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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Advice on writing (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Addy
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NY
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I'm quite hesitant to ask for advice, but I've been sitting on an Axtell drawing board for over a year. I have read the Kolby King and Edgar Bergen books. When practicing, I'm good. Just reading scripts from the books and practicing sounds. I'm ready to go on stage. The problem is that whenever I sit down to write a routine, I can't. I'm looking to write an adult routine. I emcee a lot of burlesque, and I'm looking to do something short that packs a punch. Everything I've written has been too long and lacks a punch. The character that I've come up with is sort of a lecherous, obnoxious one, as opposed to my happy go lucky stage presence. Any advice? Please?
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I suggest sitting down at least one time a day and write.
This idea is not new. I got re-reminded of it when I started reading and using "The Artist Way", by Julia Cameron.

The book gives a lot of good suggestions on how to improve your creativity whether it is in writing or performing.

Enjoy the process.

Actually I am not really a writer....more of a RE-Writer....

This summer, I gave "Nigel" most of the time off. That is so I was "forced" to develop more material for my other puppets.

Be safe, well and creative.
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
Doug Higley
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Here and There
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My writers secret is this...and it ALWAYS works. Begin writing about writing.

"OK Skeeziks...I'm about to write you a dialog."

"But youre an idiot!"

That's not nice..."

"You want nice or do you want to write ME a dialog? What's It about?"

"I don't know yet..."

"like I said, You're an idiot..."

"Well, it's for a Burlesque show..."

"Oh Boobs! I don't need a dialog abut those...I need moving eyes...ok what else..."

Well, not just boobs but...well you know..."

"OK...I need self centering eyes!...oh and Mirrors on my shoes..."
-----------

and you should be off and running...get that attitude clicking and the divide between you and him...remember he ALWAYS wins and you are the real dummy for that kind of character.


as to legnth CUT CUT CUT...lay off descriptions that are obvious...one liners back and forth...you're in NY...speed and CLARITY.

You can email me any that you have done and I'll be glad to Doctor them up for you best I can.

Doug
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
Addy
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NY
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Harris and Doug, Thank you both. I'm sitting back down with a whole new take on it. Doug, you're totally correct, a NY audience wants it fast and funny.
I should have a bunch 'o stuff by the end of the week.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Doug,

Thanks for sharing.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
drlaugh4u@gmail.com
music, magic and marvelous toys
http://magician.org/member/drlaugh4u
brooklyn
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Get a copy of "The Comedy Bible" by Judy Carter. You can find it on Amazon. It's a great book. It will provide you with help to get started.
Slappy
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North Hollywood, CA
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Quote:
On 2006-07-31 17:30, Doug Higley wrote:
My writers secret is this...and it ALWAYS works. Begin writing about writing.

"OK Skeeziks...I'm about to write you a dialog."

"But youre an idiot!"

That's not nice..."

"You want nice or do you want to write ME a dialog? What's It about?"

"I don't know yet..."

"like I said, You're an idiot..."

"Well, it's for a Burlesque show..."

"Oh Boobs! I don't need a dialog abut those...I need moving eyes...ok what else..."

Well, not just boobs but...well you know..."

"OK...I need self centering eyes!...oh and Mirrors on my shoes..."
-----------

and you should be off and running...get that attitude clicking and the divide between you and him...remember he ALWAYS wins and you are the real dummy for that kind of character.


as to legnth CUT CUT CUT...lay off descriptions that are obvious...one liners back and forth...you're in NY...speed and CLARITY.

You can email me any that you have done and I'll be glad to Doctor them up for you best I can.

Doug

This is the best, most practical advice I've ever read regarding writing new material. Kudos, Doug!
"Help, I've got a silver ball stuck on my thumb"
Flying Magus
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How about when writing for kids? I find that I write with too sophisticated humor. At least I think it is too sophisticated for kids audiences. Here's an example I wrote for my rabbit puppet, Malone:

Vent: So what did you do today?

Malone: I went to school.

Vent: How'd that go?

Malone: Not so good. The teacher got mad at me.

Vent: Why, what happened?

Malone: Well we had a test, and I was copying out the answers..

Vent: Wait a minute. Where were you copying the answers from?

Malone: The girl sitting next to me.

Vent: You were cheating!

Malone: I was showing initiative.

Vent: So what happened?

Malone: The teacher sent me to see the headmaster.

Vent: I bet you really got in trouble then.

Malone: Nope.

Vent: Not even detention?

Malone: No.

Vent: How'd you manage that?

Malone: I had an excuse.

Vent: What excuse could you possibly have for cheating?

