1-PRACTICE every day-in front of a mirror-work on your lip control-manipulation-memorizing your lines-being comfortable with your figure-bring your vent friend wherever you feel good and happy with him, in a car, in your bedrooon privately,a family gathering, in front of the TV. If you wish to work without the use of your friend (vent figure) then try singing to your favorite songs with out the use of your lips.
2. Try not to copy someone else's work, even though copying is a form of flattery, each ventriloquist must be different, or soon it would get boring, a vent is just like anyone else. What is good for you? What do you feel right with? Talk to people, what makes you do the the things you do? What makes you, you? Do you like animal figures, what type, do you like?What about people figures, should they be silly looking or regular, and should they be hard figures made of wood or soft figures made from synthetics and clothe?...Each has its own advantage.
Begin practicing without letting anyone discourage you, (talk you out of it). If you have no figure as yet you can use a sock or just your hand. Now that you have gotten your friend you need to build a world for him his background, sit and talk with your friend, ask him questions such as where were you born, how old are you ? Do you have any brothers or sisters? What kind of work does your father do?
3-Hey if I get into ventriloquism, is it going to be here for a long time or is it just a fly by night hobby? Well thats up to you, vent has been around since the beginning of time,(note from NJ) you might want to read my history of vent a few weeks ago. Are there places I can go that other people with the same likes go? Of course, there is the christian vents who meet in July and the Vent Haven Convention in Ft Mitchell KY where over 400 vents get together to share, they also meets in July, you might want to search them out on the internet or by scrolling down on this page left side and clicking on to its site. People of all ages go to this convention, children from 8 to seniors in their 80s. Terry Fator won the number one spot on America's Got Talent, and is now appearing in his own theater in Las Vegas as well as Jeff Dunham who holds the record for Comedy Central's most watches show for a ventriloquist ever in his own specials and has gone triple platinum, not once or twice but three times. In the 1950s and 1960s while growing up in NYC I was forturnate to see many of the then current ventriloquist among the best of the best were P Winchell. Shari Lewis Edgar Bergan Senor Wences, Jimmy Nelson and before that I saw Max Terhune in the western movies, what a wonderful time to have grown up.
4-Choose your own character, and have him do his own routine, don't steal from others, have your show ready to go at all times, be prepapred at the drop of a hat. I am not saying that this is an easy trick, but with practice it can be done. The professional vents work long and hard at their craft, they practice every day, remember the old joke HOW DO YOU GET TO CARNEGIE HALL??? PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE>>>
5. What can ventriloquism do for me? No matter what your profession if not a full time vent you can add ventriloquism to your profession, be it sales, medical teaching and adhance it, Your sales would grown duew to more people listening, your patience would pay more attention to your advice because they are listening to someone their size telling them its good for them and your students would learn faster because they are finding what they are learning more interesting. If you go to a hospital to a childrens ward some of these kids wouldn't open up but they will if its a puppet doing the talking. Sometimes if you get special permission , you might be able to stay with children right up to the time of their operations, it gives them comfort. Bring along smaller less expensive puppets that these children can play with, teach them how to work it, not everyone but the special kids, what joy and happiness you can give them. If their are brothers and sisters they might have fear for the sibling so allow them as well to assist in the play time. With the use of these figures sadness can turn to happiness over night by the child talking through the figures.
6-I see ventriloquism being used in comedy, ministries,childrens parties, magic shows, singing, corporate events, scouting, hospitals, street fairs, conventions.
7-Many of us got interested in ventriloquism when we were children, but more and more of us seniors are getting into ventriloquism as we retire. Some of us got into vent to help us earn money to assist our educations. You can educate with them by using them to talk about bullying, or what goes on in a hospital, or what my mother/father does for a vocation, what did you do on your last vacation? ect. The kids love this because its like talking to one of their peers, as does both the teachers and the parents in an assembly, because they see children open up that wouldn't necessarily do so.
8-The first assembly I performed was for a 'return to school' I put a program together on 'medical scaries' and why you shouldn't be ... that was a topic that needed to be addressed to the classes K-5. I developed a program with a couple of puppets and performed with a buddy which the class, teachers, and parents loved. I am now performing for children in my hospital on the children intensive care ward on why not to have the scaries before an operation, the doctors performing the operation, the parents and the siblings are all present when the show goes on. It eases the nerves of the children and they come forward and ask many questions that have not been addressed as yet.
Make your specialty what your adept at and make the lives of those your entertaining easier to handle and happier. Hope you enjoyed this little piece. Dr. Jim/ rewritten with his permission.
This fine entry was given to me by a Dr. Jim who is a friend of mine. He thought it would be something that someone might pick up on and play it forward..I hope you enjoyed it. If you have any stories similar or not like this please be so kind as to send it along. The readers and I would very much appreciate it. N J Even when Dr. Jim just walks the childrens ward he wears a clown nose and baggy clothes and all the children perk up when he enters the ward they are on. A one in a million person, Thanks Dr. Jim