Southern Gazette (Victoria Park) - - Training & Education - Sara Fitzpatrick

CO­ME­DIAN David Strass­man has a valu­able snip­pet of advice for novice ven­tril­o­quists: go to univer­sity and be­come a doc­tor.

The LA fun­ny­man best known for his pup­petry act star­ring Chuck Wood and Ted E. Bear, launched his ca­reer in New York at the be­gin­ning of the city’s comedy boom and decades later has a well-earned spot in the lime­light.

“The en­ter­tain­ment field has the largest un­em­ploy­ment of any pro­fes­sion on the planet – some­thing like 95 per cent of artists and ac­tors are un­em­ployed,” Strass­man said.

“In non-fic­tion book Out­liers, this gentle­man tries to de­ci­pher what makes peo­ple ex­cep­tional in their ca­reers and he found out that it was hav­ing 10,000 hours of prac­tise.

“That’s a lot of hours and so I spent al­most 12 years per­form­ing my show and I got that 10,000 hours in. I lit­er­ally worked my way up from open­ing act to mid­dle act to head­liner and moved out of the comedy clubs and into theatre, where I turned my show into a pro­duc­tion.”

Strass­man and his beloved pup­pets re­turn to Perth next month for a new show about the per­ils of tech­nol­ogy.

“I em­brace tech­nol­ogy – the iPhone has com­pletely changed the way we live: it has killed alarm clocks, cal­en­dars, the com­pass, maps, taxis,” the ven­tril­o­quist said.

“My show is about the fact that I can’t get Chucky and Ted E. off their de­vices. There is too much screen time in their world and I think that’s one of the prob­lems we all have – we use our phones in­stead of our imag­i­na­tions.

“Peo­ple will sit around at a pub and the ques­tion comes up ‘who won the rugby tour­na­ment last year?’, no one uses their brains, they pull out their phones and Google it.

“It’s great to have that in­for­ma­tion at our fin­ger­tips but we’re not us­ing our brains as much; there’s a whole gen­er­a­tion out there which re­lies on screens rather than know-ledge.” LA ven­tril­o­quist David Strass­man and Ted E. Bear come to grips with an iPhone.

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