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Profile of querni
Hi Folks,

what do you think is the real secret of a "life like"-maipulation of a classical hard-vent figure?
What are your specials? in which way do you express emotions with the figure? How did you learn the manipulation?
Just "learning by doing"? Watching video of yourself and other vents?

Do you think its much more difficult to play a hard figure live-like than a soft figure?

Best wishes,

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Look mom! I've got
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Profile of daffydoug
For me it's a Zen thing. Become one with the dummy.

Of course, I know a lot of folks who tell me that's not a far stretch for me...

Seriously, all joking aside, aside from becoming so used to the figure's controls that you can do it in your sleep, I like to verbally spar with my figure. ( When I do that, I don't know how to explain it, but my mind enters a state where I'm flowing in thought for both me and the figure. (Of course, switching rapidly between the two of us.) When I'm in that state Daniel's words, as well as mine, (in other words our responses to each others jibes) just flow "naturally" (Or at least as natural as possible when talking to a chunk of wood,) and the MANIPULATIONS, which was what you asked about flow or follow naturally too, secondary in nature, I have discovered. They become an integral part of the whole. Put it all together, and you are creating the illusion of BELIEVABILITY. Ahhhhh yes! Believability! That magical place where we all want to go where our audiences, even though they know it's just a dummy, are able to temporarily suspend their disbelief and in the theater of their mind for those fleeting brief moments on stage,your partner actually becomes alive for them. And they can willfully FORGET for the duration of the act that he is NOT REAL. The crowning achievement of all great vents! The apex, the pinnacle of what we strive for, it is!

I think this applies to a great extent to soft puppets too.

Of course, as discussed on another current thread, the more manipulations your figure has available, the more options and flexibility you have at your fingertips. (No pun intended!)
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Steve at The Dummy Shoppe
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Profile of Steve at The Dummy Shoppe
Hi Christophe,

I had not seen you on here before. Welcome to the group. I guess it would be appropriate to ask you "How the Devil are you doing"?
(as in how the little red devil)

Dickens & Dave
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I think the only "real secret" of lifelike manipulation is the same as the only "real secret" of ventriloquism: practice, practice, practice.
It's one thing where learning by doing and learning by watching are the best teachers. Practicing in front of a mirror, videoing yourself and watching it, watching other vents, and then practice some more.

As for being more difficult to play a hard figure live-like than a soft figure - as talked about in another thread, soft figures are somewhat easier, they're a lot more flexible, they can make movements that a hard figure could just never do. But with that said, in the hands of someone who is well practiced, either can be made to seem very lifelike (same as someone who doesn't practice, no matter what they use, they may fall short of making the figure seem lifelike).

"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Ony Carcamo
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Profile of Ony Carcamo
Bergen, Bergen, Bergen.

It will surely help you, watch and study the great Edgar Bergen, arguably the best hard figure manipulator ever. His characters had only the simplest features but they all seemed alive and breathing in his hand!
Ony Carcamo
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