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Ventriloquists take over for VentHaven 2014

HEBRON, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- The International Association of Firefighters met at the convention center in downtown Cincinnati,

But you wouldn't find Cincinnati fireman Denny Baker there.  He was taking in seminars on marketing and joke writing at VentHaven 2014.  Firefighting is his day job, ventriloquism a serious hobby he took up when he was 10.

"It paid for college. It paid for cars. It's been great to me," said Baker.

Baker's puppet, Arnold, was in good company at the airport Marriott.  The VentHaven Convention was a welcome stop for travelers on an alter ego trip.  Everyone seemed to have a buddy there.  All ages.  All levels.  Everyone was willing to let their weird friend get a word in.

Ventriloquists were there this year not just to show off but to swap secrets and polish their craft.  Ventriloquists from 16 countries were in northern Kentucky for VentHaven 2014.  There were open mic shows and seminars.  The trade show offered everything from puppets to software that turns a photo on an iPad into a puppet.  Technology may enhance what these folks do, but at it's core was still comic sleight of hand and tongue.

Annie Roberts of VentHaven Convention Media said, "I think about actors who play two roles in a movie and people are like, 'Ohhhhh that actor's playing two roles.'  That's great.  Ventriloquists do that every day onstage, live."
   
They will end the weekend with a live show fundraiser.  Jay Johnson will be the headliner. Denny Baker will perform, too.  The Sunday show is at 3p.m. in the auditorium of Notre Dame Academy in Park Hills.  All the proceeds go to support the VentHaven Museum in Fort Mitchell.

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