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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » I am just starting with the use of a puppet. (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

PWB
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I have been doing some children magic for a few years and I am trying to learn the use of a puppet. I am not yet ready to start venting but I wish to learn how to make my puppets come to life. Are the any ideas on what resources I can acquire to help me learn..

Pat
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Axtell on his site has some great tips.

Actually experimentation will also show you what works for you.

Work with theatre groups helped this nearly normal entertainer.

Enjoy the process..and pass it on.


Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
tacrowl
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Maryland
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Quote:
Are the any ideas on what resources I can acquire to help me learn..


A mirror!

There are plenty of sources discussing and teaching the skill, but the easiest way to learn manipulation is practice. I'd recommend you check Youtube and watch some video of Bill Demar and his frog, or David Strassman and Ted E. Bare. They are both expert at manipulating their puppets. Then get in front of a mirror and play. Watch how the puppet moves and how you can create different "looks". Try double takes and pantomime following a fly, watching a person, etc.

Away from the mirror, practice just keeping the puppet "alive" even when you aren't looking at it. Some do this while watching TV. With practice, keeping the puppet animated with even minor movement will help you avoid "dead spots".

If you want to purchase materials on manipulation - check out Steve Taylor's site. I believe he has a DVD on the subject. Steve's material is usually top notch - but again, watching some video of decent manipulation and working on your own will make it happen.

Tom
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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B Hackler
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I also recommend steve taylor dvd's I own all 5 and think they are great. They can also be purchased thru axtell's web site as well.
PWB
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Thank you all, in working with puppets I am defiantly leaving my comfort zone.
tacrowl
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PWB -
I completely understand that comfort zone thing. I switched completely from magic to vent while earning my living as a performer. It was a major learning curve and at times I felt I was insane. Wouldn't trade it for a second - best move I ever made.

The key is to practice and make yourself integrate the puppet. It really requires being in front of an audience to hone the material. There will be times it won't work (in the beginning) but keep at it and the puppet will become a favorite part of your act.

If you can, video tape each practice and show and watch the tape - once to see how the puppet moves & reacts, once to watch how you move and react. You want to create the illusion there are two personalities up there. Video shortens the learning curve!
Tom
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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puppeterry
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Sanger, CA
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One book I recommend to teach basic puppet manipulation is--
Engler, Larry & Fijan, Carol: Making Puppets Come Alive
It's designed more for puppets than ventwork, but it's good at developing the figure-awareness of the puppeteer.
TV Mc Arthur
The Librician
Fresno (CA) County Public Library
"They don't get better.....just faster."
TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
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Finding my first Mark Wade DVD was what opened my eyes and helped me to leave the comfort zone of my mostly magic-filled shows. I had worked with a dog puppet for years, but after watching Mark's Kidshow Vent DVD, I changed my whole view of entertaining children. Since then, I have added TONS of puppets to my shows. Each of my theme shows has an average of three to four characters, and yes, I still do magic, with and without the puppets (remember, a lot of audience members LOVE to get up onstage with you and help as well. They almost expect it from what they have seen other magi do). Thanks to Steve Axtell and Wanlu, my show now has a "cast" !

:ventriloquist:

Mark
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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If you want to work with a hard figure in the future...look for Paul Stadelman's book Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

Wanlu's Affordable Puppets
http://wanlu.net/ventpuppets.html

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
PWB
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I have a couple of simple animals a monkey and a Rabbit, I had a large puppet made by a friend of mine Steve Daley. He is a polar bear with a removable head and a large body so I am practicing with the head movement first. I hope to write some scripts and make some story traxs for the bear. I work for a company that has a polar bear for their mascot so I am trying to tie it all together.

Thank you all for the input I will try to get some pics up...Thanx again.

pat
axtell
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Steve Axtell
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We have some great resources to learn vent here:

Free resource
http://www.axtell.com/vent.html

Also books & DVDs
http://www.axtell.com/catresor.html

Here is some ideas and info on how to combine puppets with magic
http://www.axtell.com/puppets_for_magicians.html
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
Pro Puppets, Magic & Animatronics
PWB
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Thanx a lot Steve you guys at axtell have been a great joy to the puppet fans out there.

I truly enjoy your different scripts you have and they have inspired me to develop several ones of my own... thank you

pat
paulbrown0833
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The free resource for vent beginners is great. Will be looking to purchase some DVDs soon.
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