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  Joe's Bio
  Joe Gandelman spent nearly 20 years in the newspaper business before he decided to dash it all and become a full-time ventriloquist -- a change that now has him performing coast-to-coast at fairs, festivals, schools, corporate events and on television.

Gandelman had tried ventriloquism as a child in Connecticut. After getting his B.A from Colgate University and a Masters in Journalism from Northwestern University he began a newspaper career that included freelance work in India, Spain, Cypress and Bangladesh. He wrote for papers such as the Chicago Daily News, contributed to Newsweek and National Public Radio and was a Special Correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor in Madrid.

He returned to the United States to become a staff writer on the Wichita Eagle-Beacon and the San Diego Union. In the 1980s he did ventriloquism again to relieve stress -- perfecting his technique by carefully studying and constantly practicing materials in a mail-order ventriloquism course.

Gandelman went full-time due to the encouragement of legendary ventriloquist Jimmy Nelson, star of the classic Nestles commercials. Nelson critiqued one of Gandelman's tapes and, in a meeting with Gandelman, suggested he might think of "going pro." A newspaper colleague soon dropped dead of a heart attack and Gandelman got into a near fatal car accident. He decided "life was too short" and began pursing a childhood dream.

In November 1990, he left his job as a San Diego Union staff writer after nearly 10 years to do ventriloquism full-time. He had few bookings lined up and received little help from agents.

Gandelman has since become a highly booked -- and rebooked -- family entertainer and educator. He opened for national musical groups, performed at Camp Pendleton before a speech by former Pres. Ronald Reagan and was seen on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. He has performed at schools throughout the West, comedy clubs, the San Diego Zoo, fairs and festivals across the country and many corporate events.

He and his wooden dummies and cartoon-like latex puppets have also appeared in family variety shows at California big stage venues such as San Francisco s Palace of Fine Arts, San Jose s Civic Auditorium, Oakland s Paramount Theater, and the Anaheim Convention Center.

His act features comedy, music and lots of audience interaction. Gandelman has a large cast of state-of-the-art wooden and "soft" figures. His main character is John Raven, a wise-cracking boy who frustrates him at every turn. John and Joe are as popular when doing adult corporate entertainment events, as when doing children s private parties, Scouts blue-and-golds dinners, holiday shows, strolling entertainment or comedy clubs. At the end of every adult show Gandelman suddenly becomes a comedian, doing several minutes of topical standup and customized comedy material without his characters.

Gandelman is the author of the highly acclaimed Tips from a Pro book and tape set for ventriloquists, published by Maher Studios of Littleton, Colorado. He has also published Super-Simplified Ventriloquism, a book on his system for learning ventriloquism quickly. Gandelman is listed in Who s Who In Entertainment and is included in the nationally distributed The Great Ventriloquists trading cards.

He and his wooden friends were featured in Public Interest Media s anti-teasing video "It s Not Funny," which was nationally marketed by the nonprofit California group to 35,000 middle and high schools across the country. His school assemblies have been acclaimed for their use of big laughs to communicate and help students retain serious information on themes such as anti-drug, anti-tobacco, character, respect, no teasing/no bullying, patriotism, diversity and pro-reading. Gandelman released an audio CD, Super Simplified Ventriloquism, which uses lots of laughs to teach basic ventriloquism techniques to kids and adults .

Gandelman has appeared on various local news and morning shows in cities such as Columbus, GA, Evansville, Indiana, and Las Vegas, Nevada. In July 2001 he and John Raven appeared on the NBC-TV series Spy TV, a hidden camera comedy. In the hidden-camera stunt, John Raven came "alive" when Joe left the room and asked a four-year-old child to help him run away from the mean old ventriloquist.

Gandelman continues to work on a variety of independent and assigned writing projects, including special articles for the Jane Goodall Institute s website An avid reader, Joe Gandelman is one of the top-ranked reviewers at
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Corporate Shows
Fairs & Festivals
School Assemblies and Family Nights
Anti-Bullying Program
Adult Private Parties and Group Shows
Children's/Family Private Parties, Shows
Scout Troups
Learn from Joe

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