Malone: I'm a rabbit! It's a miracle I can even read!!
Magically yours,

Michel Fouché
Believe in the Impossible
kimmo
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Sheffield
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I don't think there would be a problem with that dialogue. I usually cast the puppet in the role of the child and let them ask the questions the kids would. I would probably play around with mis-pronouncing the word initiative and at the same time teach the kids what it means (kind of Smile).

Something like..

Vent: You were cheating!!

Malone: No - I was just being clever!!

Vent: So you think you were showing initiative.

Malone: Showing him what?

Vent: initiative

Malone: (slowly) In did ta tid dee?

Vent: (slowly and deliberately) IN ISH E A TIVE

Malone: (Proudly to the children) I was showing In did ta tid dee!!!

Vent: No, listen - you were showing Initiative! It means you solved the problem
in a clever way all by yourself!

Malone: ohhh I see - so you think it's clever to cheat!

Vent: No, no I didn't mean that!!

Malone: (to kids, acting shocked and outraged) He thinks it's clever to cheat!!!

Vent: Don't be silly! Anyway what happened?

Malone: The teacher sent me to the headmaster

Vent: I bet you really got in trouble then!

Malone: Nope.

Vent: Not even detention?

Malone: No.

Vent: How'd you manage that?

Malone: I had an excuse.

Vent: What excuse could you possibly have for cheating?

Malone: I'm a rabbit! It's a miracle I can even read!!

Vent: Hmmn - You got lucky.

Malone: Nope - I've got IN DID TA TID DEE!!!
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MagiClyde
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Columbus, Ohio
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I know I'm no expert, but if I were writing for kids, one thing I would do is take a look at what shows, books, etc. are popular with the age of children for whom the act is intended.
Magic! The quicker picker-upper!
Budihaha
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Bandung - Indonesia
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Sometimes I just sit with my figure, then did like what Doug suggested, and talk to each other about the topic that we want to develop. Please do this when you are alone. Smile

Another way is just type what you want to say, then imagine what your figure will say and then go on. After you finished it, read it again, add more joke to your script or delete some irrelevant lines.

Regards,

Budi Ha Ha
Budi H. Hadiwarsito
Bandung - Indonesia
www.budihaha.com
Regan
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Great advice guys. I pretty much write my vent routines the same way. I just start a conversation with the puppet. I think it helps to have the puppet close by so you cnn actually see it.

Addy,
It sounds as if you already have a character worked out. That is very important. You need to have a vivid idea of the character so you know what the character would say, how he/she would react, etc. Maybe a character profile would help spark some ideas. I think the better you get to know your partner the easier it will be to write a script for them.

Regan
Mister Mystery
Joseph_Then
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I'm a little more daring in my approach.

First, I define the characer of my puppet.

Then, I'll spend 1-2 hours with my puppet. Just talking to him, while watching TV, walking around the house, etc.

I should be able to create a good 5-10 mins script.
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
Professor Piper
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Somewhere, out there...
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All great stuff here guys! (Dam I love this place!)

On getting to know a new character:

My approach mirrors that of a journalist...I ask the puppet questions about everything: Favorite color, food, music, games, etc...I'll ask about personal stuff, about politics, about views on current events...

This is a GREAT way to give each new character diminsion, even if NONE of what you discover ever ends up in a script, per se...

It's the MEAT of WHO the character is that will give them more depth and reality to your audience when you are performing your worked out scripts...

Give it a shot and see if it works for you.

Prof. Piper
(Terry)
"Nemo has been found! He was on an Admiral's Platter at Red Lobster!"
Dynamike
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If you have too much of a problem writing your script, you might want to hire a professional Vent to write it for you.
Servante
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I write for a living. I've always advised people this way: If you're writing a five minute bit, sit down at the keyboard, SEE it all in your mind and just start writing...free associating...back and forth with the figure and yourself. Concentrate on character. Have fun. Eventually the "funny" will come. Now, you may have typed twenty pages, and it's too long and full of dead wood...but that's fine, because you only have an editing problem, and that's much easier to handle than a writing problem.

-Philip
kidshowvent
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I do comedy writing for other acts, especially for kidshow and family show vents. I even hasd a three cassette tape course out on comedy writing a few years ago and we are updating it and going to re-release it . If interested , give me an email and I hope I can help you. By the way,..you all have offered great advice!

Mark

markwade@kidshowvent.com
Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
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Vent scriptwriting starts with developing characters. What is your figure's character and YOUR character on stage. Why are you together?

When the characters are fully developed, pick a topic, and the objectives of the conversation. Then ALLOW your characters to react to the topic and to each other. Yes, use free associations, use all the senses, etc. Avoid trying to be funny at first. Comedy will come later...
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

www.onycarcamo.com
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