I contacted Dan Willinger this week and we have put our differences behind us. Dan has a great site. The interviews as well as the information are overwhelming!
There is a great deal of effort put into these websites so please fequent them as much as possible. http://www.ventriloquistcentral.com/ and http://mercurye.com/ventriloquism
I do however have a problem with the forum. A forum is to discuss information not to drag people across the carpet. I noticed a thread about conversion figures. Everyone was taring them apart and criticizing those who make them. There are three of us who sell them on ebay. Kenny Croes, Jack Jackson and myself. It seems we were all being badgered.
Although I make conversion figures and these people are "competition" in the market place, I have contacted each of them at various times and complimented them on some of their ideas. That's what "professional people" are supposed to do. I get a kick out of the people on Dan's forum who rip apart conversions and call them "junk". They themselves have probably never built a model car let alone any kind of figure. "Walk a mile in a mans shoes lest ye judge him."
It's like gradeschool. One person criticizes and then the rest follow so they "fit in." I though maturity does away with that. I guess in some cases it doesn't.
Conversion figures have been a mainstay for beginner ventriloquists since the 1920's. The first vent dolls that were on the market were converted and used by professionals in their acts.
There's that term again. Professional. Wheen I was young I was lucky enough to be on Paul Winchells "Winchell Mahoney Time" which was taped in both New Jersey and New York. I was in the bleachers with the other kids wearing my Jerry Beanie. Paul was a very nice man. There was no showboating. He was real and down to earth. When the show was over, he spent hours talking to the kids until their parents dragged them home. I told him I wanted to be a professional ventriloquist when I grew up. He laughed and said you can do that now. I said to him well, all I have is a Danny O'day that my parents bought me. He's not a professional dummy. Paul smiled and said "You know what a professional dummy is?" I said a big one? He said not at all! Senor Wences's Johnny is only 20 inches tall! He then said " A professional ventriloquist dummy is one who has made money in his field. Until then, big or small, he is just an amature!"
It took years before I realized what he meant. So there's that word. "Professional" If some of these "Ventriloquists" who find the need to criticize those who don't make what they consider professional dummies could be half as "professional" as the figures they brag about, the ventriloquist community would be alot friendlier. It's a shame. A dying art that is helping get killed off by negativity from within.
I posted a picture of one of my conversion figures next to one of Dan Payes heads. Not much of a difference in size.
I also posted a picture of a stage figure I am in the middle of making for a friend next to Dan's.
Peaches has been put on the back burner. I have alot to do and orders come first. For all the people who feel I should list my ebay figures as conversion figures, I have done so and will continue to do so. They'll still find something to put down. That's what they're best at.