Joe Gandelman Comic Ventriloquist & Friends

Joe Gandelman Comic Ventriloquist & Friends Logo

Basic Information

Address: 2260 El Cajon Boulevard, #165, San Diego, CA 92104
Phone Number: (858)240-7860
Fax Number: (619)295-5036
Director: Joe Gandelman

Action Shots

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Additional Information

Focus: Interactive, FUN assemblies with requested strong-content messages.
Grade Levels: Pre-K, K-5, 6-8, 9-12
Length: 40-45 minutes but can extend to an hour with how to do ventriloquism bit at end.

Try to drive regionally but if necessary fly. Try to avoid travel expenses by routing or other cost-cutting techniques for schools.

Pricing: Reasonably priced, although can vary. Base price: One assembly $475, two $600, three $700. DISCOUNT for two schools set up same day by schools BIGGER DISCOUNT if several schools book during several days (can pick theme of choice).

Most assemblies include a short how to do ventriloquism bit at the end where a student gets up and tries a dummy. More extensive workshops can vary, depending on the school. A school in New Mexico hired Joe Gandelman & Friends to do a special 45 minute ventriloquism show followed by a 45 minute how to do ventriloquism workshop for K - 12. Kids of all ages- -- particularly the high school drama club -- got up. Schools have asked and gotten the show extended to an hour to include a 15 minute workshop to coincide with dismissal time, asked for three assemblies plus classroom visits, and invited Joe to appear, speak and perform at high school career days (as a writer and performer).

Residencies: Call with proposal to discuss.
Setup: Roughly 30 minutes or less.
Takedown: Less than 30 minutes.
Equipment: I do have sound equipment, but if I fly I can't take it (too weighty). I always suggest that if schools have sound they have it set up if they can and if it's better than mine or the same I'll use theirs. I have a small system and a bigger system with an amp.
Special Requirements: If I have to fly, two mike stands (one for the mike and one for a dummy chair top that screws on the top). School should have any sound equipment set up if possible. Ventriloquism can NOT be done in the round. Gym shows are the toughest but if there is decent sound they are OK but they setting and accoustics are not as good as a multipurpose room or auditorium (but I've done many successful shows in gyms). If the school has any kind of a stage, the show looks better there -- but it is not critical.

Joe Gandelman's assemblies feature a BIG CAST of high visual puppet, dummy and volunteer segments that have proven popular a schools of all levels. Although San Diego based, shows are performed all over and there were two special 8 month tours of schools in the U.S. and Canada. Joe's VERY BIG cast includes dummy John Raven (who can wiggle his ears and stick out his tongue), a bear, water-squirting elephant, fame-smoke blowing dragon, "magic" drawing board, two dogs, talking pizza, talking plant, shark, turtle and crying/smiling baby. Interactive segments include a student wearing a "ventriloquism mask" which makes the student a living puppet with a voice magically talking, the how to do ventriloquism segment and, if set up for music, ventriloquism lip sync. Schools can pick a regular ventriloquism/puppetry show, a show with a theme such as anti-bullying, reading, Internet safety, character --or get a customized theme at NO additional cost.

Mission Statement:

School assemblies don t have to be EITHER educational OR fun -- they can be BOTH...which is why Joe Gandelman & Friends visit some schools year after year after year. Another reason: students AND teachers ask for him to come back.

Joe uses his famous Learning Through Laughter Technique, which mixes entertainment with serious information so kids laugh -- and RETAIN. All shows are geared to each age group, and if there's a mixed audience an adjustment is also made. Schools can choose from one of Joe's themes, or ask for a customized theme which can be done at NO ADDITIONAL cost.

Philosophy/Belief Statement: As many educators know full well, kids of all ages can learn and blossom if they're also having fun. So the goal is to give a top-of-the-line full, entertaining show that could be done without a theme in a family fair show (and in fact, the shows are) or at a family night -- but with serious content. A school can pick one of the existing themes, or ask for one at no extra charge. Content is not only inserted by Joe: when he visits a school he will ask administration if they have any key concepts they're teaching the kids on their requested theme. He can weave themes, key points, and slogans ("Be a Hero of the Hallways...Stick your neck out for your friends..Healthy Choices...) into the show in a way they'll retail. After the assembly, kids will remember the fun of the show and also retain the concepts. FOOTNOTE: Some schools have used the show for a reward assembly or asked Joe (who has Bacherlors and Masters degrees) to a pre-test assembly.
Program History:

The first assembly was performed in November 1990, shortly after leaving the newspaper to do ventriloquism full-time. From November to 1990 this timeframe also included 1)being included in The Great Ventriloquist trading cards, b)appearing on NBC's SPY TV hidden camera show 3)appearing on VHI's "The Cho Show," 3)taking a version of the show (without the theme) to fairs all over the country.

Testimonials: A large number of testimonials are on the official Joe Gandelman website on the front page and when you click on Joe's Shows and look at the school assembly page. Here are a just a few: "Highly entertaining and extremely informative!" -- Carlton Hills Elementary, Santee, CA. "Excellent...Students and staff learned, laughed and experienced a message presented in a novel format." -- Mesa Verde Middle School, Poway, CA "We were so delighted! I have been telling principals of all our district's schools to book one of your assemblies!" -- John C. Fremont School, Merced, CA "A dream come true! This show is definitely a TEN!" -- Genada Elementary School District, Grenada, CA "Did the topic of our choice!" – Meadows Elementary School, Huntington, WV “Just wanted to thank you for a wonderful performance today. The students were so engaged and LOVED your jokes. The teachers loved watching their students become involved!”– The Alexander Dawson School, Las Vegas, NV “Teachers’ comments were ‘I’m raedy to start bake sales, if I have to, so we can have him back next year!” – Mammoth Elementary School, San Manuel, AZ “Our middle school students loved this assembly. The message about bullying is a very good one! He did the message with laughter and positivity. Thank you!” -- Wind Gap Middle School, Pen Argyl, PA “Very impressive! Our students really enjoyed the show!” – Rankin Jr. Sr. high School, Rankin, TX