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Topic: Right vs. left.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 1, 2012 09:15PM)
I noticed most ventriloquist have their dummies on the right of them. Is that because most vents are right-handed, or because of showmanship (audience looking to their left first)?
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Oct 1, 2012 09:21PM)
Funny, I've never even given that a thought, but you're right, I think those who have their figure on their right are the majority.
I've never seen any "rule" in books about it, if I had to venture a guess as to why, it would be because of people learning following the example of others they've seen.
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Oct 1, 2012 10:20PM)
Perhaps the ones you've seen are simply right handed, but now that you mention it.....
Message: Posted by: creativemac (Oct 1, 2012 10:24PM)
As, I'm left handed, when I have figures made for me, I have the control set up for the left hand. Most of my figures are set up for the right hand as they were previously owned and I'm able to use them either way, however a few feels more comfortable with the right hand and I use them that way.
Message: Posted by: Steve Petra (Oct 1, 2012 11:03PM)
Most vents work their figure with their right hand because they are right handed. I'm left handed but have a tendency to work a puppet with my right. However, I think it's benficial to be able to work with either hand and do so purposely during many of my shows to add visual variety.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 2, 2012 09:46AM)
I'm with Steve on this. I'm left handed and work mine with my left hand. And, like Donald, my figures are all set up with right-hand controls. You get used to it. The whole WORLD is set up for right-handed people! :)

Message: Posted by: damien666 (Oct 2, 2012 11:13AM)
I have also noticed the right handed thing with most vents..
I am left handed and pretty much use my left hand extensively..
It has caused problems in the past with extremely painful carpal tunnel issues from a lot of repetitive movement; so I had to learn to use my right hand for a bit - which was awkward. But I agree that it is good to be able to use both hands if possible. It does vary things a bit and it also covers you better in case of injury.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Oct 2, 2012 12:14PM)
I wish I could use my left for puppets as I have always wanted to work 2 characters at once.
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 2, 2012 12:43PM)
On 2012-10-02 13:14, Neale Bacon wrote:
I wish I could use my left for puppets as I have always wanted to work 2 characters at once.
That is one of the specialties I am putting in my show.
Message: Posted by: harris (Oct 4, 2012 08:13AM)
Mostly I use my left hand. Could be because of the left/right brain connection.

Some I use with my left hand. My right is the original dominant one. With years of magic, guitar/uke playing and juggling, my left is quite efficient.

Characters on my right hand are different than those on my left hand.
I do occassionally use puppets on both hands. It is mind boggling/juggling.

Message: Posted by: Lou Hilario (Oct 4, 2012 07:28PM)
I am also left handed, but I use my right hand to control my puppets. I see many of us are lefties, LOL!
Message: Posted by: Dynamike (Oct 4, 2012 10:33PM)
Lou, why do you think you use your right hand for control when you are left handed? You think it is because of showmanship, what you were taught, most others do it, or for another reason?
Message: Posted by: manal (Oct 5, 2012 09:43AM)
Some makers build figures that can be operated with either hand.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 5, 2012 09:58AM)
I'm gonna guess that Lou uses his right hand for control because this frees his dominant hand for other business (writing, drawing, etc). I've often thought that if I were more skilled with my right hand it would make things easier, as I could control the figure with it and keep my left hand free. It just doesn't feel right, though, to use my right hand when I'm using a single-figure set up. Not so bad when there are two figures at once, though I don't do this often.

Message: Posted by: harris (Oct 5, 2012 11:28AM)
Another reason that I use the non-dominant hand(more often) is so I can use the dominant right hand to control the rod.(for arm movements)

When I do marionette work, I hold the main part of the air-plane control in my left hand and do the smaller manipulation(single or double airplane bar) and single string movement with my right hand.

Some small movements I can still do with my left hand, such as get his shoulders shaking with the two strings in the middle of the main control piece.

For my skater, I have to re-adjust one of the strings while switching from forward to backward skating. When I first tried it, I said(thought) no-Way...

