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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » You can see his lips move (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Tony James
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I've worked with and known a lot of vents, here in the UK and in Europe.

Some are wonderful. I do not know how they manage to speak without lip movement.

But what I can tell you is that from a live performance point of view, the most popular with audiences and the ones who consistantly worked were the ones who moved their lips.

Funny, isn't it? It goes to prove that as with so many things technical abilty is always second to entertainment ability. They were so good the audience never noticed their lips moving and even if they did, it didn't matter. the audience were enjoying themselves so much.
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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In an article that came out last week in the Lee's Summit Journal(Missouri paper) the reporter wrote, "in using ventriloquism, Deutsch barely moved his lips."
In singing take me out to the ball game, Nigel used his own lines....if they don't win their the Royals drawing laughter from the crowd."

The photos of the kids had a caption McKenzie ___, and Attison ___ crack up at Harris Deutsch's antics. Usually they put one of the puppets photos in the paper. This time it was of me in my windshield wiper sunglasses.(a great prop by the way.)

"Bergen tried to insure his lips"
What happened?
They wouldn't insure a moving target."


This topic is a great one which comes up here from time to time, and always leads me to practice more.

During my programs I purposely do a non vent puppet segment where my lips are moving freely. This sets up the puppet to talk about and introduce Nigel.
Two lips worth from...

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Daveandrews
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London, UK
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Almost all my shows are within 4 feet of my audience.
In my last show (today) it was the same situation, except that the brother and four of his friends sat themselves within 'touching distance'. The birthday girl was 6, the brother and his friends were 12 years old.
I went through my vent routine - the brother and his friends were confused.
As I was packing up they (the brother and friends) came up to me and said that my puppet's beak had a sound mechanism in it - didn't it!
I told them exactly how ventriloquism works and that it was me speaking for the puppet. They didn't believe me because they didn't see my lips move; they said!

For me, in the situations I perform, my lips must not move - if I can 'fool' 12 year olds from a distance of a few feet .. job done.

horses for courses, I guess.

Best of,

Dave
http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk

Winner of KIDabra International's 'People's Choice Award'
Winner IBM British Ring Dittia Shield for manipulation
cardone
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Don't move em.. Most vents move there lips .. so
if you don't ...you should hear what people say ....they freak out ... it becomes magic...
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Great post...

I have been asked about where the batteries are for the puppet..another sign of a program with good lip control. Lately people have been coming up with interest on learning two things. One is vent the other is harmonica. I have been playing with both for about 30 years now.

Still learning and having a blast with the ta da's and the statements that humble this nearly normal vent.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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jlevey
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Dave....


Your "Horses of courses", brought to mind the old tv series "Mr. Ed".

Just curious, was Wibur a vent?

Just kidding!!!!!! lol

Best regards.

Jonathan

Posted: Jan 6, 2007 10:31pm
What I meant to ask was/was "Wilbur" a vent?"

My apologies for my ypo. It kind of ruind the tempo of the joke.

Oh well, back to the serious discussion at hand.... the importance (or unimportance) of the vent's lips moving during performance...

More input from working pros would be greatly appreciated.

Jonathan
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cardone
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Why would you want your lips to move ? Practice....and they won't .... Its like a magician flashing..if they move the magic is gone... the act might still be funny but the real magic is gone ... Are you a puppeter or a ventriloquist ... some vents use puppets .. Half of my vent routines are puppetless ..If my mouth moved even a little bit the illusion would be ruined and the act pointless...
Daveandrews
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Jlevey - darn, I used to love Mr Ed!

Cardone - as far as I'm concerned and the places I work, you are totally spot on.

Best of,

Dave
http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">www.partymagic.org.uk" target="_blank">http://[URL]www.partymagic.org.uk

Winner of KIDabra International's 'People's Choice Award'
Winner IBM British Ring Dittia Shield for manipulation
Tony James
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At our Recent Royal Variety Show in in the presence of Prince Charles we had to endure the worst multi vent act I've ever seen. Avenue Q I think it was. Students learning presumably but they went to pieces and everyone of them abandoned all attemps to vent. Mouths moved throughout.

And I'm sorry to tell you they appeared to be from North America. What is the business coming to?
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
kimmo
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I take your point Tony, but funnily enough several people (including my sister-in-law Tessa) said the exact same thing to me about Avenue Q and they were being totally serious! I can appreciate it when Bonnie Langford plays tinkerbell and whizzes up and down on very visible wires, but it doesn't compare to David Copperfield's 'Flying'. Lip control is certainly not all-important, but it does contribute towards the 'illusion of life' that we are going for.

