(Close Window)
Topic: Are you a Ventriloquist or a magician or both?
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Mar 1, 2011 09:28PM)
I had an interesting thing come up on another web site. I would say that 99% of the people that hire me hire me as a magician. They do not even know that I have an Axtell Expressions Hands Free puppet. He is about 35-40% of my show with him doing several magic tricks.
I'm not even listed in the phone book as a ventriloquist, though it is on my web site and mentioned in yellowpages.com
I could be wrong but I don't think anyone would hire me if I was just a ventriloquist, even though ventriloquism is a big part of my show.
How about you?
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Mar 1, 2011 09:49PM)
Hi Wizardpa

My question is, while using the Axtell hands free board, do you vent both dialogs of you routine, or do you have a recording voice any part of the script?
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Mar 1, 2011 09:57PM)
[quote]I could be wrong but I don't think anyone would hire me if I was just a ventriloquist, [/quote]

I think there might be a number of pro vents that might disagree with that.
Message: Posted by: kidshowvent (Mar 1, 2011 10:09PM)
Sorry, Wizardpa..I've been a full time vent for 30 plus years full time and I do absolutely no magic in my show. I get more dates where people tell me that there are too many magicians (most doing all the same stuff..) and that vent is so unique it was a welcome change. You can do magic trick after magic trick, but what do the kids remember? The puppet..if it is done correctly. People DO book ventriloquist only..no question about that.

Mark
markwade@kidshowvent.com
Message: Posted by: ColinDymond (Mar 2, 2011 02:41AM)
I do a mix of magic and vent, although all the clips on my web site are of me doing vent! The puppets get the booking, with some help from me.

Colin Dymond
http://www.aceofdiamonds.co.uk
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Mar 2, 2011 06:20AM)
Buzz, I don't have a hands free board. I have Taco, the Hands Free Toucan puppet you see in my profile picture. I do true ventriloquism, with him, no recorded voice at any time. He is only a vent puppet.

Blueshawk1, Where I live, in the New Orleans area, there are no advertised ventriloquists. When I belonged to a couple of magic clubs we had a couple of magicians that did a little ventriloquism. So I just think it is the area where I live. In 3 years, I've even had 3 people ask me when I tell them I also do ventriloquism; "What is that?"

Mark, I like to think that with my puppet, Taco, opening my show, and I do about 20 minutes with him, in which he even does 3 or more magic tricks, that he makes me very unique. Again, I just think it is the area where I live.

I might consider having my name listed under the heading, Ventriloquist, in the phone book. I might actually be surprised.
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Mar 2, 2011 06:25AM)
Colin, Looking just now at your web site, I would think of you more as a magician doing ventriloquism, then a ventriloquist doing magic.
I do think because of the puppets you have on your web site, I would book you over someone who is just a magician.
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Mar 2, 2011 06:40AM)
Alas, even though I love magic, I am currently only practicing vent. In the future I may try to work a few simple magic trick into a couple of my figure's routines:o)
Message: Posted by: CaptKirk (Mar 2, 2011 06:41AM)
Alas, even though I love magic, I am currently only practicing vent. In the future I may try to work a few simple magic trick into a couple of my figure's routines:o)
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Mar 2, 2011 06:46AM)
I WAS a magician and made the switch to ventriloquist - dropping all magic except for a stiff rope routine performed by a puppet. It was the best decision I ever made. Like Mark said, vent is a welcome change. There are tons of magicians, not so many ventriloquists. The hardest part of my transition was moving away from the security that if my jokes didn't get a laugh, the tricks would still amaze. I no longer have that option - the material has to be funny.

Tom
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Mar 2, 2011 06:47AM)
[quote]

On 2011-03-02 07:20, wizardpa wrote:

Buzz, I don't have a hands free board. I have Taco, the Hands Free Toucan puppet you see in my profile picture. I do true ventriloquism, with him, no recorded voice at any time. He is only a vent puppet.

[/quote]

Wizardpa;

I think I meant a Toucan, but since I was practicing with my Axtell Magic board, I had board on my mind.

Looks to me like you’re a talented guy that performs as a ventriloquist and a Magician entertaining children of all ages; nothing wrong what that.

