional material I've ever looked at and read about ventriloquism includes learning to speak without moving your lips, or lip control, so I don't know where that school was, but.......
There is one fact about ventriloquism that has always been, and always will be: if nothing else, the one thing that people know about ventriloquism is that the ventriloquist isn't supposed to move their lips.
It will always be the first thing they look at, and comment on. Unless you're someone who is established and they are just so happy to see one of your characters that they've grown to enjoy, and know you have funny material that's going to make them laugh, the first thing they know, is there you are, you say you are a ventriloquist and your lips should not move.

Some, (usually the lip flappers), will insist that material and animation is more important - sorry - for a puppeteer, that is true, but for a ventriloquist, it's a package deal, material, animation, AND lip control. Yes, that makes it a little harder, but if you want to call yourself a ventriloquist, it's ALL a part of it.
Picking two aspects as important, and leaving out one just so you can call yourself something....wouldn't that be like a carpenter coming to your house to do some carpentry work - they can cut wood very well, they can nail it together very well, but they don't know how to use a tape measure....

Like this that was posted earlier in the thread;
[quote]On 2005-05-24 23:15, cardone wrote:
Puppeteers are different than ventriloquists......guess what makes them different .........[/quote]
And that's true, that is the basic fundamental difference between being a puppeteer and a ventriloquist.
And frankly, I've never understood the people who either can't manage better than hopelessly poor lip control, or those who it's obvious have never even tried, trying to "water down" the art by insisting it isn't important. Mostly I've always suspected those people of thinking that billing themselves as a ventriloquist will seem more interesting and get them more bookings than billing themselves as a puppeteer. Which is odd, seems like there are a lot of puppeteers out there doing quite well in their field.

Will I say, as the title of this thread implies, it will "ruin it if they see your lips move"? Well, it certainly doesn't help, you're starting off behind the eight ball already because right off, the one thing they know about ventriloquism, that your not supposed to move your lips - they see you doing, so it's just natural for them to at least subconsciously, think you're not that good. So you're starting off with a handicap before you even get into your material, in which case, then material and animation do become more important because they're going to have to be good to win them over.
Remember too, that it seems with ventriloquism, it's historically, among many, been the recipient of an attitude. There's a lot of people, even if they've never seen a vent, much less a bad one, just have this lower opinion of ventriloquists as far as acts go (which is even made worse if they see a bad one). So there's another handicap you may be working against, but if you are well practiced and good in ALL aspects of the art, you can win them over as easily as anyone else.

But with all that said, would I ever say, that someone new to the art who doesn't have good lip control, should not perform? No, like Budi, I won't say that, but I will also echo his comment that they should strive to get better and better at it, rather than just writing it off as unimportant.
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Dec 5, 2010 06:42PM)
Hear, hear! I am pretty hard line about lip movement. (I'm hardest on myself.) The only vent who gets a pass from me is Bergen.

To me a vent who can't control his/her lips is like a magician who can't palm a card or coin invisibly. A magician saying "my patter and misdirection enable me to get away with it" is fooling primarily himself.

I've seen some pretty well-known vents who keep their lips behind the microphone to hide poor lip control. I guess they feel it has not hurt their careers, but it does hurt the art.

Look, if Terry Fator can sing and do impressions with absolutely motionless lips, surely the rest of us can just talk without moving our lips. That's where ventriloquism starts.

Hard**s Bob
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Dec 5, 2010 10:05PM)
[quote]vents who keep their lips behind the microphone to hide poor lip control.[/quote]

This reminds me of someone we had locally that I dubbed, "The Hanky Vent". He would come out with a handkerchief on his face saying that he was wearing it because his partner had a cold and he didn't want to catch it. After a few minutes, he would take it off, and you could see, not even the slightest attempt at lip control - and the icing on the cake: there was no difference between his voice and the figure's.
I was so glad he billed himself as a ventriloquist, it does wonders for the art (where is the smiley for "sarcasm").
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Dec 6, 2010 06:52AM)
Everyone..in my opinion, lip control is VERY important. It's because you DON'T move your lips that they call you a ventriloquist. While there is nothing wrong with puppetry (in fact I enjoy a good puppeteer's act), usually the ones that say lip control is not important are the ones that don't have it, and usually don't even try very hard to hid the fact they move their lips. If you want to move your lips and be entertaining..fine. I have no problems with that, but don't advertise yourself as a ventriloquist as it hurts our art. Sure the audiences may still like your figure or puppet and think you are funny, but I can also bet that they also say "Yeah, but the guy wasn't a very good ventriloquist...he moved his mouth!". For what it's worth ...that's my 2 cents worth on this. Work on lip control.

