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Topic: Is the Art of Ventriloquism "Dying?"
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Aug 1, 2007 05:39AM)
Not uncommonly, I hear ventriloquism being referred to as a "dying art." I'd be curious to know your thoughts on this subject. I'll post mine in a few days. I'm not looking to start an argument here, but I think it's a somewhat controversial subject that we can discuss in a thoughtful, reasonable way.

Bob
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Aug 1, 2007 08:37PM)
It's not dying - it's dead...
Honestly, in an age where kids can go to Toys R Us and buy state of the Art Animatronic puppets that talk to them - it's no big deal to see someone do it on stage.
Who knows how the next generations will respond to Vent (if at all). It is going to come down to what is funny and shocking.. In order for vent to survive in a mainstream world - it will need to follow the same trends as mainstream comedy.
Regardlesss, I hope that there is enough work for all of us for a few more years yet (the rest of my life time at least)..
I am also curious to find out what others feel about this issue.
I often hear the 'dying art' line - cause it is usually said with a note of indifference - like no one will really miss it if it ever does disappear. Time will tell..
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Aug 2, 2007 08:41AM)
Two words to prove that Ventriloquism is alive and kicking...JEFF DUNHAM :)
Message: Posted by: 4merryhearts (Aug 2, 2007 09:08AM)
Vent is alive and well. A one man ventriloquist show just won a Tony for his Broadway show. Look at shows like America's Got Talent where a singing vent is in the finals and another vent made the quarter finals. Vent conventions such as Vent Haven continue to grow and get good press and TV coverage.
Message: Posted by: rannie (Aug 7, 2007 01:32AM)
Proof that Vent is not dead....... Come visit Manila Philippines. It is having a re birth or a rennaisance if you will. Yes it is a small country, but we are proud to say that we are helping keep the art alive and strong.

Vent in the adult circuit is rising. IMHO the reason why its thought of as a dying art is because Magic/street magic etc... seem to get more of the spotlight nowadays.

Rannie
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 13, 2007 09:32PM)
Automaton Puppet Toys are not very funny. It really doesn't matter a wit if your figure is an old badly painted war horse and your lips flap like shutters in a wind storm (See Otto and what's his name :) ) it's the material. As long as the figure can get away with what you can't, ESPECIALLY in a PC world, Vent can only get bigger and bigger...play the times you live in...leave the hokey drinking a glass of water bit in the trunk or to Lucas...technique shmeknique...be funny...get writers...pull the string!
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Aug 13, 2007 09:44PM)
I agree, Doug. In this century who cares if your figure has all the animations? Everybody knows it can be done... easily. To let the vent art live the most important thing for vents to do is to entertain and kill the audience with laughter.

Look at Otto and George. And Jeff Dunham.
Message: Posted by: Tom Bartlett (Aug 13, 2007 09:53PM)
Doug Higley put into perfect perspective for us all. The same goes with magic, it's the entertaining presentation of unique material, not technics and expensive tricks that bring the house down.
Message: Posted by: Father Photius (Aug 13, 2007 10:46PM)
Its all in the performance, just making a puppet or doll talk has never been entertaining. Ron Lucas has had a long running show in Las Vegas, and there are many good Vents out there making a full time living. You may not see a lot on TV right now because there aren't a lot of "variety" shows around. The big thing these days (with the networks, not the audience) is the reality show. So Vents don't exactly appeal to the TV people right now for a series. But it is far from dead.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Aug 14, 2007 08:53AM)
Doug is exactly right....as usual. Tom made the comparison to magic, and he is exactly right too. It is all about entertaining. If it were only about secrets and/or knowing how something is done magic would have died with those Fox specials when the so-called masked magician was exposing everything. Yet magic still goes on. As magaicians we know how most everything is done, yet we love to watch an entertaining magic show, At least I do. It's kind of the same way with vent I suppose. I love to watch it when it is entertaining.
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Aug 14, 2007 10:23PM)
OK. Time for the thread starter to put in his two cents. Ventriloquism as a form of entertainment will never die. Why? Because at it's core, it's about two characters interacting, and that is the most basic of human relationships. Vent will never die for the same reason that theater will never die. Vent has humor, conflict, and the potential for deep emotion, just like theater.

