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IanARalph
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I just did my first public performance, for a friend's company christmas party. Got a lot of laughs, but on watching the video after, I saw that all the careful practice of lip control apparently left me high and dry. Fortunately my partner Gary (the geek) was funny enough that no one noticed.

Back to the practice mirror I go. heh
Dickens & Dave
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Congrats on your first public performance!

I can relate to watching the video after thing. I can remember my first one. I got a lot of compliments afterwards, my wife at the time, who I counted on to let me know if I was mucking something up said I did very good, but afterward, I watched the video, and I found a lot I did not like. But then those who care are often more critical of their own performances than others are, personally, I think that can be a good thing, keeps you striving to get better.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Bob Baker
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Yes, Ian, congratulations on your first! I wish you many, many more successes. The loss of lip control during performances is pretty common, even after perfect practice sessions. There is so much to think about during a live performance, especially since audience reaction and timing are things you can't really practice. The legendary Bill DeMar once suggested breaking practice sessions into three parts. 1) Practice the dialog without the puppet, working on lip control, your acting, getting the lines right. 2) Practice the routine concentrating on puppet manipulation. 3) Put it all together.

I, too, video every single performance, and I even force myself to watch the tapes--including the ones that are painful to watch. But there is also a lot to learn watching good performances. Every single time I pick up something I'd like to do better, or differently. I agree with blueshawk1. We should be our own harshest critics.

Best,

Bob
IanARalph
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Thanks for all the encouragement. I am following Bill DeMar's advice, but really went public too soon. However it was with a group of people I was comfortable about making an idiot of myself in front of, and we did have a lot of fun. Plus I got a lot of feedback on comedy I wrote. So the entire thing was a positive experience, and it was a clear reminder that nothing beats Practice.
I am editing the performance to make it more youtube friendly, so that family and friends can see it, but will keep it private.
IanARalph
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Okay, here it is... Let the throwing of tomatos begin.

This is Gary's and my first performance, performed at Deerpond Auto's 2010 Company Christmas party.
Gary is a Kem Poyner creation that I turned into a geek.
Some Background, I have been taking care of this company's computers for about 16 years now. Deerpond Auto Repair service, in Leicester, MA

This is also my first attempt at editing and posting a video. Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhU-274ZbME
CaptKirk
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KUDOS for having the nerve to get up and perform for the first time with Gary!!! All in all, I think you did a FINE job and it appeared that your audience enjoyed the performance which is most important. You can always "fine tune" the mechanics and your lip control for future gigs! The only thing I saw that I'd comment on is this: have Gary LOOK at you more than the audience when he is answering your questions that are directed mainly to him. Then a quick glance at the audience for the laughs and effect. You did a good job of keeping him animated with movement but I personally think you may have moved his head side to side a little too much. Having him stare at you for a few seconds here and there before answering one of your questions and delivering the actual punch line can be dramatically funny as well. The old "double take" between Gary, you, and the audience is normally very effective as well. As I said these are only suggestions/observations for consideration. I see NO REASON WHY you shouldn't cut those "tomatoes" and use them on a sandwich instead of expecting to be them thrown!! You did a wonderful job and I only hope that my first performance is nearly as good!! Heck, even Jeff Dunham moves his lips on occassion. Something I never really noticed all that much until I started learning and practicing vent! KUDOS to you again! Very enjoyable and your comedy was well received. You DID NOT make and idiot out of yourself and I think your friends thoroughly enjoyed the gig! One last thing I'd recommend is having Gary "interact" directly with several of the audience members. A few quick barbs here and there between him and someone you know or recognize out there can be really funny, IMO:o)
Bob Baker
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Ian, I've PM'ed you.

Bob
IanARalph
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Thanks for the feedback, Capt. & Bob. I appreciate it. I can see what you both are talking about, and will keep it in mind as I practice.
Dickens & Dave
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Good video, the only thing I would say is to echo CaptKirk's comments on the animation, but it all will come with practice.
The most important thing right now - you got up and did it - that can be the hardest part, especially that first time, no matter how good you've gotten at everything else.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Joseph_Then
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Not bad for a first performance. I can remember my first performance was much worst than yours!

I think you need some 'chemistry' between your puppet and yourself so here's a tip: Watch a TV program with your puppet. Talk to your puppet about the show, and let your puppet give comments about the show he is watching, not forgetting to keep the puppet alive during the process.

Just don't freak out your wife when you do this... Smile
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
IanARalph
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Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback and encouragement.
Steve at The Dummy Shoppe
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Ian:

Great video. I was especially impressed with the way you got your coat off without your puppet missing a beat. Reaching in and using your left hand to maintain head movement gives you away as having far more capability than "one show" would indicate. Keep up the good work.

