How many times have you gone to see an entertainer who only entertains themselves? If it’s a magician, he or she does tricks THEY like, not what the audience wants to hear or see. Or a juggler who does the same act as the rest of the jugglers, or a VENTRILOQUIST who only dabbles in the art and doesn’t care to step out of the box and do something remarkable. These entertainers are only entertaining themselves. Let’s explore this a bit, shall we …

In ventriloquism as in most arts, we have those self-absorbed people who really want to do what they want, with no regard for their audience. They get a vent figure that looks like all the rest (I guess it makes them feel like a “real” ventriloquist … ), with jokes that are old (yet the would-be vent thinks they are funny … ), and then present the act in a very predictable way … all the time wondering why they don’t get asked back and agents don’t call. They need to learn to “give the customer what they want.”

To find out what the customer wants may be a bit of a challenge. Sometimes you have to use the trial and error method, wherein you try something new and unusual and see how the audience reacts. If it works, build on it. If not, go back to the proverbial drawing board and start again. If you are seeing other vent acts copying each other with the same old stuff, it becomes a case of “follow the follower” “instead of the leader. Be a leader. Strive to have your own original characters, your own original dialogue. Have someone write for you if you are not sure how to do this. But DO IT! It would be wonderful to see a new generation of ventriloquists who are doing things differently instead of being a throw back to some bygone era. Love your vent heritage, but don’t keep reliving it! Give the audience of today a vent act of today. Go get them … and good luck!

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