The meeting is set at the Théâtre le Métropole (Paris, IIe).
This is where Jeff Panacloc rode, at the end of May, his new show, “Adventure”.
No question of slipping into the room.
Here, we work, we refine, but in secret, in front of a few lucky ones.
The result must be perfect before the tour, which starts on September 30 in Yerres (Essonne), and the six Parisian dates at the Olympia, in early January.
So we sit around a table to chat with this young 34-year-old dad, the biggest seller in humor, with 450,000 spectators on his last tour.
For once without Jean-Marc, his inseparable puppet, he talks to us about the past year, his film, which he will shoot this summer, and this new show.
Who will be, he assures us, more personal than the others.
How did you experience this whole period?
For the first confinement, I was at home in Paris, in my apartment, with my family.
I failed to work during this period.
I did not really experience it very well.
At one point, I imagined that my last date, January 25, 2020, would be the last of my life.
People started to tell me "we'll have to think differently, make videos on the Internet, question yourself".
I was completely lost.
Me, I was made to be on stage.
Nothing can replace the live performance.
And like a click, I started working on the new show on the day of the deconfinement.
The coronavirus has even become a character on the show
Yes, it is a green ball, very nervous, which makes the fingers of honor and which is very happy to have made the mess.
I needed to defuse it all, to externalize.
But in the rest of the show, we don't talk about it.
I didn't want to put on a diaper.
The comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Panacloc with his puppet Jean-Marc the monkey and ... the Covid, a very nervous green ball who makes the fingers of honor and who will make his appearance in his new show.
LP / Jean-Baptiste Quentin
We also meet, for the first time, the son of Jean-Marc, your puppet.
The second show was already a springboard to open the door to other characters.
People liked it.
And that allows me to evoke new themes, and to show that myself, I evolve.
People knew me when I was a kid.
I have often been labeled as the ventriloquist with an orange monkey who says bad words.
Today I want to show that I have grown up, I speak differently, I am interested in other things.
I'm talking about feminism, rape.
I wanted to initiate a shift, to convey messages.
And people validate all the more that it is Jean-Marc who says it.
There is an unexpected, surprising side.
Unlike your previous show, you wrote this one.
I am rarely proud of what I do.
But I think it will be a great show and that it deserves to be put forward more than the others.
Because I put a lot of myself into it.
After the first show, I was very afraid of not succeeding in renewing myself, I had relied a lot on my authors at the time.
There I was very inspired to write.
It's authentic and very personal.
We will be in the world of amusement parks, of which I am a big fan.
We take people in a roller-coaster from the start of the show.
And go on stage without Jean-Marc, do you think about it?
Never, he's my star, it's thanks to him that we're here today, it's our duo.
People are afraid that he will disappear when they see other characters land, but there is no risk, he is the boss, he validates the other characters.
You even tattooed his portrait, on your arms.
How was he born?
Completely by chance.
I had been interested in ventriloquism since a show I had seen in a cabaret.
I was 15 years old.
I found it in a magic store in the 15th arrondissement of Paris.
The owner of the store was called Jean-Marc!
I said to him:
Hey, I'll call him like you!
and it stayed.
You have two daughters, three and one year old.
Do they know Jean-Marc?
There is not too much at home, the older one knows that he is my friend, but I try not to mix everything up.
It is important.
There are no pictures of him at home, I want to protect them from all that, they will know soon enough what daddy is doing.
If they can not be fans of Jean-Marc, that will be very good.
With him, you will also shoot in your first film this summer, which will be directed by Pierre-François Martin-Laval, also starring Nicolas Marié and Claude Perron.
Why did you wait so long?
I have always been offered lots of projects, but I didn't like any.
It didn't suit me.
I love cinema, but performing artists who make films have not always been very happy.
And then, four years ago, a producer came to me.
And he asked me, "What do you want to do?
And that was the best question.
I didn't want Jean-Marc in synthetic images, things that were too convoluted.
They followed me until the end.
It's a big challenge.
What will this film be about?
We imagined our meeting with Jean-Marc and we tell how we became great friends.
It's a real road-trip, we are inspired by the great duets in the cinema such as Pierre Richard and Gérard Depardieu in “La Chèvre” or “Les Compères”, Gérard Lanvin and Benoît Poelvoorde in “Le Boulet”.
Films that I liked when I was a kid.
And in the movie, I'm not a ventriloquist.
Jean-Marc is independent, but he is very real, we are closer to the Muppet show.
It was important to stay in his DNA.
Ventriloquism is very physical.
How are you preparing?
It requires daily monitoring.
For the voice, it's tiring.
I try to practice everyday, I work as a singer, with a vocal coach.
And then recently, I also took a physical coach, I am starting to age, I have pain everywhere.
The position of the ventriloquist
(Editor's note: the arm always raised with a weight at the end)
is uncomfortable, especially since all the characters do not work the same.
It generates tendonitis, tension.
I didn't have that when I was younger.
And you have other desires for the future?
I ask myself lots of questions, I'm a fan of musicals, I would like to do a show where I sing and I play.
Take a little break, I think about it.
I never took too much time to breathe.
I have been doing what I love for ten years.
We think of the day when everything will stop, and I'm inevitably a little afraid of the descent.
When that happens, I will have a depression like any other (laughs).
For now, I'm putting a stack to make it as pleasant as possible.
Jeff Panacloc, “Adventure”
, September 30 in Yerres (91), November 5 in Le Havre (76), at the Olympia (75) from January 4 to 9, 2022. And touring around sixty cities in 2022.