Strassman’s “Be Careful What You Wish For” show is everything Sale wished for.
The world’s most in demand ventriloquist, David Strassman, landed in EBBWEC last Wednesday to a warm reception.
Alternate realities and parallel universes are just the humdrum in Strassman’s “Be Careful What You Wish For” show, which sold out in December 2011. The audience were awestruck as Strassman manipulated his puppets, but it became unclear just who manipulated whom, as the puppets, Chuck in particular, progressively infiltrated Strassman’s mind. The outstanding animatronics and projected graphics were almost as impressive as the ventriloquist’s skills, as he controlled the puppets from across the stage.
The performance was thoughtfully adapted to suit an Australian audience, with the addition of tactful in-house gags and Koala Bear, the Australian alter ego of another of Strassman’s puppets, Sid Beaverman. Despite a minor slip up in referring to Koala as a “bear” (which was promptly rectified) and a few limp jokes by Strassman’s assistant A.N.G.E.L, the performance was full of side-splitters, skilful puppetry and an abundance of raw talent.
Truly an experience, “Strasso” will entertain Australian audiences for years to come; mind-bending humour at its best.
DMT has shown me the reality that there is infinite variation on reality. There is the real possibility of [independent, constant and] adjacent dimensions. It may not be so simple that there’s alien planets with their own societies. This is too proximal. It’s not like it’s some kind of drug, it’s more like an experience of a new [organic] technology than a drug. You can choose to attend to this or not. [The adjacent realities DMT brings you to] will continue to progress without you paying attention. You return not to where you left off, but to where things have gone since you left. It’s not a hallucination, but an observation. When I’m there I’m not intoxicated, I’m lucid and sober.
Excerpt from ‘DMT: The Spirit Molecule’ by Dr. Rick Strassman
DMT: The Spirit Molecule: A Doctor's Revolutionary Research into the Biology of Near-Death and Mystical Experiences
From 1990 to 1995 Dr. Rick Strassman conducted U.S. Government-approved and funded clinical research at the University of New Mexico in which he injected sixty volunteers with DMT, one of the most powerful psychedelics known. His detailed account of those sessions is an extraordinarily riveting inquiry into the nature of the human mind and the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. DMT, a plant-derived chemical found in the psychedelic Amazon brew, ayahuasca, is also manufactured by the human brain. In Strassman’s volunteers, it consistently produced near-death and mystical experiences. Many reported convincing encounters with intelligent nonhuman presences, aliens, angels, and spirits. Nearly all felt that the sessions were among the most profound experiences of their lives.
Fear of ventriloquist’s dummies is called automatonophobia. It also includes fear of wax dummies or animatronic creatures.
History of Ventriloquism
Originally, ventriloquism was a religious practice. The name comes from the Latin for to speak from the stomach, i.e. venter (belly) and loqui (speak).The Greeks called this gastromancy (Greek: εγγαστριμυθία). The noises produced by the stomach were thought to be the voices of the unliving, who took up residence in the stomach of the ventriloquist. The ventriloquist would then interpret the sounds, as they were thought to be able to speak to the dead, as well as foretell the future. One of the earliest recorded group of prophets to utilise this technique was the Pythia, the priestess at the temple of Apollo in Delphi, who acted as the conduit for the Delphic Oracle.
In the First Book of Samuel in the Hebrew Bible, King Saul (who lived in the middle of the 11th century BCE) seeks advice about a coming battle from the Witch of Endor, who supposedly summons a spirit. The Hebrew text can be translated as a voice speaking from a jug, or wineskin, typically ventriloquism. One of the most successful early gastromancers was Eurykles, a prophet at Athens; gastromancers came to be referred to as Euryklides in his honour. The New Testament (Acts 16:16-18) relates the story of a girl who had a “spirit of Python” (ἔχουσαν πνεῦμα πύθωνα) and followed Paul and his companions around the city of Thyatrira, crying out after them.
