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Topic: Studying Ventriliquism!
Message: Posted by: Steve Landavazo (Oct 3, 2001 06:58PM)
Do any of you currently employ it in your shows?

I think it would be interesting and fun for a magic show!

Anybody using it?

Steve :dance:
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Oct 3, 2001 08:10PM)
I have been a ventriloquist for almost 33 years, and I use vent in many of my adult shows and ALL of my kids shows. I have an axtell bird puppet that I bring out early on in the show and a "dummy" (knee figure for the politically correct--as if the dummy knows the difference!) who comes out at the end of the show. To the best of my knowledge, I am the only professional vent in Idaho.

It's an excellent feature to offer potential clients. I DON'T do balloon animals, but I use that as a selling point, because pretty much everyone else in my area does, but I'm the only ventriloquist.

Ventriloquism is harder initially to learn than magic (there is no such thing as a self-working vent!), but, once mastered, you just have to "keep it in check"--so in that sense, it's easier in the long run (provided you have some showmanship and stage presence). The other cool thing about it is that almost everyone has seen a magician before, but not many people have seen a vent, particularly live.
Message: Posted by: Margarette (Oct 17, 2001 08:17PM)
...and she makes an appearance, here, too! :wavey:

Actually, I have started working with a vent doll I’ve named Sammy. Sammy has one purpose. I use him in my American Flag shows, and he tells the story of the writing of the Star Spangled Banner and related events. That was the one part of my American Flag show that wasn’t quite working the way I wanted it to.

Then, at Kidabra, Steve Taylor made the comment that you can teach anything using ventriloquism. Then, it hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks...use ventriloquism to teach the story of the Star Spangled Banner.

So, since August, I’ve been working on having Sammy tell the story. It’s working well, so far, but he has yet to be debuted in my show, but he will be soon!

The hardest part I had was finding Sammy’s voice, but I finally found it, and he and I are working well together. Right now, I don’t plan on doing any more vent work, but who knows what the future holds!
Message: Posted by: Bengi (Nov 3, 2001 03:25AM)
umm hmm hee hoo ho......

hoo no mook gee saaa....

Nope, I haven't quite mastered vent yet! :rotf:

But always willing to learn. Love watching you guys!!

Any suggestions on where to start?

Bengi :yippee:
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Nov 3, 2001 09:25AM)
Maher Ventriloquist Studios, Box 420, Littleton, CO has an excellent and inexpensive little booklet called "Ventriloquism in a Nutshell."
Message: Posted by: tamaka (Nov 11, 2001 10:37PM)
I have a friend who did vent and he started me on it.

Since my love is magic I try and do some magic with the figures. I use Axtels birds and wild thing. When using the birds I have one who does mentalism and then I built a small cannon and box effect. (the cannon illusion) The bird goes into the cannon it fires he’s gone, only to have his beak going through the side of the box. Sides drop and I walk away as he talks about how he doesn’t feel well. I had a friend to make some robotics for the movement.

With the wild thing I do a chop cup routine with the figure and she makes the ball appear and disappear. I get great reaction on both routines.
Message: Posted by: Dennis Michael (Nov 12, 2001 04:37AM)
I too have several soft puppets, Mandrake the Magician, his brother Firefighter Fred, Sparky the Fire Dog, Vern (Axtel Bird), Barney, Smile Gace, Rabbit in Hat, A Crow, A spring bunny, A Spring Skunk, A skunk puppet, and a bunch of chipmunks.

Use them all.

Message: Posted by: Tom Cutts (Nov 12, 2001 08:53AM)
Best vent show I ever saw. The guy gets in an argument and storms off stage leaving the puppet on his own. 40 seconds of nothing but the leg still swinging back and forth from the hasty exit.

The eyes move. Audience jumps. Head turns. Audience gasps. The doll does the last 5 minutes on his own, randy little bugger. :rotf:
Message: Posted by: magicadam (Jan 1, 2002 01:08PM)
Who has seen Wayne Dobson doing vent?

