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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » How many is too many (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Neale Bacon
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Inner circle
Burnaby BC Canada
1775 Posts

Profile of Neale Bacon
I have retired various charcters over the years for various reasons but at any given time, I try not to have too many characters.

I use Horton (my pig), Shamus (my dinosaur), Castor (my beaver) and Critter who lives in a box. At Christmas, I swap out one of them (usually Shamus) to put in Randy my reindeer.

I have to ask myself all the time "Do I have room for another character" and right now it's no.

With Venthaven coming up, I know I will see tons of great characters but have to resist the temptation to buy one "just because".

I see vents constantly buying and adding new characters to their show. My question is how many is too many? How do you other folks decide when it is time to add or swap a character?
Neale Bacon and his Crazy Critters
Burnaby BC
Canada's Favourite Family Ventriloquist
www.baconandfriends.com
tacrowl
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Inner circle
Maryland
1633 Posts

Profile of tacrowl
Neale,
Great topic. I have way to many figures. I remember taking them to Ken Groves' when I started and he planned on helping me narrow things down. Turned out it wasn't that easy.

I usually only work with one to two in a 45 minute show. I keep the others strictly to have some variety at fairs and for repeats. My problem now is I am flying more often, and hard figures can be damaged. I want to get soft travel versions of some of them, which only adds to my collection, because I hate to get rid of the guys I started with.

Since I'll be at VentHaven too, lets make a shoot to kill pact. If one of us sees the other pulling out their wallet to make a purchase... Smile
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

ComedyVentriloquist.com

Learn-Ventriloquism.com

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Ony Carcamo
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Special user
Manila, PHILIPPINES
610 Posts

Profile of Ony Carcamo
There was a time I had at least 30 puppets/figures in my room. But over the years I found I was not using them all in my shows and got rid of a lot of them. Some I sold, some I gave to friends/relatives.

About two years ago I decided to just stick to my core characters, and focused on writing more materials for them--instead of introducing new characters. These days in my typical 45-mins adult gig I just use one figure (2 max), in my kidshows about 2 puppets/1 figure.

I thought I had too many when I figured I only use a handful of puppets/figures and the 20+ others were just collecting dust.
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

www.onycarcamo.com
Wanlu
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Inner circle
Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

Profile of Wanlu
I may also have too many Smile

I sold a lot for two reasons. 1. I was not using them. 2. I needed some funds Smile


Right now..Im happy with my Poyner and Axtells for Kidshows Smile I have two sets of Axtells, the 1st set (Orangutan and Parrot) is my favorite tandem...the 2nd set (Turtle and Skunk) is for repeat clients. Smile Plus the Cry and Big babies Smile I also have a Sweet Granny and Grumpy Gramps set which I got from this new puppet maker named Wanlu Smile also reserved for repeat clients Smile

I plan to use my new Selberg Rupert in my adult gigs along with an old man figure. But the problem is I rarely do adult gigs so the chance of these two figures just collecting dust is really high Smile and they might end up being sold in the near future unless I start doing more adult shows Smile
"The Old Path"
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Wanlu's Affordable Puppets
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Wanlu
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Inner circle
Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

Profile of Wanlu
Now how many is too many? I may never know Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
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Steve Petra
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Regular user
New York
195 Posts

Profile of Steve Petra
Okay, I'm turning myself in - but with an explanation.
I must have between 60 to 80 puppets! Please hear me out. I began performing as a puppeteer NOT a vent. Concepts can be quite different in the puppet world than in the vent universe. My wife and I would build a show with 7,8 or 9 characters and also create sets, music soundtracks, effects, lighting. (This is how the number got up to about 80. Numerous shows that are long retired. Puppets I've used in vent still pobably number over 40, though - quite a number of those retired... for now.)
Stepping in front of an audience with just a puppet was quite a departure.

I can't break the habit of forming mini repertory companies for new shows I develop. Until the last 5 or 6 years, the concept of a signature figure was foreign to me. That role is now filled by my Brain puppet in the school assembly programs. But the idea of not bringing Pierre the Lobster out to berate me during a round of "Pin the Punctuation on the Lobster" is unthinkable.

