If you aren’t familiar with Jay Johnson, you may be new to the art.

Jay is the only ventriloquist to ever win a Tony Award. He starred on the ground-breaking television show Soap. He’s performed on Broadway. He is a master of the art.

Jay is also one of the most analytical thinkers I know when it comes to the art of ventriloquism. His insights always make me pause and reflect.

During one discussion, Jay mentioned the first time he heard his voice on a tape recorder. For those of you who may not know what a tape recorder is, it was a very primitive MP3 recorder/player.

Back to the topic though. Jay couldn’t believe that was his voice. It didn’t sound like he envisioned it. In his head, things sounded completely different.

I’ve heard from ventriloquists who learned their craft from a book. They didn’t need a video. They didn’t need to attend the ventriloquist conVENTion. They didn’t need to learn how to write a script. They didn’t need to practice or improve. They KNEW this stuff. Their audiences love them. They are the Jeff Dunham of their town.

Some of these same people hate to watch video of their act. They don’t like to see themselves on camera. They do not care for how the video portrays them.

In our minds, we all have a different perception of reality. What we believe may not be the same as what others witness. That is why I encourage you to remain open about your art. Learn all you can. Study yourself and be honest with your assessment. If you can’t, find someone who can.

We all don’t have to be Jay Johnson – but we should each strive to be the best us there is!