Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Monday, August 27, 2007

"Belly Talkers," the Movie

I watched "Belly Talkers" on the Ovation cable network last night. It wasn't really a history of ventriloquism as advertised, but it was fun to watch. The movie was made a little over 10 years ago and features many of my friends in a segment about the convention.

The segment about Tim Selberg begins with him sketching a figure's face as he listens to his answer machine. Some calls were from customers asking when their figure would be delivered. Others were from potential customers begging him to return their calls. During his interview, he was carving a Walter clone. I didn't know Tim made any of the Walters.

The interview with David Copperfield must have been made before it was revealed that the Charlie McCarthy he bought at auction for $100,000 was not the original.

No mention of Jeff Dunham. Lots of exposure for Ronn Lucas. Lucas said that hard figures are too difficult to manipulate effectively. "Just a head on a stick." Lucas's main client base was corporate work then. One clip was at a corporate gig. It showed his routine about talking to his hands, including the veiled reference to another appendage and the relationship between the unidentified appendage and his right hand. I thought corporate shows were supposed to be squeaky clean. Apparently not. It got me wondering where the line is you can't cross.

I don't think I'll watch Ovation network much again. At first the commercials came every seven minutes. At the half-hour mark, that number started to reduce. At the end it was every four minutes. That was really annoying. Particularly since most of the commercials were about other shows coming up on Ovation network. Made me gnash my teeth.

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