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Profile of Magicusa
Terry Fator who won America's Got Talent did us all good.
They was talking about this where I work the other day, and most of them told me that Ventriloquism are for kids. I think it is a dying art.
Eddie Garland
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Terry Fator was great. His finale with quest Kermit the Frog was classic.
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Profile of Magicdoc88
Congratulations to Terry Fator winning the AGT, he is very talented,and humble man; he even sings better than the original artist, such as Tony Bennett in "I Left My Heart In S.F."
He'll get his chance playing in Las Vegas soon, and I will go see his show.
Jeff J.
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Good Job Terry! He had my vote from the first performance.

If it is dying or dead, I think that the nation seeing what potential that form of entertainment has, is at least a good way to either bring it back to life or prolong any real or perceived dying (on a personal note, I think it will be around for generations to come). I now think differently about ventriloquists. In the early rounds they had a few terrible ones perform, and unfortunately sometimes the really bad ones are the only exposure some people, including myself, had to ventriloquism and dismissed it as not very entertaining. That's changed now.

The only bad thing I see happening now are ventriloquists with no singing ability doing a horrible performance just for the sake of copying his act. Forgive me for stating the obvious, but that would just make it harder for those that do have talent.

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Profile of Servante
Bergen's lips flapped and we STILL believed in Charlie and Mortimer, because the material was good and the characterizations were compelling.

Winchell's and Lewis's lips were controlled and we believed because Lambchop and Jerry were characters we wanted to believe in.

Jimmy Nelson's lips are controlled and we love and believe in Danny and Farfel.

Jay Johnson and Jeff Dunham and a whole new generation of ventriloquists have great material, wonderful lip control and compelling characters.

There was at least one other vent in the competition. I saw her in the finale, but didn't catch her earlier. Seemed to have good lip control. Don't know about the material.
But that's the thing:
If Fator had been a singing mimic, great. Probably wouldn't have made the cut, though.
If he'd been a ventriloquist, fine. Probably wouldn't have made the cut.
There's just not enough time to get to know his "costars," and, in any case, the few jokes he DID tell were just okay. Of course, that's all they HAD to be, because what he did was COMBINE the two, to give us something we'd never seen before: A vent with characters that could perfectly recreate styles of famous singers.
He ramped up the art by showing us possibilities.
Now, this isn't to say that all vents should run out and do singing imitations. If you CAN, fine, consider it...but don't clone Vator.
But consider the POSSIBILITIES. Consider the material.

When you get down to it, it's all about showing people something different...and really good material, not pulled from old copies of Captain Billie's Whiz Bang or Boys Life or 10,000 Jokes, Toasts and Stories.
It's about not doing it by the numbers, but making things add up differently.

I think Fator is wonderful. I voted for him all over the place. I want to see him successful and I want to see him again.
It's not about lip control, when you get right down to it (Though his was really, really good), it's about entertaining the audience with something that makes them happy. It can be about character, certainly...but for the character of the figure to work, it MUST be, finally, about the material.

Sorry...I'll get down off this soap box now.
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Profile of alson
Being a ventriloquist for many years , I think it is all about making people laugh
with you and your partner. I use routines that are up to date and timely and Iget all kinds of laughs . It is an art and has to be learned timeing, and such but with a little work it is really a lot of fun. I don't think it ever go away and will always be enjoy by people.
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Profile of Magicusa
Servante, I think you are 100% right.
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Profile of marty.sasaki
Wow! Ventriloquists doing dyeing! What kind of fabrics do you use? Do you use acid-based dyes or heat set dyes? Oh, you mean dieing!


Things come and go in popularity with the general public. Ventriloquism is definitely less popular in the USA than it was in the 1960's, I remember watching Sharie Lewis on the weekends and Paul Winchell during the week. I think that the general public thinks that ventriloquism is just for kids, but when they actually see a performance in person, they quickly realize that it's entertainment and judge it by how much they are entertained.
Marty Sasaki
Arlington, Massachusetts, USA

Standard disclaimer: I'm just a hobbyist who enjoys occasionally mystifying friends and family, so my opinions should be viewed with this in mind.
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Profile of RicHeka
Actually 'dying'[as the title of this thread stated] is the correct spelling.That said...

Is Ventriloquism dying?

What...within the known universe?...worldwide?...within the USA?...within a specific State?...within a certain town? a local party?

The desire and enjoyment of Ventriloquism[IMHO] is as alive today as it ever was,and as it will forever be.

It boils down to:An entertaining an entertaining performance.

Go forth and Vent!

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Profile of AndyComic
All I say is, I run and agency ( as well as performing and I have one one request in the last 3 years for a vent. As for AGT, it really helped but his skill cannot be replicated by any vent I know and also no non singing act has ever won those talent shows (inc BGT) so the vent was great but the singing pushed everyone over the line.
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Profile of mark1991
Hi there,

In answer to the main question of this topic, I think the art of vent is dying out! However, it is certainly not going without a fight which is why we see the odd excellent performer of vent!

Just my two cents worth!

Take care and God bless!