I like it

Buzz
San Francisco’s number one ventriloquist
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Mar 2, 2011 11:04AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-02 07:20, wizardpa wrote:
Blueshawk1, Where I live, in the New Orleans area, there are no advertised ventriloquists. When I belonged to a couple of magic clubs we had a couple of magicians that did a little ventriloquism. So I just think it is the area where I live. In 3 years, I've even had 3 people ask me when I tell them I also do ventriloquism; "What is that?"
[/quote]

That's great actually!
No competition for the ventriloquism, and something different that people in that area don't get to see often, which could make a ventriloquist more in demand.
I think those few that asked that are the exception to the rule, most people, even if they've never seen one, know what a ventriloquist is, especially now, there's Jeff and Terry out there, and there was just the Miss America runner up..... And if you're good, word spreads fast.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Mar 2, 2011 12:22PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-02 07:46, tacrowl wrote:
I WAS a magician and made the switch to ventriloquist - dropping all magic except for a stiff rope routine performed by a puppet. It was the best decision I ever made. Like Mark said, vent is a welcome change. There are tons of magicians, not so many ventriloquists. The hardest part of my transition was moving away from the security that if my jokes didn't get a laugh, the tricks would still amaze. I no longer have that option - the material has to be funny.

Tom
[/quote]

Like Tom, I started in magic too. I still do one or two magic bits in my show, but even my magic is played for laughs. I book myself as a ventriloquist, and I too hear "We are tired of having magicians" (sorry guys) and "The vent was a nice change"

My mentor Peter Rolston asked me one time over coffee "What do you enjoy more? Magic or vent?" I said "Vent for sure because I love making people laugh" Peter then said "and your audience will know you are having more fun too"

That was when I switched my focus to vent.

I recently turned down a birthday show because she said "We just want magic,can you leave the puppets out of it." I said that I am ventriloquist who does a little magic. If they want a magician, I can recommend a number of great local magicians.
Message: Posted by: Doug Arden (Mar 2, 2011 01:47PM)
In 3 years, I've even had 3 people ask me when I tell them I also do ventriloquism; "What is that?"

Wizardpa:
The people who asked you that were very likely married cousins.

I stared out doing magic and then added some stand-up. A few years ago I added vent. I now do a combination of all three in my show. Best thing I ever did was add vent. It has propelled my business from five to six figures and I've never looked back. No question, I get booked a lot because of the vent in my show.

Doug
Message: Posted by: wizardpa (Mar 2, 2011 03:19PM)
WOW, INTERESTING!!!!
Here is a question for all of the ventriloquists that basically just do ventriloquism. Do you get booked to do a birthday show for say a 6 year old?
If so, how many puppets might you use in that show? About how long is your show? Is it just you and your puppet talking back and forth.
Of course, I've see shows of people like Jeff Dunham, and Terry Fator, but I wonder about regular children shows. I guess 95% of my magic shows are for children, I have some fantastic stuff I can do for my adult show.
Are most of your bookings for children?
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Mar 2, 2011 03:59PM)
As a corporate act, I do adult comedy. (Not dirty - but definitely adult.) I do occasional family shows, but they are not geared for kids. Since I don't do children's shows - I will let Mark and Neale answer that one. Although in a way, that does answer your last question...

Tom
Message: Posted by: ColinDymond (Mar 2, 2011 05:34PM)
I think I'm a magician who does vent. I run complete two hour parties, including games. I can't see me entertaining kids for two hours with just vent.
I am doing more adult comedy clubs with jsut vent but that's just a 10-30 minute spot.
Colin
http://www.aceofdiamonds.co.uk
Message: Posted by: Vegasvent (Mar 2, 2011 05:54PM)
90% vent, and maybe a trick or two.
Message: Posted by: Wanlu (Mar 2, 2011 06:15PM)
I can be hired as a ventriloquist with 90% vent and 10% magic but booked as a ventriloquist show...

