A Blog Contribution From Ventriloquist Ony Carcamo

Last Saturday I posted a guest blog written by Bob Abdou about comedy writing.

Our friend from the Philippines, ventriloquist Ony Carcamo, sent in this contribution:

 

Vent Without Scripts
by Ony Carcamo
www.onycarcamo.com

After I posted a reply on Bob Abdou’s article here about being funny, I got an inquiry regarding using improv comedy in my vent routines.

Two years ago I started writing a book on this topic–improv comedy and ventriloquism–but I had to postpone the project when shows came in. So today I thought of giving you a few ideas on how I do these routines on stage.

Improv comedy uses no scripts, no preparation, no pre-show work. The comedy happens in real time, when the “players” (the actors: you, your figure, and a few members of the audience) struggle to think of what to say and do during a situation.

This is really frightening, especially in the first few times if you’re doing it live. You have no one to turn to but your own wit, guts, and fast thinking. But I’m sure you’ll be rewarded in the end.

I’d like to share with you one of my favorite improv games, called the “ABC game.” Improv groups I know usually use 2-3 players on stage. As a vent routine, there are two players: your figure and one audience member.

Because I use my male figure Mr. Parley in this game, I pick a female volunteer as his partner. I believe this makes the routine funnier because there could be a “love” angle later in the dialogue.

The game is simple: The audience gives a topic, say, “first date.” Then Mr. Parley and the girl should engage in a unique conversation where their lines should start in alphabetical order. For example, Mr. Parley starts with “A”…

Mr. Parley: Any place you want to go?

Then the girl answers with a line that starts with “B”…

Girl: Baseball game perhaps.

Then Mr. Parley, with “C”…

Mr. Parley: Crush, yes, I have a crush on you…

Then the girl answers back, with “D”… And this goes on until they reach the letter “Z.”

Since each player doesn’t know what topic the audience will give, and doesn’t know how the other player answers, the routine is really unpredictable. And that makes it always fresh and challenging for us vents.

To help you visualize this hilarious routine, I’d like to show you this clip from my show, where I did this game. Sorry we used our own language and you’ll sure won’t understand what we talked about, but listen how my audience loved this bit, which I do regularly in my adult shows.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYcTF1IgblI

Hope this gives you an idea on how to do improv games in your act.

Ony Carcamo, Ventriloquist
www.onycarcamo.com

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Thanks, Ony for your contribution.

 

Dan
www.ventriloquistcentral.com

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Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to: http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com

Copyright 2010 by Dan Willinger

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2 Responses to A Blog Contribution From Ventriloquist Ony Carcamo

  1. LeeDean says:

    Very good, Ony. At a boyscout camp in KY back in 1950 I did something like this with another youngster to entertain the other scouts, only difference was total improv: I made statement, anything that came into my head, and other fellow would respond, anything that came into his head, and we went on and on. One would think totally confusing but just enough connection between the statements that gave it some rational sense, and my first experience or experiment with linquistic thought progression which is what it really is, syntactic semantics.

  2. LeeDean says:

    And whether it be the soft play on word, or hard hat humor, it can all be reverse engineered to see syntactic semantics at work in comedy writing.

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