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Topic: If you could ask one question...
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Oct 18, 2012 01:23PM)
If you could sit down with a professional ventriloquist and ask them one question - what would it be?

We aren't talking about a specific ventriloquist - but any pro vent you had the opportunity to spend time with. What would you ask them - what would you want to know about a skill, or their business or a market or their career?
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Oct 18, 2012 02:29PM)
Ten views - no thoughts - maybe that was too generic. If you were able to sit down with a living famous ventriloquist - then what would you want to know?
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Oct 18, 2012 02:32PM)
What was your worst gig ever?

Nice to be reminded that even the biggest have had hell gigs.

OK seriously, it would be How do you keep going through the dry spells, or how do you deal with those days you want to throw in the towel and get a "real job".
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Oct 18, 2012 02:41PM)
Edgar Bergen was a master of manipulation, but he was also a master at leading his fans into believing Charlie was more than just a puppet. What is your relationship with your figure? How did you (and still maintain) report with your figure? If you have one figure (or one main character) how do you think it would effect your performances if he or she was taken away from you?
Message: Posted by: KeithS (Oct 18, 2012 03:19PM)
"Could you please give me your honest opinion on my abilities?"
Message: Posted by: damien666 (Oct 18, 2012 03:27PM)
What else would you do if you couldn't do vent full time? In short, do you have an education or a fall back?
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 19, 2012 03:19AM)
It would probably be a different question for each ventriloquist...

Edgar Bergen: Who made Charlie?

Willie Tyler: How old are you really?

Paul Winchell: How can I be like you?

Jeff Dunham: Got married again huh... what were you thinking? :)
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 19, 2012 03:29AM)
[quote]
On 2012-10-18 15:29, tacrowl wrote:
Ten views - no thoughts - maybe that was too generic. If you were able to sit down with a living famous ventriloquist - then what would you want to know?
[/quote]



Jeff Dunham: So you got married again sir... What were you thinking? :)

Terry Fator: How the h*ck do you do it sir?
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Oct 19, 2012 09:05AM)
Have you ever had a nagging cough before a show, and if you did, what did you do about it?
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 19, 2012 10:22AM)
I'd ask about the tape-over-mouth technique. It's the one that's really got me stumped. :)

-Philip
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Oct 20, 2012 09:37AM)
Gee, even I know how to do that!
Message: Posted by: Servante (Oct 20, 2012 11:12AM)
So tell me. :-D

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Oct 20, 2012 01:44PM)
I liked Neale's question about how you keep going when you have a dry spell or a low day and just want to go get a 'real job'.

My first question would be simple: "How did you go from being one of many aspiring professionals to being at the top of your field, famous, sought after and well paid?" But I already know the (simple-but not easy) answer.. practice more and work harder on the material.

My second would be similar to Neale's.. "Do you have self-doubt, and if so, how do you overcome it and keep pushing on?"

My third would be... "Given that the 80's 'golden era' of comedy clubs is past, do you see a better route forward for somebody just starting out these days?"
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Oct 20, 2012 03:16PM)
[quote]
On 2012-10-20 14:44, Mr. Pitts wrote:
I liked Neale's question about how you keep going when you have a dry spell or a low day and just want to go get a 'real job'.

My first question would be simple: "How did you go from being one of many aspiring professionals to being at the top of your field, famous, sought after and well paid?" But I already know the (simple-but not easy) answer.. practice more and work harder on the material.

My second would be similar to Neale's.. "Do you have self-doubt, and if so, how do you overcome it and keep pushing on?"

My third would be... "Given that the 80's 'golden era' of comedy clubs is past, do you see a better route forward for somebody just starting out these days?"
[/quote]


Those are darn good questions
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 20, 2012 06:46PM)
Correct me please if I'm wrong, but the thread is asking for just ONE question right? :)
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Oct 20, 2012 07:08PM)
Tom amended the topic to "If you were able to sit down with a living famous ventriloquist - then what would you want to know?"
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 20, 2012 07:26PM)
...oh I thought the ammendment was on the living vent not on the number of questions :)

