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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Does it ruin it if they see your lips move??? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sluggo
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Mike B.
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Ax,
Missed you at the Vent haven convention!
Dad, magic, ventriloquism, facepainter & balloons.
A weakness for coffee (caffeine)
danryb
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I just got my first ever puppets from axtell.
I put a new show together called "the Coola Buba Show"
I have had no prior experience with puppets nor vent but have done magic for children professionally for over 12 years.

a week or two after I recieved the goods - I dived straight in and performed my premiere for a local b.day party. since then I have done about a show a day with the puppets and get excellent feedback.

I have a set of peepers together with loudmouth (he is "safi" and myself singing the "coola buba song" (for that I don't need to vent).
then I have slippy the seal (he is "Coola") performing tricks, stunts and impersonations without talking (for that I don't need vent)
then I have buba the bullfrog (he is "chief") making very funny faces and tuning a kid into a rabbit with the rabbit wand as his main act, and he whispers in my ear to tell me what he wants (for that I don't need vent)
then I have verne (he is "Tofi the strange bird") introduce himself, eating nuts, drinking water, talking and even prducing a string of foam sausages and eventualy a large smiley the clown silk from an empty bag. He doesn't stop talking but I mouth the words in a lower voice (for that I don't need vent).

What I'm getting at here is that I have produced a show with 4 entirely different characters - all very very funny but none need vent.
I bought the maher course but havent had time to get around to it cause I'm always performing. maybe in the winter.

enjoy,
Dani the magician and the coola buba show
daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2005-04-03 19:41, olivertwist wrote:
Eric,

Other magicians who have watched me say that when I wear a turtleneck of formal shirt with a bow tie, they don't notice the neck movement. Ultimately, they know your doing the talking. Some kids think you're trying to fool them by making them think the puppet is alive. I think if the routine is funny and entertaining, the neck movement is not important. Steve Taylor's video "Humoring Your Dummy" has good advice on writing funny dialogues/

Oliver


Where is that video available?

Quote:
On 2005-04-22 21:32, Jimeuax wrote:
I use a a brown "jersey" glove in my latex peppets and it stops the smell, and protects the puppet.I am about half-way alergic to latex so it is a must for me---keep them in the dark---Axtell says to use "Armour All" every six months---but I don't always-- The TRUTH is--you should try your best NOT to move your lips---we all do to some extent--BUT-- that is pretty much the definiton of the art--talking without moving your lips--you know---kinda like "Can I do this magic trick--even though I am flashing all the moves"? well----you CAN---but do you want to?----------cheers!---Jimeuax


I've always wonderd about that, because I believe Armor all contains alcohol, and alcohol tends to dry out vinyl, does it not?
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2005-07-19 11:08, sluggo wrote:
Ax,
Missed you at the Vent haven convention!


When and where is this annual convention held? I really want to find out more!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
NMaggio
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Nick Maggio
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When I was actively doing vent, it never occured to be to be overly conscious of lip control. Yes, I got the basics out of the way early with a great deal of practice. After that, having a fun time, figure control and scripting occupied most of my attention. This is not a brag, but a negative comment about my lip control from an audience member never surfaced. Most of the time I was too busy being fascinated by the antics of "JD", my alter ego. Try to think of your performance as any thing other than a challenge to "watch my lips." As corny as it sounds, if you don't make an issue out of it, no one else will. Your audience will be mesmerized with your vent figure and not you, if you keep the movement going and your eyes on the figure.

Nick Maggio
cardone
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You should hear the comments if they don't move at all........
sluggo
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Mike B.
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Daffy doug,
The Vent Haven convention is held every year in Ft. Mitchel Ky. It's in July I believe the 2nd week of the month, It's fantastic!
You can go on their site and get all the info you need. http://www.venthaven.com
Next year it's the 12th thru the 15th of July.
Dad, magic, ventriloquism, facepainter & balloons.
A weakness for coffee (caffeine)
ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2005-08-07 11:56, daffydoug wrote:
Quote:
On 2005-04-22 21:32, Jimeuax wrote:
I use a a brown "jersey" glove in my latex peppets and it stops the smell, and protects the puppet.I am about half-way alergic to latex so it is a must for me---keep them in the dark---Axtell says to use "Armour All" every six months---but I don't always-- The TRUTH is--you should try your best NOT to move your lips---we all do to some extent--BUT-- that is pretty much the definiton of the art--talking without moving your lips--you know---kinda like "Can I do this magic trick--even though I am flashing all the moves"? well----you CAN---but do you want to?----------cheers!---Jimeuax


I've always wonderd about that, because I believe Armor all contains alcohol, and alcohol tends to dry out vinyl, does it not?


