I have seen many performers that have been doing lines and jokes that were originated by other acts. They also are using puppets very close to what top pros are using and it looks like a direct swipe. If confronted, the newbie act will claim “I didn’t know it was a used by someone else!”. And to a large extent, that was probably true. But that’s why it’s important to do a few things to protect against that. Here are a few to think about:

  1. Read about and watch other acts online. This will give you a basic grounding on who’s doing what and what characters are trademarks of top pros.
  1. Make a conscience effort to be original. If a joke sounds close to someone’skey material, leave it out or radically rewrite it to make it your own
  1. Just because you go to a public ,or not so public show and see a vent does not give you permission to lift parts of their act..   This performer was doing their best material and was PAID to perform, not be an easy target to have their act lifted.
  1. Find original characters to use in your show. I don’t know how many “grumpy old men” puppets ala Jeff Dunham I have seen people use. Also don’t use recognizable cartoon character puppets from television or or theme parks in your shows. That’s a lawsuit waiting to happen! These are toys!


  1. Using stock puppets is allowed, just try to do something original with them. Dress them differently, do something to make them you own . The producers of stock puppets made them to be USED . It’s up to you to use them YOUR way!


When we all strive to be more original we advance our art, and isn’t that what it’ all about?

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  • Jeffrey cox

    March 23, 2016

    I quite agree. We should all be origional. Otherwise…we have no art.. no personal talent or hobby. We are just slavishly emulating someone elses act under the umbrella of their talent. No persoal development pride of achievement and ability there. I am making my own figure. He is an old man and no surprise…he will be angry disgruntled and rude. Especially to me. Thats down to my particular personality. His voicewill come easily as i am an old man. No straining to speak in high pitched tones for a cute little boy character. Doing what comes easiest often leads to better success. Ray Allen the british vent had a drunken character…lord charles. Speaking in a drunken slurring voice helped Ray pronounce the plosives and difficult words easily. Though he was a master in reality. My figure will be unique. My script is a compilation of all the best jokes and put downs from the famous of the past made mine by alteration to fit my chosen theme and embelkishment and modernisation. They are now completely different from the origional jokes they have evolved from. I did this because i have no talent. Only a great deal of ability which is not the same as talent. In this way i achieve my purpose…to become a ventriloquist of perfection in my own front room. Sadly…no dog to practice in front of these days. He died. But i enjoy watching myself getting better knowing i could come up to oerformance standard one day. I have no need to perform in public but may give myself an airing one day when i feel good enough just for purposes of self developnent performing in front of an audience. I dont like professionally made figures as they all seem to have cartoon like features and odd colouration.also the best usually are copies of famous figures. We should all make our own. They would be more personal and origional then.

  • Aleida Quick

    March 24, 2016

    I quite agree, Mark! That is why I have made a couple of my own puppets and write my own scripts. Create your own style, be your own entertainer!

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