Mark

markwade@kidshowvent.com
Message: Posted by: Servante (Dec 6, 2010 12:10PM)
I agree, Mark.
Waylon Flowers never pretended to be a vent, as far as I know. Nor did Jim Henson. Bergen often said that being on radio really screwed up his lip control. It was only because he was, well, you know...BERGEN that we let him off. Charlie and Mortimer and Effie were too real to us. We wanted to continue seeing them.

Sometimes, in the heat of performance when your mouth is dry, it's hard to maintain that control...but it's important. As you say, that's why they call a person a ventriloquist.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: marshalldoll (Dec 6, 2010 05:29PM)
Phillip I am glad you posted that about Wayland as I was just about to do it. He never ever said he was a ventriloquist. As matter of fact quite the opposite.
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentreal.com
Message: Posted by: Servante (Dec 6, 2010 07:28PM)
That's right, Dan. He disavowed being identified as a vent. When he was on TV and Madam was speaking, they generally worked it out so that they weren't on camera simultaneously.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 7, 2010 11:59PM)
It's crazy I know, but apparently he couldn't get away from it. I looked up his obit and it began thus:

Wayland Flowers Dies; VENTRILOQUIST Was 48
AP
Published: October 12, 1988

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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11 Wayland Flowers, a VENTRILOQUIST who brought life to a cackling, off-color puppet named Madame, died on Tuesday, five weeks after collapsing on stage. He was 48 years old.

They never gave him the honor of calling him a straight puppeteer.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Dec 8, 2010 09:22AM)
I don't think they noticed.

Maybe if he'd crouched down behind something.

It's probably actually a form of flattery. Madam was so "real" that nobody noticed Wayland Flowers.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Dec 8, 2010 06:03PM)
He was a lucky man.
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Dec 14, 2010 11:08AM)
Only Bergen gets the lip control pass, because he is Edgar Bergen, but I've seen an interview where he does stress its importance. He did get "out of stroke" with his lip control, but "could" have perfect lip control when he worked on it. I used to have an interview with him filmed in the 70's (and Bergen was IN his 70's) I purchased off of ebay (no clue where it is...sorry) where he shows off his lip control (yes, seriously) by doing the alphabet and then does some distant voice stuff. The funny part though, was when he does a small couple of minutes with Charlie later on and those lips just start flapping in the breeze. I think by that point Charlie made so many jokes about Bergen's lips that he may have even kept doing it on purpose. Just a thought.

Lets be honest though. Bergen's lack of lip control just "humanizes" a vent of his talent for the rest of us. If he did all of that amazing stuff with Charlie, Mort, and Effie and had flawless lip control to go with it, well, I think it would just prevent anyone else from ever attempting vent. His lack of lip control lets a ton of far inferior vents (aren't we all) critique him with the statement of, "Yeah...but you saw his lips move."

If you're going to be a vent you should be the best that you can be. But, I've seen plenty of vents with great technique who had boring characters, horrible jokes, and I just felt uncomfortable watching them perform. So, there is more to it than just keeping still lips. Far too many don't understand that.

But, to answer the question of whether "still lips" are important? A resounding YES.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Dec 28, 2010 10:01PM)
[quote]
On 2005-03-29 01:42, Eric Leclerc wrote:
At first for sure people will see my lips move from time to time, does it matter?? Does it ruin it for people??? Has ANYONE EVER come up to you after a show and said "i saw your lips move a couple times"
[/quote]
If you have your act under control, you will have your audience under control. If the audience is enjoying your comedy lines, facial expressions, humor, etc., they will not want to mess it up because you will have then hooked into entertainment.

It is harder for me not to show my lips moving when I am wearing my clown make-up. Because I am new too, I only do it short periods. When I improve my skits, I will increase my time.