I hope that the spotlight on "Power Users" is exciting, and in no way making anyone feel "Powerless" with less than 10 of our products in their shows. Even having 1 product in your show connects us together and I want to see your succeed. It is actually AMAZING to me that we have so many power users. It's one of the most amazing things to discover. A customer recently ordered 29 puppets and also a Hands-Free Puppet in their first order. They are a famous international comedian but still... it got me thinking. How many "Axtell Power Users" are out there? They certainly are keeping us in business, and I want to spotlight them. So.... I talked to my team....and we are thinking up some very cool things for the "Axtell Power Users" Club. Why not...they are incredibly loyal to Axtell! They are basing their career largely on our products and ideas and concepts. Let's do something special for them! Stay tuned!
May 13 2011, 8:29 PM
Yes, Ax, I agree totally. One thing I really do believe Steve, is that your puppets are so great looking, that one really does want another, and then another.
Ax, I say that I'm 80-85% magician, and only 15% ventriloquist, but here I am in less then 2 years time already owning 3 of your puppets.
I'm almost to the point where I'd say; "I bet you can't just own one Axtell puppet."
May 13 2011, 9:32 PM
I wish I had more routines for the ones I already have. I also wish I had a tv show so I could use new ones all the time! I have had the privilege of manning the Axtell booth at I-Fest on numerous occasions so I get to try almost everything before buying! The last thing I got after seeing the reactions to it was the Big Baby.
Wish List would probably be the Neurotic Rat. I love the look and the feel is fantastic, albeit a bit heavy for long, long routines.
May 14 2011, 6:20 AM
This video from the Vegas Ventriloquist convention starts off with the Rat. We can make him lighter by removing the head!
Here is one of the funniest Big Baby Photos I've seen....this came from Kidabra. It's Gary Shelton.
May 14 2011, 6:25 AM
Hey Tony, What Axtell puppets do you have, that you'd like another routine for?
I'm not saying I'd be able too, but just maybe I could think of something that you might like.
Even if you don't use it, maybe someone else would.
What type of audience would you like to target, church, kids mostly, adults mostly?
May 14 2011, 8:58 AM
I have a great looking Diva puppet but I can't remember ever using her in a show! I have a Verna and dodo bird and only have one skit that they share. So I would love to do a skit that is family friendly with the Diva that includes parts of a song for her to sing. And I would like something specifically for a bird.
May 14 2011, 9:31 AM
What if you present your Diva as the winner of The "America does not have talent" contest.
With this routine she could sing the song that she won with. Of course she sings horribly.
Of course she acts like she really did a good thing, winning this contest. She could talk about the other contestants that she beat and their acts. Maybe, acts like Uncle Fester, the world famous burper. Eagle Eye Tom, the knife thrower who accidentally killed his assistant at the finals.
If not this, I'll try to think of something else.
May 14 2011, 12:51 PM
It's nice to get ideas that I wouldn't have thought of on my own. That helps keep the character totally distinct from me. Thanks! I'll sit with the Diva today and talk to her. In fact, I think that is what I'll name her. "The Diva".
May 15 2011, 4:15 AM
You might want to think of your routine as you are interviewing her, Lady Diva.
She is famous, she is beautiful, and she knows it. Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?
May 15 2011, 7:29 AM
Chris, gotta be careful. Using that song smacks of copying Terry Fator and makes the user seem a copycat rather than a performer. There are a lot of other songs out there that could be adapted without infringing on someone else's territory.
Terry wouldn't mind, I imagine, but a lot of people who know his work would have a lesser impression of the copy cat.
I had no idea
May 15 2011, 5:06 PM
I'm being totally honest when I say this. I have no idea what Terry Fator does.
I've never seen his show. I've seen his routine with Winston, his turtle, and his routine where he puts a puppet mask on some guy,and they do a Sony and Cher routine. Also, I do not remember what puppet but he used but he did a Roy Orbinson routine.
I find it a little funny with 300 million people in the US, one person can not think exactly like someone else.
May 16 2011, 6:19 AM
Just goes to show that great minds think alike!
An oldies fan
May 16 2011, 6:35 AM
As an oldies fan, I would have never even heard the song; "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me," had it not been for my 3 year old Grand-daughter who kept singing it. I'm guessing that was a year ago.
Now when you take Ax's Diva puppets which I do not have, and one hears that song, it does not take Albert Einstine for one to put 2 and 2 together.
May 16 2011, 10:19 AM
I didn't mean to put you on the defensive Chris; but Terry has had his Cougar and that song on just about every venue there is. Things can overlap... it happens to all of us. That's why I (almost religously) check out the websites of other vents to see what they're doing to avoid conflict in our acts -- or to steal bits and pieces for my own use -- never a song or a character though.
May 16 2011, 10:39 AM
Thanks, John, for the protective word of advice. It is true that if we use something that has been done by someone else, especially someone popular, we will be perceived as having taken the original idea from them. Reminds me of some of the songs I've written in the past. "The Shadow of your Smell", "Can't Help Falling in Love with Your Shoes", "Yesterday, When I was Wrong" "Rainy Days and Tuesdays" "Sierra Mountain High" and "To Dream the Implausible Dream". Nobody believed me when I said it was just coincidence that they sounded similar to something popular!
May 16 2011, 11:41 AM
I've had Taco, my hands free vent puppet for almost 2 years now. From the day I got him, I used him in what I call my; "FREEZE ROUTINE." A tremendously popular routine where I make Taco freeze and remain perfectly still. I pride myself in the fact that Taco listens so well. After all, it took me 6 months to teach him this. Every time I turn my back, he begins to move. The kids scream out; "HE'S MOVING," but when I turn to look at him he is frozen. Several times doing this the kids are laughing and screaming. I act like they are teasing me.
