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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Choosing a character for your puppet (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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sinnead zenun
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Mt. Makiling
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How to choose a character for your puppet?
and where can you buy one?
ChrisJ
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Well this is a great question. Some folks will say develope a character before you buy a figure/puppet. others will see a puppet they like and then build the character for it. The characters I have have all been the second. As for where to get a puppet or figure, there are many sources depending on your desires. Steve Axtell makes a great line of latex puppets with a lot of character. There are hard figure makes like Tim Selberg who make Fantastic hard figures but are on the higher price range. There is also Mary Ann taylor who makes a soft sculpt variety of puppet which is very nice. here are a few links to try..they have lists of other figure makes on them as well.

http://www.maherstudios.com
http://www.axtell.com
http://www.matpuppets.com/
http://www.selbergstudios.com

have fun and enjoy the great world of Ventriloquism! =)

Chris
alson
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The first thing when I get a puppety ,well pick one out is to write a history on the figure ,where it lives,what kind of back round it has . I have a figure name Horace Hicks, he come found the hills and live on farm ,talk very country and not real smart ,but always out smarts me. You can do this with any puppety and it makes writing for them easier.There are a lot of good books on developing your puppet character. So just have fun doing it and rememmber once you have the puppety for awhile it kind of get it own character too.
Alson
ChrisJ
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Quote:
rememmber once you have the puppety for awhile it kind of get it own character too.


This is very true. I have a bear puppet, Buster, and he has been developing over time. When I pick him up he springs to life in his own smart alec way. Its funny when I try to react the way he would with out him on my arm I can't do it..he become generic. However as soon as he is on my hand/arm he becomes himself. OK ok ok spooky eh;)

Yes..find a character you like and you will develope a cahracter. The idea of writing a bio for the character is also a very good one as it allows you some insite into the character, Moreso then just adlibbing it.

happy Venting!
Chris
sluggo
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Mike B.
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Chris gave you some good advice and places to look for a puppet. You can also go on http://www.venthaven.com and it will give you links to many vent figure makers and dvd's, books etc. on Ventriloquism.
Is anybody here going to be at the Vent Haven Convention in July? I am very fortunate that it is in Northern Ky. every year as I am from Cincinnati, Ohio just a hop skip and jump away.
Dad, magic, ventriloquism, facepainter & balloons.
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Dickens & Dave
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And in yet one more old thread revival.....

My figure I refer to as my No.1 figure, I had his voice, his character, the look I wanted him to have, all fully developed in my mind before I got him, and then was fortunate enough to have some create a figure for me that fit the part perfectly.
But otherwise, it's pretty much I see and buy a figure I like and I create a character for them, although that has backfired on me a few times too. There's been a few times I bought a figure, and while I had no problem deciding on a character for them, I just couldn't find a voice that I thought suited them well at all or that I was happy with no matter how hard I tried.

Quote:
The idea of writing a bio for the character is also a very good one as it allows you some insite into the character, More so then just adlibbing it.

Actually doing that is a great help when in a situation where you are adlibbing, having a fully developed character and history helps make it easier to come up with a quick answer.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
kidshowvent
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I'll be going to Vent Haven this summer..of course I go every summer because I run it! Smile But seriously, we do have a wide selection of figure makers and puppet makers at VH. We have two full rooms full of dealers ..about 28 in all, every year!

Mark
markwade@kidshowvent.com
ColinDymond
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Mark. Do you have a list of the dealers who will be there?
Howie Diddot
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I looked on the Venhaven web site and the exhibitor list page was blank.
Dickens & Dave
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Yes, and perhaps the dealers can tell you how to choose a character.....
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
kidshowvent
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We wait until we have every dealer in place before puting them on the site. We usually even have a waiting list. But to date we have: MAT Puppets; The Dummy Shoppe (Steve Swanson); Imaginarium Galleries (Albert Alfaro): Rocky Mountain Puppets; Ventriloquist Sideshow (Jimmy Eisenberg); Jerry Layne (vent figures): Dianne Dunbar (General vent merchandise); Gottle of Geer Productions (Tom Ladshaw- vent collectible items) Al Good (vent table tops): Jane Goshey (vent merchandise); Mariann Martin (vent merchandise and used figures; ) Also coming every year is Axtell Expressions; One Way Street, Tim Selberg and many others. These last ones I mentioned are always there, but don't register for a table until later in the spring. Hopoe this partial list helps!

