I have been mulling this around in my head for some time and it has finally surfaced as a blog post. I have an infinity for the different. I think “different “ makes the world go around and especially when it comes to ventriloquism.
This is my theory, and just my theory. Ventriloquism has just had a rebirth since vents are using non-standard figures and puppets. In other words, we are breaking away from the standard “cute boy figure” and going into other areas for performing partners. Look at those vents who are successful and see what they are using. Jeff Dunham uses a grumpy old man, a dead terrorist, a wuzzle (“Peanut”) , and a jalapeno on a stick. No standard boy dummy there! Sammy King uses a parrot; Ken Groves an old man on a respirator; Tom Crowl a duck; Mike Palma an old chinese man; and I use an alligator named “Karl”. Those are just a few that come to mind..and there are many, many more.
Isn’t it time we take vent to the next level and break away a bit more from the “Edgar Bergen” look? Edgar was great and “Charlie” was one of a kind, but look through the eyes of our audiences. After a while all the cute boy figures look alike, and if they can’t remember your name how do they identify you? By your puppet. If someone said “the vent had a cute boy puppet”, how many acts would be thought of as the same? Unfortunately many.
I love the classic vent figure, so don’t get me wrong. I just think modern audiences like “different”. It’s our job to not make vent look “dated”, so it’s time to think out of the box. Look for different and you’ll find success!
To contact Mark Wade: email@example.com