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Sunday, November 22, 2009


C. GREENE 39 DAN HORN 66 TAYLOR MASON 64 J PIZZI 45 T Fator 62 Mark Wade 61

There is still time to add your vote everything can change or grow its all up to you....
send it to me at and I will update it. I know that most of the readers have not replied to this request for whatever reason...there is still time, hopefully I will get flooded this month in my e mail with your votes ....


Inmate Joe was extradicted from communist China to Hong Kong under the capable hands of Master Deputy Bob Walsh from the Norfolk Sheriff's Office. Joe is in full restraints: Leg shackles, waist chain and handcuffs so he doesn't try any monkey business. No more escapes this time around for sure. We will depart Hong Kong at 11:30 AM, Friday, 11-20-09 via Continental Airlines. Jeremiah, the hard headed student will be coming along for the ride as a participant in the sheriff's "Scared Straight" program.

Wrapup for China was 29 vent shows in the Yew Chung International Schools, local schools and Beijing church. Our travels brought us to Hong Kong, Shantou, Beijing, Shanghai and Taiyuan. Few, if any, of these kids had seen a ventriloquist before. In the local schools, none had ever seen a ventriloquist before. They were all excited. We got an invitation to return in a couple of years. We climbed the Great Wall of China where Inmate Joe was tracked down on his escape from jail and the steps of the Summer Palace. Our luggages got lost temporarily from Shanghai to Taiyuan but were delivered two days later unharmed. We had to re-schedule our connecting flights from Taiyuan, China back to Hong Kong due to a snow storm.We got to see a Cave House in the countryside where poor farmers live. I had never seen a Cave House before with someone actually living in it with the temperature about 15-20 degrees. Amazingly, it was lukewarm inside. They say the hills keep it warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Amazing.Fly back to the states tomorrow with the boys, Inmate Joe and Jeremiah.Happy venting,Bob Walsh

Thank you Deputy Bob for sharing with our readers your story about your trip to China I am sure most of the readers from around the world have enjoyed it...keep those cards and letters coming.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Sometimes I act before I actually stop and think. I had decided to go to Vent Haven in 2009 when I read about the Open Mic. You apply, if you get in to one of the ten openings, you get six minutes in front of everyone at the convention. You’re also videotaped and critiqued by working pros. It sounded like a great deal. So I sent in my name and waited. When the list came out I was number ten out of ten. Needless to say I was excited. My excitement soon turned to panic when I realized; now I needed an act.
I’ve been performing most of my life. Magic, juggling, balloons, and ventriloquism have all been in my show for decades. But I never really considered myself a real ventriloquist. My technique was very sloppy and the jokes old chestnuts. (Certainly not anything suitable for the premier ventriloquist convention in the world.) This was the stomping ground of Dunham, Johnson, and Nelson just to name a few. I needed to get to work. I knew immediately I would never be able to up my technique in time to impress anyone. Then I remembered Jeff Dunham once mentioned comedy was harder than ventriloquism. This was my loophole. If I were funny enough, maybe they wouldn’t notice how bad I was.
When I perform I always first figure out my character. It’s been said a magician is just an actor playing the part of a magician. Since I wasn’t a good ventriloquist, that would be my starting point. I’m someone who can’t do ventriloquism, but is too dense to know it. Next I need a figure. Well, if my character were really dumb, he would wait and buy a figure at the last minute, not rehearse, and wing it. I then considered what type of figure this loser would buy. Better yet, what type of figure would he get “stuck” with. A good salesman can spot a sucker a mile away and this guy is a sucker. So what is the silliest thing someone could try and pass off as a puppet? The answer, a stick. Ventriloquist figures use a dowel, much like a broom handle, as the control stick for the head. So why not just sell him the stick. From that everything else just fell into place. His name would be “Rod” and Rod is a “stick puppet”. Terry Fator won America’s Got Talent by doing singing impression. I decided I would also do impressions, but without singing or even talking. The first gag would be to put a cowboy hat on the stick and call him “Woody” for Pixar’s A Toy Story. A small blond wig and it’s super model Twiggy. A pair of sunglasses . . . Shaft! I was on a roll and soon had more than enough material to fill the six minutes.
I became worried. This is after all a ventriloquist convention. I needed to at least make an attempt. Rod needed to talk. I also thought this would catch people off guard. They would think this is just a prop joke, the stick talks and while they react to that, I hit them with another joke. Well, I spent a lot of time with hinges, drills, springs, and too many splinters trying to gimmick a dowel to split and return without any real success. Then it hit me. I’m a fake ventriloquist with a fake act and a fake puppet; why not make it a fake stick. I took a section of PCV pipe cut and hinged it. I ran a piece of elastic cord through the inside. I wrapped the whole thing is wood grain shelf paper and rod was born. As the final touch, I took a briefcase and created an old fashioned looking ad (“Hey Kids! Learn Ventriloquism for only $1”) and stuck it on the top. I was now ready.
I arrived at the convention and was a little apprehensive. These are people who love the art of ventriloquism. They make their living doing what I was about to spoof. Sure, I thought it was funny but would they? The Open Mic was early in the convention, so this could be a very long weekend. As I watched the others perform before me, I started to get “flop sweat” before I had gotten a chance to flop. I comforted myself by thinking back to one of the fist acts I saw the night before; A ventriloquist with a headless dummy. Everyone loved it. Well, I thought, no one had ever heard of me before tonight and if it tanks, I can just go back to Alabama change my name and take up herding goats.
When all was said and done, everyone seemed to enjoy the act. Many people wanted to have their picture taken with Rod, not me, just Rod. I even had several offer jokes based on the act’s premise. The next day Dan Horn used part of the act as an example in his lecture about puns. (I hope that was a good thing) The weekend was great. I made a lot of new friend and saw a lot of great real ventriloquist. I’m already planning for next year. If I make it into the Open Mic, I can’t tell you what I’m doing, but I promise you it will be weird.