Well now it is WAY easy.

who used to say he would give his left arm to be ambidextrous.
Message: Posted by: TheDummyDoctor (Oct 6, 2012 12:09AM)
On 2012-10-05 10:43, manal wrote:
Some makers build figures that can be operated with either hand.

Actually, _any_ figure can be operated with either hand. Since there has never been a standardized control scheme on these little beasties from maker to maker (we all have our own methods and control layouts), there is technically no such thing as a 'right handed' or 'left handed' figure; the 'handedness' is determined strictly by the preference of which finger someone favors for a given movement.

For example...though I am ambidextrous, my brain tells me that I was born right-handed, and thus I use my right index finger to control my dummy's mouth...that very same figure which I use as a 'right handed' figure would actually be a 'left-handed figure' for a vent that prefers to use the thumb for the mouth control.
So it is totally relative to the control post preferences.

Jim is correct though in that there _are_ control layouts that centrally locate the most used control (the mouth) so that the control could be easily accessed by either the index finger _or_ the thumb, on either hand. However, that could be problematic from an ergonomic standpoint on figures with multiple movements. But for simpler figures with fewer articulated movements, the center mount is a good 'universal' solution.
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Oct 6, 2012 09:32AM)
Interesting stuff. I'm a right-handed vent who prefers to control the figure's mouth with my thumb; so, I need a headstick set up for that. I think I mentioned this somewhere else around here, but I once had a Howard Olsen "Little Andy" figure that I used for years as a teenager that was set up like that. That set up spoiled me. I recently had a figure that was set up for use with my index finger, and it just didn't work for me. In fact, I found it quite uncomfortable.

Correct me if I'm wrong, Alan, but I remember you saying that about 50% of your clients prefer to control the mouth with the thumb, and the other half prefer to use the index finger. And I believe that most Marshall figures were set up to have the mouth thumb-controlled.

To each their own, I suppose.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 6, 2012 10:17AM)
I spent over forty years with just one figure, Louie, and his mouth control was located for my thumb. I got really, really used to it over the decades. Then I retired him for a larger Hartz version of himself, and added four other new figures to the mix, over about a ten year period. Nothing feels as natural as my original figure. Maybe in another forty years. :)

Message: Posted by: bwarren3 (Oct 6, 2012 10:52AM)
All of my figures are used by my right hand and Iím right handed. But now Iíve added a couple of magic effects that I can do one handed where the figure ends up actually doing the magic, not me. Iím experimenting on which hand makes it easier to use. Iím leaning towards doing the magic with the right hand and manipulating the puppets using my left hand because there are less moving parts in my puppet than the magic trick but itís still a work in progress.
It can be done both ways just not sure if itís really a major difference or not switching my puppet from my right hand to my left....
Message: Posted by: bearT (Nov 5, 2012 04:12PM)
I'm new to this ventriloquism stuff, in fact I only had the idea yesterday that it's something I'd be interested in learning.
I've been messing around with both hands today to see which feels most comfortable and left does although I'm right handed, not only does it feel more comfortable but I feel safer, knowing I have my good hand free to use for other stuff should I need it.
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Nov 7, 2012 10:38PM)
I tend to use the right hand, thumb control for a hard figure. I set Henry up that way. I had an Insull years ago and got used to that set up. As Alan mentioned, I think the Insull could have been used left handed with the forefinger. I perform with my JET puppet, Frank the Wonder Dog, on my left hand, because one of his bits is to balance a spinning plate on a stick on the tip of his nose. I can't spin the plate as reliably with my left hand, so I learned to manipulate a Frank left handed. It took time, was awkward at first, difficult to make him seem as alive, but as with anything else, practice works.
Message: Posted by: ctpuppet (Nov 8, 2012 11:03PM)
I am actually left handed but my puppet is setup right handed. it just works for me.
Message: Posted by: ctpuppet (Nov 9, 2012 04:40AM)
I am actually left handed but my puppet is setup right handed. it just works for me.