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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Chico The Mind Reading Monkey (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Howie Diddot
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Hi All;

I am working on expanding my children’s routine and was seriously thinking of adding

“Chico The Mind Reading Monkey”.

I have not seen any other Vent perform this; I have seen it done mainly by kids magician’s whispering in the Magicians ear.

Do you think this would make a good vent’s routine?

Buzz
ventman
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I'm a vent and do the routine, but have chosen to keep Chico silent as it is much more funny. It is an awesome routine as is. One interesting thing is that I've had more people come up and request having their kid's picture made with Chico than with any of my other characters. It's that strong of a routine.
Howie Diddot
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Ventman;

Thank you for the valuable input; all performers I have PM’d has told me it is a winner, the customization of the routine can improve it or ruin it.

I have been advised by respected performers here when we were discussing the Axtell board, that if I am a ventriloquist, I should act as a ventriloquist.

I need to be very careful in how I proceed if I do decide to change anything.

Buzz
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2z5eZ55ua8

This is Bill DeMar. He's a great vent, but includes a silent puppet routine in his act with good results. Good puppetry is very important to good vent work.
David Pitts
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olivertwist
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That is a great routine Bill does with the frog!
Servante
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Nothing wrong with a pantomime character, so long as the whole act isn't pantomime, I guess. It's probably like salt in the stew...just a little bit, to give some variety in the taste, eh?

-Philip
Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-06-05 13:04, Mr. Pitts wrote:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2z5eZ55ua8

This is Bill DeMar. He's a great vent, but includes a silent puppet routine in his act with good results. Good puppetry is very important to good vent work.


David,
The youtube video is very funny and Bill has a great routine.
After the great feedback I received here on Chico I ordered the complete package and It will delivered this week.

I am getting better every day with Dan, and I have more confidence now

Buzz
Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-06-05 21:27, Servante wrote:
Nothing wrong with a pantomime character, so long as the whole act isn't pantomime, I guess. It's probably like salt in the stew...just a little bit, to give some variety in the taste, eh?

-Philip



Philip;

I am unclear on your post; when you say “the whole act isn't pantomime” did you mean the whole routine not be pantomime, or the whole show not be pantomime?
Howie Diddot
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On 2011-06-05 17:25, olivertwist wrote:
That is a great routine Bill does with the frog!


I looked at the video, it is a very funny routine, for me, it’s very educational to watch. Bill has an excellent command of puppets
Mr. Pitts
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The word 'act' can mean a number of different things in show business. In the sideshow, the various sideshow skills are referred to as 'acts', as in; "I do all the acts, fire eating, sword swallowing, bed of nails, glass eating, everything". In variety or comedy, an 'act' is both your entire personal show, including all your bits and routines, and a general reference to the performer or performers. As in; "The Wallendas WERE one of the greatest acts in circus history." OR "The Wallendas DID one of the greatest acts in circus history"... either way is correct. Most often nowadays you'll hear it used by comics, like.. "That guy stole my act, some of it word for word!" But the word can also mean a section of the show like.. "In Cirque's first act, all the performers were involved, but in the second they only used the clowns and musicians".. It can be confusing and you have to look at the context.

So I think Phillip means a pantomime routine is ok in a vent act, but if you're calling yourself a ventriloquist, it should just be one part of the act. You should have some talking characters too, which I know you do. I still do a rabbit in the hat routine that goes over great. He's a pantomime bunny, and like Chico, I think he works much better that way. I think Bill shows us how much can be conveyed without words. I often find the parts of vent acts between the jokes to be as funny as the jokes themselves. Good acting and puppetry can add so much.
David Pitts
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Servante
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Mr. Pitts is right. Smile

-Philip
Servante
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(And, incidentally, Buzz...nice to see you back.)

(-Philip)
Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-06-06 09:55, Servante wrote:
(And, incidentally, Buzz...nice to see you back.)

(-Philip)


Thank you Philip, I have been here, but not posting because the topics have been over my head, consisting of the history of ventriloquism and various figures and performers that I could not contribute any fascinating information, so I just lurked here and spent time purchasing various items in the Café sales and trade forums, educating myself about the rabbit performances and the children’s shows in The Little darlings.

I have performed a few children’s combination Vent and magic shows and I must say I am getting better at this.

The Ventriloquist segment is going slowly, the parts that get laughs and the parts that die right in front of me are buried before the next performance; and I replace the parts with new material such as the Magic Wand Maker by Practical Magic and Chico The Mindreading Monkey.

