I had an interesting talk with Ken Groves, my second in command for the Vent Haven ConVENTion. He told me that he had talked to some vents who attended in previous years and was shocked to learn that many did not practice their vent, nor handled their puppets until a week before and for a week after the ConVENTion. Their growth in our art was stunted, and I too was amazed to learn of this.
Ventriloquism is an acquired art! It takes practice several times per week (if you are not actively doing shows) and it takes determination to learn how to do it correctly. Leaving your vent pal in a trunk for a year, only to dust him off prior to the ConVENTion is not the way to go to be a polished performer.
Now some may say, “But I only do a little vent for the neighborhood kids, or my local club or church..why make a big deal about it?”. EVERY time you bring out a puppet and claim to be a ventriloquist your are representing not only yourself but all of us. People will judge our art by how YOU are doing to present it. If you do poorly, then we will hear comments by the general public of how “old fashioned”, or “vent sucks”..ad nauseum. You may be cutting someone else out of a vent job because you did not do your homework, you did not keep up.
Now I am not demanding that you be a professional vent. All I am asking is that you practice enough not to embarrass yourself or our art. We all love ventriloquism,, so show your love of it by doing it correctly. ALL of us will thank you for this!
To contact Mark: firstname.lastname@example.org