Unlike our "allied art" magic, vent has no deception at its core; there is no underlying challenge to the audience. Everyone knows exactly what is going on, and the ventriloquist's skill enables the spectators to suspend their disbelief without any blow to the ego.

Every time we do a good show, every time we send an audience away happy and entertained, we are keeping ventriloquism alive. And every time we do that, there is the chance that one kid in the audience will think ventriloquism is the coolest thing he/she has ever seen, and another generation of ventriloquists will be born.

Bob
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 15, 2007 01:03PM)
This thread is worth 2 volumes of anybodys book. This is the skinny so far. If you have techiniques your a leg up (if that's not your whole act). If you don't have techniques honed over a decade or so...so what. Get jokes. Make 'em laugh. Bergan's lips could have signaled ships at sea...Otto and George, probably the least accomplished of the current working crop in suffering from ridgid lip syndrom...so what? He cashes checks I think and people don't give a hoot if he can drink a keg of Gatoraid and sing Blue Ridge Mountains Of Virginia. (unless they are from Richmond).

As an aside, I make a whole routine out of NOT being a ventriloquist...sure, I can do it but it's funnier if I'm a puppeteer and not a former High School Nerd and who had time to practice anything but giving puppets wedgys.

Just remember, you're all great even if you suck...as long as you do it your way and be funny!

(Otherwise your a former High School nerd who had time to practice and go around with a doll looking for revenge.)

:)

Bob Baker...that was a nice thing with words you did there. :)
Message: Posted by: olivertwist (Aug 16, 2007 08:36PM)
I agree with Bob Baker's point on the lack of deception in vent as opposed to magic. That's one reason I actually enjoy it more. It's just about entertaining, but it reminded me of a lecture I gave to the Society of Young Magicians in Nashua NH several years ago. Every trick I did a couple of boys would say "Ooh, ooh, I know how you did that". I finished with a vent routine with an Axtell orangutan and sure enough, these boys said "Ooh, ooh, I know how you did that. You had your hand inside him and were moving his mouth" Doh!
Message: Posted by: Regan (Aug 17, 2007 08:45AM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-15 14:03, Doug Higley wrote:

Just remember, you're all great even if you suck...as long as you do it your way and be funny!

[/quote]

Kind of like Kohl & Company, Carl Ballantine, etc.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Aug 17, 2007 08:47AM)
Yep. But you need confidence that you can suck with class. haha
Message: Posted by: Cinnamon (Aug 20, 2007 04:27AM)
If you guys had been here, you'd know that vent acts are very much alive, and into a different level. Say, adult entertainment with a hilarious twist. haha. kudos to wanlu and ony. they keep it aliiiivvvee~
Message: Posted by: Regan (Aug 22, 2007 07:04AM)
Apparently it is doing ok in America too. I just heard that a ventriloquist act won the finals of America's Got Talent. Anyone know who it is?
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 22, 2007 07:41AM)
Kudos to Terry Fator and Vent...one of his comments was he is proud to help bring back and celebrate the art of vent.

Harris
Message: Posted by: axtell (Aug 22, 2007 08:56AM)
Terry Fator won America's Got Talent last night.....won $1 million and has helped raise ventriloquism to a new respected level.

Judging from our ever increasing customers and sales and all the videos in our contest It's been years since I thought this field was dying.....it's been silently growing for years now.

Add to that Jeff Dunham's success on Comedy Central and his tours, Ronn Lucas's hot shows in Vegas (now at the Luxor), Jay Johnson's Tony award winning Broadway show "The Two and Only" and his national tour starting up soon, David Letterman's new annual "Ventriloquist Week" on TV.......

With Terry's win it may be the "Tipping Point" we need.....familiar with that book?

Puppets & Ventriloquism may soon be something that every magician wants to add to their show.... exciting times!

http://www.axtell.com

Ax
Message: Posted by: harris (Aug 22, 2007 09:32AM)
Vent has been a selling point to my programs since the late 70's...

Puppets and Mime were the ultimate mask for this shy performer...who did manage to come out of his shell..(not so disguised turtle puppet reference....)

