Update from Tom Crowl – A Jam Packed Day on Friday at the Ventriloquist ConVENTion

From Tom Crowl about Friday

This morning three workshops were offered – I attended Dale Brown’s comedy writing during the first session. Dale had some great tips and unique ideas for creating comedy with your character. He used his jockey figure to show the progression and it was my favorite workshop of the day. The second session I attended Elgregoe’s (from New Zealand) Magic workshop. Some good ideas magically, but the way he illustrated his points visually made this workshop worth my time. Val Hilliker also had a strolling workshop which I did not attend as strolling isn’t my thing.

I had lunch with Ken Lucas (Wednesday Night’s One Man Show) and really enjoyed hearing his stories about career and past conventions. Lunch sped by and then it was time for the group photo. I almost skipped this, but David Pendleton took me to meet Greg Claussen, who showed me his replicas as David brought his original into the room. I ran to get my bighead Deeder and posed next to them in the photo – then after posing for numerous pics, I was able to get my pic taken with Jimmy Nelson, his wife, Danny O’Day and Farfel – and of course, Deeder.

Suddenly time for the afternoon workshops. First I attended Mark Wade & Gary Owen’s Baby Cry & Polyphony workshop. Mark Wade does an incredible baby cry and distant voice. His teaching methods had one jr. vent doing the cry within minutes. I think it will take me a bit longer! After that, Dan Horn’s workshop was an eye-opening experience as he showed how he uses his hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder to create some unbelievable movement. He also demonstrated his arm rod techniques and has promised to give me a personal lesson tomorrow. Stephen Knowles presented a workshop on selecting audience volunteers which I was unable to attend.

Vent Videos with Jimmy Nelson featured the first showing of “I’m No Dummy” – which is great! This was probably the best documentary on vent I’ve seen. Before the evening International Show, I was sharing information with some of the vents I’ve met here – and before we knew it, we had missed dinner and it was time for the show. Stevo from Germany MC’d. Val Hilliker and her daughter opened the show. Her act was geared for little ones, which made the audience a tough crowd – but she did a good job and was well received. Elgregoe did some very funny magic and a routine with an Axtell Possum. Then came the evening’s star – the winner of Sweden’s Got Talent – Zilla & Totte. She charmed the audience and has a great singing voice.

Following the show, Jeff Dunham appeared with daughters and wife for the raffle – after that, Jeff presented two framed awards from the production company for his million selling DVD’s to the VentHaven museum. He then auctioned off a midnight tour – which went for a surprising $10,000 – and was won by his wife and daughters. It was a funny way for Jeff to match Terry Fator’s donation – an extremely generous gift! Then came the real auction which was won by a group of six – Steven Knowles, Stevo Schulling, Allen B. (sorry Allen – can’t remember the spelling), Lee Cornell, Ken Groves and …Tom Crowl. Jeff drove us over to the museum with his wife and daughters, we did the tour and Tom Ladshaw provided lots of trivia – photos were taken – it was a great time!

This was another highlight of Terry being at the convention! Click Here.

Tom, thanks for the great update.



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