Great question! You'll find some good stands at www.onewaystreet.com. Or you can do a search for Al Good of Good Show Productions. His are the highest quality and will last longer than most. His last e-mail was firstname.lastname@example.org but I'm not sure it's current.
If you want to make your own then go to radio shack and get a flange for hooking something onto a microphone stand. You can get a mic stand at any music store. I prefer the tripod type over the heavy round bottomed ones. Attach the flange to the bottom of a 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick board of the size you want and then cover it with a thicker material. You may also be able to get some speaker covering material at the music store. That would work great.
Then the flange lets you just screw the top onto the tripod stand and you're in business.
July 26 2007, 6:20 PM
I use the mic-stand stand option that Tony described. If you can't find the special mic flange, a standard metal pipe flange and short pipe works just as well. It slides on and off the mic stand easily, and any hardware store will have the pieces. Screw that to a piece of plywood, and you're golden.
I have a further question: Round or square top? Which is better? I use a round top, but most of those that I see in stores are square. Does anybody have a preference either way?
July 27 2007, 11:14 AM
I use the square top because I've never seen a round one, plus I use a table designed by Doug Waltham (sorry if misspelled, Doug). The design has two squares of wood with four straps hanging down from the top square to the bottom. This forms a shelf and yet packs flat when taken off the stand. There is a 3 inch diameter hole in the center of the bottom shelf for the mic stand to easily go through. The flange is on the top shelf for the mic stand to screw into. Then it is all wrapped with a black fabric with my name on the front, and voila, I have a table and a vent stand. I put all of the tricks for the show inside the table. As I use each trick I put it away in it's carrying case (usually an aluminum case that looks nice on a small table or even on the floor nearby). After the show my tricks are already packed away and I'm ready to go!
Re: I'm square
July 27 2007, 11:39 AM
I appreciate the advice on stands. I just attended PuppetFest Midwest and took a 20 hour ventriloquism class with Randel McGee and his wife. I have several Axtell puppets, but still consider myself a puppeteer, rather than a ventriloquist --but I'm practicing. I am just now starting my own public speaking business. I saw an earlier post where you talked about websites. I have been struggling about whether to hire someone else to build a site for me. I took your advice about Virtual Avenue and am having fun setting up the site. A question? I noticed on your site that the pictures of you are not square, but cut-out around the figures. How do you do that? I like the way it looks. Any advice is appreciated!
July 27 2007, 6:17 PM
Although there are programs where one can cut around pictures I never mastered that. I simply had professional pictures taken with a white background. You can ask them to make sure it is all white (no grey shadows or wrinkles in the background). Then I chose a template that had a white area where the pictures would be. If I had a blue background on the template it would be a square picture and not cut out.
July 27 2007, 7:12 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions Tony! You are appreciated.
July 30 2007, 12:48 PM
send the picture to me at email@example.com, and I will cut it out for you.
This idea stands alone....
October 18 2007, 11:22 AM
I found a new puppet stand idea - it's a "near field monitor" stand for keyboard players. It's very strong, and already has a platform on it! You get two stands in the box for around $80. VERY Strong support. Can also hold up other props.