Apparently the Axtell people say to use Armor-All, but the Armor-All people say it isn't made for and not recommended for latex. While I'm certain the Axtell people are being sincere, I would trust the Armor-All people myself, I'm sure they've made the tests.
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cardone
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I like the flashing anaolgy used by Jimeaux...... What is the definition of a ventriloquist ? I think most people would say if you own a "dummy' then you are one ..... Let make up a good definition....
MagicalPirate
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If moving the lips is a major stumbling block, then why vent. If you have an assistant and you do many voices then let the puppet take center stage. You could step off stage as your assistant enters and then up pops the puppet through the backdrop and interacts with your assistant. All the same elements of the vent act could be used and no one would see your lips move since they didn't see you at all. Just one way to handle this situation.

I was raised by a ventriloquist. When I was 2 I'm told I did whatever Jerry Mahoney told me to do. Terrible things are foisted upon the young :>) I can do the vent but I have never been satisfied with my lip movement so I have never made a public appearance doing vent. I think I may use this suggestion myself.

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Eric Leclerc
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Would you guys say the illusion is amplified if your voice and the dummy's are VERY different? I have Laughing Louie and the only way I can make him talk (the way I hear him in my head) is very similar to my own voice. I find myself having to change my normal voice to get more of a contrast... Is this right?? Any thoughts?
Budihaha
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Eric, you are so right! So nobody would say that your figure voice is just like yours.

Try to raise or lower your pitch when speak for your figure. Or better use your nasal or falsetto or grunt voice. Another idea is use different language manner/dialect for your figure.

Hope this help.

Regards,

Budi Ha Ha
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olivertwist
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After being inspired by video performances of Ron Lucas and David Pendelton and the posts of Cardone I saw that it was possible to do vent without your lips moving. So I worked at it for several months and was able to get to that next level. The effort level was similar to what I encountered at the beginning but I got it. This post is just to encourage others to put in the work because it can be done.

Oliver
cardone
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Congratulations Oliver ...Good luck and let us know how it is going.......
Doug Higley
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Just my take BUT: (also posted elsewhere but fits here)

Hope for those that can't attain Lip Control...while it IS a wonderful skill to attain, Edgar Bergan and Max Terhune weren't all that concerned with still lips and then there's what may be the funniest act (but Blue) in the biz Waylon Flowers and Madame. Waylon would wildly act out his dialogs with Madame and never even attempted to hold his lips still...funny thing was as with many true Vent acts you didn't watch him any way...you watched Madame almost as if you weren't supposed to see Waylon at her side. He was a master at the two hand rods which he manipulated with his left hand as Madame rode his right. One of the great puppeteers of all time.

On the DVD of 'The Aristocrats' there is a vent (missed his name) who made the cut and who's MOUTH moves up and down...not the lips...the whole mouth...obviously he works his act regardless and good for him!

I had a Ventrilloquist perform at the house Jan 3rd (Joe Gandelman) and his lip control is excellent (I peeked) but after the show I asked my Wife if she noticed how good his control was and she said "Didn't notice...I wasn't looking at him!)

So if your lips wiggle a bit, don't let it stop you from getting out there and performing whenever you can...strong material and a well designed and animated figure can overcome a lot of lip action while you learn or attain the best you can do. We can't all be Ron Lucas and technically perfect but we can all be entertaining! I admire both.

Doug



By the way...I did Oliver's prerecorded Intros and I understand that no one in the audience can see my lips move as he's introduced! Nothing like audio only eh Bergan? Smile
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olivertwist
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Doug,
One kid said he saw MY lips move during your intro. : )

Oliver
Wanlu
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Hi Eric...I'm Wanlu and I started doing ventriloquism just barely 2 months ago.

I noticed that it's been more than a year since you posted this topic. I just want to ask how you are doing now as far as lip contol, animations and routines are concerned. Smile


Thanks

Wanlu
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kimmo
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I've been doing vent for about 10 years now and I think my lip control is pretty good. I recently found an old video of a show from 6 or 7 years ago and was amazed at how much my lips are moving during the vent routines!! Funny thing is, the audience reaction was pretty much the same and none of the children paid much attention to my poor technique! I have made no real effort to improve my lip control but it has obviously developed over time.