Magical Mark Watson

Magical Mark Watson - Christian magician, juggler, puppeteer, all-round entertainer and lover of Christ!
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Profile of jlibby
How come ventriloquism is the "dying" art? Why do people think that? Why isn't juggling considered a dying art? BTW, I love jugglers, but I've seen more vents lately than jugglers.

Doug hit the nail on the head: 99% of the time, ventriloquism is a comedic art. If you've got the technique down cold, wonderful. If your lips move a little, don't sweat it ... just be so funny that people will be laughing too hard to notice your lips moving.

And I'm all about working clean, but that doesn't mean you can't push the envelope a bit. My puppet Sagebrush can get big laughs with things that would get me beaten up. Which continues to prove my theory, "It's cute when the puppet says it." Smile

See ya!
Joe L.
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Profile of Dizzy
I know nothing about ventriloquism, I was merly being nosy in you section, however I feel the need to post.

About three years ago I spent the summer in Vegas. I had seen nearly every magic show and numerous other shows but there was only one show that stuck in my head, maybe it was because the guy performing involved me in the show, but it blew me away and I have never laughed so much and felt so special in my life. The show was 'the Ron Lucas Show'. For those members who have seen it, you'll understand what I'm talking about. I saw it at the end of the summer season on a Wednesday afternoon and it was pretty busy. After seeing something as entertaining as that show, it scares me to think that this is a dying art. At the larger magic conventions there is usually a vent act in one of the gala shows and it kills, it's fresh, different and skilled.

So as a complete layman in vent terms; to second Mark, please don't go down without a fight, I've seen kids and adults blown away by this kind of act and you know what guys, I wanna see more. Goodluck,

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Profile of Wanlu
With the likes of Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator, Otto and George, Ronn Lucas, Dan Horn, Jay Johnson, Willie Tyler, Jim Barber, Kevin Johnson and all the ventriloquists all over the world...I don't think Ventriloquism is a dying art Smile maybe a slight fever, but nothing serious.
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Profile of Spellbinder
Ventriloquism is dead and already lying in the coffin. The problem is, the corpse keeps sitting up and talking and won't play dead. It's scaring away all the mourners.
Professor Spellbinder

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Profile of Cinnamon
It may be globally dying, but I do support mr. wanlu's statement... it's not yet dead--- just in shock, or something. in the philippines, it's very much alive. with the likes or mr. wanlu and mr. ony roaming around with their puppets... with their 'aliw' puppets, vent acts would never die here.

MAYBE it's the ACT that dies, not the technique. Most puppets are used for kid shows. like that mentioned in the first page, kids could just buy real talking robots or something instead of hiring a magician to use a puppet and converse. that's the case for kids. that's why the act dies- it is contained only on one category.

in the philippines (im just in defense of vent act, as it is indeed blossoming here, and I for one, adore it!) vent acts are done for matured audiences! vents here don't use the ordinary, friendly puppet- no, that's typical. here, there is a drunk puppet with lots of crack and a hilarious personality and a wise old man who has great comedic punhlines... vents here do it the uconventional way to revive the act.

not only were the audiences entertained- they get aware. I hope vent enthusiasts would have spare time (and money!) to travel towards philippines just to see the two masters- mr. ony c, and mr. wanlu at work! I'm sure you'd be impressed!

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Profile of Verricobl
From where I came from, Ventriloquism is alive and kicking. It's even more popular with adults. I've seen some performances here and I was kicking the floor laughing. It's a unique kind of entertainment, and will stay alive here.
imagine the possibilities... endless...
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Profile of schwarzeine
On 2007-10-11 08:22, Spellbinder wrote:
Ventriloquism is dead and already lying in the coffin. The problem is, the corpse keeps sitting up and talking and won't play dead. It's scaring away all the mourners.


My say in this is that, maybe it is only resting- no new discoveries etc, though lots of routines and patterns exist. Maybe vent acts would once again boom if there's a new type of puppet who is more human--- whatever that puppet may look like. Where I live it's alive and kicking. And highly unkiddy. lol
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Steve Axtell
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Profile of axtell
If it was ever momentarily dead, the vent defribulator has been used recently....

Nurse - Doctor, ventriloquism has no pulse.....

Doctor: (Grabbing defribulator) Stand back....All Clear...

WHAM! (Ronn Lucas, Las Vegas headliner)

BAM! (Jay Johnson, wins an emmy for his Broadway show, goes on national tour)

SLAM! (David Letterman hosts ventriloquist Week)

BLAM! (Jeff Dunham scores BIG with his two comedy specials, now #1 Comedy DVD on Amazon)

SPAM! Ventriloquist Zillah wins #1 prize on Sweden's TV Talent Contest)

KAZAM!! (Terry Fator wins #1 Prize on America's Got Talent, and stars in Vegas)

Doctor: .....check pulse......

Nurse: Doctor you did it! Ventriloquism is.....ALIVE!!!!!

Axtell Expressions, Inc.
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Smile Smile Smile Smile

I love Steve Axtell Smile and his puppets Smile

That was nicely put Ax Smile
"The Old Path"

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