Axtell Learning Center

Radio Interview with Steve Axtell from Magic Broadcast’s “BACKSTAGE with Michael Young” MP3 format, podcast ready.

Part 1 – History of Axtell Magic Part 2 – AxTrax CDs demonstrated Part 3 – Ventriloquism and Q&A

HOW TO USE A PUPPET WITHOUT VENTRILOQUISM Many people ask me how they can use a puppet in their magic show if they are not a ventriloquist…

DON’T BE INTIMIDATED by Ventriloquism! Please don’t think you must be a vent to use a puppet. No vent is better than bad vent! Good ones ROCK, but if you are not good yet….keep practicing and don’t attempt to perform as a ventriloquist on stage until you are pretty GOOD!While you are learning…. you have a lot of OPTIONS on how you can use a puppet in your show….NO VOICE OPTIONS1. WHISPER TECHNIQUE. Tell your audience that your puppet is shy. Have the puppet whisper in your ear. Now you tell the audience what he says. As you tell them, he could be shaking his head “yes”. Sometimes get it wrong and he double takes at you! This technique is really fun and requires no voice!2. ALL ACTION. All Manipulation no voice. No whispering. Just actions that convey the obvious thoughts of the puppet. This can really be fun. The puppet can do a lot without saying anything and it can be the best part of your show. Watch this video of Bill DeMar & Feldon the Frog Puppet and you’ll get the concept of “All Action”.VOICE OPTIONS1. TURN YOUR HEAD AND TALK – When the puppet is talking, turn your head sideways looking at the puppet….this will hide your mouth and misdirect attention to the puppet creating a strong illusion. DON’T SWEAT IT! If you try to fake vent, and are not skilled yet, you will draw attention to your awkward mouth positions and poor clarity. The audience will be uncomfortable and will be looking at the lack of skill. Kids will even say “you’re doing the voice!” It will not be your greatest moment. So just be a puppeteer and move your mouth (looking at the puppet) and they will immediately let it go and get into the puppet character. Remember that most kids today have probably not seen a ventriloquist in action yet, like you did as a kid when they were on TV every week.2. VENT YOUR FEELINGS – You can do it! It took me 3 months but I didn’t do it publicly for a year….now I’ve been doing it for 20 and am pretty comfortable in most situations. You can start by avoiding any hard words… keep it very short and simple and build as you go. We have a lot of teaching books and DVDs that will help you learn this exciting art!3. TECHNOLOGY BABY! USE AxTrax ROUTINES ON CD! We have put together VERY FUNNY routines on CD with the puppet’s voice, sound effects, a song and music for you. You can easily put them on your IPOD or sound control system. When you perform with the CDs in your show, it looks like you and the puppet are talking! They are used by hundreds of professionals in their shows. I have a video and more info at am not saying do not learn vent….I am saying LEARN VENT but while you are learning you can rock and roll with puppets in your magic show…..NOW!More on how to use a puppet without Vent here. AxSteve Axtell