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Topic: I am in trouble!
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 22, 2010 08:57AM)
I've been interested in ventriloquist for a while but this time I am seriously bitten by the ventbug.
I would like your valuable advice on directing me to dvds/books/instructionals on becoming a ventriloquist.
I am also building up my resource library for my puppet museum.
I am also looking to buy Selberg Tater. I've emailed him but there is no reply.
Thank you for your kind attention
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Nov 22, 2010 01:54PM)
Indeed, you are in trouble! You are facing a lifetime of fun and giving pleasure to others. You face the daunting challenge of learning and perfecting a new skill. You are going to have to learn to deal with the great feeling of making other people laugh. You asked for it, Frank, and you're gonna get it!

Here's a good place to start to look for the famed Maher course and some DVD's.


Tim will eventually get back to you. I have two of his figures. I think they're worth the wait.

Good luck!


Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Nov 22, 2010 05:11PM)
Cool! The best marionette artist in Asia wants to be a ventrikolist :)

I can safely say... Frankie will be a fantastic vent :)

Have fun my friend!!! :)
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Nov 22, 2010 07:32PM)
Frankie,..I personally think that the Maher Course is the best route to go on learning vent. It's been around a long time..is timely...and give s good instruction. I'd also recommend Vent 101 by Lee Cornell and a vent course by Pete Michaels.

If you're looking for something for your library..I'd look at George Schindler's book "Ventriloquism: Magic With Your Voice"..and a book called "Kidshow Ventriloquism" by some guy named Mark Wade (sorry..not trying to "toot" my own horn..).

Email me and I'll look for some other sources for you. Welcome to vent, Frankie!


Message: Posted by: REV BILL (Nov 22, 2010 07:51PM)
I agree that the Maher Course is the best. Mark Wade is very very good too.
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 23, 2010 03:20AM)
Alrighty,I'll get the Maher course as well as Mark's dvd.I was looking at it the other day,and then it's figure making time!
I made two vent dolls and I actually sculpted 3 more characters.
One is a mad scientist type character and the challenging part is creating him holding a specimen jar that has a pair of eyeballs and dentures suspended in liquid that talks.He'll be holding an electrode that sparks like a funkenring and when he accidentally prod himself,his hair will stand.
I have other characters in mind on which I kinda sketched out and are now trying to sculpt as I go along.
I'll try and post pics of the progress.
Thanks everyone for your recommendation.I feel like a chicken that had just laid an egg and I am the duck inside the egg trying to hatch
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 23, 2010 03:30AM)
I've sent you two emails
And Bob: Tim did replied and I ordered Tater.It'll take about 12 weeks!
Thanks guys for your encouragements.Appreciate it
If I buy books,how do I know if I am doing it correctly?
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Nov 23, 2010 06:47AM)
Best way I've found for self-evaluation is a huge mirror I practice in front of AND the video camera I record practices with and then watch and critque afterwards! I remember the first time I taped me and Cletus! It was AMAZING that this ventriloquist stuff REALLY DOES WORK (even though I didn't have great lip control, Cletus' voice DID ACTUALLY SEEM to be coming from him and NOT ME!!). It is a WAY FUN thing/hobby to do!!! You will have a fantastic time doing it. And, IF I may be permitted to say, it is NOT as mysterious and hard to do as most think it is - IMHO:o) BEST of luck to you!!!
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 23, 2010 08:04AM)
Thanks Captain! Now one question is materials.Do you write your own?
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Nov 23, 2010 09:47AM)
Yes, I write my own material BUT some of it can be a variation/adaptation of an older, proven effective, vent routine and/or classic joke(s). Best thing is to get some books on how to write comedy routines/jokes and read about how jokes/routines are created. Belive it or not, there are structured ways to create comedy routines and/or jokes. Again, best of luck to you and the great guys and gals on this fantastic forum can offer a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. I personally got the Maher Course and it is SUPERB!!! Mark's DVD, which was included with the course, is EXCELLENT!! I also have several VHS tapes that are extremely helpful as well. Steve Taylor's tapes or DVDs are some that I highly recommend. "Voicing Your Dummy", "Humoring Your Dummy", and "Manipulating Your Dummy" are "must haves" for the beginning vent, IMHO. Those, coupled with the Maher Course are about all a fledgling vent should need (other than a figure/puppet, a practice mirror, and a lot of PRACTICE:o)
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 23, 2010 10:13AM)
I will be placing my order for the Maher Course soon. I didn't know Mark's DVD is included.What a bonus!
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 23, 2010 11:06AM)
There's a vintage Paul Winchell DVD that's really good on basics, too!
As far as material, a great source book is:

"10,000 Jokes, Toasts and Stories" by Copeland. Mine is from the late 1950's, so there's no ISBN number on it, but I've seen it in bookstores in new editions.