In the Middle Ages, it was thought to be similar to witchcraft. As Spiritualism led to stage magic and escapology, so ventriloquism became more of a performance art as, starting around the 19th century, it shed its mystical trappings. Other parts of the world also have a tradition of ventriloquism for ritual or religious purposes; historically there have been adepts of this practice among the Zulu, Inuit, and Maori peoples.
Emergence of ventriloquism as entertainment
The shift from ventriloquism as manifestation of spiritual forces toward ventriloquism as entertainment happened in the eighteenth century at the travelling fairs and market towns. The earliest recorded ventriloquists date back to as early as 1753 in England, where Sir John Parnell is depicted in an engraving of William Hogarth as speaking via his hand. In 1757, the Austrian Baron de Mengen implemented a small doll into his performance.
By the late 18th century, ventriloquist performances were an established form of entertainment in England, although most performers threw their voice to make it appeared that it emanated from far away, rather than the modern method of using a puppet. A well known ventriloquist of the period, Joseph Askins, who performed at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London in the 1790s advertised his act as “curious ad libitum Dialogues between himself and his invisible familiar, Little Tommy”. However, other performers were beginning to incorporate dolls or puppets into their performance, notably the Irishman James Burne who “… carries in his pocket, an ill-shaped doll, with a broad face, which he exhibits … as giving utterance to his own childish jargon,” and Thomas Garbutt.
The entertainment came of age during the era of the music hall in the United Kingdom and vaudeville in the United States. George Sutton began to incorporate a puppet act into his routine at Nottingham in the 1830s, but it is Fred Russell who is regarded as the father of modern ventriloquism. In 1886, he was offered a professional engagement at the Palace Theatre in London and took up his stage career permanently. His act, based on the cheeky-boy dummy “Coster Joe” that would sit in his lap and ‘engage in a dialogue’ with him was highly influential for the entertainment format and was adopted by the next generation of performers. (A blue plaque has been embedded in a former residence of Russell by the British Heritage Society which reads 'Fred Russell the father of ventriloquism lived here’).
Fred Russell’s successful comedy team format was applied by the next generation of ventriloquists. It was taken forward by the British Arthur Prince with his dummy Sailor Jim, who became one of the highest paid entertainers on the music hall circuit, and by the Americans The Great Lester who used only figure, Frank Byron, Jr., and Edgar Bergen. Bergen popularised the idea of the comedic ventriloquist. Bergen, together with his favourite figure, Charlie McCarthy, hosted a radio program that was broadcast from 1937 to 1956. It was the #1 program on the nights it aired. Bergen continued performing until his death in 1978, and his popularity inspired many other famous ventriloquists who followed him, including Paul Winchell, Jimmy Nelson, David Strassman, Jeff Dunham, Terry Fator, Shari Lewis, Willie Tyler and Jay Johnson. Another ventriloquist popular in the United States in the 1950s and 1960s was Señor Wences.
The art of ventriloquism was popularised by Y. K. Padhye in North India and Mr M M Roy in South India, who are believed to be the pioneers of this field in India. Mr Y K Padhye’s son Ramdas Padhye took from him and made the art popular amongst the masses through his performance on television. His son Satyajit Padhye continues to carry on the legacy of his grandfather. Similarly, Mr Venky Monkey, Mr Mimicry Srinivos and Mr Shanthakumar, the students of Mr M M Roy, popularize this art by giving shows in India and abroad.
Ventriloquism’s popularity waned for a while, probably because of modern media’s electronic ability to convey the illusion of voice, the natural special effect that is the heart of ventriloquism. A number of modern ventriloquists have developed a following as the public taste for live comedy grows. In 2001, Angelique Monét performed on Theater Rowher one-woman off-Broadway show Multiple Me(Written by Edgar Chisholm) where she portrayed several personalities using multiple dummies to display the shifts. In 2007, Zillah & Totte won the first season of Sweden’s Got Talent and became one of Sweden’s most popular family/children entertainers.