B.T.W. I recently had to have my vent puppet say - 'it's nice to be here in Sprotbrough!' Try saying that one without moving your lips!!!
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Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
On 2005-03-29 04:41, Budihaha wrote:
Well, this question will get 2 different side of pro and cons. And became a war in a couple ventriloquists internet society.
But both side agree that to become a good ventriloquist someone should practice to mastering the lips control technique.
How about a flapping ventriloquist is he/she ruin the art? Yes, because lips control IS the basic to create the illusion of a living figure. Is the audience complaining to the "ventriloquist"? Maybe yes, maybe not or maybe to other entertainer.
How about a beginner ventriloquist, is it OK to perform to an audience! It's OK, but please try as hard as you can, or bill your self as puppeteer.
The golden rule is practice, practice, and practice!


Excellent comments Budi!
Okay, here's an old topic that is probably dangerous to resurrect, and I say "dangerous" because I remember many of the "wars" Budi mentioned.
One of the things that used to drive me crazy was someone saying something like, "I'm of the school of ventriloquism that doesn't consider lip control important."
Huh? Say again?
ANY instructional material I've ever looked at and read about ventriloquism includes learning to speak without moving your lips, or lip control, so I don't know where that school was, but.......
There is one fact about ventriloquism that has always been, and always will be: if nothing else, the one thing that people know about ventriloquism is that the ventriloquist isn't supposed to move their lips.
It will always be the first thing they look at, and comment on. Unless you're someone who is established and they are just so happy to see one of your characters that they've grown to enjoy, and know you have funny material that's going to make them laugh, the first thing they know, is there you are, you say you are a ventriloquist and your lips should not move.

Some, (usually the lip flappers), will insist that material and animation is more important - sorry - for a puppeteer, that is true, but for a ventriloquist, it's a package deal, material, animation, AND lip control. Yes, that makes it a little harder, but if you want to call yourself a ventriloquist, it's ALL a part of it.
Picking two aspects as important, and leaving out one just so you can call yourself something....wouldn't that be like a carpenter coming to your house to do some carpentry work - they can cut wood very well, they can nail it together very well, but they don't know how to use a tape measure....

Like this that was posted earlier in the thread;
Quote:
On 2005-05-24 23:15, cardone wrote:
Puppeteers are different than ventriloquists......guess what makes them different .........

And that's true, that is the basic fundamental difference between being a puppeteer and a ventriloquist.
And frankly, I've never understood the people who either can't manage better than hopelessly poor lip control, or those who it's obvious have never even tried, trying to "water down" the art by insisting it isn't important. Mostly I've always suspected those people of thinking that billing themselves as a ventriloquist will seem more interesting and get them more bookings than billing themselves as a puppeteer. Which is odd, seems like there are a lot of puppeteers out there doing quite well in their field.

Will I say, as the title of this thread implies, it will "ruin it if they see your lips move"? Well, it certainly doesn't help, you're starting off behind the eight ball already because right off, the one thing they know about ventriloquism, that your not supposed to move your lips - they see you doing, so it's just natural for them to at least subconsciously, think you're not that good. So you're starting off with a handicap before you even get into your material, in which case, then material and animation do become more important because they're going to have to be good to win them over.
Remember too, that it seems with ventriloquism, it's historically, among many, been the recipient of an attitude. There's a lot of people, even if they've never seen a vent, much less a bad one, just have this lower opinion of ventriloquists as far as acts go (which is even made worse if they see a bad one). So there's another handicap you may be working against, but if you are well practiced and good in ALL aspects of the art, you can win them over as easily as anyone else.

But with all that said, would I ever say, that someone new to the art who doesn't have good lip control, should not perform? No, like Budi, I won't say that, but I will also echo his comment that they should strive to get better and better at it, rather than just writing it off as unimportant.
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Bob Baker
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Hear, hear! I am pretty hard line about lip movement. (I'm hardest on myself.) The only vent who gets a pass from me is Bergen.

To me a vent who can't control his/her lips is like a magician who can't palm a card or coin invisibly. A magician saying "my patter and misdirection enable me to get away with it" is fooling primarily himself.

I've seen some pretty well-known vents who keep their lips behind the microphone to hide poor lip control. I guess they feel it has not hurt their careers, but it does hurt the art.

Look, if Terry Fator can sing and do impressions with absolutely motionless lips, surely the rest of us can just talk without moving our lips. That's where ventriloquism starts.

Hard**s Bob
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