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Topic: Busking as a Ventriloquist?
Message: Posted by: Paddy (Jul 24, 2006 02:24PM)
I went to a vent convention here in Cincinnati and got interested in adding ventriloquism to my act. I know that this will go big at parties but what about on the street? Anyone try venting?

Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 24, 2006 02:54PM)
I'll say this, it's a novel idea. "Hey, buddy, get this guy off my back, will ya?" Why wouldn't it work as well as magic, juggling or fiddlin'? It's a talent that could draw a crowd...in fact interacts with the crowd better than most. I guess it depends on how you approach the act and how gifted you are at playing with the crowd. Even better...the figure can be the one to make the wise guy hat lines keeping your image clean. I love it! Let us know how it works for you!!
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (Jul 24, 2006 07:43PM)
I saw one vent in NYC back when I was living there ('74 to '84). His technique was good as far as I could see. His delivery left something to the imagination. The dummy would set him up, he'd deliver the straight line, the dummy would insult him and he'd pull on the dummy's lapel!
Message: Posted by: Skip Way (Jul 25, 2006 07:20AM)
What might be fun with this ... depending on your skill and ability to improv ... is making the various purchases and items being carried by the crowd talk. Imagine a conversation with a Stuff-a-Bear, or a barnes & Noble bag, or an umbrella lamenting sunny days, or a caffeine-high cricket inside a thrown away Starbuck's cup, or ...

What about a cell phone conversation on vent speaker phone...using a spectator's cell phone. "Hello, is this Madame Michelle's Massage Parlor?" A package laden husband's wallet screaming for help, "I feel soooo empty. He'p me! He'p me!" A stray dog wanders by, "***...no fire hydrant here either!!" The remaining two hairs in a bald guy's comb over, "Welcome to Scalp Survivor! You're gone, suckah!"

I think this could be a totally hilarious street bit.

Message: Posted by: brooklyn (Aug 23, 2006 04:01PM)
One practical consideration to connsider is that of projecting your vent figure's voice. Unless you are working in a spot where there is little background noise, you will most likely require some amplification to do repeated performances with a vent puppet. Many cities, like NY, have restrictions on performing on the street and using amplification. In NYC, you have to apply for a very limited permit and pay a fee to use any type of amplificatin. Not every city reinforces these rules, but you would need to do some research.

Working several sets a day on the street doing vent without minimal amplification would kill your voice.

George K.