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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » People or Animal Puppets (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Brad Lancaster
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191 Posts

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Hi,

For those who perform in adult venues, which do you find goes over better, people or animal puppets and why?

Brad
Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
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Brad, it really depends on your material--your dialogues. Both animal and people puppets can be effective in adult venues. Jay Marshall used a rabbit, Ronn Lucas uses a dragon, the great living vent legends Jimmy Nelson and Bill DeMar uses a dog (Farfel) and a lion, respectively.

So experiment and use both types--just adjust your material.

Although my main figures are people puppets/figures, I also use animal puppets from time to time in adult venues.

Ony Carcamo, PHILIPPINES
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

www.onycarcamo.com
Brad Lancaster
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Hi Ony,

Great advice. But don't you think it's smart to begin with people puppets just to dispel the idea visually that show will not be childish in nature?

Brad
Neale Bacon
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Burnaby BC Canada
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I use both in adult venues. I think the material sets the tone more than the puppet. Adults love my rabbit who is a goofy charcter. My "star" is a little girl named Sally Ann and I build up to her with other charcters, depending on the show.

I have a talking painting, a "critter in a box" and others.

Funny is funny. Adults will only think of you as a kids performer if you use kid material.

Just my 2 Canadian pennies worth.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Ony Carcamo
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Manila, PHILIPPINES
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Yup, you can say that. But I think the thing that will define (for the audience) whether you act is for adults or for kids is your first (opening) dialogues with your puppet. Even if you use an animal puppet--for example, in the case of Jay Marshall using his rabbit hand puppet Lefty--but you start with dialogues that geared for adults, I believe you can get away easily and your adult audience will already enjoy your act.

If you happened to watch Jay Johnson (who used an ape puppet) and Ronn Lucas (who used a dragon) in the David Letterman vent week last year, you'll know what I mean.

Have a great day!
Ony Carcamo, PHILIPPINES
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

www.onycarcamo.com
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Over the years I have found success with both.
Also fun for older audiences is voices without a puppet.

My realistic figure is used less often than my character humans. The vent figure has multiple movements, but I find Nigel(avatar) and others seem to connect better with the audiences. Of course John, my traditional figure is also the newest nearly normal puppet. (pictured on my webpage at)

http://magician.org/member/doctoroflaughology/about

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
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Steve Petra
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New York
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A puppet need not be a person or an animal. In fact, diverging from the path most travelled by other performers can hold even greater appeal for adults and well as the little ones. The elements of conflict and surprise contribute to a more theatrical performance that has a greater appeal to any audience. Creativity and innovation in your puppet segment go a long way in pleasing an audience.

Here's a short clip with a non-human, non-animal puppet. A donut doing a "magic trick". Well, his magic is not so baffling but he is after all... only a pastry! Granted, this is a family show and there are many kids present. A good part of the show is geared for their interests but listen to the response from the adults and note the attitude, content and ABSURD nature of the bit that draw that response.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=a0EOAqFyq4U
Dutch illusionist
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The Netherlands
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Nice performance Steve, you rule Smile
Magical greetings,

Dutch illusionist
olivertwist
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Nashua, NH
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Steve,
I'll second Dutch Illusionist. Great performance. I love your creativity and originality.

Oliver
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Steve...

I watched your videos without sound. They were still interesting.

Thanks for the inspiration to step outside of the box. Not into yours but there is much food for thought in your presentations. Joy was present in you your characters and audience members.

You are appreciated by,

Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Scott O.
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Midwest
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Quote:
On 2007-02-01 16:24, Harris wrote:

Thanks for the inspiration to ,step outside of the box. Not into yours but there is much food for thought in your presentations. Joy was present in you your characters and audience members.



Not sure if this was intended, but very "Punny" Harris.
Do not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time you will reap a harvest, if you do not give up. Galatians 6:9
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I love words and they mix well with puppets...

I listened with the sound on yesterday.

Still funny and entertaining.

For a couple of years I did work as a counselor in a Punitentiary...

KS's oldest bed and breakfast..AKA..Lansing Maximum Security Prison.
It was a great venue at time..though mostly did groups and also got to learn alpha-theta brainwave training..but I digress once again...