Now suppose Terry Fator, buys an Axtell hands free vent puppet of any kind. This could happen. It's not out of the realm of possibility that he or some member of his team think of the same routine. They have never heard of me. After all, I only do vent within the New Orleans area, and only about 125 shows with Taco.
Of course, he being famous and seen by many people is basically doing my routine. My point being that the song; "Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me," came out in 2005. Terry did not appear on AGT until 2007. There is a great chance that had I had a Diva puppet that I would have included that song into my act, especially when the song first came out. I would almost bet that some guy somewhere in the US, had this happen to him.
Now before someone says that I should not use that song in my show because I did not pay for the use of using it, remember, I would have been doing it for a 7 year old girls party only in my town, never to be on TV or anything else.
This is the last that I'll say about this, especially since it got off of the original post of a puppet wish list.
one more voice
May 16 2011, 12:47 PM
Here is my take on the scenario presented earlier in this thread. If I was doing a routine and then Terry (or any high profile pro) did it in their Vegas act I might not take it out of mine. However... if Terry did the routine on *"TELEVISION, it comes out of my act immediately. Explanations and points of view (though entirely valid) will not affect my audiences' (customers) perception and subsequent downgrading of my value in their eyes. Doesn't even matter what they say about it, when you make a living as a performer, it matters.
This view applies to my own situation and market. Others may find they operate in different environments... no problem.
*Very high and consistent visibility on the internet could perhaps substitute for "television" here.
Now I must get back to my Axtell wish list... betcha didn't think I had one!
This message has been edited by PetraPuppets from IP address 220.127.116.11 on May 16, 2011 12:49 PM
Well Steve what is it?
May 16 2011, 1:30 PM
Steve Petra, I'm dieing to know what is on your wish list?
Hey, I've even forgot mine now.
Ax is the man!
May 16 2011, 1:35 PM
I have four at this moment. I also have a couple custom ideas in mind. There are several people that make puppets that I have spoken with, but I have narrowed my purchases to two makers. Ax will likely take care of 85% of my future orders, because of the looks of the puppets, the cost, and the workmanship that they put into them. I am recording a DVD in June with the monster in it. I call him Lockee. I pray that Ax and his team are around for a long, long time. Thanks for stayign in the fight Ax!
May 17 2011, 6:58 AM
Thanks. My wish list is for more customers like you folks! I've got to be one of the most blessed puppet makers on the planet. So grateful for your constant excitement and use of our characters and concepts. I hope you each can come visit us sometime, I'd love to meet you and show you around the workshop.
May 17 2011, 10:36 AM
What list...Just leave the key to the door under the mat, I'll let myself in...
Honestly AX it would be a pleasure to one day come visit, we were thinking of doing a Vegas/Hollywood trip soon would love to include you in that visit, I'll let you know If or when this should happen...In the mean time be seeing you in July little less then 2 months..
This message has been edited by njnvent5 from IP address 18.104.22.168 on May 17, 2011 10:39 AM
My bucket list
May 17 2011, 6:33 PM
Yes Ax, Coming to see you and your workshop is on my Bucket List.
I'm sure I will buy a puppet while I'm there.
May 19 2011, 6:42 AM
Axtell Expressions is right on the coast of California. We are near many great sites...
1 hour north of Hollywood and the Magic Castle
We are 2 hours north of Disneyland & the Getty Museum
45 minutes north of Magic Mountain
My Axtell Wishlist!
May 21 2011, 4:32 PM
Hey, everybody! Here is MY wishlist, but sorry I couldn't keep it to '3':
3. Sad wolf
5. Big Baby
I have quite a few already, but these are ones I want to add! This is a fun topic!
May 27 2011, 7:03 AM
Shari you've picked some great characters there too!
It's fun for me to see what people have on their wish lists.
Re: Puppet wish list
June 13 2011, 12:20 PM
I can't keep it to 3 either, so in no particular order...
2. Bongo Gorilla
4. Big Bear
6. Red & Yellow Dusty Dragon
What is on My Wantlist
June 13 2011, 12:35 PM
Currently Everything- in no particlar order
5-Lions and Tigers and Bears oh my
June 26 2011, 12:06 AM
How about stripped down puppets? That way the puppeteer can add wigs, clothes etc. For example, The puppet can be George Washington one day and Elvis the next day.
June 26 2011, 6:03 AM
I used to have a Puppet Productions puppet like that. It was cool at first. It could be a boy or girl, I could change eyes, nose, and even arms. But eventually the velcro lost its grip and the wigs curled and were hard to make presentable. The worst part was when the nose or eyes would fall off during a skit. You could really freak out a 3 year old!
Your best bet would be to get one of the latex puppets with latex hair, such as the boy or grandpa, and find wigs that fit over it. For now, I change their looks by putting a hat on them.
Re: Puppet wish list
June 27 2011, 7:22 AM
I think that living in Central Florida for a few years has bumped the Gator to the top of my list. I'm formulating some show ideas specifically for him.
June 27 2011, 8:04 AM
As the summer grows hotter here in Sacramento, California, I begin to dream about the Axtell Snowman puppet! I know that come September people are going to start wondering what they should do for the holidays. Libraries will start thinking about the fall and winter shows by the end of July. And preschools would love him! Plus, it helps cool me down just thinking about December.