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olivertwist
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Nashua, NH
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When this thread started I had nothing to add. I couldn't think of anything that frustrates me in ventriloquism. But lately I've been working on a new act featuring my Axtell Orangutan (vinyl version). My frustration is due to a lack of positive control of the mouth. There's too much room around my fingers and thumb. I like a really tight grip on the upper and lower jaw. I've stuffed soft sponge in and it helps but it's not perfect. Any suggestions?
Steve Petra
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New York
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Olivertwist,

The vinyl orangutan is a great looking puppet but the mouth as you describe can be difficult to control.

Suggestion: Axtell sells something called "headliners". It supposed to provide a snug space for you fingers above and below the mouth. You might want to try one. Not sure of how it adheres under stress though.
http://www.axtell.com/catresor.html
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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Hi Olivertwist Smile

I love the face of the Axell Orangutan...so adorable Smile

...if you really want a version that's easy to manipulate, I'm guessing that the latex version is much nicer and a lot easier to manipulate. Smile
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Lou Hilario
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Just curious. Why do you guys prefer the Axtell Orangutan than the Chimp? Is it more realistic? Is it funnier or what?
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Wanlu
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Hi Lou,

Personally, I find the Axtell orangutan's face more adorable than the chimp...funnier too Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

Wanlu's Affordable Puppets
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axtell
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Steve Axtell
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One of the reasons that we discontinued the vinyl apes is the vinyl was so stiff. I could never get the China factories to make the just right for me. Our pro latex apes are amazing and much more flexible, but more expensive of course.

Ax
Axtell Expressions, Inc.
Pro Puppets, Magic & Animatronics
Steve Petra
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Lou,

Why the orangutan? Look at that face; adorable, mischevious, intelligent. All without uttering a word.

Click here to view attached image.
olivertwist
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Thanks all for the tips. I'm glad to know it's not just me. I agree on the orangutan. It looks great. Everybody loves it. I have the liners and they help some. I may have to move up to the latex.
Lou Hilario
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Hmmm, when I get my Hands Free Chimp, I could possibly switch the skin to the Orangutan later. I think they are the same size. I used to have the latex Chimp but it has passed away (melted down).
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Wanlu
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Quote:
On 2008-04-07 16:13, axtell wrote:
One of the reasons that we discontinued the vinyl apes is the vinyl was so stiff. I could never get the China factories to make the just right for me. Our pro latex apes are amazing and much more flexible, but more expensive of course.

Ax


Steve,

The one Im using now which the Kernens gave me is very soft...I actually thought it's latex.

It's so soft that it became possible for me to use it with my left hand.

When I finally get a hands free puppet...I'm most probably getting an orangutan Smile so Lou, stick with the chimp Smile Smile Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
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Budihaha
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Bandung - Indonesia
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I use orangutan too, because the origin of Orangutan is in Indonesia.
So he is my brother. Smile

For the technical aspect, Orangutan mouth is bigger than Chimp, so it is easier for people with big hand to operate it. And yes, my vinyl Orangutan is a little stiff, but it give a good spring effect too. Smile

Back to the initial topic.

Making funny script is difficult for me, and we don't have a lot of script source like what you have in English language.

I agree that the hardest part when performing is when I face small number of audience with a big age span. Recently I do a gig for about 7 kids, from age 4 to 13. Only 2 kids laugh for every jokes. Smile

If I can change the world, I would like my age is around 20 now. So I'm still young, when I enter entertainment business. Smile
Budi H. Hadiwarsito
Bandung - Indonesia
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RicHeka
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I use my vinyl Orangutan strictly at casual walk around venues.I do not do any vent with him,rather I use the unique visual movements of an Orangutan as a focal point.Folks just seem to love the slow movements and curious nature of a young Orangutan.

I have closely studied the movements of real,young Orangutans,and try to duplicate that.

Also,I have painted[acrylic the face hands and feet to resemble the the skin tone and other features of a real,young Orangutan.The bright pink skin of the new puppet did not suit the way I wished to portray him.
Most folks think he is real until they get right up next to him.

Rich
RicHeka
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I am trying to upload a photo of my Orangutan puppet,but it's not easy when one is technically challenged.

http://s284.photobucket.com/albums/ll36/......e001.jpg
RicHeka
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Back to the original topic:I sometimes have difficulty sticking with my original script.
I find myself ad-libbing sometimes...especially if there has been a distraction.

