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Topic: Magic For Puppets
Message: Posted by: Regan (Apr 28, 2008 01:28PM)
I could use some help from my ventriloquist brothers and sisters. I have been contacted about a VBS puppet show, and I am unsure if I want to do it or not. Usually, I am a magician that uses some vent in his magic shows. No more than a routine per show. However, for this week-long event, I will need to be a ventriloquist that does a little bit of magic.

The VBS theme is going to be about the miracles of Jesus, so I would like to write some scripts centered around my figure thinking he can do 'miracles'. Of course he only does tricks, and while they are impressive, only God can do true miracles. I would like to let him do several magic tricks throughout the week. If I take this on, I will need to do 5 shorter routines, and one longer routine at the celebration finale. I have read Axtell's Axtrax routine (I believe it's called "The Rope Trick"), and my puppet does the Stiff Rope, but that is about the extent of what I know in this area. I just never had a need to persue it before.

What are some tricks that your puppet does? What are some props that your puppet uses to do tricks with? I sure would appreciate some help and/or advice on this matter. I'm not asking for routines or anything, just some ideas on what tricks to do and/or what props to use.

What are some of the best sources for this type of thing?

Thanks so much!

Message: Posted by: chris mcbrien (Apr 28, 2008 03:08PM)
Well, you could do the lotta bowl "water from no where".....
Message: Posted by: Ony Carcamo (Apr 28, 2008 03:45PM)
There's a book the legendary vent Col. Bill Boley wrote that talked about doing magic with your vent puppet. The title is VENTRILO-MAGIC. You might want to google where you can buy it.

And here's a link to get you started:

Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Apr 28, 2008 04:46PM)
Get hold of Bruce Kalver's Shrinking Growing Head - you can operate it with one hand and have the audience look at the puppet. The trick itself is an awesome optical illusion that never fails to generate comments & reactions. I use it to open almost every show, before introducing vent. No reason it couldn't be used with a puppet.

Other ideas could include a one handed change bag. A volunteer would follow your puppet's directions, placing the silks in the bag and later removing them. Use two silks and have them supposedly swap colors before actually doing the change. Gives you opportunities for extra laughs when the puppet pretends they changed but everyone knows they didn't.

Good luck with the shows!
Message: Posted by: Regan (Apr 29, 2008 06:43AM)
Thanks everyone! Those are some fabtastic ideas! Thanks or the links too Ony! I had ran several searches and could not find that.

Message: Posted by: jlevey (Apr 29, 2008 11:56AM)
I beleive Steve Taylor's DVD, "Fooling your Dummy", is all about this. Unfortunately, I am not at home and cannot cehck to see if this title is correct. I odered it from Axtell's site and was very happy with some of the tricks and routines that Steve shared.
Message: Posted by: Regan (Apr 29, 2008 10:41PM)
Thanks. I know Steve's DVDs must be good.
Message: Posted by: Budihaha (May 2, 2008 04:14AM)
How about some mentalism tricks or chemical magic. No matter what kind of figure that you use, he/she can do it.

IMHO stiff rope is good only for an animal figure, so he/she can use his/her mouth to hold the rope. Human figure can't do it.
Message: Posted by: Regan (May 2, 2008 07:30AM)
Thanks Buddy. I agree with you about the Stiff Rope. I will probaly be using it since Vern is my figure. I am also working on another rope routine that I think will be pretty good.
Message: Posted by: Tokyo Williams (May 5, 2008 10:54AM)
Budihaha beat me to the punch, but I was also going to suggest something more in the mentalism field. Something were the actions are carried out by the spectators while your figure gives instructions and reveals the prediction. A book test, perhaps (is using the Bible too gauche?)While the mentalist lot can get a little snarky about making distinctions between their art and "regular" magic, I suppose you might need the tread lightly with such acts with the Christian magic set as mentalism can be presented as "real" magic. I'm a secular humanist myself, but as a teen I used to attend FCM conventions...nice people, good lectures, great dealer room (regardless of your religious affiliation, I imagine it's hard to gouge customers when you're surrounded by people in clerical collars in the basement of a church). I did notice quite a few of them were vehemently anti-mentalism, though.

Personally, I've never used a vent figure (aside from some playing around)because my vent skills are practically non-existent. I used a puppet for a long while (the ubiquitous rabbit) as I'm far more interested in actual physical-manipulation puppetry. The kids loved it, and the rabbit could pick up, hold, and produce things from his hat in conjunction with my magic tricks.