Mark
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kidshowvent
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Excuse my typos..I think faster than I type and I sometimes don't hit all the right keys!

Mark
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Vegasvent
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For those of you that have never been to a Vent Convention. If you are looking for a new partner, nothing compares to going into a room (or two), and being able to pick-up, hold and operate a figure before you buy it. You can check the workmanship, functionality, weight, and compatibility to the character you have in mind. It's also a great time to connect with the maker, and ask important questions about his construction, warranty, future repairs, etc. There's nothing like the sight of an Adult walking out of the Dealer's Room with a new partner.
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kidshowvent
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Excuse my typos..I think faster than I type and I sometimes don't hit all the right keys!

Mark
markwade@kidshowvent.com
Servante
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Hey, everybody, excuse Mark's typos. He thinks faster than he types and sometimes doesn't hit all the right keys!

-Philip
Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
There's nothing like the sight of an Adult walking out of the Dealer's Room with a new partner.


There is one thing better than the sight of someone walking out with a new partner - it's being that person who is walking out with a new partner!
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Neale Bacon
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Back to the question - it is better to have the character because I know lots of people (myself included) who have bought puppets on impulse THINKING they would find the character. It ends up you never do and end up selling the puppet.

For my latest puppet, I wanted a quiet nerdy type guy as my other characters are very outgoing. I also use animal characters so I thought which animal would be good for this. I came up with a sheep. I order a Pavlov's sheep with modifications and Stanley was born Smile
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CaptKirk
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I've actually done it both ways. I first had the character in mind for my first figure and as soon as I saw him on Albert Alfaro's website, I KNEW he was the right one and I had to have him (MANY thanks went out to Albert for taking the time to make him for me!!). The other three figures in my vent family were adopted because they were available, I LOVED their looks, and I got great deals on adoption fees (2 from Albert again, and one from a fellow in Canada - my Poyner "Bobby" figure). I subsequently used a "character development worksheet" to help me develop characters for the last three, even though I had a "rough idea" of their characters when I added them to the family. Still, I think having a character in mind before hand is the way to go. As I said, as soon as I saw Cletus on Albert's website, I KNEW he was THE ONE to fit the character I had already pretty much developed in my mind (and I also had a voice in the works for him too!). IMHO.
Dickens & Dave
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As I said in my post, I've done it both ways, and from my experience, I agree with Neale, and with what CaptKirk wrote;
"I think having a character in mind before hand is the way to go."
It can work out buying a figure and coming up with a character, I've done that, but I've also been in the position Neale referred to of never being able to come up with a character, and it was two figures I really loved, a Poyner and a Hartz. (As I mentioned earlier, in my case, I had a character, but just could not develop a voice I thought fit them or was satisfied with.) So I ended up having to do what Neale said, and sell them - and I really hated to sell them, but they were great figures that needed to be in someone's hands who could use them.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
kidshowvent
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I usually like to do a puppet personality profile first, so I have a picture in my mind as to what a character may look like...but then again I've had a rough idea and saw the perfect puppet and bought it on the spot (plus the exclusive rights to it, if it was a stock puppet). The exclusive rights means that I will probably not see a thousand of these characters in the hands of other vents, which is a good thing. Ronn Lucas's figure "Billy" was a stock character (from what I was told..) and he bought the rights to it. This could go either wayas to which comes first the character or character's profile.

Mark
markwade@kidshowvent.com
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