Have you ever heard of the zero escape series? Probably not, and that’s a problem. Bear with me here, read this post you won’t regret it, I’m going to change your life for $5.
Back in 2010 a DS game was released with very little to-do titled 9 hours, 9 persons, 9 doors
It was a hybrid of:
Visual Novel and:
Escape the room game! If you’re a fan of EITHER of those the game is worth picking up just for that half alone, since both the visual novel aspect and escape the room sequences of the game are outstanding by themselves, but together they form an amazing game.
The story itself is pretty simple, Junpei(The dude in the checkered shirt who’s taking the main character spot) wakes up in a ship that’s sinking, he was kidnapped, by THIS guy:
His name is Zero, and he’s playing a game with Junpei and eight others called the Nonary game. Everyone is wearing a bracelet:
Numbered 1-9, and there are 9 doors on this ship:
Numbered 1-9. The party must go through numbered doors in groups so that the digital roots of the numbers on their bracelets is the same as the door. A digital root just means you keep adding the individual digits of a number together until you get a single digit number, like so.
347; 3+4+7=14; 1+4=5, so the digital root of 347 is 5, and the people wearing bracelets 3,4, and 7 can go through the door together!
The only way out of the ship is through the number 9 door, hidden somewhere on the ship. The catch is that the ship is set to detonate and sink in nine hours, and they each have miniature detonators in their bracelets that will go off if they break the rules.
That’s the gist of the story but there’s so much more than that, who is Zero, why are they on the ship, why are THEY specifically, on the ship? The plot twists and turns so much that when I finally finished all eight endings of the game and got the true ending I just laid in bed and stared at the ceiling for a bit.
I can’t emphasize enough how good the story is, I played the game four years ago and to this day I STILL think about just how good it is.
Now, two years later, in 2012, a sequel came out for the 3ds titled Virtue’s Last Reward.
I can’t really talk about the story at all with out spoiling 999 so I’ll focus on the improvements.
And a fully voice acted game featuring a cast that includes Liam O'Brien, Wendee Lee, Laura Bailey, Troy Baker, and Karen Strassman, among others.
Now maybe I’m just a crazed fan, and the games actually suck, let’s see what the big game reviewing sites, notorious for not caring about games like this and only focusing on and giving good ratings to big name games says:
Virtue’s Last Reward:
I’ll let that speak for itself.
Here’s the problem though. In February, the head director said that Chunsoft has put the third game on hold indefinately as sales of Virtue’s Last Reward were not high enough in Japan. This is devastating, and has left hundreds of thousands of people worldwide in the lurch, with the possibility of there being no conclusion to a compelling series that they’ve invested four years in. You can help though! If you have anything that plays IoS apps, smart phone, apple computer, tablet, anything, you can get 999 here from the app store for just $5! Please get it here, don’t buy used off of ebay, if you buy used then Chunsoft gets no profits or additional sales, which doesn’t help the cause of getting a third game out at all.
If you play through and enjoy that(You will) buy Virtue’s Last Reward(New) online, as it’s nearly impossible to find in stores for some reason.
One last thing, if these two franchises are familiar with you:
Kotaro Uchikoshi, the head director of 999 and VLR, is good friends with the director of Danganronpa, and was the scenario writer for Ever 17.
So in conclusion, please, give it a try, help save the fanbase of a unique series in a time when the market is overrun with the same cookie cutter money grab games that have little to no thought put into them or the people playing them.
Help us seek a way out.
Edit: Thankfully most people reblogged this as a link, so I can just put this here, I didn’t realize this at the time and I’m very sorry for any one was misguided, but the iOS port does NOT have the escape the room sequences, they’ve been novelized, if that’s a deal breaker for you, my solution would be to purchase the iOS app to help support the series, since buying a used DS game won’t, and then emulating the DS game on your computer, if you’re unsure of how to do this, just send me an ask and I’ll help you out!