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Axtell Learning Center

Axtell Learning Center / Puppetry, Ventriloquism, Magic
Many of the following links are to FREE information! Please share them with others who are interested in what you do!

Learn Ventriloquism with Axtell's "Ventrilo-Quick" T.M. by Steve Axtell

"The MAGIC MOMENT" Video Series - Bringing Characters to Life for the first Time" Steve Axtell interviews

"The Magic of Puppets"
by Steve Axtell (5 Articles on using puppets along with magic)

"Developing AXcellence in Puppet Manipulation" by Steve Axtell

"IMPROV TECHNIQUES for Puppets & Animatronics" by Steve Axtell with Frank Glab

"Puppetry for Beginners" Video Series - Tips by Colin Dymond

"DISCUSSIONS ON SHOWMANSHIP" Series by Tom Crowl

"VENTRILOQUIST SCRIPT WRITING COURSE" by Tom Crowl

How to use a Puppet without Ventriloquism

How to Market Yourself and Your Show

How to use Animatronic Remote-Control Characters in your Show

Adapt your Axtell Bird Arm Illusion so you can put it on in 2 seconds!

Questions and Answers - Frequently AXed Questions

Learn More in our Customer Discussion Forum

How Axtell makes Latex Puppets


Puppet Flocking Information (How to Flock a Puppet)

Visit our Axtell On-Line Puppet Catalog for more
instructional materials, Magic and our exciting puppets!


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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

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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 OPTIONS

1. 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 OPTIONS

1. 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 http://www.axtell.com/axtrax.html

I 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.
Ax

Steve Axtell
www.axtell.com

Axtell Puppets Home Page Link