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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Vent Haven ConVENTion 20101 (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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tacrowl
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Just finished getting the showroom reset and divided for tomorrow's lectures. (So I can sleep in until 7!) I was up very early this morning to work on setting up Dan Horn's lecture, which was great. The roundtable discussion by Dale Brown, Ken Groves, Jerry Layne, Lynn Trefzger-Joy and Mark Wade was very informative. Jr. & Senior Open Mics ran most of the afternoon, followed by a lecture by Sammy King. After dinner break, Brad Cummings did a great lecture on showmanship. He is a very class act. A viewing of the movie "DUMBSTRUCK" was next - wow, what a great movie. It truly shows the human side of this business. After the movie was a brief question/answer session. Finally the general open mics - which ran very late.

Busy day tomorrow and I've got to be up to help finish setting the halls and helping the lecturers get prepared. So - Good night!

BTW Colin, Karl is here representing the UK! Plus had a chance to meet Sarah from Australia. Those of you not here need to start saving for next year!
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Jimeuax
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Thanks for posting---we are watching this post to see what went on......Cheers! JIMO
tacrowl
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Another great day here at VentHaven. The morning started with lectures by Dale Brown, Mark Wade and Lee Cornell. The Jr. Vent University ran at the same time for the younger set. Following the lectures was the group photo. At lunch a group of us were joined by Dan Horn. The afternoon lectures were held by Dan, who does an incredible manipulation workshop, Sylvia Fletcher and Joe Lefler.

Tonight's international show included Stevo Schuling as MC, and opened with Jan-Robert Henrikson of Norway. What a class talent; he had an incredible set. Jae Woo An of South Korea came up next. He handled the language barrier with ease and had everyone enthralled. The final act was a surprise spot by Nina Conti. I've seen Nina on video, but live, she really rocks the house. A great show!

The raffle for VentHaven had a ton of prizes donated by the dealers. Albert Alfaro won the Mary Ann Taylor puppet, which gave everyone a laugh! His daughter, a very talented ventriloquist, now has a brand new character.

Jeff Dunham was there and helped with the raffle, then held an auction for a mid-night tour of VentHaven. The winning bid got a great prize. 4 people could get on Jeff's tour bus and ride to the museum. In addition to the private tour and ride, he included 4 tickets to his show at any venue, along with backstage passes and dinner with him and the crew in that town. The winning bid was over $3,500. The proceeds all benefit VentHaven Museum.

At midnight, the General Open Mic ended and everyone made their way to hospitality to continue the fun. Me, I came back to the room to report and grab some sleep. Saturday is another busy day - and Jeff Dunham will be presenting his lecture after the bus tour to VentHaven Museum.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Jimeuax
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Thanks for the report! Sounds like a fun time!!!!
Dash & Me
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Tom

Thanks for the updates. I'm curious if Al Stevens got a chance to perform with the new figure he was making?

Sounds like you are going to need a vacation after the conVention.

Troy Anderson
tacrowl
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Its over. Went by very fast. Troy, Al did perform his new figure at the General Open Mic. He did a great job and got a huge laugh.

Saturday opened with the International Panel discussion. The International show was very strong and the acts had great insights. The highlight of the event for me was watching Nina Conti answer questions with Monk. It was a lesson in splitting personalities. The key moment came from a simple statement she made. Those words created an "A-HA" moment for many of us. It was the discussion of the convention after that. I'd share, but really, you had to be there.

Pete Michaels, Lynn Trefzger-Joy, Sammy King and Brad Cummings followed with a round table on How to Improve Your Act. Great insights and lots of laughs.

The afternoon had trips to the VentHaven Museum for most. I never made it. Ended up being treated to lunch! After that, I teched Brad Cummings evening show and helped get things ready for Jeff's lecture.

The lecture was packed. Jeff had a great talk on "The Spark of Life". He also told some stories about what was going on with his career and treated us to some bits with Walter and Achmed. After the lecture, Jeff stayed and signed autographs and posed for pictures.

The All-Star Show was MC'd by Joe Lefler who opened with his magic and mentalism. Sylvia Fletcher was the first act of the evening and performed with Chico, her custom Axtell puppet. Brad Cummings introduced Jack In The Box and brought the house down. He then brought out Rex and ended with a standing ovation. Todd Oliver arrived late, but when he went on stage, you couldn't tell. He brought two of his talking dogs and also received a standing ovation. After the show, Todd presented a lecture on the power of being unique. It was a great ending for a great convention.