So Philip, Live is good in Half Moon Bay California
Howie Diddot
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Quote:
On 2011-06-06 00:51, Mr. Pitts wrote:
The word 'act' can mean a number of different things in show business. In the sideshow, the various sideshow skills are referred to as 'acts', as in; "I do all the acts, fire eating, sword swallowing, bed of nails, glass eating, everything". In variety or comedy, an 'act' is both your entire personal show, including all your bits and routines, and a general reference to the performer or performers. As in; "The Wallendas WERE one of the greatest acts in circus history." OR "The Wallendas DID one of the greatest acts in circus history"... either way is correct. Most often nowadays you'll hear it used by comics, like.. "That guy stole my act, some of it word for word!" But the word can also mean a section of the show like.. "In Cirque's first act, all the performers were involved, but in the second they only used the clowns and musicians".. It can be confusing and you have to look at the context.

So I think Phillip means a pantomime routine is ok in a vent act, but if you're calling yourself a ventriloquist, it should just be one part of the act. You should have some talking characters too, which I know you do. I still do a rabbit in the hat routine that goes over great. He's a pantomime bunny, and like Chico, I think he works much better that way. I think Bill shows us how much can be conveyed without words. I often find the parts of vent acts between the jokes to be as funny as the jokes themselves. Good acting and puppetry can add so much.


David;

Thanks for the clarification of the meaning of the word, act, show performance etc. I have the basic knowledge of the differences, but was confused with Philips post and what his meaning in answering my question.

I am starting to extend my complete show to include a number of different figures, both soft and hard basic magic, small routines such as Run Rabbit Run and the Chico routine; some members in the Chico thread have said it is better to vent Chico, others have said it’s better to follow the original script and keep Chico silent.

The consensus of most here has been to keep Chico silent, if I remember correctly, I think it was Tom in the Axtell Board thread I started some time ago who stated “if you’re a vent, then vent” so I thought I’d research it further and start asking more questions.
tacrowl
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Buzz,
I said that in reference to the recorded AX Trax vs. vent. Axtell made the recordings so magicians could use the prop, and therefore he could sell more. I have no problem with that, if you are calling yourself a magician. Calling yourself a vent, then using a recorded voice, would be wrong IMO.

Chico as written is a silent routine. No problem keeping it that way - or with adding lines, venting the voice and making it your own.

Tom
Tom Crowl - Comedy Ventriloquist

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Dickens & Dave
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Quote:
On 2011-06-05 17:25, olivertwist wrote:
That is a great routine Bill does with the frog!


Yes it is. I first got to see it at one of Bill Boley's get-togethers. I'm glad someone posted a video of it as it had been some time now since I saw that.
http://dickensndave.bravehost.com/index.html



"Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."
Mr. Pitts
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David Pitts
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Regarding what Tom's saying. I was looking at a video of Paul Zerdin, a very accomplished and very funny British vent. It was one with his baby character. I was reading the comments from viewers and as usual, some of them revealed complete ignorance about our art. One of them said it was obvious he was using a CD. He wasn't, of course, but you can see that suspicion is out there. That's why, if you're vent, all the voices in the act should be legitimately our own, never recorded. Magicians get bent out of shape over the use of camera tricks in magic. Use one and then everything the magician does is written off as a camera trick. Plus, neither that magician nor any other can duplicate the trick live, it can only be done on TV. Mark Wilson was strict about this, made a point of never using a camera trick. The public generally knows it's an illusion, but they actually do hold us accountable for how we accomplish it. Interestingly, a camera trick or a recorded voice is considered 'cheating'. I find it interesting because magic and vent inherently involve 'cheating'. We don't actually do magic, the puppet doesn't actually talk, but only certain methods for accomplishing the illusion are considered legit.
David Pitts
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Howie Diddot
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Tom;

I am keeping the board as a ventriloquism routine, I call myself a ventriloquist that has added magic to the children’s show; I have decided I don’t want to be a product demonstrator by just performing tricks and getting applause, then moving on to the next magic product to show. I started with the Magic Wand Maker, from Practical Magic that has a simple story of needing to make a wand.

Now I want to step up my game and go for a more complicated and proven routine that has many directions. I am receiving the complete package tomorrow and I will have a better understanding of the different props and story line of the character.

I do know now that at first I’m going to keep Chico silent and not take on to much of a project of rewriting a proven show.

Tom, thanks for clarifying the explanation

Buzz
Howie Diddot
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David;

I am not using the Ax Trax for a routine, I was confused and Tom clarified it.

Doing the Chico routine with no voice is acceptable, using a voice recording is never acceptable if I am considering myself a ventriloquist, I will not use a recording; but as I posted in my answer to Tom; I’m going to keep Chico silent for now, until I perform it and fully master the routine; then I can better understand what makes the audience laugh and experiment with changes and maybe add a voice.
Bob Baker
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Quote:
On 2011-06-07 01:20, Mr. Pitts wrote:
I find it interesting because magic and vent inherently involve 'cheating'.


The big difference, and the reason I prefer vent despite almost 50 years in magic, is that vent is illusion without deception.

Bob
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