Harris
Message: Posted by: Magicusa (Aug 22, 2007 07:43PM)
Terry Fator who won America's Got Talent did us all good.
They was talking about this where I work the other day, and most of them told me that Ventriloquism are for kids. I think it is a dying art.
Message: Posted by: Eddie Garland (Aug 22, 2007 07:52PM)
Terry Fator was great. His finale with quest Kermit the Frog was classic.
Fantastic!
Message: Posted by: Magicdoc88 (Aug 23, 2007 09:58AM)
Congratulations to Terry Fator winning the AGT, he is very talented,and humble man; he even sings better than the original artist, such as Tony Bennett in "I Left My Heart In S.F."
He'll get his chance playing in Las Vegas soon, and I will go see his show.
Message: Posted by: Jeff J. (Aug 24, 2007 09:08AM)
Good Job Terry! He had my vote from the first performance.

If it is dying or dead, I think that the nation seeing what potential that form of entertainment has, is at least a good way to either bring it back to life or prolong any real or perceived dying (on a personal note, I think it will be around for generations to come). I now think differently about ventriloquists. In the early rounds they had a few terrible ones perform, and unfortunately sometimes the really bad ones are the only exposure some people, including myself, had to ventriloquism and dismissed it as not very entertaining. That's changed now.

The only bad thing I see happening now are ventriloquists with no singing ability doing a horrible performance just for the sake of copying his act. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but that would just make it harder for those that do have talent.

Jeff
Message: Posted by: Servante (Aug 24, 2007 09:28AM)
Bergen's lips flapped and we STILL believed in Charlie and Mortimer, because the material was good and the characterizations were compelling.

Winchell's and Lewis's lips were controlled and we believed because Lambchop and Jerry were characters we wanted to believe in.

Jimmy Nelson's lips are controlled and we love and believe in Danny and Farfel.

Jay Johnson and Jeff Dunham and a whole new generation of ventriloquists have great material, wonderful lip control and compelling characters.

There was at least one other vent in the competition. I saw her in the finale, but didn't catch her earlier. Seemed to have good lip control. Don't know about the material.
But that's the thing:
If Fator had been a singing mimic, great. Probably wouldn't have made the cut, though.
If he'd been a ventriloquist, fine. Probably wouldn't have made the cut.
There's just not enough time to get to know his "costars," and, in any case, the few jokes he DID tell were just okay. Of course, that's all they HAD to be, because what he did was COMBINE the two, to give us something we'd never seen before: A vent with characters that could perfectly recreate styles of famous singers.
He ramped up the art by showing us possibilities.
Now, this isn't to say that all vents should run out and do singing imitations. If you CAN, fine, consider it...but don't clone Vator.
But consider the POSSIBILITIES. Consider the material.

When you get down to it, it's all about showing people something different...and really good material, not pulled from old copies of Captain Billie's Whiz Bang or Boys Life or 10,000 Jokes, Toasts and Stories.
It's about not doing it by the numbers, but making things add up differently.

I think Fator is wonderful. I voted for him all over the place. I want to see him successful and I want to see him again.
It's not about lip control, when you get right down to it (Though his was really, really good), it's about entertaining the audience with something that makes them happy. It can be about character, certainly...but for the character of the figure to work, it MUST be, finally, about the material.

Sorry...I'll get down off this soap box now.
Message: Posted by: alson (Aug 25, 2007 07:01PM)
Being a ventriloquist for many years , I think it is all about making people laugh
with you and your partner. I use routines that are up to date and timely and Iget all kinds of laughs . It is an art and has to be learned timeing, and such but with a little work it is really a lot of fun. I don't think it ever go away and will always be enjoy by people.
Message: Posted by: Magicusa (Aug 25, 2007 09:05PM)
Servante, I think you are 100% right.
Message: Posted by: marty.sasaki (Sep 25, 2007 11:10PM)
Wow! Ventriloquists doing dyeing! What kind of fabrics do you use? Do you use acid-based dyes or heat set dyes? Oh, you mean dieing!

Nevermind.

Things come and go in popularity with the general public. Ventriloquism is definitely less popular in the USA than it was in the 1960's, I remember watching Sharie Lewis on the weekends and Paul Winchell during the week. I think that the general public thinks that ventriloquism is just for kids, but when they actually see a performance in person, they quickly realize that it's entertainment and judge it by how much they are entertained.
Message: Posted by: RicHeka (Sep 25, 2007 11:48PM)
Actually 'dying'[as the title of this thread stated] is the correct spelling.That said...