My apologies...
Message: Posted by: Mr. Pitts (Oct 20, 2012 08:21PM)
No apology necessary Wanlu. You know though, if I HAD to pick just ONE of my questions, I think it might be the third one... "Given that the 80's 'golden era' of comedy clubs is past, do you see a better route forward for somebody just starting out these days?" More of a business question than an artistic one I guess. I kind of think other artists can give one insight, but artistic questions inevitably have to be answered through our own work.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Oct 20, 2012 11:57PM)
Very good question :)
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Oct 21, 2012 12:27AM)
"How do you prepare/perform for an international audience with diverse backgrounds when most of your jokes are American based?"
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Oct 21, 2012 05:04PM)
Very interesting questions. Thanks to all who posted.
Tom
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Oct 24, 2012 09:23AM)
How do you create a unique voice and character for a new puppet?
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 13, 2012 09:47PM)
Today I finished an interview for the next Learn-Ventriloquism Master Class titled: Discussions On Showmanship. I've posted a picture on the Facebook Page at:

http://www.facebook.com/LearnVentriloquism

It was over an hour of some very cool conversation and well worth me flying out to California to do this one-on-one. Like the page, and like the picture if you know who it is!
Message: Posted by: Aussie (Nov 14, 2012 12:51AM)
Looking forward to this interview. He's a really nice guy and my personal inspiration for becoming a ventriloquist
Message: Posted by: bearT (Nov 14, 2012 04:37AM)
How do you know your routine/jokes are funny enough, when we practice we'll see it all through different eyes than the audience ;)
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 14, 2012 09:41AM)
BearT - I can answer that one straight up based on my own experience and conversations with other pro vents. If you find the material funny, craft the jokes correctly and present them properly, your audience will find them funny. If you don't find the jokes to be laugh out loud funny - you have an uphill struggle. The only way to know if your routines are funny enough is to get in front of as many audiences as possible and do your routines. Record the performances and pay attention to what gets a laugh and what doesn't. Then hone the material and drop the weak stuff.
Message: Posted by: bearT (Nov 14, 2012 10:25AM)
Thanks for your answer tacrowl, my worry is that my sense of humour is not necessarily the same as other peoples, what I may laugh out loud at myself others may cry at, but I guess the only way to know is to get out there and have a few dissapointing performances to learn from :)
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 14, 2012 04:22PM)
Don't go into them with the attitude they will be disaapointing. Use them as a learning experience. Do your friends like your sense of humor? If so, then there will be an audience for your type of material - you just have to find it.
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 14, 2012 04:23PM)
BTW - I just posted another pic on the FaceBook page regarding the next Master Class. Hope I didn't blow the secret surprise on this one... ;)

http://www.facebook.com/LearnVentriloquism
Message: Posted by: bearT (Nov 14, 2012 05:36PM)
[quote]
On 2012-11-14 17:22, tacrowl wrote:
Don't go into them with the attitude they will be disaapointing. Use them as a learning experience. Do your friends like your sense of humor? If so, then there will be an audience for your type of material - you just have to find it.
[/quote]

I don't have a dissapointing attitude, but I am a realist and realise that there will be some dissapointments along this journey, and they'll be more than likely be at the beginning.

I would say it's about 50/50 with my friends, some like my sense of humour and some don't, so I should get 50% of an audience laughing :)
Message: Posted by: Matt_24 (Nov 16, 2012 11:50AM)
BearT....you know if you're funny or not. The fact is, everyone isn't funny, but that hasn't stopped a vast multitude from becoming ventriloquists, so don't let it stop you in your journey! (You see, that was a joke).

Also, everyones sense of humor is different to a certain extent. There are some acts that I don't laugh at and others do. This, of course, could also be contributed to the level of sophistication of my fellow audience members. Some laugh at Larry David, some laugh at Freckles the clown. The beauty is that there are paying markets for both acts!!

Tom gave you perfect advice. You have to get out and test your material. Keep the strong. Weed out the weak. Find your target audience. And when all else fails, Steal!
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 20, 2012 07:11PM)
I wanted to take another chance to say thanks to everyone who provided questions here - they all couldn't make it into the interviews, but a couple of them did. Here is a variation on one that David Pitts asked:
http://youtu.be/anybhFjm2fo