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Topic: Two Vent Figures At Once?
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Sep 19, 2005 09:07PM)
Perhaps my memories from my childhood are a little nebulous, and maybe a bit exagerated, but I was sure I remember seeing Winch manipulate and carry two figures at once. (Jerry and Knuck) while standing and or walking.

Can this be done? Is there really a way to walk and carry two separate fuul size vent figures, one for each hand?

I'm have always thought it would be fun to walk through a county fair or a festival or something like that, and be manipulating both figures while they talk and squabble with one another and me. It would hold the potential for some very funny and entertaining material!

But maybe I am just crazy.
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Sep 19, 2005 10:14PM)
You aren't crazy Doug...

There are several 'stands' that have been around for a while...They attach to you via belts and suspenders (at least the one I saw did)...Small, light-weight platforms stick out on either side allowing you to carry and manipulate two figgers at once.

I've done a lot of duel figure work, but for those routines I use very light 'soft' figures...

The highlight of my duel routine was having all three of us sing the theme song to "Cheers"...On the chorus the puppets would Harmonize...

Yes, both voices at the same time.

Prof. Piper

:ventriloquist:
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Sep 20, 2005 05:45AM)
Prof. Thanks for affirming my sanity!

Now for the million dollar question...what is the name for those platforms you mentioned, and where can they be obtained? Are there weight limitations for them? I believe my figure weighs in at about 8 lbs.
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Sep 20, 2005 07:59AM)
Wish I could remember...I saw them at the ConVention (Ventriloquist convention in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky) about 3-4 years ago...

I'll ask on my Vent. List and see if I can't find a source for you.

WOW, an 8 POUND figure??? How big is he? What all does he do (animations)? And who made him??

Prof. Piper
:juggle:

:ventriloquist:

:rabbitfromhat:
Message: Posted by: KyletheGreat (Sep 20, 2005 03:37PM)
Jeff Dunham does 5 different voices at wonce and works 3 different puppets at once in his comedy presentation...very impressive...especially when he jumps really quickly from character to character with his voice. He always impresses the audience...then one of his puppets says "Yeah...you think that's good...just wait till his tonue gets a hernia!"
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Sep 20, 2005 04:55PM)
[quote]
On 2005-09-20 08:59, Professor Piper wrote:
Wish I could remember...I saw them at the ConVention (Ventriloquist convention in Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky) about 3-4 years ago...

I'll ask on my Vent. List and see if I can't find a source for you.

WOW, an 8 POUND figure??? How big is he? What all does he do (animations)? And who made him??

Prof. Piper
:juggle:

:ventriloquist:

:rabbitfromhat:
[/quote]
I just re-weighed him...I was incorrect. The true weight is 9 lbs, of which two and a half is the head and the remainder(With clothes of course) is the body.
Heigth is about 37-38 inches.

Features? Daniel has winkers, (both eyes can close) (Individual or dual)side to side self centering eyes, eyebrow raise, ball and socket fully rotatable head, and of course the obligatory mouth movement.

I got him for a steal at Abbott's annual auction a few years back.

I wish I did know who made him. But I have no clue...on the head stick is written "O'leary."

He was dressed as a pirate when I obtained him, but I didn't keep that.

The story of how I got him was quite interesting. I was at the auction and I was strapped for cash. but I wanted him [i]BADLY[/i] So my wife saw me almost in tears and we decided to go to an ATM and get out some cash from my account back home.

I purchased him, but in the meantime several other fellows were seriously considering buying him. Anyways, they decided to not do that..so I got him.
Well to make a long story short, after the auction was over and I had him in my car, those fellows had a change of heart and began to literaly beg me to re-sell him right then and there on the spot. they offerd me a chunk of cash, but I turned them down flat because this was a lifetime dream for me. I'm [i]guessing[/i] a figure like this sells new for thousands. I know a good thing when I got it!

Truly though, I would sure like to obtain a more light weight body for him.
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Sep 20, 2005 09:52PM)
Doug...

Can you send me a picture? I might be able to tell you who made him...I'll PM you my email addy...

Sounds like a great figure...9 pounds is HEAVY, makes me think he is real wood as opposed to the "Lik-Wood" a lot of figures are made of these days...

I'm still waiting for a reply on the 'Hip Stand'...I'll let you know when I have word.

