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

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Head to Head

Sonny's new head is completed except for the wig, which is on order. Here are the original Sonny and the new Sonny side by side.

The new Sonny has several improvements over the old, as follows:
  • Side-to-side self-centering eye movement
  • A precision jaw fit in place of the leather neckpatch
  • Sculpted, painted palate instead of the red cloth in the original
  • Ball and socket neck
  • The seam between the head's front and back is filled in
  • Contemporary paint job
  • Contemporary headstick controls.

About the controls. Here are pictures of the old and new controls.

The old control, which was a mouth lever only, is made from two lengths of stiff coat hangar wire bent to form the lever and interface with the jaw.

The new controls are positioned the way Micheal decided he wants them. He uses soft figures in his act and wasn't sure what would work for him, so he stopped by the workshop one day and tried out the figures I have here. He liked Dexter's controls with the jaw lever under the forefinger and the eye control in front for the thumb, so that's what we emulated.

Here's a heads up. Watch for the name Michael Harrison in the days to come. He's about to be famous, and he's about to add significantly to the credibility that ventriloquism has gained in the past couple of years.