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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Fear of Ventriloquist Dummies (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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likanton
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Quote:
On Jul 1, 2014, Joseph_Then wrote:
While we are talking about the people who are scared of puppets, we have to recognize that some people in other countries grow up with fear of puppets and dolls. Few years ago I found out that people from the country of Myanmar (ie. east of India) have chronic fear of puppets because in their culture and beliefs, dolls and puppets are used in voodoo and it's very eerie.


I can confirm this, when I was doing an act in South America. Some people in the audience where actually scared when I performed my act.
jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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When I purposely moved from hard figures to soft (MAT) puppets, the fear factor --mostly caused in very young children, subsided. Smile
Jonathan
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Dr. Solar
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Citrus Heights, Ca.
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I can see people freak out when my drawing comes to life. I watch for anyones anxiety levels to rise then I do not play to them. As long as the dummy or animated object is not looking at them they can uaually maintain. I have had people actually jump up and tear out of the audience. Very seldom. People will rebut with, If this is so, how come Jeff Dunham is so popular? Well, that is because people know Jeff is a vent and they appreciate that art form. People attend fairs and bring all their phobias along with them. I perform for those that like vaudevillian performance.
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Howie Diddot
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San Francisco & Los Angeles California
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The very first time I performed with Dan my hard figure at a small child's birthday party, two children started crying; I was shocked and stored the figure without continuing to finish my routine.

Now that I own a Wanlu Duck, I have had no problems with scared children and I can perform without worry.
TonyB2009
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I used a lot of puppets during my recent month in Lapland. The woman who ran the bar where I was performing told me she found puppets creepy, and did not enjoy my act for that reason. I thought it was just a peculiar quirk.

One afternoon I walked up to the bar for a coffee, and I had my nurse puppet with me (a cartoonish enough nurse, soft not hard figure). The nurse asked for the coffee, the woman turned and saw us both, and she literally dropped what she was holding and ran from the bar into the snow.

After that I respected her fear and never wandered around with the puppets. By the end she had warmed up enough to sit through my dog - she even laughed at him. But she never warmed to the rabbit, the nurse or the space alien.

On a similar note, I dress bright and colourful, ring-master style rather than clown style though. Once I had finished a show in a hotel and a couple of guys in their twenties asked me to go over and give their mate a hug, as it was his birthday, and he loved circuses. I walked over, and the guy nearly passed out with fear - and his mates nearly passed out with mirth. I was furious myself; I would never screw with someone's phobias like that.

So I went out and dressed in street clothes, stowing my costume in a bag. I can in and sat with the terrified man and when he was calm enough, bit by bit, I took out parts of my costume and let him handle them. Eventually I put on the costume, again bit by bit, and by the end he was comfortable enough to sit and chat with me, with my costume on. In fact, he put on my jacket and his friends took a picture of the two of us together. It had a good outcome, in that I hope I helped him start getting over his phobia.

But phobias, irrational as they are, are real. Having suffered from one for many years, I am always sensitive to someone appearing to be scared of my puppet. We all should be.
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