If I sounded a bit vague on some things above, it was on purpose. If you haven't been to the VentHaven convention, you have no idea how much it will inspire and teach you. You need to get there if you want to get better - that is what the convention is all about. You'll meet and get access to the big names. You'll learn techniques, be able to witness acts and see ways to raise your own show. It is unlike any other convention you will attend. Next year the dates are July 13 - 16. Put it on the calendar and start saving your change in a jar. I'll look forward to seeing you there!
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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ColinDymond
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OK It's in the diary. Now to start a saving fund.
kidshowvent
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Greetings to you all! I had a great time with Tom over the weekend and the ConVENTion went very smoothly. Tom has pitched in and become one of our new sound tech guys and he did a wonderful job, along with Sue Johnson and Mark Truman.

The lectures and workshops went fantastically (mine was standing room only..) and the talent on all the shows was outstanding.

ConVENTion dates for 2011 are July 13-16 in Ft. Mitchell, KY, the home of the world's biggest and best museum on ventriloquism, the Vent Haven Museum. I hope to see and meet all of you there. I run the ConVENTion as the Executive Director and I'd love to meet all of you face to face on day.
Neale Bacon
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This year I tried to save a few dollars by buying groceries and eating in my room but now I regret the fellowship I missed at the dinner table.
Next year I either have to have more money to eat or at least go for a drink and sit with people while they're having dinner.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
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tacrowl
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Thanks Mark. Mark Truman and Sue Johnson deserve the credit. They did an excellent job backstage and I really enjoyed working with them.

Neale, at least you made it to the convention! The people who didn't really miss out!
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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kidshowvent
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Neale..thank you also for helping with the Junior Vent University. It was great and your part made it greater!

I've got the best team anyone can assemble for a convention!! Hope many more of you on this Café can come to Vent Haven ConVENTion next year!

Mark

Mark Wade-Ventriloquist
Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2010-07-19 18:35, Neale Bacon wrote:
This year I tried to save a few dollars by buying groceries and eating in my room but now I regret the fellowship I missed at the dinner table.
Next year I either have to have more money to eat or at least go for a drink and sit with people while they're having dinner.


Neale:

I've promised myself that I'm going to make it there next year. Here's my offer to you: if you can stand my company for a meal, I'll buy you dinner!

Bob
Neale Bacon
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Sounds like a plan. I never say no to a free meal Smile
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
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Neale Bacon
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Quote:
On 2010-07-19 19:14, tacrowl wrote:
Thanks Mark. Mark Truman and Sue Johnson deserve the credit. They did an excellent job backstage and I really enjoyed working with them.

Neale, at least you made it to the convention! The people who didn't really miss out!


Tom,
I agree that everyone did a great job, and people really miss out by not being there.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
ColinDymond
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Ok Ok I've started saving!

Neale, maybe we should get some more people to buy groceries and we could all have a picnic!
tacrowl
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Thought I'd make a quick share about something I learned at the convention and just put to use.

The other night I was performing at a fair. The band on the main stage was deafening. It was so loud I could not hear my own sound - although I knew the audience could because they stayed and laughed. It killed a music cue that I use, since I need to hear it - so I had to drop it from the set.

At the convention, we had worked with a stage monitor. I've used them before, but never saw the need to have one for my own system. Dan Horn pointed out the difference a stage monitor makes in one of his lectures. Had I not been there, using a monitor may never have entered my head. The next day, I ran to the local music store and purchased a small powered monitor to receive the sound mix from my Anchor system.

Now I can hear exactly what the audience hears. The bands at the fair are no longer an issue. That little tidbit of information was just one of many I learned at VentHaven, and it allows me to present a more professional show. I like using the monitor so much, I plan on carrying it with me all the time.
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Ken Dumm
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What type of monitor did you pick up? That's a great idea...and essential in some working conditions...Thanks for sharing Tom...

Ken
tacrowl
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A TC Helicon Voicesolo. I had never heard of them, but we took it in the back room, hooked it up and I listened to it. Sounded great for my needs and the size is exactly what I was looking for. I'm sure I could have bought something cheaper on line and had it overnighted, but I wanted/needed it then, so I went with what the local shop had in stock. I'm very happy with the unit.

Ken, you really need to put VentHaven on your schedule next year!
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Ken Dumm
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Thanks for the info Tom. I'd love to go...It sounds like a blast! I'll put it on the calendar and try to make it next year...

Take care...talk soon.

Ken
ColinDymond
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Funny. I always like it when I do a big show and have a moniter but I'd never though of having my own. More money!
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