Ventriloquism is in the news these days. Thanks in part to the major stars who have made it visible on television.

But with visibility sometimes there is hostility.

Recently I’ve read some very negative comments about our art.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

Online, the ability to say something negative while hiding behind a keyboard and username has taken abuse to a new level.

A few months ago, a young teen in my hometown was seriously thinking about taking her own life. She posted this on a popular social media platform, looking for help. (Not exactly the best place but she was in a fragile state at the time.)

Some of her “friends” encouraged her to do it.

Luckily, her cry for attention brought help. She is now being treated. But imagine the impact on a soul reaching out and being told to kill herself? What is wrong with people?

Everything has critics. Sometimes the critic is informed. But more often these days, they have no clue. They just want to express their opinion or try to start an argument.

It is as true with art as it is politics, sports, religion and more.

Some people are sincere. Others are driven to complain by their ego. They don’t feel they get the respect or notoriety they believe they deserve.

Feeding the second type only results in more venom spewing forth.

Did you know Jeff Dunham reads his bad press? He once told me he did. But he doesn’t respond to it. He puts it down and ignores it. He prefers to concentrate on the good stuff. And there is plenty of that!

So if you encounter a critic, determine if they are trying to be hurtful, or helpful. Then treat the criticism accordingly.

P.S. – I’m going to start taking my own advice.