Steve
http://www.thedummyshoppe.com
IanARalph
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Thanks. Yeah, I tested the jacket takeoff and hand-off. I know now I was too animated with him during the show, but I really focused on making sure he seemed animated. Maybe next time I'll not have coffee before the show. heh. (I just got the jacket from one of my mom's friends, who's husband wasn't wearing it anymore, and happened to fit me. It really is in my favorite colors, Gold and Dark Blue.) I knew when Gary really started to develop his own "life" or character, because that routine was "written" by him.
IanARalph
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Yes, I do need to do more interaction. I am really surprised about how many people are creeped out by the figure close up. Anyway...
Funny thing about the wife... When I first got my puppets, I had gotten several soft vent puppets, a magician, a Doctor, and a pirate. I initially had them on display on the wall where I could look at them and get inspiration for their character. Wife came into the room and was horrified. They looked like they were hanging from a gallows to her. Needless to say, I needed to find new homes for them.


Quote:
On 2010-12-07 06:19, Joseph_Then wrote:
Not bad for a first performance. I can remember my first performance was much worst than yours!

I think you need some 'chemistry' between your puppet and yourself so here's a tip: Watch a TV program with your puppet. Talk to your puppet about the show, and let your puppet give comments about the show he is watching, not forgetting to keep the puppet alive during the process.

Just don't freak out your wife when you do this... Smile
Howie Diddot
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Ian, I am impressed; you are my hero. Today, I don’t think I would have the fortitude to stand up for the first time in front of friends and coworkers.

For my future first performance, my mind is set to not use my real name change my hair color, travel a thousand miles from home, and wear a fake mustache and beard.

I think that you did a great job; taping and viewing your act is great, it will give you the opportunity to develop your persona and the character of Gary.

In closing of my critic’s review, Gary gave you great advice on taking off the jacket and Keep the youtube videos coming I’ll watch em
daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2010-12-06 08:55, IanARalph wrote:
Okay, here it is... Let the throwing of tomatos begin.

This is Gary's and my first performance, performed at Deerpond Auto's 2010 Company Christmas party.
Gary is a Kem Poyner creation that I turned into a geek.
Some Background, I have been taking care of this company's computers for about 16 years now. Deerpond Auto Repair service, in Leicester, MA

This is also my first attempt at editing and posting a video. Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhU-274ZbME


Kudos to you, man! What a beautiful figure!
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Great for your first time out, thanks for sharing the video. My first performance after returning to vent a few years ago was...rough.
David Pitts
The Astonishing Mr. Pitts
Comedy Magician and Ventriloquist
http://www.mrpitts.com
IanARalph
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Thank you all for the encouraging words and advice. Gary worked out great, though it took me like 5 years to figure out his character, which, oddly enough, happened overnight. Just woke up one day, and saw him pictured in my mind how he would be dressed and act, about 6 weeks before the christmas party.

My Main partner will arrive Monday, I am so excited. Razzap the Martian from Dan Payes. My own custom design, his realization. Can't wait to show him off.
Servante
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I think I neglected to comment on this thread way back when. How 'bout now, Ian?

Now that you've done the first one, all the rest will be so much easier...but you will always be a little nervous before each performance.

And that's absolutely fine. Nervousness will keep you on your toes.
I'm nervous about people who aren't nervous. They get sloppy.
Deep breaths are good, but here's the trick that trained actors use to relax before and during a performance:

A person can't tell himself to relax. That's useless after an initial relaxation. Using your mind to calm your mind doesn't make much sense, eh?
But...you can relax physically. Actors use physical relaxation to gain mental relaxation.
You start with your toes and move up your legs, through your arms, up your shoulders and neck to your head, and you will find muscular stress and tension. Relax each muscle group as you reach it, then move to the next.
Here's the really interesting part...you trick your mind.
Your brain observes: "He is relaxing physically. This is my signal to relax mentally."
Then, your muscles observe the brain relaxing and say, "Hey, the brain is relaxed, everything must be okay. I'll relax now."
And the brain takes note of the muscles...
and so forth.
It's a continuing loop.
But it must always start with the physical.
(You'll be surprised how much muscular tension you discover)
And continue that exercise right until you hit the stage...then keep a sharp mental eye open for muscle groups and relax 'em.

As for the lip control. That's tough because you're doing some mouth-breathing with the vent voice...it's largely breathing out with vent voice, but it's through a smaller outlet and it does tend to dry out your lips tongue and teeth. This is one of the big contributors, then, to loss of lip control. I have the same problem with the show I do at the neurological hospital, because, after the stage part, I take Louie down into the audience to talk with each individual child. The mouth dries out, lip control gets shaky, and after the show, the lips are WAY chapped! The shows where I don't go down into the audience are much easier insofar as maintenance of lip control.

So...a bottle of water onstage is good. As for roaming through the audience...I dunno...line your pockets with rubber, fill 'em full of water and run a straw up to your mouth under your clothes!

-Philip
IanARalph
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Here is my new Partner, Razzap, as realized by Dan Payes.

Click here to view attached image.
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