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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Storytelling Vent (2 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

asgar
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I am planning to start a story telling show with ventriloquism.As I only have 2 monkeys a bird and a penguin.I will probably use some Balloon animals too.
Truth is I have no idea how to start and what to do.I have some plans though.

If I can I will pick a monkey story.The dummy can be a character of the book with clothes and props and he will tell the story.Use Balloon animals to create rest of the characters.
or
The dummies will ask me questions and I will tell him the story along with the children.
Use a book with large pictures.

Can anyone help me in this journey? What type of books?Examples..Company?What to look for?etc...
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I'd start by talking to
1. Your friendly children's librarian
2. Go to library story time
3. Read children's books with monkeys
4. Start writing
5. Start re-writing

Stories can be done straight...or use the old bits where your puppet is getting it wrong.
If you use a familiar story the kids will "educate" your monkey puppet.

If you have a large book and smaller puppet the puppet could use the book as a stage.

Of course you could even use a "book" as a puppet.

See Mr. Axtell for the Book puppet.

Harris
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Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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TonyB2009
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I use my dog puppet in my storytelling show. The show is called Grimm Times, and is based (loosely) on the Grimm stories. I come out in my night shirt and tell the kids I am getting ready for bed, and I will share a story or two with them. At one point I bring the dog out and he chats to me for a while. It breaks up the stories nicely. We have a few gags and I put him to bed and tell the next story.

It is a fun show which I would love to do more of. Best of luck with your own one. The key is finding great stories, that can involve the kids. Shout-along, action stories work great.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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For TBT, (throw back Thursday)

here's Nigel first run through/practicing an old script from a book in the old Maher Catalog.

I'm learning the lines, not concentrating on lip/vent technique.

Years ago, I took their/Maher course on cassettes.

If I recall the script is titled a Hairy Fairy Tale. (author unknown)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUwRN5LL......lP-srpvQ

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
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asgar
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I am so fascinated by your show Tony.What a great idea?

Now Harris.Whats with writing and rewriting.
Unfortunately we don't have many libraries here anymore.The two libraries that we have are too big and with lot of bureaucracy.I have to try this in other places before doing it there.I don't think other places have this story time.
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Writing and rewriting to me means
tweaking original scripts.
I do this myself as well as use my talented wife, who knows the puppets character as well
As I do.

Annie doesn't like to write original puppet scripts and I value her
suggestions as part of the second and third drafts.

I agree - Tony's good night stories sound great.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
asgar
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I thought about putting the puppet on my lap and hole the book in the other hand and read the story show them the pictures.That is the idea I have of a book show.Am I wrong?
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
TonyB2009
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Asgar, there are two types of storyteller. Some open a book and read it. The good ones put a lot of expression into it and it works. The other type knows the stories and tells them fresh, with no book. Ireland still has a vibrant oral storytelling tradition, and you can find traditional seanachais in rural areas who know hundreds of stories, ancient and modern, and who can keep you spellbound. I was lucky enough to work in a resort for six weeks with a traditional storyteller, and it changed my whole performing style.

As a first step I would watch plenty of youtube videos of traditional storytellers and get a feel for the art. Two names to start with might be John Row and Eddie Lenihan. You will find plenty more once you begin looking. Then decide where you want to take it. You can read, but read with exaggerated gestures and expression. Or you can tell the tales.

I am not as talented as John and Eddie (both of whom I have worked with) so I add theatrics such as costume, the appearance of the dog, etc. But I still get an entertaining hour out of my stories. I find the stories mainly in Grimm's Tales (hundreds there) and also in Jim Jacob's Celtic Fairy Tales, another collection of folklore from a hundred or more years ago. Once I find the right story I then rewrite it to suit a modern audience. The best way of illustrating this is to show you. I picked a short piece, Clever Hans, from Grimm. It is only a page long, and begins like this: The mother of Hans said: ’Whither away, Hans?’ Hans answered: ’To Gretel.’ ’Behave well, Hans.’ ’Oh, I’ll behave well. Goodbye, mother.’ ’Goodbye, Hans.’ Hans comes to Gretel. ’Good day, Gretel.’ ’Good day, Hans. What do you bring that is good?’ ’I bring nothing, I want to have something given me.’ Gretel presents Hans with a needle, Hans says: ’Goodbye, Gretel.’ ’Goodbye, Hans.’