Is Ventriloquism dying?

What...within the known universe?...worldwide?...within the USA?...within a specific State?...within a certain town?...at a local party?

The desire and enjoyment of Ventriloquism[IMHO] is as alive today as it ever was,and as it will forever be.

It boils down to:An entertaining performance...is an entertaining performance.

Go forth and Vent!

Rich
Message: Posted by: AndyComic (Sep 26, 2007 12:59PM)
All I say is, I run and agency (www.performers.hk) as well as performing and I have one one request in the last 3 years for a vent. As for AGT, it really helped but his skill cannot be replicated by any vent I know and also no non singing act has ever won those talent shows (inc BGT) so the vent was great but the singing pushed everyone over the line.
Message: Posted by: mark1991 (Sep 30, 2007 05:01PM)
Hi there,

In answer to the main question of this topic, I think the art of vent is dying out! However, it is certainly not going without a fight which is why we see the odd excellent performer of vent!

Just my two cents worth!

Take care and God bless!

Magical Mark Watson
(mark1991)
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Oct 4, 2007 06:55PM)
How come ventriloquism is the "dying" art? Why do people think that? Why isn't juggling considered a dying art? BTW, I love jugglers, but I've seen more vents lately than jugglers.

Doug hit the nail on the head: 99% of the time, ventriloquism is a comedic art. If you've got the technique down cold, wonderful. If your lips move a little, don't sweat it ... just be so funny that people will be laughing too hard to notice your lips moving.

And I'm all about working clean, but that doesn't mean you can't push the envelope a bit. My puppet Sagebrush can get big laughs with things that would get me beaten up. Which continues to prove my theory, "It's cute when the puppet says it." :)

See ya!
Joe L.
Message: Posted by: Dizzy (Oct 4, 2007 08:26PM)
I know nothing about ventriloquism, I was merly being nosy in you section, however I feel the need to post.

About three years ago I spent the summer in Vegas. I had seen nearly every magic show and numerous other shows but there was only one show that stuck in my head, maybe it was because the guy performing involved me in the show, but it blew me away and I have never laughed so much and felt so special in my life. The show was 'the Ron Lucas Show'. For those members who have seen it, you'll understand what I'm talking about. I saw it at the end of the summer season on a Wednesday afternoon and it was pretty busy. After seeing something as entertaining as that show, it scares me to think that this is a dying art. At the larger magic conventions there is usually a vent act in one of the gala shows and it kills, it's fresh, different and skilled.

So as a complete layman in vent terms; to second Mark, please don't go down without a fight, I've seen kids and adults blown away by this kind of act and you know what guys, I wanna see more. Goodluck,

Diane
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 7, 2007 10:35AM)
With the likes of Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator, Otto and George, Ronn Lucas, Dan Horn, Jay Johnson, Willie Tyler, Jim Barber, Kevin Johnson and all the ventriloquists all over the world...I don't think Ventriloquism is a dying art :) maybe a slight fever, but nothing serious.


http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ventriloquist&search=Search
Message: Posted by: Spellbinder (Oct 11, 2007 07:22AM)
Ventriloquism is dead and already lying in the coffin. The problem is, the corpse keeps sitting up and talking and won't play dead. It's scaring away all the mourners.
Message: Posted by: Cinnamon (Oct 14, 2007 02:14PM)
It may be globally dying, but I do support mr. wanlu's statement... it's not yet dead--- just in shock, or something. in the philippines, it's very much alive. with the likes or mr. wanlu and mr. ony roaming around with their puppets... with their 'aliw' puppets, vent acts would never die here.

MAYBE it's the ACT that dies, not the technique. Most puppets are used for kid shows. like that mentioned in the first page, kids could just buy real talking robots or something instead of hiring a magician to use a puppet and converse. that's the case for kids. that's why the act dies- it is contained only on one category.

in the philippines (im just in defense of vent act, as it is indeed blossoming here, and I for one, adore it!) vent acts are done for matured audiences! vents here don't use the ordinary, friendly puppet- no, that's typical. here, there is a drunk puppet with lots of crack and a hilarious personality and a wise old man who has great comedic punhlines... vents here do it the uconventional way to revive the act.

not only were the audiences entertained- they get aware. I hope vent enthusiasts would have spare time (and money!) to travel towards philippines just to see the two masters- mr. ony c, and mr. wanlu at work! I'm sure you'd be impressed!

