TUPPER?LAKE -Ventriloquism is more than just not moving your lips when you talk, says Sylvia Fletcher, a Ballston Spa ventriloquist.
The hard part is that you have to play two characters at once.
"You're becoming Laurel and Hardy, you're becoming Lucy and Ricky, you're both parts of the comedy team," Fletcher said. "You have got to be able to do a banter back and forth and do it quickly and make it believable."
People don't realize how important acting skills are to ventriloquism, she said.
Fletcher, who performs as Silvia and the Magic Trunk, is playing several shows in the Tri-Lakes area next week, and will finish off with a benefit performance at the Tupper Lake Knights of Columbus on Saturday, May 16.
The show is a family comedy show and features several hilarious characters, including Chito, an hispanic opossum for whom English is a second language, and Smolder, a stega-dragon (a mix between a stegosaurus and a dragon) who billows smoke and sometimes gets in trouble doing so.
Fletcher's husband, Chris Fletcher, is a Tupper Lake native and still has family there. Since their marriage three years ago, he has taken on the role of managing the show, adding lights, music and other production elements.
"It's a wonderful dimension that has been added to the show," Fletcher said.
Ventriloquism is a full-time job for the couple, who have a variety of shows they perform, including educational performances that promote literacy, like they will be putting on at L.P. Quinn on Thursday, and shows that are more geared toward general entertainment, like the Saturday benefit.
Proceeds from the show will be donated to two neurofibromatosis foundations: NF R.A.C.E.R.S. (which stands for Raising Awareness to Cure, Educate, Research and Support) and the Children's Tumor Foundation, a national research fund.
Fletcher's 14-year-old nephew Ganon has NF, a genetic disorder that causes tumors to form on nerves anywhere in the body. He was diagnosed when he was four months old, and has had two tumors removed from his eyelid.
Ganon's mother, Kim Fletcher, founded NF R.A.C.E.R.S. to support local families dealing with NF by helping pay for hospital bills, travel expenses and other needs. The organization is about a year old and is based in Watertown.
Before May 16, tickets cost $9 for adults, which includes the admittance of two children for free and $4 for each additional child. Tickets for adults without children cost $7, and children 17 and under and senior citizens will be admitted for $4.
On the day of the show, tickets cost $10 for adults, which includes the admittance of two children for free and $5 for each additional child. Tickets for adults without children cost $8, and children 17 and under and senior citizens will be admitted for $5.
Tickets are on sale for the benefit show now, and can be purchased at The Washboard laundromat in Tupper Lake or by calling 518-359-2339 or 518-862-1404.