Any advice as to how to stay on track with the original script would be appreciated.

Best.
Rich
Bob Baker
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Rich:

Not sure why this should be a frustration, unless you are working under a strict time limit and run out of time before the end of your act. Ad libbing, as long as it's funny, is a great addition to an act which the audience really appreciates. They know they're getting a unique show and revel in the cleverness of the performer dealing with an impromptu situation. Often times I find ad libs get bigger laughs than the scripted material. (I like to believe this indicates the strength of my ad libs, not the weakness of my script!)

Of course, much of ad libbing is not really ad libbed. We keep a supply of "ad libs" ready for whatever may come up in the show.

Finally, ad libs can become a regular part of the show. I audio record or videotape every show so I can recall funny ad libs that come up.

So my advice? Don't stay on track!

Best,

Bob
Ony Carcamo
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Ad-libbing makes your show fresh and personal for your audience. You're like playing jazz music--where at some points you leave the original melody, improvise a few bars, then go back to the original tune.

It is not uncommon for Jeff Dunham to use Walter at the start of his act and the act continues for 40 or so minutes, where much of his materials are mainly ad-libs, based on what he sees around.
Ony Carcamo
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Budihaha
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Bandung - Indonesia
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Quote:
On 2008-04-08 05:15, PaleoMagi wrote:
Also,I have painted[acrylic the face hands and feet to resemble the the skin tone and other features of a real,young Orangutan.The bright pink skin of the new puppet did not suit the way I wished to portray him.
Most folks think he is real until they get right up next to him.

Rich


Wow,

Your orangutan is very unique!
What kind of paint that you use?
Budi H. Hadiwarsito
Bandung - Indonesia
www.budihaha.com
RicHeka
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Bob and Ony:Thank-you for the responses.Even though I have been doing vent for years at walk around venues,I have recently added my Axtell turtle,and vent mask to my family shows.
Knowing that adlibbing is OK takes a lot of pressure off and opens up a whole new vista for me.Thank-you.

Budihaha:Thanks.The paint I use is liquid acrylic paint. Such as:

http://tinyurl.com/66u3a9

I just mix some earth tones together[brown,beige,black,white etc.]until I get a color that is similar to the skin tone of a baby Orangutan.It's almost like an uneven smokey color in nature.

In the photo the area around the eyes appears very white.It is actually a more realistic tan color in person.

Acrylic paint is less permanent than oil based paints,and you can work it until you get just the right tone.

Best.
Rich
Doug Higley
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Since it seems all the big guns are here...does anyone know of a spray or solution that will keep Latex in top shape for uh..like...ever and halt the inevitable deterioration?

Thanks.

If there were any 'beefs' with vent and vent acts it's more from an observer standpoint.

I have seen some pretty shabby looking puppets. Keeping your 'Star' in tip top shape and appearance should be high on your list.

Also in watching some acts, I get really bored with the over reliance on tehnical 'tricks' rather than good funny material. The 'look what I can do!' syndrome of showing off drinking ten glasses of diesel fuel while singing 'Bohemian Rhapsody' in French accented Swahili leaves me cold. There is a major act I dare not mention that drives me nuts with the 'show off' persona. I think the terrific influence of Jeff Dunham though is going to change a lot of that for the better. He relies on material (and incredible skill) and his vocal tricks are in the mx rather than showcased as a reason for the act.

Other than that viewpoint, I have two pro puppets I had made, that I'm giving away to Grandkids because my hands are too big and they are uncomfortable to squeeze into and one hard dummy that I am selling because I just cant get into the manipulation of the thing to match what I can do with a hand puppet. My hand naturally comes alive because that is what I have done since a kid...turn the hand into a seperate (from me) character...I find pulling a string and working a stick just doesn't work for me (I know I'm lame).

I'll be looking at Axtell's genius to replace the above with one solid character that will make ME laff. The rest will fall into place. Smile

Doug
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RicHeka
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Doug:I purchased Axtells Old Storyteller about 25 years ago.When the latex head and hands started to deteriorate after about 8 years of casual use,I had Steve Axtell replace the head and hands.He used a much thicker formula than the original,and it is still in top shape after 15 years.
I am more carful than I was with the original[such as not leaving him in a hot car etc.].I also keep him upright on a stand,and covered with a loose blanket.[when I am not using him]

I have heard that Armour All can be used to preserve latex,but I have never used it myself.

Best.
Rich
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