Hans takes the needle, sticks it into a hay-cart, and follows the cart home. ’Good evening, mother.’ ’Good evening, Hans. Where have you been?’ ’With Gretel.’ ’What did you take her?’ ’Took nothing; had something given me.’ ’What did Gretel give you?’ ’Gave me a needle.’ ’Where is the needle, Hans?’ ’Stuck in the hay-cart.’ ’That was ill done, Hans. You should have stuck the needle in your sleeve.’ ’Never mind, I’ll do better next time.’

Here is what I made of it (this clip is not from the storytelling show, just a random performance in a heritage site): http://youtu.be/RABc6I7OVpM

It will give you an idea of taking a traditional tale and making it your own. I often open my birthday show with this story, because girls in particular love it. Best of luck on the journey. Storytelling is a great buzz.
axtell
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Here is a link to our Book Puppets http://www.axtell.com/bookpuppets.html
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lotcaster
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I have been doing storytimes in libraries for about 10 years now (I'm a librarian). I have also done storytelling outside of work in a lot of different types of venues (big and large, inside and outside), mostly for non-profits and charities. I don't do ventriloquism (yet), but I have done a lot of puppet work as well.

When using a puppet during storytelling, I don't read from a book. I generally prefer to tell stories without books, since that's a new thing for a lot of children, but when I read from a book I never use a puppet (though I'm very dramatic otherwise). For one thing, it's difficult to hold and manipulate a book for an audience AND effectively wield a puppet at the same time. It can be done, but it's a pain in the rear, especially if you want the children to see the illustrations in the book.

If I had to do that, I would get someone else to hold the book, turn the pages, and swing it in slow arcs so all the kids in the audience could see the pictures. That would leave me free to operate the puppet and (in the case of hand puppets) still leave me a free hand to make gestures.

When telling stories with puppets (without a book), one good approach is to use favorite stories that the kids know, like the Three Little Pigs. The puppet can then act as a foil or the comedy guy (to your straight man). It can also be a commenter, a critic, or a reaction leader (acting scared at specific points, getting excited at other points, etc.). You want to avoid having the puppet compete with the story - it should enhance it. That's one reason to avoid using a book with a puppet - the illustrations enhance the story, but when you put three foci in play (story, illustrations, puppet) it can get distracting.
asgar
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Thank You all.You guys have been a great help.I am doing one story telling show tomorrow and I am really nervous.Smile.I will get back with my review and questions after the show.
I am choosing 2 familiar stories and no books and hopefully a lot of drama and action.
I am going to tell "the monkey and crocodile" and the Pinocchio story.First story is local and second one has a doll in it.So hopefully the puppet can be associated with the stories.I will tell the story and the monkey will assist me and act as a reaction leader and intro to the stories .Thank you Harris,Tony and pickin.If it was possible I would have bought teh axtell book puppets.Maybe soon.Take care.
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
TonyB2009
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Best of luck. Looking forward to hearing it went well.
asgar
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It went okay.But I need to improve.The kids were really small and I needed to practice more.Smile.I chose stories with a lil violence.Even I felt bad telling those parts.Next time I will change those parts and just try to make them happy.
The children were also too little for moral lesson.I should have limit those as well.But as the monkey was there and the kids already knew and loved him.The job was easier.The best part was telling a story with the Kindergarten Teacher Mrs.kate.She was just amazing.I learned a lot from her telling.Specially about familiar story,action and interaction.This is just the start I am more excited now and hopefully will improve a lot.Thank you all again for the help.I owe you guys.Smile

Main thing was I needed more practice.Check when I could add more acting and questions rather than going almost impromptu.This is my old bad habit.Specially since I was playing a double character,It was hard to time all those without practice.
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
TonyB2009
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I wouldn't worry about the little bit of violence in some of the stories. I tell some very gruesome ones, and the kids will enjoy them if told right. And I don't bother with the moral lesson. The action of the story should bring this out without you having to hammer it home at the end.

Storytelling is a distinct art, and I feel (I hope) you are getting hooked on it. The best thing is to actually watch some good storytellers in action. Watch the techniques and bits of business they use, which are different from what a magician would use, but will not be completely alien to you.

If you can't get to watch in person, try youtube. I would start with John Row and Eddie Lenihan, both of whom I learned a lot from. But you will find others, some of which you will enjoy, others not. But the research is fun!

Keep at it, and best of luck with the next one.
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