Tony - I was wondering if seeing Avenue Q had made you want to try Punch and Judy without the fit-up? Do you think that might work?

Posted: Jan 7, 2007 3:43pm
Hi Tony and Kimmo, Please correct me if I'm wrong--but I think Avenue Q doesn't in any way say something about its actors as ventriloquists. The play doesn't feature ventriloquists but puppeteers. They've never advertise/market the players/actors as ventriloquists. They've used puppetry in a different way--to stage an adult play.

That said, the actors simply don't attempt to be ventriloquists because they are not, in the first place.
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kimmo
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Hi Ony - I wouldn't want to speak for Tony but I think that was his point - he is well aware of what Avenue Q is about and his tongue was planted firmly in his cheek! I was just pointing out that I've had several people make the same point to me but SERIOUSLY!! I totally 'get' Avenue Q and love it!!
VISIT MY ONLINE STORE!: www.kimmomagicshop.com
NEW LECTURE NOTES - SHOW US YOUR TRIX NOW AVAILABLE AS AN INSTANT DIGITAL DOWNLOAD!

Kimmo DVD available Now!
Watch the promo here!
Order your copy NOW! CLICK HERE!

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harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Lou Derman the writer for Mr. Ed and others of that era was a magician.

He also wrote a great column in the Linking Ring...(60's as I recall) with some good stuff especially about use of comedy and not doing standard patter but making it you.

I still like to go back to older sources such as his column. Great food for thought.

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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jlevey
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I seem to recall that Charlie Bergen moved his lips... but he had a great persona,and knew how to keep his audience/viewers entertained.

I'm not saying that lip control should not be one of the main goals, but I do believe that a good vent act can capture the minds and hearts of the old and young without perfect lip control, as long as the interactive dialogue engages and entertains.

IMHO

..."who said that?!"

Jonathan
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ChrisJ
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Lapeer, MI
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Quote:
On 2007-01-07 17:48, jlevey wrote:
I seem to recall that Charlie Bergen moved his lips... but he had a great persona,and knew how to keep his audience/viewers entertained.




Edgar Bergen? Smile Charlie McCarthy was his famous companion. Edgar had Excellent lip control in his younger days. For proof take a look at the early vitaphone short films he made. Funny stuff and great lip control and figure manipulation.

:)

Chris
Ony Carcamo
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And Bergen, in his later years, compensated his "moving lips" with great character development for his figures--probably the best in vent history!

And, oh boy, how he handled/manipulated his figures, considering that his figures had the littlest animations--ONLY MOVING MOUTH!

He was truly THE master figure manipulator!
Ony Carcamo
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Clownboy
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Speaking as a non-vent person. I watched Kimmo on You Tube and frankly speaking Charlie was so Alive to me I never got bored enough to pay attention to Kimmo's Lips!

Point being - If you put together a solid routine and leave no room for dead time; Who is really going to look! If you create a image that the Vent is alive few to none will ever question where the voice comes from.
As the Frogs say "Times Fun when you're having Flies" Smile
Tony James
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Anyone seen Henry Astor? Works a lot in Paris. Often the Paradis Latin.

Do his lips move?

Answer. Who knows?

Everyone is so busy watching the dog - he uses a big real live basset hound (and later two people from the audience) and it's so funny nobody notices.

But they do with Avenue Q and the feed back is very very poor. Doesn't matter what anyone says, people's perception is that they are lousy vents. Result? Disappointment.

In other words, it doesn't work.

Henry Astor does!
Tony James

Still A Child At Heart
Budihaha
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If a ventriloquist move his lips when his/her figure talk, he/she will not hear any single comment from the audience about his/her moving lips.

But a ventriloquist who don't move his/her lips when the figure talk, he/she will hear comment from the audience about other ventriloquists who move their lips.

These are the point to know, if my still lips good enough or not in my performances.

Regards,

Budi Ha Ha
Budi H. Hadiwarsito
Bandung - Indonesia
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cardone
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What about vent with out puppets ... vent isn't only with puppets .... can his lips move when performing with out a puppet ..... I don't think so
olivertwist
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Right. You certainly couldn't catch a voice in a glass or do distant voice with lips moving.
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