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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Ventriloquist or comedian? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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I have been thinking about a statement Ken Groves made during his lecture at Venthaven. Basically he said he downplays being a "ventriloquist" and is billed as more of a comedian.
Even his on-stage banner says "The Comedy of Ken Groves"
He says people see a banner or flyerfor ventriloquist and think of all the bad vents they have seen and form judgements before you even open your mouth.
What do you think?
I still like being billed as a ventriloquist (even though I am still perfecting some of the skills after all these years) because comedians are a dime a dozen, and MY first thoughts on hearing Comedian is what I have heard from comedy clubs.
I find most are not funny and mostly crude.
Maybe because of my market and style, it works better being called a vent.
Do you find corporate venues respond better to comedian?
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Bob Baker
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Interesting topic, Neale. I guess it depends on whom you are trying to sell to. As I understand it, you perform at family shows, for which the title "comedian" might carry some of the negative associations you mentioned.

I've always thought of Jeff Dunham, on the other hand, as a comedian whose tool is ventriloquism. I suspect that he has gotten so big now that he has transcended labels. He's just Jeff Dunham.

I've seen a number of vents who label themselves "Comedy Ventriloquist." Is there any other kind? Shakespearean Ventriloquist? Highly Dramatic With a Touch of Pathos Ventriloquist??

When I'm introduced at comedy clubs, the audience thinks they're getting a team: "Here are Bob Baker and Oscar Makyne."

But if people ask, I hold my head up and say proudly, "I'm a ventriloquist." And then I make sure my show leaves them with no negative associations with that word.

Bob
Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
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I guess it really depends on your area. In a country like ours (Philippines) where ventriloquism is not seen very often, I label myself as VENTRILOQUIST... just to be different from many other kinds of performers/entertainers.

Here, I may be the only one who labels himself JUST AS A "VENTRILOQUIST." Others who also do vent here are also magicians, clowns, etc.

Corporate venues? About 80% of my shows are "corporate" in nature (I rarely do birthday shows), and I haven't had problems yet selling myself as a vent.
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

www.onycarcamo.com
tacrowl
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Maryland
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As a "Comedy Ventriloquist" I find that label works well for corporate markets. Back when Ken was forging his career, the 80's and 90's - comedy was at the forefront. Ken did what a lot of variety acts did (myself included) - submitted as a comedian. Some were funny - some weren't.

Now with Dunham gaining such popularity, there is more interest in the art so an audience gives the performer a chance. I find most of my clients actively seek out a ventriloquist. It then makes sense to advertise that way.

Bob - on the label - I use it because it helped me get my site ranked higher in Google searches. At the time there was less competition for that search term.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2008-08-11 13:13, tacrowl wrote:

Bob - on the label - I use it because it helped me get my site ranked higher in Google searches. At the time there was less competition for that search term.


Tom:

I actually do understand why you and others use the term. I intended only some gentle ribbing.

Bob
(Pseudo-intellectual ventriloquist)
tacrowl
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Maryland
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No problem - perhaps I should take a cue from you and re-label...
Tom
(the mildly-amusing, psychoneurotic guy who tries to talk without moving his lips.)
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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Thank you for saying "tries to". At least I am not alone!
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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My show is very ventriloquist and puppeteer heavy. The billing is as The Doctor of Laughology. (which combines my counseling and entertainment background.)

Sometimes I share that I study comedy and share humor from my own life. and am not a comedian. That way I don't have to be funny all the time. In fact with some programs we hit some "heavy issues", which do in truth have funny sides to them.