KyletheGreat...

Jeff is certainly a talented Vent, no doubt...

But I don't think you understood my post...When Jeff does his argument act with the five different figures he is [b]switching[/b]...Which means he is going from voice to voice very rapidly...Difficult is an understatement.

What I do when I sing "Cheers" with the two figures, I [i]literally[/i] meant that BOTH voices occur at the same time....I've been able to activate my upper cords (Human have two sets of vocal cords...The upper, which are hardly ever used..and the lower, which is where your voice comes from) to do one voice while my lower does the other...

The effect?

Two characters harmonizing with each other at the same time.

Hope that clarifies things.

Prof. Piper
:juggle:
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Sep 20, 2005 09:58PM)
Two cords at once? Man that [i]is[/i] amazing!
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Sep 20, 2005 10:27PM)
Daffydoug wrote:

[quote]Two cords at once? Man that is amazing![/quote]

Yeah...It actually caught me by surprise when I did it for the first time...It's not unheard of though...There is some native tribe or Hindu monks or something that use it in their Meditations or prayers (I can't remember right now, sorry)...

It's definately a show-stopper though...It's never failed to get me a standing O and some amazed gasps and stuff...Feels good when you WOW them, ya know?

Prof. Piper
:ventriloquist:
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Sep 20, 2005 11:36PM)
Feels great! That's what I live for! Reminds me of the day a long time ago when I discovered that I can use my vocal cords to create killer impresions of the Looney Toons voices, (Bugs and Daffy), and all the gang. That was about the time I began to lose my diffidence and come out of my shell in life.
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Sep 22, 2005 07:22AM)
Jeff Dunham does this dual-voice-at-the-same-time bit while singing with two of his characters. The first time I saw it was on The Tonight Show years ago. The second was the first time I saw him live here in Raleigh. It is an amazing thing, but I wonder how sustainable it is over the long haul....especially since he rarely does it today.

Skip
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Sep 22, 2005 09:27PM)
You think maybe it's hard on the old vocal cords?
Message: Posted by: sluggo (Oct 1, 2005 10:45PM)
I saw Jeff in Cincy this year and he brought down the house. I've met him several times at the Vent Haven Convention and he is as nice as he is great on stage. It was my wife's first time seeing a vent at a Comedy club, loved it.
Message: Posted by: daffydoug (Oct 15, 2005 08:09AM)
Jeff is the top!
Message: Posted by: DrNorth (Aug 25, 2006 08:49PM)
I just picked up Jeff's "Arguing with myself" DVD. Online you can find some of his earlier TV appearances. My wife and I first saw him on a TV show in the mid 80's. I have never seen a vent act that made me laugh so hard, and believe each character was real. 20 years later and to see how he has honed his act is an amazing thing. THIS is NOT a criticism, but respect...he does almost the same act that he did 20 years ago and manages to make it look fresh, natural and spontaneous. and it still holds up. In fact, some of the puppets have changed more than the act. The subtle fine tuning is what makes it great. Too many comics get popular and then have to rush new material every year, it never seems to be as good as teh act they polish over many years time. I guess the same can be said of some magicians as well. It can be done, but it seems that the best acts are the long running acts.
Message: Posted by: axtell (Aug 30, 2006 02:27PM)
David Boyd makes a walk around platform for dummies. He's in Las Vegas. David Boyd...promotions, parties, and photography.. (702) 598-1223


Bill DeMar in Evansville Indiana invented the walk around platform for dummies and called it a "Hipster". His email is billdemar @ hotmail.com
Message: Posted by: Astrid (Aug 31, 2006 03:21PM)
Wow, two vents at once......now that's talent!
Message: Posted by: Chuck Lyons (Sep 4, 2006 12:51PM)
Professor Piper , I would love to hear more about the double vocal cords. I ve been doing vent for 35 years and am always learning. any info on this would be appreciated. Thank you chuck Lyons
Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 5, 2006 12:52PM)
Professor Piper..

Perhaps you can post a video. That sounds cool.

This nearly normal guy is working on a bit with 2 figures based on the prodigal son. Keeping the voices to the correct puppet is interesting. After messing up while working it up, led to messing up on purpose giving the wrong voice to a puppet.

Harris
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Sep 7, 2006 12:11AM)
Sorry guys...

