Today we have a guest post by Mark Wade that I’d like to share with you:

An old adage goes “Behold the turtle..he makes no progress until he sticks out his neck!” And we could use that same analogy when it comes time for all of us to be creative and to improve out acts. We ALL tend to hang on to cherished bits or jokes, in fact some vents hold on to the same act for decades. And there is nothing wrong with that, as long as you are changing audiences constantly and every time the act is performed it is to a new group of people who have not heard the jokes.

But for most of us the real secret to staying alive as ventriloquists is to get those repeat dates…to make repeat customers last for many years because we come with new things for them to see and hear. So now we come to the heart of it..working outside the “comfort zone”.

Th “comfort zone” is that happy place where you feel comfortable, where the lines are all audience-tested and you know down to the second what is going to happen and how the audience will react. But what about creating something new? That’s where you need to start taking a few chances.

I recommend working in new lines surrounded by good, comfortable “sure fire” material. And when the new lines are smoothed out and feel right, cut out some of the other standard material and work in some more new stuff. Eventually, over time, the act will evolve and you will be left with all new material. This is a more painless way of getting out of your “comfort zone”. Remember, not all of you new stuff will be great, so experiment, juggle the lines, move things around and have fun with it!

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