Darrell (the Doctor) Osborn

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Peter Rolston deserves a star on the BC StarWalk Of Fame

Want to make a point perfectly clear Peter deserves a star on the Starwalk, yes its way over due and a petition needs to be signed for his family to reach that goal. My question is, if a celebrity who deserves a star should die before given one, they have to go through this petition signing before he could get it?? To be given a star on the walk is more of what he did during his lifetime and should he pass, have no bearing on whether he should get one or not...But it is so then lets all sign it and get him is well deserved star. Peter belongs to the masses he has placed smiles on many people who could have gone that day without one had it not been for him... A persons talent is taken from us when they cross over but their memories stay with us for many many years possibly even a lifetime... His body of work needs to be recognized and honored and I for one say yeah!!! GIVE PETER ROLSTON HIS STAR....


We think it is about time that Peter Rolston SHOULD GET A STAR AS WELL.

Peter Rolston was born on January 12 1936 in Vancouver BC. For twenty years he entertained hundreds of people through his very popular children's shows on BCTV. The first Pete's Place aired on July 19, 1965. Others were privileged to see or hear his act on cruise ships, exhibitions and festivals all over cities and towns in our western provinces. Others were entertained at children's birthday parties and adult parties. He also gave his time to make children laugh at BC Children's Hospital and the Variety Club Telethon. Those of us who grew up in the Lower Mainland remember fondly witnessing Peters talent as a comedian, magician, and ventriloquist on local television programs In 1960, the year BCTV was born as CHAN TV, Goeff Theobald, engage Peter as a recurring novelty performer in Fun Fair our live Saturday kids' show. As a ventriloquist, he excelled in breathing life into otherwise inanimate objects, but he soon proved versatile enough as a performer to become a featured character on Side Show Planet Pals and finally, Pete Place. Because of Peter Rolston's influence there is a new generation of children's entertainers carrying on his legacy.