Ever watched a fun movie in a language that you don't understand.
They can still be funny...

harri9s..(the 9 is silent) deutsch
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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music, magic and marvelous toys
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Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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I'm sure both animal and people puppets will work for an adult audience...but personally I prefer animal characters for kidshows and family shows... and people characters for adult gigs Smile

I curently use Axtell's orangutan, cockatoo and a chicken is on its way here...plus a MAT duck too Smile I also have a kid character (Poyner) for my kidshows because kids can relate to his script Smile

For adult shows...I use my Payes figure (the one in my avatar) plus my cable vent masks Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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Dean A
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I have thought about this a lot myself and I have had the same concerns many of you have expressed. I have also tried many of the solutions and reached many of the conclusions discussed here.

At the end of the day this is an important question (particularly with adult audiences) but it is not so important that we should forget that it's the characters folks enjoy. If the characters are well drawn and have good material then this is what people will remember.

Brad, As far as starting with a person puppet so as to establish that this is 'not for kids', well, I think you have hit the nail on the head. Whereas I totally agree that the jokes and characters are the most important thing nothing can prepare you for that first cold hard step into the beyond with a new audience who don't know what to expect.

For this reason I start my set with a vent mask. Some guys middle with it because it's unusual and breaks up the tarditional stuff quite well. Other guys close with it because of it's comedic strength.

I like to start with the mask because it is a perfect ice breaker for vent. All of the attention is placed on the spectator and with the right jokes and the right person it just goes off. BTW I think good dialogue is important with the mask. I dislike the routines that reley entirley on a silly voice and the fact that the guy is JUST wearing it. The mask MUST be treated like a character.

I middle with a routine with Peeper eyes and a washing up glove, then I close with the Pavlov dog. I believe this to be my strongest bit but at the same time the bit that most resembles a secene form Sesame Street.

If I'm booked to do more than 25 minutes for adults I'll chuck in an old man character. Interesting how my FILLER is a person and the rest of the stuff is either speciality or animal. That last sentence sounds like it's from a BAND forum.

Dean
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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Check out Tom Crowl with his duck in an adult gig... Smile also in the video is Maurice, a Payes figure... Smile


It does not matter if you use an animals or a people character...as long as your material is funny Smile

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUoFB0e4EFA

In my case...I basically use animals and a kid figure for my kidshows and family shows...and my Payes old man figure and another human character for my adult shows...plus the masks Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

Wanlu's Affordable Puppets
http://wanlu.net/ventpuppets.html

Wanlu and his Puppets
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tacrowl
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Maryland
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Wanlu,
I'm honored you would use that clip as an example.

Brad,
I echo what others have said. It doesn't matter what type of figure or puppet you use - it is the character and the comedy you create.

Tom
http://www.ComedyVentriloquist.com
http://www.magic-pig.com
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Neale Bacon
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At last years Vent Haven convention, Jeff Dunham lectured on coming up with routines and he said something that really stuck with me.

You have two choices - go for the relatable (Walter) or the ridiculous (Peanut, Jose)

Well, my main cast now consists of a pig, an Irish dinosaur, a Beaver and a Criiter in a box - oh and don't forget the human puppet rouitne . That can all get pretty ridiculous but adults love it as well.
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
Vegasvent
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Tom, I love that video of you at the concert. Was that written material or was it adlib? It is really fun to interact with the audience at the spur of the moment. Which makes it even funnier to the audience.
Magical Phil-Kidzshow, LLC

"My Wife says that either all of my Stuff goes, or she does......" "Boy, I'm sure gonna miss her cookin'."
tacrowl
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Duane,
Before I did vent, I was a magician and years of working county fairs and renaissance festivals gave me a wealth of lines to draw from. Some are mine, some are bits friends have shared, some have come from spontaneous interactions and some are from joke books.

For me, good adlib is having a line that can be pulled out when appropriate for the moment. The key is to make it sound spontaneous. So in answer to your question, it was not a part of the script - but it is (mostly)scripted. The hard part is sometimes getting back to the regular script smoothly.

At that concert, things just kind of happened - the crowd was fun. When I do corporate, I give the client a questionnaire to learn about their people, and write material that fits. Interaction sets us apart from animatronics. (No offense Steve - I still want one!)

BTW - I really like the pic with your duck! The tie & glasses give him a lot of character!
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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Vegasvent
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I appreciate your post. I think that I jumped the gun with the question though, because I started a new thread based upon the topic of "adlib". Thanks!
Magical Phil-Kidzshow, LLC

"My Wife says that either all of my Stuff goes, or she does......" "Boy, I'm sure gonna miss her cookin'."
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