Sorry it's taken a bit for me to get back to this topic....Been busy with a little thing called...

LIFE...

LOL

As for video, I [b]wish[/b]!!! My seriously old computer, and lack of digi camera, prevents this...(I'm perusing a Dell catalog as we speak, by the way)...

As for dual cords/two voices at once:

I honestly don't know how I do it...I know, I know...Cop out, right....But it's true...

I was practicing the theme song to "Cheers" (which I wanted me and two puppets to sing together) when, during the chorus, I literally stumbled on the two guys singing at the same time...

Now, I can do it at will....and I still have no idea why.

It is [i]probably[/i] the fact that the two voices are [b]dramatically[/b] different...One is a touch high and a bit reedy (Think the Jackalope from "America's Funniest People") and the other voice is deep and a bit lethargic (Think "duhhhh...geee George, which way did he go George??)

I know that humans have two sets of Vocal Cords, upper and lower...
I know that Native Tribes (mostly Eskimo types) use this duel cord aspect in their tribal singing/ceremony...

How [b]I[/b] do it?

No clue...

Sorry guys...My best advice is to practice diametrically different voices at the same time and see if it works for you as well.

Prof. Piper
(Terry)
Message: Posted by: Professor Piper (Sep 7, 2006 12:16AM)
[quote]
On 2006-09-05 13:52, Harris wrote:
Professor Piper..

Perhaps you can post a video. That sounds cool.

This nearly normal guy is working on a bit with 2 figures based on the prodigal son. Keeping the voices to the correct puppet is interesting. After messing up while working it up, led to messing up on purpose giving the wrong voice to a puppet.

Harris
[/quote]

By the way Nearly Normal Harris...

First off, I've admired and respected your posts/views for a LONG time....Both here and on the WorldVents list...Your dedication to the Art and ingenuity is something to be spotlighted.

As for your idea (the Prodigal Son and getting the voices mixed up)...

I LOVE it...that is true creativity...I can literally [b]see[/b] the act and it works in my head.

Keep up the work Nearly Normal...

You definately have the 'It' that makes a Vent great.

Prof. Piper
(Terry)
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Sep 7, 2006 01:37AM)
Many years ago a prominent (unnamed) Ventriloquist would close his act with a double voice singing routine. He would really strain his neck muscles doing the bit, a real struggle but there were distinctly two voices singing harmony. Amazing...Audience would go wild.

However...if you had enough drinks with him after the show...he would show you the small tape player that he kept in his vent figure's suitcase. Easily switched on for the double voice moment. :)

Just like magic...an illusion :)
Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 7, 2006 03:42PM)
Professor Piper

Thanks for your kind words. I haven't read or posted on World Vents too much lately. It is a fun site on Yahoo Groups.

I will take the prodigal son, bit out for another test drive tonight. Steak night and me for a local church.

Next month the new bit/prodigal son..will be part of a conference workshop.(Salt and Light/Imago Dei October Conference on Christianity and the arts...

During my 30 minute drive to work(as a nearly normal counselor) I always look for ways to create ventriloquist bits. My mind is boggled about even trying to start your idea..

Last year I tried circle vent singing...The figure is singing a song, then switching to another song based on a word that was in the first song...then onto a 3rd, 4th...song based on a word that leads you there..the process eventually leads back to the original song...

but I digresssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

Step away from your lips...quipped Nigel, the puppet that rocks and talks......

You are all appreciated by,

Harris
Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 8, 2006 08:17AM)
This morning on the way to work a motorcycle passed my car...

The varooooooooooooooom reminded me of the bit discussed on this thread..

I went from playing with the varooooooooooommmmmmmmmmmmmm sound to a sireen with a low and high tone....So far the results are just a sleight smile and slight sorenesssssssssssssssssssssssss.

Speaking of recorders, I use a bit to offset my real harmonica playing during vent.

I record some harmonica riffs on my small digital recorder, that is shaped like a harmonica, pretend to play it, then reveal it is not.

but I digressssssssssssssssssssssssss


Harrissssssssssssssssssssssss
Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 8, 2006 09:06AM)
Now I am trying to come up with a board or someother attachment to sit the puppets on. This would be instead of two side tables.

Seems in my emails I have a plan for something easily attached to my body and light weight. I am going to talk with some teachers at the school to pick their brains. A benefit to working in middle and high schools, I have access to teachers in: Art, Drama, industrial tech, productions/video, computer concepts......

