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David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
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I bought one of Wanlu's vent masks and it arrived yesterday. What a fabulous prop it is! Great guy, wonderful product, lightning delivery. Thanks, Wanlu!

I am brand new to vent...and I expect it will be several months before I feel right about taking in onstage. But I have just a few questions for those of you who have used props like this. Does wiping the mask down with lysol between performances hurt the mask? Do you ever have an audience member who refuses to put it on? How much instruction do you give the audience member before you put the mask on them?

ANY advice you have to share about the use of this prop would be gratefully appreciated. I don't want to start presenting it until I can do it well. I have great respect for your craft.

Thank you in advance for your time and your expertise!

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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tacrowl
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Maryland
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Quote:
On 2011-03-25 10:43, David Thiel wrote:
Do you ever have an audience member who refuses to put it on?


Yes - you will encounter people who will not wear the mask. Prepare for that or it will kill your set.

Tom
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David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
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Are you referring to volunteer selection? How do you prepare for this?

Thank you.

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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Brian Lehr
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Edmonton, Canada
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I've never had anyone refuse -- so far. Smile

I love the mask.

Brian
Howie Diddot
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San Francisco & Los Angeles California
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David,

I would suggest that you ask Walnu about the care of the mask, what products to use and how to clean it.
Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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My team wipes a dub of disinfectant alcohol before and after each use...

Tom is correct, so you have to choose the right helper.

Wanlu
"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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Brian,
I do a two mask routine and performed between 300-400 shows last year. (Not that hard when you consider I did 4 shows a night for a 30 day run last summer, along with multiple fairs working free stage and a week at an amusement park.) Trust me, eventually someone will refuse. When they do, it becomes a domino effect - no one else is willing to put on the mask. First time it happened, it killed the show. I created an alternate solution and it has saved me several times.

It doesn't happen often - but if you rely on the mask to be the comedy, you will have problems. If the routine is funny without the mask - you have a winner.
Tom
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David Thiel
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A lot of great information. Thank you. It's taking me much longer to routine this effect than most of the things I do. I can't use music because of the copyright restrictions and that means I really need to stick to public domain...or straight "talk."

Very interesting thoughts.

Tom (Thank you for your PM by the way): Given that you choose the usual "good" audience volunteer (outgoing friendly etc) what percentage of them refuse to wear the mask?

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


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tacrowl
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David,
As I said, it doesn't happen often. You asked the question in original post which is why I told you it can. I'd say less than 5 or 6 times in the years that I've been doing the double masks to close my show. Based on the amount of shows, it is rather small. It's just something to keep in mind and prepare for. Even a "good" audience volunteer may have a phobia.
Tom
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Lou Hilario
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The only time I was refused was with this gentleman who had just his hair done in a parlor. He was afraid that the strap could ruin his hairstyle. Be wary of this kind of men with fashionable hairstyles, LOL.
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David Thiel
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Western Canada...where all that oil is
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Great information, guys. Thank you!

One more question: how do you prep the volunteer? How much information do you give them?

David
Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Except bears. Bears will kill you.


www.MindGemsBrainTrust.com
www.magicpendulums.com
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ColinDymond
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Gloucestershire, England
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Quote:
On 2011-03-27 11:38, David Thiel wrote:
Great information, guys. Thank you!

One more question: how do you prep the volunteer? How much information do you give them?

David


None! Once they are up on stage I go with the flow. I have a Boley mask that just operates on a string, these are great and there is nothing to go wrong but if the audience helper moves about too much you can loose control of the string.

Colin Dymond
http://www.aceofdiamonds.co.uk
Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-03-26 16:24, David Thiel wrote:
I can't use music because of the copyright restrictions and that means I really need to stick to public domain...or straight "talk."

David


David;

I don’t understand the music copyright restrictions you mention.

I don’t download free music; I have lots of royalty free music that I purchased and It includes permission to use it anyway I want to.

Is there something I am missing in the use of my music authorization?
Servante
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He's just saying that any music written after 1923 is still under copyright (mostly) and he can't just pick and choose tunes he likes from the radio. If you purchased a package, yes, you can use it as you like.

-Philip
TonyB2009
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Quote:
On 2011-03-27 01:29, Lou Hilario wrote:
The only time I was refused was with this gentleman who had just his hair done in a parlor. He was afraid that the strap could ruin his hairstyle. Be wary of this kind of men with fashionable hairstyles, LOL.

If a man had his hair done in a parlor I don't know would I even let him in to my show! What's wrong with a pudding bowl and a scissors?
MT
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What kind of phobia do people have of masks? Are they afraid that it's not clean? That they might get sick because of that?
tacrowl
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Sanitary/Health, Claustrophobia, anxieties, stage fright, nerves, fear of being made to look stupid, the list could go on. People are different - some aren't willing to wear them.

Tom
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MT
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If they don't want to wear them, what do you do next? Do you just tell them to sit down so you can look for another volunteer?
tacrowl
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MT,

Once one person refuses, it can become a domino effect, no one wants to wear it. In trying to find someone else you momentarily become reduced to begging for help, a situation no performer should allow themselves to get into.

I've had comedians, magicians and even a hypnotist contact me for information on masks. They don't do vent, but are using them strictly as a comedy vehicle. One was having problems getting it strapped onto his volunteers and actually asked me how I do it smoothly. I'm not going to give them the solution here, they can create their own escape. For vents, its this simple - the routine can be performed without the mask.

If you aren't a vent and the mask IS your comedy - well, good luck when it happens!
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Wanlu
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Manila, Philippines
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Ok here's what I can share.

I use assistants to place the masks on... I ask the helper to face me then I position the mask on his/her face while my assistant secures the strap behind the helper.

I had some nice "Wanlu and Nicolo" t-shirts made as giveaways... so before I show the mask, I show the shirts first and ask who wants a free shirt... but they have to do something for me first. WORKS ALL THE TIME! Smile

Im nowhere close to Jeff Dunham but just to make a point, would you not put on a mask in exchange for a "Dunham and Achmed" shirt? Smile
"The Old Path"
www.angdatingdaan.org

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

Wanlu and his Puppets
http://wanlu.net
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