Do you have a show?

Or do you have a collection of skits and routines?

I see a lot of ventriloquists pull out a puppet and do a short bit. They throw it back in the trunk, pull out another and do another short script. This continues for 30 – 60 minutes.

But is that a show?

Not in my opinion. (I will explain why in a minute.)

The “puppet after puppet” style is usually the product of an uneducated vent. They use all types of excuses. Short attention spans. It makes the act look bigger. The audience gets to see more puppets.

The truth is, it is hard to develop a real personality for a character. A unique voice and style. To make it seem truly alive in the minds of the audience.

It is much easier to pull out a puppet and do a script from a book you purchased that was published in the 1960’s. Your puppet doesn’t need a character in this scenario.

What is a show?

A show has an overarching theme. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. There is a path for the audience to follow. It has an outcome.

That is where the “puppet after puppet” style suffers. It gives people something to watch. But it goes nowhere.

To get an idea of what I am talking about, watch one of David Strassman’s shows. You can get them on DVD at Amazon. They have a theme. Each routine fits into the next and carries the plot. The transition between characters makes sense.

Take a look at Steve Petra’s productions. His shows use multiple puppets to carry a message throughout. The characters continue to interact even after they leave the stage.

Study a 30 minute sitcom. They usually have a plot. Something happens that requires a solution. And it happens in an orderly progression.

Time spent studying and learning from other sources will help you adapt to create something unique. Then when someone asks, “Can you do a show?” You can honestly answer yes.