Harris deutsch is proud to be a ventrickolist..er ventriloquist, said Nigel, the Puppet that Rocks and Talks.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
danfreed
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West Chester PA
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This is an older thread, but I'd like to hear more opinions on this because I've been entertaining kids as a magician, balloon twister and caricature artist for a long time but now I'm learning vent (Tom Crowls course, etc) and just starting to perform it. My goal is strictly entertaining kids/families at this point. Maybe later I'll do vent gigs for adults. I bill my self as a multi-talented kids entertainer featuring magic, balloon twisting, caricatures and more. But how should I add in the vent description? Maybe say Puppetry/Ventriloquism ? I don't use the hard figures - I'm using cute Axtell stuff, etc. I'm concerned the label ventriloquist conjures up a guy using a wooden boy(adults may think it's creep for kids)doing old lame jokes. I don't know if that's the way people see it though. By the way, I Googled ventriloquists in my state (Oregon) and couldn't really find anyone. Do you guys know any out here?
Aussie
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Australia
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I'm a ventriloquist who uses comedy to entertain people. I worked hard at learning my skill and I'm darn proud of it.

I'm a little tired of reading the "there are too many bad ventriloquists" statement. That may be so, but I won't distance myself from a craft that I aspired to learn and use to entertain people with simply because of a few not so good ventriloquists out there. I don't market myself based on what others do, audiences are intelligent enough to know the difference.
Australia's Most Original Ventriloquist

http://www.ladymaceentertainment.com
TonyB2009
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Facts are facts. Comedians are more employable, and get booked more readily for higher fees.

As a hypnotist my website announced Hypno-Comedian. For adults I bill myself as a comedian who uses magic and mentalism. For kids I tell the parents I concentrate on making the kids laugh. It is an approach that works for me.

There is a second consideration. I am a moderate ventriloquist, a solid magician, a good hypnotist and mentalist. I am not world class at anything - except talking! I am not good enough to bill myself exclusively as a ventriloquist, magician, etc. Comedian (or storyteller) iswhat I am happiest with.
danfreed
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West Chester PA
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Tony,
I looked at your website and video. As far as the kids entertainment goes, I guess we have a very similar approach to how we perform in that we do a variety of things, and we emphasize being a kids entertainer/funnyman more than being just a magician or whatever. I was also an agent for 10 years and used to own a bunch of bouncy castles and stuff and rent it out. I don't have the charming Irish accent though.Maybe I'll give a puppet an Irish accent though.
TonyB2009
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A puppet with an Irish accent - I like that, Dan. I am hoping my next puppet (I bought him recently) will speak with an Icelandic accent. He is Eric the Rabbit, and he thinks he is a fearsome viking warrior. I am looking forward to him being in the show.

I was doing a murder mystery night tonight, and in the middle we held a brief seance to try and contact the 'victim'. It was nice to do the medium, then do the voices he was listening to from the other side. So I guess it is not all comedy!
TonyB2009
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A puppet with an Irish accent - I like that, Dan. I am hoping my next puppet (I bought him recently) will speak with an Icelandic accent. He is Eric the Rabbit, and he thinks he is a fearsome viking warrior. I am looking forward to him being in the show.

I was doing a murder mystery night tonight, and in the middle we held a brief seance to try and contact the 'victim'. It was nice to do the medium, then do the voices he was listening to from the other side. So I guess it is not all comedy!
blueshawk1
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Quote:
On 2008-08-10 13:38, Bob Baker wrote:
I've seen a number of vents who label themselves "Comedy Ventriloquist." Is there any other kind? Shakespearean Ventriloquist? Highly Dramatic With a Touch of Pathos Ventriloquist??


LOL!
danfreed
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West Chester PA
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Doing an Icelantic accent sounds tough. I've been to Iceland - it's amazing. There are websites where you can listen to people from all over the world read a few paragraphs of text. You can search by location. It's a cool way to learn an accent. http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php
and http://www.dialectsarchive.com/
danfreed
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West Chester PA
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Doing an Icelantic accent sounds tough. I've been to Iceland - it's amazing. There are websites where you can listen to people from all over the world read a few paragraphs of text. You can search by location. It's a cool way to learn an accent. http://accent.gmu.edu/browse_atlas.php
and http://www.dialectsarchive.com/
TonyB2009
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Useful resources - thanks.
TonyB2009
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Useful resources - thanks.
TonyB2009
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Useful resources - thanks.
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