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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » ConVENTion Attendees--Please report in! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Bob Baker
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C'mon you guys (and gals). Those of us who couldn't make it want to hear all about it. I'm particularly interested in Jay Johnson and Nina Conti's performances.

Bob
tacrowl
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Maryland
1633 Posts

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I'll second that. I was expecting some action over on Bellytalkers as well, especially since they were planning on getting together during the convention.

Tom

BTW - I did hear from Ken Groves, who had high praise for Neale Bacon's performance during the International Show. Also thanks to Dan at Ventriloquist Central for his convention updates.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
705 Posts

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Neale posted a few photos on Facebook yesterday....

Mark
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
Dash & Me
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I only have a few minutes, but in a nutshell the conVention was outstanding. Dare I say better than last year. There was Jimmy Nelson, Jay Johnson, Nina Conti, Kevin Johnson, Sammy King, Ian Varella, Bob Isaacson, Dan Horn, Bill Demar, Alan Semok . . . On Friday Jeff Dunham and Brian Haner(Guitar Guy)rolled in on that big black bus. Plus the regular convention staff who keep the whole thing going every year Pete Michaels, Barbara Jean, Ken Groves, Lyn Trefzger Joy, Bob Rumba, Tom Ladshaw, Mark James, Bob & Marty Hamill and of course Mark Wade. I know I'm missing some folks , I'm typing fast, sorry. NBC was on hand doing private auditions. Nina had a film crew with her making a film about ventriloquism. There was another gentleman there putting together an AGT type show. Jimmy Nelson is just Jimmy Nelson. Always warm and friendly and willing to stop and visit with anyone. Jay Johnson was there for the entire convention and was in attendance at most of the lectures and performances when he wasn't performing or lecturing himself. He was very approachable and friendly. Great guy. Nina was a hoot. You never knew where she would pop up with her film crew in tow & Monk at her side. She was a lot of fun, hanging out til the wee hours with the rest of us. Kevin Johnson was a riot. Puppet or no puppet, he is a very high energy, quick witted and funny guy. He was always out and about. When you first meet him you feel like you are talking to an old highschool buddy. Ian Varella was a lot of fun also. He too is a very funny guy. All of the shows and lectures were outsatanding. Not enough time for a proper account. Opening night, I missed Dave Carrs performance but everyone said he was great. Barbara Jean was excellent. Nick Pawlow was very unique and funny with his limp wristed Bigfoot and headless vent figure. Bob Isaacson gave a very moving talk about his long career in vent telling stories about his relationship with Frank Marshall in Chicago, and then performing for us with his figures. A very nice and gentle man. For Sammy Kings lecture I scored some seats in the front row. My wife was uncomfortable about sitting up there, but I have never sat up front before so I said, "what can happen, it's just a lecture?" That's about the time they called us up on stage (in front of a packed house) to be human puppets singing "Doe a Deer.." As we stood in line awkwardly waiting our turn to sing, I whispered to my very nervous wife "see, I told you we shouldn't sit up front." I think she elbowed me. It was a lot of fun. Jay Johnson's show was very funny and moving. I have to admit I got choked up when he had to break the news to Squeaky that he had'nt made the cut after the "Soap" audition. Not only is he a flawless ventriloquist but he is a great actor. It's obvious why he won the Tony. Mark Wade performed one of his shows for a bunch of local daycare kids that took up the first couple of rows. Mark was superb in his showmanship and command of the stage and kids, complete with an unwilling little fellow brought up to be a human puppet that refused to open and close his mouth. Without skipping a beat Mark very graciously found a "stand in" and excused the boy. He was in his element, and it was wonderful watching him in action. Neale Bacon ROCKED the house at the international show which had a large turnout. He was very funny, hitting us with one funny line after another. Great manipulation. Nina Conti was hilarious. What a gas to get to see her perform live. All the international performers were good. Jeff Dunham did a fun lecture on creativity and being unique instead of doing something that is already being done. As a running gag through his lecture he would say "I stole that from Jay Johnson." Who was seated in the audience. One of his slides even had the line "stolen from Jay Johnson." Very funny. Then he did a segment about McElroy figures with one of the McElroy sons in attendance. Very cool. He brought out the refurbished life sized Umpire figure and demonstrated him for us. The Big Saturday show was awesome with Ian Varella performing a very funny routine to kick things off. It was fun watching him use the techniques he had taught us in his workshop to good effect. Then Kevin Johnson did a great show including the Godzilla bit. He had a great vent specific line, after putting his old man figure away and closing the case he had the old man say a line as he was walking away then Kevin says "I can't really do the distant voice, so it sounds the same whether the lid is opened or closed." That got a huge laugh. Lyn Trefzger Joy did a very funny human puppet routine with a young boy, a woman and a man. Very fast paced back & forth with very distinct voice changes. I laughed so hard I was crying & my throat hurt. Later I told her I was glad when she was finished because I couldn't take much more of that. Then Sammy King took the stage looking very dapper in his tuxedo, like he just came off the Vegas strip. He performed his signature routine which he has done 25000 times. He performed it for the last time for the vent community and during an emotional standing O he said he was going to retire Fransisco his parrot to VentHaven Museum. He was very choked up. Nice moment. As an added bonus Terry Fator had a sign up sheet available for conventioneers to recieve his new DVD when it comes out free of charge postage paid. Cool guy. Then Dunham gave away reserved floor seating tickets down by the stage to his new show in Louisville, Ky on Sunday afternoon (which we just happened to be passing through on the way home) generous guy. Oh and I would be remiss if I didn't give kudos to the M.C.'s for a great job, and the Donahoe brothers for keeping the hospitality suite rockin. I know I left out a ton of stuff & this thing is still a hundred miles long. Sorry.

Be sure to attend next year, you wont regret it.
Troy
Bob Baker
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Now, that's what I call a report. Too bad you had so little time. Smile

Bob
TRUMPETMAN
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Naples, FL
705 Posts

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Wow ! What a convention....

:)

Mark
Mark Pettey
Naples, FL
facebook.com/robbietheringmaster
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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Thanks for the kind words about my part, but yeah - it was truly an amazing convention.

A personal highlight for me is when Jay Johnson stopped by my table at lunch (after my show) to tell me how much he enjoyed it and thought I was really funny, and when I left the restaurant I ran into Sammy King in the hallway who told me the same thing.

I was very humbled (and inside was jumping up and down like a little kid)
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Matt_24
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Quite a few people reported to me how funny you were Neale. I wish I had been there to see it. Congratulations!
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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I am flabbergasted that I am still getting emails from folks who were there or from those who have heard from others who were there.

It has been very nice, I must say. Sure gave my confidence a boost!
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

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Please allow me to post this here as well since it's about the ConVention. Smile

An email from a friend: After attending the VentHaven Convention 2009.

Wanlu,

Just wanted to inform you that as Mark Wade was passing where I was sitting, he caught a glimpse of Ritz The Duck that you made for me and he stopped and talked with me for quite awhile. He loves the personality of your duck over the one that he performs with. He asked me how much I paid for the duck and I told him which his reply was that he paid 3 times that amount for the one he has. I told him that you made it. Later that evening, Mark brought his wife, Jody, over to see the duck and she totally adores it also... Smile

- Wilma Swartz

http://kadoopsypuppets.multiply.com/phot......_Duck#10
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
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