Theatrically sound visuals are very important to what I bring before an audience.
Kind of a hybrid of multiple performance realities: puppet theatre, vent, magic and comedy with significant educational objectives for the school shows.

Every year I HAVE TO create a new library program if I want to work all summer long... and I do. These shows typically involve four characters that are developed or selected to fit the library summer reading theme that year. Result: MORE PUPPETS!

That's my case.

unrepentantly yours

Steve P
Wanlu
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Inner circle
Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

Profile of Wanlu
Wow..that's a lot of puppets Steve Smile

I now have a few Axtells and several hard figures.

I have my favorite set for kidshows...Axtell Orangutan and Parrot, Axtell Cry Baby plus my Poyner hard figure.

I also have another set for repeat kidshow clients...Axtell Turtle and Skunk Smile

I have some reserved puppets for more repeat kidshow clients...Sweet Old Lady and Grumpy Old Man plus my Super Duck Smile

My final set would be my adult show set (which I seldom do but I would rather be prepared)...two hard figures. A dumb dumb and a rich old man Smile

That's basically my alibi Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
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Wanlu
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Inner circle
Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

Profile of Wanlu
I recently got some comments from another forum regarding buying and selling puppets...

When we buy puppets and figures...we use our own hard earned money...we don't get money from other people to buy what we love getting in the mail, puppets Smile

When we buy puppets then sell them or trade them...and it makes us happy doing so, I have to say with all due respect that other people don't have the right to question what we love doing.

I have bought...sold...traded a lot of puppets in the past Smile Most of them I sold for lower rates than the rates I got them so I can buy more stuff......some I made a little profit... and I don't think that's a crime Smile

One thing is for sure...those who got my Axtell/MAT/Carcamo/Barry/Croes/Pavlov/Braylu/Selberg/Payes/Schrum/Maher and our own line of puppets were all happy and got good deals Smile

Topic: How many is too many?...I MAY NEVER KNOW Smile

Thanks Smile

Wanlu
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
Wanlu
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Inner circle
Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

Profile of Wanlu
I'm trying my Selberg Rupert (Caloy) today as my kidshow soft opening Smile

Soft opening I figure would be ...after the host introduction, I walk on stage holding the figure and the figure does a quick routine, maybe 3-4 minutes and end his act by welcoming everyone to the show Smile

I usually soft open with the Axtell Cry Baby, walking on stage after the intro...with a baby rocker Smile

What do you think?
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
Daveandrews
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Special user
London, UK
723 Posts

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Love the smiley, Wanlu.

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
Wanlu
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Inner circle
Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

Profile of Wanlu
Thanks Dave Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
Joseph_Then
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Special user
744 Posts

Profile of Joseph_Then
I have about 15+ puppets. Yeah, the question is how many is too many.

Perhaps I'm too lonely... Smile
-----



Joseph Then

Singapore Ventriloquist
Ony Carcamo
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Special user
Manila, PHILIPPINES
610 Posts

Profile of Ony Carcamo
Just think about this: Otto has only George, Willie Tyler has only Lester, Nina Conti has only Monk...

And they are three of the busiest working comics/vent around!

And let's not forget The Great Lester, who only had his Frank Byron for quite a time, and Arthur Worsley, who worked with only his figure Charlie Brown.

I remember the letter I received from the legendary Willie Tyler himself. I asked him how many figures he's worked with. He replied he has been working with ONLY ONE figure (Lester) all throughout his career (which easily spans about 40 years).

I guess it's really a matter of taste. Some vents like variety, some like to focus on just a single character.
Ony Carcamo
PHILIPPINES

www.onycarcamo.com
marshalldoll
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Special user
554 Posts

Profile of marshalldoll
I am a collector so for me there will never be enough!! Every figure has its own distinct personality and even though I don't do ventriloquism all of the figures speak volumes to me!!
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
Wanlu
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Inner circle
Manila, Philippines
3058 Posts

Profile of Wanlu
And Dan has the best collection in the world...
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
marshalldoll
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554 Posts

Profile of marshalldoll
Wanlu thanks but Vent Haven's is the best collection but I am right up there in the top. But I need more!! LOL
Dan
http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com
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