Cyssa
Message: Posted by: Verricobl (Oct 15, 2007 05:37PM)
From where I came from, Ventriloquism is alive and kicking. It's even more popular with adults. I've seen some performances here and I was kicking the floor laughing. It's a unique kind of entertainment, and will stay alive here.
Message: Posted by: schwarzeine (Oct 17, 2007 12:22PM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-11 08:22, Spellbinder wrote:
Ventriloquism is dead and already lying in the coffin. The problem is, the corpse keeps sitting up and talking and won't play dead. It's scaring away all the mourners.
[/quote]

Lol

My say in this is that, maybe it is only resting- no new discoveries etc, though lots of routines and patterns exist. Maybe vent acts would once again boom if there's a new type of puppet who is more human--- whatever that puppet may look like. Where I live it's alive and kicking. And highly unkiddy. lol
Message: Posted by: axtell (Oct 22, 2007 09:34AM)
If it was ever momentarily dead, the vent defribulator has been used recently....

Nurse - Doctor, ventriloquism has no pulse.....

Doctor: (Grabbing defribulator) Stand back....All Clear...

WHAM! (Ronn Lucas, Las Vegas headliner)

BAM! (Jay Johnson, wins an emmy for his Broadway show, goes on national tour)

SLAM! (David Letterman hosts ventriloquist Week)

BLAM! (Jeff Dunham scores BIG with his two comedy specials, now #1 Comedy DVD on Amazon)

SPAM! Ventriloquist Zillah wins #1 prize on Sweden's TV Talent Contest)

KAZAM!! (Terry Fator wins #1 Prize on America's Got Talent, and stars in Vegas)

Doctor: .....check pulse......

Nurse: Doctor you did it! Ventriloquism is.....ALIVE!!!!!



Ax
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 22, 2007 10:16AM)
:) :) :) :)

I love Steve Axtell :) and his puppets :)

That was nicely put Ax :)
Message: Posted by: imamagic (Oct 23, 2007 02:04AM)
We are auditioning vents for a six-week headlining holiday show in St. Louis. Five-star venue; five-star production team. Where are the vents with great lip control, experience and showmanship?

The Art of ventriloquism is *NOT* dying. There are great gigs for vents who have what it takes and want to work professionally. I'd like to hear from them. We are still casting.

Many thanks.

Sam
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Oct 23, 2007 05:41AM)
Imamagic wrote:
We are auditioning vents for a six-week headlining holiday show in St. Louis. Five-star venue; five-star production team. Where are the vents with great lip control, experience and showmanship?

Chances are they are already working. Not trying to be rude - but a professional would book a six week holiday run well in advance of the middle of October. You can't expect anyone to hold that kind of time open for last minute possibilities. Pros have bills to pay - and part timers have jobs that prevent them from accepting those type engagements. My advice would be to plan earlier or accept what you can get as a last minute fill in.

Sorry.
Message: Posted by: gadfly3d (Nov 4, 2007 11:04AM)
I am not a vent, but if I was just starting in the biz and had to choose between magic and vent-I think vent while harder to be good at is easier to sell.

Gil Scott

P.S. as with magic, clowns and everything else most are terrible but the best are fantastic.
Message: Posted by: Steve Petra (Nov 4, 2007 08:24PM)
If the question is "Is the art of ventriloquism dying?", the answer is no.

I'm guessing the intended question is "Are there ventriloquists who are making a good living?". Indeed there are. A growing munber are expanding the application of the art of ventriloquism in theatrical performance, nightclub and family entertainment, education and other venues.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Nov 7, 2007 03:28PM)
[quote]
On 2007-10-11 08:22, Spellbinder wrote:
Ventriloquism is dead and already lying in the coffin. The problem is, the corpse keeps sitting up and talking and won't play dead. It's scaring away all the mourners.
[/quote]
.
Tell us how you really feel :)

Let me tell you as a professional vent - the art is NOT dying, in fact it is having a resurgence. The same way magic comes and goes in popularity, the same is true for vent.

