Vent Haven ConVENTion Simply Fantastic

ws berger awards

You know for years now my partner, Steve Hurst and I, have been telling all of you, you must attend the Vent Haven ConVENTion if you have any desire to be involved with ventriloquism on any level. And this year again was living proof of that claim.

The registered attendance this year was the highest ever hitting 610 which is just fabulous. Last year was a record at over 530 for Jimmy Nelson and I never thought it would top that but the new beginnings in the Cincinnati Airport Marriott Hotel may have been an added reason for the spike in attendance.

The hotel was fabulous and the staff of this hotel bent over backwards to help you with anything you could possibly need. It was always their pleasure. That statement resonated from them all weekend. It was joyous.

Oh yes the ConVENTion. Well it really is just too much to put into words. The shows were fantastic. The open mics had everyone rolling on the floor with laughter until wee hours in the morning. And the big evening shows were fantastic. Workshops gave you everything you could possible want to know by some of the best in the business.

I was super impressed with the last big show, Saturday night my good friend and mentor Bob Isaacson performed with his Frank Marshall creation Speedy Wheeler and I just loved it. The throw back to a more simple time and style of performance was great and I can say that Frank’s creation still shows incredibly well on the stage today!!

I celebrated my 63rd birthday there on Friday July 20th and my wife Helen made a nice small party for me. Then to top the birthday evening off Steve and I were both honored by receiving the W.S. Berger Distinguished Service Award.

Can I say BLOWN AWAY??

Steve and I have worked tirelessly promoting ventriloquism and this award, being presented to me in front of 600 plus people, well I think you can imagine. I am proud and humbled by the experience. I only wish my friend, and “brother by another mother” had been able to be on that stage with me. However, I can guarantee you that Steve is basking in this glory anyway!!

Come on folks and make sure you make arrangements early and attend ConVENTion next year. The dates are July 17-20, 2013. Mark your calendars. You will not be disappointed.



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:

Copyright 2012 by Dan Willinger

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18 Responses to Vent Haven ConVENTion Simply Fantastic

  1. bob abdou says:

    a reward well deserved and now you both know you are appreciated

  2. Bob Isaacson says:

    As Bob Abdou said…”Well Deserved” both you & Steve. Many, many hours each day devoted to the Ventriloquist Central. Serving all the Vents, with advice, history, figure makers. etc., etc…on & on. We certainly appreciate all your efforts. Congratulations to Dan & Steve.

  3. Mike Palma says:

    How great is that!!! Congratulations!!! You both deserve it!!!!

    Best regards,

    Mike Palma

  4. Dan and Steve, What else can be said but that you too work tirelessy to promote both the convention and the art of ventriloquism. If I may say you my friend ar the W. S. Berger of our age. Starting and sharing your own collection. It was an honor to meet you and I will never forget walking into the hotel for my first conVention and who is the first person I see YOU ! thanks for making me feel a special part of this community. Both you and Steve deserved this honor.

  5. Congratulations Dan and Steve for a well deserved honor!

  6. Lou Grabow says:

    Congratulations and I’ll echo the “well deserved” comment. Top notch guys!!

  7. P. Grecian says:

    Congratulations, you guys! Sorry I wasn’t there to see the look on your face, Dan. I’ll bet everybody ELSE who WAS there smiled and nodded and turned to their neighbor and said, “Of course!”

  8. jerry fitzpatrick says:

    Super job, Dan! Congrats to you and Steve!

  9. Bill Matthews says:

    What more can be said or added? Dan, Steve, you both deserve that award. You work long and hard and your efforts are GREATLY appreciated. Thank you so much for all you do. So let me add my congratulations to two well deserving individuals. CONGRATULATIONS!

  10. Ben Vee says:

    Congratulations guys, well done :)

  11. Jacki Manna says:

    Dan and Steve, your tireless efforts have never gone un-noticed but now it is official. Your contributions to the world of ventriloquism have enriched many lives and careers. Thank you for being a servant leader!

  12. John Savale says:

    My first conVENTion was so memorable! Dan,it was so good meeting you! I hope Steve can make it next year.The award you received is definitely well deserved. What you two do for the ventriloquist fan base is extraordinary! I hope to definitely see you both next year.

  13. BILL NELSON says:

    Well, Dan, to say the award is long overdue is an understatement. To say it`s about time, is an unfair statement to those who choose who receives the W. S. DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD each year; But to say that it couldn`t have been given to two more perfect recipients than you and Steve, is right completely accurate.
    NO TWO deserve it more.
    You`ve raised the bar like no one else ever has.
    With respect for both of you and your tireless gifts to the community of ventriloquists, collectors and fans,

  14. Kenny Croes says:

    I’m glad my first time at the ConVENTion coincided with your receiving a well-deserved award. You and Steve do so much to honor and promote our art form. And it was a treat meeting you in person and spending a few minutes talking. I look forward to seeing you (and hopefully Steve, too) at next year’s gathering.

  15. Sammy King says:

    The service and information you are making available to us all is so valuable. Thanks, fellows, and a well deserved “CONGRATULATIONS” to you both.

  16. Bob May says:


  17. Ron Scherer says:

    Dan and Steve, You guys are the BEST ! Thank You for your never ending and tireless work to bring the very best to the ventriloquist world. This Honor was well due to both of you. Ron Scherer and Liza Krug.

  18. sandy mau says:

    Congratulations guys!!..Keep up the great work.

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