One of the things I hear from beginning vents, as well as those who have been around awhile, is the problem they have writing scripts.
If you can’t write your own material, you are stuck doing standard dialogs, copying or using jokes from the Internet.
True that many start with this.
But if you wish to achieve any level in the art, you need to create original scripts.
There are plenty of ways to go about this.
First, you can pay close attention to any improv lines you think of during a show. A single line can build upon another until you have a routine. This requires a lot of stage time, something many beginners have trouble finding.
One of the biggest problems is that many ventriloquists do not have a character profile.
If they do, it may be under developed. That means the character is indistinguishable from hundreds of other undefined characters.
But lets say you have a well defined character. You have a unique character voice. The persona is definitely memorable.
So why do you still have trouble writing?
Is it writer’s block?
Possibly, but possibly not.
Maybe your character is just giving you a tough time, throwing a temper tantrum and not playing well with others.
I’ve had my medication, so bear with me.
Why aren’t your characters “speaking to you?”
We develop character profiles, but have you ever defined your relationship with the character?
Why do you hang out?
What do you agree/disagree on?
What are the differences in your personalities and how/why do you overcome them?
This relationship has to be as real to your audience as a relationship between any two individuals. And when you add in another puppet, that adds to the story.
Get to know the character better.
Sit down one on one with your puppet and go for a round of speed dating. Act like you have never met them before and ask questions. Your lack of original material may simply be the fact you don’t know each other well enough.
You listen to your friends, family or spouse. Do you listen to your characters?
Are you writing in your voice? Or theirs?
This change in dialogue can spur new ideas taking you to unforeseen places. Write the situations your character wants to discuss.
Maybe your character wants to move on. It feels like it has no story left to tell. Or the story you want to tell doesn’t fit with the direction they want to head.
If your character isn’t three dimensional, they add nothing to your show.
At that point you either need to create a new character, or focus on the one you have to make it better.
Remember Script writing is never really finished.
A script is a living, breathing entity that takes life in front of an audience. The more you work on your material, the more chances you have to create something truly unique.