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Topic: Ventriloquism 101
Message: Posted by: BobMc (Oct 15, 2006 05:40PM)
I've done my research on DVD's and recommended training materials to add ventriloquism to a birthday show (thank you magic Café members!!), and I'll put in the time to practice.

I'm interested in the Axtell Rodney Rabbit. As a complete beginner, what I don't know is what options make sense for me. Being that I'll probably splurge $350 on the rabbit alone, money isn't really a deciding factor in choosing any of the additional add-on options. I'm right handed - what options would you recommend if any? No Rods, Left Elbow Rod, Right Elbow Rod, Both Elbow Rods, Left Wrist Rod, Right Wrist Rod, Both Wrist Rods?

Message: Posted by: kimmo (Oct 18, 2006 05:14PM)
If you are using him for vent work you would need a full bodied puppet. If you will be working him with your right hand the only add on you might require is a left elbow rod, though this is by no means necessary. My current Willie the Kid has an elbow rod but I have just ordered one without.
Message: Posted by: axtell (Oct 19, 2006 11:18PM)
Highly recommend one elbow rod on the side of your free hand. It will greatly enhance your performance if you use it.

Message: Posted by: BobMc (Oct 20, 2006 07:40PM)

Is there a general recommendation where a right-handed person often does better with a right-handed puppet? Intuitively, that seems like that would be the case, but as the rookie...
Message: Posted by: Chatterbox41 (Oct 28, 2006 02:19PM)
I think that if you're right handed you will have an easier time learning using a right handed puppet. You're naturally going to have more coordination with that hand and you'll have your hands full enough learning basic vent and manipulation without having to try and add the "other" hand into the equation.

The elbow rod is very good for making the arm move on the left side of a right handed puppet. But you need to think about who you really like as a vent for manipulation, if that's who you're going to emulate. The late Johnny Main, David Turner, etc. use the elbow rod while Dan Horn and a host of puppeteers use the left wrist rod or both wrist rods. If you go with the wrist rods, you can start with the left and then add the right later as you progress. Just a thought.

The important thing is to start small and concentrate on the mouth, head, etc. Many vents for many years used no rods at all for the arms.