I find this to be very interesting. As a vent novice, someone who has never been to a vent convention, and only reading a few books about ventriloquism I never thought about The Magic Moment, yet I've experienced The Magic Moment every time I got a new puppet.
It is not really until I actually put the puppet on my hand that I know how their voice will sound.
I enjoyed Pete Michael's video, and I hope there are many, many more videos to follow.
I totally understand Pete and Sterling talking to you, but I would have like to have seen more of Pete's face and have Sterling talking to the camera as well.
Steve, it is because of you and this web site that I am where I am today. Even though I attempted to get into vent 25+ years ago it was not until I discovered your web site, that I had the desire to try again.
Many, many, thanks.
Pete close up
August 20 2011, 8:47 PM
Thanks Chris... I am humbled by your comments. Yes if you see the notes at the beginning of the video, our 2nd close up camera was gone on Pete's interview. Bummer, but it's awesome to see any of Pete! He's an amazing performer and gave us 3 examples of Magic Moments.
There will be MANY move videos coming. Thanks for watching and learning!
More Magic Moments
August 22 2011, 9:38 PM
I just love how you are so enthusiastic and continue to come up with more and more great ideas. I find it helpful and inspiring. I loved both of the 'Magic Moments' vid's that you did. I like how Pete and Kimberley are so different from each other, and each one so good at what they do. I am not a naturally comedic person - I am more playful than witty (tho I do have a great capacity for play!) I am usually the person laughing at the funny person. But I am hoping I can find my own little niche (whereever it's hiding) where I belong, because I really, really love doing puppetry, and especially ventriloquism.
So, I found Kimberley especially helpful to watch - she is funny, but in a very different way than Pete. I loved Pete too, of course he's just a crazy man! I think it would be intersting to see other different ways that people use ventriloquism. So, do more and more Magic Moments. I'll be watching them all!
August 23 2011, 6:52 AM
Very good observations about how different performers approach characters and comedy. These are the subtle things that I hope to shed some light on with these interviews. It is a fascinating process and I am just as interested in seeing these videos again and again as you are! There are many more coming! Enjoy for years to come!
Re: The MAGIC MOMENT discussion thread
August 23 2011, 3:19 PM
This video series has been extremely helpful for me as a vent! I've learned so much from the two videos that have been posted already. I typically like to add a new character to my act every year so I will definitely be using what I learned from this series and applying to situations with new characters that will join my act someday.
Looking forward to more
August 23 2011, 3:49 PM
Can't wait to see more! Love the two I have seen. 2 very different vents with two different markets! Each video has it's own gems of wisdom.
The Magic Moment Challenge.
August 24 2011, 2:48 PM
Hey, I just got to see Kimberly's Magic Moment, and I of course loved it.
It made me think of an idea that some people might do.
What if, when someone ordered a new puppet from you, they set up a video camera before opening their package, and then video them opening their package and capturing their Magic Moment.
Then they could share their Magic Moment. That might be interesting.
August 24 2011, 5:35 PM
All I can say is; "Thanks Ken, and Thanks Steve, that was outstanding."
August 25 2011, 11:45 AM
These Magic Moments are great. Also being a Newbie Vent after performing Magic for 30 years everything I can get my hands on to read or watch helps me get to where I want to be. The ability to breathe life into a character, give it a unique voice all without moving my lips is the goal on all of my characters...Keep these vidoes coming they are fantastic learning tools..
August 25 2011, 11:21 PM
steve, this series is wonderful! to see all the different vents approach the same situation of a new puppet differently is really quite educational and entertaining. I always wondered how some of them came up with the characters they have and they shed some light on that as you hand them a puppet. you can take away so much from them, all of which is helpful. Thanks!
Ditto for me...
August 26 2011, 10:30 PM
...regarding these videos. This year was my first visit to Venthaven and I'm really enjoying all this STUFF I'm discovering. I'm just now in the process of learning vent, so I'm doing my best to soak up everything I can. Coming to the convention reminded me of my first comics convention way back when (I work in comics) -- everywhere I looked there was new stuff to see and do. I'm definitely coming back in 2012.
