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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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Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
vents who keep their lips behind the microphone to hide poor lip control.


This reminds me of someone we had locally that I dubbed, "The Hanky Vent". He would come out with a handkerchief on his face saying that he was wearing it because his partner had a cold and he didn't want to catch it. After a few minutes, he would take it off, and you could see, not even the slightest attempt at lip control - and the icing on the cake: there was no difference between his voice and the figure's.
I was so glad he billed himself as a ventriloquist, it does wonders for the art (where is the smiley for "sarcasm").
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kidshowvent
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Everyone..in my opinion, lip control is VERY important. It's because you DON'T move your lips that they call you a ventriloquist. While there is nothing wrong with puppetry (in fact I enjoy a good puppeteer's act), usually the ones that say lip control is not important are the ones that don't have it, and usually don't even try very hard to hid the fact they move their lips. If you want to move your lips and be entertaining..fine. I have no problems with that, but don't advertise yourself as a ventriloquist as it hurts our art. Sure the audiences may still like your figure or puppet and think you are funny, but I can also bet that they also say "Yeah, but the guy wasn't a very good ventriloquist...he moved his mouth!". For what it's worth ...that's my 2 cents worth on this. Work on lip control.

Mark

markwade@kidshowvent.com
Servante
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I agree, Mark.
Waylon Flowers never pretended to be a vent, as far as I know. Nor did Jim Henson. Bergen often said that being on radio really screwed up his lip control. It was only because he was, well, you know...BERGEN that we let him off. Charlie and Mortimer and Effie were too real to us. We wanted to continue seeing them.

Sometimes, in the heat of performance when your mouth is dry, it's hard to maintain that control...but it's important. As you say, that's why they call a person a ventriloquist.

-Philip
marshalldoll
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Phillip I am glad you posted that about Wayland as I was just about to do it. He never ever said he was a ventriloquist. As matter of fact quite the opposite.
Dan
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Servante
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That's right, Dan. He disavowed being identified as a vent. When he was on TV and Madam was speaking, they generally worked it out so that they weren't on camera simultaneously.

-Philip
daffydoug
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It's crazy I know, but apparently he couldn't get away from it. I looked up his obit and it began thus:

Wayland Flowers Dies; VENTRILOQUIST Was 48
AP
Published: October 12, 1988

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LOS ANGELES, Oct. 11— Wayland Flowers, a VENTRILOQUIST who brought life to a cackling, off-color puppet named Madame, died on Tuesday, five weeks after collapsing on stage. He was 48 years old.

They never gave him the honor of calling him a straight puppeteer.
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Servante
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I don't think they noticed.

Maybe if he'd crouched down behind something.

It's probably actually a form of flattery. Madam was so "real" that nobody noticed Wayland Flowers.

-Philip
daffydoug
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He was a lucky man.
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Matt_24
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Only Bergen gets the lip control pass, because he is Edgar Bergen, but I've seen an interview where he does stress its importance. He did get "out of stroke" with his lip control, but "could" have perfect lip control when he worked on it. I used to have an interview with him filmed in the 70's (and Bergen was IN his 70's) I purchased off of ebay (no clue where it is...sorry) where he shows off his lip control (yes, seriously) by doing the alphabet and then does some distant voice stuff. The funny part though, was when he does a small couple of minutes with Charlie later on and those lips just start flapping in the breeze. I think by that point Charlie made so many jokes about Bergen's lips that he may have even kept doing it on purpose. Just a thought.

Lets be honest though. Bergen's lack of lip control just "humanizes" a vent of his talent for the rest of us. If he did all of that amazing stuff with Charlie, Mort, and Effie and had flawless lip control to go with it, well, I think it would just prevent anyone else from ever attempting vent. His lack of lip control lets a ton of far inferior vents (aren't we all) critique him with the statement of, "Yeah...but you saw his lips move."

If you're going to be a vent you should be the best that you can be. But, I've seen plenty of vents with great technique who had boring characters, horrible jokes, and I just felt uncomfortable watching them perform. So, there is more to it than just keeping still lips. Far too many don't understand that.

But, to answer the question of whether "still lips" are important? A resounding YES.
Dynamike
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Quote:
On 2005-03-29 01:42, Eric Leclerc wrote:
At first for sure people will see my lips move from time to time, does it matter?? Does it ruin it for people??? Has ANYONE EVER come up to you after a show and said "i saw your lips move a couple times"

If you have your act under control, you will have your audience under control. If the audience is enjoying your comedy lines, facial expressions, humor, etc., they will not want to mess it up because you will have then hooked into entertainment.

It is harder for me not to show my lips moving when I am wearing my clown make-up. Because I am new too, I only do it short periods. When I improve my skits, I will increase my time.
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