Alan Watson sent a message to the members of Magic New Zealand's **NEWS FLASH**. --------------------Subject: Broken Wand - John Booth Message from John & Tammy Calvert We just heard from Norm Nielsen that John Booth passed away last Wednesday. In January when we were in California, Bill McIlhany and his wife drove us to see John and his daughter. We met Dr Ragatz there and we all went out for lunch. John ate well and he even had a desert, somebody said he loved deserts. He was in very high spirits that day. John Booth and John Calvert has been friends for many many years. They are both Leos and John Booth is one year younger than John Calvert. Their birthdays are within a few days apart. John Booth was a prolific writer of magic and travelled the world making documentaries on film. He wrote, "John Calvert has reached the mountain tops of existence and has opened windows through which we can peer." John Booth. Thank you John for all you have done for the magic fraternity. Rest in peace. We love you.

Whaley's Who's Who In MagicCopyright by;, reproduced with permission.; Booth, Rev Dr John (William Nicholls), LittD, MIMC (Meadville, Pennsylvania: 7 Aug 1912- ) Inspired at age 10 by a magic set. Learned at age 14 from W.J. Armstrong ("Armah"). Semi-pro at 15 (in 1927). Edited-published Canada's second (after W.G. Edwards's Edwards Monthly) magic magazine, The Canadian Magician's Digest (1929, 3 issues). Organized the first Canadian magic convention (Hamilton, Ontario) 18-19 Apr 1931. Pro 1934-Mar 1940, as a prominent society, nightclub, & hotel magician. In 1938 also worked alternate venues as "Jancini". 1937 Sphinx Award.Then an ordained Unitarian minister (1942 until retired in 1975). Part-time pro celebrity platform lecturer 1943-58, touring world-wide. 1977 AMA Literary Fellowship. 1983 SAM Hall of Fame. 1985 & 1988 H. Adrian Smith Literary Award; 1987 Magic Circle "John Nevil Maskelyne Prize".Invented Pull-Down (late 1920s) & Booth's Baffling Block (1928). Wrote over 400 articles (since 1928) for Linking Ring, Sphinx, Genii, & Magicol. Also (since 1930) 12 books on magic: Super Magical Miracles (1930), Forging Ahead in Magic (1939, 154pp; reprinted 1944), Marvels of Mystery (1941, 146pp; reprinted 1946 & 1963), The John Booth Classics (1975, 252pp, being a reprint of the two previous books plus "A Conjurer's Reminiscences"), Psychic Paradoxes (1984, 243pp), Wonders of Magic (1986, 289pp), Dramatic Magic (1988, 243pp), Creative World of Conjuring (1990, 268pp), Conjurians' Discoveries (1992, 274pp), The Fine Art of Hocus Pocus (1996, 287pp), Extending Magic Beyond Credibility (2001, 272pp), Magical Mentalism. Also wrote books on religion, travel, & genealogy as "John Nicholls Booth": Fantastic Destinations, The Quest for Preaching Power, The Story of the Second Church in Boston. An index of his 1963-88 Linking Ring articles is Ben Robinson & Amy Janello (editor), Memoirs of a Magician's Ghost (1988, 243pp).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Ina, Myself and the oldest vet............................ Color Guard 2009 vets show
'he served in WW1'
Glee Club 2009 vets show

Thank you to all the guys and gals in all our armed forces from the Hall of Mantazuma to the seas of the world, the blue skys of Europe to the wheat fields of the USA these guys and gals stand for the right of freedom and will help the world fight for their rights where ever it might take them in all the corners of the globe...Thank you for all you have done and continue to do to get the job done.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Carl Ballentine billed as the Great Ballentine has passed away in his sleep by natural causes. His early fame came from the TV show McHale's Navy. He was also seen on many of the variety shows of the 60s and 70s, where is magic never came out quite right. Carl was 92

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mallory Lewis daughter of the world famous Shari Lewis, who has performed for 4 generations and kept me smiling when I was a child with her Lamb Chops, Hush Puppy and Charlie Horse wishes to say
"Hey All!!
Lamb Chop and I are appearing at COMIX (hot comedy club in NYC) on Sunday Nov 8th! Show starts at 8PM, hope to see you there!"

If your in the area be sure to visit her your will be glad you did if you were a fan of her mom's she will bring back the memories.