August 27 2011, 1:55 AM
Thanks Steve for the inspiration you create with this forum and your products, mostly your puppets! Bob Abdou remarked that his audiences laugh when he first brings the character on stage. We have the same thing happen here in Australia. I've discussed it with my co-puppeteer (Judy, my wife) and we think it's the expressive eyes. This "Magic Moment" thread is just so good! So..... now instead of putting our puppets away in bags until a gig or practice time, we've made room for some of them to share our lounge room and we put them on and just ad-lib with them. I'm sure doing this has helped our lip control and gets us more "into" the character we share our time with. It also strengthens muscles we use to work the puppets.
August 27 2011, 7:26 AM
I really appreciate all the great comments. Terry it's fun to hear that you have a collection on display in the house as well as performing with them! Thanks everyone for your letting us be part of your entertainment careers! Keep them laughing! Many more Magic Moment interviews to come. Ax
August 27 2011, 8:44 AM
Just a reminder to keep them coated with the Aerospace ? proctectant to help block the UV rays. And don't display them where the sun will hit them directly.
Enjoying every video, Steve
August 27 2011, 10:00 PM
It's not just the actual Magic Moment that I'm enjoying, but even the answers you get from the questions you ask about other things.
These Magic Moment videos have given me another idea I'd like for you to put in the back of your head, and maybe consider doing one day in the future. It would be interesting to see these pros bring the same exact puppet alive, and how one particular puppets voice and personality would change depending on the vent controlling them.
Again, I have learned, and I'm still learning so much from you and your web site.
I have also become GREAT friends with Terry Wild, a Vent and a magician from Australia. We E-mail each other daily and Skype each other every couple of weeks.
Thanks Again, Steve
Great Idea Chris
August 28 2011, 2:49 PM
Great idea Chris, I was thinking the same thing. See what name they come up with also. Would make a great "Show" at VentHaven too.
August 28 2011, 2:51 PM
I mixed it up to give it visual variety, but you will have the opportunity to see the Duck used at least 3 times in different interviews soon!
Fantastic Vents, and Fantastic Magic Moments
August 31 2011, 4:01 PM
For someone who will probably never be able to go to a vent convention because of other things in life having priority, I must say how much I want to thank you, and all the vents that you interviewed.
Their stories and Magic Moments are Fantastic!
The Hang on Monster Puppet
September 1 2011, 3:10 PM
As an owner of a Hang on Monster Puppet, I was so hoping that one of these puppets would eventually be placed in the hands of an expert, and you did not disappoint me, by selecting Al Getler.
What a terrific series!
September 1 2011, 6:44 PM
You need to pin this thread so it is easy to find. It will be a well used resource I think. From Pete Michaels to Mark Wade, they were all great!
September 1 2011, 7:53 PM
Yeah I think your series is not only a great one for it's content but your concept over all is fantastic. Seeing the convention friends and watching them take on a new character for the first time is not only informative but entertaining as well. This is something I've enjoyed first hand working out of the dealers rooms. Way to go Ax!
Great Job !
September 2 2011, 6:31 AM
Steve, Once again you have created something that will benefit all ventriloquist and puppeteers for years to come. This topic is one of those basic ideas that will help performers not only decide but to see that each character has many options in voice, character and style. As with all things you do, have done, and will do in the future Well Done !
September 2 2011, 7:38 AM
Really enjoyed the series Steve. Great information from some great vents! With all that was going on during the convention, it amazes me how you had the time to tape these. Thanks for sharing these with the ventriloquist and puppeteer communities.
Magic Moment Videos
September 2 2011, 9:26 AM
Mark Wade is a GREAT MAN!!!
Re: The MAGIC MOMENT discussion thread
September 3 2011, 9:28 AM
Holy cats, that's a lot of vids. I have some catching up to do! Can't wait to dive in.
September 4 2011, 10:33 AM
Steve must say that you titles this series correctly, they are all magic moments, all 15 of them. I have my favorite, as most others do as well. I would rather not say here who, so as not to hurt feeliing. I have watched each and all these moments closely and have culled some important points from them. All I can say is thank you for making this series, great job. Can't wait to see what the mind of Axtell will come up with next.
September 7 2011, 10:09 AM
This was great. The magic moment is such a clever idea.
I'd love to see more of this type of thing.
Steve, have you ever considered doing a video podcast? In it you could every month (or even every week) have this kind of interaction with performers.
Seeing these pros at work really helps everyone.
I'd love to see more with "Magic Moment" type things but also I could envision practice tips, character voice development, performance tricks of the trade, ad-libbing advice, and more.
In short, this is great and I think the comments here indicate that we'd all love more.
Thank you for all you do and for enriching this whole community.