Last nights church program with the Prodigal Son near the end of the program went well. I will have a chance to take it out 2 more times this weekend.

This nearly normal guy will have to watch out for gain of weight as I share at Church Pot-Lucks this season....

Enjoy the process....
Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 22, 2006 09:04AM)
This morning I was reviewing a C/D by Pat Fraley.

He uses a voice and whistle at the same time to create a wild effect.

The best cartoon voices smuggled out of hollywood is a great "listen and learn".

Harris
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Oct 28, 2006 04:33PM)
Bill Boley had a video and also an audio tape on doing the double voice. I've seen Liz VonSegan(sp) do it as well, but uses it as a voice for her alien character. It can be done legitimately... Fred Ketch did a tripple voice legitimately... but if you want quality, you're better off using the small tape recorder or actually recording the extra voices right on the soundtrack so they're always coming in at the right part. The legitimate double can sound like squaling sometimes.

As to the walk around stand, Bob Abdou was selling them at a convention years back. He didn't make them, but if he doesn't still sell them could probably tell you where to get them. Think his web site is http://www.mr.puppet.com

Gary
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Oct 28, 2006 04:37PM)
Sorry, got Bob's address wrong on my previous post. Here's the correct one.

http://www.mrpuppet.com/
Message: Posted by: Flying Magus (Oct 29, 2006 12:16AM)
I thought I'd check with a doctor friend before posting this just to make sure my anatomy was correct. He said there is only one set of vocal cords per person. You do not have a second set. There are two small flaps of skin that are sometimes called the false vocal cords, but there are no muscles attached to these hence no control over them.

So how do you do the double voice? Basically harmonics. You would have a hard time doing it if you didn't want the puppets to be in harmony.

Note Prof Piper uses a low voice and a high voice. The higher one is expressed as a harmonic of the lower.

If your physics knowledge doesn't stretch as far as wave theory, then don't worry. Just be assured that it is possible to do, but kind of difficult.
Message: Posted by: Slappy (Oct 31, 2006 09:34AM)
[quote]
On 2006-08-25 21:49, DrNorth wrote:
I just picked up Jeff's "Arguing with myself" DVD. Online you can find some of his earlier TV appearances. My wife and I first saw him on a TV show in the mid 80's. I have never seen a vent act that made me laugh so hard, and believe each character was real. 20 years later and to see how he has honed his act is an amazing thing. THIS is NOT a criticism, but respect...he does almost the same act that he did 20 years ago and manages to make it look fresh, natural and spontaneous. and it still holds up. In fact, some of the puppets have changed more than the act. The subtle fine tuning is what makes it great. Too many comics get popular and then have to rush new material every year, it never seems to be as good as teh act they polish over many years time. I guess the same can be said of some magicians as well. It can be done, but it seems that the best acts are the long running acts.
[/quote]
The reason, Dr. North, is that performers often feel as if they need to entertain THEMSELVES! THEY get tired of the material so they try to "keep it fresh". As a performer you have to keep reminding yourself that you are their for the audience and they have never heard your act. The longer you stick with an act, the more you are able to fine tune it...find the rhythm, the little beats that you need to hold, The subtle expressions, the timing of the head movements (of both of you). That's why they call it work!
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Oct 31, 2006 10:29AM)
And Jeff does change his act... at least the peripherals. If you watch his DVD, Peanut, Walter, and Jose are basically the same act he's done for years. But he added Sweet Daddy (watch the bonus features of the DVD to hear how he developed him) and redid Bubba J. Bubba J is one of those characters he came up with years ago, but he built a new hard figure to replace the Verna figure he used to use with that act. Over the years, he's had a variety of figures he's used to open his shows before the main 3 come out. Of course, being a figure maker himself, Jeff can pretty much do it and not worry about buying a figure he won't use.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (May 28, 2007 09:30AM)
I tried performing with two soft puppets last weekend and it went quite well :)

It was a nice experience and I plan to try it some more :)

Nowhere close to Kevin Johnson...but in a decade or two, Im there :)

http://www.geocities.com/wanlu99/kakagonzo.JPG

http://geocities.com/thepartyzoo/gonzokaka.JPG

Thanks

Wanlu