It's full of old jokes and categorized by topic. There's no such thing as a new joke...just old jokes updated and polished! With the index in the back, you can string together jokes on particular topics, then change 'em around, polish them up and have the beginnings of a routine.

The best humor, of course, comes from character, rather than joke, joke, joke, joke...but this is a pretty handy starting point!

Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 23, 2010 06:24PM)
Thanks Philip for the recommendation.I'll see if I can find that book.
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 23, 2010 06:25PM)
I don't know if I asked too many questions but how do you know if something/joke/material is funny to an audience?
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Nov 23, 2010 07:00PM)
Frankie, had you told me when you're here in Manila that you're interested in learning vent, I could have shared with you some info I have. Anyway, the Maher is a great way to learn vent.

And ask questions here. There will be lots of people here to help you.

Good luck, my friend!
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 23, 2010 08:09PM)
Well the ventbug bit me while I was doing research for my puppet museum. That was after Manila.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 23, 2010 08:17PM)
How do you know if a joke/material is funny to an audience?
Try it with a couple of audiences.
They'll tell you!

Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 24, 2010 12:22AM)
Ain't that the truth!
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Nov 25, 2010 09:50AM)
As Arthur said in the movie "Arthur"....."I sometimes just THINK funny things" When that happens, make sure you have a small notebook with you so you can write them down for future use!
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 25, 2010 10:09AM)
I am making a point to go to VentHeaven.Hoping to meet some of you there! By the way,anyone wants to share a room?
Maybe I should post this somewhere else.
I mean VentHaven! sorry..a case of the hands faster than the mind.An occupational hazzard. Besides I dun think I am really for VentHeaven until I learn to vent.
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 25, 2010 10:14PM)
VentHaven is for all levels of the art, beginner to pro. It is the place to go to learn to be the best vent you possibly can. Hope to meet you there!
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Nov 26, 2010 06:46AM)
When I send you the Payes and the Lovik, Ill send some stuff you can read :)
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 26, 2010 10:58PM)
Thank Wanlu,That's very kind of you.
I am in the process of making the dvd for Igor and will shipp to you by next week
Message: Posted by: aaronharp88 (Nov 28, 2010 09:49PM)
I have a ventriloquist bit in my show but the dummy doesn't speak. its an entire trick with him in which he never says a word you all being ventriloquists full time does this seem like something in which I shouldnt do or do you think its ok?
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 29, 2010 09:04AM)
Its your show. No problem.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 29, 2010 09:31AM)
I'm with Tom.

Besides, maybe yours just hasn't thought of anything he wants to say yet.

Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Nov 29, 2010 10:13AM)
As long as you keep your figure animated and not sitting like he/she is lifeless, I see no reason the bit shouldn't be done. Maybe some facial expressions on your figure's face to emphasize the bit would be helpful if your figure has moving eyes, eyebrows, etc.(??). IMO:o)

BTW: that would be an excellent topic for its own thread!!!
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 30, 2010 08:54AM)
To the OP, (and of course anyone else who may be interested) - I learned ventriloquism from one book, it was called "Ventriloquism of Today" by Paul Stadelman. I don't even know if it's still available anywhere unless you find it used. I had created a website about Paul, and at that time, created a windows help file of the instructional text from the book for anyone to download. I just recently found out the link wasn't working any more, and better yet, I found out that windows help (.hlp) files aren't supported any more in windows.
So I created a PDF version, but I haven't yet gotten it loaded on the site for people to download, so if anyone is interested in it, PM me and I will send it (can you send attachments in the PM section? - guess we'll find out).
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 30, 2010 09:17AM)
I would be interested.PM-ed you.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 30, 2010 09:28AM)
P.S. - well it looks like you can't send attachments through the PM section, so if anyone wants that PDF, they'll have to include their email for me to send it to them.
BTW, maps asked how much it was - the help file always was free to download just as the PDF file always will be as well, my only interest is in keeping Paul's instruction from disappearing.
Message: Posted by: maps (Nov 30, 2010 07:04PM)
Thanks Blueshawk1 for the pdf.
He's very fast to reponse and it's a 68 page pdf file.I haven't read it yet but I know I will have fun doing so.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Nov 30, 2010 08:56PM)
I also learned a lot from the Paul Stadelman book :) Lots of useful infos
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Nov 30, 2010 09:32PM)
Your surely welcome maps!
If you're interested in knowing more about Paul, here is the site I created for him;
All the pictures are thumbnails to click on for the larger picture, (there's two or three that for some reason have stopped working and I haven't had a chance to get in and fix yet).
Message: Posted by: Carl Mustaine (Dec 1, 2010 01:03PM)
I have looked at your tribute to Paul many times! And often wondered about the creator.