He does not use dolls, but two volunteers who come up on stage. It is soooooo funny!!! He gives one a high voice, and one a low voice.

Message: Posted by: John Zander (Jan 1, 2002 03:20PM)
Happy New Year to all! :banana:

Can any of you recommend any instructional info on this art? Books or videos and any info on the Axtel Bird? Is this the one that I have seen advertised in the magic mags? I too think that this would be a great addition to any kid show..... anything to get away from balloons!

Just found this BTW http://www.axtell.com/vent.html

and.... (revising the post again) this site has some great info on learning to speak (vent) worth looking at.


Thank you,

John Zander


The Award Winning

Comedy Magic of

John Zander



Message: Posted by: amagician (Jan 14, 2002 08:53AM)
Tom Mullica and Jay Marshall discussed and demonstrated their vent techniques on a video but unfortunately you had to join the IMC to get it.

If anyone knows of them seperately or together showing how to do vent on a non-IMC tape then I would recommend it sight unseen!

And that is something I have never done with anything before. :where:


Have a Magic 2002

John Williams


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Message: Posted by: malini (Jan 17, 2002 10:37PM)
David Strassman is the BEST Vent man I have ever seen. He combines clasic vent work - which he is very good at and mechanical Animatronic work, where all his puppets work via remote control. He tours the world but is not well known in his home Country of America. The finale of his stage show consists of a huge Broadway style singing extravaganza, where he has about eight puppets all singing and dancing by themselves - the star of the show Chuck Wood stands up and even does a little dance.

If you ever get the chance to see his show make sure you GO. - Check his website out a http://www.chuckwood.com

Message: Posted by: Pokie-Poke (Mar 19, 2002 09:34PM)
I don't vent (yet) but me and my partner are working on a bit with puppets made from balloons, the simplest is just a set of eyes on top of my hand, sometime in the bit the audience starts to stare at my mouth!! At which point the puppet yells at them to stop watching my mouth, "If he was a ventriloquist he would have a dummy not be one!"
Message: Posted by: Sir T (Mar 20, 2002 11:08AM)
Ok, so I don't have the time to learn to Vent, but how about a rabbit in the hat puppet? It does not talk, but comes to life and always manages to steal the show!! There is also a prop kit for it and a rather nice book on how to use it, called the realm of the rabbit.

Just thought I would toss that out for you all.

kevin :kitty:
Message: Posted by: MatthewBlackwell (Mar 20, 2002 12:19PM)
I looked into vent stuff once: there was a book in the library detailing different positions of the tongue and what not to get the correct sounds without moving the lips. I tried it for about ten minutes and then gave up.

Do people actually follow all these instructions or do people generally just
‘try’ until they succeed?

Just wondered…


Matthew Blackwell
Message: Posted by: harris (Jul 29, 2002 10:01AM)
I used the Maher course, videos, books and
I studied with a Master Puppeteer, Emiline

She was not a ventriloquist, but she taught me how to make a puppet alive and connect with your audience.

My first audition with George (my first
"vent friend") was a humbling situation.

The director said, "Harris, we couldn't see your lips move at all. Unfortunately we could not understand a word, your puppet said."

These days, Puppetry helps give me that extra boost in my market.

Of course you need to be great at both magic, vent and whatever else you add to the
act. Otherwise you are just using filler.
Sort of like adding water to your favorite drink.

Just my Nearly Normal Opinion.

Harris and Nigel (The puppet that rocks and talks) :bigdance:
Message: Posted by: martyk (Sep 28, 2002 10:06PM)
I have the tape with Mullica and Marshall and they do it superbly well. Their directions take about 5 seconds and I guess that "belly" speaking is not much to explain. Still, I can not get it.. Stevens has a tape with Bowell(?) and the vent is incredible, he pours his voice from a glass. I think he explains it too, still can't get it. I think it must be a talent and mostly self-taught.

Surprised to discover that Scott Guinn can do Vent in addition to all his other impressive skills