When you can attend an international convention with 450 ventriloquists from all over the world - (Venthaven in Kentucky) - then I would say the art if just fine thank you.

Besides, I like being unique in the marketplace. In my area there must be 100 or more magicians, full-time, part-time or weekenders, but there are at most 6 vents.

I am busiere now than I have been in years.
Message: Posted by: zifferinolpm (Dec 6, 2007 08:44PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-01 21:37, damien666 wrote:
It's not dying - it's dead...
Honestly, in an age where kids can go to Toys R Us and buy state of the Art Animatronic puppets that talk to them - it's no big deal to see someone do it on stage.
Who knows how the next generations will respond to Vent (if at all). It is going to come down to what is funny and shocking.. In order for vent to survive in a mainstream world - it will need to follow the same trends as mainstream comedy.
Regardlesss, I hope that there is enough work for all of us for a few more years yet (the rest of my life time at least)..
I am also curious to find out what others feel about this issue.
I often hear the 'dying art' line - cause it is usually said with a note of indifference - like no one will really miss it if it ever does disappear. Time will tell..


[/quote]

Ventriloquism...... Dead? That's funny. Who won America's Got Talent this year? Oh, that's right. Terry Fator, A VENTRILOQUIST!!!!!!!!!
Message: Posted by: axtell (Mar 24, 2008 01:00PM)
Here is a video of Terry Fator on Oprah last week.... http://www.axtell.com/jazzman.html

Ax
Message: Posted by: harris (Mar 27, 2008 12:16PM)
I just finished my quarterly workshops on puppetry for a middle school drama school. Students knew the name of Jeff Dunham and several of his characters.

This was not true 5 years ago.

Harris
"nearly normal harmonica player and ventriloquist
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Mar 27, 2008 03:21PM)
[quote]
On 2007-08-01 21:37, damien666 wrote:
It's not dying - it's dead...
Honestly, in an age where kids can go to Toys R Us and buy state of the Art Animatronic puppets that talk to them - it's no big deal to see someone do it on stage.

[/quote]

I have to disagree with my friend here because if you are entertaining in your vent(which I know you are) -kids LOVE to see it. In as much as they love magician in trouble bits, they love it when the dummy seems to get the upper hand.

Vent dead? Not at all. I think we are riding a bit of a high right now and I for one am taking advantage of it to get the name and art of ventriloquism out there.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Mar 27, 2008 08:19PM)
It wont die...specially if there is a *** Ventriloquist.

That's what the ad says...

http://tinyurl.com/2v7m3u
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Mar 29, 2008 09:05AM)
When I have people booking me and asking SPECIFICALLY that I bring my puppet/vent characters with...I hardly think vent is dead. When I also have kids, I'm talking 6 year olds, who ask me if I know "Peanut" then I hardly think it's dead. I think it's entering it's Renaissance, actually. Right now we are in a vitual Golden Age of not only vents, but figure makers as well!
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Mar 30, 2008 04:40AM)
One very important question to ask along with is “Ventriloquism a Dying Art” is whether the art is being perpetuated. Most of the posts on this thread seem to reflect on recent(past year) events involving seasoned Ventriloquists in their 40’s or more(Jay, Ronn you’re getting up there!), being re-accepted by the mass media. Where are the new up-and-coming youngsters. I’m not talking about those kids dragged by their parents to VentHaven each year. (Many of whom you never hear from again.) I mean the kids that are truly “bitten” by the bug as many of us were. Dunham grew up at Venthaven. You know he loves vent and is doing his part to keep it going. Spenser Horsman made it to Letterman at the tender age of only 6yrs-old. He wowed the audience, and practically headlined each year afterwards at the Vegas Ventriloquist Festival. He was the new wonder-kid of Vent, the “next” Dunham. He is now mainly focusing his talents in magic. Karla Rhodes as a young teen, was tauted as the “next” Shari Lewis. Her act is mainly focused as a Stand-up comic now. If we want to keep this art alive, we each need to do our part to teach, and mentor. If you find a kid with that same twinkle in his eye, take the time to encourage them and pass on your knowledge. We don’t just want to see the older vents on Television. Lets get the younger generation involved also.
Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Mar 30, 2008 05:49PM)
That's a great point, Ventriloguy!!! You're right, and I do! Vent will only stay around as long as we want it to....
Message: Posted by: axtell (Apr 3, 2008 12:39PM)
I assume you've seen Terry Fator's recent appearance on Oprah? He's all about inspiring new ventriloquists... http://www.axtell.com/jazzman.html

From my perspective ventriloquism is growing faster than we realize. I hear daily from very young kids & teens all over the world that are really REALLY inspired by performing vents.