...or my act I call "Ventrillusion" where I mix ventriloquism and magic (60% vent-40% magic) still more on ventriloquism but booked as Ventrillusion. :)
Message: Posted by: Servante (Mar 2, 2011 07:39PM)
I was a ventriloquist and puppeteer first, then added the magic. For some shows it was vent, for others it was magic, and sometimes both.
Message: Posted by: Servante (Mar 2, 2011 07:40PM)
Pretend I signed that ^

-Philip
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Mar 3, 2011 04:30AM)
I am a magician but the best thing I ever did was add the vent to the act. Now I book myself as Tony Baloney and Leroy the Talking Dog. My publicity material also has me and the dog. I don't mention either magic or ventriloquism on my cards.

Also when I am booked for a puppet show I no longer bring the big Punch and Judy booth. I bring me and the dog, and they enjoy it far more than my old puppet show.

I am not a great vent, and it only occupies a quarter of the show. But it is the quarter they remember, and that gets me rebooked.
Message: Posted by: Joseph_Then (Mar 3, 2011 05:26AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-01 23:09, kidshowvent wrote:
Sorry, Wizardpa..I've been a full time vent for 30 plus years full time and I do absolutely no magic in my show. I get more dates where people tell me that there are too many magicians (most doing all the same stuff..) and that vent is so unique it was a welcome change. You can do magic trick after magic trick, but what do the kids remember? The puppet..if it is done correctly. People DO book ventriloquist only..no question about that.
[/quote]
Me too, I don't do magic in my shows now. I usually use 3 puppets in my 30 minutes show. Only 3, the audience remembers only 3 puppets plus me. No need to remember magic after magic.

The only frustrating thing is that they kept saying "magician", "magic show", "magic tricks" each time I introduce myself as a ventriloquist. Perhaps the word "ventriloquist" is not a popular word in their dictionary. :D
Message: Posted by: axtell (Mar 4, 2011 11:01AM)
Just like George Schindler's Vent book title.... VENTRILOQUISM IS MAGIC WITH YOUR VOICE! Chris I would not hesitate to book yourself as both Magician and Ventriloquist. The word Ventriloquist is becoming quite popular again...and nationally people are starting to know headliners Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator, Jay Johnson, etc, etc, etc.

Do some market testing. However you are getting your bookings.... Put some test ads out (or a dedicated web page) for yourself just as a vent. Another ad, or dedicated webpage for both Vent and Magic. These would be in addition to the efforts you have going for just Magic. Give it a few months, and you might find that bookings climb even more.
Message: Posted by: Doug Arden (Mar 4, 2011 11:21AM)
I agree with Steve. I certainly don't see any problem booking yourself as both a vent and a magician if you have both skills. I do, and I don't have any problem getting work.

Also, I niche market myself because I don't do children's shows of any kind. I leave that up to those very talented vents who can, and want to, entertain kids.

Doug
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Mar 5, 2011 07:51AM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-04 12:21, Doug Arden wrote:


I don't do children's shows of any kind. I leave that up to those very talented vents who can, and want to, entertain kids.

Doug
[/quote]

Doug;

I don’t perform for kids because my probation prevents me from coming within 100 yards of children; then when I am doing my routine the little tykes sitting on the floor always want to know why I wear an ankle bracelet…
Message: Posted by: c.mcbrien (Mar 5, 2011 11:58AM)
I'm a comedian who does vent and magic...that's what I say when people ask me, because that's what I am. My focus is on funny, and I do about half and half in my show. Personally, I think if you're a good entertainer that's what really matters, and the vent and magic are simply the tools to do so...so there's no "magic vs. vent" really. If you can do both, and your audience likes it, do it!
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Mar 5, 2011 12:48PM)
Hi c.mcbrien

I am confused, I see you as an inner circle member, then here your a new member,

Howz that?..
Message: Posted by: c.mcbrien (Mar 5, 2011 01:48PM)
How about you tell me why you're on probation? One good question deserves another, right?
Message: Posted by: Ken Dumm (Mar 5, 2011 02:35PM)
[quote]
On 2011-03-05 14:48, c.mcbrien wrote:
How about you tell me why you're on probation? One good question deserves another, right?
[/quote]

Touche... ;)
Message: Posted by: Howie Diddot (Mar 5, 2011 02:50PM)
Ha Ha, it would take a guy from Chicago to ask about a probation question; it seems to me that everyone in Chicago is on probation.

What’s in your basement?