3) This seems to be an on going convo a learning experience for the young and older readers... so lets keep it going...Is there a video anywhere of Wilma and her World of Puppets... Does ventriloquism play a part in your act or is it more puppetry?
Go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPFh33kwV2I and you'll see me performing at the 2008 Vent Haven Ventriloquist ConVENTion for approximately 8 minutes.
If you want to see the trailer for "Figures Of Speech", go to this address.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEK-v1gG9Z8
3) Now its your turn I am going to let the pipelines open real wide and let you explain your program to the utmost degree leaving no stones unturned... How you practice to prepare for each show
I practice mostly without using the traditional mirror. I will practice sometimes while driving to the store or to a gig which often I get asked at a traffic light, who's in the van with me since they can't see anyone but they know others are there because they say I couldn't be doing all those voices. (Some people can't read signs on your vehicle.) I usually do a couple of complete run throws minus the puppets prior to a show and then I'll do several dress rehearsals where I'm actually using the puppets so I can get the right facial or manipulation poses for the bit.
then How you put your program together, what you do to prepare for each program,
To put a program together, I first find out if the client has a certain theme they're working with so I can tie my show into it. Next I sit down and start writing a storyline and after I'm satisfied with the storyline then I go back in and put the jokes and music in it and assign characters. Prior to a show I like to have between 5 - 10 minutes of quiet time with no disturbances just to get my show and me in sync. The time in Lewisburg, PA. at the prom after party, my show faltered because I didn't have that quiet time because of the emergency I got roped into that occurred thanks to a previous act that flew the coop. I went right from saving a student to appearing on stage. I didn't even get a sip of water prior.
how you get your audiences involved, both young and senior groups
My audience gets involved in oh so many ways from when Sandy Twinkletoes walks thru the audience and does something to guests like fans them with her wings because the person is sweating or stops when she sees a camera and poses for it. When Sandy gets to the stage, she starts off getting the audience to dance with her...dances like "The Ostrich Dance", "The Holy Bible", "The Mr. Six Dance", "Hora", Zorba The Creek's Dance" and "The Mummers' Strut". During each skit the audience either comes up on stage with the characters or answers questions that the characters ask. Explanation of Sandy Twinkletoes' Dances:
1. The Ostrich Dance.....It's the Chicken Dance without the chicken.
2. The Holy Bible.....It's The Hokey Pokey with the words changed.
3. The Mr. Six Dance.....The dance that the bald man with the bus from the Six Flags, Great Adventure Theme Parks
4. Hora.....The Hanukkah Dance
5. Zorba The Greek Dance.....The same dance that was used in the movie with the same name
6. The Mummers' Strut.....A Philadelphia, PA. traditional on News Year Day.
How many programs you perform daily where you perform and how one differs from another.....ect.
Right now I'm just starting to book more shows. Since last October when my neck locked in place during a show which the cracking of the neck was so loud it was heard thru my clip on mic, I've had 3 neck surgeries then the month of April of this year I spent in the hospital and finally found out what was wrong. Diverticulitis which just last month I learned how to pronounce what I had. This actually almost had me quit performing until the doctors were able to regulate my meds so I can still perform without an attack. Prior to getting ill, I was doing quite a few shows a month. This one month during the summer of 2008, I did 7 shows and 1 parade in 1 weekend alone. I loved the money but when Monday came, I loved my bed.
Are there any books or videos you've read anyone you emulate? Lets keep this going and keep it growingBooks I've read are Dummy Days, Mark Wade's book on performing, One Way Street's books on promoting and running your business, plus a book on Clown Ministry. I also have books on the Muppets and Sesame Street.Paul Winchell, Mark Wade, Dan Horn, Terry Fator, Jeff Dunham, Jim Barber and Shari Lewis videos I love watching because you can learn a lot from watching the masters at their craft. I even went as far as to retape "Stop, Look amnd Laugh" with The Three Stooges and Paul Winchell where I can now only see the Paul Winchell segments.