Just check the videos by the youth and kids in our Puppet Video Contest we ran last year (and will again).

http://www.axtell.com/puppetvideochallenge.html

Two of the contest winners (child and teen) recently performed in Las Vegas. That was the top prize in the contest. Can you imagine how inspirational that was? Ronn is a mentor also.

Ax
Message: Posted by: SpellbinderEntertainment (Apr 3, 2008 08:06PM)
Sometimes things which appear to be “dying” are simply in transition.
Sometimes as the Arts are redefined and refined they only appear to wither.

I think this is true of vent and of magic,
what entertained people 100 years ago,
is still entertaining, but can profit from a “new coat of paint”.

Thinking out-of-the-box,
being creative, determined, and quality oriented
can resuscitate and revive any artistic slump or trend in my opinion.

I don’t think either magic or vent are dying,
just experiencing periodic growing pains to remain relevant.

Magically,
Walt and Vincent
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Apr 4, 2008 09:59PM)
I certainly appreciate the aspect of "Inspiration". However, that idea gets lost if the individual does'nt hold on to his aspirations. In order for it to continue, that inspiration must become a passion. I think that Terry Fator is as talented as a lot of Vents that I personally know. I am sure he is enjoying his recent fame, but is he inspiring youngsters to want to be a Ventriloquist, or a Singer, or an Impressionist? Terry Fator is billed in Vegas as a "Singing Impressionist" or "Comedy Celebrity Impressionist". His billboards and newspaper ads say nothing about being a Ventriloquist, although we know him as such. Several years ago I personally inspired a group of kids to want to buy puppets and practice vent. They thought it was "cool". One of them actually appeared on stage in Vegas, in front of an audience of several hundred, as well as on French Television. He was listed as the "Youngest Vent" to ever perform on the Strip. He was 5yrs-old. Has'nt touched a puppet since. Does'nt care to. What are these other Kids/Teens going to be doing in 5-10 years? Is it true inspiration, or just a short-term hobby because they got a kick out of a performance they saw? Is it their true aspiration, or that of their parents? Believe me, I've seen both. Only time will tell. Lets keep those Kids and Teens coming!
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Sep 20, 2009 04:08AM)
Just an update:

[quote]March 2009: [url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118001512.html?categoryid=14&cs=1&nid=2562] Variety News[/url]

Dunham's 2008 special drew 6.6 million viewers to the network upon its initial run, and his touring business took in $19.2 million last year, making the 46-year-old comic the highest-grossing standup in North America, according to Pollstar. [/quote]

Dave Andrews won KIDabra's People Choice Award "Aug 2009"

Ventriloquism will never be "dead" or "dying". People need and want to laugh, even more so in today's economical problems.

If an act is "dying" then it needs to be re-routined.

Terry Factor is now running a "Terry Factor: Live from Las Vegas" TV Special on Cable TV. A great Show. Next showings is 9/25/09 Lots of original stuff!
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Sep 20, 2009 06:01PM)
I have just started teaching a new ventriloquist. He is 11 and already working and practicing very hard.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Sep 21, 2009 11:58AM)
Is the art of Ventriloquism dying?

...certainly not in the Philippines! :)

In Manila, magicians blend magic with ventriloquism. :)
Message: Posted by: harris (Sep 22, 2009 09:31AM)
Everyonce in awhile I have to update my jokes so my act doesn't die...

Such as one I used since I live in Kansas..

Who likes K.U. (kansas university)hands raise..

Who likes K. State...hands raise

how about K-Mart...(in our area K-marts are scarce so the joke doesn't play as well the past few years..

Vent is alive and well in the Doctor of Laughology marketing programs.

p.s. For you TOM users...it's great to see people actually using duct tape on "vents"(ducts??)


Harris