I have more than a personal reason for wanting to create this page though, as I believe that to the vent
community, he was an invaluable asset, an asset that lives on through his books.
As I read "Ventriloquism Of Today" and "Ventriloquism Plus TV Ticklers" (another of Paul's books), it was very clear to me what type of ventriloquist Paul Stadelman was.
I saw a ventriloquist who truly loved the art of ventriloquism.
A vent that didn't believe in shortcuts or excuses when it came to practicing the art. I don't believe he would have accepted statements I have heard and read at times that basically said, "lip control is not important".
I saw a vent who was very imaginative in his use of the art and in promoting it, and who had an interest in seeing ventriloquism grow.
There is more I could write on this, but hopefully, anything I could say will be made clear through these pages.
One last and very important note;
I would like to thank Paul's son, Ron Stadelman, for his help on this project.
Right from first contact, Ron was more than willing to help in any way with info and materials, etc.
So, again, Thank You Ron, all of your help is greatly appreciated!
Below is a picture of Ron and Paul from "Ventriloquism Of Today",
(hope you don't mind Ron, it's a good picture).
For excellence as a performer, teacher,
and author, his dedication to the art,
his creation of VENT-O-RAMA, and his
assistance to others, his fellow
ventriloquists confer upon him
the title of
Paul Stadelman was not only a ventriloquist.
Before vent became his primary focus, Paul had a few other accomplishments behind him.
The following is a newspaper article concerning a run-in Paul had with thieves as a merchant
after attaining experience as a wrestler in the army in World War I, he
so forgot himself as to decide to turn professional,
and also opened a gymnasium......"
"Then, from 1932 to 1937, Mr. Stadelman realized a boyhood ambition and became a magician, touring, during the depression,
small time theaters and second-rate clubs."
(Quotes from "Ventriloquism Of Today" by Paul Stadelman).
"Like most professionals, the author is self-taught, but it is a little known fact that I learned in two weeks.
This is the way it happened.
I was playing a return date as a magician. The booker asked me if I could do a "vent" act, so I said; "Sure!" He booked me for two spots on the show. I wired a dealer for a "vent" figure and while waiting for it, started to write material and practice lip and voice control."
Even in those days,
ventriloquists were scarce, and altho I had worked on the same bill
with several, I had never handled a figure.
I had a fair idea of how to use the voice, but wasn't sure. To make a
long story short, the manager was so enthused that he said I should
junk the magic and stick to vent. I never did tell him that he was
paying for my debut, as a ventriloquist."
("I learned a lot of things in those two weeks. It has taken me several years to "unlearn" some of the mistakes,.....")
(Quote from "Ventriloquism Plus TV Ticklers" by Paul Stadelman).
"Two scenes from the Holsum Bread Company's Magic Show on which Paul had a long run.
The top picture shows Windy in his costume as the "Holsum Kid".
Below we see Paul with guests of the show and the television crew."
(Quote from "Ventriloquism Plus TV Ticklers" by Paul Stadelman).
(Caption quotes from "Ventriloquism of Today" by Paul Stadelman)
And Gary also sent me scans of the front and back of one of Paul's flyers for the figures he sold which were made by Jack Coats;
I recieved the following info and pictures from Gary Koepke;
Paul Stadelman used to use the plastic Danny O'Day with the headstick at
many of his kidshows back in the 60's to get them involved. He'd invite
them up, teach them to do the "buzz", and give them a skit to perform. The
whole thing probably took 10 minutes or less, but he said that it went over great.
I'm a big fan of Paul Stadelman, too. I only got to meet him once.
It was at the 4 day 1970 Vent-O-Rama (which he started) in Colon, MI. It
was really a thrill, but, like so many things that happen when you're a
teenager, I didn't really understand the significance at the time. I've
got a few pictures of him, but thought he'd always be around. I entered the
junior vent contest that year and he told me that he thought if I practiced
regularly, I would probably win the junior contest the next year. He passed
away the following spring, but he was right. At the 1971 Vent-O-Rama (which
was the Paul Stadelman Memorial Vent-O-Rama) I won the junior contest and
the originality award. I think that will always be special. I purchased
the Ventriloquism of Today book from him, but failed to get him to autograph it.
Well Dave, the Vent-O-Rama's were 3 days long and Colon, MI is only about 1
square mile and it only had about 2 or 3 restaurants in it. I did get to
talk to him quite a bit and since it was a convention we all had lunch and
dinner breaks at the same time, so chances were good you'd see each other at
dinner, etc. I was already familiar with who Stadelman was before I went
there and had written him and gotten his price list of his books and the
figures that he was selling. I made a point of asking a lot of questions
about things that he'd written in his articles and he was willing to
demonstrate some of them for me. The Vent-O-Rama's were a lot smaller than
the conVENTion's in KY, so you really got to know people and talk to them
regularly while you were there. I went to those conventions for five years
and really learned a lot from talking to the older "pro" vents while I was
still in my early teens. It was great!
Another Stadelman story: We were eating lunch at the local "Taste
Freeze" and Paul ordered a couple of hot dogs. As the girl placed the hot
dogs on the counter, Paul made the hot dogs yelp like a dog that had just
been kicked. I thought that the girl was going to die!
I don't know if they're useable or not, but I knew Dave would want to at
least see these. Here are 2 pictures that are 27 years and 2 weeks old...
pretty good memory, huh? They're kinda old and faded.
Stad1 is a photo of the late Paul Stadelman with 'Windy' Higgins' taken in August of 1970 at the Saturday session of the Colon Vent-O-Rama which Paul founded. Great photo of a great vent and person. Notice how informally Paul is dressed. Paul died the following spring so this is about 6-8 months before he passed away from cancer. This was the last time I saw him.
Stad2 is a photo of Paul and 'Freddy L. Ferguson' taken on the Friday before stad1.
He performed with the bear for the beer company. A few years after the gig ended, Paul got a call from the company and wanted to know if he wanted the bear... they had been cleaning out the storage area and figured they'd never use it again. Paul bought the bear for $50. A year after he passed away, I saw it offered for sale by his widow for $500. I don't know who bought it or where it is today, but it was a cute figure. I believe it had rolling eyes and winkers. The only trouble with it was the weight. Jack Coats told me it was fiberglass covered with fur and the movements were stainless steel. It went over great with kid shows and such.
And here are the pictures Gary sent to go with the info he sent;
Here's one I recieved from Les Lamborn;
I went to college in Chicago and I think the way I came across Paul was
looking for vents in the Yellow pages. I called him, found out where he
lived and took the elevated train and bus out to his home. I bought a
figure from him which someone else had made (he was the retailer for who
ever it was). I didn't like it so much but it fit my budget, at the time. I
saved from the shows I did and went back to Paul and bought an Essancee
figure. That was a combination of Stadelman and Coats (Jack Coats).
Paul was a very kind man. He encouraged me and gave me some tips about
vent. He told me many stories of Chicago vents. He owned 3 or 4 figures
that I saw. I don't know that Paul ever made any figures, he modified many
or improved the way a certain movement worked. He was a good vent and a
promoter of vent and of his abilities. He had lots of news clipings of
classes he taught, of some new angle for performance & etc. I met his
figure Windy Higgins. I must say I enjoyed every visit I had with Paul.
Here is a picture that appeared recently for sale on ebay;
Here are scans of a four page Essancee "catalog" I bought recently;